The July 13, 2014, wedding of Danielle Chao and Chris Mroz was a study in contrasts: Elegance and haute couture met fun and handmade. The wedding at Liberty House in Jersey City offered magnificent NYC views and sophisticated ambience, while dozens of special touches and handmade crafts reflected the hobbies and interests of this creative, fun-loving couple.
Danielle, 29, wore a figure-hugging Monique Lhuillier gown that she bought second-hand. She then changed into a dress custom-ordered from Etsy for the reception. Chris, 33, and his groomsmen wore light-gray tuxedos with deep-blue ties. Bridesmaids chose their own short, pink dresses. Ring bearer Spencer wore gray shorts, suspenders, a pink bow tie and canvas slip-on shoes, and flower girl Lesley wore a sundress and waved a flag made of pink ribbons. “I wanted them to look like kids who were having fun,” Danielle says.
Danielle, who works for an architecture firm in New York City, designed many of the paper crafts featured at the wedding and reception, including envelopes that served a double purpose: The wedding program and brief bios of the wedding party were printed on the inside and they were filled with brightly colored pompons, which the guests tossed at the couple as they walked down the aisle.
The reception overflowed with fun and color, too, as the 130 guests enjoyed a tattoo bar, a candy bar and a table-seating guide that encouraged the guests to replace their table cards with on-the-spot Polaroid pictures. The menus were printed on fortune-tellers that harken back to childhood games. For the after-party, the couple had a ferry boat take guests on a river cruise around the Statue of Liberty, under the Brooklyn Bridge and past the landmarks of lower Manhattan.
Danielle and Chris traveled extensively before their wedding, so they decided to bring some of their global sensibilities to the ceremony. “We didn’t set out to create a theme, but travel really does tie together the story of our lives,” Danielle says. Table decorations incorporated maps and globes, and a vintage suitcase served as a cardholder.
After the wedding, Danielle took a leave of absence from her job and Chris, a self-employed financial trader, closed his books for a while. The two set off on a five-month honeymoon throughout southeast Asia. They spoke to New Jersey Bride from Bali.