Little did Colleen Smith know that she would meet her future husband, Mike Dunn, at work. “The most memorable thing to me was how early on Mike told me he would end up marrying me,” she smiles. “We started dating towards the end of 2014 and the rest is history.” Three years later, Mike popped the question beneath the Manhattan Bridge. “All of a sudden, Mike was down on one knee and I thought he was joking,” Colleen tells. “My sister was there to take pictures and celebrate.”

During their 16-month engagement, the lovebirds spent less than a year planning their dream wedding with help from their trusted wedding team. “We were so glad to have a wedding planner to help keep surprises to a minimum and get things done!” the bride shares. Despite their Brooklyn residence, they opted for a wedding away from the city. “If we couldn’t get the city views, we wanted something peaceful outside of the city with ‘to die for’ views,” Colleen explains. “The second we walked into [our venue], we knew the view could not be beat.” The big day commenced with a lovely Catholic ceremony that was officiated by the groom’s former high school principal. After they officially tied the knot, guests had a musical surprise awaiting them. “Our best man had a bagpiper outside of the church playing after the ceremony,” shares the bride. “It was awesome!”

The floral décor of the reception incorporated multiple blooms to complement the color palette of metallic and dusty purple. “Our florist suggested adding bright purple in the mix and it really made things pop,” the bride tells. “Reception centerpieces were loose bouquets with wildflowers, champagne-hued dahlias, amnesia roses, succulents, eucalyptus, and a pop of purple for color.” Some unique elements of the occasion included place cards hand-drawn by Colleen’s friend, a buffet table featuring an array of food truck selections, and a donut wall. “We had a donut wall with local apple cider donuts and hot cider for guests at the end of the night.” The celebration was complete with the sounds of a live band that kept revelers on the dance floor.

Reflecting on her special day, Colleen encourages engaged couples to consider hiring a wedding planner. “Take some stress off of yourself and hire some help, whether it’s to plan or for the day of,” she confides. “Plus, wedding planners negotiate on your behalf, so they end up paying for themselves.”