Amy and Sheldon’s Modern Rooftop Wedding in New York City
Love was in the air—as was the couple—the day technical director Sheldon Chow (whose résumé includes the films Ice Age and The Peanuts Movie) first exchanged glances with novelist Amy Pyle at a mutual friend’s rooftop social in New York City. “There were a few parties on that rooftop that summer, and we kept running into each other. It didn’t take long for us to realize it’d be fun to hang out somewhere else,” explains Amy. Six years later, the two were on the Verrazano Bridge, en route to the Five Borough Bike Tour’s finish line, when Sheldon hopped off his cycle and popped the question. “I was going to propose on the Williamsburg Bridge after the entire thing, but that last leg was so grueling and felt like such an accomplishment, that it was ‘now or never,’” he adds of the spontaneity. Coming full circle, the duo and their 150 guests joined together at Bathhouse Studios for a May 25, 2014, wedding that embodied downtown chic with help from a bold black-and-white color palette, modern touches, and a healthy dose of East Village charm.
The modern invitation suite from Minted established the event’s black-and-white theme and incorporated graphic fonts and an artistic background.
Amy and Sheldon were surfing the Internet for potential wedding venues late one night when they stumbled upon Bathhouse Studios. Previously a public bathhouse, the hidden gem received a makeover in the 1990s by a photographer and his wife, who converted the spot into a private workspace and photo studios. The pair was able to put their creativity to work to make the spot their very own. “The inside has a lot of cool details but is also a natural blank slate for someone with a vision. That felt like a fun challenge for us,” Sheldon says. They chose the rooftop for their ceremony, ventured inside the main studio space for dinner, and later headed down to the basement for an after-party.
The Blushing Bride
“I initially imagined wearing a very simple white silk gown,” Amy recalls of her search for the perfect dress. “But when I saw that Vera Wang had a black-and-white collection, I knew it was for me.” The contrasting colors and lace detailing put a twist on the more traditional attire Amy originally considered. To complete the look, she added a pair of leather gloves that one of her bridesmaids gifted her.
The bride rocked a pair of Saint Laurent heels to round out her ensemble. “The spikes gave the outfit a bit of attitude,” Sheldon says of Amy’s selection.
A Wild Bouquet
Amy and her bridal party clutched bouquets of lilacs and wildflowers, which picked up the cascading green ivy covering the venue’s rooftop.
The Man of the Hour
In Good Company
Amy asked her bridal party to wear predominantly white, and Sheldon’s to wear black, evoking the classic color contrast.
All in the Family
Reminiscent of how the love story began, the cocktail hour and ceremony were held on the venue’s rooftop. A string quartet from Lucy Music played covers of songs from the ’80s, including INXS’s “Never Tear Us Apart” for the bride’s walk down the aisle with her parents. The couple’s brother-in-law officiated the service, during which family members read blessings and poems they’d chosen for the couple.
Though rain was in the forecast, the skies instead cleared and ushered in sun, making for picture-perfect rooftop portraits. Family photos were taken during cocktail hour as guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.
To bring New York City’s dazzling lights indoors, strings of bulbs glistened overhead along with custom-made signs by Let There Be Neon.
Center of Attention
Paul Phoa fashioned the sculptural arrangements of lilacs and stems that anchored each table.
All in the Details
The intricate pieces were given sparkle and shine from round mirror bases, mercury-glass votives, and shimmery table linens.
Light Up the Night
Bright neon signs reading “Together AS1” (“AS1” standing for “Amy and Sheldon as one”) and “Pow” (for their last names, Chow and Pyle) personalized walls. “We were determined for every part of the event to reflect us and our life together,” explains Amy. The keepsakes now decorate the couple’s home as a remembrance of their marriage. Attendees danced in the site’s basement to live nu-disco by Midnight Magic. In lieu of a wedding cake, bite-size strawberry shortcakes crafted in shot glasses fueled partygoers.
“The celebration was about bringing family and friends from all around the world together for one ceremonious day and experiencing this crazy rite of passage with them,” Amy says of the festivities. “It was exhausting, chaotic, and beautiful—a New York wedding.”