The Wedding of ...
Elise Herbruger & Benjamin Baker
Ceremony: St. Paul’s Chapel
Reception: Faculty House at Columbia University, New York, NY,
Bridesmaids: Various Designers
Tux: Black Lapel
Makeup: New Jersey Makeup Artist
Hair: Elizabeth Mergler at Julien Farel Salon
Florist: City Iris
Cake: Ron Ben-Israel
Photographer: China Jorrin Photography
Band: The Rhythm Revue of Hank Lane Music
Event Planner: Sublime Moments, LLC
We read the same article in the Wall Street Journal about online dating, which mentioned a specific new site whose user base is mostly singles in downtown Manhattan. We both signed up for the site and realized we lived within blocks of each other in the East Village. I am an elementary school teacher and Ben is an investment professional at a clean energy private equity firm. We met to watch the World Cup together and then went to several bars. After a twelve-hour first date, we were hooked.
We were on a walk with our dog, four years later, even though Ben was still recovering from ankle surgery. He knelt down as best he could and offered me the diamond that his father gave his mother, Rebecca, 35 years earlier! We celebrated with lunch at a restaurant called Marea.
Manhattan is our favorite place, so we knew we wanted to get married there. Ben’s father, Dan, suggested Columbia University. Dan graduated from there and worked there for over a decade, Ben’s sister graduated there, and Ben got his BA and MBA there.
Faculty House is beautiful and working with the staff was a pleasure. We received extremely personal attention throughout the entire process. Leslie Robinson, our event planner, was warm and personable with an infectious enthusiasm. Plus, Faculty House has relationships with many top vendors in the city and helped us connect with several of our vendors.
Our ceremony was held in a stunning chapel. A string quartet of Juilliard musicians serenaded our guests. David Mills, Ben’s best friend from business school, officiated our ceremony. Dave was a brilliant speaker and told the story of our love very eloquently.
A jazz trio performed for our guests during cocktail hour, which was held in Faculty House’s first floor Ivy Lounge. The passed hors d’oeuvres were unreal. Some of our favorites were avocado and lobster salad on herb tart shells, dumplings, spring rolls, and braised short rib with a crunchy edible spoon! Dan created the signature cocktail called “Baker’s Bourbon Brew,” which was a mixture of bourbon, St. Germaine, lemon juice, and a sprig of fresh rosemary.
Our reception took place on the top floor in the Skyline Ballroom. The large windows in the ballroom look out to Morningside Park. It feels like being on top of a high hill looking out to the NYC skyline. Our décor was simple and elegant. For our centerpieces, we had white flowers in gold vases with flickering candles surrounding them. Guests enjoyed themselves on the dance floor or hanging out and even smoking cigars on the terrace.
We started dinner with a tuna tartare and avocado salad, which was a big hit. For entrées, we offered a choice of roasted organic chicken or braised short ribs, Ben’s favorite. The music was incredible. Our band played covers of everything from Pitbull to Lionel Richie to Toto.
We are so grateful to everyone involved in our wedding. Thank you to our parents, without whom all this never would have been possible; to all our amazing vendors for being so professional and amazing; and of course to Faculty House, who went the extra mile for our special day.
Faculty House at Columbia University
64 Morningside Drive, New York, NY 10027