Kate & Sean’s Intimate Bookstore Wedding in NYC


Ready for another week of funky wedding inspiration? Let’s get the proverbial ball rolling with this sweet celebration that took place in a New York City bookstore!

Kate & Sean wanted an intimate party so they chose to hold their wedding at the cozy Housing Works Bookstore Cafe in SoHo (which, along with The Strand, just so happens to be among my fave haunts in the city back when I lived there). Seriously, what could be more comforting than committing to your love while surrounded by family, friends, and tall walls of classic tomes? Kate is a self-confessed bookworm (which explains the quirky venue) and they are both designers so they DIY-ed what they could. Since the books are already decorations in themselves, it left room for the couple to focus more on each other and the things that matter to them.

nyc bookstore wedding

Really digging this candid walking shot because it naturally shows the love between the couple as well as the bustle and  energy of the streets of New York. Again we have Jacob Murphy of JBM Wedding Photography to thank for the beautiful photos on this page (see his work on a previous feature, Kate & Dave’s Cape Cod wedding)! Jake had nothing but fond memories of this event:

I was so lucky to shoot Sean and Kate’s wedding! They are such a vibrant and creative couple. Everything from the invitation to the venue was photogenic, not to mention the couple! It’s always a thrill to work with my fiancee Ash* as well. She makes sure that everyone is looking great for their portraits. I loved how intimate the occasion was and it was in such a unique setting. The cobblestone streets of SOHO may not be fun to ride a bike on but they’re certainly a pleasure to shoot on!

* Ash Orzol, Jake’s fiancee, is Kate’s hair and makeup artist.

NYC bookstore cafe wedding

I love the elegant simplicity of the laser-etched wood invites Kate designed! Their Save the Dates were classic book cover postcards which perfectly set the tone for their bookstore wedding.

nyc bookstore wedding

nyc bookstore wedding

How gorgeous is Kate? Brides with chin-length hair might want to take inspiration from her hair-down do too, it’s both modern and classic!

nyc bookstore wedding

NYC housing works bookstore wedding

nyc bookstore wedding

housing works bookstore wedding

NYC bookstore wedding

NYC bookstore wedding

Let’s get to know the lovely pair. Here’s Kate with the details:

Sean and I met my sophomore year at Syracuse University. We hit it off right away and a week after meeting went on our first date. From that point on we were inseparable. Four years later during a trip to his dad’s farm in upstate Illinois, Sean surprised me with a diamond. When we came back to NYC, we designed my engagement ring together.

The first look…

nyc housing works bookstore wedding

nyc housing works bookstore wedding

nyc bookstore wedding

NYC bookstore wedding

Our bride shares more about their wedding:

For our wedding, we wanted something that felt very much like us and intimate. I am a huge bookworm and as soon as we walked into Housing Works Bookstore Café, we knew it was the perfect venue. Once we knew where the wedding was going to take place, the rest of the design fell into place. Sean and I are both designers so we tried to DIY what we could and for everything else, we used local vendors. We used Penguin classic book cover postcards with a custom stamp from Plurabelle Calligraphy as our save the dates and I designed the invitation that we then had laser etched into wood cards.

NYC bookstore wedding

NYC bookstore wedding

NYC bookstore cafe wedding

NYC bookstore cafe wedding

Neither of us is religious but we wanted a loving, spiritual ritual that we could incorporate into our ceremony. Both of us have Irish heritage and decided to do a traditional Celtic handfasting ceremony. We really liked the meaning behind it of literally ‘tying the knot’. Sean’s mom was a textile artist and we used a piece of fabric she designed for the ceremony.

NYC bookstore cafe wedding

nyc bookstore wedding

housing works bookstore wedding

What an adorable couple! The books provide such a warm and homey backdrop for their portraits too.

nyc bookstore wedding

Housing Works bookstore wedding

nyc bookstore wedding

nyc bookstore wedding

housing works bookstore cafe wedding

We really wanted our wedding to be more like a party and wanted our families and different groups of friends to mingle. We had a cocktail reception and carried the finger food theme through the desserts as well with French macaroons from our favorite local bakery and bite-sized cupcakes.

housing works bookstore cafe wedding

housing works bookstore wedding

housing works bookstore wedding

As a book lover myself, I would LOVE to be invited in a bookstore wedding like this one!

housing works bookstore wedding

nyc housing works bookstore wedding

Parting insights from the couple:

Our wedding turned out just the way I imagined and Jake did an incredible job capturing our special day. We both knew Jake from college (in fact he was my freshman year RA) and when we were thinking about photographers for the wedding both of us immediately thought of him. He is great at capturing intimate candid moments and making you feel comfortable in front of the camera.

housing works bookstore wedding

Thank you Jake for sending your beautiful work on this awesome wedding my way, and congratulations Kate & Sean! Thank you for sharing your special day with us. 🙂

Photography: JBM Wedding Photography
Hair and makeup: Ash Orzol
Save the Dates: Penguin Classic Cover postcards
Custom Stamp: Plurabelle Calligraphy
Invitation Design: the bride
Invitation etching: Bullfrog Graphics
Bride’s Dress: Brides by Demetrios
Brides’ Shoes: Seychelles
Brides’ Headband: Ansonia Bridal Veils
Groom’s suit: J.Crew
Groom’s shirt: Outlier
Groom’s shoes: Cole Haan
Groom’s tie: his own
Groom’s pocket square: Thomas Pink
Flowers: Kat Flower
Bridesmaid dresses: Alfred Sung
Officiant: Jesse Hendrich
Ceremony music: NY Ceremony Music
Rings: Greenwich Jewelers
Venue and Catering: Housing Works Bookstore Café
Cake round: Amy’s Bread
French macaroons: Cookie Road
Cupcakes: Kumquat Cupcakery
Blue cake round: Bountiful Cake Plates

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One Comment

  1. Oh! Another bookstore wedding! These images are so super lovely and fun!

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