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How We Did It: Corey & Shawn

Rooftop Brooklyn wedding (with pizza)

You guys loved 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

Corey, Photographer & Shawn, International Sales at Random House * Photographer: Jonas Seaman*

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.

Planned Budget: $25,000

Actual Budget: $27,217.82

Number of Guests: 150

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Info—Photographer: Jonas Seaman / 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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