It was at a 1920s-themed party that Nicole Murphy met the love of her life, Anders Nelson. Nicole almost stayed home that night, but fate brought the pair together. On their fifth date, as they crossed the Gowanus canal in Brooklyn, New York, Nicole found coins in her purse and both she and Anders tossed them into the water to make a wish. Two years later, in October of 2014, the pair enjoyed a walk along the Hudson River and ended up revealing what they each had wished for that night on the canal — to spend the rest of their lives together. It was then and there that Anders popped the question, and Nicole agreed to make their mutual dream of lifelong love come true.
To celebrate their union, Nicole and Anders invited 160 guests to Brooklyn Winery for their ceremony and reception. "It was the perfect balance of urban and rustic-chic, taking the elements that had initially enticed us about having a country style wedding and placing it in the city," the bride says. Armed with a day-of coordinator provided by the venue, this couple created a wine-themed celebration to remember, where even guests came dressed in their best wine tones! Read on to see the details, photographed by Gary Ashley of The Wedding Artists Collective.
Nicole tackled quite a few pre-wedding projects, the first of which was working with her sister, a designer, to create the couple's dream invitation suite. "I created the idea for the design and she drew it," the bride says. "I then designed a paper in the color palette which I printed on Spoonflower and we that to create envelope liners for the invitation." The DIY project paid off: In the end, the couple send out a one-of-a-kind suite with a graphic illustration in a colorful motif.
In order clue loved one's into their unexpected color palette, the couple included a note on their invitations that guests should come dressed in a wine-toned outfit of their choosing. To help guide their decision-making, Nicole and Anders included a color palette of vino-inspired shades on their wedding website! "The entire place was a boozy rainbow, from pale chardonnay yellow to deep merlot and everything in between," the bride says. "One guest even went so far as to create a giant champagne bottle dress, complete with popped bubbly headpiece!"
After searching high and low for her dream lace wedding dress, Nicole decided to extend her budget and try a Reem Acra gown with a blush underlay and illusion neckline. "There is something about putting on a Reem Acra dress that is unlike any other experience," Nicole says. "I knew it would work well with the style of the space and that I would be able to move, dance, eat, and still feel glamorous!"
She paired the show-stopping silhouette with vintage jewelry borrowed from her maid of honor and a hand-dyed silk crown from Stone Fox Bride. To further personalize the floral headpiece, the bride asked that it include her late grandmother's pearls and had wine-toned florals to fit in with their venue.
Nicole's sister and best friend served as her maids of honor and wore mismatched dresses in burgundy and rosé. "I wanted them to choose their own dresses based on what they felt good about wearing," the bride says. The three women carried bouquets of dahlias, calla lilies, roses, artichoke, and greenery in shades of burgundy, white, and blush.
Don't assume the groom's attire broke the wedding's wine theme! Anders rocked a rosé-hued suit and merlot tie. His groomsmen wore white seersucker suits, mismatched wine-toned bow ties, and socks the bride had tie-dyed in vino-inspired tones.
"I love DIY and crafting," the bride says. "I love custom touches and had such fun with the process of personalizing our wedding. I found it therapeutic to keep my hands busy." Another project she took on was creating the ceremony program bags, which listed the order of events and custom logo. Inside, guests found pennies in small plastic bags, which instructed guests to make a wish — a nod to the couple's fifth date!
The celebration kicked off with the groom's band (appropriately named the Chardonnay Sunset Singers!) performing acoustic covers of the couple's favorite tunes. Underneath a glass skylight roof in the venue's atrium space, Nicole made her way down the aisle lined with candles.
The ceremony was led by the groom's aunt, a minister, and was held atop a Moroccan wedding blanket. There, Nicole and Anders exchanged vows they wrote themselves and asked a friend to share the what they have now dubbed their "penny story."
Before the ceremony, guests wrote blessings for the couple and placed those messages underneath the blanket. "We felt the communal spirit of love uniting us all," the bride says.
One of the main reasons Nicole and Anders chose Brooklyn Winery for their wedding was the venue's innate character. "The layout was cozy and inviting," the bride says. "We wanted people to view the intimacy of the space as a reflection of us as a couple. The winery had something for every type of guest." In addition to touring the property's beautiful barrel rooms, there was plenty for loved ones to see during the reception, which was held in front of the venue's living wall.
In keeping with their wine-theme, the couple's seating chart invited guests to "Wine & Dine" — another DIY project that Nicole decided to tackle.
Friends and family sipped on delicious Brooklyn-made wine, Manhattans, and Martinis and dined family-style at long wooden farm tables. Low floral centerpieces were arranged in mason jars that had been spray painted with metallic gold accents. The mix of burgundy, yellow, and green blooms complemented the venue's warm wooden décor.
Wine barrels topped with overflowing arrangements of olive branches and plenty of candles kept the space feeling romantic.
Each place setting featured a dip-dyed card tucked into a wine cork with the guest's name written in gold. For dinner, Nicole and Anders selected a crowd-pleasing spread, including escarole caesar salad, herbed panko-crusted fluke, roasted chicken with rosemary marinade, green beans, and a root vegetable gratin. "We didn't need a signature cocktail because the venue's wines were so good!" the bride says.
The couple's wedding cake was a three-tiered naked cake made by their good friend and pastry chef, Ariella Feller. The mint-infused chocolate cake was finished with mint buttercream icing and fresh mint-infused whipped cream.
The reception was full of entertainment and laughs, as the couple wanted an interactive day with their guests. They provided a photo booth with props to invite friends and family to loosen up and create some memories of their own. "We got some of the most entertaining photos from here! A boa can work wonders to loosen up an otherwise shutter-shy uncle," Nicole says. Speeches from guests even incorporated costumes, songs, bubble machines, and karaoke.
For brides planning their wedding day, Nicole shares this reminder: "Embrace the unexpected and don't let anything ruin the day. You're marrying your person!"
Venue & Catering: Brooklyn Winery || Bride's Wedding Dress: Reem Acra || Floral Headpiece: Stone Fox Bride || Hair: Bobbie Yanoupeth || Makeup: Morgan Gates || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Reformation; ASOS || Groom's Attire: J.Crew || Groomsmen's Attire: Jos. A. Bank || Engagement Ring: Love Adorned || Wedding Bands: Catbird || Flowers: Saffron; Alyssa Lewis || Invitations: Jessa Murphy; Lion in the Sun; Spoonflower || Music: Chardonnay Sunset Singers; DJ Scribe || Cake: Ariella Feller || Videographer: Zach Amundson of Zephyr Wedds || Photo Booth: Studiobooth || Photographer: Gary Ashley of The Wedding Artists Collective
Did you love this beautiful celebration? Then get inspired by another couple's Brooklyn wedding in the video below.