In an age where it seems like nearly everyone meets on a dating app, Diana Kirschner and Michael Haddad have a story that stands out: Diana's dog introduced them. Yes, you read that right! As Diana walked her rescue pooch through New York City's Upper West Side, the four-legged lady stopped in front of Michael, giving the pair the perfect chance to check one another out. "We had an old-fashioned meet-cute," Diana says. Two years later, when Diana and Michael took that same dog for a walk through Central Park, Michael got down on one knee and proposed.
Considering where Michael popped the question, it's only appropriate the pair chose The Loeb Boathouse in Central Park for the site of their October 25, 2015, wedding. In fact, the Boathouse was the only place the future Mr. and Mrs. even looked. "Central Park is where we walk and run our dog every day, and the choice was obvious," the bride says. And with the help of Andrea Freeman Events, the couple planned an elegant fall wedding with a hint of rustic flair, captured beautifully by Sara Wight Photography.
The couple chose formal square invitations, but amped up the autumnal style with orange text.
Diana drew inspiration for her wedding dress from a seemingly unlikely source: An old Tiffany & Co. commercial, in which a bride and groom walk down New York City's 72nd Street promenade toward Central Park. What stood out most to Diana was that the bride was dressed in truly stunning gown. "I tried to track down as much information as I could online," she says, but she later learned the TV bride's dress was an unattainable vintage Prada. But Diana wasn't ready to give up yet, hoping to find a modern style with a similar aesthetic. "I sent the commercial to some friends and three of them said it looked like something Jenny Packham would make."
With that information in hand, Diana headed to the designer's New York City store. Once there, it didn't take the bride long to find a look that felt as sophisticated as the one she had been eyeing. Diana walked out with the second dress she tried on, an ivory sheath with delicate beading. "The whole process probably took 20 minutes," she says.
The bride completed her elegant updo with a meaningful family heirloom. "I wore a pin that belonged to my maternal grandmother who is no longer with us," Diana explains. "She was a very classy lady, and it was a beautiful piece of antique jewelry."
Michael donned a navy blue suit for the big day, which he paired with a special accessory. "I gave him custom-made collar stays, which had our wedding date, initials, and 'I love you' on them," Diana says.
The couple chose not to have a wedding party, but they did ask Diana's 18-month-old nephew to serve as their ring bearer. But since he was so young, the bride and groom knew he likely wouldn't make it down the aisle on his own. "The plan was to have him walk with his parents," Diana says. "Unfortunately, the ceremony was right around a nap time and he was starting to crash. He only made it down the aisle being carried by my brother and carrying his special stuffed animal."
Guests entered the Boathouse beneath an arch made from greens, curly willow, and flowers in shades of orange, green, cream, and white.
The front of the ceremony space was decorated with towering arrangements of limelight hydrangeas while the aisle was adorned with potted plants like ornamental cabbage, white hydrangeas, and ivy. Pinecones and lanterns were the perfect fall-inspired finishing touches.
And as lovely as the room looked, it smelled even better. The candles used throughout the space were specially selected for their sweet scent.
Diana's uncle officiated their ceremony. "He is my closest and most favorite uncle." she says, "He grew up in Massachusetts like Michael and they are both big Boston sports fans, so they developed a special bond pretty quickly." With an officiant who knows both the bride and groom so well, the three were able to focus on personalizing the ceremony and readings, which were performed by Diana and Michael's siblings.
Guests found their seat assignments on escort cards that were tucked into pine cones. Round tables were covered with natural-weave linens and were decorated with centerpieces of vibrant red-and-orange dahlias, mums, and zinnias arranged in wooden boxes. Table numbers were made from rustic paper that Diana sourced from Etsy, where she also found the mad-libs placed at every seat.
The couple's two-tier white wedding cake was topped with a silhouette of the couple and the dog that first brought them together.
Diana and Michael shared their first dance to Etta James' "At Last." They honeymooned in Turks and Caicos before returning home.
Reflecting on their wedding day, Diana can't help but thank their amazing wedding vendors, offering this advice to brides-to-be: "Everything will fall in to place if you have the right crew helping you out."
Venue, Catering & Transportation: The Loeb Boathouse
Wedding Planner: Andrea Freeman Events
Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham
Shoes: Bergdorf Goodman
Hair: Styles on B
Wedding Rings: Anna Sheffield
Invitations: Press New York
Music: New York Edge
Cake & Favors: Bijoux Doux Specialty Cakes and Pastries
Photographer: Sara Wight Photography