Featuring bold colors, an unforgettable venue and of course a fabulous couple, Evan and Dina, this wedding was all about the drama. Bringing together friends and family from around the world, these two wanted to give their guests a taste of New York City in an intimate way. We love the way Evan and Dina incorporated classic family photos (their table numbers used their photos, which corresponded to the age they were when the photo was taken) and thoughtful, comfortable hospitality. Dina loves roses, so they made an appearance, not just in the florals but also in her one-of-a-kind Pnina Tornai wedding dress. Personal details are always so fabulous.
Evan + Dina | September 1, 2013 | New York City, New York | Dress Listing: Custom Pnina Tornai
Angel Orensanz is an event space that had originally been designed by a German architect in 1849 as a Jewish synagogue on the lower East Side of New York City. It is one of the oldest surviving gothic-revival synagogues in New York, but is longer used for religious services and is mainly an event space. We knew that we didn’t want to get married in any “traditional” space like a church, hotel, or restaurant. When we saw Angel Orensanz, we fell in love with the style, its unique history, and the fact that it was right in Manhattan where met and fell in love.
We held the ceremony on the first (main) floor of the space. We really wanted it to come from us, and to not focus too heavily on religion but rather our views on marriage and our hopes for our life together. We did do the traditional Jewish breaking of the glass, and we invited all of our guests to leave us wishes and advice on paper that was locked in a wine box along with a bottle of wine. We will open the box, read the advice, and drink the wine many years from now, with our family and friends in mind, and memories of our wedding day. We also each wrote our own vows, which we did not share with each other until the wedding ceremony. I thought his were much better than mine!
We also had one aunt from each side do a reading. We chose “Falling in love is like owning a dog” by Taylor Mali and “Blessing for a Marriage” by James Dillet Freeman. We wanted our families to be able to be involved beyond just our parents, who did give their blessings as part of the ceremony as well. The vows were the most personal for me though. I hate speaking in front of crowds so I was a nervous wreck but it was an important detail for both of us, our personal commitment to each other.
The cocktail hour was on the second floor of the same venue, on large wrap-around balconies that overlook the main floor. We hung sheer curtains throughout so you could still see the gorgeous lighting but couldn’t quite make out that they were turning the space to prepare for the reception. White dahlias floating in tilted glass spheres were on the cocktail tables, and pillar and votive candles at the landings and steps and around the seating areas.
For the reception, we had a photo booth with a ton of props next to the bar. We also had a lounge area just off the dance floor with two vignettes of lounge furniture — one consisted of a tufted sofa, a blue velvet armchair, a gold armchair and a coffee table and the other had a tufted bench ottoman accented with a coffee table and other furniture from the venue for additional seating. After dinner, we had a dessert buffet and a late-night snack buffet that came out around midnight, with sliders and mac ‘n cheese cups. Both tables got devoured!
For table numbers, we used three-panel gold photo frames with the table number in the center panel, with a photo of each of us in the side panel from the age corresponding to the table number. We got a lot of laughs from those and I think the families especially enjoyed those. We kept seeing people taking photos of our photos!
The seating cards were gold Ferrero Rocher candies with everyone’s name inserted through the top attached to toothpicks. I didn’t want any element to be without glamour and fun!
Dina’s Dress Search
I think I tried on every dress in New York City. I went to every major bridal boutique in the city and tried on every couture gown I could find but no matter the price, it never quite took my breath away, until this one. Wedding dress shopping is a lot like dating!
When I put it on, I looked in the mirror, and just went “wow…..”. It was the only dress that I had that reaction to. But that didn’t keep me from coming back and trying it on twice more on two separate appointments before I finally committed to buying it! I just wanted to be really sure, and in the end, I said yes to the dress!
When I was at Kleinfelds, I saw a bridal sash that Pnina made, and had her sew it onto the dress for me. The center jewel just complemented and offset all of the other beading so flawlessly, it looked like it was made for that dress! I tried on several Pnina gowns and in the end was torn between two. So, I had Pnina make me a custom gown. I liked the top from one dress, the fabric of the skirt from another dress, and the modified A-line shape of the skirt on another dress, so I had her combine all three for me, and add the sash, shorten the train, and drop the waist a bit because I really love her dropped, elongated waist corsets. In the end, it was a truly custom, one-of-a-kind gown that I absolutely feel in love with!
The skirt is a modified A-line with silk organza roses. I love roses, and loved that I could incorporate them on my dress and throughout my wedding. The top is a deeply-detailed, beaded, and jeweled – it’s really one of a kind.
How Dina Felt in Her Wedding Dress
Beautiful, poised, unique
Why Dina Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress
Dresses are really expensive, and you’re not going to wear it again. I was fortunate enough to be able to afford a dress that cost $14k, but that’s not an option for many people. I wanted to give someone else the chance to wear this gown for a much more reasonable price, and also to give this exquisite gown one more chance at being admired. It’s so beautiful — it shouldn’t be cooped up in a box, it should be worn!
Wedding Dress: Custom, One-of-a-kind Pnina Tornai | Photography: Todd Laffler | Ceremony + Reception Venue: Angel Orensanz Foundation | Event Planner: Just About Married | Floral Design: Belle Fleur | Cake: Heather Barranco Dreamcakes
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