Perhaps it was foreshadowing that Martha McKinley and Gillian Johnson met during a bachelorette party in East Hampton. After all, the two hit it off and went on to date for two years. Then, during a trip to New York (the couple is based in Canada), Gillian wanted Martha to take a photo of the two of them at her old apartment’s rooftop. “Gill hates photos of herself, so I was bit perplexed by her eagerness,” Martha recalls. When they finally got to the rooftop, Gillian was still visibly nervous. “She turned to me and said, ‘You know how much I hate having photos taken of myself . . . we aren’t here to take a photo,’ and she pulled out a ring box and put it on my knee.” Gillian went on to propose, and after Martha said yes, her sister came out from behind a wall and took photos of the whole thing.
The couple had originally planned to have a wedding in Central Park, and they’d even reserved the Gazebo for the day, but unfortunately Hurricane Willa had other plans. “The day before the wedding, we went online and searched loft rentals in NYC and snagged one down in the Financial District. It ended up being perfect,” she says of the space with white brick walls and large windows. The self-proclaimed laid back couple planned the whole event on their own, decorating the space with fall colors and wildflowers they got from Plant Shed.
As they both come from large families, the brides knew they would be having a bigger celebration later on, but felt strongly about having a small, intimate legal ceremony first. And so, for this event, they both decided to skip the traditional bridal dress and wear white jumpsuits instead. “Finding the perfect white jumpsuit proved to be a lot harder than we thought!” Martha admits. Gillian ended up finding hers at BHLDN, while Martha opted for a Halston Heritage design. Both paired their jumpsuits with Sam Edelman shoes. As for jewelry, Gillian wore her great, great grandmother’s cameo necklace paired with Fewer Finer earrings and necklace, while Martha wore Fewer Finer necklaces and drop earrings and her great grandmother’s engagement ring.
The day of the wedding, most of the important roles were handled by friends and family. Martha’s best friend from childhood played the violin as the couple walked down the aisle together, and her parents officiated the ceremony. During the service, Martha’s brother also read a poem, while Gillian’s brother performed a reading she had picked out.
After they were officially married, their close knit group of 25 friends and family headed to Freeman’s Alley for dinner in a private room. “I’d say we had about nine toasts during dinner,” Martha remembers. “We had a feeling this would be the case, so we requested that people eat through the toasts. It worked out well and the dinner was magical!” After finishing, the newlyweds and some friends ended the special day at Make Believe, where they all danced the night away.