This Community-Effort Backyard Brooklyn Wedding Came Together in Under a Week

“I was already in contact with Mociun’s client experience lead Stephanie Popowski about a one-of-a-kind engagement ring that Rob and I loved, and I asked, given our situation, if they were able to expedite their four to six-week resizing process. Luckily, they were able to,” recalls Ashley, adding: “Initially, I figured we would just get engaged and then just do a City Hall wedding, but then I remembered a wry comment Rob made months ago.” By chance, the couple had recently moved to a new apartment in a classic Brooklyn brownstone, complete with a backyard. “Rob said, ‘Hey, what if we got married in the backyard?’” Ashley remembers. “We’d been talking about marriage for a while at that point, but I didn’t take the backyard wedding idea too seriously; it seemed cute, sure, but maybe not the most practical. At that moment though, at Rob’s bedside in the cancer hospital, a Brooklyn backyard wedding seemed like the perfect idea. Rob called my parents and asked for their blessing, and we were off to the races.”

The lightning-fast planning of Ashley and Rob’s wedding was a true testament to the power of community. After Ashley sent out a text to close friends announcing what she calls their “‘Fuck it, we’re getting married!’ party,” Rob’s law school classmate Shina Bharadwaja—who had dabbled in wedding planning prior to her pivot to law—volunteered her services, helping to acquire rental furniture, fabrics, lighting, and all the other details of a backyard wedding that might seem small. (Until you’re actually planning one, that is.)

Ashley notes that the wedding went from dream to reality largely because of her friends’ willingness to lend their various talents. “Rob’s law school professor, Alexis J. Hoag-Fordjour, paid for event designer Pejy Kash to deck out our apartment in the most beautiful floral arrangements,” she explains. “My friend Roxanne Fequiere paid for my photographers, Sylvie Rosokoff and Megan Walschlager, and recommended Marcey Brownstein Catering for our reception. Rob’s friend Kim Nguyen illustrated and designed our invites. My friend Sara Hinkley, who works as a costume coordinator for TV and film, came by our apartment to help alter my husband’s favorite suit, which no longer fit due to weight loss. My friend Amy Rose Spiegel took me to get my nails done, something that sounds like no big deal, but when you’re caretaking every day and bouncing back and forth between your Brooklyn apartment and an Upper East Side apartment, a little pampering means the world. Throughout the week, friends came by to help organize our apartment, pick up booze, decorate, and made our home wedding ready.”

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