I planned on getting married in 2020… and I did. I just didn’t have the party until 2021.
As you can probably guess, the reason I had two weddings was due to the pandemic. Here are some fun pics from wedding #1. Keep in mind this was the real thing… Scott & I actually got married. My friend was the officiant. We did it outdoors in an empty park after a rain storm with close family members and my maid of honor. We all quarantined previous to the wedding, and socially distanced as much as humanly possible. But truthfully, hugs were had. It was impossible not to hug on such an emotional day. But no one got sick (phew).
This year, we finally had the wedding as previously planned. I’ll tell you all about it.
We had our wedding at The Brooklyn Winery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It definitely wasn’t easy getting to that point due to the ever-changing pandemic protocol, but I’ll spare you the back and forth, the wondering if it would take place, if we would have to wear masks based on NYC requirements. Besides mandating that everyone was vaccinated, and a smaller guest list than anticipated, it went exactly as planned. I consider myself very lucky for this.
The Brooklyn Winery
Back in 2019, we visited The Brooklyn Winery. We loved it for so many reasons:
- It was elegant and beautiful even without any decoration
- The food is delicious (it’s a restaurant and winery, open to the public – go try it!)
- The service is top notch
- It’s ALL INCLUSIVE. Meaning there’s a price per person that includes the venue, food, open bar AND in-house event planner. All we would have to find are the DJ, florist and photographer as vendors.
- There is no choosing your entrée beforehand – you can eat any of the options on the wedding menu
- The flow of the event seemed perfect
- The bride and groom get cute little rooms to hang out, drink and eat before guests arrive
The Planning Process
Once you sign on with The Brooklyn Winery, they give you an entire planning checklist. And I have to say, it’s not hard to do. The first things you must do are to choose a photographer, florist and DJ, and the winery has a preferred vendor list for you to choose from. We used that list for all but the photographer (we found her on Wedding Wire).
Keep in mind you will need to plan a few additional things for your wedding of course. For example, rehearsal dinner, hair/makeup, dress, etc. I’ll list those here to for reference (please note many of the vendors are women-owned independent businesses!)
- Florist: G! Designs (Gabrielle Aronas)
- DJ: 74 Events (James Arnold)
- Photographer: Tatiana Poly (all The Brooklyn Winery photos in this blog post are hers!)
- Hotel: The Hoxton
- Rehearsal dinner: Ammazzacaffé (delicious Italian food in Williamsburg with a private back garden)
- Hair: Vesta Goodarz
- Dessert: We ordered LeVain, Milk Bar and Junior’s Cheesecake on Caviar, and the venue was able to accept the deliveries on the day of the wedding and set them up beautifully in the dessert room.
- Dress: BHLDN
- Invitations: Digital invitations via Paperless Post
- Website: The Knot
Once that part is done, it’s all about waiting until and dreaming about the wedding. About 3 months before the wedding, you’ll attend a tasting event to narrow down your dinner options. About 2 months before, you’ll be paired with an event planner from The Brooklyn Winery and start to fill out a master spreadsheet. This covers everything from the run of show, to the order of the bridal party down the aisle, to the toasts. It also helped us decide on all the smaller things: welcome table, escort cards, first dance timing, etc. We worked with Marissa who answered all of my questions, and was a calming presence throughout the planning process and throughout the wedding. I had full trust in her knowledge of the space and wedding best practices. I also must say, my mom raved about Marissa all night. I mean, that’s a big deal for the mother of the bride.
Here’s the flow of events at The Brooklyn Winery:
- Bride, groom and bridal party arrive fully dressed around 4. Food and drinks are provided just for us, and we get our own little rooms. This is a good time for the first look.
- Before guests arrive, there is an actual ceremony rehearsal. It takes about 15 minutes, This is a good time for photos as well, so bring your parents and siblings too!
- We did do a ceremony even though we were married. Because hey, I wanted to walk down the aisle!
- Guests are welcomed into the bar area with a glass of wine, some cheese and charcuterie
- Guests proceed to the main room for the ceremony
- Cocktail hour takes place back in the bar while the AMAZING winery team transforms the main room into a dreamy seated dinner space.
- Dinner & toasts
- Dancing back in the bar (first dance and parents dances here too!) It feels like you shut down a bar with all your loved ones. So fun.
- This is also when the back room opens up for desserts
I loved the flow – it felt so professionally done, and every moment was special. Guests were awed by the space, service and especially the food. Drinks were refilled very frequently too 😉
All the food and drinks are provided in-house and dinner at the wedding is served family style (sides and salads) and French style (mains). This means you can put whatever you want on your plate that night. I repeat: every guest can eat everything on the menu if they want – no choosing “chicken or steak” prior to the wedding.
What we chose for our menu:
- Passed hors d’ouevres: shrimp ceviche, turkey meatballs, grilled cheese, whipped goat cheese, steak tartare
- 1 salad: radiccio and frisee
- 2 sides: crispy brussel sprouts and smashed red potatoes
- 2 entrees: buttermilk fried chicken and grilled hanger steak. There was also a “silent vegetarian” option which was falafel I believe.
- 3 desserts: lemon financier, donut bites, red wine caramel brownies (plus the other desserts we chose in addition to the ones provided by the venue)
My Favorite Part
Seeing all my friends and family. That had to be my favorite part. I spoke with everyone, whether it was over cocktail hour, dinner or dessert. I danced, I partied. It was hot. I didn’t care. I was just glad to have everyone in the same room.
WELL – two years later, we finally had our wedding, and it couldn’t have been better. Thank you to the team at The Brooklyn Winery for making our day so seamless, elegant and memorable. I only wish the entire event was an entire week long!
*Photos of wedding #1 by Todd Schmiedlin and photos of wedding #2 by Tatiana Poly