Australians Karlena and Tom, who love to travel, flew to New York to get hitched. With the help of their photographer Cassidy Parker Smith and their officiant Bettina, the couple exchanged their vows atop the Sixty Soho in an emotional tear and laughter filled ceremony. The newlyweds celebrated – after weeks of eating pre-wedding salads – in the best way possible with an intimate dinner at Bistro Les Amis.
Karlena, 27 & Tom, 28
New York, NY
Wedding Date: September 16, 2014
Number of Guests: No guests! Just us, our lovely photographer and celebrant
Wedding Cost: Approximately $6,000 (includes photographer, wedding accommodation – 2 nights, celebrant, complete outfits, wedding rings, dinner that night, make up, hair, mani/pedi – all the prep for the big day!)
Wedding Ceremony Location: Sixty Soho’s rooftop
Wedding Reception Location: We didn’t have an official reception. After our ceremony and time with Cassidy, we went to a cute little french restaurant down the road from Sixty Soho – Bistro Les Amis.
Why did you have an intimate wedding?
We had planned a big wedding in Melbourne, Australia (where we both grew up), but after it started to become more about pleasing our guests than about us, and the budget kept rising, we pulled the pin on it and moved to New Zealand (where I, Karlena, was born) for a change. We thought New Zealand might be a better place to start making arrangements again, but when it also felt the same as our first attempt, we started to get drawn towards the idea of an elopement. We love to travel and the next place on our list had been NYC and/or San Francisco. One thing led to another and when we found our photographer Cassidy, – it was a godsend really – she lead us to the Sixty Soho for our dream rooftop wedding and hooked us up with our Australian celebrant!
What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?
Honestly none! For us, an intimate wedding took out all the challenges! It became just about us and what we wanted for our wedding. Even organizing it from overseas felt like a breeze thanks to Cassidy. Yes, it can be challenging with some people not respecting and accepting the decision to elope, but they all do get over it eventually and start just being really happy for you!
Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?
No one was invited so no one felt left out. It did take a little while to talk around some of our friends and family, but at the end of the day they just wanted us to be happy! Tom and I are generally non-traditional about these things and many things in our life so most of our close friends and family members didn’t expect anything else for our wedding.
What were the highlights of the ceremony?
Well clearly the view! But in all seriousness, Bettina (our celebrant) created something so perfect for us. It was sweet, romantic, heartfelt and it was also funny so we were able to have a laugh! We both feel the highlight was that we felt comfortable enough to be real and get a little emotional. For us, if we had a crowd or the stress of worrying about everyone else, we wouldn’t have been able to have such a special moment together saying our ‘I do’s’.
What were the highlights of the reception?
The food at Bistro Les Amis was amazing, but in all honesty the highlight was just being able to eat – as much as we liked of whatever we liked! We had been eating salads in the lead up so I could fit into that dress and so Tom could fit into his suit!
What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?
For us, the best thing about choosing an intimate wedding was knowing that it was literally our day. No matter what happened, we were in the adventure together and we didn’t have to please anyone else or check up on anyone else! On top of this, an intimate wedding allowed us to feel relaxed, happy and it saved us a lot of money!
What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?
If you are BOTH 100% set on an intimate wedding or elopement, just do it! The fact is as a couple you know what’s best for you. Your friends and family might be sad for a bit, but they will get over it. We had a few celebrations with people before we left and are going to have a party this new year. For those thinking about eloping, follow your heart and go with the destination that you love or which means something to you both; try to keep things simple and give yourself a good amount of time before and after the wedding to explore the destination and create new memories. Wedding vendors can really help you out and give you priceless advice so try to find a Cassidy (or Cassidy herself!) if you’re not familiar with the location!
Photographer: Cassidy Parker Smith
Celebrant: Bettina Yiannakourou
Venue: Sixty Soho rooftop
Make up and hair: Sharon Becker Beauty
Brides dress: Misha Collection (Australian designer)
Brides shoes: Guess
Grooms suit: Barkers (New Zealand)
Grooms shoes: Florsheim
Picking out your wedding gown is, hands down, one of the best parts of the wedding planning process. With so many bridal lines to choose from, however, the hard part is knowing where to start!
We believe experience, quality, and attention to detail are key when choosing a bridal line, and with over 30 years in the business, Jasmine Bridal has grown from a one-brand bridal gown company to encompass nine different luxury brands including Jasmine Couture, full of exquisitely hand-detailed show stopping gowns for one-of-a-kind brides.
Staying on top of the trends, Jasmine Couture redefines contemporary bridal wear with looks like this long-sleeved fit and flare gown covered in Alencon lace that is both elegantly sexy and classic.
For brides looking for a gown with urban sophistication, their flirty mermaid gown with vintage lace embroidery and unique vertical beading is a romantic choice.
Another popular trend in wedding gowns is two-tone embroidery lace which Jasmine Couture employs beautifully by contrasting gold and ivory to produce a rich and elegant textured gown.
And if you’re looking to jump on the super sexy low-back bandwagon, Jasmine Bridal now also offers brides the option to lower the back waistline on a number of its popular styles to 3.5″ or 5″ from its original waistline.
To keep up with all the latest styles and trends, get expert advice, and view real Jasmine Bridal weddings make sure to sure to follow the Jasmine Bridal blog, From Jasmine with Love. You can also follow them on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on all their latest news.
It can take countless hours to decide on the style of escort cards that you want. Once you have it figured out, you have to spend more time choosing favors. Why not make your escort cards work harder by doubling them up as favors? It’s a great way for your guests to use their “escort cards” again and it will also help to cut your wedding budget. We’ve picked out 10 ideas for escort card favors.
1. Lavender Bundles
Lavender looks and smells divine and makes for a great gift. Tie them with a ribbon and a name tag to use them as escort cards. You can also work them into your color palette and decor too when you display them.
2. Plant Pots
Potted plants are a lovely idea as they continue to grow after your wedding day. These mini succulent pots only need a small flag with names and table numbers to transform them.
3. Salt with a Twist
Edible favors are much appreciated, especially ones that can be used in the kitchen after the wedding. You can make large batches of flavored salt in advance and transfer them into individual favors.
4. In a Teacup
You can never have enough teacups! Especially, pretty ones. These favors create a lovely display. If you want to spend more on the teacups to ensure their quality, having them double up as escort cards makes sense.
5. A Compass
For a camp or travel themed wedding, a compass will work well. You can also keep it compact by fitting the names into the lid.
A sweet treat is always welcome as a pick-me-up before your reception gets going. Macarons will add to your decor, especially for a regal theme or if you’re having a dessert only reception.
7. Bottle Opener
You can never find a bottle opener when you need one. This one has a tongue-in-cheek saying on it which helps to add a personal touch. These would look great for a brewery wedding.
8. Infused Olive Oil
Olive oil infused with rosemary is a great gourmet gift. By decanting them into small bottles they can be used as favors and escort cards by adding a tag. It’s a nice way to add something homemade to your wedding.
9. Chocolate Bites
Chocolate doesn’t even need a reason, and for a wedding on a budget this is the way to go.
10. Second-Hand Books
This is such an exciting way to give guests a meaningful gift. Second-hand books are inexpensive favors for a literary wedding, it will also be fun for your guests to find their names and see what book they have waiting for them.
Photo one: anetamak.com; Photo two: shewanders.com; Photo three: cleanplatepictures.com; Photo four: emmalinebride.com; Photo five: agneslopez.com; Photo six: ruffledblog.com; Photo seven: stylemepretty.com; Photo eight: weddingchicks.com; Photo nine: tanyasalazar.com; Photo ten: Amorology Weddings
Looking for a drop dead gorgeous venue in NY for your intimate wedding? Brecknock Hall, situated near the Long Island Sound in New York, is a restored historic manor with distinct elegance and chic details that will make you swoon!
Couples can say ‘I do’ inside the gorgeous historic manor, or head outdoors to the sprawling lawns for a glorious outdoor wedding. Brecknock Hall hosts only one wedding or event per day, so the entire property is yours!
One thing we love about Brecknock Hall is that you can select and utilize a caterer and vendors of your choice. The venue offers a list of recommendations but respects that you may already have someone in mind. We also love that the venue celebrates the unions of all loving couples regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
If you’d like more info on Brecknock Hall, visit their wedding venue listing on IW.
Here’s what Ashley had to say about the shoot:
Iceland is one of the most visually stunning places on earth. The variety of colors and textures can be so overwhelming, it creates an epic landscape for small ceremonies, intimate celebrations, and personal elopements. I wanted to create an inspirational shoot for couples looking to let mother nature take care of all the decor and keep their wedding beautiful and laid back. It can be pretty tricky to plan from abroad, and doubly so in small countries with minimal wedding industry infrastructure, so I teamed up with some rad folks to provide some ideas.
We worked with a real life super in love couple, Sóley and Kristófer and explored the Reykjanes peninsula in Southwestern Iceland, around the iconic Blue Lagoon, and through the eerily beautiful mud pools and fumaroles of the Gunnuhver geothermal area.
I hooked up with Morna Fell, an especially creative florist to create a number of different styles of bouquets, boutonnieres, crowns, and floral pieces. She foraged for some blooms, and used untraditional materials to create unique pieces. We kept referencing back to the Icelandic landscape, incorporating wool ties woven through a floral crown, and a mossy base for a pin cushion style bouquet dotted with delicate blooms. The cool muted tones lent a natural look to the florals, allowing shape and texture to be paramount. I loved her floral cuff, a play on the corsage you may have rocked to a senior prom, but this time with a much cooler vibe. Her pieces are delicate and carefully constructed, but were sturdy enough for climbing through lava fields and tight embraces. Benedikta Ársælsdótir is a wicked talented makeup and hairstylist based in Reykjavik, and she styled a casual updo for Sóley, rolling her long hair under to keep it in place through the strong Icelandic winds. She made sure to leave make up natural enough to see Sóley’s awesome freckles, but used pretty gold hues and a little bit of smoke around her eyes, and a sweet berry stain for her lips. We styled their wardrobe with light fabrics that let our couple move, climb, and play, a soft long sleeve gown, chunky ice blue jumper, (as they call sweaters in Iceland) and hunter suede ankle boots for Sóley, and a casual navy jacket and bowtie combo for Kristófer.
Photography: Ashleigh Hobson
Hair and Make Up- Benedikta Ársælsdóttir
Necklace: Urban Outfitters
Sóley’s shoes: Sam Edelman
Sóley’s Dress: Dainty Hooligan