Professional event planner Alexandra Rembac envisioned a wedding to Jonathan Goldberg that reflected the couple’s relationship: easy, effortless, and natural. “I wanted everything to be very personal, very real, and celebratory of our love (and love in general),” shares the bride. After experiencing a period of “wedding block,” Alexandra was suddenly struck by an idea for a theme: The Writing on the Wall.
“Once I communicated how our love for quotes, romance, and writing represented everything that Jonathan and I amount to, it just made sense,” explains the bride of the creative and unique premise.
Alexandra also desired an outdoor ceremony held in a verdant environment, followed by a dramatic indoor reception; however, she found it difficult to find a single venue that could offer both scenarios. When a colleague suggested a unique space downtown that boasted an urban courtyard, the bride began to contemplate all the beautiful possibilities.
“The venue was in the city far from actual nature, so we incorporated lush elements into the ceremony space,” Alexandra asserts. “We brought in an aisle runner of grass so I could fulfill my vision of walking on lawn, then added an abundance of cascading smilax to accentuate the courtyard.”
Tufted boxes linked by garlands of greenery lined the aisle and held an abundance of snowy blooms. King palm trees and olive branches added to the romantic garden setting, while a chuppah constructed of lush foliage evoked nature in a glamorous way by sporting a crystal chandelier. Ceremony seating was designed to be both formal and chic, and included a mix of pewter chiavari chairs, benches, and sofas.
The writing theme was woven seamlessly into the ceremony. “Words were purposely present on some of the boutonnière’s, the flower girl’s floral parasol, the handkerchiefs left on the chairs of special family members, and on our custom, handmade ketubah,” shares the bride. Marriage advice solicited from loved ones prior to the wedding had been compiled into a reading that was given by a friend. “So many people sent lengthy responses that we decided to combine their words with our engagement photos to create an extended guest book,” adds Alexandra. “It was a great additional way to incorporate the premise of writing and love into our wedding.” The couple even wrote their own vows, the groom’s chosen words eliciting tears from a number of guests. “I wasn’t expecting such a big response from 15 lines I composed the night before the wedding,” Jonathan admits, “but I did enjoy hearing that I made certain people cry!”
The cocktail hour featured a truly distinctive touch: a portrait exhibit dubbed “The Goldberg Gallery.” Photo canvases of the pair’s engagement session filled nooks in the venue’s foyer. Portraits were spot-lit on gallery walls and accompanied by description cards. “It was a labor of love,” says Alexandra of the work-intensive feature, “but so special.”
At the appointed time, drapes were pulled back for a dramatic reveal of the reception space. Bathed in amethyst lighting, baroque columns stretched 45 feet to meet ornate arched ceilings illuminated with a rose motif. Linens in shades of arctic blue swathed tables of different sizes, and were occasional accented with inserts or caps of white flowered fabric. The bride’s desire for a luxuriant setting was realized through the liberal use of moss, exposed stems, and smilax as décor elements, plus a variety of floral compositions that featured hydrangeas, tulips, calla lilies, orchids, and roses.
The couple’s love of words was reflected throughout the reception. “The escort-card display – which included an eclectic assortment of frames that displayed guests’ names on actual walls – was the literal translation of our theme,” says Alexandra. Letters composed of foliage spelled out phrases down the centers of feasting tables, and jeweled frames that featured literary quotes were placed atop napkins. Even an ice sculpture was inscribed with writing.
The one element with which Alexandra remained completely hands-off was the couple’s exquisite wedding cake. “As a planner, I always surprise my brides with little details, so I allowed my cake designer – who has become a very close friend over the years – surprise me,” she says. The design featured all of the bride’s favorite details: bows, roses, tufting, some sparkle, and lettering. A moss-covered pedestal displayed the delectable masterpiece. “It was my dream wedding cake!” Alexandra confirms.
In lieu of wedding favors, donations were made to two animal-rescue organizations close to the couple’s heart. While having four-legged friends in attendance wasn’t a logistical possibility, the couple’s beloved pups were there in sprit as well as photographs, their sweet mugs front and center on signage at every table.
Although he surrendered most of the wedding conceptualization and coordination to his eager bride (“Never act like you don’t care, but in the end, the day is about her and what she wants,” he advises grooms), Jonathan was admittedly thrilled with the outcome of the day. “Our wedding was perfect,” he says, and then mischievously adds, “It should have been – I married a wedding planner!” And Alexandra was thrilled with their choice of wedding theme. “The quote ‘grow old with me the best is yet to be’ resonated with me, because after facing all of the challenges and struggles of life together, we were finally approaching all of the good stuff,” she explains. “The best really was yet to be and I was ecstatic to celebrate that with our guests.”