When Will, a graphic artist with a penchant for photography, proposed to Rachel, he didn't just ask that all-important question—he spelled it out in images he captured of billboards and signs from the couple's travels. "He created a book," Rachel explains, "each page spelling out, 'Will you marry me, Rachel?'"
The couple planned their April wedding with the same creative zest, dividing wedding planning duties to design a fete at the Metropolitan Building that appears both effortless and organic.
Photo: Shannen Norman Photography
After Rachel and Will discovered Long Island's Metropolitan Building, "it felt as if it was our space," the bride says. Its open—and even hidden—rooms, distressed wood floors, wall-to-ceiling bookshelves and ornate crystal chandeliers "created a grand and romantic space" for their wedding, Rachel says.
Before she slipped into her gown, Rachel swept her loosely-curled hair to the side, accenting the casual bun with two small, white blooms. The bride also wore a pair of diamond earrings her father brought from Singapore and a pearl bracelet purchased by her aunt. "Both were perfect," she says.
A textile designer by trade, the bride "decided to design the wedding dress, you know, being a designer and all," she says. Inspired by a piece of lace from her grandmother, Rachel created a layered gown with buttons that trailed down her back.
Rachel's bouquet overflowed with peachy-pink peonies, yellow tea roses and large tropical leaves.
Bridesmaids chose their own black dresses "so that they could wear them on another occasion," the bride says. "You can never have too many little black dresses."
Their bouquets mimicked the bride's, a mix of vibrant peonies, tea roses, ranunculus and greens.
Boutonnieres were made from single roses. Groomsmen also donned an engraved tie clip, a gift from the groom.
The bride describes their wedding ceremony, held in one of the Metropolitan Building's many rooms decorated with leafy garlands for the occasion, as "simple, personal and tranquil."
Will's brother, who served as the couple's best man, played the acoustic guitar during the ceremony. "We don't remember a moment where people weren't dancing or the atmosphere was not enhanced by the music playing," Rachel recalls.
The couple's reception decoration "centered around the space," the bride says. "Once we found that, it evolved."
Florist Poppies & Posies placed "large tropical foliage juxtaposed with soft, pastel ranunculus, peonies and tea roses" in antique containers to created an eclectic look with touches of vintage whimsy, Rachel says.
Scattered among the centerpieces were books, adding height to the small arrangements.
Photos: Shannen Norman Photography
The couple offered a full bar alongside a dinner menu that included grilled flank steak, marinated chicken breast, pasta and vegetables. Dessert? A choice of lavender, red velvet or carrot cupcakes.
Rachel and Will's small, white lavender wedding cake was inspired by the groom's love of LEGOs.
In lieu of more traditional favors, the couple opted for a photo booth, where guests could pop in and snap silly photos of themselves. The booth gave two copies of each image, and Rachel and Will asked guests to leave one copy with them as an extra-special wedding keepsake.
Asked to choose her favorite wedding memory, Rachel couldn't. "They were all wonderful," she says.
Ceremony Venue: Metropolitan Building || Reception Venue: Metropolitan Building || Bride's Wedding Dress: Rachel Rose || Bride's Wedding Ring: Rebecka Froberg || Groom's Tux: J. Crew || Groom's Wedding Ring: Rebecka Froberg || Groomsmen Attire: J. Crew || Mother of the Bride's Dress: Made by aunt of the bride || Florist: Poppies & Posies || Caterer: The Raging Skillet || Cake Baker: Pinisi Cafe & Bakery || Favors: Classic Photo Booth || Entertainment: Play Something Good || Photography: Shannen Norman Photography