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How We Did It: Corey & Shawn


Rooftop Brooklyn wedding (with pizza)

You guys loved APW Sponsor Corey Torpie’s rooftop pizza party wedding so much that several of you requested she write a How We Did It (including Meg, who wanted allll the details). Well, you’re all in luck! Here is Corey, once more, telling us how she pulled off her NYC bash.

—Deputy Editor Lucy

How We Did It: Corey & Shawn | A Practical Wedding

Corey, Photographer (APW Sponsor) & Shawn, International Sales at Random House * Photographer: Jonas Seaman (APW Sponsor) *

Sum-up of the wedding: It was a fun and relaxed day where we were able to hang out and celebrate with our family and friends. Also up there would be marrying my now-husband, despite the fact that he convinced me we should write our own vows and I was consequently teary eyed the entire ceremony.

How We Did It: Corey & Shawn | A Practical Wedding

Planned Budget: $25,000

Actual Budget: $27,217.82

Number of Guests: 150

How We Did It: Corey & Shawn | A Practical Wedding

Where we allocated the most funds: The bulk of our budget was taken up by the big-ticket items: the venue, the food, the booze, the photographer, and the band. We managed to keep things cost effective though, by thinking outside the box for all of these. We went for a non-traditional wedding venue with Roberta’s, an amazing Brooklyn pizza spot with a fantastic garden. Serving our guests pizza kept the costs down while also giving everyone what they really wanted. (Forget the age-old choice between steak, chicken, and fish—who DOESN’T want pizza all the time, always?)

We hired a funkin’ fantastic out of town brass band from Rochester (The Po’ Boys Brass Band, who are unfortunately no longer playing together), and our killer photographer (more on him later) was Jonas Seaman, who we were able to fly in from Seattle.

How We Did It: Corey & Shawn | A Practical Wedding

Where we allocated the least funds: Flowers ($109) and Invites ($182). I ordered Peruvian Lilies online; conveniently my favorite flowers are inexpensive. One of my bridesmaids arranged all the bouquets the night before while we drank champagne. We got our invites on Etsy—they were reworked pizza party postcard style invites and they were perfect for our pizza party wedding.

How We Did It: Corey & Shawn | A Practical Wedding

What was totally worth it: Being a wedding photographer, the number one question I got leading up to the event was, “So… who are you going to hire to take pictures?” The second most common question was probably, “Are you going to shoot it yourself?” And the truth of the matter is that for a while, I actually was. I had a plan. I’d do formals with a tripod, I’d pass out disposable cameras for our guests to capture the day, and possibly their butts. And we’d have a Polaroid photo booth. We’d have pictures. They’d be quirky and weird and laden with double chins, but that was okay.

But then I stumbled on the work of Jonas Seaman. I fell in love with his work, as well as his attitude towards the business. And while our guests would have captured some gold for sure (and they did—there was a Polaroid camera floating around), Jonas really delivered. Having a pro meant those small fleeting moments were captured beautifully, and we got to see our wedding from a unique and artistic perspective. Talk to me in ten years and I’m sure I’ll have found a way to appreciate them even more.

How We Did It: Corey & Shawn | A Practical Wedding

Also, the roof. The roof was totally worth it. We had our ceremony and dinner at Roberta’s, but then moved the party to a nearby roof for dancing, homemade beer (thanks Jon!), and cake. The roof cost $3220 for the day and provided ample room for the entire party, stunning views of the city (including some random fireworks), and added an extra element of danger to getting hoisted up on chairs during the hora.

A few things that helped us along the way: My husband and I divided and conquered. We each took on the things we cared the most about, and then divvied up the less appealing odds and ends. Nerd alert: we also had several google docs set up, including an online RSVP.

My best practical advice to my planning-self: It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be fun.

How We Did It: Corey & Shawn | A Practical Wedding

The Info—Photographer: Jonas Seaman (APW Sponsor) / Location: Brooklyn, New York / Venue: Roberta’s Pizza & Office Ops Rooftop / Corey’s Dress: Katie Jean / Corey’s Makeup: Heather Wahl / Corey’s Shoes: Emerson Fry / Shawn’s Tie: Pierpont Hicks / Band: Po Boy’s Brass Band

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  • Jess

    “It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be fun.”

    THIS is all I want out of my wedding. Well, that and to end the day being married.

    And OMG it looks like your wedding would have been something I would have had fun at.

  • C

    Seriously, this wedding looks like it was all kinds of fun! I missed the original post about this wedding, glad I caught it this time around. That rooftop venue is amazing.

    I really love the How We Did It posts, they are so helpful and inspiring. Thank you so much to all the people who have been willing to bare their budgets as well as their wise words about planning. Keep ‘em coming!

  • http://www.a2zweddingcards.com/designer-wedding-invitations madeline

    Great.!!! This is fun loving wedding. You have captured this event in very well manner. You all looking gorgeous and seems you have well enjoyed this moment. I also want to make my wedding full of color and fun like yours.. Beautiful bride and perfect couple.. and lovely yummy cake. I really miss such kind of wedding but feeling good by looking you photo shoots. Thanks to share with us. :)

  • http://www.efyc.com.au/private-functions/wedding.aspx Jonathan Reeves

    Congratulations to Corey & Shawn on for their marriage, well it seems to be fun filling energetic wedding and a unique wedding venue. Even looking at the photographs I can assume that you all guys had a lots of memories which are to be remembered over the years.

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  • http://www.allweddingcards.com/sikh-wedding-cards breanna baker

    really!! the wedding was amazing and you people enjoyed it a lot. as each and every person wants to fill their married life with colors of rainbow like you. i missed the original one post and thanks for sharing your personal images with us. find the perfect invitation at http://www.allweddingcards.com/christian-wedding-invitation-cards