Tell us a little about yourselves!
We met on the first day of orientation in architecture school, and the rest is history. More than a decade later, we are both architects in New York City enjoying life with our Australian cattle dog Tina!
Why did you decide to get married where you did?
We knew we wanted to marry somewhere that incorporates modern design while being nestled in nature. We’ve always loved exploring the forests and mountains of upstate New York, and it’s where we got engaged. When we found Gather Greene we knew it was an immediate fit (much like when we first met each other! When you know, you know). The property sits on a ridge that overlooks the Catskills and the Berkshire mountains. And, a big draw was the ability to have several of our closest friends stay in cabins on-site with us!
How many guests did you have?
135. We were beyond grateful to be able to have that many people gathered after spending so much time in quarantine. In 2020 we officially got married on the roof of our apartment with just us and two close friends, so we embraced the fact that we could finally celebrate our marriage with all our friends and family in person.
Tell us about your outfits.
Sheena: I knew exactly what I wanted for my shoes and scoured all over for a strappy sandal with a sculptural heel that would be comfortable enough to wear all day. Finding nothing that fit the bill, I ended up buying a pair of Roma heels by LOQ, took some measurements, and designed a custom heel that I had 3D printed, then sanded and painted, and secured onto the shoe. The heels are still intact today!
As for my dress, I wanted something clean, simple, yet flowy, and the silk Marley dress by Alexandra Grecco was it. I wanted to ‘bride’ it up a bit so had a custom floral cape made by Lamnhi Bridal, an amazing seller on Etsy! For the tea ceremony, I wore a silk qipao I’ve had for many years, and Jon wore a tangzhuang jacket. Finally, for the reception, I returned to a customary Chinese bridal red in a Reformation jumpsuit.
Jon: I wanted to be comfortable and dress in something versatile that could be worn again later. I happened to need a summer suit and picked one up from J Crew. Overall, the look is pretty simple with a white shirt–also J Crew–and blush accents. The look was completed with a silk tie, pink socks, and a pink pocket square. I sported a pair of well-worn Joseph Abboud derbies that have accompanied me on many a wedding dance floor; I was not interested in breaking in a new pair on our big day! In an odd turn of events, Sheena’s dad wore these briefly when I changed for the tea ceremony as his shoes had a wardrobe malfunction during the post-ceremony procession!
What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?
One can easily get overwhelmed by all the elements that make up wedding planning! However, one piece of advice we received was to think back on all the weddings we had attended, and recall the elements that stood out to us. That was a great way to prioritize for our wedding, which included good food, fun music, and making sure we had time to celebrate with our friends and family. We built in lots of buffer time around cocktail hour and felt like we were able to hang out with each person!
Were there any elements that were important for you to incorporate?
Because of Sheena’s heritage, we wanted to interweave elements of Chinese culture throughout the evening, including a tea ceremony with our parents, and a surprise lion dance performance by Brooklyn Lion Club where the dancers emerged from behind a cliff, under which we had our ceremony! We also designed and made several pieces used in the wedding, including Sheena’s rings, all the stationery, the arbor, and the custom ‘double happiness’ LED sign we hung in the main pavilion. Even the wooden table number props for the escort cards were hand cut by Jon!
Any tips for couples getting married, particularly during the pandemic?
As long as you are having a good time, everybody will have a good time. Many people have since told us we were the most relaxed bride and groom they’ve seen, and I think that enhanced people’s ability to enjoy themselves. We wanted to be fully present and enjoy quality time with each other and everyone who made the effort to join us in person.
Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?
We would have to start with our dear friend Sameera, who officiated our wedding ceremony not once, but twice! We also have to shout out Jon’s cousin Kathryn, who baked an incredible three-tier Italian cream cake with lemon filling and cream cheese frosting. Not only did she make the effort to prepare the cakes ahead of time and drive them 12 hours from Michigan to New York, but she also taught Jon everything he knows about baking, and for that, Sheena is forever
Our caterer Lil Deb’s Oasis prepared an unforgettable meal that guests still rave about. We never thought we would hear so many people gush about beans but here we are. They took great care of us throughout the night, making sure we were fed and watered and happy, and were all around a pleasure to work with from day one.
Finally, we love everything our videographer Amanda Monroe Finn and photographer Freda Banks captured, and they made us feel very comfortable throughout the process. We’ll cherish their work for years to come.
Photographer : Freda Banks @fredabankswed | Videographer : Amanda Monroe Finn @amandamonroefinn | Ceremony + Reception Location : Gather Greene @gathergreene | Celebrant : Friend of couple | Entertainment : Brooklyn Lion Club @brooklynlionclub + DJ Cory Doan @corydoan | Rentals : Columbia Tent @columbiatentrentals | Day Of Coordination : Kate Arel from A Charmed Affair @charmedaffair | Ceremony Space : Designed and built by Couple | Flora : Farmhouse Floral Design @farmhousefloraldesign | Catering + Beverages : Lil Deb’s Oasis @lildebsoasis | Cake : Cousin of Groom | Printing of Sign : Third Kind Studio @thirdkindstudio | Sheena's Dress : Alexandra Grecco @alexandragrecco | Sheena's Reception Outfit : Reformation @reformation | Sheena's Engagement + Wedding Rings : Custom Ila @ilacollection | Jon's Wedding Ring : Catbird @catbirdnyc | Shoes : Custom LOQ @loq + Schutz @schutz | Cape : Lamnhi Bridal @lamnhistudio | 3D printing : Makelab @makelab_3d