Jackie Chen and Derek Kan may have met at work in March 2011, but their love blossomed across New York City. By the time they got engaged three years after they first met, the couple, who live in Long Island City, New York, knew that their hometown would play a huge role in their big day. "We wanted our wedding to be close to home," Jackie says, so they chose The Foundry, a former 19th-century factory, which is just a stones throw from their home, as the site of their March 21, 2015 nuptials.
The pair set off to plan an intimate wedding with a warm, classic, and clean aesthetic and, after a year of careful planning, Jackie and Derek invited just 100 guests to watch as they exchanged vows. Their early spring day was packed with glittering gold details, endless displays of fresh flowers, and plenty of hometown spirit. Keep reading to see all of Rebecca Yale Photography's dreamy photos of this couple's big day.
Since the bride works in social media marketing, presenting her upcoming wedding to Derek in a tech-savvy way was a must. The couple created an elegant wedding website that felt reminiscent of the vibe of their spring I do's.
Jackie chose a strapless silk chiffon and organza Oscar de la Renta wedding dress. "The minute I put it on, I didn't want to take it off," she says. And who can blame her? Despite not loving the process of shopping for a wedding dress (she admits all of the styles started to look the same!), once she found the dramatic trumpet silhouette, she knew she was sold. "I loved every minute of wearing it."
She paired the more modern silhouette with a very classic bouquet, toting a mixture of ivory and cream colored garden roses, accents with pops of peach.
Her bridesmaids all stunned in their gold Badgley Mischka gowns. From the very beginning, Jackie knew she wanted her attendants in the gilded hue and she was instantly smitten with the sleek style.
Derek and his groomsmen all settled on traditional black tuxes, which they paired with black bowties. Only the groom and his best man completed their looks with a boutonniere, each adding a single white rose and ivy to their lapel.
Although their wedding date technically fell within spring, Jackie and Derek braved blustery temps in order to take photos with the New York City skyline behind them. Once back inside the Foundry, the couple and their attendants were able to pose in front of a greenery-covered wall for a touch of outdoor inspiration.
The couple transformed their the venue into a warm, spring-inspired space for their ceremony with arrangements of cherry blossoms. "We got so lucky that they blossomed the week of our wedding and were a very light shade of pale pink," Jackie says. "Round string lights were hung above the space, and also followed the path of the aisle. This made for a warm glow along with the natural sunlight coming in from the large windows."
Jackie walked down the aisle to John Mayer's "St. Patrick's Day" before meeting her groom at the altar. For Derek, seeing his bride walking toward him was the most special part of the day. "I zoned everything out and just focused on Jackie the moment she started walking towards me," he says. "It was like time slowed down, and I had an out of body experience. It was amazing."
The pair chose to write vows that came entirely from the heart, forgoing quotes and readings in favor of a completely personalized ceremony. "I'm so happy we decided to write our own vows," she says. "For a while, it seemed daunting, but sharing that with Derek was one of the most special moments of my life." After their first kiss, the duo left to "Howlin' For You" by the Black Keys.
Cocktail hour was held just outside the ceremony space while the room was flipped for dinner. Mini grilled cheese sandwiches, paper cones filled with crispy fish and chips, and dumpling appetizers were passed around the room while guests helped themselves to the couple's signature cocktail: A bourbon Old Fashioned. Then, guests found their seating assignments on a calligraphed sign that was decked out with greenery and peach garden roses.
Back inside the Foundry's brick-walled space, guests were seated at long tables topped with arrangements of ivory hydrangeas, lisianthus, garden roses, ranunculus, and Queen Anne's lace, mixed with greenery and cherry blossoms. "We kept the string lights up for the reception," Jackie says. "At night the lighting really made a huge difference in the venue and made the room feel even more intimate and warm."
They kept their décor sleek and simple, choosing ivory linens and dinnerware. To add a touch of glam to the reception, Jackie and Derek selected ivory gold menus that were finished with a metallic lace overlay. "It was important for us to have menus because we spent a lot of time with our caterer customizing the food." The selection, which was largely chosen by the groom, included grilled hanger steak, steamed grouper, and Japanese rice with shitake mushrooms and edamame.
Since Derek picked the dinner menu, Jackie decided on the dessert. "I love dessert, so I had to pick the cake!" she says. Her choice? Momofuku Milk Bar's iconic naked wedding cake in their beloved birthday cake flavor was the dessert of the night.
Jackie and Derek, who enjoyed a relaxing honeymoon in Italy, recommend that other couples don't take themselves too seriously while planning. "There may be times when it gets stressful, but remember all that matters is that you're marrying the love of your life," Jackie says. "Nothing can beat that!"
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Foundry || Bride's Wedding Dress: Oscar de la Renta || Jewelry: Nadri || Shoes: Vince Camuto || Hair & Makeup: Sabrina Gilbert Hair & Makeup || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Badgley Mischka || Groom's Attire: Suit Supply || Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Ultimate Jewelry Designs || Flowers: Verde Flowers || Invitations: Paperless Post || Programs & Menus: Wedding Paper Divas || Seating Chart & Place Card Calligraphy: Leafie Calligraphy || Music: 74 Events || Catering: Real Food Catering || Cake: Momofuku Milk Bar || Favors: Liddabit Sweets || Photographer: Rebecca Yale Photography
Did you love this wedding at the Foundry? Then check out another couple's celebration at the very same venue in the video below!