A Gorgeous Dinner Party in Downtown Manhattan

These brides figured out how to make a 150-person event feel intimate

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Photo by Alicia Swedenborg

Law school has a surprising number of social events, which worked in Ali Rozell and Sammi Steinfeld’s favor. “We first met at the Stonewall Inn in September of 2013, where we chatted all night,”Ali recalls. “But it wasn’t until our second rendezvous a few weeks later, at a school dance, that sparks really started to fly.” The two lawyers hit it off immediately, and two years later, they were ready to take the plunge. In December of 2015, Sammi paired their morning coffee run with a diamond ring. Ali returned the favor a week later as she got down on one knee at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The brides gave themselves a year and a half to plan their wedding and enlisted Ever Swoon to perfect every detail for their neighborhood celebration on October 14, 2017. Says Sammi, “We live in Greenwich Village, a short walk from where our relationship began, and we wanted to tie the knot in the neighborhood where our love took root.” As for the wedding's vibe, Sammi wanted a large guest list but Ali wanted an intimate atmosphere, so their planner helped them find a happy medium at the Bowery Hotel. There, they set out to create "the nicest dinner party their 150 guests had ever been to," which translated to merlot-hued flowers and lots of candles in the hotel’s already moody setting. The wedding was a study in compromise for the creative and opinionated brides, but they ultimately found their perfect balance in an event full of gorgeous style, Jewish wedding traditions, and lots of love.

Alicia Swedenborg joined Sammi and Ali to capture every incredible detail. Keep reading to see more of Ali and Sammi's dinner party celebration, below!

engagement rings
Photo by Alicia Swedenborg

Both brides let their style shine, starting with their engagement rings (one in white gold with an emerald-cut stone, the other a cushion cut in rose gold).

wedding dress for lesbian wedding
Photo by Alicia Swedenborg

Ali and Sammi also showed off their style with two very different but coordinating gowns. Sammi selected a sleek Jenny Packham silhouette, while Ali opted for a beaded Monique Lhuillier design.

bride getting ready
Photo by Alicia Swedenborg

The couple spent the morning of their wedding day as they would any other. Says Ali, “We took the time to make sure our wedding morning felt like any other morning for us, so we went our separate ways to work out (Sammi with our trainer, who was also a guest at the wedding, me at SoulCycle), and then we met up at our apartment for iced coffee and breakfast wraps!”

brides bouquet
Photo by Alicia Swedenborg

Each bride’s gown was a perfect fit for her style and personality. Sammi thought she wanted a dramatic lace gown, but when she told her consultant at Gabriella New York that she wanted to feel sophisticated and elegant, her consultant made a bee-line for this fitted crepe Jenny Packham design. “It was love at first wear!” she says. Ali had equally good luck: her Monique Lhuillier gown was the very first one she tried on! “My mom, aunt, and maid of honor convinced me to try a few others, but none came close to this,” she says.

Designs by Ahn created the brides’ autumnal bouquets, combining dahlias, garden roses, and lisianthus in shades of merlot, peach, and pink with lush greenery.

matching wedding bomber jackets
Photo by Alicia Swedenborg
matching wedding bomber jackets
Photo by Alicia Swedenborg

Both brides had braids in their softly curled hair, and of course they had to match a little bit—in this case, in embroidered “Mrs. Rozell” jackets!

lesbian wedding brides at altar
Photo by Alicia Swedenborg

Sammi and Ali exchanged traditional Jewish vows, using Sammi’s father’s tallit and traditional candlesticks and wine cups. “Our gold wedding bands had once belonged to Sammi’s maternal great and great-great grandmothers,” Ali says.

lesbian wedding first kiss
Photo by Alicia Swedenborg

The lush chuppah was draped in greenery, roses, astilbe, and dahlias, and later served as the backdrop for the DJ. It also served as the perfect backdrop for this first kiss!

candlelit reception
Photo by Alicia Swedenborg
candlelit reception long community tables
Photo by Alicia Swedenborg
toast cheers lesbian wedding
Photo by Alicia Swedenborg

Dinner was served at two long tables, set for 75 people each. The tables were adorned with candelabras, flowing greenery, and accented with arrangements of dahlias, lisianthus, and roses in peach and merlot tones.

“We stayed true to Gemma’s Italian fare, serving eggplant parm, steak, and chicken along with amazing dessert pastries and boozy milkshakes,” Sammi describes. The cocktail menu featured Moscow mules, the “Vivien Leigh” (one of the Bowery Hotel Lobby Bar’s iconic gin and grapefruit cocktails), and the brides’ favorite wine: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

wedding cake barely there icing with fresh flowers
Photo by Alicia Swedenborg

The three-tiered naked cake came from Ali’s favorite bakery, Billy’s Bakery. It featured layers of lemon cake sandwiched between raspberry filling and vanilla icing. Adds Ali, “We also had a chocolate sheet cake with Nutella icing for those who wanted something chocolatey!”

first dance wedding reception
Photo by Alicia Swedenborg

After stints in the photo booth, a pushup contest on the dance floor (remember, Sammi and Ali’s trainer was in attendance!), and a night of dancing, Sammi and Ali were happy to get back to their hotel room. “One of the best parts of the night was eating late night room service cheeseburgers in our wedding dresses!” Sammi says.

Wedding Team

Wedding Planner: EverSwoon

Venue: The Bowery Hotel

Ali’s Dress: Monqiue Lhuillier

Ali’s Shoes: Alaia

Sammi’s Dress: Jenny Packham

Sammi’s Shoes: Kate Spade

Hair & Makeup: Facetime Beauty Concierge

Bridesmaids' Dresses: Pink Blush Maternity, BHLDN

Engagement Rings: Orr’s Jewelers

Wedding Bands: Orr’s Jewelers

Floral Design: Designs by Ahn

Paper Products: East Six, Market Street Print

Catering: Gemma at The Bowery Hotel

Cake: Billy’s Bakery

Music: Starrock Productions, Claire Khodara, DJ Supra

Photo Booth: MirMir

Photography: Alicia Swedenborg Photography

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