Relationships and weddings are about more than just the moment when you say "I do." They're about everything that happened that got you to that point. So, whether you met online, were set up by friends, or have been dating since high school like Megan Flood, 27, and Timmy Beringer, 26, use your big day as an opportunity to share your love story with your family and friends, which is exactly what the couple did.
They invited guests to join them at the Prince George Ballroom for "The Voyage to October Fifth," where 215 guests helped them celebrate the momentous occasion, as well as all of the moments and anecdotes that got them there. Sue Kessler of Christian Oth Studio was there to preserve even more memories in the form of gorgeous photos for Timmy and Megan to celebrate in the future.
Read on to see just how this creative couple took guests on the journey from a New Jersey high school to their vintage-meets-modern wedding in New York City.
Bold purple envelopes suggested the upbeat, celebratory nature of the event, but the invitation was left purposely vague. "All it said was '6pm at the Art Gallery,'" says Megan. "Guests had no idea what they were in for!"
Megan wore shimmering gold peep-toes to add a fresh twist to her vintage-inspired gown. Jennifer Dule, who shares a workspace with Megan, is an acclaimed designer, and helped bring her modern-meets-Downton Abbey dress dream to life. Megan and Timmy's initials and wedding date were sewn into the bodice.
Timmy and his groomsmen all sported classic tuxedos for the celebration. Timmy's was a bespoke piece from My.Suit that, like Megan's dress, had the wedding date embroidered on the lining.
"I wanted to feel like my dress wouldn't be out of place on the Downton Abbey set, but with a more modern fit," says Megan. Jennifer Dule did that, and then some, including creating Megan's flowing veil. The bride carried a bouquet of blush-and-white dahlias that matched Timmy's boutonniere, both created by Jeeyun Lee of Blush Designs.
Megan's 'maids wore bright draped dresses, half in plum, half in fuchsia. "I liked the idea of having variations of purple throughout the event," says the bride.
The flower girl wore a white dress and a floral crown. The ring bearers wore tuxes. The younger ring bearer made friends with the drummer before the ceremony, then acted "as the little mayor, waving to everyone as he went down the aisle," remembers Megan.
The bride and her design company, Marine Lane, created all of the paper goods, including the purple-and-gold ceremony programs.
Megan and her father ("My biggest idol!" gushes the bride) walked down the aisle to the cathedral's organ, from 1868. The couple loved the Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral's Irish history.
Megan and her father arrived at the church in a vintage 1930s car, which the couple planned to use for their getaway. "Timmy was so excited about it," remembers Megan, "but it broke down as we pulled up to the church. My dad had to carry me over the green liquid spilling out of the car so my dress wouldn't get dirty!" The couple returned to the car after the ceremony for their favorite picture of the day, inspired by Bonnie and Clyde.
As guests arrived at the Prince George Ballroom, a sign out front, announcing "The Voyage to October 5th," gave them a hint of what was to come.
Cocktail hour took place in the space's gallery, where guests sipped signature cocktails, named for the bride and groom, while they perused artwork that told the story of the couple's relationship.
"We created images depicting hallmark moments from our relationship, from college visits to our semester in Italy to the proposal," says Megan. "We blew up our handwriting and turned it into vinyl stickers so that we could tell the story in our own words."
For the reception, guests walked into the restored ballroom, originally built in 1904, which transported them from a modern gallery to a vintage, romantic celebration. Candles gave the room a dramatic feel. Deep red and gold created a striking, cozy reception space, with mums, roses, and branches topping the tables.
After a bevy of comfort food appetizers like truffle grilled cheese and coconut shrimp, guests chose between miso Chilean sea bass and filet of beef before indulging in wedding cake and an assortment of the couple's favorite sweets.
The two-tiered wedding cake was filled with layers of red velvet and Oreo cake. "I'm pretty serious about dessert," reveals Megan, "so we also had chocolate-covered strawberries, cupcakes, whoopie pies, and warm cookies with milk!"
After the wedding, Timmy and Megan honeymooned in Italy, where they'd both studied abroad in college, touring Florence, Chianti, and the Amalfi Coast. To acknowledge their semester in Italy, as well as add yet another celebratory moment to their story, Megan and Timmy wed again at a private ceremony—just the two of them!—in Florence.
Megan's advice to engaged couples is to enjoy their engagement, as well as the planning process. "A lot of pieces had to come together during our 18-month engagement," says Megan, "and being able to create the wedding of our dreams, as well as a fantastic celebration for our family and friends, was worth all the effort!"
Ceremony Venue: The Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral
Reception Venue: The Prince George Ballroom
Bride's Wedding Dress & Veil: Jennifer Dule Couture
Shoes: Michael Kors
Jewelry: Joseph Dule for Jennifer Dule
Hair: Patty Mocarski of Tosler Davis
Makeup: Tricia Catenaro Slocum of Ten Hair and Makeup
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Lela Rose
Mother of the Bride's Dress: Jennifer Dule Couture
Groom's Tuxedo: My.Suit
Groomsmen's Tuxedos: Calvin Klein
Engagement Ring: Tacori
Wedding Bands: Michael C. Fina
Florist & Production: Blush Designs
Invitations & Paper Goods, Art: Marine Lane
Music: Bagpipes & Drums - James and Pat Dowdell, Reception - Current Affair
Catering: Real Food Catering
Cake: Baked NYC
Rentals: Broadway Party Rentals
Lighting: Wizard Studios
Favors: Out of Town bags by Marine Lane
Videography: Fiore Films
Photography: Sue Kessler of Christian Oth Studio