This Couple Transformed New York City's Gotham Hall for Their Great Gatsby-Inspired Bash

Bia Sampaio Photography

Cassie Russo met Sean Sweeney for the first time in January 2010 when mutual friends introduced the pair. The pair hit it off, and after four years of dating, Sean knew he was ready to propose. After months of trying to come up with the perfect surprise proposal, inspiration struck as he planned to pick Cassie up at the airport on March 31, 2013. "Sean was unrecognizable dressed in a suit, tie and black aviators, and he posed as a professional driver picking me up," Cassie recalls. "He was holding a sign that said 'Cassie Russo' on the front, and as I approached him at baggage claim he turned the sign around and it said 'Will you marry me?'" Sean got down on one knee while the entire airport cheered.

With the help of Claudia Hanlin at the Wedding Library, Cassie and Sean planned a glamorous, Old Hollywood-inspired wedding at New York City's Gotham Hall. They enlisted Bia Sampaio to capture every moment of their roaring '20s bash on June 28, 2014.

Photo: Bia Sampaio Photography

The couple chose platinum, gold, and white invitations from stationer Bella Figura. These glitzy shades were carried throughout their ceremony and reception, but Cassie and Sean were careful to avoid letting their theme become over-the-top. "We didn't want our guests to be able to point out and say, 'This is a 1920s themed wedding,'" the bride says. "We were more inspired by the sense of abundance, exuberance, and fun of the era." Each guest received a welcome gift from the couple including a split of champagne, snacks, and confetti, along with a welcome note and weekend itinerary.

©Bia Sampaio
©Bia Sampaio

Photo: Bia Sampaio Photography

Cassie fell in love with the second wedding dress she had ever tried on for her ceremony. An embroidered tulle A-line wedding dress created by Monique Lhuillier, which boasted a sheer neckline and long sleeves, had everything she wanted in her bridal look. "Nothing compared in the slightest to how this dress made me feel," she remembers.

She added a matching veil, nude Christian Louboutin pumps, and a pair of glamorous earrings from Kenneth Jay Lane to finish out her look. A vintage-inspired hair comb held back her softly waved hair. Cassie worked with a florist to create a white peony bouquet, accented with berries and dusty miller.

©Bia Sampaio

Photo: Bia Sampaio Photography

Cassie's two sisters served as her maids of honor and wore white gowns with sheer lace details. Her remaining five bridesmaids donned glittering champagne-hued Adriana Papell gowns. Each bridesmaid toted a white-and-pink peony bouquet while Cassie's sisters carried ombré versions that also included bronze, coral, and lilac blooms.

©Bia Sampaio

Photo: Bia Sampaio Photography

Sean emitted '20s glam in his own way, too. He and his groomsmen all looked dashing in classic black tuxedos from Top Man. The groom chose rhinestone slipper loafers for an extra dose of Gatsby style.

©Bia Sampaio

Photo: Bia Sampaio Photography

Choosing Gotham Hall for their ceremony and reception venue was any easy choice. "We wanted a place where our local guests would feel that they were transported to a new environment, and wanted guests from Europe to experience the best of New York," the bride says. "We love the beautiful architecture of Gotham Hall and that we could replicate the feeling of old New York and a magical, Gatsby-like experience." Choosing the detailed space meant that the couple could keep their ceremony décor relatively simple. The couple added a few oversized arrangements of white hydrangeas near guests seats and had a candle-lined aisle to complement the glowing chandeliers already part of the ballroom.

©Bia Sampaio
©Bia Sampaio
©Bia Sampaio

Photo: Bia Sampaio Photography

Cassie's father walked her down the aisle while a live string quartet performed Salut d'Amore by Elgar and Canon in D. The smiling couple walked out hand-in-hand to Mendelssohn's Wedding March.

©Bia Sampaio
©Bia Sampaio

Photo: Bia Sampaio Photography

Their ceremony space was then "flipped" for a formal dinner, and guests found their seating arrangements on glowing Lucite blocks. Their signature cocktails, the Cassitini and the Sweeytini, were the couple's two favorite martinis.

©Bia Sampaio
©Bia Sampaio
©Bia Sampaio
©Bia Sampaio

Photo: Bia Sampaio Photography

Three banquet-style tables surrounded the dance floor and smaller, round tables filled the rest of the space. The couple tucked bars and lounge spaces around the rest of the space so their guests could move around the ballroom. Each table was covered with ikat-patterned metallic linens and topped with trumpet vases of baby's breath. Smaller arrangements of white roses, peonies, and sweet peas added depth to the tables.

©Bia Sampaio
©Bia Sampaio

Photo: Bia Sampaio Photography

Metallic chargers and hand-glittered menu cards added another dimension of glamour to the space. Guests enjoyed a dinner of arugula-and-mint salad and either herb-crusted filet of beef or pan-seared arctic char. For dessert, the couple served a stunning five-tiered white-and-gold wedding cake, complete with cascading sugar flowers. The tasty white cake was filled with a mixture of chocolate ganache and raspberry.

©Bia Sampaio
©Bia Sampaio

Photo: Bia Sampaio Photography

For Cassie, who is a professional choreographer, music and dancing was an important part of her day. She and Sean shared their first dance to "Home" by Philip Philips before she took to the dance floor with her father to share a special moment to a song with lots of meaning. "Vali Entertainment customized a slower version of Billy Idol's 'White Wedding,'" she says. "It was the first song I ever danced to as a toddler. My dad was exercising in our basement and I hung out next to him jumping around to that song."

©Bia Sampaio
©Bia Sampaio

Photo: Bia Sampaio Photography

Following the cake cutting, Cassie changed into a knee-length Reem Acra wedding dress, complete with an illusion neckline and feather detail. Their 15-piece band kept everyone dancing all evening long, and at the stroke of midnight the entire room was filled with confetti.

©Bia Sampaio

Photo: Bia Sampaio Photography

The couple, who enjoyed a two-week road trip up the coast of California for their honeymoon, suggest other couples make the most of their wedding planning process. "Embrace every second of the journey because it's over in the blink of an eye," they say.

Wedding Team

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Gotham Hall

Wedding Planner: The Wedding Library

Officiant: Reverend Louis Olivieri

Bride's Wedding Dress & Veil: Monique Lhuillier

Bride's Jewelry: Kenneth Jay Lane

Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin

Hair: Gina Rossi-Foley

Makeup: Robin Lynette

Bridesmaids' and Mother-of-the-Bride Dresses: Adrianna Papell

Groom's and Groomsmen's Attire: Top Man

Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Hamilton Jewelers

Florist: Stonekelly Events

Invitations: Bella Figura

Additional Paper Products: Design Corral

Ceremony & Reception Music: Vali Entertainment

Catering: Great Performances

Cake: Cheryl Kleinman Cakes

Furniture Rentals: Luxe Event Rentals

Plate & Chair Rentals: New England Country Rentals

Linen Rentals: BBJ Linen

Transportation: Gray Line New York

Accommodations: The New York Palace

Videographer: Valerie Barnes Film

Photo Booth: The Booth

Lighting: Bentley Meeker Lighting & Staging

Dance Floor: NY Lounge Décor

Photographer: Bia Sampaio Photography

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