New York-based accessories designer Arden Wohl was over the moon when artist Jonah Freeman proposed to her during a snowstorm in January 2017, but she didn’t any time basking in the glow of her daisy-shaped engagement ring. “He asked me on Saturday and I was like, Great! You know I’m going to start planning this on Monday, right?” Wohl remembers. “I wanted that prime time wedding—early June. And there was no way I was waiting a year and a half.”
That left the couple just five months to pull together their June 2, 2017, wedding at Weylin, a double-domed beaux arts former bank in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. And it was indeed big: 450 guests, a five-course feast, four cakes, and an after-party almost as elaborate and festive as the nuptials themselves. “That’s just the way we are—the more, the merrier! The grander the happier!” says Cri de Coeur accessories designer, who is known for her bohemian style and glittery headbands.
And while most brides would be stressed out by that precarious combination of a tight timeline and massive scale, Arden knew she could pull it off with the help of her vast tribe of creative friends. Her first call was to Mandie Erickson, an A-list fashion publicist, whom she enlisted as her wedding planner despite the fact that Mandie had never actually planned a wedding. “It had to be Mandie; she does the best fashion shows,” says Arden.
For her dress, Wohl called another kindred spirit, fashion designer Zac Posen, from whom she’s been buying clothes since he was a teenager. They worked from Arden's long and varied list of inspirations—Edward Gorey illustrations, dragonflies, and Christina Rossetti’s poetry, to name a few—to dream up a pale rose gown with multicolored embroidered blooms, a silk tulle overlay, and a 25-foot train. “The look was very art nouveau wood nymph,” she says.
The bride paired her custom gown with with a 25-foot long veil, Cri de Coeur sandals, and a matching jade and rose quartz headband-cum-tiara courtesy of Mandie’s mother, the jewelry designer Karen Erickson.
Brrch floral created the bride's statement bouquet, which featured orchids and peonies. The bride calls floral designer Brittan Asch a "genius artist."
The bride had a runway-worthy ensemble, and that was exactly the point. “We wanted it to feel like a fashion show.”
The ceremony took place in Weylin's Main Rotunda, which features a restored 110-foot ceiling of hand-painted frescoes and gold-leaf trim.
During the ceremony, the bride's dress was illuminated by uplighting.
The procession of 12 groomsmen and 21 bridesmaids—each woman clad in a different long, floral dress by designers ranging from Alberta Ferretti to Zimmerman—walked down the aisle to a live musical performance that included a classical string quartet and members of the psychedelic rock band MGMT. Under an arbor of flowers constructed by Brooklyn-based Brrch Event Design, singer Eleanor Friedberger of The Fiery Furnaces, a mutual friend of the bride and groom, officiated over a decidedly non-traditional ceremony. “It was very much about the cosmos,” says Arden, who claims she was “too nervous to cry.”
"It was so fun to see everyone as I walked down the aisle afterwards," says the bride.
After the vows and cocktails, a dinner menu of all vegetarian food was served at long tables. Says Posen of the wedding, "It was an incredible grand-scale New York Wedding. I've never seen that many people in one room!"
The bride worked with florist Brittany Asch from early on in the planning process. "We talked about all of my inspiratons, and she really knew that the focus had to be on the tables," explains Arden. "We had a really long dinner so people would really be focusing on the flowers. It was so amazing."
The newlyweds cut into a traditional, four-tiered wedding cake—but they also had three more! The first was vanilla lavender buttercream-flavored, and they offered double chocolate, vegan, and gluten-free flavors so guests could select their favorite.
After dinner everyone crossed the street to Baby’s Alright, the music venue that also happened to be the site of the happy couple’s first real date, where they partied—amid a laser light show and belly dancers—until three in the morning. “It was like something out of another era," says the bride. "Another world, really.”
For more about Arden and Jonah's wedding, check out our December/January issue, on newsstands now.