One week together in Prague in August of 2009 was all it took for Kari and Joe to become connected for a lifetime. When Kari left for a teaching job in China both thought their quick romance had come to and end. "We were sure we would never see each other again," the bride remembers. But their romance flourished despite the distance, and slowly but surely their once-a-week Skype calls turned into daily video conversations, emails, and instant messages.
Joe popped the question in their New York home with a bottle of champagne. "It was the sweetest moment of our relationship and absolutely perfect," Kari says. Once they started planning their November 8, 2014 nuptials, The Bowery Hotel in New York City quickly became the obvious choice. With the help of Lyndsey Hamilton Events, Kari and Joe brought their dream wedding to life. Read on to see all the details of their forest-meets-art-deco bash, captured by Christian Oth Studio.
Ceci New York created a green-and-white art deco-inspired invitation suite to speak to the couple's style without giving off too much of a "themed" vibe.
Kari immediately fell in love with her silk chiffon Reem Acra wedding dress. "As soon as I tired it on, I knew it was my dress," she recalls. "It has the vintage look I was going for and I fell in love with the way the chiffon draped across the floor." She completed her look with a Jenny Packham headpiece, metallic Jimmy Choo sandals, and a vibrant, botanical-inspired bouquet, filled with air plants and succulents, muscari, anemones, and thistle.
Her bridesmaids stunned in simple navy silk chiffon gowns from Amsale and toted similar, smaller bouquets.
Joe looked dapper in a classic tux from Hugo Boss while his groomsmen all rented similar styles from The Black Tux.
The bride's nieces served as flower girls and stole the show in their adorable silk chiffon J.Crew dresses, rhinestone headbands, and blingy shoes. "They are very young, so a family member assisted them in their trip down the aisle," Kari says. "The youngest decided not to participate but the older one took her job but the old one took her job very seriously. She took each petal, one by one, and placed it on the floor."
As Kari walked down the aisle with both her mother and father, her sister and brother-in-law performed Bob Dylan's "The Girl from the North Country."
While the couple did not write their own vows, they did make sure to personalize their ceremony to feel unique. Kari and Joe asked a family friend to stand in as their officiant and chose vows that they felt reflected how they felt about one another. "It was such an incredible moment to say those words to each other in front of all our family and friends," the bride says. Their band performed "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys for their recessional, which led guests into the couple's cocktail hour.
Tall cocktail tables were decorated with market-inspired seasonal arrangements, including ferns, ornamental kale, succulents, and air plants. Guests sipped on the couple's signature cocktails — hers, the Patsy, and his, the Millie, both named for their two kittens.
A handmade wire birdcage served as décor on the escort card table. Calligraphed white escort cards from Ceci New York lead guests to their intended tables inside the Bowery's chic reception space.
Kari and Joe opted for something a bit more unexpected when it came to reception décor. Their two long tables were covered with gold linens and a mix of Wardian cases, terrariums, and lanterns, all of which were filled with moss and various succulents. "Styling was natural, botanical, and seasonal," Kari recalls of the décor.
Guests dined on a delicious menu of mozzarella and tomato, grilled salmon, and brick-cooked chicken. Nine West cakes created a five-tiered white-and-gold wedding cake filled with tasty flavors like ginger cake and white chocolate buttercream, and pumpkin walnut cake with cream cheese buttercream.
The couple's first dance was the only recorded music of the night. They shared a private dance to Fleetwood Mac's "Need Your Love So Bad" before their band, The Affections, kept guests on the dance floor all evening long with their renditions of popular songs.
For couple's planning a wedding, Kari has only one piece of advice: "Always try to remember that at the end of it you get to marry your best friend, and that's really all that matters."
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Bowery Hotel || Wedding Planner: Lyndsey Hamilton Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Reem Acra from Gabriella New York || Veil & Earrings: Sara Gabriel || Headpiece: Jenny Packham || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair & Makeup: Damali NYC || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Mother of the Bride Dress: Macy's || Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss || Groomsmen's attire: The Black Tux || Flower Girl Attire: J.Crew || Florist: Belle Fleur|| Invitations & Paper Products: Ceci New York || Ceremony & Reception Music: The Affections || Catering: The Bowery Hotel || Wedding Cake: Nine Cakes || Rentals: Party Rental LTD || Photographer: Christian Oth Studio
Go inside another stunning New York City wedding by watching the below video!