While out with friends in Manhattan’s West Village in December of 2014, Yasmine Afshar couldn’t help but notice Patrick Ryan. “I don’t know if it was because of his height (he’s 6’2”), his warm eyes, or his Kiwi accent,” she recalls. But whatever it was, Yasmine and Patrick exchanged numbers and spent their memorable first date a week later at a Future Islands concert. They dated for two years—at which point they took a big vacation and headed to Australia and New Zealand to visit Paddy’s extended family. While in his hometown of Queenstown, New Zealand, Paddy took Yasmine on a mountain bike ride overlooking the city. “When he bent down to get water out of his backpack while we took in the view, he turned around with a ring in his hand," she recalls. "I was completely shocked and so elated!”
The New Yorkers dreamt of an intimate wedding in a unique setting, and immediately loved the Garden Residence at The William Vale Hotel, a two-story penthouse suite with indoor-outdoor space and panoramic views of New York City. They booked the venue but decided to mix things up by hosting the ceremony at the penthouse before heading to the outdoor garden at the nearby Wythe Hotel for dinner. “It’s just steps away from The William Vale Hotel, and the food is outstanding,” Yasmine explains. The couple enjoyed a long engagement, but in May of 2017, they discovered they were pregnant, which really pushed planning their Brooklyn wedding into action. “That really inspired us to set a date and get planning!” says Yasmine. She planned through her first trimester, and they tied the knot barely three months later on August 5, 2017.
Coordinated by Laura Remmert Events and photographed by Forged in the North, this couple hosted a whimsical Brooklyn wedding that focused on what was important—and left the rest behind! Keep reading to see how these soon-to-be parents celebrated with a wedding full of heart, great food, and close friends.
“Dress shopping was daunting after I found out I was pregnant,” says Yasmine. “I had no idea how my body would be changing, but I knew I wanted a form-fitting dress that would be forgiving.” Her crocheted Rue de Seine gown had an open back, a full skirt, and tassel trim. “I knew it was meant to be when I found out the designer is from New Zealand,” Yasmine explains. “And I loved the way the tassel trim helped disguise my growing belly.” She used a fringed arm band that came with the dress as a choker, which gave the bodice a mock-turtleneck shape.
Paddy wore a J. Lindeberg suit for the occasion, which looked sharp against the Manhattan skyline.
Yasmine’s colorful bouquet combined hydrangeas, dahlias, garden roses, and ranunculus in white, burgundy, soft pink, and orange.
With such a small guest list, Paddy and Yasmine decided not to have a wedding party, but they still included their loved ones in special ways. Yasmine’s five nieces and nephews, plus Paddy’s godson, served as the flower girls and ring bearers, and her sister Alia officiated. “I put together the balloons and tassels, but my helium tank ran out after just one balloon!” Yasmine laughs. Thankfully, the couple’s coordinator was able to get them blown up at a party store nearby.
Yasmine used paper doilies to create cones of petals and confetti for guests to toss after the ceremony.
The flower girls wore crowns of blossoms in their hair, and each now has her crown hanging in her bedroom. The couple worked closely with Yasmine’s sister to write vows that were personal, but also included traditional elements.
“Before we walked down the aisle, my father looked at me with the biggest smile,” says the bride. “It was an amazing feeling to see all of our closest family and friends there, and having my sister and the love of my life at the end of the aisle was icing on the cake!”
The couple personalized their ceremony with the bride's sister who officiated. “My sister emailed us a few weeks before the wedding asking what we love about each other. She incorporated our answers into the ceremony, which was so special and emotional,” says Yasmine.
The newlyweds exited to a shower of petals and plenty of applause!
After the ceremony, guests walked to the nearby Wythe Hotel for cocktail hour and dinner.
Guests sipped on several signature cocktails—Moscow Mules and a drink called the "Mexican Firing Squad" (tequila, lime juice, bitters, and grenadine)—while Yasmine enjoyed fresh mint lemonade.
A single long table was topped with a lace runner and scattered with arrangements of dahlias and garden roses. Yasmine, her mom, and her sister made the place cards. “I created the watercolor and gold leaf cards, and my mom and sister wrote everyone’s names on them,” the bride describes.
The family-style menu was totally mouthwatering, featuring beef tartare with labneh and crispy quinoa, grilled shrimp with charred corn and herb yogurt, and fire roasted chicken with summer panzanella and house-made ricotta.
The couple’s wedding cake featured berry cream between each cake layer and was topped with fresh flowers.
After dinner, everyone headed back to the Garden Residence at the William Vale Hotel, where everyone kicked off their shoes (including the bride!) and danced to Paddy’s expertly created playlist. “Every single song had a meaning,” says Yasmine.
So how did they pull it off in just three months? Says the bride, “It’s important to be organized, and crucial to rescind some control. Bring in a coordinator or enlist someone whose opinion you trust to help you out!”
Wedding Coordinator: Laura Remmert Events
Ceremony Venue: The William Vale Hotel
Reception Venue: The Wythe Hotel
Bride's Dress: Rue de Seine, from Lovely Bride
Bride's Shoes: Stuart Weitzman
Bride's Jewelry: Zoland Diamond & Jewelry
Hair & Makeup: White Rose Collective
Groom's Attire: J. Lindeberg
Floral Design: Denise Fasanello Flowers
Paper Products: Paperless Post
Catering: The Wythe Hotel
Cake: Luckybird Bakery
Ceremony Music: Spencer & Sequoia
Photography: Forged in the North