James + Janel by Forged in the North
Our wedding ended up being all the things we hadn’t originally wanted – it was tiny, it was DIY, it was on a holiday weekend, and we even asked friends to bring their own beer.
James: We’ve both lived in Brooklyn for much of our adult lives. I work as a financial consultant to universities and Janel works as a software sales engineer. We’re both very social and have a deep love for music – two things that pulled us together. Janel: We met in 2017, sitting at the bar at The Commodore in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. James overheard me talking to a friend about my alma mater, which he also went to, and he leaned over and joined the conversation. After some text banter, we went on one date and have been together ever since.
James: I proposed to Janel in the summer of 2019. I asked one of her friends to tell her that she had a room at the William Vale hotel and to invite her over for an afternoon by the pool. When Janel got to the room, I was on the balcony waiting. I proposed overlooking the neighborhood where we had our first date, and the Manhattan skyline.
As with the entire world, 2020 caused us to throw out plans. Instead of the 200-guest formal wedding we’d planned, we decided to get married on our stoop in front of just 15 socially distanced friends and family. Janel: Our wedding ended up being all the things we hadn’t originally wanted – it was tiny, it was DIY, it was on a holiday weekend, and we even asked friends to bring their own beer. There wasn’t a specific theme — we just knew we wanted it to be colourful and joyful. We asked two of our best friends to officiate, and they were absolute rockstars, putting together a beautiful and loving ceremony. We’re lucky to live on a beautiful street lined with brownstones and a plethora of greenery, so we decided florals would be our big splurge. We followed Flowerwitch on Instagram and loved her crazy colourful arrangements, so we worked with her to build an installation. It’s the main thing people have remarked upon about our wedding.
We had to think about how to safely hold a gathering outside, so we ordered individual pizzas. Then we had a custom-made cocktail bottled individually, and our dear friend Rachel helped design a label for it. For our “big” wedding, we had planned to do formalwear, so when it came to the stoop wedding, we both thought let’s just have fun with it! James chose a light blue, double-breasted suit and went for the sockless look with a pair of suede loafers. I saw my set on Cult Gaia and fell in love. I felt the architectural look of it would play well in the setting and loved that it was casual while still being something you wouldn’t wear in ‘real life’. James: The only thing that went to plan is that we’re now happily married. We’ve had people tell us that not much changes after marriage if you already live together. But since being married, we’ve both felt a deeper union and being able to really assess how we want to build our lives together has been such a joy.
photographer Forged in the North / groom’s suit Reiss / bride’s attire Cult Gaia / planner Advice and tips from TPIM who planned larger cancelled wedding / flora Flowerwitch / groom’s shoes ASOS / bride’s heels BY FAR / rings Mociun / bride’s earrings & bow Anthropologie / catering Speedy Romeo Pizza / beverages Brooklyn Vagabond / cake DIY by Bride’s mum / registry Zola