Allison and Alistair and are both professional classical musicians; he’s a cellist and she’s an opera singer, so naturally they incorporated elements from their world of music into the wedding. We couldn’t imagine a more beautiful setting for the couple to host their family centered celebration, than the New York Botanical Gardens. Oh my. We’re pretty sure the flowers from Bride and Blossom are making every effort to steal the show though. Get ready for some absolutely gorg images by Aaron and Jillian Photography. Also, how much do you love that the groom is wearing a bright suit??? We put together a guide called “How to Dress Men in Brights” if you want to learn more!
What made the wedding special and unique?
My husband Alistair and I are both professional classical musicians; he’s a cellist and I’m an opera singer. Two of my four bridesmaids are opera singers as well, and for our ceremony, we chose two beautiful and meaningful classical songs for them to sing. For their accompaniment, Alistair arranged the pieces himself for a chamber group made up of some of our instrumentalist friends. It was important to me incorporate a French element, an Italian element, and a German element into the ceremony to pay homage to the art form of my life: opera. The French song was about nature and romance, perfectly suited to our botanical gardens setting, the German song translates to “Your ring on my finger” and was performed just after we exchanged our wedding rings. Our friends are such incredibly talented musicians, we had to show them off! For the Italian, we printed our favorite quote from the opera La Boheme on the front cover of the program. The ceremony was a personalized retelling of the story of us, with a perfect mix of sentimentality and humor.
Tell us about your dress and where/how you found it.
My dress is designed by Suzanne Neville and I found it at Wedding Atelier in Manhattan. For months I had my eye on a completely different dress. I tried it on four times and I still couldn’t get these nagging doubts out of my mind. When I found my dress, I was with one of my bridesmaids, and her reaction made me certain. I called my mom and urgently asked her when she could come into the city. After trying it only once, I had no doubt in my mind, this was my dress! A few months later, my dress designer was scheduled to come to New York for her trunk show so I stopped by the bridal salon in the hopes of meeting her. To my surprise, she gladly made me a sketch of the dress on the spot, chatting with me all the while and posing for pictures with me! I knew from the beginning that I would be breaking many traditions, and one of them was that I didn’t wear a veil. To accessorize, I carefully chose a bracelet and comb from BHLDN and peridot stud earrings from BlueNile. I found my dream shoes by Benjamin Adams and changed into some Tom’s wedges for dancing like a wild animal (which I absolutely did!).
What were some touches added to make it personal?
My husband really values his family lineage, so I know it meant the world to him that he wore his grandfather’s cufflinks on that day. I wore a ring that was given to my grandmother from my grandfather with her name inscribed on it. We loved that we could honor them in some way, even though we were never able to meet any of each others’ grandparents. Also, my best friend removed four buttons from her wedding gown and gave them to me as my “something old”. We sewed them to leftover fabric from when my wedding dress was hemmed and wrapped it around my bridal bouquet.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
My mom spent many months in the hospital dying of a liver disease eleven years ago and her life was miraculously saved by a liver transplant. All of the guests at our wedding knew how much that event shaped our lives, reinforced what was already our extremely close bond, and made us cherish every moment with her. I asked our DJ to mix two songs that are particularly poignant to us, and I danced with my mom after my father-daughter dance. We just hugged and cried and apparently, so did everyone else! Another part I could never forget is the speeches given by my four bridesmaids. We were all incredibly emotional and it was just pure bliss!
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
Alistair and I met during a recording session in New York City. The night started out with a lot of musicians so we could record the big group numbers, but it ended with just us, recording a very intense aria. I was intrigued by this smiley, mysterious cellist. We started dating and had so much fun exploring New York together. Before long we knew this was it! Alistair works at a music festival every summer in North Carolina and I visit him every year. That part of the country is known for its beautiful waterfalls, so one morning we hiked to a pretty remote waterfall. We got super muddy on the way, which added to the charm of what happened next. We sat down on some big rocks and he started saying really beautiful things to me- I still had no idea what was coming. When he proposed with my dream engagement ring I was in total shock! Then we called our parents, who squealed, and proceeded to have ice cream for breakfast. It was a perfect day.
Vendor: Photography: Aaron and Jillian Photography // Reception Venue: New York Botanical Gardens // Jewelry: Blue Nile // Floral Designer: Bride and Blossom // Tuxedo and Men’s Attire: Polo Ralph Lauren, Men’s Warehouse // Caterer: Stephen STARR Events // Dress Store: Suzanne Neville // Dress Store: Wedding Atelier