Through much of 2009, Sam Zuniss was having way too much fun planning her wedding. She’d assembled a group of women who genuinely loved spending time together and shared a lot of mutual respect. After the wedding, the group toyed with creating a networking organization for Brooklyn-based wedding industry professionals. Through the process, they hit on an even better idea. The seven women are now known as Brooklyn Betrothed and work as a collective wedding planner, covering almost every aspect of the perfect party.
Brooklyn Betrothed is made up of life coach Zuniss, make-up artist Anni Bruno, officiant Carissa Templeton, photographer Kristina Hill, floral designer Rebecca Shepherd, visual artist Ruth Irving and wedding planner Tammy Golson. I talked details from Zuniss this week.
I hadn’t thought of a life coach as a natural for a wedding collective. What is your role in this context?
The wedding planning process is stressful in ways people don’t anticipate. Aside from planning easily becoming a full-time job, there are often an overwhelming amount of pressures (for women, especially) in making this life transition: family drama/expectations/demands, combining two lives, identity changes, endless decision-making, etc. With all the “details” on engaged couples’ “to do” lists, attending to themselves is usually nowhere to be found. I help clients stay connected with themselves–all the parts of their lives–so that they actually enjoy their wedding(!) and transition into marriage gracefully.
What makes a Brooklyn Betrothed wedding? Can you describe your unifying style?
Having had Brooklyn Betrothed meetings in all of our homes, I think we’ve been fascinated to see just how much our styles overlap! I would describe our aesthetic as “vintage romantic charm.” Rebecca’s floral designs, Ruth’s hand-created paper art, and Kristina’s photography are recognized for their uniquely romantic, truly personal style. As for our unifying vision, we all believe in the beauty of marriage and that the gorgeous, memorable weddings we help create are about reflecting the bigger picture: the love and meaning behind each and every couple’s commitment to one another.
What do you think is the advantage of working with a collective instead of individual vendors?
The beauty of Brooklyn Betrothed is you can work with us individually, and/or “pick and choose” which vendors in our collective are a good fit for you and your fiance. The advantage of working with our collective is simple: we are a great team! We love to collaborate, are big admirers of each other’s work and work ethic, and we work together seamlessly up to and on your wedding day. By working with us collectively, because we’re a “well-oiled machine,” there’s a cohesiveness to the wedding planning process that you might not experience in working with individual vendors.
Ruth is your resident visual artist. Does she do graphic design for invitations and the like?
Yes, Ruth uses graphic design for creating wedding paper goods. However, she illustrates the images using hand-rendered imagery and limits the use of digital tools and software to the reproduction stages. Her clients receive a set of hand-painted originals as well as machine-printed reproductions.
What are your favorite Brooklyn are wedding venues? Any off the beaten path?
The Montauk Club, The Green Building, The Boathouse in Prospect Park, Bubby’s, My Moon, The Brooklyn Museum, The Farm on Adderley, Frankies, Liberty Warehouse, reBar, Brooklyn Winery, Galapagos, Bread and Roses, Benchmark, Sycamore, Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture…to name a few. 🙂
Do you notice any new wedding trends in 2011-2012?
Colors: fuchsia, peach, sage green and red combo, brilliant blues, bright yellows. Trends: using social media to find vendors/share wedding pictures; photo guest books; artist themes (examples: Mondrian, Monet); involving guests in ceremonies; men taking women’s last names and heterosexual and gay couples combining last names.
What is your best piece of advice about the planning process for engaged couples?
Let go of “perfect.” Enjoy being engaged and take your time making wedding-related decisions. Designate wedding planning times (for yourself and with your partner) and let yourself be a “civilian” as much as you can the rest of the time! Laugh, take care of yourself, and surround yourself with people who will not let you be swallowed up in wedding craziness.
Brooklyn Betrothed will be at the Green Building for our Wedding Crashers fair this coming Sunday, March 4th, where they’ll be raffling off a “Wedding in a Bag” package worth $1500. It includes an engagement shoot, an hour each of wedding planning and wedding vow consultation, a bridal bouquet or boutonniere, a makeup trial, thank you notes and more–just register at their table to enter.