Words can’t begin to express how excited I am to have Danielle and Lenny’s intimate multicultural wedding at Red Rooster Harlem featured in the Summer 2015 New York Weddings Magazine. This magic doesn’t happen without an amazing couple and wedding vendor team led by the lovely and savvy Yaz of pop! by Yaz.
A special shout out to my family and friends who cheered me on when I wasn’t sure… if this dream of getting published in New York Weddings Magazine was possible. Here’s to more amazing couples and bigger dreams and hard work!
Now onto Danielle and Lenny’s love story and all the details of this intimate 8 person supper in Harlem held at the esteemed Harlem restaurant Red Rooster Harlem with decor and menu inspired by the Harlem Renaissance and Danielle’s Southern heritage.
Danielle share the following details about
How They Met
We first met about 12 years ago in the early 2000’s in Chicago where we were both living and working at the time. A mutual friend hosted a brunch at Chicago‘s world famous Giordano’s pizza (Home of the best deep dish pizza. Period.) and Lenny immediately charmed his way into a conversation with me and we actually ended up going out on a couple of dates shortly thereafter.
I knew right away Lenny was the ultimate ‘good guy’ and wanted a meaningful, lasting relationship. There was no doubt in my mind that he would marry soon and marry well. At that time, I was simply enjoying big city life in my early 20s marriage and relationships couldn’t be further from my mind! While there we were no sparks then, we kept loose, casual dibs on each other over the years via our growing circle of mutual friends.
Several years later, thanks to Facebook, we learned we had both landed in NYC. I had relocated to the city after grad school and Lenny was in the city for the summer completing his MBA summer internship. It was the summer of 2008. He reached out and we met up a couple of times to catch up on each other’s lives. I was still enjoying big city life and Lenny was excited about finishing up bschool and his current relationship.
After that summer we lost contact a bit until December 2012 when another mutual friend in NYC hosted a birthday party. I arrived with one of my good girlfriends and to my surprise Lenny was the first person I saw standing by the entrance as I walked in. We greeted each other with a big ‘Where have you BEEN?!’ and did as much catching up as we could at the party. Three days later we met after work at a bar near Union Square to catch up further. Years after our first meeting in Chicago Lenny still struck me as the ultimate good guy who would marry soon and marry well. We were both single by this time and I was open to seeing how our friendship would unfold after more than a couple of dates. Dating each other felt familiar and new & exciting at the same time.
We shared a love for traveling the world, great wine, awardwinning films, and all things involving a party with friends! We were really, genuinely “into” each other and over the 2 years we dated we discovered life was so much more dope when we had each other to share it with. On September 28, 2014, after completing a 10mile race in the Bronx, Lenny surprised me at the finished with my race medal … and a ring! Easily the surprise of my life as I thought he was on a plane returning from a business trip that had taken him out of the country all week. And so our ‘happily every after’ began…
Why They Chose Red Rooster
Danielle grew up in Georgia but absolutely loves Harlem. Red Rooster Harlem is one of her favorite spots in Harlem where she spends time living life up with her closest girlfriends. A few months before the wedding, she found out she was expecting, so she had her last hurrah with girlfriends at Red Rooster Harlem so it naturally holds a special place in her heart and she knew without a doubt, she wanted to get married there.
My wedding dress was a custom design by Michelle New York. I wanted something classic and elegant with a touch of southern charm. It was a three piece ensemble.
A lace, v-neck jacket with long, bell sleeves and string of buttons for front closure. An embellished silk taffeta skirt with A-line front and multilayered back with extended train that bustled. An a silk taffeta soft gold sash.
My favorite wedding accessory was my intricately designed hair comb, also from Michelle New York. I thought it was a great alternative to a veil. It worked well with my short hair style and was the perfect accent to the lace design in my top.
I absolutely adore Danielle’s wedding gown and her two looks, a pant set for the wedding getaway is absolutely the way to go and she rocked it like a Southern belle turned New York chic lady.
After their first look, this little girl ran out screaming, “look mommy! A real princess.” It totally made her day that Danielle was a princess, so it was priceless when she handed Danielle a few of her favorite Disney princesses.
Below Yaz of pop! by Yaz shares her vision and inspiration. I stopped by Red Rooster earlier to scout the location and left unsure how it would all come together. Yaz came in and transformed it into an intimate romantic renaissance dinner at Red Rooster. Read more below. It’ll definitely have you inspired
DÉCOR INSPIRATION Set upon the backdrop of Harlem, it only seemed right to bring the couple’s intimate vibe to life with a Romantic Renaissance theme.
The Harlem Renaissance, the cultural, social, and artistic explosion that took place in Harlem in the 1920s1930s played a big part in drawing inspiration for Danielle and Lenny’s wedding. During this period Harlem was a cultural center, drawing black writers, artists, musicians, photographers, poets, and scholars. Because it was an intimate wedding, I wanted it to feel very romantic as if it were done in a private Brownstone home library that housed classic books and deep rich history.
Danielle shared the following information about the decor inspiration:
For the ceremony, there were two things that I wanted:
1. Instead of traditional aisle seating I wanted our family seated surrounding us in a circle or semi-circle and in lieu of a sand ceremony or candle ceremony to symbolize the union of two families, I wanted a ring blessing. Before we exchanged rings, we had our wedding bands passed from person to person each family member held the bands in their hands and blessed them in their own special way and then passed them along to the next family member. Then they were handed to us to place on each other’s finger.
Yaz shared the following details about the inspiration behind the wedding inspired by the couple.
We separated the private dining room into two spaces creating distinct areas for the ceremony and reception. The ceremony backdrop was an antique white drape, flanked by two tables which featured raw gold urns filled with deep colored fruit and leafy greens. The table also housed vintage books in Marsala colored hues and a small collection of hammered glass hurricane candle holders with candles which provided a soft glow.
The Red Rooster Harlem reception featured a large rustic farm table with Bentwood cross back weathered oak chairs. Each place setting featured an antique gold baroque charger plate, gold rimmed ivory china and these intricately designed Vermiel Gold flatware. The centerpiece included a wild and romantic arrangement filled with deep marsala colored peonies, caramel and ivory rose, antique white anemones and lots of leafy greens. The table was accented by amber luster, taper candle holders, antique copper votives and the Marsala hued vintage books.
Danielle and Lenny’s menu was divine and beautifully catered for and served by the wonderful staff at Red Rooster Harlem. Danielle grew up in the South, so the supper menu and cake were inspired by her favorite Southern dishes.
Here’s the full menu below and feel free to drool and start frying up some chicken as I did while editing this blog post, no really, yes I did.
Black Kale Salad Shrimp and Papaya Chicken and Waffle
Blackened Catfish Fried Yard Bird Three Pepper Steak
Family Style Sides
Mac & Greens
Hearth Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Red Rooster Doughnuts Vanilla Cheesecake
Yaz of pop! by Yaz is super talented and creative!! I was amazed by how every element of the wedding beautifully tied back to
Two Tiered Naked Cake
Tier 1 Vanilla Cake with Butter Pecan Butter Cream
Tier 2 Red Velvet Cake with Crème Fraiche Butter Cream
Cocktails created by Mixologist Mariaelena Paris, Ginny’s Supper Club
Black Velvet (In Coupe)
Cognac, Chambord, Blackberries rimmed with Cinnamon
Lenny is a huge fan of cognac and we wanted to provide a twist on the traditional drink while keeping it masculine. Infused the complex notes of the cognac with mild tartness of the blackberries. The cinnamon added a warm aromatic flavor to finish off the cocktail.
Honey, I Do (In Rocks)
Raspberry, sage, bourbon topped with prosecco and rimmed with honey
Keeping it within the color palette was as important as melding the right flavors. Bourbon and Raspberry create a crisp, rich flavor, while the sage brings in a fragrant aroma and an astringent but warm flavor. Topped with prosecco and honey adds sweetness and makes if effervescent.
Blushing Bride (In Flute)
Pomegranate juice and simple syrup topped with prosecco and garnished with pomegranate seeds. Can be created as a mocktail by using sparking apple cider.
Blushing Bride (In Flute)
Pomegranate juice and simple syrup topped with sparkling apple cider, club soda and garnished with pomegranate seeds
Spritzer with Passion Fruit nectar, mango nectar with a touch of Sriracha
For the after party, Danielle, Lenny and their family just shifted to the next room Ginny’s Supper Club.
- Wedding Planner + Event Design: Yaz Quiles, pop! by Yaz
- Production Assistant: Breanna Arthur, pop! by Yaz
- Photography: Petronella Photography
- Venue: Red Rooster Harlem
- After Party: Ginny’s Supper Club
- Flowers: Makini Regal Designs
- Makeup: Charlene Armstrong of Lash to Lens
- Hair: Juliet Fisher
- Cake: Ansarys Andino
- Officiant: Debra Sisco
- Bridal Gown: Custom Grace gown from Michele New York
- Rentals: Broadway Party Rentals
- Shoes: Kate Spade
Check out their wedding slideshow below: