Today is my wedding anniversary. I thought I’d share with you our wedding photos that appeared in Martha Stewart Weddings and were photographed by Holger Thoss (so many years ago!). Our wedding was in NYC at Christ Church on 60th and Park Avenue at 12:35pm (because it’s good luck to have the second hand on the ‘up-swing’). After the ceremony, together with our guests we were led by bagpipes up Park Avenue four blocks to the Hotel Plaza Athenee for an afternoon cocktail party with a live jazz band. It was a very small wedding, about 70 people. I wore a custom cashmere 3/4 length sweater and a satin ball skirt. My three attendants also wore cashmere sweaters with a skirt shape of their choice in shades of blue, gray and chestnut. My flowers were by the talented Susan Holland, but my hors d’oeuvres and cake were by the hotel, which was a condition of our contract to use their dining room (and they did a fabulous job!). My favors were my favorite fudge- Aunt Leah’s Fudge from Nantucket. Nantucket was where we were engaged, so we wanted to bring something in from the island. I think one of the most unique parts of the day though was getting ready in my hotel suite with friends and family. I hired the Kingsmen acappella group to sing requests. They not only entertained us in the suite but they led us out of the hotel and walked down Park Avenue with me, my father and my bridal party to the church door. Inside the church the American Boy Choir was singing. I did not let the music lapse at all, from beginning to end, I had music surrounding us throughout the day. Even though I’m obsessed with visual details the music had to be one of my favorite experiences of the wedding. It was a wonderful and very memorable Saturday afternoon that I hold dear in my heart.
If you are planning your own wedding, I would suggest literally walking through each location as though you were a guest, experiencing it from your arrival at the ceremony to leaving the reception location. This not only helps with the logistics of your event but you can forecast any problems (for example, if a guest in a wheel chair has to use a different entrance) or unsightly details you might was to have removed or covered up as well. It may spark your creative juices for special touches too, like to have a cool drink or a glass of champagne served when your guests arrive at the ceremony or to serve coffee and donuts for those late-night dancing guests before their departure. When planning my wedding I made sure to tell the jazz band at the reception to start playing as soon as they heard the bagpipes coming and the waiters to stand by the entrance with glasses of champagne so that as we arrived in the reception room the party was already underway. I personally don’t like walking into an event and the room is silent, like you have caught the staff off-guard or you have arrived too early. There’s nothing worse than having the band do sound checks as your guests enter the reception room and even worse-the wait staff still doing finishing touches and ignoring your guests. My best advice? If you can, budget in a wedding planner (at the very least for 2 days leading up to the wedding and the day of the wedding). They will deal with all the vendors and take a lot of stress off your shoulders so you can really enjoy your day! And second, after your ceremony, plan a brief (maybe 10 minutes) private moment with your new husband (or wife) in a secluded room and have the caterer set aside some food for you to nibble. It may be the only time you have to share alone together and really let the ceremony and vows sink in. Enjoy a sampling of the food (that you meticulously selected) because you will be so busy conversing with guests and dancing you might not eat much at the reception. Have any wedding questions? Leave a comment below, post them on our facebook page or tweet me @lynnbutlernyc, I’d be happy to answer!