The Wedding of…
Stephanie Brenner & Michael Kantor
Ceremony & Reception: Patina Events at
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Gown: Ines Di Santo at
Plumed Serpent Westport CT
Photographer: Dave Robbins Photography
Cinematographer: Kress Productions
Makeup: Andrea Cortimiglia
Hair: Ramonda Marku
Florist: Mimosa Floral Design Studio
Band: Hank Lane Band
Officiant: Rabbi Greg D. Weitzman,
Congregation Rodeph Sholom
"Above & Beyond"
We first connected on a dating app a few years before we started dating. We’d both shown interest in each other, but the timing didn't work out. However, Michael saved my number and never forgot about me. A few years later, I caught his eye again on a new app and he wasn’t about to miss his chance again. He asked me out, pursuing me through my law school finals.
After two years of dating, we moved in together and about a year after, Michael proposed in the middle of Grand Central with both our families present to witness the proposal.
We both loved Brooklyn Botanic Garden, having seen photos from an acquaintance's wedding. Michael expressed his desire to have his wedding at the BBG and I was elated to know that our vision was completely aligned. The space is absolutely beautiful and lends a beautiful garden setting without having to leave New York City. We loved being in the hustle and bustle of the Brooklyn area, yet having our own oasis for the evening.
Due to the pandemic, we had a long engagement plus a postponement. Once we determined to move forward with our June date, William Gideon, the catering sales director, was our guide. Given the uncertainty surrounding an event during a pandemic, William spoke with us on a weekly basis. BBG went above and beyond to accommodate our requests, ease our concerns, and quickly respond to changing requirements promulgated by the NYC health department. They worked with our vendors, making for a seamless event.
Our ceremony took place on the lawn right off the Lilly Pool Terrace. Our florist created the most beautiful Chuppah, which we stood under with the rabbi, our parents, and siblings. Rabbi Greg D. Weitzman conducted a traditional Jewish ceremony, incorporating our own special family traditions.
A particularly touching tradition stems from a gold ring given to Michael’s Grandma Hana after she was liberated from Ludwigdorf Labor Camp. A 19-year old at the time, she happened upon an elderly woman pushing a heavy cart. Grandma Hana offered to help, and the woman gave her this gold ring in a gesture of immense gratitude. Each grandchild is now married with this gold band. Upon closer inspection, the date inscribed inside is exactly 124 years before our wedding day. Despite our postponements, this particular day for our wedding was besheret, or “meant to be.”
Our cocktail hour was held around the Lilly Pool Terrace and had three stations: Italian, Asian, and Spanish tapas; an assortment of passed hors d’oeuvres; and two fully stocked bars. Some highlights were the passed sushi, glazed Korean-style barbecued beef short rib bites, and the fig and fontina grilled cheeses. When we noted we preferred the sushi as a passed option instead of at a station, BBG was very accommodating.
Our reception took place in the Palm House, which mimics a greenhouse and was beyond spectacular. The party started while the sun was just beginning to set. Given the translucent element of the space, watching the ambiance change as the evening progressed was magical. The chandelier in the center of the ceiling adds a special touch. Our florists once again knocked it out of the park, creating a romantic feeling with their floral arrangements and candles adorning the tables and windowsills.
The party kicked off with a rousing Horah and Marcus Reid from the Hank Lane Band took it from there, bringing down the house. No one sat down the entire night, with a grand finale of Michael crowd-surfing on the dance floor and turning 33 at Midnight!
Dinner began with heirloom tomatoes, grilled peaches, and burrata mozzarella, followed by an arugula, strawberries, and pickled fennel salad. A choice of Scottish salmon, porcini-rubbed filet mignon, or chicken in a lemon-thyme jus followed as the entrée. Dessert included a sampling of chocolate mousse cake, key lime cheese cake, and a berry crumble. As a bonus, the night ended with a carrot cake for Michael's birthday and passed NY-style pizza for a late-night snack.
We felt so loved and were thankful to be surrounded by our closest friends and family on our wedding night after being apart for so long.
We give special thanks to Stephanie’s parents, Stewart and Ruth, for their extensive involvement in planning and for hosting our event. William and the rest of the staff at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden are true professionals in every sense, and we could not thank them enough for a truly magical evening. Our florist made our vision into a reality and our band gave us the party we dreamed of. We wanted everyone to celebrate, dance the night away, and have an amazing time. With our team, this was a mission accomplished!
Patina Events at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn, NY