Venue: Bowery Hotel, NYC
Hair/Makeup: Christyna Kay
Florist: Belle Fleur
Cake: Sylvia Weinstock
Reception Band: Soho Rhythm
Wedding Planner: Lindsey M. Events
Courtney and Phillip exchanged vows at a wedding at the Bowery Hotel that was truly a pleasure to photograph. Lindsey Mckitterick planned the flawless day that was rich in beauty but richer in spirit.
The Bowery Hotel is a stunning and inspiring venue for a wedding. It is a rethought jewel that has emerged polished from the once rather rough Bowery. Paul Goldberger, in a Vanity Fair spread, quoted the 1939 WPA Guide to NYC which rather vividly describes the Bowery as a place that was once where “flophouses offer a bug-infested bed in an unventilated pigeonhole for twenty-five cents a night.” The revival of an area of Manhattan is often at the mercy of gentrification as least aesthetically, but the Bowery retains its character and urban grit even as it adds its own flavor of posh. Courtney and Phillip immediately fell in love with the Bowery Hotel (as did I) and saw it as a stage for a wedding that was “classic with a touch of bohemian flare.” The hotel is adorned with thoughtful elements of architectural salvage, which when done right transform an old sink or well-trodden rug into objects of romance and inspiration. The design is very rich but does not burden the eye. Courtney expressed that “the Bowery has such a relaxed yet classic feel and it almost reminds me of California. I lived in Los Angeles for just over 5 years and the energy of the space at the Bowery, especially the outdoor terrace, reminded me of the laid back feel that I love so much about California. ”
In the often hi-pressure cooker of Manhattan weddings, having a bride and a couple that can appreciate being laid back is a grace worth noting. That laid back feeling was evident in the design and decor – with long dramatic candles that brought the elegance of a French Chateau to the Lower East side. The tablescapes in their simplicity were a delight to a photographer that has witnessed some occasionally overzealous creations. Courtney kept the flowers to a simple green and white theme to keep the “the night feeling fresh and light.” – and of course one could feel as if the flowers had just been cut and taken there in a basket from some impressionistic meadow near Giverny. The Bride and Groom photos were taken in Elizabeth Street Gardens which matched well with the decor and theme and provided a perfect setting and touch of romance. The Gardens are a delightful respite in our grey city- whose sculptures make the park feel as if it was a chopped off from some French provincial estate.
I often ask my couples how they met and am very perceptive to the small subtleties in their answers (after all, every wedding photographer learns to be a psychologist as well ). Courtney told me that she and Phil met through their sisters, Megan Rosen and Georgina Clemente in 2012. The first thing however that Courtney remarked to me was not that their eyes were caught in an unbroken gaze but that “Phillip and I realized quickly that we are very similar in personality and demeanor.” It is sometimes a honest breath of fresh air to read that the first thing you remember when meeting your partner was not the perfume she was wearing or the pick-up line he used. Perhaps it is a cliche that compatibility of personalty is so important to the success of a marriage- but it is advice not often enough followed. The wedding was laid back, but this is of course as much a reflection of the simple flowers and design as it is on the nature of the couple and their families. There is of course nothing more pleasurable than to go through life with a sense of ease and Courtney and Phillip are blessed with that inherent sweetness, flexibility, and sense of perspective that is not easily learned. It doesn’t often happen in hectic and stress-inducing NYC – but it happened here- and I can only send my congratulations to a couple whose whose love, like those tall tapered white candles, will burn long.