In New York City, it's pretty common to never meet your neighbors. Unless, of course, you're Rebecca and Doug, who didn't even meet in the Big Apple. "We met in Los Angeles in April of 2010, when we were visiting mutual friends in town. We realized we lived on the same block back home!" Rebecca remembers. When they got back to the East Coast, they went on their first date, and the rest is history. Four years later, when they arrived at Bobo in the West Village for what Rebecca thought was Saturday night dinner in the neighborhood, they were escorted upstairs to the private dining room. "It was filled with candles, and before I could say anything, Doug was on one knee!" says Rebecca. The surprise continued as their families (including Doug's sister from Australia!) came in to join them for dinner.
The future Mr. and Mrs. spent just over a year planning their May 2, 2015, wedding at Guastavino's. They worked with Fête to design an elegant, youthful wedding beneath the venue's vaulted ceilings and settled on a soft, springtime vibe with seasonal cherry blossoms filling every inch of the space. From the garden-inspired chuppah to mirrored dining tables, every detail was curated to fit perfectly with their theme. Planning a spring wedding of your own? Right this way for some totally gorgeous inspiration, photographed by Nathan Smith for Ira Lippke Studios.
The white-on-white beading of Rebecca's hand-embroidered Naeem Khan wedding dress is absolutely breathtaking. "I tried on over 50 dresses from different designers. I liked so many of them, but this one made me feel the most like myself," she says.
Beneath her gown, the bride wore shimmering Jimmy Choo sandals. She topped her soft waves with a classic veil. Rebecca's bouquet of all-white peonies was wrapped in beaded lace that matched the details on her dress.
"There was so much anticipation leading up to our first look," says Rebecca of the moment she first saw Doug on the stairs of the St. Regis Hotel. "When we finally got to see each other all dressed up, we were put at ease and all the nerves went away."
Doug wore a navy blue tuxedo with a black lapel from John Varvatos, which he paired with an Irish linen pocket square.
The wedding party continued the couple's classic theme, with the women in long black dresses and the men in black tuxedos. "Everyone feels great in a black dress, especially if they can pick their own style," says Rebecca.
Instead of a traditional shuttle bus, the couple went with a more fun option to get from the St. Regis to Guastavino's: A trolley!
At Guastavino's, guests were greeted with yarmulkes and ceremony programs displayed on antique silver trays.
Rebecca walked down the aisle with both of her parents, then met Doug beneath a chuppah of vines, white roses, peonies, and hydrangeas on a garden trellis. "We wrote our own vows, which were heartfelt, a little silly, and perfectly reflected our relationship and how we feel about one another," says the bride.
Now this is an escort card idea you may not have seen before. In the middle of the bar at cocktail hour, an oversized sign displayed guests' names and table assignments, so they could figure out where they were sitting as they grabbed a drink! They were then directed to long tables, topped with mirrored runners and lush arrangements of cherry blossoms.
Between the cherry blossoms, low arrangements combined garden roses, peonies, ranunculus, and anemones. The lighting was kept warm and natural, with lots of candle light accentuating the centerpieces.
Bud vases full of hyacinth and bowls of blackberries added a hint of purple to the blush and white centerpieces. For dinner, guests dined on Atlantic halibut and filet mignon. "I'm a huge dessert person, so in addition to wedding cake, we served peach cobbler and passed snacks on the dance floor, like Momofuku Cake Truffles, Fat Witch brownie bites, and Venerio's mini cannolis!" says Rebecca.
Doug and Rebecca's first dance, to "How Sweet It Is" by James Taylor, was completely choreographed. "We spent many hours at Arthur Murray Dance Studio!"
The four-tiered carrot wedding cake, decorated with Swiss dots, was topped with a 3D-printed sketch of the bride and groom in their wedding-day finery, created by a friend of the couple.
Knowing her heels would end up hurting her feet, Rebecca ordered a custom-made pair of Converse, with a platform heel, to change into during the reception.
"Doug and I ended up thrown in the air by his friends a few times throughout the night. It was so fun! I felt like I was at a crazy concert in a wedding dress," Rebecca says. "Remember, your wedding doesn't have to be like everyone else's. Make it unique to you — you'll have a lot more fun planning if it feels authentic!"
Venue, Catering & Cake: Guastavino's || Wedding Planner, Floral Design & Paper Goods: Fête || Bride's Wedding Dress: Naeem Khan || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair: Susana Carranza || Makeup: Kimara Ahnert || Groom's Attire: John Varvatos || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Yanina & Co. || Music: Bianchi Musica; Bobby Attiko Band from Hank Lane Music || Rentals: Broadway Party Rentals || Favors: Levain Bakery || Videographer: Ira Lippke Studios || Photographer: Nathan Smith of Ira Lippke Studios
Looking for more New York City wedding inspiration? Then check out another couple's big city bash in the video below.