A Vintage-Inspired Wedding at New York's Alder Manor

Real Weddings

Eileen and her friend Caroline had enough of being hit on by random men—random Irish men, to be exact, who "followed us incessantly" through a Lower East Side bar, Eileen says—and so they ducked out of Puck Fair without a second thought. Until Eileen spotted a group of cute, non-threatening guys, that is. "Once outside, Caroline and I looked at each other and said practically in unison, 'Why did we just leave?'" Eileen recalls. "We went back in and started talking to said guys, one of whom was Teddy," the man Eileen would marry more than five years later.

"My first impression of him was that he looked like Brian MacKenzie from Father of the Bride. Talk about a subversive, underlying message," Eileen jokes.

As they planned their August wedding, the couple each chose three keywords that would describe their big day, the bride says. Eileen wanted a wedding that was eclectic, lush and chic, while Teddy envisioned a day that was vintage, dim and festive. "Every aspect of our wedding fit into one of those categories," Eileen explains.

Alder Manor, with its "hard to resist" antique charms in Yonkers, New York, satisfied the couple's quest for an unique, vintage venue. "We were happy to find this little nook, where we could get married in an intimate ceremony with our families and friends and not the entire city of New York," Eileen says.

Eileen and Teddy announced their wedding with Invited Design Studio's Art Deco-inspired invitations in hues of coral, navy and silver. "We're both old souls and we love antiques, so when we found the venue we decided to go with a subtle Art Deco feel to work with the venue instead of against it," Eileen says.

The author of Wear This Now: Your Style Solution for Every Season and Any Occasion, Eileen was confident in her choice of wedding gown: A beaded Jenny Packham beauty with cap-sleeve detail.

Eileen picked her gown because "it felt ethereal, which was the look I wanted for my wedding day, and it had such unique and beautiful details...that were perfect for the venue," she says.

The dress was so "light and airy," Eileen recalls, that it felt like she was "wearing a T-shirt." The bride also donned a chapel-length veil and a necklace made from her great-grandmother's wedding ring.

Her bouquet—a mix of dinner plate dahlias in cafe au lait and apricot—was tied in ivory satin ribbon and accented with a a crystal brooch.

Each one unique, Eileen's bridesmaids carried bouquets in an assortment of ranunculus, garden and antique roses, leaves and berries.

"I wanted my bouquets to be naturalistic to match the wild, overgrown garden feel of an abandoned mansion, so we focused on making flowers resemble a Dutch painting and let them be a little wild," Eileen says.

To tie together the varying bouquets, The Designers' Co-Op wrapped each one with soft mauve-colored satin ribbon.

Just as every bridesmaids' bouquet was different, so too were the boutonnieres.

The lapel-sized arrangements ranged from deep-red ranunculus to petite roses flanked by greens. By making each bouquet and boutonniere one-of-a-kind, the couple accomplished the eclectic look for which they strove, Eileen says.

Keeping their keywords—eclectic, lush, chic, vintage, dim and festive—constantly in mind helped Eileen "weed out of all of the stuff I kept seeing on Pinterest and on wedding blogs like chevron or other trendy things that just didn't work for our venue," she says.

Alder Manor's courtyard garden, where the couple hosted their outdoor wedding ceremony, met their need for something lush, Eileen says.

Eileen's mother, an elementary school teacher, gave the couple's young flower girl specific instructions when it came to carrying a Here Comes The Bride sign, Eileens says. "She listened and took her job very seriously, and she walked down the aisle very proudly," the bride recalls. "Everyone loved her."

A ring bearer carried a bird nest basket covered in moss and tied with a light blue satin bow.

The aisle was covered in white rose petals and adorned with more wild flower-like arrangements that hung from chairs. "We wanted the ceremony to feel personal and intimate," the bride says.

"At first, I told my bridesmaids they could wear whatever they wanted within a certain color palette," Eileen says of her bridesmaids mismatched taupe dresses. But then "I found a scalloped, beaded dress and sent it around and everyone liked it. Many of the girls bought it online on the spot and sent me photos of themselves in it."

"For the other girls," Eileen says, "we found another dress in a similar color palette that had scalloped edges with some beading, and it all worked together. I really loved their dresses."

Instead of a unity candle, the pair put small white river rocks on each guest's seat, asking them to hold the stones and make wishes for their marriage during a moment of silence. "Then we collected all the rocks and we now keep them in our apartment in a terrarium as a reminder of that day," Eileen says.

The couple also penned their own vows, "together, so that we were both pledging the same thing," the bride explains.

Asked if the couple tackled any do-it-yourself projects, the bride jokes, "Does Etsy count?" Everything from the couple's custom cocktail stirrers to their signage and stationery suite came from the crafter's paradise.

The one do-it-yourself endeavor the bride can claim? "My mother made the striped runners for the long banquet tables," she says. "I have always loved the way stripes and floral arrangements look together, and it also lent itself to a kind of Victorian look."

The couple's reception exuded more of their keywords. "The venue was chic and vintage, the candlelight inside was dim, and the entire vibe of the party and family-style dinner was festive," Eileen says.

The bride describes the centerpieces as "similar combinations in different vessels, from pewter sugar bowls to mint julep cups."

Each centerpiece was made from a mixture of roses, ranunculus, lilies, dusty miller and greens. "They varied in size and shape," the bride says.

Eileen and Teddy served a multi-course meal that began with appetizers which included tuna tartar, gazpacho and empanadas as a nod to their chef's Argentinean heritage.

Because Alder Mansion boasts two large rooms to be used for dinner—a library and adjacent fireplace room—the couple elected to have long, banquet-style tables that were perfect for family-style service. Menu items included steak and chimichurri, grilled chicken with lemon, and sea bass served alongside mango chutney.

Eileen and Teddy topped off the evening with an after-party and an after-after party. "After the after party, we all piled into a bus and went back to the hotel, where there was a bar," the bride recalls. "Unfortunately, the bartender told us he was closed—but one particularly clever friend who works in the hospitality business convinced him to re-open. I remember looking back five minutes later and seeing 75 cold beers had magically appeared on the bar. And thus the post-after party commenced."

—Jillian Kramer

Day-Of Wedding Planner: Just About Married || Ceremony Venue: Alder Manor || Reception Venue: Alder Manor || Bride's Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham || Bride's Veil: Bride's Head Revisited || Bride's Shoes: Lanvin || Bride's Accessories: Rent The Runway || Bride's Wedding Ring: Doyle & Doyle || Groom's Wedding Ring: Doyle & Doyle || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Walter Baker and Chandi and Lia || Flower Girl Dress: J. Crew || Florist: The Designers' Co-Op || Caterer: Chefs At Work || Stationery: Invited Design Studio || Cake Baker: Momofuku Milk Bar || Entertainment: Charles St. Paul Band || Videography: Well Spun Weddings || Photography: Cappy Hotchkiss Photography

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