Former Vogue director of special events Cara Brand and Oden Techologies co-founder Peter Brand met through mutual friends in New York. After knowing each other for eight years and dating for three, he proposed by the Hudson River. “It was perfectly surreal and the best moment,” Cara says. “And I’m very glad neither of us dropped the ring through the wooden slats of the boardwalk into the Hudson.”
It took the engaged couple six months to come up with a solid plan for their wedding, but once it was sorted, it only took them six weeks to pull it altogether. They landed on an intimate, festive December wedding in New York City. Only immediate family attended, and they surprised Peter’s parents by having the ceremony in the same church they were married in, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on Central Park West. “We told his parents that we were getting married downtown, so when the bus pulled up in front of their church, they were so happy.”
In the short span of time that they planned the celebration, they also found their outfits in that amount of time too. On her wedding day, Cara wore a tea-length, floral-jacquard dress from Brock Collection’s resort collection that had asymmetric snaps up the front and white ribbon straps and ivory velvet Tabitha Simmons mules. She completed her bridal look with a pair of ivory and gold lovebird earrings by Of Rare Origin.
During the reception for warmth, Cara wore a light colored, vintage mink stole that one of her best friends gifted her for being a bridesmaid in her wedding. For beauty, Genna Still gave the bride loose waves, while Cassandra Garcia recreated Cara’s makeup look from the Met Gala—very simple and soft.
At the church, the bride’s brother walked her down the aisle to “All You Need is Love” by The Beatles. “My dad passed away a few years back so I know that since he wasn’t there to walk with me himself, his next choice certainly would have been Chad,” Cara says. After saying, “I do,” the couple was showered with dried roses and rosemary as they exited the building.
Everyone re-joined in the back carriage house of Palma in the West Village for the dinner reception. Event designer Raúl Àvila, who Cara had worked with multiple times while with Vogue, created the most perfect table arrangements in deep reds (and all the bouquets for the bridal party). Also on the table were a few of Cara’s mother’s antique pieces and two vintage crystal coupe glasses with “Bride” and “Groom” etched onto their sides.
The bountiful meal included caprese salads, grilled shrimp, meatballs, pasta, grilled branzino, and grilled steak and ended with a delicious wedding cake by Nine Cakes. They used one Cara’s mother’s vintage wedding toppers atop the creation, and Cara’s mother’s friend gifted them a sterling silver cake knife, which they used to cut the first slice.
They didn’t plan to dance, but Peter was in charge of making the dinner playlist, and when the song he chose for his mother, “Amiga Da Minha Mulher” by Seu Jorge, came on, she had everyone up and moving. “I’ll always remember salsa dancing with my now brother-in-law, Erik, to that song!”
The newlyweds then had their first dance to “Everywhere” by Fleetwood Mac. At one later point in the evening, Cara’s 90-year-old grandmother checked out another party going on upstairs, and everyone there was so impressed that she had traveled all the way to the city for her granddaughter’s wedding that they gave her a standing ovation. Making friends with them, she brought down a few to join her party.
After dinner and impromptu dancing ended, the newlyweds went back to the Soho Grand Hotel, where friends they had texted the day before stopped by to share a few drinks into the night.