Francesca & James’ New Year’s Wedding in New York

Lee Grebenau real bride NY Wedding

Francesca and James tied the knot in an elegant New York wedding on New Year’s Eve – a date they chose as a way to start a new tradition. Their wedding featured both a beautiful Catholic ceremony at the chapel on Emma Willard‘s campus and a stunning reception at the Franklin Plaza in downtown Troy. They incorporated crisp whites and vibrant golds to their wedding decor which perfectly balanced the greens, soft pinks and ivories of the florals.           

Francesca fell in love with our Arielle gown because if its embroidery and feather details but wanted a dress with a V neck top. We created a custom dress that featured all of the Arielle details with a V neckline and back. The gown’s snowflake embroidered details were the perfect statement for her winter wedding! Scroll down to read Francesca’s wedding story and to view her wedding album, beautifully captured by photographer Jessica Feiden.    

Tell us about the proposal..

James and I had been dating for five years which for Manhattanites, where things change in a New York minute, that was close to a lifetime. I felt that the proposal was imminent but his sister had been sick and that he did not want to associate our happy engagement with her illness. As my now sister-in-law recovered, she asked if we could go on a run to acknowledge her good health and that James would come along. I’ve run fifteen marathons and James had never run more than a mile so I found this invitation a bit off beat. As we approached a pier along with Hudson River, his sister said she needed to stop but we should run along the pier. We did, and with a picture-perfect view of Manhattan behind us, he got down on one knee and his sister got close to capture the moment on film.

Lee Grebenau real bride NY Wedding Lee Grebenau real bride NY Wedding

What are some of the things you loved about planning your wedding?

We are both the oldest children and the first in our direct families to get married so both of our parents had a lot to say about wedding planning. After a few failed attempts at trying on gowns elsewhere, I found my dress all on my own and I felt like it was the one decision that I made completely independently. Every time I got overwhelmed with wedding planning, I would think of putting on my dress (and of my future husband) and remembered that it would all be worth it.  

Incongruous with fitting into the perfect dress, I also loved cake tasting. We went to our local Italian bakery, and after trying every combination of wedding cake, settled on a rum cake with raspberry and cannoli filling. I’ve learned not to give brides unsolicited advice, but I will always be willing to tag along to try on dresses or cake!

How did you find your LPG dress?

I first saw the Arielle dress online… I decided to check out the LPG flagship in New York, which happened to be a couple blocks away from my grad school. Giselle was so kind a patient, and even though Arielle was not on hand, I fell in love all over again with every other dress. Giselle mentioned that Lee herself would be in town in a couple of weeks, which bought me some time to decide which dress I wanted. I had an epiphany on a run one morning and decided that as much as I loved the detailing at the bottom of the Arielle dress, I wanted a V neck top like the Sansa. I mentioned this to Lee and Giselle and within minutes they were measuring me for this custom dress. 

Lee Grebenau real bride NYC wedding Lee Grebenau real bride NYC wedding

What’s your favorite memory of the wedding?

My husband is a big fan of Liverpool football and I was able to surprise him not once, but twice with the team’s song “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” I asked the cellist and violinist to play it as we exited the chapel, but in case he was too emotional or didn’t recognize this classical version (he did), I got the band to sing the lyrics during our reception. I got lots of kudos from his friends for being a sympathetic wife even if I am not a loyal Liverpool supporter.  

Lee Grebenau real bride NYC wedding Lee Grebenau real bride NYC wedding

Congratulations, Francesca and James! 

Gown: Lee Grebenau Flagship – Spina Bride | Photography: Jessica Feiden | Venue: Franklin Plaza | Makeup: Color Me Gorgeous | Hair: Painted by Ashley Marie | Florals: Olive and June Florals  


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