A Romantic Winter Wedding at Union League Cafe in New Haven, Connecticut

Susan West (30 and a program coordinator of major gifts at Yale University) and Solomon Silber’s (32 and a musician and producer) winter wedding in Ne

Susan West (30 and a program coordinator of major gifts at Yale University) and Solomon Silber’s (32 and a musician and producer) winter wedding in New Haven, Connecticut, was the picture of old-world glamour, with a dramatic palette of burgundy, cranberry and soft pink, a lively brass band and plenty of romantic candlelight. “Everything was quite timeless and classic, but in the details, there was a distinct flair that made the overall style unique to our sensibilities,” Susan says. The stationery set the tone for the unfussy-yet-formal fete, with ivory card stock embellished with elegant script and delicately torn edges introducing guests to the glamorous soiree to come. “I am obsessed with fine stationery, and I'm a firm believer that you don’t skimp on this aspect of the wedding. It sets the tone for the entire event,” Susan says. The couple kicked off the festivities in Yale University’s Dwight Hall Chapel, where they exchanged vows in an interfaith ceremony. Susan and Solomon put their own personal twist on the proceedings by incorporating Jewish traditions, such as the breaking of the glass, and a moment of silence that served as a nod to Susan’s Quaker school days. Music was a top priority for the pair, who included New Haven Brass Band in the proceedings to give the ceremony extra panache. After the “I dos,” Susan and Solomon joined their guests at Union League Cafe for the cocktail hour and reception. Cocktail hour took place on the second floor, where guests indulged in passed hors d’oeuvres and an oyster bar and a live quartet filled the air with jazzy tunes. “We are foodies, so it was all about the food, which was incredible,” Susan says. Sweet Tooth and the Sugarbabies kicked off the postdinner celebrations with a bang, packing the dance floor with their swinging set list. But the highlight of the night was a surprise performance by Solomon, who joined the band onstage for renditions of Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxey Lady” and “Little Wing.” “If anyone was not on the dance floor, Solomon got them out there. The band knew Solomon was going to perform with them, so they had rehearsed the Hendrix songs, but I had no idea!” Susan says. “We are so grateful to the Sugarbabies—they made the party happen.” Some tips from Susan and Solomon: “Keep your vendors local. It’s good practice and makes the logistics of the planning process easier, and they often know one another well, which means they are used to working together. Also, hire a day-of coordinator, so you can relax and enjoy the big day from start to finish.” —Libby MacCarthy

“I am obsessed with fine stationery, and I'm a firm believer that you don’t skimp on this aspect of the wedding,” Susan says. “It sets the tone of the entire event. I even cut back on my flower budget in order to have nice stationery.” The couple opted for a classic design with ivory card stock, formal black script and delicately torn edges that gave the timeless design a touch of modern flair.
Filled with anemones, garden roses, eucalyptus, scabiosas, ranunculus and more, Susan’s bouquet took on a romantic, textured feel that was heightened by the contrast of soft pastel and dramatic dark hues.
“I wanted the flowers to be very feminine and romantic,” Susan says. “The chapel and the Union League Cafe are very masculine environments, so the flowers had to bring a soft, delicate and feminine feel to the space.” Bundles of full blush garden roses, wispy pink flowers and jewel-tone scabiosas did the trick, adding a pop of color to the decor, while elevating the wedding party’s attire.
Located on the Yale University campus, Dwight Hall Chapel offered a convenient and sentimental location for the ceremony. “Solomon loves giving classical guitar performances in this space,” Susan says. The couple made the ceremony their own by including traditions from both the Jewish and Quaker faiths, including the breaking of the glass and a moment of silence. The New Haven Brass Band performed during the proceedings, filling the air with renditions of classical and modern tunes.
Though the couple didn’t have a specific theme at the beginning of the planning process, a distinct 1920s vibe developed organically out of each decision. The escort cards took on a subtle art deco tone with fanciful script that brought the classic white cards to life.
The evening’s signs kept with the 1920s glamour theme, featuring vintage-inspired lettering and fanciful gilded frames that twinkled in the candlelight.
While ivory linens and dinnerware gave the tablescapes a classic feel, it was the centerpieces that brought Susan and Solomon’s vision to life. Dark, dramatic blooms softened Union League Cafe’s old-world interior, while flickering candlelight cast a warm, ambient glow over the room, inviting intimate exchanges and creating a cozy atmosphere.
Though Susan is a fan of tousled bohemian hairstyles, she wanted a structured, elegant updo that would complement the evening’s polished, formal feel. “It was big and romantic,” Susan says. “I wanted the style to be off-centered to help balance the dress and give off an effortless feel. The look had to be formal enough for black tie, but—as with everything else in my wedding—I didn’t want it to look too fussy.”
After dinner, the newlyweds and their guests headed to the second floor to dance the night away. But before busting a move, Susan and Solomon treated their family and friends to a slice of wedding cake—an impressive three-tier confection created in the likeness of a classic French croquembouche.
To ensure their guests stayed warm and cozy on their walk back to the hotel, Susan and Solomon provided piping hot cups of hot chocolate at the end of the night.