Jenny, an artist and designer, and Jess, a traveller who works in tourism, met through mutual friends and their strong relationship quickly grew into so much more. They shared a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony in the park just four weeks after their engagement.
DWH: The proposal, tell us all the details!
Jess: I had no idea it was coming, at all! Jenny took me on a bike ride and picnic in the park by our house in Brooklyn. We spread out the blanket and sat down. Jenny brought out a photo book she had made from her backpack and about halfway through; I realised that this book was entirely about us and our relationship. As things started to click, I turned and saw Jenny holding the box in her hand. It was a beautiful, quiet moment between the two of us that no one else in the park probably even realised was happening.
We had planned a long engagement, but as we started wedding planning realised that we weren’t interested in going down the traditional wedding path, and so, ended up turning our engagement party into our wedding celebration (we told the guests beforehand, no surprises!). Our engagement was only about four weeks.
DWH: How was the process of planning a wedding in only a few weeks?
Jenny: We found the process a bit stressful, only because we both didn’t picture ourselves in the traditional way, there were just so many things that were more important to us. The day we realised that we just wanted to be married we called our parents to tell them we wanted to turn our engagement parties (we had one in New York and another in Chicago for Jess’s family that couldn’t fly in for the NYC engagement party) into two wedding celebrations instead.
Our New York dinner was only four weeks away at that point, and we immediately threw ourselves into planning a wedding and party on super short notice!
DWH: How did you go about finding the perfect venue?
Jess: We got married in the park Jenny proposed in on a beautiful, sunny and warm October day. We brought together just our immediate family, our cantor, our photographer and a ukulele player and got married a short walk away from where we got engaged.
DWH: And, what about the outfits?
Jess: Jenny and I walked into DHLDN on the Upper East Side, found two dresses literally hanging next to one another, in our perfect sizes and individual styles. We tried them on and paid for them.
They were beautiful, but again, we kept it really easy and didn’t overdo anything. It felt just right. Then we went to the Converse store and purchased custom Converse shoes for the wedding in the park and a different pair for the Chicago party – and that felt right too.
Our pug, Ruby, was very much a part of the day and she wore a cute wedding collar.
DWH: How did you go about finding your key vendors?
Jenny & Jess: We connected with a wedding planner before we went rogue, and she was a super-connector who send us a list of vendors to connect with, even though we weren’t going to be working with her. She introduced us to City Love Photography, who we clicked with right away. We had considered a violinist, who she had also connected us too, but decided for a ukulele player instead, who we found through a friend of a friend of a friend of that first violinist.
For our cantor, we did a lot of searching online to find the right person.
DWH: I’m sure that four weeks felt like a whirlwind, how was the wedding day?
Jenny & Jess: Honestly, everything went so well. It’s hard to believe that it all came together in four weeks. Even the weather participated.
Our wedding was traditionally Jewish, we stood under a chuppah and had a cantor. Our favourite memory was when we broke the glass! It felt traditional, but also kind of punk for us that we both broke the glass, traditionally only the man does this, and in our Converse no less.
Right after, our closest friends and family clapped, and the ukulele player kicked off the celebrations with Blister in the Sun by the Ramones. It felt like the perfect way to start our lives together, officially.
One thing we didn’t plan on was our surroundings, which ended up being amazing. Different cultures and groups gathered in the park to celebrate their own birthdays, etc. and it was just a perfect Brooklyn day.
DWH: What does your union in marriage mean to you both?
Jenny & Jess: Marriage is complicated.We are so thankful that we have the right to be married, and can legally create a safe space for our future family.
On the one hand, forever feels really relaxing. On the other hand, it feels terrifying.
To us marriage means respecting and loving each other and our relationship, joining a great tradition of happily married couples in our families.
DWH: And, lastly, do you have any advice for others planning their wedding day?
Jenny & Jess: This is your day. Not your parents’, not your friends’, and not the billions of people who have been married before you. Do it exactly how you want to, but communicate openly with all the people who also have a stake in the day.
The hardest part is remembering that while this is your day, it is also the day your parent’s daughter gets married, and that holds a special part in their hearts as well.
We are so glad that we stopped, evaluated what was really important to us, and created our perfect wedding day.
Photography City Love Photography