bride and groom in the main courtyard of the river cafe


River Cafe Wedding in Brooklyn, New York

September 7, 2023

Nestled along the East River, with the twinkling lights of Manhattan’s skyline as a backdrop, this River Cafe Wedding in Brooklyn exudes an air of timeless elegance. The River Cafe is the perfect canvas for a classically modern wedding, where tradition meets contemporary style. In this blog post, we’ll take you on a journey through a remarkable wedding that seamlessly blended the best of both worlds – a celebration that captured the essence of a classically modern affair.

Classically Modern Wedding Trends

The classically modern style encapsulates the idea of honoring traditions while infusing them with contemporary flair. Think timeless elegance with a fresh twist. From minimalist decor to sleek attire, achieving a classically modern wedding aesthetic involves blending timeless elements with contemporary touches. Elana and Jonathan chose a neutral color palette with a pop of metallic gold for their River Cafe wedding. They opted for classic flowers, roses and hydrangeas, in a monochromatic color palettes for their floral arrangements and selected sophisticated fonts and minimalistic designs for their invitations and place cards. Mix and match elements that resonate with your personal taste to create a celebration that feels both classic and current.

bride and groom portrait at the river cafe

Meet the Couple

Every love story is unique, and Elana and Jonathan’s journey is no exception. From meeting in the the middle of Covid and a move from the city, a blended family with a share of loss along the way, Elana and Jonathan wanted their romantic and classy wedding to be a celebration of their families coming together. The focus, without a wedding party and many of the traditional formalities that can make the wedding feel more like a ritual than a celebration, remained on them and the people that made them. Building a timeline that made this a priority ensured beautiful portraits together while honoring value of the precious time spent with family and friends at their River Cafe wedding.

The Venue: A River Cafe Wedding

The River Cafe, a Brooklyn icon since its establishment in 1977, has a rich history of hosting some of the city’s most memorable events. Its prime location beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, offering breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline, makes it a truly magical setting for a wedding. The combination of natural beauty and classic architecture sets the stage for a classically modern love story.

ceremony at the river cafe

The Ceremony

The sun drenched ceremony overlooking the river began just as the sun began to lower in the sky. In Jewish tradition the couple was positioned under the chuppah. They shared in the first cup of wine, were wrapped in the Tallit, and broke the glass before they made their exit. These heartwarming moments and emotions captured during the ceremony reminds us of the significance of the promises to one another.

the bride and groom at the front entrance of the river cafe posing for a portrait
bride and groom in the main courtyard of the river cafe

mid crop of the bride and groom with the dress detail

a waiter pouring water at the river cafe

The Reception: A Classic River Cafe Wedding

The reception at The River Cafe was a feast for the senses. From the cocktail hour in the garden that left guests in awe to the meticulously designed decor and table settings, every detail of the reception exuded an air of sophistication and refinement. And, of course, we can’t forget the Michelin rated menu and cuisine that left everyone craving more.

Guest Experience

A great wedding is not just about the couple; it’s about the guests’ experience too. Elana and Jonathan’s guests delighted in the iconic skyline views, a curated cocktail menu, and the indoor/outdoor flow of events. From the grand entrance to the last dance, Elana and Jonathan’s guests at their River Cafe wedding were treated to a night filled with laughter, love, and unforgettable moments.

bride and groom walking the cobblestone street of the river cafe

bride and groom kissing under the brooklyn bridge

cocktail hour at the river cafe

looking into the reception space from outside

bride walking from table to table at the river cafe

guests having fun at the river caef

bride and groom last dance at their river cafe wedding

brooklyn bridge at night

Additional Resources

If you’re planning your own classically modern wedding, check out our additional resources. We have links to vendors and other wedding professionals who made this celebration possible. We also provide some helpful tips for planning your own classically modern affair. In addition, we offer real wedding inspiration from other couples who embraced this timeless style over on our Instagram page. Follow us on Instagram here.

Venue: @therivercafe
Gown: @esteecouturebridal
Shoes: @aminamuaddi
Makeup: @mua_jennifer
Entertainment: @alexedgeandco

For more featured weddings, visit the journal.

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MEET Jennifer

An Artist, Traveler, and Storyteller

Trained in film photography with an eye for all things beautiful, I take an authentic approach to my work and my life. Both fun loving and detail oriented, with a background in travel and language, I see every scene and situation as a chance to create something beautiful. I bring deep connection and meaning to my work, and on my lucky days I get to capture it with my camera with you.

Editorial film wedding photographer telling your story with artful excellence and purpose.

Jennifer Conti

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