Maria Bobila and Matthew Gawrych attended the same New Jersey high school but never crossed paths. That is, until 2008, post-college graduation, when Maria spotted Matt at her local mall while home for the holidays. “I recognized him and thought he was cute, but realized we weren’t even friends on Facebook,” she says. “So I sent a request—and he accepted!” They were both living abroad and chatted about their lives in London (Maria) and Amsterdam (Matt) over the next few months.
But it took a third "encounter" to ultimately seal the deal. In February of 2009, Maria learned they’d both be flying home from Europe at the same time. “Matt almost missed his connecting flight in London, but he made it and we wound up on the plane home,” Maria says. “It was a quiet flight so I moved to sit next to him, and we talked for the entire flight.” It just so happened to be Valentine’s Day, and they were official within weeks.
Eight years later, Maria was working as an editor at Fashionista.com and had made plans with Matt, even though it was the middle of Fashion Week. “My mom’s birthday was that weekend, so we’d made plans for my parents to come to the city to celebrate,” Maria says. Even her sister, brother-in-law, and their kids had made the trip. Before dinner, Matt and Maria met in Union Square Park, where she found him waiting on a bench. “I was eager to get a move on so we wouldn’t be late for dinner, but he wanted to sit and chat,” she recalls. Then Matt took out a ring box and asked her to marry him! “It was so low key that I doubt anyone around us even knew it was happening!” the bride says with a laugh.
The couple set their wedding date for September 29, 2018, booking Dobbin St in Brooklyn as their venue. “The rooftop has an incredible view of the Manhattan skyline, which was the perfect backdrop for our ceremony and cocktail hour,” says Maria. The modern aesthetic was just the right setting for the couple’s sunset-inspired vision, so they got to work teaming up with local vendors and friends alike to make it all happen. “It was amazing to find out how tight-knit the wedding community in the city is,” Maria recalls.
Coordinated by Dawn Mauberret Events and photographed by Unique Lapin Photography, this Brooklyn wedding was the perfect representation of Matt and Maria’s modern love story. Keep reading to see more!
“We worked with friends to design our paper goods, which was a fun way to collaborate with all the talented people we know,” says Maria. The suite featured punchy colors and a playful nod at the pair’s decade-long courtship.
Every element of Maria’s wedding-day look was city chic, from the T-shirt bodice of her Sarah Seven gown to her ikebana-inspired bouquet and twisted block heel Loeffler Randall mules.
Matt and Maria kept their wedding party small, each selecting a single person to stand by their side at the ceremony.
“Matt loves James Bond, so his attire was pretty self-explanatory,” says Maria. The groom donned a tuxedo with a white jacket and a black lapel from the Black Tux.
Maria hadn’t planned to wear a veil, but she tried one on in the salon and instantly changed her mind about the more traditional accessory.
“I went dress shopping by myself, and actually really enjoyed being alone at the boutique to figure out what I did and didn’t like,” says Maria. She used that time to narrow her decision down to two Sarah Seven dresses, then returned with her family to make the final choice. The winning design had a crew neckline, an open back, and a front slit to show off her shoes.
Maria’s colorful bouquet featured the palette of a New York sunset, including a single panda anemone tucked among the blooms. “That was the first type of flower Matt ever bought me,” she adds.
Three flower girls and two ring bearers made their way down the aisle ahead of the bride. “The girls each carried a single statement bloom,” says Maria. “And one of our ring bearers somersaulted and alligator-crawled his way down the aisle!”
With Manhattan rising in the background, Matt and Maria were wed in front of two peachy arrangements of roses, orchids, and anthurium.
The couple’s close friend, Jay, officiated, quoting “the famous Twain” as part of his speech. “It ended up being Shania, not Mark, who had all of our guests laughing!” says Maria. Friends also read excerpts from Hilary T. Smith, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Patti Smith.
During cocktail hour, guests enjoyed a Filipino specialty in honor of Maria’s family heritage. “They made lechon with homemade banana ketchup!” Maria raves.
Guests found their seating assignments for dinner on a simple, modern escort display.
Inside Dobbin St, guests were seated at long tables topped with dove-gray linens for the family-style meal. “We added blue napkins and gold flatware for a nice accent,” says Maria. Flowers were tucked into a variety of vases, adding a pop of pink to each table. The seasonal and sustainable dinner menu was inspired by some of the couple’s favorite meals in Brooklyn, like a slow-roasted beet salad, roasted branzino, and broccoli with garlic confit.
For dessert, the couple served a pistachio cake with raspberry compote and honey buttercream, as well as two favorites: Peter Pan Donuts and Wawa coffee as a nod to their Jersey roots.
“Of course we had a disco ball!” says the bride, who had included a number of images of disco balls in her inspiration. “Matt and I spent a lot of time personalizing the musical selections to reflect our memories over the past nine years.” When the night came to an end, the couple and their friends headed to a nearby bar with Paulie Gee’s pizzas in tow—the perfect ending to a night out in the city.
Wedding Coordinator: Dawn Mauberret Events
Venue: Dobbin St
Bride's Dress: Sarah Seven
Bride's Veil: Sarah Seven
Bride's Shoes: Loeffler Randall
Bride's Jewelry: Kate Spade New York
Hair: Styles on B
Bridesmaid's Dress: Fame & Partners
Groom's Attire: The Black Tux
Groomsman's Attire: The Black Tux
Engagement Ring: Catbird
Wedding Bands: Bruce, New Top Jewelry
Floral Design: A.P. Bio Designs
Paper Products: Danielle Giza
Dessert: Peter Pan Donuts
Ceremony Music: NY Ceremony Music
Reception Music: Mon Amie Events
Rentals: Broadway Party Rentals, Universal Light & Sound
Photography & Photo Booth: Unique Lapin Photography