I asked Megan if she’d share her wedding planning experience (planning two wedding events in two different states!) with my readers and she was thrilled to share what she learned. If you’re planning a non-traditional wedding, you’ll want to hear her story & tips. So, in her own words:
In a bit of a twist on tradition, my now-husband Marvin and I decided to have two wedding events to celebrate our marriage with our favorite people - a small wedding with our families in Vermont (near where the groom grew up), and a party with a big group of friends in Brooklyn (where we live now).
In the end, it was the perfect solution for us because we got to maximize our time with our favorite people, in two places that are special to us - although it was definitely challenging at times to plan two different wedding events, a few weeks apart, in two different places... in six months.
Which brings me to makeup, hair and Pamela Rose Beauty! We threw our Brooklyn party at Livingston Manor, a cocktail bar in Downtown Brooklyn. (A plug for Livingston Manor, and a few other local vendors, below.) We wanted our wedding party to be it’s own distinct thing, more party less wedding, with a look and feel to match the relaxed, industrial vibe of the space. In keeping with that spirit, and to try to keep costs down, I thought I would do my own hair and makeup for the party. (One of many naive moves throughout the wedding planning process!)
For my actual wedding, I had some very rocky hair and makeup trials, though everything worked out great in the end. Through this, I learned a few important things: that it’s hard to find someone who gets your style, who can do makeup that is natural and “you” but also heavy enough for a long day and many photos, and that your hair and skin can misbehave on an important day, and you’ll really wish you had a professional!
So with very little time left I tried to find a makeup artist in Brooklyn for our wedding party. I found Pamela through great Yelp reviews. I particularly liked how she mentioned natural products, which is important to me. She is also basically my neighbor, living around the corner in Park Slope! Pamela graciously offered to help me with a simple updo, as well.
Pamela made the day of our party so much more relaxing and enjoyable for me, knowing I was in the hands of a professional! Pamela is just lovely, too. The makeup was perfect - light and natural, and lasted all night. I loved seeing which natural products she used, because my experience has been hit or miss. I also appreciated that she gave me some samples of the products to take with me that night (powder, a much complimented lip color, etc.).
I hope anyone considering having two (or three) smaller parties to celebrate their wedding will go for it. It was logistically difficult at times but a great experience for us in the end. For Brooklyn brides, I also hope you’ll trust Pamela Rose Beauty to make you feel like your most beautiful self on that most important day!
Venues: We looked at many, many venues - I feel like I could write a guide to Brooklyn weddings on a budget. It can be so expensive to rent any space for any kind of party in NYC. We were fortunate to eventually be connected with one of the owners of Livingston Manor (Downtown Brooklyn) through a friend. Matt was responsive and gracious. The food, drinks, and playlists were awesome. Many of our guests commented on how nice the staff was. We hosted welcome drinks at Dirty Precious (Gowanus), a women-owned cocktail bar that doesn’t charge a fee or minimum to reserve their back room. The day after our party, we organized an informal brunch at Berg’n (Crown Heights) - big communal tables, no reservations, something for everyone, and for those who were hungover, greasy food and a bar.
Tailor: AMadden (Gowanus) tailored my off-the-shelf wedding dress as well as my party dress, and did a fabulous job with both. Amanda is calm, precise, and knowledgeable.
Flowers: I almost fainted when I saw how much flowers cost in Brooklyn, compared to Vermont. A friend recommended Midtown Florist (Boerum Hill). Their prices were much more reasonable, and they deliver. They mocked up a wildflower arrangement during my visit so we knew we were on the same page.
Bakery: Baked (Red Hood) is one of my favorite bakeries, and evidently one of the few that deliverers within Brooklyn.
Photographer(s): We asked two architectural photographer friends to take photos at our party. They got some great captures, but I do wish we hired someone for at least part of the evening. The dim lighting was a challenge, and there are actually very few photos of my husband and I together! Had time and energy not run out, I would have liked to have found an up-and-coming photographer to take photos for an hour. Parting advice!