Although Ben Zabar and Marki Grimsley just missed each other while in college at Dartmouth (Ben graduated a year before Marki arrived), the two alums met during homecoming weekend in October 2006 and bonded over their involvement in The Dartmouth Ski Patrol as undergrads. After six years and a move to New York City, Ben flew to Marki's hometown to surprise his bride with a proposal in front of her parents and a warm fire.
When it came to planning their October 25, 2014 wedding, Marki had no idea how thankful she'd be for a long engagement. Although they had originally planned to wed on Manhattan's Lower East Side, they were shocked to learn their venue shut down in April 2014. "We were forced to completely reinvent our wedding," says Marki. "New York is a challenging place to re-book with only months to spare!"
Thankfully, they were able to pull together the perfect event, and after securing a spot at their local temple, Temple Emanu-El on the Upper East Side, for the ceremony, the pair booked The Lotos Club, conveniently located just across the street, for their reception.
Keep reading to see Studio Webber Photography's pictures of their luxe celebration below!
Marki and Ben kept their invitations classic and beautiful, asking Lucky Luxe Couture Correspondence to create an embossed script suite on cream paper.
When shopping at Mark Ingram Atelier in New York City, Marki fell hard for her embellished halter dress by Amanda Wakeley. Next came the amazing high-collar wedding coat. "Mark Ingram himself suggested the coat when I said I didn't want to wear a veil," Marki says. "It was so dramatic, and I knew it was perfect for New York!"
The bride completed her look with a lily of the valley bouquet, Oscar de la Renta lace booties, and two gold Cartier love bracelets (a gift from her groom that she never takes off!).
Marki's eight bridesmaids stunned in champagne-and-blush beaded gowns from Adrianna Papell. They carried white Tibet roses tied together with white ribbon.
"One of our favorite parts of the day was taking photos in Central Park," Marki says. "There were so many tourists taking pictures of us — it was a hoot!"
Ben wore a custom Brooks Brothers tux for the big day, personalizing it with skull and cross bone silk lining.
The couple exchanged traditional vows beneath a chuppah surrounded by glass hurricanes and candles.
After the ceremony, the group crossed the street to The Lotos Club, an old literary club just off Fifth Avenue, for an evening of cocktails and heavy appetizers served throughout the sprawling historic space.
With the help of Grayson from Prudence Design, they dressed up the mantles and bannisters with mixed green garlands and white flowers.
A seven-piece band started after dinner, and the newlyweds danced to "Por Una Cabeza," an Argentinean tango, for their first dance. "We took lessons for two months and surprised everyone with a choreographed routine," Marki says.
The newlyweds ended the night on the dance floor, dancing to Old Crow Medicine Show's "Wagon Wheel" — and the Dartmouth alma mater, of course.
After a whirlwind of a planning process, Marki has a few tips under her sleeve. "Stay calm, be agile, and go with the flow," she says. "Our backup venue ended up being even better than the first space. Yes, we sacrificed our dream sit down dinner but our guests loved the multi levels of the club and the night felt like a fabulous dinner experience!"
Ceremony Venue: Temple Emanu-El || Reception Venue: The Lotos Club || Wedding Coordinator: Rebecca Joyce for Just About Married || Bride's Wedding Dress & Coat: Amanda Wakeley || Shoes: Oscar de la Renta || Hair: Jacqueline Cookson for Claudine Fay || Makeup: Melissa Silver || Bridesmaids' dresses: Adrianna Papell || Groom's tux: Brooks Brothers || Florist: Prudence Designs || Invitations: Lucky Luxe Couture Correspondence || Music: Opera Collective, Silver Arrow Band || Catering: The Lotos Club || Cake: Edo's Cakes || Favors: Zabar's || Photography: Studio Webber Photography
Did you love this New York City bash? Then watch another couple's big city wedding in the video below!