“We both crowd-surfed and danced all night with 275 people—it was incredible,” says Molly Goldberg. That quote sums up the fun-filled celebration of Molly, a product designer at Zola, and Michael Evar over Labor Day weekend in September of 2019.
The Brooklyn-based pair headed north to the Hudson Valley for a weekend of events that included pizza, s' mores, cocktails, and dancing until 3 a.m. The wedding day kicked off with the couple signing the Ketubah and sharing their own vows, then ended with grilled cheese, French fries, and a tequila bar that ran out of shot glasses.
I wanted to push trends, not follow them. No gold, no calligraphy, and no fancy chandeliers.
“I wanted to push trends, not follow them,” Molly says. “No gold, no calligraphy, and no fancy chandeliers.”
Molly and Michael collaborated with Jeanne Stark of Hudson Valley Ceremonies to blend the natural beauty of the Hudson River with quirky Wes Anderson vibes and plenty of personalized touches. To start, Molly designed her own invitations, which, she says, got straight to the point of what she and Michael wanted to convey about the wedding: “We described our welcome party as ‘pizza, s’ mores, beer and wine’ and our wedding as ‘love, tequila, and dancing," she says. “It was the perfect way to set the tone.”
Read on for all the details of the whimsical, dance-filled wedding, planned by Jeanne Stark of Hudson Valley Ceremonies and photographed by Mark Spooner.
“Our guests knew from the moment they got the invitations that the wedding was going to be special,” Molly says of designing the paper goods herself. She pulled inspiration from Wes Anderson’s films for the whimsical details and interactive moments: the invitation suite included Mad Libs meant to set the tone of the day: fun.
“No hats or fancy dresses—rain boots and biker shorts was definitely the vibe,” Molly says of first meeting Michael at the Kentucky Derby as college students at Northwestern University. “Mike and I met dancing in one of those mud pits and were together from that day on.”
Eight years later, Michael popped the question in Red Hook, Brooklyn, on a pier overlooking New York City. But that’s not all—he surprised Molly with a small party with friends and family at the local brewery, Other Half. “I burst capillaries around my eyes from crying so much,” Molly says of the proposal. To capture that spirit, the couple hosted a raucous welcome party where guests wore no shoes, roasted s’ mores over a campfire, and played lawn games.
Molly’s parents helped her get ready on the wedding day, even helping place her veil in the middle of her wrapped ponytail.
“I had a gut feeling that I would be an Alexandra Grecco bride,” Molly says of choosing the bell-sleeved, 1960s-inspired gown by the designer at Lovely Bride. “I loved how all of her dresses have an effortlessly cool feel, and I was drawn to her hand-sewn appliques.” She paired the gown with an Alexandra Grecco veil, Alexandre Birman heels, and pearl bow-shaped earrings from Theia.
Michael was equally as excited about his look: a navy blue, modern tuxedo that he wore with his father’s cufflinks and a Shinola watch, a gift from Molly.
“It was the moment it really hit that we were getting married,” Molly says of the first look. “We decided to make it even more special by exchanging personal, private gifts.”
It was just a joyful, warm, and vibrant weekend from start to finish and that is truly us.
“It was just a joyful, warm, and vibrant weekend from start to finish and that is truly us,” describes Molly of the celebration.
Molly and Michael’s wedding party included bridesmaids in dresses in various shades of pink and children attendants that they dubbed “love babies.”
The ceremony took place at Basilica Hudson under a willow tree overlooking the Hudson River.
The inside of the venue has a rustic-meets-industrial feel so the wedding party (and the bride and groom's mothers!) took advantage by taking more portraits inside the scenic space.
One of the couple’s favorite memories was the signing of the ketubah, where they brought together close family and friends.
The couple’s parents pulled them aside to share sweet words and a special blessing before the wedding ceremony began.
Molly designed a more minimalist chuppah, decorated with hanging flowers, as to not take away from the gorgeous willow tree behind the ceremony space.
Both Molly’s and Michael’s parents escorted them each down the aisle. “It was a special moment to share with both my parents,” Molly adds.
Everyone was beaming and crying during his vows.
“Everyone was beaming and crying during his vows,” Molly says of Michael’s wedding vows he shared as they stood under the chuppah.
As the couple was declared newlyweds, the guests shot paper butterflies out of confetti poppers. Molly and Michale then make their exit to MGMT’s “Kids,” which Molly says “definitely gave guests the vibe for the reception.”
The reception took place inside the riverfront venue, an industrial space with high ceilings, exposed brick, and massive windows. The couple also loved that they could host a cocktail hour in a room full of 100 different vintage chairs.
Instead of traditional escort cards, Molly and Michael made theirs interactive. Guests’ names were attached to tequila shots near a sign that read: “Take a shot and take your seat.”
Molly admits that when her planner asked her how many disco balls they wanted, Molly responded “all of them.” The balls hung from the ceiling of the reception space, which also featured lounges full of vintage furniture and rattan accents, long tables covered in stoneware plates, and centerpieces that mixed fresh blooms with fruit like peaches. “The room looked absolutely unbelievable,” Molly adds.
The menu included farm-to-table food with ingredients sourced from nearby farms and grocers, such as za’atar roasted cauliflower with dried cherries and mint, and a corn, summer melon, feta and heirloom tomato salad.
The couple also served three signature drinks: an IPA beer brewed by a cousin just for the event, a spicy margarita dubbed "The Whitney" after Whitney Houston, and a "Bee’s Knees" as a nod to their mutual love of Robyn.
Our guests could not stop talking about how special, personal, and thoughtful every little detail was during our wedding weekend.
Dancing was a big deal at the wedding—the party went until 3 a.m.—and it all commenced with Molly and Michael’s first dance to “You Got It” by Roy Orbison. “Our planner said that in 20 years of wedding planning she had never seen such a full dance floor,” Molly says of the party, which included the newlyweds crowd surfing.
While the DJ spun, Molly and Michael also cut into their lemon cake with blueberry filling and also munched on late-night snacks of grilled cheese and French fries. “Don’t be afraid to break the rules and do something bold or different,” Molly says. “Our guests could not stop talking about how special, personal, and thoughtful every little detail was during our wedding weekend.”
Venue Basilica Hudson
Planner Jeanne Stark of Hudson Valley Ceremonies
Officiant Rabbi Brent Chaim Spodek
Bridal Gown & Veil Alexandra Grecco, from Lovely Bride
Shoes Alexandre Birman
Hair & Makeup La Tua Bella
Bridesmaids' Dresses Fame & Partners; Reformation
Groom’s Attire Indochino
Flowers Floral Fantasies by Sara
Stationery Molly Goldberg Design
Paper Goods & Guest Book Artifact Uprising
Music DJ Noumenon; Dash Speaks
Catering Local 111
Cake Annabelle’s Village Bake Shop
Rentals Columbia Tent; North Country Vintage
Accommodations Shakespeare on the Hudson
Videography Birdhouse Weddings
Photography Mark Spooner