Caroline and Andrew tied the knot at the stunning and intimate Merchant’s House Museum, a low-key wedding venue tucked away into Manhattan. After the universe threw hurdle after hurdle at these two, they finally got to celebrate their intimate union surrounded by family and friends. We were so honored to capture the start of their next chapter in this New York garden wedding venue.
With limited capacity, the Merchant’s House Museum is the perfect micro-wedding venue in New York City. Although things have started opening back up in the city, these two still decided to forgo a traditional wedding in favor of something more intimate. We love capturing small weddings like these because couples really get to connect with each and every individual guest.
This wedding had a quintessentially New York feeling. The backyard of the venue is rather private considering its location in Manhattan, and is in a quiet spot – perfect for a cozy wedding. Although it threatened to rain the entire day, the weather held up perfectly for these two to tie the knot.
The brick walls and sprawling greens gave this ceremony space an ethereal feeling. Their 19th century garden hosts up to 25 people, creating a perfect atmosphere for a micro-wedding. If it does rain on the wedding day, you can also get married in the Merchant House Museum’s stunning Greek Revival Double Parlor. No matter the weather, micro-weddings at this historical location are wildly photogenic.
The Merchant’s House Museum is located in the East Village of Manhattan. It’s right near Cooper Union and other notable areas of this neighborhood. Caroline & Andrew got ready at The Standard East Village, just around the corner from the venue. Booking their hotel so closeby allowed them to capture the beauty of the neighborhood and spend minimal time commuting on the wedding day.
The Standard East Village has fantastic views of Manhattan, giving you and your relatives a view to remember. For those who aren’t originally from New York, this hotel is perfect to give people that iconic city vibe – straight out of a movie. Caroline got ready with her mother at the hotel, having a blast with her ‘pump up’ playlist. The vibe switched all over the place, from country music to Calvin Harris, and we loved Caroline’s eclectic taste.
Caroline opted to wear sneakers as opposed to heels on the wedding day – a fantastic choice when prioritizing comfort. Plus, the sneakers had small platforms, giving a little lift to complement the dress nicely. Her dress gave us serious fairytale vibes, matching up with the storybook feeling of the NYC wedding venue where they tied the knot.
The bride had her hair and makeup done for the wedding as well. Sometimes it may be tempting to opt out of beauty when it comes to micro-weddings, but it’s a great way to pamper yourself on your big day. Whatever makes you the most comfortable in front of the camera and with yourself is what matters.
With the first look taking place outside of the Standard East Village, Andrew waited by the wall of ivy outside of the Standard garden. These two embraced and shared a stunning, intimate first look moment. It set the tone of the day as a super beautiful and happy moment before portrait time. These two had very specific shots in mind and we were alllll about it!
One of the super fun things this couple did was hiring a vintage yellow cab for their wedding. Many people want wedding photos in NYC with yellow taxis, but it’s actually quite hard to find something that fits the classic Manhattan vibe. These days, many yellow cabs in the city are modern SUVs… or even Teslas! So Caroline and Andrew hired a vintage yellow taxi to take photos with and to take them to their reception after the wedding. It was one of the cooler things we’ve seen on a wedding day!
After taking portraits around the East Village, we headed over to the Merchant’s House Museum wedding venue to take family photos. Thankfully, the couple’s families showed up on time, allowing us to get the group photos out of the way before the ceremony. We are always grateful when couples decide to do family photos before they tie the knot. It makes things run smoothly for the reception so we don’t have to pull loved ones out of the party for photos.
With clouds looming overhead, these two went ahead with an outdoor ceremony anyway. We hid clear umbrellas in the plants just in case they needed to pull them out during the ceremony. If you’ve ever seen our rainy day work before, you’ll know these umbrellas are lifesavers!
In their intimate wedding ceremony at the Merchant’s House Museum, Caroline and Andrew had super personal moments surrounded by loved ones. We had so much fun capturing the love between these two for this life changing moment. Sealing it with a kiss, the couple also had their guests throw rose petals as they made their way back down the aisle.
One awesome thing about tossing petals or confetti: it makes for amazing photos. We had the couple stop halfway down the aisle for another kiss. This is a great way to get photos in the heart of the ones you love literally showering you with affection. We also had leftover petals after the ceremony, so we gathered everyone up again for an additional fun photograph!
After the wedding ceremony at Merchant’s House Museum, everyone headed to Bottino in Chelsea for the intimate reception. While their guests went to the reception venue, we had the couple share an intimate first dance to Stevie Wonder’s ‘For Once in My Life’ in the garden. Since there weren’t any scheduled dances or speeches during the reception, we wanted to use this incredible space for another special moment somehow.
The couple hopped into their vintage yellow taxi and they were off to see their loved ones! We took a separate car to give them some space after the ceremony. After all, you really don’t spend a ton of time with your significant other on your wedding day. It’s funny how that works! As NYC wedding photographers, we always try and give a little space and time to our couples wherever we can. That way they can enjoy each other’s company, if only for a few minutes.
With their reception underway, we photographed candid moments of guests mingling. Something unique about this wedding was that we also shot on Instax cameras at the request of the couple. They supplied us with a camera and film, allowing for a more candid look at this intimate wedding reception. We love Bottino – they’ve got awesome food, a great location, and beautiful atmosphere.
Caroline’s father gave an impromptu speech, and Andrew’s mother did an impromptu dance with her son. We’re so happy that we were there to cover such personal, unplanned moments before packing our equipment for the night. With elopements and micro-weddings, it can be tempting to have your New York wedding photographers skip the reception. But then you may miss out on capturing those spontaneous love-filled moments.
After the cake cutting, it was time to say goodnight to Andrew and Caroline. If your wedding doesn’t have dance floors involved, this is a good point of the night to end your photography coverage. At that point, guests are full of food and drinks and feeling a little more sluggish in front of the lens.
When it comes to planning intimate weddings in New York City, you have endless possibilities on how to plan the day. These two had a fairly traditional format for their wedding, just on a smaller scale. One thing’s for sure, though: the Merchant’s House Museum is definitely the place to have your intimate spring wedding or summer ceremony in NYC. We are so in love with this cozy Manhattan wedding venue.
One thing Andrew and Caroline knew about their small wedding day was that they valued photography enormously. Despite the fact that it wasn’t an enormous wedding, capturing it with great NYC wedding photographers was their biggest priority. We’re so honored and thrilled to have captured these special moments for Caroline and Andrew, and can’t wait to see where the future takes them.
Looking for NYC wedding photographers to capture your intimate wedding? Let us know – we’d love to help capture the amazing moments of your special day. As a couple who also had an intimate wedding (27 people!), we know exactly how special it is to have your closest friends and family nearby.