Erika & Hayward’s Artistic and Eclectic Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO Loft Wedding
I love it when couples choose to incorporate elements celebrating their heritage and today’s featured couple, Erika and Hayward did just that. Erika is part Japanese and Hayward is Jamaican so their decor and food choices reflected it — think origami cranes and Caribbean food! Their wedding details also reflected Erika’s passion for writing and a little nod to Haywards’ former work as a train conductor. I also love how they bent traditional rules and got married right on the steps of the Brooklyn Bridge Park, the site of their first date! To top it all off, the colorful graffiti in DUMBO provided a delightful artistic backdrop to their couple portraits which suited their eclectic wedding to a T.
Yup, this wedding is chock-full of creative inspiration and we have Nicki Fietzer of De Nueva Photography to thank for the wonderful submission. Here she is with a few more words about the day:
Erika and Hayward were married outdoors at Brooklyn Bridge Park in NYC. They brought together a variety of cultural elements, including both of Erika’s Japanese and Hayward’s Jamaican backgrounds. Erika had a beautiful peacock theme to her style, and also carried a bouquet made of book pages, as she is a writer and a journalist. Erika’s aunt also put on a belly dancing performance at their reception!
Let’s get to know the lovely couple a little bit better. Erika and Hayward met while they were living in Brooklyn. They struck up a conversation over books and hit it off. He was a train conductor. She was a journalist. They both seemed to have a love for knowledge, curiosity, travel, family and having fun. They both now live in California, and are expecting their first child in July, a girl.
Their wedding, in Erika’s own words:
Our wedding was eclectic, multicultural and random — a celebration of our conjoined lives. Individually, neither of us has ever fit into a single box. Together, we still don’t and we like it that way. Hayward was an immigrant from Jamaica who moved to Brooklyn as a child and became a true New Yorker. Erika is half-Japanese, half-white midwestern girl who ended up loving big city life. Both of us have spent our lives straddling different worlds, embracing people of all backgrounds and defying stereotypes. It was only natural that our wedding would do the same.
We had a lot of personal touches. First off, we had the ceremony on the steps of Brooklyn Bridge Park, because that was the area where we had our first date. My dress was second-hand — my best friend bought it for her wedding then got pregnant and couldn’t wear it. So the dress fit me and it had meaning because I had been with my best friend when I bought it.
For decorations, we had a friend bring in some of his beautiful art work and hang it on the loft walls. We also had handmade origami cranes.
For the ceremony, we used $1 books (from The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles) as centerpieces — really random books, from Hayward’s sci-fi and philosophy books, to my literary journalism favorites. Most guests had probably not heard of many of the writers on the tables. We made personalized bookmarks for each guest. We also photocopied a NYC Subway map and put it on the back of the menu, which featured our Caribbean/Japanese-inspired food: jerk chicken, callaloo, teriyaki salmon, beef negimaki rolls, curried chicken skewers, gyoza, and Japanese fried rice. We even had homemade sorrel drinks, a Jamaican speciality.
The reception was the best, kicked off with a bellydancing tribute frommy aunt, and a Harry Belafonte song — “I left my little girl in Kingston town…” sung in English and Japanese by my father. Basically, this wedding could not have been more uniquely “ours.”
The details are fun, but don’t stress if things don’t match perfectly and all of that. Obviously we didn’t care about having everything perfectly color and theme-coordinated. Our bridal party was a mismatched array of blues and yellows. In the end, your guests really just care about seeing you happy, and eating and drinking of course. If you are worrying about what they think of your decor choices, or that they might criticize, then they probably shouldn’t be at your wedding in the first place. Also — a wedding planner on the weekend of helps tremendously.
Thank you Nicki for sending this beautiful non-traditional wedding my way and congratulations Erika and Hayward! Here’s wishing you a lifetime of married bliss! 🙂
Photographer: Nicki Fietzer, De Nueva Photography
Venue: Dumbo Loft
Wedding planner (helped weekend of and with odds and ends): Jazlyn Caraval, Just Lovely Creations Event Planning & Decorations
Wedding flowers: (Bride’s note: we had origami flowers with book pages for bouquets and lapels) Posh Studios
Food: Spoonbread Catering
Party Rentals (plates, flatware, linens etc) Jodi Jacobs / Lauren DiGioia
Reception Flowers: (Bride’s note: Red Rose & Lavender brought billyball flowers – enough for small vases on tables & two large bouquets for decor) Kimberly Sevilla, Rose Red & Lavender
Food Truck: Treat Truck (bride’s note: handed out boxes or 3-4 treats later in evening from a food truck outside after wedding)
Decor / Interior Design: Thuy Ngo helped with décor/interior design — made lanterns, pom poms, beautified tables etc…)
Image submission via Two Bright Lights