Samantha & Ryan, New York Public Library, NYC
What was the easiest wedding planning decision you made?
Both: The venue.
Sam: As soon as we decided on Manhattan, the NYPL was the first and last venue we looked at – it is a special place for us being that Ryan took me there for my first time, and we spent many long weekends leading up to our engagement there as I was studying for the GREs at the time.
What was the most difficult?
Both: We are very decisive people so we were lucky to breeze through big decisions easily. We spent a lot of our time and energy making sure that our wedding party and guests had as special of an experience as we were going to have, and while that certainly took a lot of time and attention to get right, whether it meant figuring out the exact number of bartenders or finding the perfect bow ties for our groomsmen, it was worth every second.
Did you learn anything about yourself or each other throughout the planning process?
Sam: We love working as a team, and we quickly found that a divide-and-conquer strategy would work well for us during the planning process. Ryan was our excel junkie and tracked every detail and I spent a lot of time working with our vendors and focusing on the look and feel of the night.
Did you do anything to infuse personal touches into the details of your wedding?
Sam: The whole wedding was filled with details – both big and small, that meant a great deal to each of us individually and who we are as a couple. The biggest being the LED star-drop fabric that draped the ballroom, creating the feeling of the stars twinkling around us. Ryan has called me his “Little Star” since we began dating as he claims I produce my own energy, so that was an impactful effect alongside us as we all danced all night.
Both: We also infused a personal touch through the menu. Our cocktail hour was filled with stations and passed hors d’oeuvres of each of our favorite foods, whether or not they went together perfectly – things like rock shrimp in cones, spicy tuna handrolls, crab cakes, and potato latkes to name a few. For dinner, we surprised guests by serving piping hot bowls of penne alla vodka during speeches before the main course came, certainly not a dish you’d expect at a wedding, but our favorite dish no less, and all our guests knew it as soon as they saw them come out.
Do you have advice for couples in the throes of wedding planning?
Both: Enjoy it all, it goes by too fast! Focus on the things that matter to you and your significant other, whether that be the food or music or any other item, and don’t get too caught up with the rest. And the week of the wedding, let it all go so you can truly soak it in and enjoy every second of what is sure to be the most incredible night of your life. You set the tone for your wedding – so a happy bride and groom makes for the best night.
What moment from your day stands out the most in your memory?
Sam: Waiting in the elevator as I watched our wedding party walk through the temple doors to head down the aisle. It was so emotional to be surrounded by all the people we love most in the world, and having them beside us as we got married was the greatest gift of all.
Film by Adrian Toto
See more films by Adrian here
Planning | JZ Events
Dress | Oscar de la Renta (ceremony), Reem Acra (reception)
Floral & Event Design | David Stark Designs
Hair & Makeup | Ashley Rubell and Victor Henao
Music, Reception | Vali Entertainment
Music, After Party | DJ Sam French
Venue, Ceremony | Central Synagogue
Venue, Reception | New York Public Library