An Intimate Wedding (on a Boat!) at New York City's Grand Banks

The couple said “I do” on an historic schooner turned oyster-bar.

Updated 06/15/18
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Photo by Cynthia Chung

Chris Federspiel and Sally Sa are another Tinder success story! The pair first met in February of 2015, and in April of 2016, Chris surprised Sally with a proposal. “We got engaged at BCD Tofu House–it was totally unexpected!” she remembers. That same summer, the pair met the owner of Grand Banks, an oyster bar on an historic schooner in the Hudson River. “When we were looking for a wedding venue, we remembered how beautiful the setting is, and our decision was made,” says Sally. So they booked the boat-cum-restaurant for June 11, 2017, and invited 40 guests to join them overlooking the water. “We wanted our wedding to be a casual party where everyone had a great time,” the bride explains. So they kept things simple, using fresh flowers to accent the pretty locale and focusing on the important details (including the food, of course!). The couple invited photographer Cynthia Chung along to document their intimate wedding day, a low-key fete that screams “early summer in New York.”

engagement ring bride's jewelry and hair accessories

Photo by Cynthia Chung

eco-friendly confetti

Photo by Cynthia Chung

When Sally and Chris were working on their vows, the bride found cards with an image of two people holding hands on the front. “It was something beautiful for us to hold while we exchanged vows,” she says. They also handed out eco-friendly floral confetti for guests to toss after the first kiss.

excited bride getting ready

Photo by Cynthia Chung

wedding hairstyle side ponytail open back wedding dress

Photo by Cynthia Chung

Sally spotted her WTOO gown on the BHLDN website, and knew it was the one immediately. “It was simple, unique, and beautiful,” she says. “When I was at the store, my consultant had me try on a few other styles (which I did, and which I liked), but I knew I wanted this dress from the start. I was in and out within a half an hour!”

peonies and peach roses bride's bouquet

Photo by Cynthia Chung

greenery boutonniere

Photo by Cynthia Chung

Sally carried a simple bouquet of white peonies and peach garden roses. Chris’s boutonniere featured vibrant greenery, which popped against his blue suit and pink tie.

bride and groom laughing happy couple

Photo by Cynthia Chung

nude wedding shoes

Photo by Cynthia Chung

The couple kept their attire classic, with the groom in a bespoke Enzo suit and the bride in Aquazzura pumps beneath her wedding gown. They got ready at the Greenwich Hotel, the perfect New York setting for their portraits.

boat wedding reception Grand Banks

Photo by Cynthia Chung

nautical wedding decor

Photo by Cynthia Chung

“Having a intimate wedding venue meant we could put flowers everywhere,” says Sally. Arrangements of garden roses and peonies added a coastal softness to the nautical space. They were placed everywhere from the bow and rails of the boat to the long tables, where the casual dinner was served.

bride and groom at altar

Photo by Cynthia Chung

smiling laughing happy couple at reception

Photo by Cynthia Chung

Instead of walking down a traditional aisle, Chris and Sally exchanged vows surrounded by their loved ones before guests tossed confetti to celebrate.

oysters

Photo by Cynthia Chung

summer outdoor wedding reception dinner

Photo by Cynthia Chung

The menu included freshly shucked oysters, a cheese board, and chilled white wine and rosé.

ways to serve cheese at wedding

Photo by Cynthia Chung

ice cream cake

Photo by Cynthia Chung

Before starting dinner, the cheese board was styled as a cheese “cake,” surrounded by fresh blooms. The actual wedding cake was a surprise, as well–beneath the smooth exterior was Davey’s Ice Cream!

lace detail wedding dress side ponytail

Photo by Cynthia Chung

bride and groom on boat

Photo by Cynthia Chung

Looking back on their summer wedding, which featured plenty of oysters, rosé, and sunset portraits, the bride has a few final thoughts: “It was so hot that day that I ended up putting ice packs under my arms to cool off,” she says, with a laugh. “The day went so fast, all we really remember is being happy to have our loved ones there with us!”

Venue: Grand Banks || Bride's Dress: WTOO, from BHLDN || Bride's Shoes: Aquazzura || Bride's Jewelry: Monica Vinader || Hair & Makeup: Miss Harlequin || Groom's Attire: Enzo || Floral Design: Petal Design Studio || Paper Products: Ashkahn || Catering: Grand Banks || Cake: Davey’s Ice Cream || Cheese: Murray’s Cheese Shop || Accommodations: The Greenwich Hotel || Photography: Cynthia Chung

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