Though the couple shared several mutual friends, it took years for the two to finally meet. One summer evening, Heather Butler was enjoying her birthday party at a restaurant in New York’s Meatpacking District. Andrew Steinau, attending as a guest, was instantly smitten with the birthday girl and asked his best friend to introduce him. From the moment the two met, the chemistry they shared was apparent to both of them. Little did they know that they would eventually become engaged at another Manhattan spot nearby.
On their way to the beach for Labor Day weekend, Andrew surprised Heather by instead bringing her to the French restaurant set in a West Village townhouse, where the two had their first date. He had reserved a private dining room and decorated it with rustic floral arrangements, candlelight, and framed photos capturing special moments from their relationship. “Andrew got down on his knee and told me all the reasons why he loved me and then he proposed. In a daze, I immediately got down on my knees along with him and he slipped the ring on,” Heather muses. After dinner, Andrew surprised Heather once again. The couple was joined by friends and family for Champagne, dessert, and dancing into the wee hours.
While Heather is a Kansas City native, the lovebirds decided to tie the knot in New York. “Andrew and his family are from New York and I had lived in the city for the better part of a decade. That’s where we met and began to build our life together,” Heather observes. Nearly 150 guests gathered for a sophisticated Jewish ceremony at a farm in the Hudson Valley, all planned expertly by the couple’s wedding designers at Fête. As part of the traditional service, the couple recited personalized vows and were joined under a floral chuppah by both of their families. Andrew’s mother read their ketubah, Heather’s mother read Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” and both mothers jointly wrapped the couple in a tallis belonging to Andrew’s grandfather. Although the ceremony décor featured wildflowers and English ivy, the bride affirms the soirée had no firm theme or color scheme. “I told my bridesmaids they could choose their dresses based on the color of the sky at sunset, which is when our ceremony began. They [also] selected their own jewelry, shoes, and nail polish, [and] amazingly it all came together beautifully,” she reveals.
For the black-tie reception, attendees were delighted with hors d’oeuvres and a three-course dinner prepared with local ingredients from the farm. They also loved the individual napkins calligraphed with their names and the farm’s raw wildflower honey. “I chose this wedding favor as a nod to my great-grandfather. He raised bees on his farm, and I have dear memories of playing with him in the garden while he harvested the honey,” Heather remembers. Another special element of the celebration was the confection. The gorgeous cake showcased real flowers and a topper that served as a surprise for Andrew’s mother. “I recreated the 1940s cake topper that Andrew’s maternal grandmother had chosen on her wedding day. My mother-in-law has always displayed the topper in a beautiful cabinet in her dining room, so I was familiar with the design and adored it,” she says.
Reflecting on her special day, Heather remembers that guest satisfaction was a major decision-making factor throughout the planning process. “For us, service was key,” she affirms. “We wanted our guests to feel special and taken care of.”