Imagine biting into the most decadent dish you've ever tasted: As its flavors explode across your tongue, you slip into bliss, and you savor the next bite even more. Nikki Reiss' relationship with Brian Dermody was just like that dish—she savored every moment with him as they ate their way across New York City, date after date, over nearly eight years. After all, Nikki's job as Bon Appétit's special events director meant she had the inside scoop on the best food in town, and Brian soon fell in love with new foods—and Nikki.
On a March evening, Brian picked Nikki up from her job in Times Square, and suggested a meal at Bryant Park Grill. They sauntered toward the park, but never made it to the restaurant. "He couldn't wait any longer," Nikki says. "He dropped to one knee in the middle of the park and asked me to marry him. Gardeners were cheering, and of course I said yes!"
The couple skipped the grill and headed straight for August, a restaurant operated by their mutual friend, chef Josh Eden, who whipped up their favorite meal—roast chicken—to celebrate the occasion. After sharing in such a special moment, it was a no-brainer that Josh was invited to ordain the couple's wedding 18 months later.
While Nikki and Brian didn't set out to plan their September 21, 2013 wedding with a specific theme, it soon became obvious that food should take center stage. "It started with making sure the menu was perfect and reflected some of our favorite eating experiences," Nikki says of their Brooklyn nuptials. "From there, it just took off naturally—the floral arrangements included fresh herbs, our save-the-date was a beverage coaster, and our escort cards were made with wine corks!"Amanda Wakeley shift that wowed her entire wedding party and won over Nikki's mother, who'd envisioned her daughter in a princess-style gown. In fact, the mother-of-the-bride so adored Nikki's dress, she paid for it—and swears she'll borrow it one day!
The back of Nikki's dress was draped in strands of gold beads that fell at different lengths across her exposed back. Gold sequins and beads embellished the waistline, above a flowing chiffon skirt.
Brian kept things classic in a tuxedo and bow tie, tucking a polka dot pocket square into his breast pocket for added pizazz. "My dress felt very Grecian, but the gold and white against his simple tuxedo also seemed very Old Hollywood to me," Nikki says.BHLDN's accessories designer. "She admitted she'd been dying to style someone who chose my dress!" Nikki explains.
Her shoes? Gold, of course! The Yves Saint Laurent sandals perfectly complimented the bride's other gilded accessories.Monique Lhuillier dresses in a charcoal hue, while Nikki's maids-of-honor wore black so they would stand out. "I wanted to keep it all super clean and elegant," Nikki says.
Brian was inspired by James Bond when he selected his groomsmen's attire, a collection of slim-fitting tuxedos with alternating long and bow ties. "James Bond describes Brian's style to a 't'—down to the martini in hand!" Nikki says.The Liberty Warehouse, a rustic, rehabbed liquor warehouse in Red Hook with views of the Statue of Liberty outside its windows. "We loved all its raw qualities, including exposed brick walls and original columns," Nikki says.
Both her mother and father escorted Nikki down the candlelit aisle to the tune of Aerosmith's "It's Amazing," played on a piano. "The lyrics illustrated exactly how I felt at that moment," Nikki says.
Josh Eden—who is the chef at the restaurant the couple dined in to celebrate their engagement— officiated their nuptials, sharing stories about Nikki and Brian and how they fell in love over food.
The couple left the ceremony to Blind Melon's "No Rain," because "I can't think of a more joyful song!" Nikki says.
Nikki's advice for brides is to enjoy the engagement, and to try to accomplish one big thing per month, balanced with some time off from planning. "The last three months will be hectic no matter what, so try to get as much done as you can beforehand," she says. And don't forget to get your fiancé involved. "I was surprised by how many opinions Brian had about the wedding. Don't forget it's his day, too!"
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Liberty Warehouse || Day-of Coordinator: Overland Entertainment || Bride's Wedding Dress: Amanda Wakeley, from Mark Ingram Atelier|| Hair Piece: BHLDN || Shoes: Yves Saint Laurent || Hair: Dream Dry || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Monique Lhuillier || Wedding Bands: London Jewelers || Florist: Opalia Florals || Invitations & Paper Goods: Swiss Cottage Designs || Music: One Love || Catering: River Café, Salumeria Rosi, ABC Kitchen, Barbuto, August || Cake & Favors: Milk Bar || Rentals: Party Rentals, Ltd. || Photography: High Pass Pictures