Sep 06, 2017
Five Years of #hknyweddings: Amy + Ted

Amy and Ted loved the idea of a winter wedding. They liked the feeling and aesthetic of its cool starkness in contrast with the desire to feel warmth and fire. The challenge was how to use the idea of winter without conjuring Christmas. With the help of the Haven's Kitchen events team and the artistic direction of Patrick Clayton, they relied on the minimalist loft-like third floor space to evoke the vast whiteness of winter with a fireside intimacy. 


What was the most important part of the wedding planning process for you?

Amy: Haven's Kitchen was actually the only place we looked at. A lot of the "big" decisions and moments in our relationship have come naturally to us like settling on Haven's Kitchen as our venue. They believed as we did in "forming communities through the pleasure of cooking and eating." With our wedding, we would be forming a new community. We're not really "wedding" people so it was vital that our venue give us a feel of comfort and home.

There are a lot of competing forces out there when it comes to getting married and having a wedding. Our plans for what we wanted for our wedding day has shifted a couple of times over the two years we were planning, but, at every point, Halle [Haven's Kitchen Events Director] was there to give guidance and help us keep the day entirely ours.



Amy's bouquet was done by event designer Patrick Clayton.


What were some of the details you were excited to see come to life as part of your wedding?

Amy: You know, every bit of it was exciting to see come to life. We loved working with Patrick (Clayton) on the decor for the third floor. Prior to guests arriving we took a quick look to see what he had created and we were blown away by how beautiful his work was. Minimal yet elegant. Exactly what we wanted.

There was a point during the evening when I was standing near the bar and I looked out into the room and was filled with a sense of peace and contentment. Everything we had worked for and wanted was right there in front of us. 



It's winter, not Christmas! Clayton used candles and winter greens to spruce up the third floor loft space to create a contrast of winter minimal and fireside cozy.


What have you learned about yourselves and each other in the last year as you’ve put together your wedding?

Ted: I came to realize Amy's capacity for compromise. Having a wedding was something that I was invested in and Amy is more the elopement kind. Through this experience I came to see how much we give and care for one another. We find our own happiness in the happiness of the other. We managed to find ways to make the wedding important for both of us and be honest to who we were as individuals and a couple.


Amy: I always knew that Ted was supportive and that he really considers my thoughts and feelings, but through planning the wedding I felt all of that more deeply. As he noted, I'm not really a wedding girl and could have done without it. But through his patience and working together while planning, I realized that I did want it. He opened my eyes in a way I wasn't expecting. As long as we were true to ourselves, it would indeed be a celebration of our love and commitment to each other and nothing else.


2016-12-Amy-Ted-FoodInstead of a traditional seated meal, Amy and Ted opted to do a cocktail-style reception. Amy's friend, Rachel Conemeyer did the desserts including these coffee pate choux. 


Anything you would change about your experience?

Amy: It was perfect. Truly perfect. At any point where we needed help, Halle was there. If it wasn't for her we wouldn't have found our photographer or event designer. And the two of them fit us and our dreams seamlessly. The ease at which we fell into our relationships with them and HK is something we'll never forget. Obviously not every part of wedding planning is peachy, but without a doubt we wouldn't change any bit of how it went for us. In fact, we'd do it again every weekend if we could.


Venue / Food / Event Management: Haven's Kitchen

Photographer: Sarah Bode-Clark Photography

Décor / Flowers: Patrick J. Clayton Productions     

Dress: Sarah Seven    

Her Shoes: Sam Edelman     

Hair & Make-Up: Glam Squad

Groom: The Black Tux

His Shoes: Hugo Boss                   

Wedding Cake: Cakes & Confections by Rachel Cronemeyer Flatley       

For more photos from Amy and Ted's wedding visit our new Instagram @weddingsathavenskitchen.

Apr 24, 2017
Five Years of #hknyweddings: William + Ellen

Like many weddings at Haven's Kitchen, William and Ellen's wedding was unconventional. But even more so, since guests were expecting to arrive to an engagement party rather than a wedding reception.



What was the most important part of the wedding planning process for you?
It was pretty important that we got married in New York because this was the place where we met and fell in love. We wanted a space that was unconventional but not too trendy, simple but not DIY.

Haven’s Kitchen is cozy and personable and just like being at home, but much more tastefully decorated. Going into wedding planning, we knew we wanted to celebrate with our family and with our friends but neither of us are good being center of attention. We decided to get married in an intimate ceremony and then surprise our guests with our wedding celebration, disguised as our engagement party. It felt so unconventional and so right from the moment we settled on that decision.That's really when the wheels came off the bus.




How did you plan the menu?
In another homage to New York, we wanted good local food that would be memorable and would serve as a second layer of surprise to our surprise wedding. We have pretty broad tastes when it comes to food and Chef David was wonderful about taking the reins and giving our favorite foods an elegant twist. We’ve had countless guests compliment us on how delicious the food was.


What were some of the details you were excited to see come to life as part of your wedding?
It was so, so wonderful to involve all the important people in our lives in our ceremony. My best friend registered as a Universal Life Minister so that she could marry us. William’s brother stood up with us to translate the ceremony for our parents. William’s sister, a professional pianist, recorded the processional music. And Ellen’s brother facilitated the ring warming ceremony in which 15 of our ceremony guests blessed our rings and our marriage. To have everyone play a part in the act of marrying us was so meaningful.


What have you learned about yourselves and each other in the last year as you’ve put together your wedding?
We make a really good team. It really is the stuff of dreams. William is decisive when I am not and vice versa. We were so in sync with our wedding vision and it made the planning process so smooth. In the first half of the planning process, I handled a lot of the correspondence and coordination but as I was reaching the finish line of my MBA, William really stepped in to make sure we were in tip-top shape with the wedding.


The Details
Event Management and Menu: Haven's Kitchen 
Her Dress: Theia
Her Shoes: Manolo Blahnik
His Tux: Lord's Tailor 
His Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo
Décor and Flowers: Designs by Ahn and Patrick J Clayton Productions  
Photographer: Cynthia Chung
Ceremony Music: Joyce Chan (Sister of the Groom) 
DJ: James Arnold (74 Events) 
Hair and Makeup: Sachiko Yanase 
Wedding Cake: M&W Bakery 
Videography: Shutter and Sound

To see more pictures from William and Ellen's wedding, check out their wedding at Style Me Pretty.

Apr 14, 2017
Five Years of #hknyweddings: Theresa + Michael

To celebrate five years of Haven's Kitchen, we're taking a look back at one of our favorite types of gatherings that happen in our little carriage house: weddings.

Our first one celebrated the nuptials of Michael and Theresa, and the entire staff was involved in some way. Ali (our owner) did the floral arrangements including the bouquet, Lela (the former events manager) did the playlist, and Julia (our opening chef) wrote and cooked an elegant and casual menu to honor the bride and groom. Guests sipped on a cocktail called "The Couple" and slurped oysters from a deluxe raw bar.

Five years later, Ali wrote to Michael and Theresa to hear their side of the story. They dispatched their answers from upstate New York, where Michael owns the rustic and modern wine shop, Kingston Wine Co., and Theresa works as an artist and at a local non-profit.


MikeTheresa_livingroom_700Michael and Theresa in Haven's Kitchen Living Room.  


How did you hear about Haven's Kitchen?
We lived in the neighborhood and I stumbled across it one afternoon, just after we were engaged. When I walked in, I immediately asked if they hosted events.


When did you know you would have your wedding here?
That afternoon! Neither Michael nor I wanted a long engagement. We were actually considering a city hall wedding, but the Haven's Kitchen townhouse seemed intimate and fresh.


What was the best part of the planning?
The simplicity of it. We are very low-key and were immediately drawn to the entire HK aesthetic, so we completely trusted the team to do their thing.


What was the best part of the actual wedding?
Feeling like we were in our own home. It was a warm September evening, so we opened the windows during the ceremony. Guests mingled upstairs and downstairs, and the flow of the party was truly organic.



Calligraphy for invitations by Nicholas Misani. Vintage stamps from Champion Stamp.


Do you have any advice for couples planning their wedding?
Make wedding choices based on your own style.
I met Ali in the flower district the morning of the wedding and we picked out the freshest flowers for that evening. This is something I would do if I was having friends over to my apartment.
And trust others!
We did not intend on any dancing, yet somehow around 11:00PM, everyone started dancing. I caught Lela's eye and she went right with it and said, "I'm off the playlist!"


When you think of Haven’s Kitchen, you think… 
one of the best nights of our lives!


Event Management and Food: Haven’s Kitchen 
Dress: Lanvin, bought at Barneys on a lunch break 
Her Shoes: Prada 
Floral Crown: Bride's creation 
His Suit: Michael Andrews
Decor and Flowers: Haven's Kitchen 
Photographer: James Nord
Ceremony Music: Ukulele player Josh Cho
Reception Music: iPod playlist created by Haven's Kitchen 
Wedding Invitations: Bride's design, hand-stamped 
Calligraphy: Nick Misani

After celebrating five years of #hknyweddings, we decided that there's so much more we wanted to share about our love for weddings. Follow our new Instagram account @weddingsathavenskitchen.

Jan 25, 2017
Wedding Wednesday: Kate + Michael

Kate and Michael became Mr. and Mrs. Branning on June 21, 2015 surrounded by their closest family, friends, harpist and poetry. The couple made sure that each aspects of their wedding—from the perfect pink peonies to the hand written notes—represented the “essential components” that they live by and stayed close to their roots. 



What were the most important things for you in the wedding planning process and why? 
The venue, the food and the drink — core essentials for any event — were important components to us when planning our wedding. We wanted to be sure the essentials complemented and explained who we are as a couple and how we live our life daily.

In discovering Haven's Kitchen, we found a special place that resembled us. A local, sustainable coffee and eatery — a little home-away-from-home, tucked upstairs to host a gathering of our closest friends. Michael and I live our lives eating organically, and frequent and support local businesses as often as we can. 

Haven's Kitchen supplied every one of our essential components perfectly. We were given an open space with enough room to design and create our own artistic vision, but not void of character so that we would have to pay a premium in order to create the basic canvas we were searching for. We found our desired vintage furniture and tableware, and decor were supplied at no extra cost to us. The ability to shop for our own fresh, seasonal flowers was super special, as was seeing them come to life in unique, vintage vases supplied by Haven's Kitchen.


How did you plan the menu?
We wanted the menu to stay true to our American roots, and wantedt include something for everyone. Between selections for vegetarian, gluten-free and carnivore lovers, all food was clean and healthy.

Working one-on-one with the Culinary Director David Mawhinney's recommendations for local, seasonal food allowed us to tweak suggestions and preparations based on our vision as a couple. The end result was a true representation of who we are as a couple and what we would want to serve at our home, but even yummier than we could have ever imagined!




What are some of the highlights and memories of your wedding planning process?
We had several walkthroughs with Halle, alone and with our family, which was very helpful in our choice of layout, flower arrangements, and the overall aesthetic. In addition, we loved meeting with Halle at the flower market to source seasonal flowers, as this was important to us, to complete the vision.


Please describe some of the details you were more excited to execute and see come to life as part of your wedding?
In the dream of our wedding, we wanted to share our love and life with all who know us best. Haven's Kitchen made that possible. Since we wanted live music, great food, special drinks and an intimate welcoming environment, the ability to have our choice of musical performers made the evening that much more special. We were able to have our welcoming, grand entrance and cocktail party music presented by a beautiful harpist playing a six-foot harp, as well as having a three piece combo band to finish out the celebration and play all our favorites to make the evening complete.




The Details

Event Management and Menu: Haven's Kitchen

Kate's Dress:  Houghton 

Kate's Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti 

Kate's Clutch: Alexander McQueen

Michael's Tux: JCrew - The Suit Shop

Michael's Shoes: John Varvatos

Décor / Flowers: ​Haven's Kitchen​Sprout Home 

​Wedding Cake: Balthazar Bakery baked by head pastry chef and personal friend Mark Tasker

Calligraphy: Amanda Krovic

Photographer: Andrea Fischman

Harpist: Kristi Shade

Band: Joe Kris Music

Hair: Gloria Espinosa

Makeup: Sharon Becker