Simplicity was the guiding principle of Melissa Klein and Louis Venezia’s nuptials. They dedicated a day to iron out the details of the wedding and finalized arrangements in less than a week – allowing them to more fully enjoy their 10-month engagement. Reflective of Melissa and Louis’ personalities, the low-key event would be a celebration shared with the most important people in their lives: their parents and siblings.

When it came to the location, Melissa and Louis couldn’t think of a better place than the vibrant metropolis they called home – New York City. The ceremony would take place at Park Avenue United Methodist Church, where Melissa attends services and volunteers. As for the reception, the couple looked forward to treating their family to one of the area’s illustrious restaurants. Keeping their guests’ comfort in mind, the bride and groom arranged for a car service to transport their loved ones from New Jersey on a windy fall day. Besides sporting ties in a shade of blue, all the men in attendance were also given rustic boutonnieres.

Within the brick façade, the inviting, light-filled sanctuary featured a cream and celadon interior with delicate painted details, stained-glass windows, and suspended antique lanterns. The bride looked positively chic in a designer off-the-shoulder black frock she paired with metallic, pointed-toe heels. Her blonde updo was accented with a dramatic ebony feather headpiece boasting iridescent green highlights. Melissa carried a garden bouquet of vanilla, lavender, and peach roses, ivory lisianthus, chartreuse hydrangeas, amber Mokara orchids, and greenery. “I wanted something sophisticated and whimsical to complement my dress, and I knew the [floral] team would be able to design it [to my taste],” she notes. Louis accessorized his dapper navy pinstripe suit with a teal tie and silver cuff links in the form of baseballs. Incorporating personal touches to the service, the groom chose two poems to be read: I Remember by Anne Sexton and The Sun Rising by John Donne. Melissa made sure to include the Lord’s Prayer.

After the vow exchange, the newlyweds took portraits in the downtown area, near Pier 57, against a buzzing backdrop of taxis, runners, and dogs. They joined their guests at Del Posto for the cocktail hour and an exquisite six-course sit-down meal with wine pairings. “We wanted good food and a four-star dining experience for our family,” shares Melissa.

One of the private dining rooms that also serves as a functioning wine cellar afforded the perfect setting for an intimate reception with approachable elegance. Peach, pink, and ivory dahlias and roses, as well as mint hydrangeas with a touch of crimson mingled with verdure vines to create a pastoral runner on the long table. Wedding favors blended the couple’s love of the city and literary inclinations. Upon their place settings – designated by place cards featuring the iconic skyline – loved ones found copies of Here is New York by E.B. White or books of vintage New York postcards adorned with quotes from such luminaries as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Helen Keller.

Reflecting on the momentous occasion, Melissa and Louis cherish the love and camaraderie that surrounded them on their big day.