Want to have fun at your wedding? Then follow the lead of Kate and Nick, whose colorful Greenpoint Loft wedding was an easy, beautiful fusion of everything (and everyone) they love.
Let’s start with the theme of the wedding: Reading Rainbow. Do you remember the TV show? I sure do. Kate and Nick dearly loved the show growing up: bright, happy colors + reading = what’s not to love? The couple added subtle references to their love of books and bright colors throughout their big day starting with the books in each centerpiece and the book backdrop in the photo booth. More noticeably, however, was each bridesmaid attired in a different, bright hue. And note here that Kate simply assigned each bridesmaid a color – not a dress. Every bridesmaid purchased her own dress with no restriction on style or length, only color. While each bridesmaid let her own style shine, the bridal party overall looked cohesive with the theme of the wedding. The wedding was beautiful, and these personalized touches made the event truly unique. I think there is a great lesson to be learned from Kate and Nick’s wedding. Your big day is just that: it is YOUR day. You should add your own flair to every aspect of your wedding: from the decorations to the DJ playlist. Make sure that your wedding completely reflects your style as a couple.
Turning to the schedule for the day, I started with Nick, and took photos of him getting ready with his groomsmen and family. Nick is a mixologist, and he and the boys made sure to enjoy a celebratory glass of wine before donning their boutonnieres. Nick had vowed not to jump behind the bar at his own wedding, but as we will see, he couldn’t resist mixing a drink for his lady love.
Speaking of which, Kate was getting ready a few streets over at the William Vale hotel. This was my first time visiting the hotel. The staff could not have been nicer. And while the room it’s self was on the small side (as all New York City hotels are), The wraparound terrace with a killer view of the NYC skyline more than made up for the size of the room. Kate got ready surrounded by her bridesmaids, and we then jumped in a car to head to her first look.
In case you are getting married in the area, know that the only chance for green space in Greenpoint is the WNYC Transmitter Park. It is a precious little park, much in keeping with the Brooklyn neighborhood: there is a Banksy-style mural on a brick wall, industrial factories on either side of the park, and lots of hipsters sunning in the grass. There is also a pier that goes far out into the East River. Even though we were surrounded by locals enjoying the weather, Kate and Nick are so easy-going and comfortable with one another that we got wonderful photos quickly despite the crowds. And it didn’t matter a bit that the sun was right overhead: check out the great shadows that were created when Kate and Nick practiced their first dance on the pier.
Next up was the bridal party and family photos in Greenpoint Loft. I had the girls positioned in front of the incredible wall of origami cranes that were hand folded by bridesmaid Lauren. In keeping with Japanese tradition, Lauren created 1,000 cranes to send the couple good luck. Photos of the groomsmen were, of course, in front of the bar, and groomsman Mayur mixed up a quick batch of daiquiris for the boys. Family photos were all taken on the roof that included a fabulous view of the Chrysler building — Kate’s favorite building in the city.
The ceremony itself was officiated by one of the couple’s friends, Brian, who is an accomplished public speaker and was wonderful hosting the ceremony. He really brought down the house, and just about everyone cried including the bride, groom, and the bride’s father.
Following the ceremony was a longer than usual cocktail hour (hour and a half, actually) which gave all of the guests time to take part in the ring toss game made by the bride. The groom supplied the large bottles of liquor, and Kate put her crafting skills to work with the backboard.
Kate’s crafting skills were also on display with the photo booth. In addition to the book backdrop, the couple showcased their whimsical tastes with their choice of props. (Note the extensive collection of Muppets.) The only shame about the photo booth was the fact that it was off to the side, so not as many guests were aware of its location until they were walking out the door. My suggestion is that you have your DJ announce to your guests the location of the photo booth. For this party it made perfect sense to fit the photo booth in the coat closet, but that also meant the booth was out of sight, out of mind for the guests.
Greenpoint Loft is a gorgeous venue, and the beauty of the cavernous space really showed during Kate and Nick’s first dance. I made sure to get a wide shot, shooting from the ground up, to show the venue in all its glory. One note about the Greenpoint Loft: lighting in the space is a bit tricky. During the day, the bright light streaming in from the windows is stunning. At night, however, the space can be quite dark. I recommend adding a little bit more light to the venue, in particular around the guest tables near the windows. Due to the high ceilings and wooden walls, it is a difficult to light, though not impossible.
After the buffet dinner, there was the cake cutting. I loved that Kate decided to go big or go home with her slice of cake. Note the Lego theme for the cake toppers. This is an inside joke with the couple, and started with Kate’s gift of a little Lego figure to Nick on their first Valentine’s Day. Many Lego gifts later, and we have these personalized cake toppers as well as a Lego figure for each groomsmen. And please note the beautiful decoration on the top of the cake. One of Kate’s friends decorated the cake. This is a genius DIY wedding hack that everyone should use. The cake itself is a simple sheet cake bought from any bakery, but the cookies on top were iced and arranged by Kate’s friend, Amelia Coulter of Sugar Built Cookies. If you are not a fan of wedding cakes and don’t need all the fanfare of having several layers of cake, then why not get a basic sheet cake and spend your creative energy decorating the top?
Finally, I would like to make special mention of the flowers at Kate’s wedding. The flowers comprising each centerpiece were arranged by the bride herself with flowers she picked up at the New York City flower market on 28th Street. All the bouquets and boutonnieres, however, are works of art crafted out of paper by Katie Rodeo, who can — of course — be found on Etsy. As Kate put it, with paper flower she could find flowers in any shade she wanted, and every flower she wanted was available, as opposed to the hassle of having to work with a florist. Brilliant!
Lastly, I need to tell you how these two lovebirds met. As you know, Nick is quite the accomplished bartender. He was in New Orleans at a cocktail convention (the ‘Tales of the Cocktail,’ to be exact) and Kate and Nick met during the convention in July of 2011. After five years of adventures together, Nick asked Kate to marry him while on an ‘adult sleepover’ at the American Museum of Natural History on 79th Street. Yep, he proposed in front of a herd of stuffed elk in the Hall of North American Mammals. I would pay to have photographed that. Enjoy the photos!
Bride’s getting ready venue: William Vale Hotel
Ceremony and reception venue: Greenpoint Loft
Event planning: Hold Your Hand Events
Officiant: Brian Floyd
Caterer: Raging Skillet
Wedding cake decoration: Amelia Coulter of Sugar Built Cookies
Wedding dress: Eddy K
Bride’s shoes: Nina, Camille style
Hairstylist: Melaina Ulino (Kate and each mother); McKenzie Hunt (bridesmaids)
Makeup artist: Victoria Hoffman
Paper bouquets and boutonnieres: Katie Rodeo, a.k.a. Katherine Elizabeth Events
Centerpiece flowers: Global Rose Wholesale
Guest favors: personalized fortune cookies
Photo booth: DIY project
Ring toss game: DIY project
If you would like to see more images from my portfolio, like these Greenpoint Loft wedding photos, then please visit my website — www.KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com