If we’ve learned anything from the rise of Pinterest and the ever-present “wedding board” (even those secret ones we know exist), it’s that we all love to see people tie the knot. Whether or not you have your own nuptials on the horizon, there’s just something awe-inspiring about seeing someone else’s idea of the perfect wedding come to life. That’s why when this past May our very own market editor, Nicole Akhtarzad (now Nicole Eshaghpour), married her fiancé, Alex, we knew we’d be holding out if we didn’t share her many picture-perfect moments and outfits. After all, she does shop for a living.
From the welcome party to the farewell brunch, continue on to see photos and read about how this bride’s wedding-weekend wardrobe came together for her Memorial Day nuptials in NYC.
"Since about half of our guests were coming in town from Los Angeles, we had a big Shabbat dinner and party at The Plaza Hotel on the Friday night everyone arrived. I knew I wanted to wear something that felt bridal but fun at the same time since I had decided I wouldn't be changing into a party dress the night of my actual wedding."
"I saw this Elie Saab dress on preorder on Luisa Via Roma and Moda Operandi months before it was supposed to come out in-store and knew instantly it was the one. Despite having never seen it in person, I proceeded to obsess over it until the brand happened to open a store in New York. My soon-to-be mother-in-law went in the first day they were open and ordered it, and we were told it would arrive a month or so before my wedding. I continued to look for other dresses in the meantime, but in comparing options to this one, everything fell flat. When it finally came, it was every bit as perfect as I imagined. I wanted shoes that would blend in with the dress, so I styled it with simple silver Gianvito Rossi sandals."
"As you may have inferred from the lack of professional photography, Alex and I wanted our rehearsal dinner to feel relaxed, casual, and intimate, so we held it at our favorite neighborhood Italian restaurant, Il Cantinori, and just had our bridal party and immediate families there. I wore a white lace Rodarte blouse, my favorite Attico jeans, and Dior denim slingbacks."
"Since our wedding took place on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, we got to wake up to our New York Times wedding announcement before it even happened! It was an exciting but funny memory, and I love how our photographer, Ira Lippke, incorporated it into the photos."
"Toward the end of getting ready, my bridesmaids, all of whom were among my best and oldest friends, joined me in my hotel room, and we took photos before everyone put their dresses on. I gave them all these silky, pale pink robes with their names printed on the back that I had found after a lengthy search on Etsy. I had bought myself one too, but I was too comfortable in my pajama set to bring myself to change."
"I initially had a hard time finding wedding shoes because I had gotten it into my head that I should wear something quintessentially bridal. Problem was that none of the many, many white satin shoes I saw felt like my style. When I finally let go of that idea and decided to go for something I would think to wear with any other white dress, I came across another pair of Gianvito Rossi heels I loved—this time they were nude satin sandals with tiny nude crystals all over."
"My wedding dress can only be described as a labor of love. I had this vision in my head from the day I started looking, and appointment after appointment, in both L.A. and New York, I was repeatedly disappointed. In fact, I stopped trying things on after the third one because I knew what I liked and was not finding it. When I finally went to Mark Ingram, my salesperson, Ayana (whom I owe my life to), instantly understood my frustration and suggested customizing something."
"This was the moment leading up to the first time Alex and I saw each other on the wedding day. We both got ready at The Plaza Hotel and met at the center of this marble staircase."
"When I saw this Ines di Santo dress, it had an entirely different bodice, but I loved the train, tulle, and the lace itself. Ayana proposed going with this and having Ines make a custom bodice. We immediately started compiling notes, photos, and possibly even some poorly done drawings to send her. Days later, we got back a hand-drawn sketch of my dream dress by Ines herself."
"After deciding on this dress, my 'I'm never going to find anything' outlook was wiped away. Needless to say, my mom, sisters, and Alex's mom and sister who had all joined me in the process were probably relieved as well."
"When I saw my bridesmaids all dressed up on the day of the wedding, I was truly blown away. I had asked them to all wear pastels with the additional options of gray and nude and had seen all their individual dresses beforehand, but seeing them all together was something else. At one point I was worried everyone but one or two would end up in blush, but somehow everyone ended up with a different color, and I couldn't have been happier with the outcome."
"This was right as we left the hotel to head to the the venue. Alex didn't see my dress until the day of the wedding, but I was with him when he selected his tuxedo from Louis Vuitton. Even before any alterations, it fit him and his style perfectly."
"For obvious reasons, we only spent about five minutes at the Brooklyn Museum before knowing it would be our venue. It was the first spot our wedding planners took us to, and we actually didn't even look at a single other place after."
"With it being so large and the exhibitions constantly changing, I hadn't even been to this small portion of the museum, which was full of sculptures, until we started taking photos there that day. Aside from the obvious beauty of the sculptures, it was also home to some great natural light."
"When my dress initially arrived for the first fitting, the designer had purposely sent it with the thicker straps and a higher back and neckline so that we could tailor it to the perfect shape. We trimmed it down millimeter by millimeter about five times until it was perfect."
"My veil was essentially a mirror image of my dress's train but longer and with the lace extending up the sides until my elbows or so. Between photos and the ceremony, I probably only wore it for an hour in total, but I loved the way it came out."
"I'm sure everyone thinks this, but I think I had the cutest flower girls ever! The two on the left are my nieces, and on the right are my cousin's children. They looked adorable in their matching dresses and wreaths."
"For someone who spent months agonizing over dresses, shoes, and accessories, I went the opposite route when it came to the décor of my wedding. Between different meetings and conversations, Alex and I probably spent a total of one hour (maybe two) discussing design with our wedding planners, Jung, Allison, Stephanie, and the rest of the team from Fête in New York, and they pretty much made this all happen."
"In terms of colors, we knew we didn't want to go the all-white route but wanted a somewhat neutral palette at the same time. We loved the look of the big branches, so we had cherry blossoms with a bunch of other smaller arrangements on each table."
"Of the many flowers that were on the tables, this one, described by our wedding planner as the 'Dutch still life' arrangement, was my favorite."
"Immediately after the ceremony, I took a momentary rest before resetting for the party."
"The train of my dress was so long that in order to have a somewhat normal-looking bustle, we had to cut the bottom layers to the length of the floor and only bustle the top layer of tulle and lace. It worked out, but if you scare easily or aren't as comfortable with alterations, I would recommend not having someone take scissors to your wedding dress the moment you end the ceremony! In the end, however, it all worked out."
"This was one of the few moments dancing that night that we weren't closely surrounded by our friends and relatives!"
"As a lover of all things monogrammed, when the team at Ron Ben-Israel told me we had the option to put our initials on the cake, there was no question we were signing up for that."
"In Iranian culture, in every wedding or wedding-related celebration, there's usually a point toward the end of the night where the guests all throw flowers on the bride and groom while singing along to traditional wedding music. It was special and definitely worth finding petals in my hair and dress for the rest of the party."
And Then, We Brunched
"Because of the anything-goes nature of the post-wedding brunch, I actually ended up having more options than I knew what to do with for our morning-after meal at Freds. I landed on this floral Giambattista Valli dress and René Caovilla sandals, both of which I chose because I could totally wear them again."