Vintage Reception on the East River

Julie Taras & Benjamin Wallach
The Tobacco Warehouse in Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, Dumbo, Brooklyn
October 7, 2007

Ben proposed to Julie at Top of the Rock: The two have a penchant for all things classic-New York, so it was a perfect spot despite so many ogling tourists. Months passed, and the wedding planning was going well—until their venue, Sky Studios, abruptly canceled their wedding. The event space was sold, leaving them, and seven other couples high and dry. “We had to re-plan everything in three months!” After a whirlwind of contingency planning, they still managed to throw the twenties-style party they had envisioned from the start, this time on the other side of the East River. To give the night more retro flavor, they projected a loop of clips from black-and-white movies about New York—old PBS specials and famous dance sequences from Astaire to Travolta—onto the tent. All’s well that ended well.


Bride’s Gown: Vera Wang
Hair and Makeup: Thomas Clancy for John Sahag and Once Upon a Bride
Groom’s Suit: Ermenegildo Zegna
Music: D.J. Nicole Leone; Red Hook Ramblers
Event Designer: Matthew Robbins of Artfool
Invitations: Peculiar Pair Press at Kate’s Paperie

Click to Read Their Story
Photographs by Raquel Reis

Our escort cards were authentic New York City postcards from the 1800s and 1900s which we found in flea markets and on eBay.

Our friends at Milk & Honey”Sasha and Matty”tended bar in suspenders and waistcoasts. They served classics: Dark & Stormy, Ivy Gimlet, Gold Rush, Prosecco Rose.

We needed a band that could play George Gershwin”s “Rhapsody in Blue”“it”s the song at the beginning of Woody Allen”s Manhattan, and Ben wanted me to walk down the aisle to it. We found our band, the Red Hook Ramblers, a fantastic New Orleans jazz band, literally two weeks before the wedding. They got the sheet music and learned it for us. They led everyone toward the river, right under the Brooklyn Bridge, where the ceremony was held.

We had a vintage-style photo booth. Guests took half of each photo strip and pasted the other into our guest book. The booth short-circuited! There was a fire, and my mom and brother had to put it out. I didn”t have a clue until the next day.

For the black-tie dinner, we did a foodie potluck where five of my friends, all New York City chefs, each contributed a different dish. The group included April Bloomfield of the Spotted Pig, Alex Raij of T”a Pol, Tony Liu of August, and John Reilly of R. Cano Events. I contributed one as well; I”m a chef at Little Giant, a restaurant on the Lower East Side.

I wanted a twenties or thirties look and to incorporate feathers. I found a milliner, Leah C. Couture, in the fashion district. Her forte is custom feather work. I wore a French demi-veil and spent a long time looking for vintage bracelets on eBay” I found two for my maids of honor, but ended up buying mine at Saks.

For the cocktail hour, Alex”our friend and the chef at T”a Pol”did all the hors d”oeuvre.

Vintage Reception on the East River