Photography by Cappy Hotchkiss.
Antastasia & Wilmot met and first lived together in New York City, so they wanted to showcase everything the city has to offer when they celebrated their wedding with 175 family and friends. Having held their welcome dinner at the clean, modern hotel The Standard the night before, they chose the elegant (and a little gothic) The High Line Hotel as their reception venue, ensuring a dose of classic New York glamour. (And if you’re anything like me, one of life’s weird people who isn’t that into cake, be ready for some serious inspiration when you see their cake alternative: a major, and really beautiful, savory tart display!)
Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? We chose The Church of the Ascension as it’s where Wilmot’s parents were married in 1970!
Your ceremony in three words. Traditional, literary, musical.
What was your ceremony music? We asked Dave Eggers, a celebrated cellist, to play with his string ensemble. We chose Tchaikovsky’s String Quarter #1 in D Opus 11 Andante Cantabile for the processional, then for a meditation Haydn’s Concerto no 1 in C Major for Cello and Orchestra, and for the Recessional, Vivaldi’s Concerto in B flat for Violin, Cello and Orchestra: Allegro.
How did you go about planning your ceremony? We really enjoyed the experience of marrying in a church! To our surpise, we both really enjoyed the required counceling sessions with the minister leading up to the ceremony, when she got to know us to help best decide how to plan the ceremony. We said traditional vows, and that was important to us. These promises have already been created for a reason and we like the message in each of them.
Who officiated your ceremony? How did you choose him/her? Reverand Elizabeth Maxwell officiated. We met her when we decided on the church and thought she was a wonderful person to have the experience with.
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? We followed pretty standard Episcopal wedding traditions.
What were your ceremony readings? Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116, Book of Romans 12: 9-18 NRSV and Chapter 58 of Henry Melville’s Moby Dick.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? We loved the music and the readings. We picked readings and music that were very personal to us, such as Anastasia being half Russian and having a real affinity for Tchaikovsky, and Moby Dick being a book Wilmot loves and references often.
What were your vows like? We said traditional vows from the Book of Common Prayer.
How sweet is these quiet moment alone together in the rectory, straight after the ceremony?
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? Walking out of the church at the end, to a flurry of pink rose petals, was pretty amazing! Kind of like the twilight zone with everyone cheering for us – overwhelming and exciting all at once.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Don’t worry about anything the day of the wedding. Everything has already been planned as much as possible!
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? At our escort card table, we included some photos of our parents’ and grandparents’ wedding days. It’s maybe a bit trite, but it felt nice to somehow include our grandparents in the day that way. And both sets of parents have been married about 45 years and we wanted to celebrate what that pretty major accomplishment!
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Other people’s wedding stories were an inspiration, which helped us to come up with our own unique versions.
Why did you choose this location for your reception? Once we had decided on NYC, we had to find the right venue. We saw a picture on line of the main hall at The High Line Hotel and decided to check it out. It’s gorgeous, traditional and very unique in a city that is starting to be overrun with more modern or rustic venue designs. It’s grand but quirky so it is not pretentious. Plus, we have gotten coffee at the ground floor café there many times when checking out galleries in Chelsea so felt pretty comfortable there.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Don’t think you will start or stop planning the wedding at a certain point just because you have months or even years before the actual day! Planning expands to fit the space available!
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? Unless you plan to really do a DIY wedding, most costs will end up being the same across the board for quality vendors, so determine what you can spend and don’t waste much time shopping around if you found someone you’d really like to work with.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We actually aren’t into cake! Our plated dinner included dessert which satisfied people’s need for something sweet, but instead of an actual ‘wedding cake’ we asked Once Upon a Tart to create an incredible display of savory tarts. There were fifteen tarts displayed on a long table on different tiers. Visually it was awesome and they tasted amazing.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? Walking into the dining room to an applause was again an incredibly overwhelming and exciting moment.
What was your first dance song? Our first fance was ‘Harvest Moon’ by Neil Young. This was an easy choice as we both are big Neil Young fans, have always loved that song, and there was a harvest moon on our wedding night!
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. We loved the toasts given by our friends and family and all the dancing! So much happy energy.