Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sandy and Michael: A City Chic Celebration (Part 1)

Every once in a while, I meet a couple, and in the first moment, just on instinct, I know just what their wedding will look like. In the case of Sandy and Michael, from our first meeting, I knew just what their wedding would feel like. It took us a while to meander our way to all of the perfect visual elements, but from day one, I sensed that my collaboration with this couple would result in an environment brimming with energy, excitement and that certain New York City je ne sais quoi. And, indeed it did.

It was exactly one year before that I had the pleasure of working with Michael's sister and her groom to create an amazing wedding at Cipriani 42nd Street, so I already had met Sandy and Michael before they were engaged. Then, I had barely packed away my files from Sara and Scott's wedding when Michael's mom called to let me know that the next family wedding was on.

After touring just about every NYC venue that could accommodate their nearly 300 guests, Sandy and Michael settled on The Altman Building, not far from their own Chelsea apartment. That set the scene for a wedding that was truly about who this couple is and how they live. Urban, but warm. Modern, but classically New York.

At one of our first meetings, Sandy searched for the words to capture her overall vision for the wedding. With exasperation, she finally blurted "I don't know... glowy" and that became the word to live by! Strangely enough, it was just the perfect amount of direction and now Sandy's word is a natural part of my design vocabulary. It is actually unusually descriptive of both a mood and a look... I love it!

The embodiment of "glowy" was manifested in the candle wall which I designed as a backdrop to the escort card display. The glass ghost table gave an impression that the cards were floating in mid-air and added to the allure of the glowing wall. This was probably my favorite detail of the whole day.

Photo by Gustavo Campos

Photo by Spencer Lum, 5 West Studios

The chuppah was composed of soft, sheer ivory fabric and accented with ivory and peach flowers and flanked with huge explosions of white cherry blossoms. (Insider scoop: those cherry blossoms were actually supposed to be at the entrance of the room, but during setup, my production team put them near the chuppah so they wouldn't get knocked over during load in. They looked so good, we left them there and added more cherry blossoms to the front. Thankfully we had just enough left over to make it happen!)

Photo by Gustavo Campos

Photo by Gustavo Campos

Photos by Spencer Lum, 5 West Studios

Sandy's bouquet was designed as an accessory to her Christos lace dress (as I believe all bouquets should be) which has a modern vintage feel. We used ranunculus, garden roses and sweet pea wrapped with lace from her mom's veil in perfect proportion to her petite frame and it looked like the flowers were sold with the gown! Of course, Michael's ranunculus boutonniere coordinated with Sandy's flowers. The bridesmaids carried peach tulips, ranunculus and roses which were a stunning contrast to their steel gray dresses (I'm working on a pic!).

Photos by Spencer Lum, 5 West Studios

Tomorrow... the reception and more fun details!

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