When a mutual friend introduced Wendy Golden and Steven Back at a bar on the Venice Boardwalk in October 2012, the two physicians hit it off instantly. Less than a year later, in August 2013, Steven surprised Wendy with a proposal mid-air on a very turbulent flight from Portland, Oregon to Los Angeles, California. Only thing: He didn't have the ring, so he took off his tie and wrapped it around that special finger.
Eight months later, on March 1, 2014, Wendy and Steven invited 135 to New York City for a candle-lit ceremony in the Villard Mansion at The New York Palace Hotel, followed by dinner and dancing at The New York Public Library down the street.
The couple thought invitations with a storybook font would be perfect for their library venue so they found a suite they liked on Minted, then asked Ana Dolan to create a purple patterned envelope liner and backing to dress them up.
Wendy scored her beaded column sheath off-the-rack at Les Habitudes in Los Angeles. "I went dress shopping three months before the wedding and everyone looked at me like I had two heads," she says. "They said it couldn't be done so I found one off the rack within a week!"
She paired her cream-colored gown with drop earrings, a loose up do, and a pashmina.
Inspired by 1930s glamour, the bride's bouquet made a statement with mini phalaenopsis orchids, white fringe tulips, white calla lilies, and purple sweet peas tied together with a wide oyster silk ribbon.
Wendy and Steven started their big night at The New York Palace, where they exchanged vows under a chuppah draped with white linens and greenery. Behind the chuppah, a lattice backdrop was enhanced with more greenery, white roses, and mercury tea lights.
After champagne cocktails at the Palace, the group headed down the street to The New York Public Library for the main event. Wendy and Steven wanted to dress up the stately building. They chose an "early spring" vibe, which began with the greenery and lights lining the entrance.
The foyer was filled with high top tables covered in striped linens, black-and-white sofas, and tall arrangements of white hydrangeas and dogwood branches.
As a nod to the iconic library, the couple created escort cards made of assorted vintage bookplates.
Inside the main dining room, the Celeste Bartos Forum, long silver-topped tables were dressed with silver chargers, votive candles, and arrangements of pink and white roses, purple hyacinth, white tulips, and greenery. "When we saw the décor for the first time, we both had tears in our eyes," Wendy remembers.
Quotes from well-known authors were printed in a storybook font on the white-and-purple menus and custom table numbers were made from vintage books.
Cake queen Maggie Austin made the amazing five-tiered dessert. The bottom two tiers were made of a ruffled pale purple ombré, while the top three were covered with strings of silver beads that led up to the cluster of purple roses at the top of the confection.
The couple sent guests home with copies of classic love stories. Inside each book, an inscription read "And they lived happily after!"
The newlyweds ended the night on the dance floor, grooving to music by the Charles St. Paul band. After a fun-filled celebration in NYC, Wendy and Steven vacationed in Singapore and Malaysia before returning home to California.
Wendy's final bit of advice for brides-to-be? "Hire a planner!" she says.
Ceremony Venue: The New York Palace || Reception Venue: The New York Public Library || Wedding Planner: Leslie Price of In Any Event || Bride's Wedding Dress: Les Habitudes || Hair: Nikki Avanzino || Makeup: Nam Vo || Groom's Attire: Ralph Lauren Black Label || Florist: Lewis Miller Design || Invitations: Minted; Ana Dolan || Music: Charles St. Paul Band for Star Talent Inc. || Catering: Olivier Cheng Catering and Events || Cake: Maggie Austin Cake || Favors: Penguin Classics || Rentals: Party Rental, Ltd. || Videography: Hart Pictures || Photography: Heather Waraksa
Did you love this big city wedding? Then watch another love story come to life in New York City in the video below!