If you’ve ever tried online dating, you know that dating fatigue can set in quickly, which is why every brave soul needs the perfect escape plan. In October of 2015, Charlotte Gutman and Michael Ashe were worn down by online dating, but still wanted to give one another a try. “We decided to meet at Milk Bar in the East Village for a sweet treat,” she recalls. “We knew that if the date was a dud, we’d be able to part ways in under an hour.” But before she even walked in the door, Michael spotted Charlotte passing under a streetlight. “He says he knew I was the one immediately, and we were engaged in less than ten months,” Charlotte says. On August of 2016, on a scorching Saturday morning in New York City, Charlotte and Michael settled onto their couch with their farmers’ market haul, and Michael popped the question at home.
The couple gave themselves plenty of time to plan their wedding, setting the date for October 28, 2017. “We wanted an atypical venue with indoor and outdoor space and a modern feel, and 501 Union made everything easy,” says the bride of the Brooklyn wedding venue. From there, they set about designing a celebration with an approachable vibe that focused on music and food over décor.
In the end—with a little fall foliage, 150 loved ones, a killer band, plus photographs by Olivia Rae James—Charlotte and Michael said "I do" in a Brooklyn bash that was all about their love. Keep reading to see more!
Charlotte brought her grandmother, her mother, and her mother-in-law dress shopping, and set out to please their wildly different tastes. “When I put on this silk crepe gown from Sarah Seven, we all cried,” says the bride.
The bride paired her gown's high neck and dramatic open back with a long veil and turquoise velvet shoes from Rachel Comey. Michael’s midnight blue Ermenegildo Segna tuxedo was a modern take on the classic black iteration.
Deep red ranunculus and soft pink dahlias made up Charlotte’s organic bouquet, which was tied together in a soft shape as a perfect foil to her sleek gown.
The ceremony took place beneath a birchwood chuppah draped in greenery. Family tallits were draped over the top.
“At the end of the ceremony, Michael and I suddenly realized we were a family, and were overwhelmed with happy tears as our guests threw flower petals,” Charlotte remembers. Right after they said “I do,” Michael and Charlotte snuck away to eat a bite and take a shot of tequila before heading back to the party.
Dinner was served at long farm tables, topped with low flower arrangements in copper compotes.
At dinner, the low centerpieces left plenty of space for the family-style meal, which was paired with a curated selection of natural wines.
Toasts had the room—including the bride!—in fits of laughter.
“We found our band at a dive bar in Red Hook, and took a gamble that they would be amazing,” says Charlotte. “Our guests gave them a standing ovation after every single song!” The band played The Beatles, David Bowie, and The Kinks as well as the Hora.
Instead of a single cake, the couple opted to serve a variety of cakes from Lucky Bird Bakery, including red velvet, chocolate-chocolate-chip, crème fraîche, white rose, and carrot cake.
By the end of the night, Charlotte and Michael were dancing on tables, making the most of every moment. “The most important things are the venue, music, booze, and food,” says the bride. “Don’t sweat the other details because no one will remember them!”
Wedding Coordinator: Ashley M. Chamblin
Venue: 501 Union
Bride's Dress: Sarah Seven
Bride's Shoes: Rachel Comey
Bride's Jewelry: Annie Costello Brown
Hair & Makeup: Mathieu Vetere
Groom's Attire: Ermenegildo Zegna
Floral Design: Farmhand Flowers
Catering: Purslane Catering
Cake: Lucky Bird Bakery
Reception Music: Roy Williams
Rentals: Broadway Party Rentals
Videography: Hello Super Studios
Photo Booth: Magbooth
Photography: Olivia Rae James