An Urban, Modern Wedding at the Art Factory in Paterson, New Jersey

Michelle Egoavil (30 and a registered nurse) and Billy Solomos's (32 and a registered nurse) wedding was a work of art. Nestled within the installatio

Michelle Egoavil (30 and a registered nurse) and Billy Solomos's (32 and a registered nurse) wedding was a work of art. Nestled within the installations and urban backdrop at the Art Factory in Paterson, New Jersey, every eclectic piece of decor captured the couple's personalized twist on a classic style. Their 3-D mountain-inspired ceremony scenery, rainbow-colored bridesmaid bouquets and modern reception chandelier added to the theme. All 175 guests entered their nondenominational service by going into a carved-out room inside a local artist's rendition of a mountain. Lush greenery and bold flowers surrounded each post of Michelle and Billy's wedding arbor, adding to the natural setting. Their bridesmaids channeled the same look, as they walked in with colorful bouquets from Ivie Joy Floral Arts and Events. Each one had blooms in orange, red, purple, blue and seemingly every other hue on the color wheel. While the reception centerpieces channeled the same design as their bouquets, what really caught attention was Michelle and Billy's manzanita branch chandelier. Suspended over their head table, it served as the room's focal point with hanging glass orbs and tealight candles. Carolina Wahnish Rivera Photography captured these and many more details. “We wanted to create a memorable experience for our guests, but didn’t want our photos to look outdated years from now," Billy says. "Choosing classic themes and presenting them in a less-than-classic setting allowed us to do this.”

“One of the things we learned from being in so many friends' and family members’ weddings was that no one dress will fit each bridesmaid the same, leaving all of them to feel less beautiful than they deserve,” Billy says. Ensuring that this was not the case at their celebration, Michelle simply gave her bridesmaids the option of silver or charcoal and let them each pick their own looks. Ranging from strapless to V-neck and slim-fitted to sheath, each woman picked out her favorite style and looked lovely.
As she walked down the aisle with her parents, Michelle’s entire look exuded personal style. She worked with the team at Bloom Salon to style her hair into 1940s-worthy soft curls. Her makeup, below a classic birdcage veil, kept things simple with natural shades and her favorite red lipstick. But what really stood out during their processional was her incredible bouquet. The vibrant arrangement by Ivie Joy Floral Arts and Events was filled out with feathers, anemones and wildflowers.
“We wanted a nontraditional wedding venue, something different from your standard casino-carpet locales, as Michelle likes to call them,” Billy says. “At the time, the Art Factory had only been open to public-event use for several months and many of the galleries were still very raw. Still, we knew it was an incredible space that would make for fantastic photographs and a memorable experience for all our guests.” During their nondenominational ceremony, the venue’s mountain-inspired rock wall, exposed brick and other installations served as their main decor.
From the beginning of wedding planning, Michelle and Billy knew they wanted her son to have a special place in their ceremony. “We entrusted him to hold our wedding bands the night before and didn’t see them again until he took his place in the ceremony,” Billy says. “As a large part of the glue that holds our family together, asking Kayleb to bear our rings created a bond that will remain far into the future, regardless of the direction our family takes.” When Michelle and Billy exchanged vows, he also read his pledge to Kayleb. (How sweet is that?) At this point, every person in the room began to cry.
“Michelle knew she wanted to use the papel picado in some fashion and our florist integrated it brilliantly into the rest of the decorations," Billy says. The traditional, white lace-inspired signs hung overhead as Michelle and Billy shared their first kiss. The rest of their ceremony decor included natural greenery, candlelight, string lighting, a mountain-inspired backdrop and bold flowers. The papel picado banner stood out in contrast.
“I wanted to feel like it was another day or event I was going to, so I could look back at the pictures, see myself and not be overshadowed by fancy hair and dark eye shadow,” Michelle says. With this in mind, she kept to natural makeup and timeless accents. A vintage-style birdcage veil covered her face as they started the recessional. Her side-swept curls highlighted the accent as well as her teardrop earrings and bold red lipstick.
Their wedding party's looks were glamorous and fun. Each bridesmaid rocked a silver or charcoal gray dress in her favorite cut, color and style. Only their vibrant bouquets tied them together. For the groomsmen, they also showed off some personality with their own navy blue suits, white shirts and gray ties to match the bridesmaids. Michelle and Billy wanted everyone to be themselves and comfortable with just a color uniting their outfits.
"Bold" only begins to describe their bridesmaid bouquets. Inspired by jewel tones, Ivie from Ivie Joy Floral Arts and Events crafted each one with fuchsia peonies, greenery, purple astilbes, blue delphiniums, blue sea holly, wildflowers, green hydrangeas, orange proteas and much more in an orange ribbon wrap. Michelle’s arrangement took things further with vintage-style feathers and white anemones to break up the vibrant mixture.
Keeping with their neutral color scheme, Michelle and Billy used simple signs to point guests to the day’s events. After a cocktail hour filled with various sangrias, sparkling water and mojitos, everyone followed a white and gray arrow-accented sign to the indoor reception nearby.
After a few photos with Carolina Wahnish Rivera Photography, the couple returned to their guests to start the party. Billy paraded into the room in a dapper navy J.Crew suit and silver tie. Michelle stepped beside him in a chic vintage-style mermaid-style Rosa Clara dress. Their dapper looks caught every eye as well as a hint of light from the modern chandelier.
While branches lined every long reception table at the Art Factory in Paterson, New Jersey, Michelle and Billy ensured theirs stood out with a natural twist. Designed by Ivie Joy Floral Arts and Events, a grand manzanita branch hung above their head table as a focal point. Over a dozen glass orbs filled with candlelight from tealight candles floated below it, creating an ethereal and modern chandelier.
Michelle and Billy entrusted the pros at Parcel to design all their stationery, including the menu cards at each place setting. A thin blue and white border surrounded every course. Matching anemones popped up from behind the top for a sweet design. The card included all options for the family-style dinner.
Organic arrangements from Ivie Joy Floral Arts and Events lined every table at the reception, giving the room a natural and cozy feel. Three candles on silver stands surrounded each bunch of greenery, purple roses, green mini hydrangeas, eucalyptus, purple dahlias and manzanita branches. Their burlap table numbers further highlighted every garden-style display.
Not wanting to stop the party with a cake cutting, Michelle and Billy opted for a three-tier naked confection from their caterer, Main Street. Fresh fruit and thick white icing separated each layer for a natural touch. Vibrant dahlias, roses and thistle accents from Ivie Joy Floral Arts and Events connected the confection to the rest of their natural decor.
For their first dance, Michelle and Billy chose a song that fully embodied their relationship: “Heartbeats” by Jose Gonzalez. “We are a couple that is fairly private and rarely looking to be the center of attention,” Billy says. “Our wedding song was quiet, slow and heartfelt, but direct and unwavering in its message.”