Actors Jamie Gray Hyder of "Law and Order: SVU" and Michael Trotter of "The Right Stuff" met on April Fools Day in 2017. Since then, their path to love has been full of surprises. Michael's proposal over Thanksgiving weekend in 2019 was followed by a surprise engagement party full of friends and family. "Thank goodness I said yes," jokes Jamie.
A not-so-welcome surprise came when the pair had to postpone their wedding during the Covid-19 pandemic. “After our first two attempts to get married were cancelled due to Covid, we weren't sure that it would ever happen," explains Jamie. "But, third time's a charm! We kept joking that every time we had to cancel, our ideas kept getting better, so we tried to embrace the changes and have fun with it."
The pair set a final date on June 27, 2021 in the West Village neighborhood of New York City. The ceremony took place at The Carriage House, followed by a reception at Les Trois Chevaux. “We live in the West Village and being an active part of contributing to our community has always been important to us,” says Jamie. “Both venues are local, female-owned businesses and we felt it was essential for us to support them on such a special day."
While the couple didn't hire a planner or coordinator for their wedding, they worked with some of their favorite local vendors to bring together their big day. “Honestly, we didn't find the planning process too stressful, but we learned that the devil's in the details,” shares Jamie. “It can be difficult to try and balance the schedules and needs of your guests with your ideal version of the event, so you have to remain flexible.”
The couple's vision for their wedding? “In a word, intimate,” says Jamie. “Our intention was a small affair, but one punctuated with elegant details that would create a memorable experience for our family and friends. Equal parts laid back and indulgent, we wanted to make sure the day captured our personalities and was full of our favorite things: good food, good wine, and good company.”
One final surprise? While the wedding itself was small with only 32 guests, the journey down the street between the ceremony and reception venues opened it up to a much larger celebration of love—the NYC Pride parade. “We processed through the streets—and the Pride revelers—with a brass band playing Beyonce's ‘Crazy in Love,'" says Jamie.
Ahead, explore the beautiful and celebratory big day, planned by the couple and photographed by Les Loups.
For the big day, Jamie wore a custom lace-embroidered dress by designer Samantha Sleeper. “I'm not someone who previously envisioned my 'perfect' dress, so I had to trust Samantha as we worked to build a custom piece,” she shares. “It's a different experience when you're building a dress from scratch, especially being someone who hadn't thought about it before. I did some Googling, but mostly Samantha got to know me and my personality and we went from there.”
"The embroidery on the dress was so beautiful and delicate that I didn't want to over power it. I wore my everyday jewelry consisting of gold and diamond safety pin earrings, diamond hoops [by] Foundrae, and my grandmother's diamond ring," she explains.
For the finishing touches, Jamie held a bouquet full of white flowers and greenery designed by the West Village shop Rosecrans. "On my feet, I wore some fabulous crystal-embellished Fendi mules," she adds.
“I wore a classic navy blue suit, white button-down with blue studs, and a multi-patterned bow tie all designed by Ted Baker,” shares Michael. “While technically not an accessory, I did wear a limited edition pair of Adidas Stan Smith Primeblue shoes. Fashion AND function, people!”
The ceremony took place at The Carriage House in the West Village. “We wanted to keep everything clean and elegant. We chose venues that had character on their own and didn't need a lot of dressing. And, it doesn't hurt when the owner of your ceremony venue is also a florist,” notes Jamie. “We went with simple green and white for the ceremony florals.”
“With Jamie's father's blessing, we chose a non-traditional way to greet our guests by deciding to walk out together, hand in hand,” share the couple.
For the wedding bands, the bride chose a family heirloom while the groom had a ring handcrafted by the local New York City jeweler Phoenix Roze.
Having Michael's dad officiate and the personalized passages he chose made for a very personal ceremony.
“We stuck to the standard vows, but having Michael's dad officiate and the personalized passages he chose made for a very personal ceremony,” says Jamie.
“We also love surprises and, unbeknownst to our guests, we hired a brass band to lead us from the ceremony to the reception,” says Jamie. “The biggest surprise of all was that our wedding happened to coincide with Pride."
It's hard to articulate how special it was to process with our guests through throngs of people congratulating us and cheering us on.
One of the bride’s favorite parts of the day? “The look on our guest's faces when they realized the brass band would be leading us to dinner,” she says. "It's hard to articulate how special it was to process with our guests through throngs of people congratulating us and cheering us on."
"We wanted to fully embrace the celebration and provided our guests with rainbow flags and sunglasses for our procession through the throngs of people lining the streets of the West Village," says Jamie. "Sometimes the best memories flow from the unexpected."
Sometimes the best memories flow from the unexpected.
The band Black Tie Brass lead the couple and their guests down the streets to the tune of Beyoncé's "Crazy In Love," a fitting song to celebrate both their own special day and the celebration of love and equality all around them.
"We were honored to host our dinner and reception at Angie Mar's new restaurant Les Trois Chevaux," says Jamie. "After celebrating two canceled weddings at Angie's previous restaurant, we felt it only fitting to celebrate our official day with her.”
“Angie's Les Trois Chevaux needed no trimmings, as the marble bar and crystal chandelier that anchor the decor were right in line with our taste,” explains Jamie. “We left her to decide on linens, table settings, and lighting, and she enlisted Raul Avila for the beautiful floral installations.”
While the couple didn't have a planner for the day, they knew they still had a strong team to create a beautiful day for them. “Part of our vision was to engage venues and vendors who are the best at what they do, leaving the details in the hands of those we trust,” Jamie says.
“Partnering with Angie Mar made planning the dinner portion of the evening easy as pie, a piece of cake, you get it,” shares Jamie.
For the reception, Angie Mar crafted a menu full of French classics. "We started the evening with chilled seafood towers—a favorite of ours—and moved onto a multi-course meal featuring pith of crab, roast pheasant, and lots of caviar, all topped off with white-glove service,” explains Jamie. “Having a smaller guest list made it possible to have such an extravagant meal.”
“When you trust the people you're working with, it's comforting to know that you can let them do their thing, with minimal input," shares Jamie. "You'll end up with something that far exceeds your expectations.
Later in the night, Jamie donned a silk jumpsuit. Fun fact: she actually was wearing it all day beneath her dress! “Being a practical person, I didn't want to be tripping over a long, heavy dress during the reception,” says Jamie. “Samantha came up with the perfect solution by building a silk jumpsuit to be worn under the sheer, hand-embroidered overlay."
“Our friend Neil Jackson DJ'ed the rest of the evening for us, playing love jams from every decade, per our request," says Jamie. “We didn't have a formal first dance, but we did find a time later in the evening to dance to a favorite of ours, ‘River’ by Leon Bridges, surrounded by our guests."
“Another unique part of our wedding was the choice to forego a traditional wedding cake, opting instead for the classic French croquembouche,” says Jamie.
Her advice to anyone planning a wedding? “Have fun and incorporate things that you love as a couple! If something about the traditional process doesn't resonate with you, change it up and make it yours."
Ceremony Venue The Carriage House
Reception Venue Les Trois Chevaux
Officiant Drew Trotter
Bridal Gown Designer Samantha Sleeper
Hair Adam Long
Makeup Alexandra Brock
Other Fashion Attire Samantha Sleeper
Groom’s Attire Ted Baker
Wedding Bands Phoenix Roze
Floral Design Raul Avila
Favors Beau Rush Ceramics
Photography Les Loups