This outdoor celebration put a focus on family.
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Eden and Jack
Brooklynites Eden Cale and Jack Levinson met while traveling in 2011—on Virgin America's flight 406 from LAX to JFK, to be exact. "We were seated next to each other and didn't stop talking the whole flight, much to the chagrin of everyone around us," Jack shares. The two exchanged emails, but were both in relationships at the time, and lived across the country from each other. They didn't begin dating until 2014, when Jack moved from Los Angeles to New York City and they both found themselves unattached.
In November 2016, the couple planned a trip to see the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. They spent the weekend in Washington, D.C., and the morning after the concert, Jack (who works in film and television production on projects like Amazon's The Tick and Netflix's The Defenders) insisted on visiting the National Arboretum. "As we're walking around, I kind of felt something electric in the air," Eden (the co-founder of digital media agency Hiraeth Media) recalls. "All the sudden, he's down on his knee, asking me to be his wife." Eden said "yes" in the middle of the National Capital Columns among the autumn leaves.
Jack's parents have a lovely home in New Canaan, Connecticut, which "seemed like the natural spot for the vibe we wanted," says Jack. "We had originally planned for a nearly year-long engagement, but we really wanted to have an outdoor wedding at the house, which had real limitations when it came to weather," he adds. So, the couple cut their engagement short, and married on June 10, 2017.
On the warm, late-spring day, Eden and Jack tied the knot with a customized Jewish ceremony in front of 50 guests. "Everyone looked great, the weather was perfect, even the bugs stayed away," Jack says of the celebration. Eden adds that it was "the most magical, perfect day."
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According to Eden, the wedding's theme was entirely based on the invitations. "I know that sounds insane, but I was struggling, wading through Pinterest board after Pinterest board trying to find an example of what I had in my head," she explains. Finally, she found exactly what she'd envisioned, in the form of a photo of stationery. There was no credit associated with the picture, so Eden did some digging. "After a reverse Google image search, I was led to a blog that featured those very beautiful invitations, and I tracked down the designers," she shares.
The "magical" team at The Wells Makery—who Eden calls "the most talented people I've never met"—was enlisted to design these moody, watercolor paper goods. The suite included a formal invitation, a custom map that spotlighted places that are meaningful to the couple, and the weekend's details printed on vellum, all in shades of blush, white, and grayish-blue.
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The wedding was held at Jack's parents' home. "It's a gorgeous property that lies on the Silvermine River, and has great sunsets and natural scenery," Jack says. "We always knew we eventually wanted to get married there," Eden adds.
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Jack opted for traditional attire, and wore a black Paul Smith suit, a black Balenciaga tie, and black Crockett & Jones shoes. Eden purchased her Yaki Ravid wedding dress straight off the rack. The plunging neckline and long sleeves provided the balance she was looking for. "It was sexy but still demure enough that I wouldn't look back on myself with regret," she explains.
The bride accessorized with pearl Mikimoto earrings that her dad once gave her mom, plus a veil handmade by Gina Pappas. She also borrowed a family ring from one of her sisters-in-law, Ashley. "I'm so grateful, as an only child, to now have an amazing group of women to call my sisters," she says, recognizing the kind gesture.
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Eden's dress was unique and ornate, so she chose to stick with classic shoes. These nude, patent-leather Christian Louboutin heels fit the bill, and are simple enough that she plans to wear them again.
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The Bridal Party
The couple chose not to have bridesmaids or groomsmen. Eden's oldest friend, Annie, served as her maid of honor, and wore a sleeveless pink dress from Parker. Meanwhile, Jack's best man was his brother Sam.
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Jack's niece, Lila, acted as flower girl, and wore a pink Ieena for Mac Duggal dress. She carried a bouquet of white flowers and eucalyptus, and accessorized with a flower crown.
Also pictured is Lila's brother, Atticus. The siblings were two of four children in attendance.
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Hand in Hand
The ceremony began at sunset to fully embrace the venue's natural beauty. For the processional, Jack walked with both of his parents to the popular "Canon in D." When it was Eden's turn, a string quartet played "Moon River," and both of her parents escorted her, too. "Watching Eden walk down the aisle in that dress was stunning," Jack remembers.
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The picturesque ceremony was held right on the river, and guests were seated in simple white chairs. The chuppah was made of wood, greenery, and muted flowers that matched Eden's bouquet. "It's a really surreal moment when you look out to all of the familiar faces you've known throughout your life in one spot," Jack notes.
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A rabbi led the couple through a contemporary Jewish ceremony. "Eden and I aren't that religious, but we wanted a ceremony that would pay respect to our ancestors," Jack explains. They customized the blessings to better represent their relationship, and used a Kiddush cup from Jack's father's bar mitzvah. Eden is part Welsh, so a wool shawl in clan tartan replaced a traditional tallit. One of her Welsh friends, Mared, also recited the e.e. cummings poem "[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]."
For the recessional, a string version of "Tenderness" by General Public played. According to Eden, it was chosen just for her maid of honor, and was "an ode to our obsession with Clueless as children." "The moment right after the ceremony where you look at each other and ask, 'Did this just happen?'" was another great moment for Jack.
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The Cocktail Hour
At the cocktail hour on the back patio, guests snacked on passed canapés, including beef tartare, barbecue clams, and smoked trout dip.
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At their tented reception, the couple offered locally-sourced fare, including a salad with lettuce, spring onions, mint, beets, and roasted sesame; followed by artisan burrata with fennel honey, sugar snap peas, and almonds. For the main course, guests dined on roasted chicken and roasted fish, plus seasonal grains and vegetables. "Convincing chef Bill Taibe to cater the wedding meant that our food was delicious," Eden says.
"Eat the food," Jack advises future newlyweds. "You'll be talking the whole time, and next thing you know your plates are being taken."
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The meal was served family style at long farm tables. The cross-back chairs had ivory cushions, the runners were made of un-hemmed linen, and the candles were placed in silver candlesticks. Tableware included pink goblets ("that were something I absolutely couldn't live without for some reason," says Eden), etched-crystal wine glasses and champagne flutes, and classic white dishes. The place settings also featured vintage silverware and linen napkins. Later, dessert was eaten off of vintage-style, eggshell-blue plates.
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Silver mercury-glass vessels held centerpieces of roses and eucalyptus. Eden decided to step away from the softer tones featured in the rest of their arrangements, and instead "went full on pink for the tables."
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"In Wales, it's customary to give a love spoon to newly-engaged or newly-married couples, and I thought it would be nice to give them to our guests as a token to take home with them," says Eden. Bespoke Laser UK cut the couple's names and wedding date into the favors, which were set atop calligraphed place cards and menus by Wells Makery.
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Song and Dance
During the festivities, Eden's dad (a founding member of the Velvet Underground) played one of his songs—"I Keep a Close Watch"—while she sat beside him at the piano. Jack considers the meaningful moment one of his favorites from the wedding. So does Eden. "It was a special moment for me and my dad, and now it's a special song for me and my husband. I was grateful that he was able to perform," the bride shares.
Eden and her dad also danced to "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra, while Jack and his mom took a spin to "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong. "Strangers" by the Kinks played for the couple's first dance, which was Eden’s favorite moment. "It was so sweet because we actually managed to tune everyone out for three minutes and focus on each other," she says.
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Jack and Eden worked with Amy Berger of Luckybird Bakery for their wedding cake. The top tier was lemon cake with cream-cheese frosting and raspberries, the middle tier was red velvet cake with cream-cheese frosting and hidden Belgian-chocolate shavings, and the bottom tier was almond cake with vanilla buttercream and more chocolate shavings. Rosehip decorated the confection with blush and white blooms.
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Event planning, Lovely Event Planning
Catering, The Whelk Westport
Officiant, Rabbi Linda Portnoy Goldberg
Stationery, The Wells Makery
Calligraphy, Marissa Chen
Cake, Luckybird Bakery
Bride's gown, Yaki Ravid
Hair and makeup, Joshua Ristaino
Bridesmaid's dress, Parker
Flower girl's dress, Ieena for Mac Duggal
Groom's suit, Paul Smith
Lighting, Luminescence Lighting
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