isn't it romantic

A Quintessential New York Wedding at the Library

Complete with four musical acts.

Photo: John Dolan
Photo: John Dolan

Welcome to Isn’t It Romantic?, a week in which we will indulge our desire to shamelessly ogle lavish, beautiful weddings. First up: New Yorkers Genevieve Saylak and Greg Rudin.

The Couple

Genevieve Saylak and Greg Rudin met because of Hurricane Sandy. The two met right after the storm at a friends’ place where they were both avoiding their lightless downtown apartments. Genevieve was hesitant to get into a serious relationship while she was in her early 20s, but they started dating about six months later.

The Proposal

Greg proposed in February 2017 on what Genevieve jokingly called the “most romantic time of the week: Tuesday, 12:45 p.m.” To be fair, he had planned something extra special. “I love a surprise getaway more than anything else, and Greg planned a night away for us at Glenmere in Chester, New York — a beautiful old home converted to a hotel — the night he proposed.” After their romantic night away, Greg moved to Boston to start a new job, so they were in a long-distance relationship for a little bit after getting engaged. But it was only a little over a year until they got married in New York.

The Wedding

They got married at the 5th Avenue New York Public Library on June 2, 2018. While the weddings location and love story are very New York, Saylak and Rudin did their best to infuse their own family histories in the ceremony and reception. The location was in part an homage to Saylak’s grandmother, a librarian. The most important part of the night? The music. Four different acts performed: a classical group for the ceremony, a jazz ensemble during cocktails, a gospel choir who broke out in Natalie Cole’s “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love),” and a band for dancing at the reception.

The Details

Dress: Elie Saab
Suit: Tom Ford
Reception Band: Ground Control, managed by Elan Artists
Flowers: Lewis Miller Design
Hair: Teddi Cranford, White Rose Collective
Makeup: Kimara Ahnert
Rings: Custom, designed by Saylak
Planner: Jennifer Zabinski
Catering: Olivier Cheng
Cake: Mah Ze Dahr
Photographer: John Dolan

The Photos

Photo: John Dolan

Genevieve’s biggest decisions were some of her easiest. She tried on only six gowns before settling on an Elie Saab lace dress and visited only two locations before deciding on the library.

Photo: John Dolan

Genevieve liked the idea of a ceremony in a building that was beautiful on its own and “didn’t need to be dressed up.” After the couple smashed the glass, the gospel choir from a Harlem church sang the Natalie Cole hit from the balcony.

Photo: John Dolan

Genevieve’s dress had a medieval-inspired silhouette, a style she never thought she’d have picked. It was a favorite from the start, though. “As with so many things during wedding planning, things don’t end up being at all what you imagine, but some things far exceed expectations,” she said.

Photo: John Dolan

The two chose slightly unconventional cake flavors for the wedding and groom’s cakes. The three-tiered wedding cake decorated with flowers was a coconut cake with coconut cream filling. The Groom’s cake was a Matcha chiffon with chocolate filling. Both came from buzzy bakery Mah Ze Dahr.

Photo: John Dolan

Over 260 guests attended the celebration, but this photo of Greg and Genevieve during dinner was photographer John Dolan’s favorite of the night.

“It was important to us that we inhabited a space we didn’t have to transform and rather create a beautiful evening and celebratory moment,” Genevieve said.

A Quintessential New York Wedding at the Library