When JB and Maggie first met at a bar in downtown Manhattan, he was waiting for a business partner and she was working as a hostess. "We started talking, and he found out I was studying at NYU. When he mentioned that his production company hires a lot of interns from NYU, I took his business card and planned to take advantage of the opportunity," says Maggie. But things didn't go quite the way she'd planned. "He thought I was asking him out!" She knew the internship was out of the question, but the date ended up being the best first date of their lives.
Five years later, after an early weekend morning spent in class for her Masters in Social Work, Maggie was grouchy and in no mood to go on the walk JB had suggested. "I was so distracted that I didn't realize he was wearing a suit or leading me to my favorite place in Central Park, the Boat Pond," she says. But the next thing she knew, JB was down on one knee and slipping Maggie's dream ring on her left hand. On July 13, 2015, they invited 325 guests to the New York Public Library for a stunning, formal event planned by Colin Cowie Celebrations and photographed by Brian Dorsey Studios.
Check out all of the elegant details below.
A black and white invitation suite was the perfect welcome, featuring a line drawing of the iconic Library lions created by JB's mother.
Maggie kept her accessories classic, opting for soft blue Badgley Mischka pumps and an all-white bouquet of peonies and lily of the valley. Her stunning headpiece was hand-made by her sister, a jewelry designer, who combined vintage metal leaves and crystals into a simple tiara.
Though she tried on gowns all over New York City, Maggie knew this Selia Yang gown was the one the second she put it on. The corset top was beautifully complemented by an A-line organza skirt. "It was classic and a little bit modern, but not trendy. I know I'll still love it 50 years from now," she says.
Bridesmaids wore long black dresses in a variety of silhouettes. "The color is so flattering, and I thought it was perfect for a black tie wedding," Maggie explains.
JB and his groomsmen all wore classic tuxedos. "His had a special meaning," says Maggie. "He bought it in Cannes for his brother's movie premiere!"
"JB is a pretty stoic guy, so I knew he would be excited for the first look, but didn't expect him to get emotional," Maggie says. But when she came up the library steps behind him, he turned around and she saw that he had tears in his eyes. "It's exactly how you want to feel on your wedding day: For someone to see you and think you're the most beautiful thing in the world."
Maggie's cousin was the flower girl, and she was adorable — until it was time to go down the aisle. "She threw her basket across the room and erupted into tears! She ended up walking down the aisle with her dad, with the biggest pout I've ever seen. Nothing makes people smile than a crying flower girl," Maggie remembers.
Rows of boxwood hedges led to a dramatic boxwood altar edged in baby's breath. Both of their parents walked them each down the aisle, incorporating Jewish tradition.
A few weeks before the ceremony, the couple found out that their officiant wasn't technically able to legally marry them. "We headed to the courthouse a few days before the wedding and got legally married then," says Maggie. On their wedding day, their friend performed a truly personal ceremony, capped off with vows the bride and groom wrote themselves.
At the reception, photos of the couple's grandparents and great-grandparents on their wedding days were hung over the bar. The rotunda of the library was lit with dramatic blue lighting, while the tables were decorated in stark black and white.
Instead of using conventional flowers, the space was filled with baby's breath. "I wanted to do something different, and the result was amazing and dramatic," says Maggie. They used models of the library lions as place cards, and printed the drawing done by JB's mother on the menus. The library's hallway was decorated with floating candles and rose petals.
After an indulgent meal with a full raw bar, papaya and peanut crab rolls, savory tarte tatin, and beef jardinière, the newlyweds cut into a dramatic six-tiered cake decorated with baby's breath, and filled with vanilla buttercream and Nutella. After the band played, DJ Donna D'Cruz took over, playing a special set for the bride and groom.
The couple had a special plan for their Tuscan honeymoon: They invited their families to join them at a villa in the hills of Chianti! "It was a wonderful way to keep the party going," Maggie says.
Ceremony & Reception Venue: New York Public Library || Wedding Planner: Colin Cowie Celebrations || Event Production: Empire Entertainment || Bride's Wedding Dress: Selia Yang || Hairpiece: House 112 || Shoes: Badgley Mischka || Hair & Makeup: Once Upon a Bride || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale, from Bella Bridesmaids || Groom's Attire: Yves Saint Laurent || Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux || Wedding Bands: Tiffany & Co. || Invitations & Paper Goods: Alpine Creative Group || Music: Lisa Liu Strings, Todd Londagin, Eturnity Band, DJ David Chang, Donna D'Cruz || Lighting: L & M Sound and Light || Catering & Cake: Abigail Kirsch || Ice Sculptures: Okamoto Studio || Rentals: Party Rental Ltd.
Searching for more New York City inspiration? Then check out another couple's formal wedding in the video below.