the wedding files

In the City That Never Sleeps, a Wedding That Never Ends

Zabar’s for breakfast, the Odeon for dinner, and partying at the Boom Boom Room all night.

Photo: Rachel Leiner
Photo: Rachel Leiner

When we ask newlyweds to think back on what they wanted most for their big day — and we’ve interviewed hundreds of them over the years — the most common response is “For it not to feel like a wedding!” Gathering with old friends and eating mini grilled cheeses in formalwear to celebrate love feels more special these days than ever, even downright miraculous. And the betrothed have never been less attached to the old wedding handbook — or the need to please their great-aunt. So in a flurry of pampas grass and perfectly mismatched-to-match bridesmaid dresses, how do you pull off a non-cookie-cutter affair? For the answers, we decided to interrogate the cool couples whose weddings we would actually want to steal, right down to the tiger-shaped cake toppers.

Here, we spoke with Erin Hardy, the sales director at a multiline fashion showroom, and Eddie Ubell, who owns a company that makes sustainable packaging for the cannabis industry. The couple rifled through their fondest New York memories to curate an utterly metropolitan wedding. The group of friends and family in attendance grew over the course of the daylong festivities, culminating with the odd stranger joining them for late-night sliders and Erin’s friends partying until lunchtime the next day.

Eddie: “What is the best night that you could have out in New York City?” That was the point of our wedding. To me, that’s dinner at the Odeon and dancing at the Boom Boom Room.

Erin: It came together really easily. We both, in our 20s, went to Boom Boom Room. And that place is stunning — sparkly and gold and regal.

Eddie: We were going to just have the party, but then we were like, “What are we going to do with all the family coming in? We should have a dinner also.” I’ve been going to the Odeon since I was a kid. It’s got a great history, and it’s really the food you want before a night out, right?

Erin: I did not want a big ceremony. I did not want to walk down an aisle.

Eddie: We were going to do City Hall, absolutely no frills, but they still had COVID protocols in place that said you could only have one witness, in which case we were going to have three extremely upset parents. It was Erin who came up with the idea of having it at my parents’ apartment, my childhood home, on the Upper West Side.

Erin: We knew we wanted it to be in winter because I think asking our family members to come to New York when it’s 90 degrees is unfair. I also imagined a dress with long sleeves.

Eddie: A winter wedding is chic as hell.

Erin: We met through mutual friends on July 4, 2014, at a bar in the East Village, but we didn’t start dating until 2019. My side of the story is we were friends through all those years. Eddie says differently.

Eddie: It took me five years to get Erin to go out with me. I hung in there.

Erin: I think part of me waiting to date him for so long is because I knew that if I dated Eddie, he would be the one.

Eddie: She came around in the summer of 2019, and it was the most spectacular thing that’s ever happened to me. I mean, better than anything I could have imagined. She walks into a room and just has a magnetic energy. Erin is the life of every party.

Erin: He proposed in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, a town that means a lot to us, during my family’s annual Labor Day reunion in 2021.

Eddie: We waded out into Higgins Pond, the most pristine, clear pond surrounded on all sides by pine scrub. The water was so warm, and it was breathtaking with these tiny fish swimming around our feet. Erin said, “This is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen on Cape Cod,” and I knew it was my moment. I pulled the ring out of my bathing suit and said, “I want very badly for you to be my wife.”

Erin: I didn’t want to have to overplan the wedding. I didn’t want to have to pick out flowers and themes and table settings. These venues were enough. I didn’t even have a bouquet at the ceremony.

Eddie: We wrangled the majority of it ourselves, but the best piece of advice we got was to get a coordinator: “It’s your wedding. You don’t want somebody coming up to you saying they’re missing a chair.” Lara of the Privilege Is Mine was recommended to us through our photographer, Rachel Leiner. We worked with her for 30 days, and then the day of, she was like, Bam, bam, bam, bam. Just crushed it.

Erin: Dress shopping was a nightmare. I was my own worst enemy because I tried on dresses that weren’t my personality. I ended up with dresses that were more my style, which is very minimal. My first look was Danielle Frankel, who has an untraditional way of presenting wedding looks, which I like. I picked a tuxedo dress, which is classic, but having it be short made it feel a bit less formal for me. It felt appropriate for getting married in an apartment. I did that dress with a shorter heel by Manolo Blahnik and a white beret with a veil by Maison Michel.

Eddie: I wore a suit for the ceremony and then a tux for dinner and the evening. They were both made by my friend Jake Mueser, who has a fantastic tailoring shop on Christoper Street. We met as teenagers and then he went to F.I.T. I work with him on any sort of suiting I do. I was like, “You style me. Just put me in something that’s going to make me look awesome.” The one thing I knew I wanted to wear on my wedding day was this ID bracelet my grandmother had made out of my grandfather’s dog tags from World War II. I was named after him, and it’s the only heirloom I have.

Erin: For the Odeon, I left the hat behind and vamped up my hair and makeup. I kind of did it backward, because Boom Boom Room is when I wanted my gown. I wore a dress by Galia Lahav, a simple but elegant long-sleeved dress with a train that we shortened for dancing.

Eddie: The day of the wedding, we got ready at the Standard and then went uptown from there. My parents’ apartment has always been the epicenter; it’s where we spend Rosh Hashanah and Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

Erin: Eddie’s nephew Alex officiated. We really gave him full range. He’s very charming, very charismatic, and we trusted him. He interviewed Eddie and I separately in depth and my parents and Eddie’s parents to help tell the story of us.

Eddie: I gave him 12 minutes. Twelve minutes was the limit because you’re in an apartment and everybody is standing. My dad, at age 92, got one of the only chairs.

Erin: We didn’t know what he was going to say, and there was a flash of a moment right before where I was like, Wait, how is this going to go? But it was very organic, very sweet and light, and at times funny.

Eddie: Religion didn’t factor into it. I’m Jewish, Erin is not, it does not matter to us. The one thing that I insisted on was breaking the glass, just because that’s what every little Jewish boy dreams of growing up, that one day he’ll get to break the glass.

Erin: The theme for the day was New York through and through, so we had bagels and lox, quiche, and fruit served on the china from Eddie’s parents’ wedding.

Eddie: What I especially liked about having a morning ceremony was we could get Zabar’s to cater. There’s nothing cooler than getting married and then having bagels. That ended around 2 p.m. and then cocktail hour at the Odeon was around 6 p.m., so people went back to their hotels, took naps, had a snack.

Erin: We got to relax, and I got my hair and makeup redone. At the Odeon, obviously we had the steak frites.

Eddie: The three best things at the Odeon: French onion soup, steak frites, and the profiterole tower. Then you just build the rest of the menu around that. These places have existed for 30, 40 years because they are tried and true.

Erin: There was salmon and a salad, a pasta dish for the vegetarian option, and fries for the table. Eddie gave a speech thanking everyone for coming, and a friend of his had given us a playlist so we played that. We kept it really simple.

Eddie: The ceremony was around 35 people, the Odeon was about 100, and then with the Boom Boom Room we were able to invite everyone we ran into that wanted to celebrate with us.

Erin: I’d had a little second bachelorette a few nights before the wedding, and I guess we chatted up this girl who saw we were having fun. We told her about the wedding and said, “You should come!” And she actually came. It was just a big party.

Eddie: There was no signature cocktail, though the cocktail of every party these days seems to be a vodka martini. That is what people were getting into.

Erin: We had a DJ, Andrew Devlin. He asked us to make a list of music we didn’t want played, and we also shared a list of songs that we wanted for the vibe.

Eddie: He just crushed the evening. Later on, we served little sliders and things so that people didn’t die.

Erin: We had burgers because a long time ago, one of my nicknames was Burger, just because I really liked them. It was a cute add-on.

Eddie: The party ended around two in the morning, and our close friends came up to our hotel room, which was promptly shut down by security.

Erin: I will say, Champagne was spilled, and there was jumping on the couches.

Eddie: I finally made it to bed around 7 or 8 a.m. Erin and her girlfriends continued on until we had to check out. We never wanted the night to end.

Erin: I just didn’t want the party to stop.

Erin and Eddie’s wedding day began at his parents’ home on the Upper West Side. Photo: Rachel Leiner/Rachel Leiner Photography
They had originally considered just going down to City Hall but knew their parents would be disappointed if COVID limitations meant they couldn’t be witnesses. Photo: Rachel Leiner
The ceremony was officiated by Eddie’s nephew Alex. “He’s very charming, very charismatic, and we trusted him,” says Erin. Photo: Rachel Leiner
They asked Alex to keep his script to a tight 12 minutes since most of the guests would be standing. Photo: Rachel Leiner
The one tradition Eddie wanted to keep: smashing a glass to close the ceremony. Photo: Rachel Leiner
A brunch of Zabar’s bagels and lox followed the vows and was served on Eddie’s parents’ own wedding china. Photo: Rachel Leiner
“My parents’ apartment has always been the epicenter,” says Eddie. Photo: Rachel Leiner
During the afternoon break, Erin switched up her hair and makeup to have a more glam look for the Odeon and beyond. Photo: Rachel Leiner
The colorful flowers on their cake matched the art on the walls, while the white floral design on the sides echoed the tablecloth’s lace. Photo: Rachel Leiner
“Erin and I had a really distinct vision for the kind of imagery we wanted — that Juergen Teller hot-flash photography,” Eddie says of the nightlife aesthetic they got from photographer Rachel Leiner. Photo: Rachel Leiner
The guest list grew for each event, with around 35 people at the ceremony, 100 at dinner, and 200 at the party. Photo: Rachel Leiner
The couple built the menu around Odeon classics such as steak frites, French onion soup, and profiteroles for dessert. Photo: Rachel Leiner
“I’ve been going to the Odeon since I was a kid,” says Eddie. “It’s got a great history.” Photo: Rachel Leiner
As with the other venues they used, the couple didn’t bring extra décor to the Boom Boom Room. “It’s like the martini glasses were our floral arrangements,” says Erin. Photo: Rachel Leiner
Erin changed into a Galia Lahav dress for the party. Photo: Rachel Leiner
The celebration at the Boom Boom Room lasted until 2 a.m., and partying carried on at the hotel well into the next day. Photo: Rachel Leiner
“We never wanted the night to end,” says Eddie. Photo: Rachel Leiner

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In the City That Never Sleeps, a Wedding That Never Ends