We are in LOVE with this dreamy DIY downtown NYC wedding on the blog now!
Shea Shoemaker
Shea Shoemaker February 13, 2020

Dreamy DIY New York City Wedding

Share this project

“I met Chris for the first time in May 2016 at a dive bar on Houston in Manhattan. Chris was out celebrating his successful flag football season with his teammates, and I, relatively new to the city, was meeting up with some college friends. I remember Chris was one of the first to introduce himself. He asked where I was from, I responded with “Washington” and he said, “Ohhh DC, nice.” I corrected him that it is Washington State and most of my friends at the bar were also from University of Washington. Chris asked for my phone number at the end of the night and when I gave it to him, he said that it was a fake number, no way it could really be mine (because it started with 509). Lo and behold when he texted me later that week to ask me out on our first date, the number worked.

After our first date Chris and I found out that we had been living a block away from each other for the past year. I was on Stanton and Clinton while Chris was on Attorney and Houston, only in New York! After a year of dating, we moved into a 1 bedroom in the East Village. Chris proposed a year after that in our apartment after work on a Friday in August 2018.

When we started thinking about planning our wedding, we knew one thing, that it should be in New York, the place where we met. After looking at venues, we loved 26 Bridge but they had very limited availability. They had one open Saturday in January and nothing until November 2019. We had been talking about marriage for a while and didn’t want to wait a year and a half, so we decided to scoop that date in January! We pulled the trigger and had a shotgun wedding, but not in the traditional sense.

With 6 months to plan a wedding, I knew I had to find a dress, and fast! I had my mother and grandmother fly out to NYC from Seattle, WA. I booked us 5 bridal appointments over the course of 2 days. Catherine Deane was the first appointment and the Gina Gown was the 2nd dress I tried on. I knew it was the one instantly because it was simple and had “slip dress” vibes. The satin material would move on the dance floor and sweetheart bust was very flattering. I ended up canceling the rest of the bridal appointments! Finding the shoes was much easier than the dress, since I had previously worked as a shoe buyer for Nordstrom in Seattle. I was looking for comfort over anything, as I knew I would be dancing all night. I ended up purchasing a Bella Belle satin ivory lace up heel and they were so comfortable.

Our wedding date was set, venue was booked, dress and shoes were ordered – all within a few weeks! The things that Chris and I prioritized for a wedding experience was for the venue to feel cozy, food to be delicious and the party to be rocking. To make the venue feel cozy we had a lot of candles, rugs throughout the venue and beautiful lights twinkling all night. Our wedding colors were greens, browns and gold – we wanted the space to feel organic and natural. I love to make wreaths, so I created 2 large silver dollar eucalyptus wreaths, one in the entryway and another at the dessert bar. I am pretty crafty and so are my bridesmaids! One of my bridesmaids and sister in law got married in June 2018 and did all of her floral arrangements for her wedding and they were incredible – you would never know that she did them, they looked professional. She kindly volunteered to make all the bouquets on the day of the wedding. We chose white roses and simple greenery of eucalyptus and ferns – it was very on trend for the winter theme.

Another one of my bridesmaids works at Etsy headquarters in DUMBO, so she was able to refer some phenomenal shop designers. I ended up getting tons of things from Etsy for the wedding but one of my favorite things was the 2 pearl pins in the hair. My mom let me borrow her pearl earrings, which matched the pins perfectly. The earrings were a gift from my dad on their first anniversary and they have been married for 28 years.

As it got closer to the date, we were seeing a winter storm. Chris and I decided to book a Trolley 3 days before the wedding to take the wedding party over the Brooklyn Bridge to the venue together. It turned out to not be a storm but we had the most incredible time singing Wagon Wheel, driving with the Manhattan skyline in the background.

When my mom and grandmother visited NYC, they stayed at Hotel on Rivington and I fell in love with the hotel, especially their rooftop views, I knew this was where Chris and I should have our first look. I ran this by our photographer, who thought it was a fantastic idea, even if it was raining or snowing. Luckily, it was neither! Our photographer captured our first look with the Freedom Tower in the background. We chose to say our personal vows with just us on the rooftop and it was such a special moment.

We hired a phenomenal band that played acoustics during the ceremony and cocktail hour then switched to 6 piece band for dancing! My dad and I walked down the aisle to ‘Father & Daughter’ by Paul Simon. Chris and I had our first dance to ‘Just Like Heaven’ by the Cure.

One of the asks from my parents was to have instruments to dance with. We had to let the band know about this ahead of time and they were game. We had over 50 instruments; tambourine, maracas, you name it. Our guests loved them and some even took them home with them at the end of the night!

Since it was January, we knew the food had to be as cozy as the environment, so we served comfort food. Appetizers were mac and cheese shooters, coconut shrimp and a slider station. Everyone raved about the slider station, it was a mix of angus beef sliders, pulled pork and fried chicken on biscuits. We love to eat family style, so we had our caterer serve the dinner family style. Main dishes were chicken parmesan and filet mignon, sides included french bread, garlic mashed potatoes and oven roasted veggies with balsamic glaze.

One of Chris’s favorite foods is late night pizza, which you can get about anywhere in New York! As we looked for options, we contacted one of our favorite pizza spots, Scarr’s in the Lower East Side, but when we asked them, they said they don’t deliver to Brooklyn. One of our close friends called in a favor with the management group and they ended up personally delivering the pizza to the event!

Planning a wedding in 6 months felt like an easy task in NYC, where there are amazing vendors and caterers aplenty. We appreciated all of our family and friends from around the world coming to NYC for a weekend in January. Chris and I left for our honeymoon to Mexico the next morning and enjoyed a week of relaxation, guacamole and sunshine!” -Claire, the Bride

Event Credits

Photography: AJL Studio // Venue: 26 Bridge // Hotel Venue: Hotel on Rivington // Wedding Coordinator: Your Wedding by Lauren // Catering: Creative Foods Catering // Vintage Rentals: Stellar Vintage // A/V Rentals: Universal Light and Sound // Party Rentals: ZNC Solutions // Transportation: New York Trolley Company // Hair + Make-up: TL Hair & Makeup Artistry