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Style Dollhouses! Ukeleles! Great Gifts for Kids This Holiday Season

19:40  30 november  2020
19:40  30 november  2020 Source:   usmagazine.com

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a person standing in front of a crowd: Janell Hickman and Desi Kirby brought their New Mexico celebration to Brooklyn in the wake of the pandemic—with friends, fashion, and family in tow. © Naomi Marguerite Janell Hickman and Desi Kirby brought their New Mexico celebration to Brooklyn in the wake of the pandemic—with friends, fashion, and family in tow.

Janell M. Hickman and Desi J. Kirby just happened to be in Ottawa, Canada, for a weekend trip when Desi decided to propose—with a ring that he’d been holding onto for months. Desi, who works at a boutique art fabrication studio in New York City focused on custom furniture, first met Janell, a beauty editor and creative consultant, in late 2008 at a friend’s going-away party. “I don’t know if it was love at first sight, but I was definitely interested,” Desi tells BAZAAR Bride of what began as friendship and grew into love.

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The couple moved in together in mid-2015 and had been together for a decade at the time of their engagement two years later. Desi had been trying to figure out how to propose to Janell when they found themselves up north for the weekend. The location had no significance, but as travel lovers, it was more about being in another new place together.

Though the proposal setting wasn’t sentimental to the duo, the ring was extra special and designed with the bride in mind. Desi tapped a friend who had previously worked at Tiffany & Co. and Louis Vuitton to design something traditional yet minimal for Janell. What resulted was a stunning emerald-cut diamond solitaire on a gold band, which he used to spontaneously pop the question he’d been harboring for months.

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After their engagement, Janell and Desi set out to plan a destination wedding, albeit a domestic one. The original plan was a celebration with more than a 120 guests at Los Poblanos, a historic farm and inn near Albuquerque, New Mexico. In planning the wedding, the couple headed southwest twice—first to look at possible venues, meet with a few preliminary vendors, and take some engagement photos. Janell found husband-and-wife photographers Matt and Tish on Instagram, liked their aesthetic and energy, and made plans for the photo shoot. In keeping with the landscape and the laid-back vibes of New Mexico, she donned a colorful Fe Noel two-piece ensemble that echoed the colors of the Southwestern scenery; Desi sported a denim Levi’s shirt and Zara pants.

They went back to New Mexico a second time to do a tasting and finalize the details. But once the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic set in, their venue made the difficult decision not to hold any weddings on-site for the remainder of the year and through all of 2021. For this couple, waiting until 2022 wasn’t on the table—so a safe, small wedding closer to home had to be.

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Once Janell and Desi came to the decision that they definitely wanted to get married in 2020, it was on to plan B. “The goal was to find a new location that was similar to what we had envisioned, kind of like a farm,” Janell explains. “I just happened to Google Brooklyn Grange; it was a really cool rooftop farm in Brooklyn at the Navy Yard. It kind of had the same vibe, the same aesthetic.”

Complete with its views of the Manhattan skyline, Brooklyn Grange was available on Sunday, September 20, just three months away from when Janell came across it. The timeline was tight—but waiting longer meant contending with potentially inclement weather or temps too low to be comfortable celebrating outside. With the priorities whittled down to a chic, safe, local, and intimate celebration outdoors, Janell and Desi jumped right into planning an entirely different wedding.

The couple had originally spoken to Fallon Carter of Fallon Carter Events when planning their New Mexico wedding, but had decided not to fly a planner out for that celebration. When their wedding was refashioned as a local event that needed to be planned in three months, they circled back. Janell admits that she was hesitant to hire a planner, because she’s “type A and super organized,” but in the end, having someone to listen to all her ideas and pull them together was beyond helpful, particularly after she’d poured plenty of energy into planning an event that could no longer take place. Fallon kept on top of the ever-changing regulations and safety protocols in New York City, the general logistics and design of the event, and honoring the couple’s initial plans whenever possible along the way.

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The Tuesday prior to the wedding, the pair signed their marriage license. Since they couldn’t go to the courthouse to make it official, they decided to make it feel special on their own. Desi donned a tropical-print Superdry shirt, G-Star jeans, and sneakers, while Janell wore a Prabal Gurung dress and Cult Gaia shoes. They went to one of their favorite bars, Ode to Babel, a Black-owned business in their neighborhood, and had photographer friend Brian Fraser take pictures of them to commemorate the day’s significance as they virtually tackled the paperwork.

In the days that followed, the celebrations continued, with both the bride and groom having small gatherings of their own to sub in for traditional bachelor and bachelorette parties. Janell chose an all-white ensemble for a dinner with four of her close friends at The Osprey at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, and Desi had a trio of friends join him to hang out at the same hotel, where the couple also stayed pre- and post-wedding.

The next morning, it was time to get ready for their intimate nuptials. As a beauty writer and editor, Janell had her pick of who to collaborate with on her wedding-day hair and makeup. She slipped on a custom Sunday Forever robe for some time in the chair with makeup artist Lakeisha Dale, before freshening up the hairstyle Tony Diaz had cut and Stephanie Brown had colored.

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a person standing in a room with a bed and smiling at the camera: janell hickman © Noemie Marguerite janell hickman a person looking at the camera: NOEM8258.JPG © Noemie Marguerite NOEM8258.JPG

When it came to the gown and the overall look, Janell tapped bridal stylist Frances Armand and worked intimately with Odylyne the Ceremony for her dress, in a less traditional way than most. “My [bridal] design process was a bit unique. I worked with Stephanie White from Odylyne the Ceremony, and she did everything from sending sketches to helping me find inspiration,” Janell explains. “She’s based in LA., so everything was done remotely via email, telephone, and Google Hangouts. To start, she offered three ideas, like, ‘This is what this dress could look like,’ and we picked one that we thought would work best. I measured myself at home, and then just had fingers crossed that it would work out.” And work out it did—“She put my dress together in a month and a half,” Janell says.

And the designer didn’t just create the dress. “She went above and beyond,” the bride explains. “The dress originally came with a very sheer cape. Stephanie wanted to make something more special, so she designed a very intricately detailed cape; it was embroidered with sequins in a leaf pattern that was really beautiful.” The cape not only gave the elegantly simple sheath a bit of drama for the ceremony, but worked double duty as an alternative to a classic veil.

While her ensemble was created on the West Coast, it was finished in New York, with Alteration Specialists handling the final fittings. Janell accessorized the silk crepe gown with Amina Muaddi gold heels, a vintage clutch, and Third Crown and Thief and Heist jewelry.

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Desi went the bespoke route for his suit. “This was the first time I had ever got a custom-fitted suit, so that experience was kind of cool,” he says of the Indochino number he selected every detail of—from the color, to the lining, to the style of collar. “I didn’t want to do a [classic] black tuxedo. I wanted a charcoal-gray suit, kind of like a Beatles’ fit or [something] out of Peaky Blinders.” The groom added cuff links that read “I Do,” a pair of brown shoes from Aldo, and a pocket square his friend gave him to complete the look.

Prior to the ceremony, Janell and Desi headed to the lobby of the hotel to see one another for the first time before venturing over to their late-afternoon ceremony. They then joined their 30 guests on the rooftop of Brooklyn Grange, where a sign illustrated by Soo Kim, a former coworker of Janell’s, marked the occasion. The illustration incorporated a line drawing of the bride and groom based on a photo they’d taken together in New Mexico, commemorating the merge of their original wedding plans and their newly planned nuptials. It wasn’t the only signage, as circumstances warranted one that read, “Spread love, not germs,” set out by a bottle of lavender-scented hand sanitizer produced by their original venue in New Mexico, which has a lavender field on-site.

The couple’s intimate ceremony on the roof was also designed with a nod to the Southwest. “Fallon was really good about not making it feel super kitschy,” says the bride. LaParis Phillips of Brooklyn Blooms brought elements native to New Mexico into the decor, like cacti and dried grasses; and she kept that same aesthetic in mind when creating Janell’s colorful yet gestural bridal bouquet. When it came to the floral design, Janell trusted the talent she collaborated with for the big day. “I didn’t really give LaParis too much direction, but our color palette was the colors of the sunset, since we wanted something that tied back to New Mexico. Nothing that was too bold; think more muted tones, like oranges and peaches, with blues and shades of white,” says Janell.

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The ceremony was livestreamed to the remainder of the couple’s original guest list, and plans were made to ensure all who attended virtually felt welcome. “Fallon made sure everyone enjoyed themselves and felt present—regardless of if they were there in person or not,” says Janell. “She even created a Pinterest board to give virtual attendees guidance for the garden-chic attire.”

Though this was far from the wedding Janell and Desi originally planned, it didn’t stop emotions from running high—in all the best ways. “I didn’t necessarily cry walking down the aisle, but I did feel really emotional leading up to getting married, after getting married, and a lot of excitement. Despite us being together for so long, even when Desi proposed, it was one of those things that you know is happening; you know it’s coming—but it still feels very emotional and surreal,” says Janell.

Emotions were heightened thanks to a performance by Keanna O’Quinn, the lead singer of the group Honey + Vinyl, who read a story Janell wrote about canceling the wedding and having to start over. Keanna was so moved by it that she reached out to Fallon about how she could be involved, and ended up performing a mix of reggae, R&B, soul, jazz, and gospel music during the ceremony. “It was a lot of chill music,” Janell says. “We wanted it to be something that people would recognize and would want to sing along to, not something distracting.” Post-wedding, guests were begging for the playlist. Thankfully, Keanna created one for everyone to enjoy again and again.

a person standing on a sidewalk: janell and desi © Noemie Marguerite janell and desi a man in a suit holding a flower: portraits © Noemie Marguerite portraits

a man and a woman standing in front of a flower: janell and desi © Noemie Marguerite janell and desi

Upon exchanging their vows, the couple traded custom rings made by Khadijah Fulton of White/Space that were also designed remotely due to the pandemic’s travel restrictions. For Janell, Fulton created a half-circle diamond ring accented with an emerald, which left space on the finger to accommodate her engagement ring. For Desi, she crafted a traditional, hammered band.

After the couple jumped the floral-adorned broom and were declared husband and wife, they headed to a spot on the perimeter of the roof for post-ceremony portraits with photographer Noémie-Marguerite. Noémie had documented one of the couple’s friend’s weddings, and Janell had seen a series of her photos and resonated with her style. “She’s really chill, which was important to me; I didn’t want someone who was too high energy or anxious,” Janell recalls. For cinematography, the couple partnered with Nikki Miller of Mae B. Films to document their celebration.

As afternoon moved into evening, it was time to eat. So as not to detract from the Zen-like setting of the working farm several flights up from the busy streets of Brooklyn, tables were dressed with items that complemented the scene. Seasonal fruits and vegetables were woven in with flowers to create unique centerpieces along weathered wood tables set with colorfully patterned chargers from Lola Valentina and printed napkins from Nüage Designs. Campbell & Co., a female-led catering company and grocer, prepared the meal, which was outlined on small menu cards designed by By Dami Studios. Given that the duration of the event was kept under three hours, the informal meal was comprised of a cheese board, mini crudités cups, and a trio of sliders—making just enough time for guests to hit the dance floor.

While the reception was more mellow, it did include some dance music thanks to Alexis Toney, a.k.a. ClassicNewWave. Janell had attended a party she'd played the year before, and had booked her for their original wedding in New Mexico. Janell wanted Alexis to be part of the celebration no matter where it took place—and she went above and beyond, managing the reception music and the technology of the ceremony livestream on Twitch. “From what I hear, people were in the group chat talking to one another and enjoying themselves,” Janell says of the video component, which was suggested by Fallon when the couple said they wanted to do something cool and different rather than the now-standard Zoom wedding.

a bunch of different colored candies: tablescape © Noemie Marguerite tablescape a piece of cake sitting on top of a table © Noemie Marguerite cake

The newlyweds shared a first dance to “Do Better” by Cuco, a song they’d heard in a coffee shop in Bushwick. “We just liked it. The lyrics are kind of romantic…and it’s something that we’ve always kind of listened to ever since,” explains Janell.

The couple cut into a two-tier cake by Popfetti Events, served mini banana puddings and vegan chocolate mousse, and gifted all attendees with custom wedding favors. Denequa Williams-Clarke, the founder of Lit Brooklyn, had called Janell when she heard the couple’s first wedding had to be canceled. She offered to create a duo of travel candles for each guest, one a sandalwood and tobacco mix, and the other a sweet patchouli and almond scent, with labels that matched the wedding stationery. The fragrant keepsakes were slipped into muslin pouches atop the dinner napkins for guests to depart with.

After everyone headed home, Janell changed into a Mestiza dress paired with an Intermix jacket for a date night with Desi—their first of many as newlyweds. “We decided to go to Vinegar Hill House. It’s kind of tucked away, and it was closing [for the night]. We had to call them and we were like, ‘We just got married. We’re so sorry. We’re late for a reservation.’ But it was nice because we sat in the back garden, and they brought us champagne.” Desi had a pork loin, while Janell had pasta. They sipped cocktails, enjoyed the romantic setting, and recapped how they spent their days leading up to their first look in the hotel lobby. “It was kind of like a blur to me until we went out to dinner that night," Desi says. "Then, I actually had time to relax and talk to Janell."

Though the event they’d refocused their energy on planning had come and gone, there was more celebrating to do. The night after the wedding, the couple’s pals hosted a “friendception” on the roof of a friend’s home in Brooklyn. They invited 30 of Janell’s and Desi’s closest friends, hired a DJ, decorated with streamers, and kept it a secret from Janell. This was the after-party the couple had skipped out on, and it was officially time to turn up, dance, and have a good time—with views of the city, again, providing the ultimate backdrop.

Along with their wedding plans, Janell and Desi also reconsidered their honeymoon. After their wedding that never was in New Mexico, the couple intended on road-tripping across the Southwest, but they weren’t comfortable with the long, cross-country flight needed to get them there from New York. When they decided to wed in Brooklyn, a road trip was still in the cards—it was just a matter of where.

a man cutting a cake: janell and desi © Noemie Marguerite janell and desi

Janell’s interior designer friend, Lisa Lu, was instrumental in finding an ideal honeymoon destination. She shared a ton of options in the areas surrounding New York City, but Hasbrouck House really spoke to the newlyweds. The two drove upstate just as the leaves began to change colors and booked the spot’s Carriage House, adjacent to the historic main building. The cozy suite boasts a soaking tub and a fireplace, and they were greeted by a bottle of bubbly. While the year had brought some unfortunate curveballs, there was one that further added to their newlywed bliss. “Because of COVID, there weren’t a lot of people there,” Desi says. “It felt like everything was there [just] for us.”

31 funny gifts for those who need a good laugh .
These presents are designed to put a smile on anyone's face.Some people are hard to shop for. Some people have very specific tastes, while others simply prefer their gifts on the, um, humorous side. This novelty gift guide is for all those people.

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