Our New York City Wedding was one of my ultimate dreams come true. I’m so excited to share this very personal and special day with you!

On October 5, 2019, we were blessed with the most beautiful wedding day. My husband, Adam, and I, met when I was just 22. Little did I know, five years later, we’d be saying “I do” at a church not too far from where we had our first date! Though we lived in NYC, both of our families are in other parts of the country. So we treated this as a destination wedding, even though in our own city, having a rehearsal dinner we invited everyone to and a brunch the next day. We were so excited to share New York through our eyes with the people that mean the most to us.

We knew right away we wanted to get married in October. Of all the misleading ways the media portrays New York City, the magical air that graces the screen when you see a crisp fall day in New York is not one of those times. In fact, it’s a magic you have to be in to truly experience it! October 5 was a perfect, sunny, crisp fall day, one of the many ways our dream day came true.

I’m not sure where to begin with this post, so I’ll go through the day chronologically, sharing small moments throughout. A huge thanks to our wonderful photographer Susan Shek and all our vendors for making this come to life. I hope you enjoy!

Here's our New York City Wedding!

Small details from our New York City wedding

Small but sentimental details for the day! The perfume bottle was gifted to me by Adam the day before our wedding. You can’t see in this photo, but he got our wedding date engraved on it, and I fill that bottle up instead of buying a new one. That perfume is special to us as the only other time I wore it was in Paris, when we got engaged. I highly recommend having a unique “scent” for your wedding. Scents are such powerful momentos, and every time I wear it, I’m brought back to our lovely day!

Wedding dress by Vera Wang

Getting ready in the cutest “Mrs.” pajama outfit by Kate Spade, an adorable bridal shower gift from my aunt.

For my dress, I knew I wanted a strapless dress, but had trouble finding a dress that both matched the traditional style of our Catholic Church as well as the modern, chic setting of our reception. Originally thinking I’d wear an A-line dress, this form fitting one was the “one” from the moment I tried it on!

Adam got ready at our apartment with his groomsmen on the Upper East Side. 

Bridesmaids at the Dominick Hotel
Mother and daughter wedding photo

Toasting to my late father. My dad suddenly passed away the year before my wedding, so I found subtly ways to include him the day. It was a hard balance to strike of honoring him on that day, while not overly focusing on his loss and bringing a sadness to it, which I know he would not have wanted.

Before I put my dress on, I gathered his closest friends and brothers-in-law to have a moment for him.

First look at our wedding
first look for mother and daughter

Since my dad wasn’t there for our first look, I did it with my mom! This was a very special moment I’ll always cherish.

Groom getting ready
First look with bridesmaids

We got ready at the Dominick Hotel, where we had the reception. Our room had a stunning view of downtown Manhattan.

Our Wedding Ceremony at Saint Francis Xavier in Union Square

Groom at the aisle

The above photos are when we first saw each other from the other ends of the aisle!

We decided not to do the popular first look that day. Each couple will be different. For us, we felt that life has very few moments that are total surprises, and we wanted to experience this one. Additionally, we had the “Catholic gap,” meaning our wedding ceremony was at 1 PM and our reception didn’t start until 6 PM. So we knew we had plenty of time after the ceremony to take photos together.I will never forget that moment!

During the Catholic Gap, we enlisted one of my best friends and a cousin to entertain our guest. We offered two “Gap activities” for our guests to go on while they had down time, both walking tours of downtown NYC. One was a bar crawl to some bars nearby that had sentimental meaning to us a couple. The other was a landmark tour nearby, including the Strand Bookstore, Washington Square Park, the Friend’s Apartment, and NYU (my alma mater).

I decided to walk myself down the aisle. The tradition of a father walking his daughter down the aisle comes from the old idea of giving her away. Nowadays, I hope women no longer feel they need to be given away, but rather use the tradition to have a final, special moment with their father. Though he wasn’t physically here, I still was able to have a moment thinking of him and having him with me. I remember looking up to Heaven right before I took my first steps down the aisle.

That said, my mom met me at the end of the aisle and walked with me right to my groom.

walking down the aisle at Saint Francis Xavier
Being given away by my mother
our first kiss

Madison Square Park

My younger sisters were my maids of honor, so their dresses had a slightly different style. They are also 5’8″,while I am shy of 5’2″! They’re the only ones that wore flats!

Groomsmen in Madison Square Park
bridesmaid details

The morning of my wedding, I gifted my bridesmaids with custom bracelets. They each had the longitude and latitude of the place I met them, or a place that’s a staple in our friendship!

wedding party in Madison Square Park
New York City wedding photo

Our brilliant photographer Susan Shek managed to time this photo perfectly with a yellow cab right behind us. Iconic for a New York City wedding!

Leah Gervais, Urban 20 Something saying goodbye to 2019
Wedding in front of the Empire State Building
Leah Gervais and Adam Pascarella
Madison Square Park wedding photos

Reception at the Dominick Hotel

Fun fact, I had drooled over the idea of getting married at this hotel since I was an intern at a nearby charity in college. I had more or less forgotten about it over the years. When it came time to wedding planning, we knew we wanted everything to seem like a true New York City wedding, which, to us, meant a view!

Of all the venues we looked at, this view truly took our breath away the most. The location itself also had significance to us, as it was in downtown NYC. This is where I went to NYU, where Adam lived when he first moved to NYC, blocks away from where we had our first date, and we loved its downtown location mixed with the modern NYC architecture you typically only see in midtown.

Sohi Wedding in the Dominick Hotel

These photos are some of my favorite memories from the day. It was the first moment we got to pause and spend some time together, just us two, since we made our vows. We love our guests, and the busy city, but it was lovely having a quiet moment with just us. We were stunned when we walked into our reception room and saw it all come together- the view, the flowers, the sunset… a dream!

White modern centerpieces
New York City wedding at the Dominick Hotel
wedding cake with New York City skyline
Sohi at the Dominick Hotel
Bridesmaids dancing
Reception at the Dominick Hotel
Cutting the cake at our New York City wedding
Shake shack at our wedding

We couldn’t have a New York City wedding without a late-night Shake Shack delivery! This made for very happy guests.

The end of the night of our New York City Wedding!