Hannah + Sam by Carole Cohen Photography

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship:

We met at a housewarming party for a mutual friend while Sam was visiting NYC from Montreal. He had been looking for a reason to move back to New York for a while, and our relationship proved to be a great reason!

We love to travel – in the five years we’ve been together we’ve been to 13 U.S. states, four Canadian provinces, and five countries. We both also love to cook and many of our fondest memories as a couple are making fresh stuffed pasta in our kitchen.

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details:

We had our wedding at a bar, which really set the tone for the event. We chose the location, Freehold, because we loved the style and it had great outdoor and indoor space – something that’s hard to comeby in NYC. Since we already loved the look and feel, we made sure to only add things that felt complementary to the space. We ended up with a sort of funky tropical disco aesthetic. We wanted the night to feel both special and approachable so everyone could let loose and have a great time.

One of the coolest things about planning a wedding is getting to meet and work with a lot of really special small businesses. Everyone we worked with was so willing to go above and beyond to make sure that our wedding was perfect. One of the biggest myths of wedding planning is that you are getting scammed  by your vendors — the level of personalization and attention to our vision that we received from everyone involved was really unbelievable. We hired people whose work we loved and then trusted them with a lot of the specifics and the night ended up better than we ever could have imagined.

We took a ferry from our apartment to the wedding, which was a lot of fun and made for many great photos! I had originally considered whether we should get married on a boat, so taking the ferry to the bar felt sort of like a bonus venue!

Tell us about your main outfits:

I got my dress from Leanne Marshall – it was a custom dress using fabric and design details pulled from a few different styles in her collection. The fabric is a beautiful ivory silk with a gold drizzle detail on it that felt very modern and beautiful, but also appropriate for a bar setting. When choosing a dress my top priority was finding something that was comfortable and wouldn’t restrict my movement or discourage me from eating a second slice of cake. After dinner, I changed into a sequined top and bottom set from Liriko Matoshi for dancing – I felt like a human disco ball! Sam wore a custom navy blue suit with a tie that we found just a few days before the wedding that ended up perfectly matching our flowers.

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day:

We were legally married at city hall a few months before our wedding, and that really freed us up to re-envision the whole ceremony and do exactly what we wanted.

 At the start of the ceremony, a 30 year old friend acted as our flower girl, wearing a tub top and mini skirt covered in fake flowers — that definitely let everyone know that we weren’t taking tradition or ourselves too seriously. We also didn’t have bridesmaids or groomsmen – we didn’t even have an officiant! Instead we had friends and family members do a few short readings, and then had the entire audience “marry” us by having two friends hold up cue cards for everyone to read off of for the vows.

Sam also surprised everyone (including me!) by signing Dance Me to the Moon by Leonard Cohen while he played the bass. I was completely shocked and had no idea it was coming! It was his first time singing publicly.

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together:

We took planning our wedding ceremony very seriously, even if the final product ended up being very light-hearted. It was a really great way to work through our thoughts about the institution of marriage and figure out what really mattered to us. I think our loved ones left the evening with a clear understanding of why we were getting married and what that commitment meant to us.

In general my advice would be not to lose sight of the reason you are getting married and trust that you know yourself! I read so many articles telling me all the things I would regret if I didn’t do them the typical way, and in the end it was all hogwash – I’m glad I listened to my gut and not random strangers on the internet. It made our wedding unique and a true reflection of us as a couple.

Photography: @carole_cohen_photography | Ceremony and Reception location: @thefreehold | Bride’s gown: @leannemarshallofficial | Bride’s reception outfit: @lirika.matoshi | Groom’s suit: @mysuit | Rings: @satomi_kawakita_jewelry and Forest Yayoi | Earrings: @chanluu | Bridesmaid’s attire: @leannemarshallofficial | Planner: @bburgevents | Flora: @__flowerwitch | Catering and Beverages: @thefreehold | Cake: @drunkbakers