Wedding Spotlight: Caitlin and Ryan
By Carly Katz-Hackman
As we pass the halfway mark on what has been an incredible wedding season, I wanted to slow down and reflect on one of my favorite couples of the year: Caitlin and Ryan.
These two got married July 7 at the Metropolitan Building in Long Island City and I have to say it was a banger! The drinks were cold, the food was phenomenal, and the guests all had a blast. So I turned to the couple to learn a little more about how they made it all happen and how Great Performances helped bring their big day to life…
How did you get engaged? What were the steps you took leading up and what did you do right after?
Ryan proposed while we were on a trip with his family in Michigan. We were all staying at a lake house together, and everyone was in on the surprise. The day before, Ryan and his mom went out to scout a good location. (They had gotten a tip on a good spot from his mom’s friend who knew the area well.) Ryan told me we were just going on a quick “adventure” to check out a different beach with a view of the Sleeping Bear Dunes. When we got there, we lay out on the sand for a bit, and then Ryan told me there was a “cool bird” in the brush that I should come check out. There in fact was no cool bird, but once I got up, he got down on one knee and popped the question. I was totally surprised and thrilled (and obviously said yes!), and then the surprises just kept on coming... When we got back to the house after, his family had prepared a whole food spread (with champagne, of course) for us to celebrate. But even better than that, as we rounded the corner of the house out by the lake, my family was there too! (Ryan had secretly invited them up from DC to be part of the surprise.) It was amazing getting to celebrate with both our families there, and even better that we all got to spend the next couple days together on a big Warthin-Karolak family trip where both sides got to know each other. Ryan used the new custom jewelry platform start up, Edelweiss Jewelry to create the perfect engagement ring (and wedding jewelry suite).
How did you go about choosing your venue? What was most important to you when selecting a location for your big day?
We looked through a bunch of New York wedding venue blogs to find options within our price range, and then visited several and frankly couldn’t find one that felt “right”. Then we went to a friend’s wedding down in Baltimore and as we were lamenting not being able to find the perfect place, someone mentioned that they had just been to a wedding in LIC at a really cool venue. We went to go check it out, and it was like BAM—yup this is it! Although we originally wanted to get married in Brooklyn, the vibe at the venue was just too good to pass up, so we went with it anyway. Decor and character were definitely the most important things for us.
You had quite a few specialty cocktails available for your guests to enjoy. How and why did you select these?
We drink rye manhattans at home all the time (Ryan has perfected his recipe), and I knew I wanted a gin-based cocktail in honor of my late grandfather who loved his gin. My best friend’s husband had once made me a white negroni at their place, and I remembered thinking it was really good. So we started ordering them at bars and, indeed, they are delicious! Once we had picked those two cocktails we realized they were both booze-forward, so we figured we should offer something slightly less alcoholic as well. Aperol spritzes are obviously delicious and delightfully refreshing, so we thought they would be a nice cooling option for a hot July wedding.
What message did you want to convey to your guests with your wedding menu?
Ryan played football in college so a number of our friends are big dudes, which meant we needed something filling. But it was a summer wedding, so we didn’t want it to be too heavy. We opted for a number of protein-heavy hors d’oeuvres, started the seated meal off with a seasonal tomato and burrata salad, and then had chicken with potatoes for the entree. Our Event Director from Great Performances, Carly Katz-Hackman, was super helpful in helping us make these decisions. She guided us through tons of options and found something perfect considering our budget and tastes. She made everything easier and made sure that the meal and experience would be ideal.
Photo Credit: ©Kate Edwards Weddings