Fred and Da celebrated their wedding at The Library at The Public Theater in New York. Read below to share how they created a unique DIY same-sex wedding with class and style!
Photographer: Meg Miller Photography
Ceremony Site: The Library at the Public Theater
Officiate: Graham Parker
Wedding Rings: David Yurman
Reception Site Coordinator: KB Berton
Caterer: The Library
Cake: Pan de Sal
Flowers: Provided by the couple
Ceremony Music: Kristi Shade
How did you and your spouse meet?
The two grooms, Da Ping Luo and Fred Pfaff, met through Front Runners New York. The first time we met, we were dating other people. And some time passed before we had our first official date on Valentine’s Day and Da’s 25th birthday in 2010. It was unpredictable, and unpredictable became our goal in dating. Fred discovered Carnegie Hall; Da discovered the golf course. We moved in together after six months, on Fred’s birthday, because we wanted to wake up together every morning. Since then, we’ve come to be defined by our connection more than our activities. Fred realized in a dream that he was going to propose, and he did on the fourth anniversary of our first date – (not caring that Valentine’s Day is such a cliché for engagements!).
Fred told Da they were going on a trip. Where, he didn’t know, but they’d figure it out together. How long, he didn’t know, but he hoped for as long as life would give us. Then Fred got on one knee and asked Da to marry him.
Prep at Crosby Hotel – super hospitality – champagne and strawberries and olives and other snacks were sent to the room upon arrival courtesy of the hotel – it was nearby The Library, and each room is furnished differently and are super photogenic. Da has photographed many weddings at not so photogenic getting venues and was very mindful about this. 🙂
Tell us who came to the wedding –
Intimate sit down dinner for 40, with a mix of very close family and friends. Our guests were from all walks of life, so we mixed everyone together with people we thought they’d enjoy. Menu was served family style.
Each of the three tables was named for a film stock (KODAK, ILFORD, AGFA; Fuji was sold out!) and had disposable cameras of that brand for guests to shoot with. Table cards were pseudo postcards that included (1) guest’s name (2) a print of a photo taken by Da (3) and the name of the table.
The grooms had requested an unplugged wedding – especially during the ceremony. Those who were itching to take photos had to use either Fuji Instax cameras provided by the groom and photographer Meg Miller, or the disposable cameras provided at the tables.
Matching wedding bands were from David Yurman.
Boutonnieres and succulent arrangements were made by groom Da.
One of the reasons why we chose The Library – was because it was an already well furnished space with a lot of character, lots of wood paneling, and leather banquettes, a great bar, vintage theater posters, and books and photos throughout the space.
The Library, named for the building’s original use as the Astor Library, is a central element of the mezzanine level of our landmark building’s downtown home at Astor Place. The Astor Library is considered the first public library in America founded by New York City merchant John Jacob Astor and New England educator and bibliographer Joseph Cogswell. It was primarily meant as a research library, and its books did not circulate. It opened to the public in 1854, and in 1895 consolidated with the Lenox Library and the Tilden Foundation to become the New York Public Library (NYPL). The NYPL abandoned the building in 1911, and the books were moved to the NYPL’s newly constructed building by Bryant Park. In 1920, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society purchased it. By 1965 it was in disuse and faced demolition. The Public Theater (then the New York Shakespeare Festival) persuaded the city to purchase it for use as a theater. It was converted for theater use by Giorgio Cavaglieri. The building is a New York City Landmark, designated in 1965.
The space is very woody, so we accentuated the space with succulents. We ordered the plants and replanted them in mason jars. The jars were both favors and place cards – we put guests’ names on the under side the under side of the mason jar – the lid as the name places.
Ceremony was officiated by Graham Parker – vice president of WQXR – who was formerly Da’s boss at Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
Ceremony included readings from family members chosen by the couple, a performance by the “best maid” Michelle Farah, a college classmate of Da’s. Michelle performed the second movement of Saint Saens Oboe Sonata accompanied by the Harpist, Kristi Shade. The harpist, Kristi Shade http://kristishade.com/ is a classmate of Da’s from college – she played throughout cocktails before the ceremony, and provided the processional and recessional music also.
We provided a guest book with photos from our engagement shoot with Meg Miller (who was awesome! see our review below… ) – for signing with gold or silver sharpies and inserting of mini polaroid photos (fuji instax) taken that evening.
The food – as mentioned earlier was served family style – was AMAZING! The servers and the venue coordinator were the best. KD, our coordinator, was working the tables making sure everyone was getting anything they wanted. The servers were laughing with guests, adding to the fun. Though she was due to leave hours earlier, KD stayed to the very end. “I’m just having so much fun, I don’t want to leave!” she said.
Chocolate Golf Balls! In addition to the succulents – having realized last minute that many of wedding details were very “Da-centric” (photography related) – we ordered “sleeves” of chocolate golf balls from Lindt for each guest, tied with a note “Thank You ‘Fore’ Coming!”