Michael & Lysee's Minimal Fall Wedding

Photography by Alex Liebman,  AJL Studio

Photography by Alex Liebman, AJL Studio

How did you two meet?

We’re an internet couple!  We met on OkCupid about five years ago.

Who proposed and how did it happen?

The Proposal, Part One / Lysee: Michael and I have a tradition of going to Beacon, NY every year for our anniversary and staying at the Roundhouse. Beacon is a beautiful small town about 2 hours north of the city along the Hudson River. The Metro-North lets you off at the edge of town and you walk through Main Street about half a mile to get to the Roundhouse hotel - an incredible former textile mill that sits on a waterfall. Along the way, we stop at our favorite record store, vintage shop and chocolate shop. Michael had called the hotel in advance and got us upgraded to a room that overlooks the waterfall. We had a dinner reservation a couple hours later in the hotel restaurant. We decided to lounge in the room before dinner and I turned the TV on and landed on the movie Inception. I was pretty lost in the movie, but noticed Michael kept getting up to look out the window. After an hour or so, Michael suggested we go take a walk. But at this point, I really wanted to see how the movie ended. (Truth be told - I had seen it before…) Once the movie ended, we got dressed for dinner and decided to take a walk before our reservation. We ended up on a bench by the waterfall watching a wedding take place across the water. As many of you may know, I am obsessed with wedding food, specifically appetizers. I decided to look up the suggested wedding menu for The Roundhouse hotel. I proceeded to read off every single appetizer offering in detail.. there were about 30 options! Michael is sitting next to me, not nearly as excited by wedding hor d’oeuvres as I am, and proceeds to reach into his jacket. I thought he was kidding and slapped his hand away, going back to reading about a roasted tomato soup shooter and fresh ricotta with local honey drizzle….

The Proposal, Part One / Michael: We went to the Roundhouse the past two summers at the same time to celebrate our anniversary of dating, so there was nothing out of the ordinary about me planning a weekend getaway upstate in mid June. The Roundhouse is a beautiful hotel in a repurposed textile mill in the quaint town of Beacon NY. As always, we walked from the train station through town to the far end of Main St. where the hotel is located. It’s always a little tiring, which is why Lysee must have insisted on laying on the comfortable hotel bed watching Inception. I looked out the window across the river to the bench where I was planning to propose once I was able to convince my potential fiancé to go for a walk, or Inception (run time of 2 hours and 28 mins) ended. I cringed a little each time someone approached the proposal site and glanced at the bench. If the A/C hadn’t been cranking I would probably be drenched in sweat. Finally Inception ended and it was out the door. I had gone into the bathroom during a particularly dramatic moment of the movie and moved the ring box from my weekender bag to the pocket of my denim jacket - the package was in place.

To continue reading Part Two, please visit Michael & Lysee’s wedding website >>>

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What was the overall vibe you were trying to achieve with your wedding?

I definitely found myself using the term ‘minimal’ in a lot of my wedding search terms.  I didn’t want anything too grandiose or over-the-top. I wanted it to feel like ‘us’.


Michael and I initially wanted to get married upstate in or around Hudson Valley (where we got engaged), but we just couldn’t find a venue that we loved that was within our budget. We stumbled on The Green Building one day while we were walking our dog and we just knew it was the spot. The truth is, we love our neighborhood so much - so to have our wedding so close to our apartment and be able to work with all local vendors - just felt appropriate. On top of that, the overall vibe/aesthetic of the venue perfectly fit within my vision.
— Lysee
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If you could relive one moment from the wedding, what would it be?

Our vows and first dance felt incredibly intimate, especially since we were being watched by 100+ people.  Yet somehow it felt like only Michael and I were in the room. When I think back on the wedding, exchanging vows and our first dance really stand out in my mind.  We listened to our first dance song so many times and practiced swaying in our kitchen, but when it actually happened it felt so, so magical.

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First Dance Song:

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What other music did you choose for your day?

  • Getting Ready Song/Playlist: Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour

  • Processional Song: Jose Gonzales - Heartbeats

  • Recessional Song: Talking Heads - This Must Be the Place

  • Final Song of the Night: Van Morrison - Wild Night


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Two part question: What was the most important part of your wedding party, and what did you decide to let go, pending budget restraints, lack of time?

Music was very important to us.  I work in the music industry, so it was important that our music fit our taste.  We’ve been to so many weddings that had a ‘top 40’ playlist and that’s just not our style.  We loved working with our DJ, James, to set up the playlist. He took our song list and then added in some tunes that perfectly fit the vibe.  We got a ton of compliments and the dance floor was packed all night.

I’m not sure we ‘let go’ of anything - any roadblocks we encountered, we just found another way to make it work.

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Your favorite picture from the wedding:

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Are there any traditions you upheld or gave a special twist to? And/or were there any traditions you said NO WAY to?

It was important for Michael and I to bring in an officiant that knew us - we’re both non-religious and we wanted the ceremony to feel personal and not too ‘stiff.’  We brought in my cousin, Chris, who we’ve spent several summers with up in Maine. He was honestly the perfect person for the job and the tone was exactly what we wanted.  It was personal and lighthearted.

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Was there anything that came up during the wedding planning process that you didn’t expect?


For some reason, I was surprised by the amount of paper goods.  In my head I had only accounted for invites and Save the Dates and had fully forgotten to account for all the other things: menus, escort cards, seating chart, cocktail menus, etc.  My friend, Liz, is an incredible graphic designer and she helped me design everything.

What advice would you give to someone starting the planning process?

It really does not need to be stressful.  There is zero reason to bombard yourself with countless options and decisions.  When you find something you like, trust your gut and stick with it. If you taste a cake and it’s delicious - go with it! - you don’t need to taste a dozen more cakes from different vendors and make your life difficult.  Just go with what feels right and don’t overthink it.

What advice would you give to someone in their first year of marriage?

An open line of communication is #1 - being able to communicate and talk through everything and anything.  

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What does your marriage look like in 20 years?

I hope to be in the same neighborhood - likely in a bigger apartment with a bigger family!  

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VENDOR CREDITS:

Venue: The Green Building

Coordinator: Starling

Dress: Lovely Bride

Make Up: Jenn Blumm

Hair: Rachael at Fox & Jane

Shoes: Christian Louboutin

Suits: The Black Tux

Catering: Purslane

DJ: James Mulry

Photographer: Alex Liebman at AJL Studio

Florist: Megan Moriarty at MKM Design

Photobooth: Mirmir

Cake: Wild Flour

Ice Cream: Van Leeuwen

Hotel: Brooklyn Bridge One Hotel

Bachelorette Spa Day: City Well

Ring (Hers): Vrai & Oro

Ring (His): Holden

Skincare: Rescue Spa

Mani + Pedi: Hortus Works

Rehearsal Dinner: Frankie’s 457


Holiday Party Inspiration from Tinsel & Twine

The countdown to sparkly dresses, lots of bubbly, and awkward small talk with your boss is on. To celebrate holiday party season, our design pals at Tinsel & Twine took over the styling of the Green Building and 501 Union to show off the true spirit of a stellar holiday party: the beautiful mess of the aftermath! Read through for their expert tips for creating an unforgettable night!

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1) Create a stylish lounge area that provides the perfect place for guests to perch, drop glasses, and kick of shoes between dance sets. 

2) Since guests will likely be spending quite a bit of time at the bar, we like to use this space as a blank canvas for striking flowers, lights, or other decor details.

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3) The venues feel polished without being stuffy, and intimate with enough floorspace for spins and  high-kicks. Our clients have always had an amazing time there. And any given party tends to look like this by the end of the night: a beautiful mess!

4) We love the Gatsby-esque spectacle of serpentine streamers. Pick a big moment-- a toast or kiss at midnight-- and cue a bass drop for a big, explosive moment to let these fly."

Set the Mood with These Exposed Bulb Lighting Designs

Lighting can make or break the vibe of your event. When was the last time you attended a killer party under fluorescent lights? Exactly. "Few things can affect the atmosphere of a venue as profoundly as lighting," says SOG Productions.  

Planning an event in a raw space like the Green Building gives you the ultimate creative freedom -- with a little strategic lighting design, you can highlight architectural details you want your guests to focus on, like the texture of the exposed brick walls or the height of the ceilings. You can also use lighting to make the large room feel more cozy by focusing on prime areas of the reception, like the bar, dinner tables, or the dance floor. 

Make sure your lights are installed on dimmers so you can control the mood as the night goes on. This is particularly important around the dance floor, so guests feel comfortable busting a move. And don't forget to light important decor elements that you spent hours crafting, like your guest book or family photo display. 

Keep reading for some of our favorite lighting designs at the Green Building, including a few we offer in-house! 

 
 
Photo by Tory Williams

Photo by Tory Williams

Light Curtain

Not much beats something simple that makes a statement. The light curtain extends from the ceiling to the floor to create a dreamy backdrop for any occasion while casting a soft glow that is sure to get everyone on the dance floor. 

Available as an in-house rental. Ask your coordinator for details. 

 
Photo by Quyn Duong

Photo by Quyn Duong

Light Drape

Think of the light drape as the light curtain's sassy sister. The light drape is our newest design sure to bring the extra oomph and will pull focus right to where you want it. Use it to highlight the bar or give the DJ a cool space to jam. 

Available as an in-house rental. Ask your coordinator for details. 

 
Photo by JBM Photography

Photo by JBM Photography

Ceiling Bistro Lights

So you've noticed we love the look of exposed bulb lights. We really don't think you can go wrong any way you use them! String them from wall to wall illuminating the wood beam ceiling to truly immerse your guests in the quintessential chic warehouse vibe. 

 
Photo by Quyn Duong

Photo by Quyn Duong

Chandelier Lights

The team at Stortz Lighting designed a custom lighting installation inspired by the structure of the Green Building. We love the way the string lights mimic the chandeliers. 

 
Photo courtesy of Universal Light & Sound

Photo courtesy of Universal Light & Sound

Pendant Lights

Universal Light & Sound's iconic hanging pendant lights have taken the Brooklyn wedding world by storm. The varying lengths of each cord create the ultimate starry sky effect. Dance the night away under the glow of these beauties. 

 

How to Make the Most Out of Open House

Attending an open house at the Green Building is one of the best ways to get a feel for it as your potential wedding venue. You can see the venue and our staff in action, and you can take your time exploring and asking questions as needed in a calm, no pressure environment. We always invite a few of our favorite vendors to join us, so open house is also a great opportunity for those who have already booked the venue but are still looking for vendors to help execute their dream wedding. Visit our calendar for upcoming open house dates, and check out some of our tips for making the most our of your visit:

Photo by Clean Plate Pictures

Photo by Clean Plate Pictures

 

COME PREPARED

  • Bring a friend or family member to bounce ideas off of – preferably someone whose opinion you value, but who won’t stand in the way of your vision.

  • Bring your phone, camera, and notebook to take notes, document the venue, and quickly find your favorite vendors on Instagram.

  • Visit our calendar to see if your date is available; if not, think about other dates you’d be open to — get ready to place a hold so you don’t miss out on your preferred season!

 

VISIT THE PRIVATE SUITE

Take a peek at the venue's private suite – can you imagine yourself getting ready there, or having a quiet moment before the ceremony begins?  Is there enough light for hair and make-up, is the furniture comfortable, is there enough space for your wedding party?

 

MEET THE VENDORS

Open house is a great time to meet potential vendors. You can ask about their familiarity with the venue and get to know their personalities in person rather than browsing endlessly online. Are they warm and friendly? Are they knowledgeable about the venue?

 

TAKE LOTS OF PHOTOS AND NOTES

Be prepared to take many photos of the venue from all angles. If you notice a particular design element you like about the venue, document it! If you are visiting a few different venues, they could all start to blur together so you'll want to take note of standout features to jog your memory. 

 

GET TO KNOW OUR STAFF

Our venue coordinators will be onsite to answer any questions you have about hosting an event at the Green Building. When you book the space, you will be assigned a venue coordinator who will be your guide from the time you sign the contract until the last pickup after the wedding. Say hello to them at open house!  

 

SCOUT THE AREA FOR PHOTO OPS

In addition to getting a feel for the venue itself, keep an eye out for other spots that would be good photo ops for first look and family photos. Take a short walk around our block and you'll find plenty of interesting murals, quintessential Brooklyn stoops, colorful buildings, and industrial vignettes with tons character.

 

HAVE FUN!

You’re going to be looking at tons of venues and meeting all kinds of people trying to sell you things throughout the planning phase, so try to make it fun. Taste all the food, drink all the booze. Turn it into a date night, and hit up one of these local spots after you leave open house. 

Broken Box Mime Theater

ABOVE BELOW was a special two-night event presented by Gowanus Art & Production and Broken Box Mime Theater (BKBX) at the Green Building in 2015.  BKBX is a collaborative performance group that tells original stories through mime technique, without the use of props, sets, costumes or words.  Each evening the audience was taken on an epic journey inspired by place and perspective, via a collection of original short plays told entirely through movement and music. ABOVE BELOW woke up the adventurer, the romantic, the cynic, and the dreamer in all of us.

Photos by Chellise Michael