501 Union Wedding: Chelsey + Alex

This feature of Chelsey & Alex's wedding at 501 Union originally appeared on Ruffled

My husband and I grew up in traditional Italian families and knew, from experience, we did not want a large, traditional banquet hall wedding. In fact, it was important to the both of us that our wedding be small and intimate as we felt that celebrations like a wedding can become more about the impressiveness of the party rather than the celebration of love. We did not want the typical wedding; we were not terribly preoccupied with everything being perfect, serious, and traditional (however we wanted to respect some traditions). Most of all, we wanted our wedding to be fun; an epic celebration of our love that included all the people in our lives who made us who we are. A lot of emphasis was put on the food and music (as that’s usually what we remember about weddings), as well as the photography and videography as that was how we were going to remember the event.

I preferred an Old Hollywood or Art Deco vibe for the wedding, but rather than a “themed” wedding I wanted to capture the vibe of those eras while updating the details to reflect more modern sensibilities. I had originally envisioned a party of similar style to that which closed out the film “Meet Joe Black”, but found that no venue in our area (North Jersey, NYC) matched that look. In the end, 501 Union in Brooklyn, NY – while not waterside or secluded – truly captured the Art Deco style and atypical vibe my husband and I craved for.

There was no real color scheme; we tried to play off of the colors of the venue (black, navy, silver, gold, white). My husband wore a cobalt suit, styled as a tuxedo while his groomsmen complimented him with navy suits. My bridesmaids wore blush dresses with gunmetal sequins, thus capturing the glitz of the era (and the vague sparkle in my wedding dress, as well as the gold votives & vases). The flowers were styled in deep purples, rich greens and jewel tones to compliment the venue and bridal party. There were a couple DIY projects involved: seating chart, invitations, and table numbers. My mother and I found a vintage gold frame and used it to frame a grey mirror that we used as our seating chart. We wrote the table numbers and guests in gold pen and displayed the chart on a tall gold easel. For our invitations, my maid of honor (a graphic designer) and I worked on and prepared the design ourselves and then provided the files to a local print shop that printed them out for us. Finally, my mother and I purchased wooden table numbers in Gatsby-like font, assembled the numbers, and spray painted them with gold paint. Additionally, my mother and I used an old bird cage she had displayed in our home that we used for cards and well-wishes. To match the colors of the venue and the table details (votives, vases), we painted the birdcage gold and black.

Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Plan as much as you can as early as you can. It allows you to actually enjoy this time and not worry about the details. Also, make sure you both are actively involved in the planning process; it can be a great bonding experience. Decide what is important to each of you and be willing to compromise on the rest so you both get what you want out of your special day. Once you’ve gotten everything in order, let go. You cannot control the weather, the vendors, or other people, but you can control how you react to the day. This is a once in a lifetime event, just sit back and enjoy your new spouse, family, and friends. Above all, take time to simply enjoy the day and allow the moment to sink in. The day goes by so incredibly fast that you’ll think it was all a fever dream. Enjoy every single second of the planning process, bachelor/bachelorette parties, bridal shower, and wedding day. It’s an amazing experience and you should be more focused on how beautiful it all is rather than the details and execution of the party.

VENUE: 501 UNION 
PHOTOGRAPHY: PAT FUREY
FLORAL DESIGN: RIVER DELL FLOWERS & GIFTS
WEDDING DRESS: YAKI RAVID
WEDDING SHOES: BADGLEY MISCHKA
HAIR COMB: BHLDN
HAIR: LAUREEN OF STYLES ON B
MAKEUP: ELLEN OF FACE THE DAY NY
BRIDESMAID DRESSES: ADRIANNA PAPELL
GROOM'S SUIT: CUSTOM BY MY.SUIT NY
GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: PERRY ELLIS
CATERING: OLIVIA COOKS FOR YOU
WEDDING CAKE: KEREMO CAKES
CEREMONY MUSIC: PENGUIN WEDDING MUSIC NY
DJ: DAVE FISCHOFF AT SUGARTOWN INDUSTRIES
WEDDING INVITATION PRINTING: PAPER BOUTIQUE NY
VIDEOGRAPHY: KISS THE BRIDE FILMS