A Classic Boston Public Library Wedding
Katie and Kent
Kent still remembers seeing Katie for the first time when she came in to the advertising agency at which he worked, and where she was interviewing. A few weeks later, he was happy to see that she had gotten the job. The two quickly became friends while working on the same account together, and a year later began dating.
The New York City professionals (she's an art director now and he's in client management) got engaged in the Big Apple. Katie unknowingly made Kent's plans difficult when she tried to meet his friend's wife for dinner—the same friend Kent has asked to help him with the proposal. Seeing that his plot was unraveling, Kent had to bring his friend's wife into the loop. He convinced his soon-to-be-fiance to join him for a bike ride, and they rode to the Little Red Lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge, a spot they had visited on their very first date. When they arrived, their friends had set up candles along the entrance, and then Kent got down on one knee. Tears flowing, she quickly said "yes."
Just shy of another year, on August 22, 2015, the emotional moments continued when the couple tied the knot. Joined by 208 guests at the Boston Public Library, near where Katie's family grew up (she was raised in Maine), they took their cue from the building's classic architecture. It was also fitting as Kent's mother was an elementary school librarian and he spent plenty of time surrounded by books in his home state of Louisiana as a young boy. The timeless, black-tie wedding further embraced Northern and Southern traditions with help from a classic color palette of white, gold, and black, and plenty of the couple's personality.
As an art director, the wedding stationery was one element of the wedding planning process that Katie had thought about for a long time. The couple worked with Swiss Cottage Design to create a custom suite inspired by the architectural elements of their venue. It incorporated calligraphy by Anne Robin, gold foil, and a bespoke monogram.
Welcome to Boston
With so many guests coming from out of town, Katie and Kent wanted to get them excited for everything happening over the weekend. With help from their Boston-based planner, Lauren Wells, everything was sourced, assembled, and distributed. A white paper bag with the pair's logo and a schedule of events printed on the outside was stuffed with goodies that represented the couple's home base in New York City as well as their hometowns. The contents included a small glass Coca Cola bottle and two straws, a compost cookie from Momofuku Milk Bar, Zapps or Cape Cod potato chips, mints, ibuprofen, a map of the area with a note from the bride and groom, fun facts about Boston, and a detailed itinerary on the back.
"I tried on a million dresses," Katie jokes of the 40-plus she considered. "I had the same response to almost every one: it's beautiful but not me." She finally realized that going the custom route would be the ticket, so she created a mood board of the gowns she'd tried on and what she liked and disliked about each style. Then, working with Elizabeth Rosbottom, the one-of-a-kind lace and silk winner with an illusion neckline, low back, and covered buttons came to fruition along with a custom cathedral-length veil by the designer. Katie further accessorized with Louis Vuitton shoes, classic diamond earrings, and a pearl bracelet created from one of her grandmother's old pins.
Kent wore a navy shawl-collar tuxedo from J.Crew, a Charles Tyrwhitt bib-front wing-collar shirt, navy bow tie and fleur-de-lis socks from The Tie Bar, black Cole Haan shoes, gold fleur-de-lis cufflinks, and navy suspenders.
Monograms by Emily embroidered Kent's navy suspenders with a gold B (for his last name) designed by Swiss Cottage Designs, to match the wedding invitation.
Hearts and Memories
Since Katie was little, she has slept with a small pillow that was put into her crib as a baby. "I loved it so much as a kid, and still do, and every year I wear through the pillowcase and my mom makes me a new one that I place over the old ones," she explains. "I can now take the pillow apart and see all of the different styles I chose as a young girl, teenager, and adult." Three hearts were cut from the fabrics, serving as Katie's something blue.
The Bridal Bouquet
Katie carried a white and green bouquet featuring garden roses, café au lait dahlias, anemones, ranunculus, and zinnias, made by Boston Pollen.
The Wedding Rings
When Katie and Kent started talking about the possibility of marriage, both of them confessed to having a family heirloom that they had imagined using. The end result? A combination of both. Kent worked with jewelry designer Marissa Perry to incorporate his paternal grandmother's stone in the center, flanked by two side diamonds from a pin that belonged to Katie's maternal grandma. "It physically and symbolically represents the complete joining of both of our families," Katie notes.
On the wedding day, Katie and Kent exchanged gold bands—his a simple band that had belonged to his paternal grandfather (after whom he is named) and hers a pair of pavé diamond-and-gold bands that match the engagement ring.
The couple took portraits around the library and inside it's stately rooms before the 7 p.m. ceremony.
Inside the Library
Boston Pollen transformed the cold marble interiors to a warm, welcoming space with inviting floral garlands winding up the steps and a large floral arrangement greeting everyone upon entry. It was the first thing guests saw before ascending to the second floor for the ceremony. "The 'growing' aisle and garland on the grand staircase was created on site by the floral designer using flowers in shades of white and deeper pink and yellow tones.
The Ceremony Setup
In keeping with the library theme, programs were printed as custom bookmarks. For immediate family, calligraphed marble tiles reserved their seats.
The Ring Bearer
Kent's nephew Parker wore a linen short and tunic ensemble, paired with knee socks in true Southern fashion. He insisted on adding a bow tie like all the "big boys."
Katie followed with an entrance that took Kent's breath away. "I will never forget seeing her walk down the aisle," he says. "We did a first look, so I had seen her already. But her glow, the happiness, the faces of the guests taking it all in—it was perfect."
Kent's cousin, an Episcopalian minister who married Kent's parents 35 years earlier as well as many other couples in the groom's family, performed the ceremony, which took place in the Abbey Room. "It's different than any other room in the library," Katie says of the space. "It's covered in murals and rich wood that gives off a church-like vibe." Dark mahogany bentwood chairs were used in keeping with the venue's environment.
An Apache wedding blessing was recited, as was an excerpt from "Letters" by Rainer Maria Rilke and Romans 12:0-18: Let Love be Genuine. The couple wrote their own vows and shared them with each other for the first time during the ceremony. "I wrote mine about 12 different times over the course of the summer," Katie recalls. "I also practiced them out loud walking down the street in New York. I looked like a crazy person on the subway."
Advice for the Newlyweds
In lieu of a guestbook, advice cards designed in the style of a library book checkout card were set on a table during cocktail hour. Since the wedding, the couple has framed a few and have plans to make an album with the rest.
Another entertaining activity for the guests? A Danger Booth photobooth at the reception, with a backdrop printed with the same toile pattern from the invitations. Fun hats provided by Katie's aunt (a costume designer) had guests hamming it up.
In addition to the normal offerings, guests chose among three signature drinks. The specialty cocktails were a mojito with lavender, fresh lemonade with mint leaves, and a Wycliff Brut Champagne and St Germain combination with an orange twist.
Forgoing a traditional sit-down dinner, the couple opted for stations and open seating, allowing guest to eat and mingle throughout the courtyard. The offerings were calligraphed in gold on black paper and included grilled swordfish medallions with pineapple chili salsa, and wild mushroom bread pudding.
Tall tables and chairs were set around the perimeter of the courtyard, and more classic pairings were arranged in the wings. For those attendees looking to sit inside and enjoy their meal, long tables were set in the room dancing would occur in.
A Simple Cake
A handful of zinnias and roses adorned the white velvet mousse cake layered with Grand Marnier-flavored strawberries. In keeping with the Southern tradition, Kent had a groom's cake that was chocolate layered with golden caramel mousse and fresh red raspberries, decorated with fleur-de-lis.
The First Dance
The band, Flipside, entertained throughout the evening, starting with the couple's first dance to "I Found You" by Alabama Shakes.
"Music was extremely important to us," Katie notes. "Our band blew us away. They really made the wedding what it was. We were both really hoping guests would dance but had no idea how amazing the turnout would be. A true highlight was looking up and seeing one of our best friends dancing on her husband's shoulders."
The Second Line
Kent's mother came up with the idea of having a second line (a big tradition in New Orleans) for the couple's sendoff at the end of the night. So Katie and Kent led the band, wedding party, and all the guests from the Boston Public Library in a parade to The Oak Long Bar at the Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel. Guests waved handkerchiefs monogrammed with the couple's last initial and wedding date through the air as they danced through the streets of Boston to the sounds of "When the Saints Go Marching In."
"The best feeling of our lives was our second line exit," Katie says. "It was indescribable to walk down the front stairway of the library and see 200 of our closest family and friends cheering for us."
Photography, Brumley & Wells Photography
Location, Boston Public Library
Event design, Lauren Wells
Catering, The Catered Affair
Flowers, Boston Pollen
Videography, NST Pictures
Stationery, Swiss Cottage Designs
Calligraphy, Anne Robin Calligraphy
Cake, I Dream of Jeanne Cakes
Music, Marza Wilks (ceremony strings); Flipside
Rentals, New England Country Rentals
Photobooth, The Danger Booth
Bride's gown, Elizabeth Rosbotton
Bride's accessories, Louis Vuitton shoes; Marissa Perry rings
Hair and Makeup, Leather and Lace Artistry
Bridesmaids' dresses, Kathryn Conover; J.Crew
Groom's tuxedo, J.Crew
Groom's accessories, Charles Tyrwhitt shirt; The Tie Bar bow tie and socks; Cole Haan shoes
Embroidery on groom's suspenders, Monograms by Emily, 212-924-4486
Lighting, Frost Productions