Gala, Naomi & me with Eleanor the photo bomber!
It’s been five months since I was here last but as soon as we landed in JFK I felt like it was only yesterday. Everything was so familiar, so comfortable but also so exciting! I’ve fallen head over heels pretty quickly again and I’m so thrilled to be back here.
So happy to be reunited with Gala… as are our ridiculous blogger phone cases!
After a flight that dreams are made of with Virgin Atlantic -including an upgrade (I thought this only happened in the movies!) and an almost out-of body experience in the Upper Class Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3 (“Manicure? Spa treatment? Hair cut? A dip in the pool or a trip to the sauna?!”) we hopped in a yellow cab and were whisked towards the bright lights of Manhattan.
Credit: Moey Hoque
I’m currently 35,000 feet in the air making my way across the Atlantic Ocean to New York City. I may already be a broken record about the fact that I’m going back but I don’t care, I’m so excited I could burst!
I’ll report back with many many photos of my excited face as well as, of course, a full and epic report of The Blogcademy. If you just can’t wait then be sure to follow me on Instagram for instant and regular updates. I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S FINALLY HERE!
Have I told you yet that I’m off to New York again in under two weeks?! Oh I have? Oh I’m super annoying about it…? Yeah I know… sorry about that. But New York is the greatest city in the world and I’m sooo excited to be there again. EEEK.
Needless to say I have a bit of an affinity…or maybe call it bias… to anything and everything NYC right now, which is why I was super excited to receive Lesley & Perry’s fabulous modern urban wedding. Sent over by wedding photographer Karen Seifert, the lunchtime wedding was held at 91 Horatio in the meatpacking district, with the late night after party taking place at The Drink, the couple’s favourite bar in Brooklyn.
“I would have really loved to have had lots of beautiful, handcrafted elements in my wedding,” began Lesley, “but the reality was that between a new, high stress job for me and a super busy work schedule for Perry, we just didn’t have the energy or time to devote to the little details. It took some time to come to terms with that, as I felt it was expected of me as a ‘crafty lady’. In the end, it cost a bit more to hand the design elements over to our wonderful planners, but it was the right thing to do. We all really connected over my creative concepts and their execution was above and beyond what I could have done on my own. In the end, it was absolutely beautiful and I love that we were able to incorporate handmade elements that came, not from me, but from my family’s history.”
The Atlantic City wedding of Carla & Dave had a distinct vintage vibe. From the bride’s authentic 1020s wedding dress to her Grandmother’s pearls, from the vintage postcards that decorated the centrepieces to the historic restaurant that hosted their reception, the day was one that truly reflected the likes and loves of them both.
“I love vintage themed weddings and knew that I really wanted to wear a gown from the 1920s”, wrote the bride. “Before we even thought of a place to have the wedding, I had run across the perfect dress and no changes needed to be made to it. The dress was last worn in 1924 by a bride in New Jersey. When I had bought the dress, I also received the invitation from the original bride. It seemed perfect!”
“We chose to have our wedding in Atlantic City”, she continued, “not only for its history, but because it is a place that is open all night and it would give us a chance to party with our friends into the wee hours! We broke our wedding into three parts. First, we had our wedding ceremony in Lucy the Elephant, a large wooden Elephant structure built in the late 1800s by a shipbuilder. We then had a sit down dinner for all the guests at the Knife and Fork Inn, a restaurant that has been open since 1912. From there, we all met at the Trump Plaza, where everyone was staying, and had a late night dance party (no history there, just a good dance party with tacky decorations). I did however have to change dresses for the party. I wore a 1950s Hawaiian halter dress, just because I knew it would be fun to dance in!”
What could be better to bright up your morning than this incredibly colourful wedding which was held in the Vanderbilt Museum and Mansion in Centerport, New York?
“Our wedding was a kaleidoscope of all our favorite things in life: each other, colors, friends, family, booze, and good times”, began Ali, the bride. “The inspiration was simple. For my husband and I, love is about accepting our separate lives as one, and building new memories within us. We wanted to be sure this day was not just about us, but our whole family. My friends had a really tough year – my best friend’s dad fell off a roof and we weren’t sure he’d make it (he did, and we thank our lucky stars), my other best friend battled cancer (and won!) and other bridesmaid lost her cousin. I myself lost two friendships during the planning process and dealt with a bout of shingles from the stress. It made me realize how important this day was for everyone and a chance to forget about the troubles that so often weigh us down. So I dreamt up the ultimate day, hoping we could all remember what it was like to witness love grow and beauty surround us. I wanted absolute peace and serenity for myself and for the many people we love. Moreover, I planned this day with our friends and family very, very close to my heart. I could not have wished for anything more.”
As for DIY projects, the couple called upon the help of their friends & family wherever they could. “Jason, his dad, and I made the lemonade stand and the cute signs from scratch”, Ali explained. “It was a serious project that I had a blast doing. We sanded, painted, cut, and molded pieces of scrap wood into a beautiful lemonade stand and a handful of adorable signs. I absolutely loved it. I also made 1,000 paper planes for the tent and for Jason’s boutonnière. A few years ago Jason’s cousin, Michael, was killed in a car accident. He was 20. He had been training to be a pilot and absolutely loved air travel. His favorite plane was a Cessna and at his funeral Jason’s family made origami planes to honor his memory. I never got to meet Michael, but he was Jason’s best friend and an important part of his family. I remember crying months before the wedding with Jason about how sad I was I never got to meet him, and how devastating it was that Michael wouldn’t be there. So I spent a total of 36 hours bending and folding multicolored origami planes to line the ceiling of the tent – so he would have a vessel to watch over us during the entire day. I also hid a photo of Michael deep in my bouquet so no one could see it, because I wanted to keep him close to me all night.”
When Gareth & I were in New York in May we met up with photographer Steve Gerrard as he was also over from the UK to shoot Natasha & Marc’s wedding! The couple, also from England, flew him over with them as they knew he was their perfect wedding photographer after seeing him featured on Rock n Roll Bride.
The intimate ceremony was held in the Ladies Pavilion in Central Park, which was followed by a photo session around some iconic NYC locations (they also met up again the next day to shoot some more!) The reception was on a private yacht with incredible views of the city.
“We originally looked at having a wedding within the UK, but after viewing a number of venues something didn’t feel right,” began Natasha. “Everything was expensive and quite strict and we wanted something a bit more unique. I loved Emma Case’s wedding which Steve had also shot. I actually cried reading about it on Rock n Roll Bride while sat at my desk at work. It was so beautiful and in the back of my mind, it was similar to what I aspired to as well – a smaller, intimate, romantic and unique wedding. Luckily for me it turned out Marc wanted that too! Phew!”