Iowa native Chad and California girl Terry met and fell in love in Brooklyn. Naturally, wanting to show off the neighborhood that brought them together and where they now live, the couple set out to find the perfect restaurant venue to accommodate their 45 guests on their wedding day. Martha Restaurant in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Fort Greene was the perfect spot.

After a simple civil ceremony at the City Clerk office with just their very closest family and friends present, the couple and all of their guests congregated at the restaurant for dinner and cocktails, and an evening of merriment and memories to last a lifetime.

A huge thank you to Sheena at UNIQUE LAPIN Photography for sending over all the photos of the radiant bride and groom so we could share them with you today!

sunlit bride and groom protrait

Terry, 30 & Chad, 30 

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Wedding Date: July 24, 2015

Number of Guests: 45 guests

Wedding Cost: $15,000 total (for NYC celebration)

Wedding Ceremony Location: City Clerk office, NYC

Wedding Reception Location: Martha restaurant in Fort Greene, Brooklyn

wedding bouquet in bike basket

shot of ring on bride's finger

bride walking down street wheeling bike

bride laughing during portrait session

bride and groom crossing the street

reflection of bride and groom in restaurant mirror

bride and groom dancing on brooklyn sidewalk

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

When discussing our plans, we knew immediately that we did not want a big, traditional wedding in a church. We wanted to keep things very simple and intimate, and for our guests to really enjoy themselves and be able to spend quality time together. The first step was to pare down the invite list as much as possible. Once we did that, we were able to look at restaurant venues to accommodate the 45 guests.

back balcony

wedding dresses hanging up outside

bride's shoes on end table

bride laughing while getting ready

bride putting on shoes

bride portrait

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

From the beginning, we knew using a restaurant would be the way to go as they’d be able to supply furniture, food, ambiance, and the venue space. It was just a matter of choosing the right restaurant, which was a difficult task. Since we met in Brooklyn, we wanted to find a restaurant in Brooklyn and have everyone enjoy the neighborhood where we fell in love and now currently live. Additionally, we wanted to find a restaurant that matched our aesthetic and vibe and where the staff were people we’d actually want to hang out with. Martha was perfect because it met all of the criteria we had on paper, but the staff also went above and beyond in ensuring our guests had a great time and were taken care of.

breakfast station


groom getting ready

groom drinking coffee

groom portrait

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

It was actually much easier to put together a list of 45 guests than it would have to make a 100+ guest list. With 45 guests, you really prioritize the people you absolutely must have with you on your wedding day, and all the acquaintances you normally would feel bad not inviting are obviously going to be left off.

bride and groom portrait in backyard

bride and groom portrait in backyard

bride and groom portrait in backyard

bride and groom portrait in Brokklyn

bride and groom portrait on Brooklyn brownstone steps

bride and groom wheeling bikes down street

bride and groom walking

bride and groom portrait

bride laughing during wedding portrait session

Bride and groom dancing in the street

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them? 

Since we have family and friends in New York (where we currently live), Iowa (where Chad is from) and, California (where Terry is from), and Taiwan (where Terry’s family lives), we decided to have intimate celebrations in multiple cities. This really enabled us to keep our guest lists fairly small in each location. We had the lovely wedding celebration in New York (courthouse and dinner), a Chinese banquet dinner in California, and then our immediate family met in Taiwan so we could spend time together. It was really a wonderful way to do it as we were able to visit older family members who were unable to travel and make sure they felt included in the celebration.

bride and groom walking to subway

bride and groom on subway platform with family

bride and groom portrait at the courthouse

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

As for the courthouse ceremony, we took our guest list and cut it down even further to just our very closest friends & family. That was a very special moment for us, getting married at the courthouse and being surrounded by loved ones.

bride and groom at courthouse

bride and groom at courthouse

courthouse wedding ceremony first kiss

What were the highlights of the reception?

When all the guests had arrived at Martha and were seated, we wanted to welcome everyone with a quick toast. However, in the middle of our speech, Lil John & The East Side Boyz song “Get Low” came on. The entire restaurant went quiet and we all heard the lyric “til the sweat drop down our balls” loud and clear. Everyone burst into uproarious laugher and we all sang along for a bit. Needless to say, it halted our welcome toast, but it was very memorable and we wouldn’t have changed a single thing.

Martha restaurant door sign

ram head mounted above resturant bar

Martha restaurant interior

Martha restaurant interior

card box at wedding

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

While the details – flowers, dresses, suits, invitations, etc. – are all representative of who you are as a couple, don’t forget that the real reason for the wedding is to be able to have friends and family together in one space to celebrate your love. We’re so glad we kept our wedding plans and details to a minimum so we were able to stay relaxed and maximize time with all of our favorite people.

bride and groom crossing the street

bride and groom in doorway of restaurant

bride hugging her mom at reception

wedding cocktails

bride and groom at reception

bride hugging guest

bride sitting with friends

bride and groom at restaurant reception

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

Really take a moment to sit with your partner and discuss what is important. It’s impossible to have everything in a wedding – after all, it’s just a few hours. Avoid driving yourself crazy adding too many details. After the wedding is over, you’ll look back and remember the moments that were created organically with your guests and loved ones. Those moments can’t be planned, so allow yourself opportunities for those moments to flourish and don’t overplan.

bride and groom kissing during dinner


Photography: UNIQUE LAPIN Photography

Wedding Venue: Martha Restaurant in Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Planner: Just the bride & groom!

Floral Design: Floral Creations by Lina

Wedding Dress: For the courthouse ceremony in the morning, white dress by Sandro. For the evening dinner festivities, white dress by 3.1 Phillip Lim

Bride’s Shoes: Alexander Wang

Hair & Make Up: Jessica Fooskas

Groom Attire (suit & shoes): Indochino

Catering: Food and dessert (seasonal pie) was prepared by Martha

Invitations And Day-of Stationery: Created a Squarespace website with all the wedding information

Party Favors: Martha restaurant prepared delicious treats for everyone to take home