Jen and MC met in March 2020 on a dating app. In December 2021, Jen proposed with a cross stitch that read, “Marry Me?” and they exchanged engagement rings. Meanwhile, in the summer of 2021, Natalka Burian, author and owner of Elsa and ramonaa bar in Brooklyn, contacted the photographer Sylvie Rosokoff to host a stylish photoshoot at her new event space in the Berkshires—Laura in the woods in Roxbury, Connecticut.
“We connected with a Brooklyn-based floral design and design company Creative Little Sister and started thinking about a stylish photo shoot we could have to really showcase the space, until we realized that Julie, our florist, was also a licensed celebrant,” says Sylvie, “Why not to offer a real, fully-designed free wedding to a lucky couple? They teamed up with a few other vendors and put out a call for real couples to apply to win marriage. Jen and MC were chosen, and their wedding day was a collaboration between their vision and the talents of the sellers.
The wedding had a color palette of muted pastels with a retro twist to play on the design of the house. “It was designed by Yann Weymoutth, who worked with IM Pei as head of design on the Grand Louvre project in Paris,” says Sylvie. “The vibrant pops of color really highlight the quirky beauty of the space.”
The couple invited nine guests to watch them get married on April 23, 2022 and asked them to wear sparkly outfits with sequins or sequins. Although there was no event planner involved, Sylvie handled both photography and coordination for Jen and MC’s wedding day.
Read on to see all the details captured by Sylvie, including a taco dinner from Chingon Taco Truckcocktails Elsaand a cake Yip Studio; some of the vendors who donated their talents for the couple’s big day.
Jen and MC created vellum invitations as well as a separate invitation inviting guests to attend the wedding virtually. The suite incorporated the couple’s sherbet-inspired color palette.
The floral pattern was inspired by vintage elements and “Hackney Kisses,” a book of photographs of couples kissing while cutting a wedding cake in the 1950s. “These black and white images were so sweet… literally”, shares Sylvie. “In researching this book, Julie Guinta, founder and creative director of Creative Little Sister, found this quote: “In every kiss you see the future, the past recedes.” His mind went wild thinking he was caught in this in-between. She wanted to create her own version of this suspended kissing state, a dream space between couples.”
“Creative Little Sister transformed the living room of the house into a flowery dreamscape for the ceremony, with an installation above the fireplace and sculptural arrangements on side tables as well as a look that rose from the floor behind the sofa where the guests were seated,” Sylvie shares.
Jen’s cross stitch proposal was also on display. “I’m so glad I was included in the wedding,” they shared. “It took a month to do and was so hard to keep secret and hidden from MC!”
The couple’s reception was held in the home’s solarium, which doubles as a dining room. The couple’s florist added bud vases to the room’s many windows and decorated the table with more flowers and colorful taper candles.
Place settings featured textured fillers, matte black stone plates with metallic detailing and colored champagne coupes from Estelle colored glass.
Cocktails were offered by the venue’s sister bar, Elsa. The couple had two signature cocktails. Jen chose “The Handsome Grandson”, a gin-based cocktail with basil, bay leaf syrup, pomegranate and lime. MC’s cocktail was “Hotel Danger,” a drink with peach mezcal, chipotle agave, aperol, and lemon. The couple also offered dry cider from Berkshire Cider Project to accompany dinner. They served a sour cider made with locally filled quince with a barrel aged dry cider. “To celebrate in the Berkshires is to celebrate the Berkshires,” says Sylvie, “What better way than with real local apple champagne!”
The couple had a passion fruit matcha wedding cake made by Amy at Yip Studio, which creates inventive designs with natural elements like rocks, moss, and grassy mounds. Jen and MC’s unique wedding cake was decorated with fruit and flowers.
MC wore dark red dress pants from ASOS paired with a white button-down shirt from H&M. She ordered a bespoke suit for the wedding but the shipment was delayed due to Covid closures. “Running around trying to find a last minute suit option for a 5’1″ frame in the male style – in the color – that I wanted, was impossible,” says MC, “Luckily I browsed from old boxes of clothes in my closet and found the fancy red pants that I had never had a chance to wear before and realized they were perfect. Although the white shirt was a little too big, MC rolled up the sleeves and felt it added to the relaxed, confident look she was going for.
I hope more stores and designers start offering more options for us between people who don’t want dresses or suits.
Jen wore a Phase Eight silver sequin jumpsuit. She spent months searching for a sparkly jumpsuit that had the right mix of glamor and comfort. “It was incredibly difficult to find something to wear as a bride that wasn’t a dress,” says Jen, “I hope more stores and designers start offering more options for us between people who don’t want a dress or a suit, but something with a mixture of woman and masc.”
They accessorized it with a pearl necklace from locked love in Jersey City. Jen’s girl gave them a pearl necklace when they were younger, but he’s in Australia to keep it safe. So they couldn’t wear it on the wedding day. “As soon as I saw the pearls at locked love, I knew it would be the perfect way to bring my Nana into the day in a special way,” says Jen. Jen wore her favorite Maybelline foundation, concealer, powder, eye shadow and lipstick in Colorpopand added a shimmering eyeshadow from More shiny for their bridal makeup.
Prior to the ceremony, the couple took portraits around the property with their photographer, Sylvie Rosokoff.
Jen held a lush bridal bouquet in sherbet tones, while MC wore a matching corsage on her wrist.
The bouquet and corsage were finished with matching peach colored ribbons.
Instead of writing their own vows, Jen and MC left that to Julie, their celebrant. “We actually realized the moment we stood in front of everyone that we hadn’t even read what Julie was going to say, so we got to hear it all for the first time with everyone. It was beautiful” , says Jen.
Jen adds, “I just remember standing in front of MC, while Julie read our vows, and feeling the calmest I’ve ever been. As a lifelong anxiety sufferer, I I’ve never experienced anything like it. It was magical.”
The couple had nine of their closest relatives in attendance. “To be able to bring Jen’s dad and sister, Camille, over from Australia for the week was amazing,” MC says. “We spent the night before the wedding playing Uno and laughing for hours, and the morning getting ready together.”
Other family members and friends who were unable to make it to the nuptials watched the ceremony on Zoom. To couples currently planning a wedding, Jen and MC say, “Offering a virtual way to attend like Zoom is amazing. It was even more special to be able to include people across the United States and the world who couldn’t have come for various reasons, and to be able to see them on our special day.
The couple served guacamole and fries during happy hour, along with their two signature cocktails and local hard cider.
A final touch to the wedding looks of the newlyweds? Glitter from a photoshoot that gave their outfits a little sparkle the rest of the night.
“Jen and MC asked for a veggie menu, so Chingon had fun playing with the first vegetables of the season and showing creativity by revisiting traditional dishes,” says Sylvie. “They wanted the food to be as bright and colorful as the happy couple!
The couple’s intimate dinner reception started with salad and elote, followed by tuna crudo tostadas.
The main course was a trio of tacos including al pastor, poblano pepper and grilled cactus tacos. “I still dream about food,” Jen remarks.
Jen and MC shared their wedding cake as their guests gave heartfelt toasts to the newlyweds.
Jen and MC printed thank you cards for their guests in a sherbet hue that matched their menu and invitation suite. They plan to spend their honeymoon in France, but first they will travel to Australia to celebrate with Jen’s family members who were unable to fly to the wedding.
One of the couple’s favorite moments? “At the end of the night, as we all sat on the couch surrounded by flowers, filled with cake, and watched our smallest guest, two-year-old Oskar, do some mind-blowing dance moves.”