A Colorful and Crafty New York City Wedding
Blake and Chris
“I left the veil to the last minute,” says Blake Ramsey, laughing. With a month to go before her wedding, she learned that “it takes two months to order one!” Such a setback might send most brides-to-be into a tizzy. Not Blake, a crafts stylist: “I thought, ‘I’ll just make one!’” In fact, her entire wedding to economic consultant Chris Murray was filled with details she fashioned herself, including invitations and décor that she designed and printed. “She’s a very creative person,” Chris says. “I adore what she does.”
Then again, there’s plenty that Chris, a native of Melbourne, Australia, adores about Blake. The two met in 2008 at a party hosted by his Australian football team, which is made up of Aussie expats living in New York City, one of whom was Blake’s friend’s roommate. She remembers thinking that Chris “was so friendly and charismatic, but he had a girlfriend.” By the winter of 2009, Blake says, “we were both single, and Chris expressed that he was interested in me.” There was just one problem: He was moving to Dubai for work.
True to form, Blake got creative. She had a trip to France with a friend planned for the following April, so she asked Chris if he wanted to fly in from Dubai and meet up for the weekend. “Our encounter in Paris changed everything,” he says. After that, the couple “got to know each other through e-mails and long phone calls,” Chris recalls, along with rendezvous in Barcelona and London. In May 2010, they moved to a Manhattan apartment together, and two years later, on another trip to Paris, he proposed under the Eiffel Tower.
The DIY Stationery
The bride painted the blue-and-white floral pattern on a piece of paper, scanned it, added text, and printed the invitations herself. Thank-you cards featured another pattern that Blake designed.
Welcome to NYC
At the start of the weekend, the pair gave guests Knopf MapGuides: New York.
On May 18, 2013, the Reverend Shelley D. McDade officiated their Episcopalian ceremony at Manhattan’s Church of the Ascension in front of 130 guests, 60 of whom had traveled internationally to be there. When they were pronounced man and wife, “there was a huge eruption of cheers,” Chris recalls.
On Dad's Arm
Blake’s father walked her down the aisle at the historic Church of the Ascension in downtown Manhattan, built in 1841.
A Little Cutie
The flower girl, Chris’s niece, who came from Australia, wore a dress by Crewcuts.
Dressed in Blue
Blake’s attendants wore on-palette strapless gowns from J. Crew, which provided a colorful backdrop for their coral and white bouquets of anemones, ranunculus, peonies, and poppies.
Gifts for the Bridesmaids
Coral ranunculus boutonnieres offered a pop of color against the groomsmen’s black suits from Black by Vera Wang.
Big Apple Views
The good times kept rolling at Ramscale Studio, a penthouse with views of the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, which Blake chose because it captures “what New York is to me.” (Until she was 6 and her family moved to the suburbs, the future Mrs. Murray lived in Manhattan—on Murray Street!).
Having just gotten hitched, Blake and Chris felt on top of the world as they posed on the roof terrace with the skyline behind them.
The loft space was decorated with long white tables covered in patterned runners (printed by Spoonflower), pillows adorned with blue and white paint (crafted by the bride), and bright wall decals (all designed by the bride).
A friend of the bride’s, Martha Stewart Weddings senior editor Naomi de Mañana, made the cheery centerpieces, which featured white and orange anemones, poppies, and ranunculus; white lilacs; pink peonies; geranium leaves; and viburnum berries.
The bride’s friends gathered during the cocktail hour on the top-floor terrace of Ramscale Studio. Now an event venue, it was once a workspace for Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell; it’s where the first talking movie was heard and the first television broadcast was demonstrated.
Signature drinks, served on MyDrap royal-blue cocktail napkins, included a St. Germain Sparkler, made with elderflower liqueur and prosecco, and a Ruby Red Margarita. Citrus rinds were cut into the shapes of flowers and added as garnishes by the caterer, Sips & Bites.
Hors d’oeuvres were passed on trays lined with paper bearing the same pattern used on thank-yous and behind the bar. Blake created it by carving an eraser to make a rubber stamp, stamping with blue paint, then scanning, enlarging, and printing.
Big Impact Bar
To create this bold backdrop for the bar, Blake reproduced the flowers from her original stamped design—she magnified them onto matte paper and printed using a large-format printer—then affixed the blooms to a wall with blue painters’ tape.
A Sweet Touch
Servers passed a selection of handheld treats including mini chicken and waffles (a nod to the bride’s parents, who are both from North Carolina) and, for dessert, a mini Pavlova, an Australian specialty.
A Postcard Station
Instead of a guest book, far-flung party-goers illustrated cards at a “postcard station,” noting where they’d traveled from.
Blake wanted the photobooth pics to feel “more like NYC souvenirs,” so she created foam-board cutouts of city symbols. Later, she slipped the snaps into thank-you notes.
Custom Couch Cushions
Blake’s designs, which she hand-painted on linen with fabric paint, were turned into pillowcases for the lounge areas.
The bride got her groove on at the reception, which Chris describes as “a really fun dance party—two of my cousins split their pants!”
Made With Love
While Blake created the backdrop and decorated the stand, her sister made the chocolate buttercream cake with white chocolate cream cheese frosting, working from a recipe by Sky High Cakes.
Split Personality Favors
The newlyweds posed with the skyline behind them. Chris had planned to return to Australia after his stint in Dubai, but New York and Blake beckoned. “This is the type of person you change your life for,” he says.
Ceremony: The Church of the Ascension
Location: Ramscale Studio
Catering: Sips & Bites
Photography and Photobooth: Mariliana Arvelo of Stylish and Hip Weddings Photography
Music: Play Something Good
Rentals: Taylor Creative Inc.; Broadway Party Rentals
Hair: Blow, The New York Blow Dry Bar Express
Makeup: Sandra Belteton at Sephora
Bride’s Gown: Nicole Miller
Accessories: [shoes] Stuart Weitzman; [earrings] Kenneth Jay Lane; [necklace] Anais Jewelry
Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew
Flowergirl’s Dress: Crewcuts
Groom’s Tuxedo: J.Crew
Transportation: Best Trails & Travel
Custom chocolate bars: Chocolate Editions
Bartenders' suspenders: American Apparel
Custom fabric for table runners and backdrop for cake: Spoonflower
Welcome bundle: [books] Knopf MapGuide of New York; [paper]
Michael A. Hill New York Map Wrap; [Italian cotton ribbon] Studio Carta
Postcard station: Pentel Color Pens; Stamp