Samm + Kerry by Brown Paper Parcel

Samm is a photographer and Kerry is a computer technician. We both love animals, traveling to chilly mountainous locations, camping, British sitcoms, various cheddar cheeses, the original Dr Mario, sarcasm and bawdy humour.

We both fantasize about having a large property with an animal sanctuary and are trying to agree on where to move to once we grow tired of city living. We met briefly at a comedy show. Kerry was working the sound booth. A few months later, we crossed paths again at a photography exhibition and ended up chatting at a bar until 4am. Our first date was three days later.

The proposal happened spontaneously. Kerry had purchased the ring earlier that day with the intention of proposing on our anniversary the following week, at a park bench where we had our first kiss. Instead I came home after a long run, dripping in sweat, and Kerry proposed in the living room. He didn’t want to wait another week. I was completely caught off guard as I was kind of expecting the proposal the following week. 

We both felt that a traditional sit-down dinner wedding was not for us. I had photographed more than 500 weddings and wanted ours to feel different, like a party. We booked out a neighbourhood bar for the night. Tuffet has a cute, quintessential Brooklyn backyard perfect for the ceremony and an indoor space for the party to follow. They served cheese and charcuterie boards, pizza and salads, with custom sangrias.

Our florist, Strega Flora, interpreted my vision as “Sofia Coppola/pastel punch/60s fever dream”, which was spot on. She made a backdrop out of fresh and dried flowers and tinsel, and filled the inside of the bar with dried flower arrangements in vintage swan vases and 250 heart-shaped helium balloons. Each guest took a bunch home and woke the next morning with heart balloons over their beds. I also commissioned an artist to do illustrations for my invites, then hand-dyed paper and printed them at home. She illustrated the flags of countries we have visited together, our cats as mer-cats playing the banjo and violin, and there’s a nod to our origins in the form of Australian flora and a New York pretzel. 

Our wedding was on a Wednesday because all my weekends were booked up with work. Rather than going into hiding before the ceremony, we both greeted guests as they arrived and had champagne with them. We had planned to walk down the aisle together, but at the last minute, I got sentimental and wanted my parents to walk me down the aisle. Space was tight and all three of us couldn’t walk together, so I sent my mum ahead as the ‘flower mum’. Kerry is not a suit guy so we invested in a nice jacket and paired that with a shirt and his favourite black Levi jeans. Having witnessed many weddings over the years, I prefer it when the groom walks down the aisle too. There was a huge roar of applause when Kerry came down the aisle. We also made a conscious decision to face our audience during the ceremony. We wanted to see their faces rather than have our backs to them. 

We have had an unusual start to our marriage. Our honeymoon was cancelled. We both got COVID in New York. We were at our worst at different times, so we were able to look after each other. The experience brought us closer together and being locked down for months has taught us how important it is to have different interests and hobbies away from each other.

photography @brownpaperparcel / bride’s dress @divineatelier / groom’s jacket @bonobos / groom’s shirt @jcrew / groom’s jeans @levis / engagement ring @jenniferdawesdesign / ring @rosaliefaith.ny / bride’s earrings @versace / celebrant @deepakawesome / illustration (invites) @angelamitchell_artist / bride’s boots @sezane / venue & catering @tuffetbar / makeup @annychow / hair @theandycane / flora @stregaflora / entertainment @jamesmulry / cake @bakednyc