Though Jessie Wisel, 26, and Scott Lebwhol, 30, both grew up in the same New Jersey town, the pair didn't meet until Memorial Day in 2011, when mutual friends introduced them at a party. And since it took friends to get them together in the first place, Scott decided to enlist those same friends to help him propose. While waiting for the group — who were all "running late" — to arrive for brunch at one of their favorite New York City restaurants, Maialino, Scott led Jessie to nearby Gramercy Park, where the couple often walks their dog, Otto. There, he got down on one knee and popped the question. By the time the newly engaged couple returned to the restaurant, all of their family and friends had arrived to surprise Jessie with an engagement celebration.
Now living together just blocks from where Jessie said "yes," the duo decided they had to have a classic New York City wedding. "We immediately fell in love with Guastavino's," Jessie says. "The architecture is beautiful, especially with its tall ceilings built into the Queensboro Bridge." On August 16, 2014, they tied the knot at a romantic, candle-lit black-tie affair captured by Alison Conklin.
Jessie immediately fell in love with her Pnina Tornai organza ball gown and its sweetheart neckline while dress shopping. To complete the elegant, formal look, she chose a pair of ankle-strap Jimmy Choo heels and bouquet of white garden roses.
Scott wore a bespoke midnight blue tuxedo, which he paired with two gifts he'd received from Jessie: a pair of monogrammed cufflinks (one of the first gifts she ever gave him) and a sleek Rolex, her gift to him the morning of their wedding.
The bridesmaids and groomsmen followed the sleek black-tie look, with the women in floor-length chiffon dresses and the men in tuxes.
Jessie kept her dress-shopping simple, bringing just her mother, sister, mother-in-law and sister-in-law to the salon. "My consultant brought the dress in for me to try. It was a runway sample, and I knew it was the one immediately!" she says.
Preserving the natural beauty of the venue's architecture, the pair kept the décor understated by using soft white flowers and lots of candles. The ceremony took place beneath a chuppah of winding birch branches, garden ivy, and white hydrangeas, lit from behind with hanging votive candles.
To add to the romance, a string quartet played a mix of classical and modern melodies, like "Clocks" by Coldplay, Canon in D, and "Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve.
A white and metallic color scheme graced the tables, topped with tall arrangements of branches and orchids and smaller centerpieces of white roses and hydrangeas. Guests dined on lemon-roasted halibut with potato puree and sipped Guastavino's signature champagne and pomegranate cocktail.
The four-tiered vanilla cake, layered with chocolate ganache, was adorned with ivory sugar flowers and delicate branches.
Celebrating to the live musings of The Rhythm Shop, the newlyweds took part in a traditional hora before dancing all night and heading back to The Palace for the after-party. After a party like that, Jessie and Scott definitely earned their honeymoon in Bora Bora!
Looking back on the big day, Jessie says every ounce of planning was well worth the effort. "This was the most amazing day of our lives," she says. "We knew it was going to go by in a flash, so all we did that day was take a step back to soak it all in."
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Guastavino's || Officiant: Rabbi Ira Rothstein || Bride's Wedding Dress: Pnina Tornai || Veil: Kleinfeld Bridal || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Jewelry: Maria Elena || Hair: Andrew B. Cooper || Makeup: Ashlee Glazer || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Donna Morgan || Mother of the Bride's Dresses: Rene Ruiz || Groom's Suit: Mr. Ned || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Solitaire Creations, (212) 840-2209 || Floral Design: Louis Konstantinos || Invitations & Paper Goods: Gwyneth Paige || Music: The Rhythm Shop || Catering: Guastavino's || Cake: Made in Heaven Cakes || Favors: Momofuku Milk Bar || Event Painter: Event Painting by Katherine || Videography: 15 Minutes of Frame || Photography: Alison Conklin Photography
Want to see more black-tie weddings? Check out this beautiful reception on the Tribeca Rooftop.