I wanted to share a few highlights from my wedding with you all. I'm not usually one to share lots of personal details, but I think you all will enjoy this quite well and since this is one of the happiest days of my life, I thought I'd share some of the joy. My husband and I celebrated our marriage this past Sunday, December 8, 2019 in Long Island City, New York. We started planning our wedding way back. I'm talking one year and ten months back. We wanted to make sure we would be able to finance everything ourselves and that everything was planned to our standards (mostly mine, and they're high).
Below are some images I was able to screenshot from our vendors, so please note that these are not final images from our photographer. Lots are from friends' Instagrams, and my own phone.
As mentioned above, we started planning our wedding roughly one year and ten months ago. I always knew I wanted a holiday wedding, but I still felt that planning a wedding for that same year would be too soon, so we pushed it to 2019. That would give us enough time to save up money and put a legit game plan into works. That's where the angel sent from above, Lindsay Jani from Simply Sunshine Event
s, came in. I found her on Weddingwire
. We discussed our vision, our budget and our resources with her and it was set. We had a great feeling about her. She was experienced, honest, creative and upfront about things. I will always appreciate that she would let us know if whatever we had in mind was realistic with our budget or not. We both bonded over our appreciation for details. In the end, the details are what make it happen.
Even before we had hired Lindsay, we knew we wanted to do our wedding at the Foundry in LIC. Contrary to most beliefs about Libras being indecisive, I'm the type of person that knows what she wants (and usually I get it right on the first try). The Foundry was a few minutes drive away from our apartment. It had character, history, and it was interesting enough that not much had to be done to the space to transform it. The brick walls were perfectly complimented by the metal beams and lush vines. Many people asked me, "Why not do your wedding in Puerto Rico?". Well, for lots of reasons really. First of all, I didn't want to plan my wedding thousands of miles away. Second, I always dreamed of a winter wedding. Last week it was 92F in PR. No thanks. I prefer to not be sweaty. Third, I'm 99.9% sure I was not going to be able to achieve my vision there. Options are limited. That also meant that planning from afar I would have to delegate too much to other people who didn't understand my personal taste. NYC was it. The Foundry was it.
Some of you might already know that aside from a business owner, I am a fashion designer and an artist. For my day job, I currently work at Carolina Herrera Ltd
. Much like the venue, the gown I chose was my one and only. I knew it was the one about 2 years ago. My then boss designed this gown in black and white for our Resort 18 collection. Then, she brought it out for our Fall Bridal collection in silky white mikado and tulle. DONE. It was the only dress I tried on and looked at. But I had an idea to make it even better. I was set on wearing this gown all night long, but of course it was a bit tricky to dance in. So the design lends itself for an easy modification: make the bottom layer removable. A quick pattern alteration and I got two dresses in one. Win/win. Even better? When my actual gown came in, it fit like a glove.
Like every good design, everything starts with a strong concept. Our wedding planner proposed a few of them to start off from. We ended up meshing two concepts into one: Winter whites. The more we developed our design, the more I felt like we needed a bit of warmth. That's where the soft blushes, golds, and tans came in. We harmonized them with hues of taupe and cream sprinkled with lush greenery. We worked with Jardiniere Fine Flowers
in NJ to develop an absolutely stunning array of winter blooms with metallic details laced throughout the flower arrangements.
For the ceremony, we discussed on framing the venue's main doorway with 15 foot curtains hand painted by me (initially it was going to be done by my mother, but it turned out to be a bit tricky to manage from afar, so I took on the project myself). Jardiniere would then frame those backdrops with bright green smilax.
We wanted to keep our cat Ulla very present throughout the entire ceremony. I named my cocktail after her. Turns out, it was a pink cocktail just like her nose! We also included little cat butt pins to the guest seating board. We were even able to get a few pictures with her while we were getting ready! She was so scared, but she powered through!
The cake was an absolutely lovely collaboration with Sarah from S & S Cake Design New York.
As many of you know, I have also dabbled in baking since I was 15 years old. My hobby for a very long time was gumpaste flowers. So I knew deep down that I wanted to have a hand on this cake, but I also knew that I would not have the time or sanity to do this all on my own. Sarah was more than happy to work with me on this cake after seeing my work. She incorporated my grandmother's soles de Maracaibo on to the cake to tie in the stories within the wedding. She stacked the cakes on one side to keep it modern as well. To finish it off, she added a few skeleton leaves from our florists to give it a bit more lushness. We went with two flavors: Valrhona chocolate cake and raspberry jam with raspberry italian meringue buttercream, and lemon cake with lemon curd and lemon Italian meringue buttercream. Absolutely delicious!
We always knew we wanted to serve food that was close to home, particularly because we were doing a holiday wedding and we all know that holidays in Puerto Rico are the best (and longest) in the world). We hired the amazing female-led team of Fig and Pig Catering
in Brooklyn. One thing we had to have was roasted pork because it's a traditional holiday dish in PR
. We also had an amazing salmon dish, and a veggie option with succulent mushrooms. We also served coquito for dessert! It's not a Puerto Rican holiday unless there's coquito! If you don't know, coquito is a holiday punch consisting of coconut milk, coconut cream, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and good quality coconut rum. My mother in law helped with making that a few nights before the wedding. I still have a bottle left in the fridge. YUM!
I knew I wanted to work with Jessica from Jessica Manns Photography
since early on in the process. Why? Well, I didn't know her personally but I did know I knew her photography style was vivid, colorful, sharp, and quirky. Right up my alley. I mean, what other professional you know has "fine art photography for fine ass couples" written all over their webpage? She is also a fine artist by profession, which means she fully understands photography in a way that can be a bit more conceptual and not so technical. I knew we could be ourselves with her and the final product would be tip top. Our engagement session blew me away. We were laughing the whole time! Same on our wedding day. She was on it. She even gifted us with sneak peek polaroid shots of our wedding day when she wrapped up.
For videography, we struggled a bit at first because we were tight on budget. I always knew I wanted video, but my husband was a bit harder to convince. We saw Sharifilm
's work through Lindsay's recommendation and we loved it! His work was so damn good! So good that the day after our wedding, he already had for us an incredible teaser video of our wedding day! It was magic!
This is where Lilasuds comes in. From the get go I knew our favors were going to be soaps. That was a given. I also knew that I wanted to have a bride and groom soap. For my soap I chose Coquito, which is what we served with our dessert and a total must have in any holiday party. For the groom, he had Old Fashioned. What you guys probably didn't know was that the Old Fashioned soap I did for September was his test batch! It came our way better than we expected really. I designed some custom soap stamps based on our invitation suite type. We wrapped or soap favors in lokta paper with a hand dyed gauze bow and label. I recruited my friends for this task. Guests were given one favor and trust me when I say that most people were arguing over who got which soap. We also gifted our vendors some soaps along with their gratuities and they were so excited!
All in all, our wedding day was absolutely perfect. It was a small ceremony with only our closest family and friends. I wouldn't have it any other way. We danced all night long to a throwback playlist, as well as lots of Puerto Rican holiday tunes (thanks to The Specialists DJs). Every single seat in the house was empty.
It felt warm and intimate.
It was love.
Also, if you're wondering about our wedding hashtag: #velazquezalcuadrado (#vsquared), it's because my husband and I share the same last name... and the same birthday.
Bridesmaids dresses: @brideside