Dani Beckerman and Brian Kesselman had a connection from their very first date. “We were set up by one of Brian’s childhood friends (someone I knew through my dessert company, Jars by Dani) in January of 2015. We had our first date on Wednesday and our second on Thursday!” says Danielle. Just over a year later, Brian filled the balcony of the couple’s apartment with white roses and candles and proposed. “Brian says that the balcony is where we fell in love, so it was such a sweet place for us to be engaged,” the bride says.
Dani dreamed of an outdoor wedding, but knew the weather in May could be iffy so she sought a venue that would feel natural and organic, even if they had to get married inside. She absolutely loved the glass dome reception space at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, and it was a good thing she did. “We ended up moving everything indoors —it poured!” she says. The New Yorkers went big for their wedding, inviting 280 guests to join them on May 25, 2017. They filled the space with greenery an candles for a romantic, garden atmosphere, and of course there were custom Jars by Dani on the menu. See how the couple made this naturally stunning space their own, photographed by JAG Studios.
Dani created a special Jars by Dani flavor for the celebration, all-white cannolis. The jars were topped with personalized labels featuring a drawing of the bride and groom.
Instead of going to a salon, Dani worked with designer Danielle Frankel to create a custom gown that featured layered, hand-cut lace and a flowing train. She paired vintage-inspired bell sleeves and a high neckline with an elegant cut-out at the low back. "Dani was a bride who knew exactly what she was looking for when we started the sketching process," says the designer. "She would email me snippets of ideas she liked, and we incorporated those elements into the dress. It took almost a year to produce!"
Brian wore a classic black tuxedo, which he paired with his grandfather’s watch and cufflinks.
“My family has a tradition of not seeing one another for an entire week before the wedding,” says Dani. “No texting, no speaking, no nothing! It made our first look so special. I couldn’t stop laughing with excitement when I heard Brian coming!”
Following Orthodox Jewish tradition, the ceremony was preceded by the Bedeken. Brian, his male relatives, and his groomsmen danced into the room, then he spoke briefly to his bride before draping Dani’s veil over her face.
“I loved my chuppah,” says Dani. The structure, made of rugged railroad planks, was wound with wisteria branches and climbing flowers. The couple had a traditional Orthodox ceremony, and invited their closest friends to offer blessings.
After the couple was pronounced husband and wife, guests cheered and danced as the newlyweds made their way back down the aisle and into the reception location.
The reception embraced the natural setting, and Dani and Brian used soft candlelight to add a romantic glow. Escort cards featured watercolor botanic illustrations, leading guests to their tables. The vaulted glass ceiling of The Palm House kept everyone dry while they dined under the stars. Centerpieces featured greenery and votives, including a few trees constructed high over round tables.
After a kosher dinner (paired with Dani and Brian’s drink of choice, tequila on the rocks!), guests were treated to a candlelit display of those jarred white cannolis, all created by the bride.
“Dancing with my husband was my favorite part of the entire night,” says Dani. “The day is all about celebrating your love, so don’t lose sight of why you’re there or drive yourselves crazy with the details.”