Christmas Day of 2012 was an important one for Hannah Shankman—though, at the time, the actress didn’t know it. “My mom was working on a show called White Christmas, and while we were on Skype wishing each another merry Christmas, she introduced me to one of the other actors in the show,” recalls Hannah, who is currently starring in Wicked on Broadway. That other actor was Shane Donovan, whom Hannah bumped into nearly a year later at an audition. After that, it was yet another year before they went on their first date in New York City’s East Village.
And even then, Shane almost didn’t go! “He was so nervous, he thought about getting off the subway twice before he got to the right stop,” says Hannah. “Thank goodness he didn’t! We knew almost immediately that there was something special between us.”
Fast forward to January of 2017, when Shane and Hannah were on a trip to Paris and stopped on the steps of the Palais Garnier opera house on a late-night stroll. “I was a few steps ahead of Shane, and when I turned around to say something about how beautiful it all was, he was down on one knee,” Hannah recalls. Little did she know, her best friend was standing in the shadows taking pictures, and was ready to join them for a celebratory glass of champagne.
The couple’s love story ultimately played out in New York City, though, and they wanted their guests to have a view of the city they call home during their wedding on August 27, 2018. “The Greenpoint Loft has an amazing view from the roof, and the high ceilings made it the perfect canvas for our romantic-meets-industrial vision,” says Hannah of their Brooklyn wedding venue. Hannah and Shane called on planner Callista Osborn of Callista & Company and floral designer Kristen Griffith-VanderYacht of Wild Bloom Floral to fill the venue with lush greenery and florals.
Ultimately, the design duo took inspiration from the couple's travels to create a "wild, untamed" setting in which to tell their love story. Keep reading to see how their vision came to life on the big day—thankfully, photographer Rebecca Yale was there to capture every gorgeous detail.
Hannah knew she wanted an Inbal Dror dress from the very beginning. “I wanted a gown with a little bit of an edge,” she explains. The second she put on this strapless lace and tulle gown with all-over beading, Hannah says she could see herself walking down the aisle to Shane and knew this was it.
On the big day, the bride, her bridesmaids, and the couple’s sweet pup embraced their Brooklyn setting and got ready at the Wythe Hotel before heading to the ceremony.
Hannah accessorized with white lace Christian Louboutin pumps and carried an ivory, taupe, and marsala-colored bouquet of amaranth, orchids, and roses.
Shane gave each of his groomsmen a cigar box holding a cigar and a miniature bottle of Maker’s Mark.
Shane wore a navy Hugo Boss tuxedo with black satin lapels. “The first time we saw each another literally took my breath away,” says Shane. Adds Hannah, “I was so happy that I cried all of my makeup off!”
Beneath the beamed wood ceiling and the bare brick walls, Shane and Hannah tied the knot in what they call a "lush and whimsical setting." A 40-foot canopy of vines and branches hung over the aisle, while an arch marked the altar.
Instead of kids, Hannah and Shane asked two of their guy friends to be “flower gents” and a third to be the ring bearer. “They really put on a show, throwing the petals with all the enthusiasm they could muster," says the bride. "If you can’t guess, they’re actors too!”
The couple personalized their ceremony by having a close friend serve as officiant and writing their own vows. “We included an Irish handfasting, and Shane broke a glass at the end,” Hannah explains. “We wanted it to really reflect us and our loved ones.”
After their vows, the newlyweds led guests to cocktail hour while the room was flipped for the reception.
A sign reading “love you to the moon & back” was hung over the escort card table. Guests’ table assignments were displayed among pale pink taper candles and copper bud vases filled with blooms.
The mirrored bar was draped in greenery and topped with roses, ranunculus, and amaranth in white, marsala, burgundy, and blush. The cocktail hour menu included miniature tacos, chicken and waffle bites, and vegan spring rolls. “We served two cocktails, the Uptown Girl made with whiskey, and the Blue Collar, which was made with gin," Hannah says. "Shane is also a mixologist, so he created them for our big day!”
The reception tables were carefully styled to create a refined, stylish setting. Gold-rimmed chargers were paired with black flatware and stemless glassware, pale pink candles, and petite bud vases to enhance the romantic feel.
Hannah and Shane’s blush-hued, semi-naked cake had layers of champagne vanilla and sparkling rose cake with champagne vanilla buttercream. It was set beneath the arch where the couple had exchanged vows.
“All of our friends are in theater and the arts, so we opted to have a DJ instead of a band,” says Hannah. “We knew everyone would be singing over the music anyway!”
While guests danced, the couple snuck away to the roof to look at the skyline and take everything in. As everyone gathered for the grand exit confetti toss, the pair returned to the dance floor for one last dance alone. “We danced to ‘Unforgettable’ by Nat King Cole, and got to bring the focus back to us and our love as the evening came to an end,” says the bride. “We vowed to spend our lives together, so we wanted to start together!”
Wedding Planner & Paper Products: Callista & Company || Venue: Greenpoint Loft || Bride's Dress: Inbal Dror || Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin || Bride's Jewelry: Catbird, Facets Park Slope || Hair & Makeup: Rob Harmon || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids || Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss || Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux || Engagement Ring: Facets Park Slope || Wedding Bands: Hortense Jewelry || Floral Design: Wild Bloom Floral || Calligrpahy: Libby Tipton || Catering: Naturally Delicious || Cake: Wild Flour || Music: Scratch Weddings || Rentals: Broadway Party Rentals, Patina Rentals, Universal Light and Sound, La Tavola Fine Linen || Transportation: Luxor Limo || Accommodations: Wythe Hotel || Photo Booth: The Bosco || Videography: Lovebrain Films || Photography: Rebecca Yale