Joanna & Jan’s Chic Long Island New York Wedding


The weddings I feature may mostly border on quirky and non-traditional but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate classic weddings — especially ones that are simply gorgeous and personalized to the hilt.

Today’s featured couple Joanna and Jan (pronounced “Yon”) had such a wedding in the city where they met and fell in love. Their lovely union not only bound them together as man and wife, they also made sure to give nods to their respective heritages by incorporating customs from each of their cultures into their celebration. Take a look at these beautiful photos sent in by Long Island photographer Tessie Reveliotis.

new york city wedding

New York wedding

(Honestly, this romantic subway photo instantly sold me to this submission. I hold a special place in my heart for New York City where I went to design school a while back.)

New York wedding

This shot made me LOL! Tessie gives us an overview of what transpired:

Joanna and Jan reminded me of the golden era of Hollywood movie stars. She is a classic beauty and he is your handsome, charming gentleman. We shot at the Pelham subway station, where they met and we shot beautiful portraits on the beach at their reception venue. Joanna’s Greek heritage was represented in the beautiful ornate church where they got married and Jan’s family from Germany sent a traditional German garden gnome as a gift that was presented during the speeches. All throughout the course of the day they possessed that grace and elegance of the Hollywood stars as they danced and walked through the reception hall to greet each of their guests. Their style, their colors and their details all complement the feeling of their theme of their wedding day.

chic new york city wedding

chic NYC wedding

new york city wedding

new york city wedding

chic new york city wedding

Classic beauty Joanna is also here to tell us more about her and Jan, and their wedding:

I am the oldest of 3 girls from a tight-knit Greek family. I am a physical therapist and Pilates instructor with a love for ballet, dance, food, wine and travel.

Growing up in the Bronx made me the city girl I am and the 6 train became a frequent part of that. Then, with Jan, we took many rides downtown together and many late night return rides home. I wanted something different about my pictures. Something private and intimate but fun and the idea came to me to take them at the Pelham Bay station. Tessie jumped on board (no pun intended) and I told her the look I was going for — romantic, ’40’s, candid, flirtatious. Like time was standing still — “Kiss By The Hotel de Ville” style. And she sure captured that!

modern new york city wedding

contemporary new york city wedding

Just how stunning is Joanna?

new york city wedding

new york city wedding

Jan and I met our freshman year of college (Binghamton University). I had heard friends of mine in the dorm talk of this “Jan” and I almost thought he didn’t exist because he was never around when I was… until the night we bumped into each other in the hall of the dorm. We stared at each other for what felt like hours. And he uttered the first words “how come I haven’t seen you around here before?” Someone from down the hall yelled “hey Jan” and I then said “wow, so you’re Jan!”. That’s where it began for me (and him too he says). But we wouldn’t start dating till our senior year for various reasons.

Jan is a mechanical engineer, drummer, car enthusiast, snowboarder,  soccer player and an only child born in Germany and moved to NY when he was 8). We both love the same kind of music: indie rock, emo, punk, folk. We go to concerts often. I’m a Rangers fan and he’s a Penguins fan but we come together to root for the Giants!

We dated about seven years before he proposed. He proposed on Christmas eve in front of our families. I always imagined him asking me in private on the beach or something, but it really was perfect having my sisters and parents right there! I am really close to my family and he knew that from day 1.

Jan was baptized Greek orthodox so we could get married in my church. (This being so important to me and so personal for him was the most manly thing he had ever done for me).

New York Greek wedding

The church (Zoodohos Peghe Greek Orthodox Church) is in the Bronx a few blocks from where I grew up. The iconography is beautiful! Tessie really captured it.

new york city wedding

new york city wedding

New York wedding

new york long island reception

We love the beach so we knew in some way, part of our wedding had to be on one. Of course though we had to get married in a church. We chose the Crescent Beach Club in Bayville, Long Island.  It was perfect! The sand, the sunset, steel drum band during cocktail hour…

The wedding was already pretty Greek with the ceremony and Greek music at the reception so we incorporated Jan’s German heritage at the rehearsal dinner the night before at Plattdeutsche Park restaurant in Franklin Square on Long Island. Excellent German food and beer! No polka at the wedding. His parents agreed LOL.

New York wedding

new york wedding

My gown was by Jim Hjelm bought at Kleinfelds. I didn’t want the traditional white shoe so I had a black accent put on the dress and found the black shoes I had in mind which I bought for all my bridesmaids. I also did not want the guys in rentals because they don’t make slim styled rentals. So we bought Jan a real nice black slim fit suit and (after asking them of course) the guys bought slim suits for a great deal because we were buying 6. They all stated that after being in so many weddings it was nice to finally keep a suit! It really wasn’t much more expensive than renting.

new york wedding reception

New York reception

I wanted classic colors. Black and cream with magenta as an accent. I liked the damask pattern. Flowers needed to be classic… and also magenta (but the right shade of course)! Jerome Florist on tremont ave in the Bronx found the exact shade I was imagining. Tess (not the same Tessie) at the flower shop did a wonderful job giving me the look I wanted — clean and natural with the same flowers thoughout: the bouquets, boutonnières and centerpieces, with curly willow for the centerpieces.

New York wedding reception

new york damask wedding

new york wedding

new york wedding

The table numbers were a fun idea we had together that a good friend of ours shot at the arboretum near Oyster Bay on Long Island. We were trying to think of something different. Perhaps naming the tables after Greek gods or places we wanted to go on vacation. But then we thought of being the actual numbers!  Some of them were real tough!

new york wedding

We had cupcakes instead of a wedding cake, Blue Point beer and we rode in a 1950’s Cadillac instead of a limo. We had pictures of us all over the place at the reception cataloging our years together. Oh and we had a photo booth at the reception that was a hit with everyone!

Our taste in music became clear as our wedding party entered the reception to “Black Betty” by Ram Jam and the we dramatically entered right after the intro to “Everlong” by the Foo Fighters. Our wedding party proceeded to ‘mosh pit’ with us. Our first dance was to “Love, Love Love” by As Tall as Lions. We had rehearsed a dance together which I was later told was sexy! But I think it was nature of the song (plus the love pouring out of us).  Our first dance was immediately followed by “Love Song” covered by 311 which everyone was invited to dance to. Then the Greek music began and the place was rocking!

After our best man and maid of honor speeches, one of our German guests prepared a few words and presented us with a garden gnome! German of course!

new york wedding reception

Tessie’s photos just was the icing on the cake. After seeing them for the first time I realized that everything i pictured in my head looked the way I wanted it to.

Thank you Joanna and Jan for allowing us a peek into your beautiful celebration, and a huge thanks to Tessie for sharing their gorgeous wedding photos with all of us!

Photographer: Tessie Reveliotis Photography
Floral Designer: Jerome Florist
Reception Venue: The Crescent Beach Club
Bridal Gown:  Jim Hjelm

Images submitted via Two Bright Lights

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