A Handmade New York Wedding: Kelly + Jeff

Kelly + Jeff were married this past June at the beautiful Metropolitan Building in Long Island City, NY. Since Kelly is a crafty/DIY gal at heart, she did most of the beautiful event design herself making sure each element had meaning for her and Jeff. Music was also super important to them and I love their choices for their ceremony and the fact that they had a karaoke machine at the reception – super fun! Thanks so much to the amazing Jenny Jimenez for the gorgeous photos and big congrats to Kelly + Jeff!

bridal portrait

bridal portrait

bright color bouquet

personalized wedding schedule

ceremony handkerchiefs

What song did you walk down the aisle to? 

Jeff and I initially met through the indie music blog scene in NYC, so as lovers of music, there was a self-imagined feeling of pressure for choosing the important songs of the day. It was a toughie for us, particularly because we knew that people would be curious about our music selections, but we don’t have “a song” or particular band that is the most “us.” I found myself looking at countless lists, through my own music collection and asking Jeff about it over and over, to no avail. As the day was getting closer, we happened upon Vitamin String Quartet and their orchestral arrangements of indie and pop music. To us, it was one part hilarious and one part awesome, so we chose to play several of their pieces prior to the ceremony.

In the end, we chose 2 of their arrangements for the processional. The bridal party walked down to VSQ’s version of ‘Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want’ by The Smiths (and a favorite of Jeff’s) and I processed to VSQ’s version of ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’ by My Chemical Romance. One of the first times Jeff and I really clicked was at a karaoke outing where we sang (yelled?) this song together, so it ended up being quite meaningful for us. The song itself is a weird choice, and in no way romantic, but the first 1:45 of the song do sound quite lovely with strings.

We paraded back down the aisle to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, ‘Home’ because it’s such a fun, sweet song and a great way to kick off cocktail hour and the reception.

bride entrance


whimsical ceremony venue

bride and groom

Most memorable moment of your wedding day?

Jeff says: The moment right after the ceremony when we went upstairs to sign the marriage license and take photos with our families and wedding parties. It was the one part of the day that wasn’t planned to the minute and there was a feeling of relief and a nice moment of downtime with our closest friends and family to reflect on what was actually happening.

Kelly says: For dinner, Jeff and I chose to sit at a table by ourselves (which I learned, is called a “sweetheart table”). I’m really glad we did that. It was the first time we were really able to just relax and have a nice moment of quiet to take in everything that had happened so far. I remember looking around at all the tables and seeing and thinking about how all of our friends and families were all there for us and how lucky we are to have such a strong support system behind us.

escort cards

paper chain wedding decor


vintage tablescape

vintage tablescape

alcoholic arnold palmer

From the moment we got engaged until the wedding day, I was always working on a project of some sort – from building the website, to designing, printing and packaging our invitations, to designing and printing our programs, menus, decorations, table numbers, designing our favors… it sounds crazy, but I loved every minute of it. Thankfully, I had Jeff to help with projects he felt comfortable helping with or to simply keep me in line when I’d obsess over a ridiculous detail. But out of all the work, what resulted were elements that really felt uniquely us. My favorite part of the whole process was talking to the wedding guests and realizing that they each had a different favorite element. I put in all the effort because I wanted to, but it was really heartwarming to realize that people noticed the little details and choices.

thumbprint wedding guest book

wedding photobooth

One of the first times we truly clicked as a couple was out at karaoke with some friends. It’s a fun hobby that we share and ended up being a nice thread throughout our wedding. During our ceremony, our officiant told the story of our meeting (through the local NYC music scene) and love of karaoke. Fittingly, we capped off the night by rolling out a karaoke machine to sing and celebrate with our friends and families. It was a perfect ending to an awesome day, and a nice endcap to our story as a couple.

pie wedding dessert

bride and groom first dance

Any advice for those planning now? If you want to plan everything yourself, it can be done and it can be fun! However, there are so many moving parts and details that it’s important to stay organized from the beginning. There are lots of handy planning worksheets out there, but for us, the best tools were those we could easily share online with those who weren’t close by (my mom, my bridesmaids, our awesome florist, etc). I shared early inspirations through a wedding blog, through Evernote when we were further along, and kept all contact information, budgets, guest lists, time lines and details in a massive shared Google Doc. (They have handy templates as well.) Never underestimate the power of collecting addresses, RSVPs, or whatever you need to solicit through a Google Doc Form that automatically imports into a spreadsheet. Genius!

Also, follow your heart when selecting your vendors – choosing ones that you trust with your vision is hugely important in letting you sit back and enjoy your day.

From day one, it was our priority to throw an awesome party for our guests, and we really couldn’t have done it (at the same level) without the help and support of our parents. Thanks, guys!


photography: Jenny Jimenez // venue name: Metropolitan Building // hair stylist: Joshua Barbieri // makeup artist: Tiffany Bartok // officiant: Jesse Hendrich // second photographer: Elizabeth Lloyd // getting ready location: Helmsley Park Lane // ceremony: Metropolitan Building // catering: Leslie Nilsson with Sage Events and Sage General Store // dessert table: Leslie Nilsson with Sage Events and Sage General Store // flowers: Lauren Atkinson, Poppy Floral and Event Design // wedding dress: Lovely Bridal (in the west village) dress by Badgley Mischka // DJ: Tye Comer (DJ Myron) // thumbprint guestbook: bleu de toi