Susan Woo and Jeffrey Mayer met the semester before graduating from Cornell University in 2004, but they didn't let that stop a budding relationship. "He stayed in Ithaca and I moved to NYC so we dated long distance for five years, which sounds so crazy in retrospect," Susan says. But it worked and when they hit the five-year milestone, Jeff moved to be with Susan, a then-up-and-coming fashion designer, in Manhattan. In March 2013, Jeff knew it was finally time to propose and organized a romantic getaway in Paris (after fashion week, of course!) that was somehow a surprise — even after nine years of dating.
So for their May 31, 2014, wedding, it was only fitting that Susan and Jeff plan a fashion-forward day that celebrated their love of New York City, the place they both now call home. Keep reading to see how photographer Larissa Cleveland Photography captured every stunning moment, from the couple's photoshoot in Grand Central Station to their chic party at a greenery-filled wonderland in the middle of the city.
Brooklyn-based stationer Lion in the Sun created an invitation suite that played homage to both New York City and the wedding's purple color palette. This theme was later mirrored in the table signs, which were named after neighborhoods in the city, that the couple made themselves.
Susan, the fashion designer behind the Susan Woo label, made her own wedding dress — but that wasn't always the plan. "I tried on dresses from other designers and liked parts of them but never found anything I loved as a whole," she said. So rather than settle, she called on a seamstress familiar with wedding gowns and together they created a strapless masterpiece with a fitted bodice and flared skirt made of layers upon layers of tulle. "The train is my favorite aspect of the dress — it's both soft yet architectural at the same time. I love a gown that makes an entrance and an exit."
The bride completed her look with Erickson Beamon jewels and three (yes, three!) pairs of heels that she switched throughout the night.
With a fashion designer as his bride, Jeff had no choice but to go super sophisticated with his look. The winner was a custom suit from Martin Greenfield Clothiers in Brooklyn.
Before Susan and Jeff headed out to Long Island City for the ceremony and reception, they made a quick trip to Grand Central Station for photos. "We snuck into roped-off areas," says the bride. "You can get away with a lot in a wedding dress!"
The bride and groom wanted a venue "as unique as New York City itself," so they booked The Foundry for it's contrasting industrial-meets-garden feel.
A friend of the couple officiated a non-denominational ceremony that included Susan and Jeff exchanging vows they'd written themselves. As a nod to the groom's family, they said "I do" under a traditional Jewish chuppah and "broke the glass" at the end of the ceremony.
At cocktail hour, the couple also honored the bride's family with a traditional Korean paebaek ceremony.
To end cocktail hour on a high note, Jeff surprised Susan with a flash-mob routine to Pharrell's "Happy." "I thought he has just hired dancers but then I realized our guests were participating and dancing in unison," she says. "I still can't believe our loved ones took the time to learn the dance before the wedding!"
A dinner of braised short rib and black cod was served inside a clear top tent on the venue's patio. "We wanted the reception to feel like it was underneath the summer sky," says Susan. "You couldn't believe you were in NYC except for the bridge lit up in the background."
Olivia Palermo, former BRIDES covergirl and BFF to the bride, joined the couple at the head table.
The newlyweds ended the party on the dance floor, where "Feel So Close" by Calvin Harris was the crowd's hands-down favorite, before heading back to Manhattan for an after-party in Midtown that lasted until 4 a.m. for some revelers. "Our guests got a true New York experience, " says the bride.
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Foundry || Wedding Planner: Just About Married || Bride's Wedding Dress: Susan Woo || Hair: Paul De Vito for FaceTime Beauty || Makeup: Cindy Rodriguez, Nars at Bleecker Street and Soho locations || Groom's Attire: Martin Greenfield Clothiers || Floral Designer: Designs by Ahn || Wedding Stationery: Lion in the Sun || Catering: Cloud Catering || Cake: Baked || Entertainment: Aramis Quartet; Allan Mednard Band; Beat Train Productions || Rentals: Broadway Party Rentals || Photographer: Larissa Cleveland Photography
Want more New York City wedding inspiration? Then check out another couple's Long Island City celebration in the video below.