Kara and Andrew went from strangers who were set up by surprise, to being the last two people in the bar that same night. The couple’s 2013 spring introduction lead to a 2016 fall wedding at Weylin. “When I walked into Weylin I instantly fell in love with it” said the bride when she thinks back on how immaculate the restoration of the post-civil war savings bank was for the wedding venue. The ceremony, cocktail hour and reception took place in 3 different spaces within the restored structure; all reflected the couple’s timeless vision for the ceremony. From the secret vault that was used as a photo booth to the Speakeasy for cocktail hour, Kara & Andrew’s wish for their guest to feel invited and fun, came true! With Julliard students serenading the ceremony, the bride couldn’t help but feel pure excitement when walking down the aisle. “It was the only day ever that everyone I care about in the world would all be in one room all together. I really felt the love all around us”.
How and When did you two meet?
We met at a birthday party in March, 2013. It was our friend’s idea to set us up but she didn’t tell either one of us. She and her husband stuck us in a booth and sat on either side of us. We ended up being the last two people in the bar! Those friends are the ones who signed our Ketubah before our ceremony.
When did you know he/she was ‘the one’?
I think from the very beginning it was clear that we were going to be together for a long time (or forever!) It was so natural and comfortable and I’ve always wanted to be British, so being Canadian-by-marriage seemed like the next best thing and I figured I should lock it down ;).
What mattered most to you when planning your wedding?
That everyone felt welcome and the overall vibe was inviting and fun! Oh, and, the food!
Describe the feeling you felt when seeing each other for the first time on the wedding day.
Pure excitement! I was so focused on the wedding itself, it was nice to take those moments just to be together and remember why we were having the wedding in the first place.
How did you personalize your wedding?
We picked a untraditional wedding band — it was a band Andrew and I had followed for years while they do their 90’s show under a different name: Stiffler’s Mom. And when I found out they were also a wedding band (and not just 90s) it was a no-brainer. We felt so comfortable with them and everyone loved the band — two of our friends even booked them the next day for their own wedding. And another set of friends almost canceled their wedding band they had booked to book ours!
Any specific details or traditions that you chose for the weekend?
I tried to incorporate my dad into the day in a way that didn’t take away from Andrew and I. I wanted to be happy (not sad!) so I was very conscious of making sure that the things I chose just added to the love. We used his tallit under the chuppah in the ceremony, which was a nice way to have him close and then and the bagel bar at the end of the wedding — the bagels were from Barney Greengrass where I used to go on the weekends with my dad. My dad had gotten me wine for my wedding, but I chose to serve some of it at the rehearsal dinner instead because I knew i’d get too emotional if we had it at the wedding. I also surprised Andrew with a Canadian beer at the bar!
Your ceremony in 4 words.
Warm, special, — and, my favorite part!
What were your thoughts when walking down the aisle?
That this is realllly happening! And I remember being so excited and knew it was the only day ever that everyone I care about in the world would all be in one room all together. I really felt the love all around us.
What music did you choose for the ceremony?
I chose Juilliard students for the ceremony. I really wanted the string quartet that I found on the platform of the A Train on 14th street but they didn’t return my calls — must not have service down there, ha! — so, when I finally gave up on that dream, I loved the idea of using students and I let them pick the music for the most part. I only requested they played a few bars of Frozen “Let it go” for our little flower girl.
Tell us all about the fashion!
Dress was by Le Spose di Gio. I found it at Mark Ingram and I loved the long train and the textures. It was perfect! I wore my mom’s earrings and then kept it very minimal otherwise. Shoes were by manolo Blahnik and Andrew’s tux was Bonobos and Ferragamo shoes.
Tell us about your ceremony and how you made it personal to your story.
Our Rabbi has been my family’s Rabbi for over 20 years and he officiated. He’s been with us for some of the saddest (and now the happiest!) days of our lives. I knew that he would do the most incredible job, and I actually chose my wedding date based on his availability so it was non negotiable. I’ve been to weddings where it felt like the bride and groom just met the officiant that morning and I didn’t want that. I can still remember some of the things he said during the ceremony, and the fact that he knew my dad so well made me even happier and more comfortable in that moment.
What were your vows like?
We did traditional vows during the ceremony. I liked the idea of saying the same words that people every day, every hour, every minute around the world say to each other. I thought that was romantic.
Did you have a favorite moment or unforgettable feeling from the ceremony you’d like to share?
I was just so happy I didn’t spill the wine on myself! I thought it was genius that I used white wine instead of red,but still, I’m a spiller and I was just happy I came out of it unscathed.
Why did you select your venue/location(s)?
When I walked into Weylin I instantly fell in love with it! I didn’t want to get married in a ballroom and I loved that this jewel was closed for so many years, refurbished and just recently opened. It was perfect! I loved the secret vault that we used as our photo booth and I loved that we could use three different spaces and not have to flip the room. The speakeasy downstairs was PERFECT for our cocktail hour and went perfectly with all the stations that Pinch had set up — the grilled cheese on ironing boards being a fan favorite.
Tell us about your hair and makeup team.
Xavier has been doing my hair for a while and he’s so calm I knew I’d want to have him around that day. Doesn’t hurt that he does the best blowout in NYC! Eva from Damali did my makeup and she’s also so lovely to have around too. Drama-free wedding day! Even though I didn’t have many bridesmaids (just siblings and maids of honor) I wanted to get ready with all of my closest friends so they came too for hair and makeup.
What inspired you when planning your wedding?
I was really inspired by our venue being an old bank. After picking the venue, a lot of things just fell into place. I picked the dress based on what I imagined would look the best in the the venue and I became obsessed with a few vintage touches. I accidentally turned into a vintage stamp collector and went full-on crazy by picking vintage stamps for our invitation. I was also inspired by the creativity of our caterers, the Pinch team. I was honestly blown away by their fun, creative elements that they brought to that day. And their butter plate. The five different butters for the breads really sold me.
How would you describe your reception?
Lots of fun and lots of dancing lots of drinking and everyone just letting loose.
What were your favorite details of the reception?
I loved the furniture we chose for the little seating area near the bar and the table settings. I loved the menus we designed and of course I loved the food and the creativity that Pinch Food Design brought!
What was on your menu?
We did a shaved brussel sprout caesar to start, then a choice of short ribs or miso cod (I think!) I’ll find a final menu and send asap.
Did you have cake or desserts?
We had a delicious wedding cake by Nine Cakes and then lots of passed desserts on the dance floor. My favorite being churros hanging from umbrellas! We also did passed affogatos, Andrew and my favorite dessert & also to give everyone a final caffeine kick to dance into the 90s party (our last hour) Late night we had passed sliders and a bunch of other things!
Did you learn anything about yourself or each other during the planning process?
I learned that Andrew has a LOT of opinions. He has visions and ideas about the wedding –who knew!? — mostly about flowers and cake. He had really great ideas, but his banana flavored wedding cake did not win, as I didn’t think it would necessarily be a crowd pleaser – ha.
What was the best advice you received from others?
The best advice I received was to take everything in by standing in the corner of the party for two minutes and take it all in. It was the best advice, but I didn’t follow it! I was too busy on the dance floor. But, my face honestly hurt after the wedding from smiling the whole night so I’d say it was a good time!
If you had it to do all over again, would there be anything you would change?