Hannah and Jessie had made it official at City Hall a year ago, but for their wedding celebration, they had a little help from the beyond for picking the date. “The reception date was picked by Hannah's late grandma. Hannah's aunt communicated with Hannah's grandmother through traditional means of divination using coins,” exclaims Jessie. Once the date was set, the newlyweds started looking into venues, with their heart set on a beach in the Rockaways — a surfer community in Queens. “After having three venues fall through, and with our date being just two months away, we decided to ask Shio, which is run by our friend Will Wang. Shio Studio had just expanded their photography studio to a kitchen studio as well, so this was the perfect amount of space and amenities we needed.”
Judson Rappaport Photography documented the day and they worked with A Heart String to design the space in a bubblegum pastel palette, inspired by Taylor Swift's Lovers album cover, to create “the evening as a magical communal experience that delights and charms, binding us together in the beauty of togetherness and love.” As guests started arriving, they were greeted by The Traveling Poetry Emporium, who delivered poems to order on a chosen subject, live. “We wanted to share this experience with our guests after meeting the poet, Cassandra de Alba, at an event and being blown away by the results of the poems that she composed for each of us based on what we shared.”
Because they had already had a ceremony, no officiant was needed, but Hannah and Jessie did stand in front of a gorgeous floral arrangement of lush pampas grass and pink dahlias and exchange vows.
“We had our first dance right after we said our vows to each other, and the song for that was Taylor Swift's cover of ‘Riptide.' “When I first played this song for Hannah, Hannah loved it so much that she tears up every time she hears it,” says Jessie.
For the reception, they wanted a casual, snack-style seating for dinner, so that guests could freely mingle between rooms, sit for a quick bite and then get back on the dance floor. They opted for a New York wildflower palette for the tables in alternating shades of buttercup, dandelion, violet, light pink and cerulean. The colored tapered candles were from Elizaville Beeswax who make (bee-friendly) gorgeous thin tapers that added an elegant touch despite the playful color scheme. Their two signature drinks were the My TaiTai mocktail for Jessie (cucumber, coconut, pineapple, lime and mint) and The Boulevardier for Hannah (Bourbon, Campari, Sweet Vermouth). “TaiTai means “wife” in Chinese, so we thought it was a clever wordplay on the cocktail MaiTai!”
For favors, they made their own incense for guests — picking the ingredients, tins, designing the packaging and even having a friend illustrate the burning instructions.
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