A Cool Backyard Wedding in Brooklyn, New York

A creative couple hosts an intimate bash at the famed Frankies Spuntino restaurant

Updated 03/19/13

Ceremony Venue

Reception Venue

Bride's Wedding Dress

Bride's Shoes

Bride's Accessories

Bride's Wedding Ring

Groom's Tux

Groom's Shoes

Groom's Wedding Ring

Bridesmaid's Dress

Mother of the Bride's Dress

Florist

Bouquets by Flowers & Flowers

Caterer

Stationery

Designed by the groom and printed by Mama's Sauce

Cake Baker

Baking Stone

Favors

Entertainment

Photography

Chellise Michael Photography

On a crisp October afternoon—as couple Mary Kate and Sean explored a set of abandoned railroad tracks and snapped photos of fall foliage—Sean snatched Mary Kate's hand and held it over his heart. "It was going insane," Mary Kate recalls, "beating a million times a minute. That's when he got down on one knee. I yelled at him, 'What? Now? Are you serious?' And then I said yes, standing right in the middle of the railroad tracks with no one around."

But on their September wedding day, the couple was hardly alone—they were surrounded by 65 of their closest friends and family, who gathered in the back of Frankies Spuntino restaurant in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, to watch them wed.

Chellise Michael Photography

"We knew we wanted an intimate wedding," Mary Kate says, mentioning that the couple even considered a destination affair to keep the guest count low. Frankies Spuntino "just felt like us."

Chellise Michael Photography

Frankies Spuntino's location—within walking distance of the couple's apartment, Mary Kate says—and its intimate outdoor garden were two plusses in the venue's favor. But the restaurant's real appeal? "We didn't have to wait a year to get a date," says the bride. "We booked in March and were married on September 1."

Chellise Michael Photography

Mary Kate tried on 10 dresses before falling for a slim-fitting Nicole Miller sheath. "I wanted something simple, straight, with a little something that made it special," she says.

Chellise Michael Photography

"Accessories were the last thing on my mind," the Mary Kate admits. The bride chose a flesh-toned pair of pumps from Anthropologie, then turned to online retailer Rent The Runway for accessories.

Chellise Michael Photography

"In retrospect, I pretty much left that whole thing to chance," Mary Kate says of her accessories, "but I picked the best pieces when they came a few days before the wedding, and they worked." Rent The Runway's jewels bedazzled her ears, while a crystal clip from Untamed Petals added sparkle to the bride's hair.

Chellise Michael Photography

Mary Kate's gold, sequined clutch added a dash of vintage-style pizzazz.

Chellise Michael Photography

Florist Flowers & Flowers weaved succulents into the bride's bouquet, which was made from a mixture of ivory and cream-colored roses.

Chellise Michael Photography

Mary Kate didn't have bridesmaids—instead, the bride asked her sister to serve as her maid of honor. "Because we chose the strangest, most specific colors—mint green and pinkish red—we figured a neutral dress was the way to go," the bride says of her sister's cream-colored dress, which the pair picked out at Nordstrom.

Chellise Michael Photography

The maid of honor's bouquet looked much like the bride's, but it also popped with pink-hued roses.

Chellise Michael Photography

Sean sported a custom-made gray suit from 9 Tailors and Converse sneakers.

Chellise Michael Photography

The bride admits she "quickly became overwhelmed with the wedding planning process and felt paralyzed to make a decision." But deep breaths and advice from wedding blog A Practical Wedding brought things into perspective for her.

Chellise Michael Photography

Mary Kate's father escorted her down the backyard aisle and toward Sean. "Because we were all close together in the backyard, it made for a very personal, intimate ceremony," the bride says.

Chellise Michael Photography

"One of the big questions for us, because we have been together for so long, was, 'What will change?'" Mary Kate says. To address that all-important question, the couple offered their answers in their vows. "Sean and I wrote what will change when we get married, and what will never change."

Chellise Michael Photography

A color scheme of mint green and watermelon red repeated throughout the couple's wedding, from their do-it-yourself invitation suite to the hand-sewn ribbon arbor that served as the backdrop for the ceremony. "This was something I became obsessed with," says the bride, who pieced together the arbor herself.

Chellise Michael Photography

As the ceremony came to a close, the officiant announced, "You may now high-five the bride," Mary Kate recalls. "So we gave each other a high-five, and then we did the real kissing thing."

Chellise Michael Photography

An amazing atmosphere topped this couple's list of wedding must-haves, but with Frankies Spuntino's natural neighborhood charm, an amazing atmosphere was almost a given, Mary Kate says. "So then," she says, "we just started picking up things around our neighborhood that fit in."

Chellise Michael Photography

When a nearby thrift store stocked dozens of vintage cameras, the photography-loving pair scooped them up and repurposed them as table decor.

Chellise Michael Photography

A self-proclaimed "fan of succulents," the bride bought bunches of the small plants and placed them in silver pails. The potted plants became both escort card holders and favors for guests, who found their seat assignments scrolled across Kraft-colored flags speared into the soil.

Chellise Michael Photography

"We didn't really have a big-picture vision," Mary Kate admits. "We kept making decisions on things we loved and that reflected our style, and it came together."

Chellise Michael Photography

The groom—a graphic designer—created the couple's menu cards, which were silkscreen-printed onto Kraft paper. Their design echoed that of the invitations, another of the groom's custom creations, which were printed by Mama's Sauce.

Chellise Michael Photography

Mary Kate and Sean made guests' place cards from Kraft paper and homemade buttons. On the back of each card, the couple included a small map to lead guests to the after-party.

Chellise Michael Photography

"Our guests are still talking about the gnocchi and meatballs," Mary Kate brags of the couple's wedding dinner, which also included greens, sausage and an antipasto selection.

Chellise Michael Photography

"Doing things ourselves made for a lot of memorable memories," Mary Kate says.

Chellise Michael Photography

Some of those memories included: "Cleaning the silkscreen we used for the save-the-dates with an industrial spray hose at a gas station in Williamsburg in the rain; transferring 80 succulents to their tiny little pails over wine with my friend; pulling together all the finishing touches on the do-it-yourself elements the night before the wedding while watching Father of the Bride with Sean and my sister."

Chellise Michael Photography

Tables were lined with centerpieces in small glass jars.

Chellise Michael Photography

A friend of the bride assembled the centerpieces, wrapping greens inside glass jars, then filling them with assorted ivory blooms and berries.

Chellise Michael Photography

When Mary Kate looks back on their wedding—from tearful readings at the ceremony to a groomsman showing up without a shirt—she sees a beautiful day. "All those imperfect moments are the most memorable and funny stories now," she says.

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