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

Sep 14, 2016
Wedding Wednesday: Kelly + Evan

For Kelly and Evan, it was important to find a venue that would capture who they are as a couple. Hailing from Minnesota and New Hampshire, they wanted a space that would showcase their experience in the city thus far, and still have a genuine “New York” feel to it. Throughout the planning process – from choosing the cake, to the cocktails – Kelly and Evan learned to trust each other's instincts. But what was ultimately the most rewarding for the couple was being surrounded by family and friends who traveled from all over the world to celebrate their special day. 




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

I think the most central component we focused on was the selection of the venue. We wanted to find a space that felt authentically New York, and one that was in line with our unique New York experience. We wanted an intimate wedding, so we focused our search on venues that would feel warm and welcoming for our group of friends and family. The space had to feel approachable and genuine, yet still elegant and elevated. Kelly and I both grew up outside the city – Minnesota and New Hampshire – and wanted to incorporate some of the rustic elements from our childhood into the mix. We loved the largely blank space on Haven's Kitchen's third floor, and we were excited to build from that canvas. 




How did you plan the menu?

The food component was a close second priority in our planning. We have been to lovely weddings where the meals served barely register, let alone make a lasting impact. We were excited by the Haven's Kitchen team’s passion and genuine interest in helping us craft a menu that was both unique and inviting. We wanted a seasonally focused menu that would be appealing to our guests, yet would offer a bit of surprise. Kelly and I have somewhat separate yet overlapping tastes, and we found a lot of joy in this part of the planning.





What are some of the highlights of your wedding planning process?

The tastings were really fantastic, from choosing the cake to creating our cocktails, and everything in between. It was a balance between a sort of whimsical exploration that we were able to indulge in, and the reality of having to focus on the end result.


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

It was really fantastic to see all of the different design and planning elements come together. While we were excited about each component individually, there is always some uncertainty in one's mind before the actual event, so we were thrilled beyond belief with how everything turned out and came together. Ultimately, the evening culminated in a truly breathtaking and magical event.




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

I think we learned to trust each other's instincts when it comes to planning and that our personal aesthetics are more aligned than we thought.

At the end of the day, we were thrilled with how everything turned out. But seeing how much fun our guests had was ultimately the most rewarding. Our friends and family traveled from all over the world to share that moment with us, and it was phenomenal to be able to host an event where everyone felt connected and part of the party.


The Details

Event Management and Menu: Haven's Kitchen

Dress: Sachin & Babi

Shoes: Alexandre Birman

His Tux: J. Crew

His Shoes: J. Crew

Decor/Flowers: Emily Thompson Flowers

Photographer: Samm Blake

Ceremony Music: Alexandra Moiseeva

DJ: David Traver with White Label DJs

Hair and Makeup: MG Hair and Makeup

Wedding Cake: Billy's Bakery