Nic Williams, photo editor for BRIDES, first met Dave Zigerelli while working on a Food Network show — she was the set photographer, he was the showrunner. After months of crossing paths, Dave finally worked up the confidence to ask Nic out on a date on their very last day of working together, but since she had family visiting, she turned him down. "We went back and forth a bit, until finally we wound up on that first date," she says. "Perhaps it was the Mexican food and tequila, but something worked, and brought us here."
Dave popped the question after a walking tour of Soho in August of 2014 that lead the pair past several meaningful spots: where they first met, where they first kissed, and the place where they decided to date. "I was clueless, yet curious why he was sweating so profusely," she remembers. "After he proposed by the water, we quickly rushed over to City Winery, where he surprised me with my family and friends waiting to celebrate with us."
The pair set the date for May 23, 2015 and planned an intimate fete with a backyard feel in the heart of New York City. Keep reading to see all of the photos from their gorgeous wedding, as photographed by Edward Winter of Readyluck.
While their special day included just 35 guests, the couple didn't always plan to throw a small wedding. "Once Dave and I were engaged, we began planning a 150 person wedding. Most of these conversations ended in fights, tears, inability to make decisions," Nic says. "Around that time, I recall reading an essay online titled 'When Wedding Planning Is Worse Than P90x' and was struck by how much this rang true." They decided to cut their guest list down, keeping the emphasis of their day on celebrating their marriage, not hosting a huge party. "Once we decided to have a small, intimate party, both Dave and I felt relieved and finally excited to plan."
After they tackled the guest list, Nic and Dave worked on merging their opposing aesthetics into one streamlined look. "I wanted to get married outside in the country while Dave wanted to have an indoor wedding in New York City," she says. Their compromise was New York City's Bottino, an incredible restaurant with a beautiful outdoor garden. With a venue they both loved locked in, the two started looking for inspiration. "We featured a backyard wedding last year in BRIDES and I immediately loved the ease of it," the bride says. "I started with the idea of an intimate, backyard affair with café lights and candlelight and then started pulling inspiration from other shoots and stories we've run here at BRIDES."
Nic chose a pale lilac silk gown from Carol Hannah for her wedding day, which featured thin straps, a V-neckline, and an open back. She paired the flowing wedding dress with a bold bouquet created by florist Ariel Dearie, comprised of burgundy and purple blooms, including peonies, double flowering lilies, ranunculus, sweet pea, mountain laurel, and spirea.
In addition to her engagement ring, Nic wore Pamela Love earrings, an Elizabeth and James cuff, and her mother's blue topaz birthstone ring — her something borrowed and blue.
One of Nic's favorite memories from the day was getting ready with her sister before the ceremony. "It was unlike any other wedding I've been part of. It was calm, we took our time, we had breakfast in bed and listened to music," she says. "It was the perfect start to the day. Bridal parties are overrated." And since she was so calm and relaxed, the photo-pro even had some time to shoot a few photos of her own before the celebration kicked off.
Dave chose a statement-making look, splurging on a custom-made dark green suit from Alton Lane. "His favorite part? The "DZ" stitched on the inside of his jacket," his bride says.
The pair chose to hold their ceremony in Bottino's gorgeous outdoor garden. Two floral arrangements of peonies and greenery decorated the already ethereal space. The bride and her father walked — very slowly! — down the aisle as a harpist performed Florence and the Machine's "Cosmic Love." "Before we started, I whispered to him that we needed to walk slowly, as I wanted to hear the harpist play as much of the song as possible," she remembers. "Our aisle was about eight feet long, so we had to walk at a snails pace."
Nic and Dave personalized their entire ceremony with their friend-turned-officiant, Pete, and wrote each other vows that they didn't share a word of until that moment. "It's interested creating a wedding on your own," she says of planning the ceremony. "There's a freedom in planning and making it personal. While our ceremony took place, we had our rings passed around for a ring blessing. Our readings came from Neil Gaiman and Robert Fulghum, as well as some personal writings from family."
The garden space was transformed for the couple's reception, and the result was nothing short of breathtaking. Long tables were dressed in custom-made linens, dyed by Shabd in various shades of gray, dusty pink, and lilac. With these dreamy color combinations in mind, Ariel Dearie Flowers created centerpieces that complemented the linens and the space. Various gold vessels held punchy mixes of peonies, sweet pea, double flowering lilies, and ranunculus. Purple taper candles illuminated the space in a soft glow.
Acrylic nameplates designated each guests' seat.
While the space was certainly stunning, it was the food at the restaurant that helped seal the deal. "Bottino is the best. We served a fresh Italian menu and everyone raved about the food. It was seasonal, delicious, and plentiful," she remembers. "Our Italian relatives were pleased, which is the biggest compliment."
But the decadent dining experience didn't end at dinner. Lael Cakes created a two-tiered gluten free cake for guests to enjoy. Inside, layers of vanilla bean cake with lavender-rosemary buttercream and almond with spiced curry chocolate cake awaited. In addition to their wedding cake, the couple also served pistachio and salted pretzel cakes from MilkBar.
"Remember who you are in the process of creating your wedding," Nic, who honeymooned with Dave in Japan, reminds future brides. "Not everyone is born a Type A planner, and that's okay. Do what works for you, and give yourself permission to go against the grain a bit if that's your thing."
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Bottino || Bride's Wedding Dress: Carol Hannah || Jewelry: Pamela Love; Elizabeth and James || Shoes: Coclico || Makeup: Laramie Makeup || Groom's Attire: Alton Lane || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Bario Neal || Florist: Ariel Dearie Flowers || Invitations: Paperless Post || Music: Brandee Younger; Love Junkies NYC || Cake: Lael Cakes; MilkBar || Accommodations: Hotel Americano; Nylo Hotels || Custom Linens: Shabd || Lucite Nameplates: Running With Scissors || Photographer: Edward Winter of Readyluck
Did you love this intimate wedding? Then watch another couple say I do surrounded by only their closet friends and family in the video below!