When Rachel "Rocky” Barnes and Matthew Cooper set about planning their wedding, they did so with a single vision: traditional bohemian. “That’s us! I’m a total beach-hippie California girl, and he’s a born-and-raised New Yorker and is much more traditional,” says the bride, who’s best known as the influencer @rocky_barnes.
The couple splits their time between New York and L.A., and their September wedding took place on Matt’s home turf, on the 10th hole of the Knickerbocker Country Club in Tenafly, New Jersey. “He grew up golfing there with his dad and caddied there in high school,” Rocky says. “It was important to him that we get married there.” Of course, to keep the scene from skewing too preppy, Rocky spread around a fair amount of her boho pixie dust—in the form of pampas grass, 2,000 flower stems, and more than 100 plants. “I was going for an overgrown Grey Gardens vibe,” she says.
The couple used a still life by nature photographer Mary Jo Hoffman for their invitation suite, then drew inspiration from it for their burgundy, black, and gold color palette.
The night before the wedding, the couple hosted a rehearsal dinner at Il Cantinori in NYC's Greenwich Village. Rocky wore a Reformation slipdress (from her closet) paired with a custom Worth & Worth hat. Matt went with a green Franc Milton suit, green Gucci loafers, and a ponytail—a last hurrah for his long hair!
On the big day, Rocky got ready in the city with her mother and matron of honor.
The bride worked with Atelier Pronovias to create two custom gowns—one long and embellished for the ceremony, the other flapper-short and feathery for dancing. She modeled the first on their venue's golf course, where she and her photographer were able to find a spot that mimicked the pampas grass-filled aisle at the ceremony site.
Rocky had three flower girls, who she calls her "angels." She dressed them in custom LoveShackFancy dresses and metallic gold shoes.
The girls also wore mini flower crowns that tied into the rest of the day's palette.
The bride also tapped LoveShackFancy to create custom gowns for her five bridesmaids (all friends from college or high school!). Of the Flowers made coordinating bouquets featuring an organic mix autumnal blooms.
As a surprise for his bride, Matt chopped off his shoulder-length hair on the morning of the wedding and was running behind schedule. “Apparently, everyone knew he was going to do it except me,” Rocky says with a laugh. Because Matt had been so deeply involved with planning throughout their engagement, she says, “it was so funny, I had been calling him the bride the whole time. And then I was like, Of course the bride is late!”
The duo did make it down the aisle, with Rocky in an embroidered body-hugging gown by Atelier Pronovias and (the freshly shorn!) Matt in a classic tux by Franc Milton. The bride's parents escorted her down the aisle, her family friend, Bruce Trotman, officiated—and Matt had another surprise in store: a gospel choir! “He’s a huge romantic,” Rocky says.
The couple exchanged vows they'd written themselves before dancing out to "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" for their exit as Mr. and Mrs. Cooper.
Following the vows, the couple and their 170 guests drove a caravan of golf carts back to the clubhouse.
If the ceremony’s epic floral installation was Rocky’s special project, cocktail hour was entirely Matt’s baby. He’s both a photographer and a restaurateur, and he carefully curated a photogenic and delicious menu of grilled cheese and tomato soup shots, cheeseburger-stuffed mushrooms, and dim sum shipped in from his restaurant, Stuff’d Dumpling Shop in L.A.
Guests found their seat assignments on calligraphed cards placed on a table covered in burgundy velvet linens.
Dinner followed in the ballroom, where tables were set with matte gold flatware, striped china, and arrangements of burgundy and pale pink blooms.
The foodie couple’s reception was fueled by Moët & Chandon bubbly (the bride’s favorite) and music by the Reggie Woods Band. But Rocky says the real highlight was the coconut cake—and the best man’s epic toast!
The couple's cake was coconut-flavored as a nod to the bride's Hawaiian heritage. It also happens to be her favorite!
Dinner and dancing kept to the traditional, but Rocky’s signature style came out for dancing. She changed into a short feathered frock, also by Atelier Pronovias—“the flapper Great Gatsby feel was perfect,” she says—and the newlyweds and their friends headed to the Boom Boom Room in the city for the after-party. “It was all the kids,” Rocky says. “No parents allowed!”
Cheers to that! But, if you're like us, and haven't had quite enough of our covergirl's wedding dresses, you're in luck. We caught up with her at the Pronovias flagship before the wedding for a little pre-wedding photo shoot—see all the pics (and more details on the dresses) below!
Rocky worked with the team at Pronovias to create a custom Atelier Pronovias tulle gown. The final design, which took more than 113 hours to create, features a mermaid silhouette with an open back, deep-V neckline, and dramatic train. And every inch of the dress is covered in embroidered, geometric designs. "I wanted a classic shape and loved the intricacy of the beading," she says.
Rocky says she wanted to keep her accessories to minimum—so much, that she almost didn't wear a veil! "I wasn’t sure I wanted a veil until I tried it on, and then I couldn’t imagine my dress without one," she explains.
After seeing sheer dresses at the Pronovias runway show, Rocky says she considered wearing a dress sans slip—but then she thought about talking to her dad all night long and reconsidered! In the end, she had a nude lining sewn inside the dress to create the effect of a sheer silhouette without it actually being sheer. "I chose a nude color so it would show off at the intricate beadwork and make it pop," she says. (She also adds that the beading is her favorite part of the dress.)
With the after-party at the Boom Boom Room, Rocky knew she needed a party-ready dress, so she tapped Pronovias to create a custom look for the occasion. The flapper-style design features a high neck and short skirt trimmed with ivory feathers.
The bride's rings are also custom. Matt worked with Kasia Jewelry to make Rocky's unique horizontal engagement ring, and their wedding bands (by By Chari) are personalized with a hidden detail. "Matt’s band has the longitude and latitude of where we got engaged and my ring has the coordinates of our wedding venue," Rocky explains.
And with that, we'll give one final cheers to the happy couple and their stunning wedding day! You can check out more details in our December/January issue, on sale now.
Wedding Venue & Catering: Knickerbocker Country Club || Wedding Planner: BK Events || Bride's Ceremony Dress: Pronovias || Bride's Reception Dress: Pronovias || Groom's Attire: Franc Milton || Engagement Ring: Kasia Jewelry || Wedding Bands: By Chari || Bridesmaids & Flower Girl Dresses: LoveShackFancy || Groom's Attire: Wedding Invitations: Sloane Harmony Design, codesigned with BK Events || Photography of Invitation's Floral Design: Mary Jo Hoffman || Calligraphy: Calligraphy Katrina || Floral Design: Of the Flowers || Rentals: La Tavola, Party Rental, Ltd. || Cake: Nine Cakes || Specialty Cocktails: Moet & Chandon || Welcome Boxes: Always XO with BK Events || Entertainment: Hank Lane Music, Reggie Woods Band || Photo Booth: MirMir || After-Party Venue: Boom Boom Room || Photography: Heather Waraksa of The Wedding Artist Co. || Videography: Shark Pig