A Bright, Offbeat Wedding at the Foundry in Long Island City, New York

For Risa Abrams (32 and a TV producer) and Michael Smagula’s (33 and a high school guidance counselor) summer wedding in New York City, traditional simply wasn’t going to cut it. With the help of coordinator Jove Meyer, the pair planned a funky affair at the Foundry in Long Island City, New York, with a spectrum of eye-catching color, personal touches and a few surprises. “We are a bit allergic to tradition and what’s typically popular, so we just did what felt right to us,” Risa says. For the ceremony, Risa and Michael knew they wanted something lighthearted, so they asked their close friends to write and officiate the ceremony. Jove Meyer handcrafted a colorful ribbon backdrop that lit up the outdoor space, and Michael got crafty in the months leading up to event, spray-painting the couple’s silhouettes on old records that he had painted gold. After exchanging heartfelt vows, the Hungry March Band made their way down the aisle and whisked the newlyweds and their wedding party into the reception. “We wanted to keep them a total surprise and only told the people in the wedding that they’d be there,” Risa says. The couple kept things simple when it came to the decor, allowing the Foundry's character to shine through. Colorful linens and bud vases filled with bold pink and red blooms added a touch of personality to the space and set the tone for the evening’s festivities. “We did not have any major centerpieces, formal seating, place settings or name cards,” Risa says. “We just wanted to marry each other and have a huge dance party. And make music, dancing and color the focus of the whole thing.” Instead of a formal sit-down meal, the pair opted for a more relaxed format that encouraged guests to mix and mingle. A popcorn machine greeted the couple’s friends and family as they arrived and caterer Betty Brooklyn served an unforgettable spread of decadent eats, from mini fried chicken biscuits and veggie kebabs to stations of pasta, sliders and more. As a special late-night snack, a gelato truck from Grom, the couple’s favorite gelato spot, indulged guests in a variety of cool, icy treats. After getting their fill, Risa, Michael and their family and friends hit the dance floor, glow sticks and all, and got down to a playlist of oldies and '80s and '90s pop music spun by DJ Shakey. “We had ended up ordering so many glow sticks that when the lights dimmed, the room was lit by our glow sticks,” Risa says. “It was magical.” A tip from Risa and Michael: “It’s your day, so make it about yourself and don’t be swayed by traditions that don’t speak to you.”