From the beginning I knew I did not want one flower in sight.   Lots of things changed when planning this wedding, but that never did: No FLOWERS.    

Brian and Mae-Sue tied the knot in front of 125 guests at New York’s  Giando on the Water on July 19, 2018.  Brian and Mae-Sue consider themselves low key.  They love to sit home and watch tv or movies or cook together but also enjoy going out for drinks socially.   Their daughter, Monroe, is the center of their universe and receives top priority when it comes to time city excursions.   Brian and Mae-Sue got engaged 2 years after they got married, and 3 years after they met.  I’ll let Mae-Sue explain.

Brian and Mae-Sue, a Love Story

Brian and I met in June 2012. Although we’d been working for the same organization for 10 years we hadn’t really crossed paths until that summer. We went out to dinner with some coworkers one night and I forced my number into his phone.  I couldn’t tell if he was just shy or not interested, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. We went on our first date and have pretty much been inseparable since then.  In January 2013 we found out that we were pregnant. We were shocked and worried, but decided that we were ready to raise a child together.  On June 27th, 2013 Brian and I went to City Hall with my parents in tow.   We didn’t make a big deal about it, and didn’t tell any of our friends what we did.  It was important to me that we were married before our daughter was born, so we got married, changed our clothes, went to work, and then went to BBQ’s that night to celebrate.   We got married on our 1 year anniversary,  but there were no rings, or a lot of family involved. We decided that the more traditional things would happen organically, when we felt ready.   Our story is tricky in terms of the order in which we did things, but it worked for us.  Within a year we did what most people do in 2-3 years.  Raising a kid and getting to know your life partner at the same time was very challenging, but they say when you know you know, and I knew before I even got pregnant that Brian was my forever. It certainly hasn’t been easy, but we worked really really hard to get where we are now.

The Proposal

I remember that morning I was doing last minute dress shopping for our anniversary dinner, and my friend Saachi was so concerned about what dress I was going to wear. My sister and mom were overly concerned with the condition of my nails. In the moment I thought nothing of it, I was just thinking to myself “man, they really want me to look good for Brian, I must’ve been falling off or something”.   As the day progressed, I started wondering if Brian had planned some surprise anniversary party or something. So, we headed over to Buddakhan restaurant and it was pouring raining.   We get inside and everything is going well, we order our food and we eat. Then the waitress walks over to our table with a plate of dessert and a candle and I was like whose birthday is it?? Next thing I know she puts the plate down and it says “Mae-Sue, will you marry me?” I was still confused after reading the plate. I finally figured out what was going on when he was on one knee with a ring.  After dinner, we headed to Pier A, where our closest friends and family were waiting for us. It was the best night ever!

The Wedding

We wanted our guest to feel loved.  I didn’t want a lot of extra stuff to take away from sharing our love with each other and our friends and family.  I also want them to remember the sheer amount of candles that were present that day.  I wanted candles, candles and more candles and our wedding planner Terri Ann of Dream Plan-It Events delivered even more candles than I had dreamed of.

In a way it felt like because we had gotten pregnant so soon, and because we went to city hall, celebrating with our friends and family was just not a priority.   Initially we said we were going to invite 60 (yeah right!) of our closest friends and family members. We just wanted to share our love with the people we love and who have helped us get to where we are. Once we buckled down and really started to plan it, and to see our vision come to life it became an unforgettable day.  The love that was felt that night was unforgettable. Everybody should experience that at least once in their life. 

Our ceremony had to be my favorite part. It was not traditional. Our immediate family was in our processional including our daughter and 1 year old niece. I walked down the aisle by myself.  It wasn’t structured in the traditional way that ceremonies usually are. I always said “This is not a wedding”, I bought my veil a week before the wedding because I swore I would not wear a veil.  I just wanted the ceremony to be about us, not all the traditional stuff that happens. And for a random Thursday in the middle of July the weather was absolutely perfect, it wasn’t hot or too sunny.  I loved that Brian and I read our own vows to each other and Aretha Gaskin (our officiant) had some personal things to say about us as well.

I never understood flowers, yes they’re pretty to look at but then they die; I also don’t think that they smelled that great.  From the beginning I knew I did not want one flower in sight.   Lots of things changed when planning this wedding, but that never did: No FLOWERS.   My mom had to threaten me for me to even carry a bouquet. Candles to me are romantic, and elegant, and bright, and sexy and inspiring and all the things our relationship is.  I wanted candles everywhere, and I got it, and I loved it. But don’t be fooled, candles are not that much cheaper than flowers.

To future Coordinated Brides I would say to work with your partner but be firm with your non-negotiables.   I’m lucky enough to have a partner who is very agreeable, but will also let me know when I’m taking things too far.  So I know if Brian is hesitant about an expense, than it must be something that needs some reconsideration. So, know what you want but understand that planning a wedding makes you crazy, so be willing to listen to someone who’s not in your head and may be more reasonable than you in the moment.

Vendor Collaboration

Bride’s Gown: Maggie Sottero from RK Bridal Bride || Shoes:  Badgley Mischka || Groom’s Tux: Robbie & Co. || Groom Shoes: Aldo Rings: Kay Jewelers

Wedding Planner + Designer:  DreamPlan-It Events  || Venue + Caterer:  Giando on the Water  || Officiant:  Aretha Gaskin || Makeup Artist: Whitney Rae Makeup Artistry  || DJ:   DJSpynfo  || Photo + Video: DavidBertram  || PhotoBooth: Hipstr Photo ||Cake: Brianie Pabon  || Decor: Dream Plan-It Events,  Long Island Party Rental and Evolution Rental