A Lush, French-Inspired Garden Wedding at The Foundry in Long Island City, New York

Allyson Shurmur and Pierre-Adrien Villenave’s love story began in the heart of Philadelphia, where their paths crossed while Pierre attended the Unive

Allyson Shurmur and Pierre-Adrien Villenave’s love story began in the heart of Philadelphia, where their paths crossed while Pierre attended the University of Pennsylvania and Allyson worked at the university’s hospital. Sparks flew, leading to their memorable first date in a quaint bar in Center City. The bond between them deepened with a playful challenge. “Pierre asked me to go for a run around the Schuylkill River since I had bragged that I had done the NYC marathon just a few weeks prior. Pierre kicked my butt.”

As their relationship blossomed, Pierre planned to pop the question set against the bustling backdrop of New York City. The bride recalls, “The day started off with a workout at our favorite gym, Tonehouse; brunch at our favorite spot, Lafayette; and then a helicopter ride all around the city.” The day was filled with their favorite activities, encapsulating the essence of their shared joys and adventures. As the sun set over the city skyline, Pierre crafted the perfect moment for a proposal. With the glittering lights of Manhattan serving as a canvas, he got on one knee. Overwhelmed with joy and surrounded by the beauty of their special city, Allyson “said yes, of course,” sealing their commitment to a lifetime of love and adventure together.

In the heart of New York City, at the crossroads of two cultures, Allyson Shurmur and Pierre-Adrien Villenave crafted a wedding celebration that was as much a marriage of Manhattan and Long Island City as it was of their own hearts. From the outset, their planning centered on blending their American and French backgrounds, a theme articulated from the very invitations, printed in both English and French, to the dual delights of NYC bagels and Pierre’s cherished French bonbons nestled within their welcome boxes.

Their chosen venue, The Foundry, with its breathtaking view of the Queensborough Bridge, was more than a picturesque locale—it was a symbol, representing the sturdy new link forged between their distinct cultures. This motif of connection permeated every aspect of their planning, from the potted herb displays guiding guests to their seats to the vintage French banners fluttering gently above.

Fashion decisions for the big day were made with the same care and attention to detail. It was at the esteemed Oscar De La Renta on Madison Avenue where Allyson, flanked by her supportive sisters, discovered “the dress” — an ivory crepe gown adorned with organza flowers that seemed to dance in the breeze around her shoulders. A statement flower affixed to her side was the pièce de résistance that gave Allyson her “Carrie Bradshaw” moment. Pierre, not to be outdone, chose a sleek Ted Baker tuxedo that complemented the urban chic aesthetic of their venue.

On the day of their wedding, guests began to gather within the old-world charm of The Foundry’s courtyard. The industrial elegance of the venue, paired with lush terracotta and copper-toned floral arrangements, set a striking scene. As the ceremony commenced, the couple stood beneath an archway draped in vibrant anemones — Allyson’s favorite — and aromatic botanicals of lavender, basil and rosemary. The vows were exchanged with the serenely striking Manhattan skyline in the background.For the celebration that followed, guests were treated to a raw bar and uniquely French hors d’oeuvres while sipping on specialty cocktails — a jalapeño cucumber margarita and a passion fruit mojito — that echoed the couple’s zest for life and adventure. Each table bore the personal touch of hand-picked fabrics and florals, centered around copper candle hurricanes that cast a warm, inviting glow.

As night fell, the reception unfolded into a spirited celebration under the canopy of disco balls and sequined decor. Allyson’s vision of “the best dance party of all time” came to life with a live band energizing the crowd, followed by a surprise performance that filled the space with neon baby’s breath and the shimmer of sequins. The outdoor lounge offered a moment of respite, where guests could enjoy hand-rolled cigars while reminiscing and making new memories.

Throughout the festivities, the joy was palpable, heightened by speeches that flowed as freely in French as they did in English, with Allyson’s mom sharing a few heartfelt words in the groom’s native tongue. The photo booth, tucked inside a 1964 Serro Scotty camper, captured the merriment of the evening as guests posed and penned sweet notes in the couple’s guestbook.

Reflecting on their journey, Allyson shared a slice of wisdom for other couples embarking on wedding planning: “I would recommend actually listening to what your partner wants and incorporating his or her ideas so that both are involved in the planning process.” This collaborative spirit ensures that every detail reflects a shared vision.

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