When you've already chosen a rock star planner and photographer for your wedding, why not use their expertise to turn your bridal shower into an event to remember, too? That's just what Rachel, 33, did to celebrate both her shower on May 5, 2013, and her wedding, with a ceremony on June 10th and a reception on June 13th.
"Instead of one big wedding day, I wanted a bunch of small intimate events so we could really enjoy them and spend time with the people there," says Rachel. "Every time an event was over, it was almost time for the next one!" By having both the bridal shower and the ceremony at her mother's home in Brooklyn Heights, planner Laura Remmert was able to help Rachel create an intimate, family-focused series of celebrations that captured the importance of the event to the couple.
From the playful and girly bridal shower to the intimate ceremony in her mother's dining room, to an Art Deco-inspired reception at the Bleecker Street Arts Club three days later, Rachel and her now-husband Anthony, 37, celebrated their marriage in as many ways as they possibly could.
"The shower was very girly and whimsical," says planner Laura. She mixed rented mix-and-match floral china with Rachel's grandmother's crystal to put an antique spin on the décor, while gold chairs and black and white cushions added a whimsical touch. A date in May meant there was an abundance of fresh, seasonal flowers in vibrant pink. Says Rachel, "Having Laura help with the shower meant we didn't have to worry about rentals or design, and that my mother and sister could enjoy themselves during the party."
The lush centerpieces featured peonies, ranunculus, garden roses, and sweet peas. A combination of gold and silver bud vases carried on the celebration's eclectic feel.
For such a playful event, there was no better choice for food than caterer Peter Callahan. Whimsical hors d'oeuvres, like bite-sized fish tacos served with mini margaritas, kept all the ladies satisfied. Another one of his signature passed treats? Pastry rings topped with caviar and a dollop of cream.
Instead of a traditional guest book, Rachel's friends and family left her messages on a bottle of wine.
There's nothing more fun than s'mores, and they're even better when they come in a one-bite package!
For both her ceremony and her reception, Rachel chose sleek, modern gowns designed by Inbal Dror. "I wanted something unique and different, and Inbal was really able to do that," she says.
The couple, who met 15 years ago, were engaged for almost a year and a half before they began planning their wedding. Once they started, bringing in a planner meant they could pull it all together in 8 months.
Anthony wore a classic tuxedo from Tom Ford. His rose gold Patek watch belonged to Rachel's late father.
In honor of her father, who passed away seven years ago, Rachel had her elegant white and green bouquet wrapped in one of his ties.
Her strapless Inbal Dror gown featured va-va-voom sheer nude lace on the back of the corset.
The ceremony was supposed to take place outside, however the threat of rain caused them to move it indoors. The chuppah, draped in orchids, roses, and hydrangeas in shades of white, was erected in Rachel's mother's dining room, which ended up being the perfect location for the cozy ceremony.
Three days later, on June 13th, 2013, Rachel and Anthony gathered 65 of their friends at Bleecker Street Arts Club for the reception. Rachel donned another Inbal Dror design, this one featuring modern beading and an a-line skirt.
Layered gold, silver, and champagne were accented with fresh white and green flowers. Patterned linens put a glam spin on the tables, which were topped with white peonies and tall candlesticks.
For the wedding reception, Rachel and Anthony turned to Mario by Mary, serving their guests a menu curated by Mario Batali and created by Mary Giuliani. They shared some of their favorite—and indulgent—foods, from blinis and caviar (served with chilled vodka shots) to burrata, tortello puzzone, and strip loin.
When they weren't dining or dancing, guests entertained themselves with a photo booth full of playful props. For dessert, a white-on-white wedding cake was topped with the couple's monogram.
And the party didn't end there! As a nod to their Anguillan engagement, Anthony and Rachel invited friends and family to Cap Juluca resort to celebrate with them yet again.
"I know everyone says this, but don't forget to enjoy your wedding day," says Rachel. "Don't stress over every little thing—just be in the moment." Whether it's your bridal shower or your wedding day, having a great team in place will keep the stress to a minimum, and the joy at an all-time high.
Bridal Shower & Ceremony Venue: The Bride's Mother's Home || Reception Venue: Bleecker Street Arts Club || Bridal Shower & Wedding Planner: Laura Remmert Events || Bride's Wedding Dresses: Inbal Dror || Shoes: Prada, Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin || Jewelry: Family Heirlooms || Hair & Makeup: Jessie Riley || Groom's Tuxedo: Tom Ford || Wedding Bands: Michael Herman || Florist: Lewis Miller Design || Invitations & Paper Goods: Regas || Music: Venus Ensembles || Bridal Shower Catering: Peter Callahan || Wedding Catering: Ceremony – KG Fare, Reception – Mario by Mary || Cake: Ceremony – Lady M Confections, Reception – Cheryl Kleinman Cakes || Rentals: Party Rental Ltd. || Favors: Molly's Cupcakes || Photography: Roey Yohai Photography