It takes some real imagination to turn a garden retail store into a wedding venue for a night... but that's just what Jessica and Ivan (with a little help from some pretty great wedding and event professionals) did for their September nuptials. Keep in mind though that this is Williamsburg, so the space they started out with at Jungle Design was a far cry from, say, the Garden Center at Lowe's!
Picture this... Behind a giant metal industrial garage door is a secret garden, trees and shrubs and plants of all colors and sizes surrounding you, green ivy climbing up the brick wall of the adjacent building, open to the sky and the elements. There are seating areas hidden in the nooks and crannies all around - cute wooden benches, a white spray-painted table set, a couple of sleek lounge chairs - and glowing lightbulbs strung across the branches above. A narrow walkway leads to a covered patio, a small wood burning stove in the center and modern rustic garden furniture and sculptures staged perfectly and naturally. It's a pretty magical place honestly, somewhere to get away from it all for a few moments, right there in the middle of Brooklyn. And then you remember this is a garden store. Seriously? Well, perhaps we'll call it a carefully curated garden boutique. Anyway, I digress...
Williamsburg had very much become a part of this couples' love story. It is where they met, where they fell in love, and where they created a home together. Many guests were travelling into NY for their wedding and the couple wanted to share this neighborhood, which had grown to mean so much to them, with all of their loved ones. Since many friends and family members would be meeting each other for the very first time on their wedding day, they wanted an intimate, laid back, and interesting setting where everyone could mingle and have a good time. When they came across Jungle, Ivan and Jessica immediately knew they'd found the perfect place for their event.
The plan was to have the guests gather in the garden space for the ceremony while we stood in the archway leading to the patio. We had to work around some rain on the day of, but I think the improvised solution worked out even better than the original staging. With the misty garden behind us, Jungle looked like it was actually living up to its name, and it gave us an awesome ceremony backdrop too!
Jessica and Ivan had provided open and honest responses to their questionnaires, giving me an abundance of inspiration to craft a heartfelt account of their love story. Their ceremony, filled with both laughter and tears, set a joyful tone for the rest of their celebration that evening.