Jen and MC met in March 2020 on a dating app. In December 2021, Jen proposed with a cross-stitch that said, “Marry Me?” and they exchanged engagement rings. Meanwhile, in the summer of 2021, Natalka Burian, an author and owner of Elsa and Ramona, a bar in Brooklyn, reached out to photographer Sylvie Rosokoff to set up a styled shoot at her new event space in the Berkshires—Laura In The Woods in Roxbury, Connecticut.
“We connected with Brooklyn-based floral and design company Little Sister Creative and started thinking about a styled shoot we could put together to really showcase the space, until we realized that Julie, our florist, was also a licensed officiant,” Sylvie says, “Why not offer a fully-designed real, free wedding to a lucky couple?” They teamed up with a few other vendors and put out a call for real couples to apply to win the wedding. Jen and MC were chosen, and their wedding day was a collaboration between their vision and the vendors’ talents.
The wedding had a color scheme of muted pastels with a retro feel to play off the design of the house. “It was designed by Yann Weymoutth, who worked with I.M. Pei as chief of design on the Grand Louvre Project in Paris,” Sylvie says, “The vibrant pops of color throughout really underscore the quirky beauty of the space.”
The couple invited nine guests to watch them tie the knot on April 23, 2022, and asked them to wear sparkly outfits with sequins or glitter. Although there was not an event planner involved, Sylvie took on both the photography and coordination for Jen and MC’s wedding day.
Read on to see all of the details Sylvie captured, including a taco dinner from Chingòn Taco Truck, cocktails from Elsa, and a cake from Yip Studio; some of the vendors that donated their talents for the couple’s big day.
The floral design was inspired by vintage elements and "Hackney Kisses," a photography book of couples kissing while cutting wedding cake in the 1950s. "These black and white images were so sweet...literally," shares Sylvie. "Researching this book, Julie Guinta, founder and creative director of Little Sister Creative, found this quote: 'In each kiss you see the future, the past recedes.' Her mind went wild thinking of being caught in this in-between. She wanted to create her own version of this suspended kiss state, a dream space between just couples."
"Little Sister Creative transformed the house’s living room into a flower-filled dreamscape for the ceremony, with an installation above the fireplace, and sculptural arrangements on side tables as well as seemingly growing out of the floor behind the sofa where guests sat," shares Sylvie.
Jen’s proposal cross-stitch was also on display. "I’m so glad was included in the wedding," they share. "It took a month to make and was so hard to keep secret and hidden from MC!"
The couple’s reception took place in the house’s solarium, which doubles as the dining room. The couple’s florist added bud vases to the room’s many windows and decorated the table with more flowers and colorful taper candles.
Cocktails were provided by the venue’s sister bar, Elsa. The couple had two signature cocktails. Jen chose “The Handsome Grandson,” a gin-based cocktail with basil, bay leaf syrup, pomegranate, and lime. MC’s cocktail was the “Hotel Danger,” a drink with peach mezcal, chipotle agave, aperol, and lemon. The couple also offered dry cider from Berkshire Cider Project to pair with dinner. They served a sour cider made with locally foraged quince along with a dry barrel-aged cider. “Celebrating in the Berkshires means celebrating the Berkshires,” Sylvie says, “What better way than with a truly local apple Champagne!”
The couple had a matcha passionfruit wedding cake made by Amy at Yip Studio, who creates inventive designs with natural elements like rocks, moss, and grassy knolls. Jen and MC’s unique wedding cake was decorated with fruits and flowers.
MC wore dark red suit pants from ASOS paired with a white button down shirt from H&M. She ordered a custom suit for the wedding, but the shipping was delayed due to Covid shutdowns. “Running around trying to find a last-minute suit option for a 5’1” frame in men’s styling—in the color—I wanted, was impossible,” MC says, “Luckily, I went through old boxes of clothes in my wardrobe and found the fancy red pants I never had an occasion to wear before and realized they were perfect.” Although the white shirt was a little too big, MC rolled up the sleeves and felt it added to the casual and confident look she was going for.
I hope that more stores and designers start offering more options for us in-between folks who don’t want a dress or a suit.
Jen wore a Phase Eight silver sequin jumpsuit. She spent months searching for a sparkly jumpsuit that had the right mix of glamour and comfort. "It was incredibly difficult to find something to wear as a bride that wasn’t a dress,” Jen says, “I hope that more stores and designers start offering more options for us in-between folks who don’t want a dress or a suit, but something with a blend of femme and masc.”
They accessorized with a pearl necklace from Love Locked in Jersey City. Jen’s nana gave them a pearl necklace when they were younger, but it is in Australia for safe keeping. So, they couldn’t wear it on the wedding day. “As soon as I saw the pearls at Love Locked, I knew it would be the perfect way to bring my Nana into the day in a special way,” Jen explains. Jen wore their favorite Maybelline foundation, concealer, and powder, eye shadow and lipstick by Colourpop, and added a sparkly eye shadow from Glossier for their bridal makeup look.
Before the ceremony, the couple took portraits around the property with their photographer, Sylvie Rosokoff.
Jen held a lush bridal bouquet in shades of sherbet, while MC wore a matching corsage on her wrist.
The bouquet and corsage were finished with matching peach-colored ribbons.
Instead of writing their own vows, Jen and MC left that up to Julie, their officiant. “We actually realized the moment we were standing in front of everyone that we hadn’t even read over what Julie was going to say, so we got to hear it all for the first time along with everyone else. It was beautiful,” Jen says.
Jen adds, "I just remember standing across from MC, as Julie read our vows, and feeling the calmest I’ve ever been. As someone with lifelong anxiety, I’ve never experienced anything like it. It was magic."
The couple had nine of their closest loved ones in attendance. “Being able to have Jen’s dad and sister, Camille, fly over from Australia for the week was incredible,” MC says. “We spent the night before the wedding playing Uno and laughing for hours, and the morning getting ready together.”
Other family and friends who couldn't make it to the nuptials watched the ceremony on Zoom. To couples currently planning a wedding, Jen and MC say, “Providing a virtual way to attend like Zoom is amazing. It made it extra special to be able to include people across the US and the world who wouldn’t have been able to make it for various reasons, and to get to see them on our special day.”
The couple served guacamole and chips during the cocktail hour, along with their two signature cocktails and local hard cider.
One final touch to the newlyweds' wedding looks? Glitter from a photoshoot that leant some sparkle to their outfits the rest of the night.
"Jen and MC requested a vegetable-forward menu, so Chingón had fun playing around with the first vegetables of the season and getting creative with a new spin on traditional dishes," shares Sylvie. "They wanted the food to be as bright and colorful as the happy couple!"
The couple’s intimate reception dinner started with salad and elote, followed by tuna crudo tostadas.
The main dish was a trio of tacos including al pastor, poblano pepper, and grilled cactus tacos. “I still dream about the food," remarks Jen.
Jen and MC printed thank you cards for their guests in a sherbet shade that matched their menu and invitation suite. They plan to spend their honeymoon in France, but first, they will travel to Australia to celebrate with Jen’s family members that couldn’t fly in for the wedding.
One of the couple's favorite moments? "At the end of the night, when we all just sat on the couch surrounded by flowers, filled with cake, and watching our littlest guest, two-year-old Oskar, bust some killer dance moves."
Venue Laura in the Woods
Coordinator Sylvie Rosokoff
Officiant Julie Guinta of Little Sister Creative
Jen’s Attire Phase Eight
Jen’s Jewelry Love Locked
MC’s Shoes Florsheim
Engagement Rings Macha
Floral Design Little Sister Creative
Invitations & Paper Products Goods Gang
Cider Berkshire Cider Project
Catering Chingòn Taco Truck
Cake Yip Studio
Photography Sylvie Rosokoff