Chanel and Julian were neighbors, but they did not connect until a chance meeting at the Harlem based restaurant the Red Rooster.
Chanel recalls, “I was there to meet a friend for a drink, but my friend was running late and Julian just so happened to be playing in the house band that night. After finishing up the first set, Julian came to the bar to grab a drink.” He knew Chanel looked familiar and after striking up a conversation with her, they realized they lived in the same apartment on the same floor. The next day he searched every Chanel on Facebook until he found her.
After a beautiful proposal at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Chanel and Julian started wedding planning, but the pandemic changed their plans. Chanel shares, “So our wedding date was always 9/20/2020 but what our wedding turned out to be was TOTALLY different than what we had originally planned. Once the pandemic hit in March, we made the difficult decision to postpone our in-person ceremony, but we knew we still wanted to get married on our date. Seeing as how we were in Brooklyn with Julian’s family and my family was all the way in Florida, we knew the only way for all of our loved ones to “be” with us on our day would be for us to get married over Zoom in our backyard.”
Their officiant and several family members joined them for their intimate backyard wedding. The couple still had a first dance, champagne, and a yummy wedding cake. They still hope to have an in-person celebration, but their micro wedding was simply perfect.
See all of the details captured by Sequoyah Daniel below!
- Full names of couple: Chanel Carroll and Julian Litwack
- Occupations: Actress and Musician
- Wedding date: 09/20/2020
- Wedding location: Their backyard in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, NY
- What gifts did you give to your bridesmaids and groomsmen: We did not have a bridal party/ any groomsmen
- Gifts for one another: I got Julian a commissioned art piece of us and our dog Bayley as “Simpsons” characters. We LOVE “The Simpsons”. He got me this great mixology set because he knows I’m trying to up my cocktail making game.
- Ceremony entrance song: “Eden (Harlem)” from the “If Beale Street Could Talk” soundtrack
- First dance song: “My Ship” by Miles Davis and Gil Evans
How did you meet?
We were neighbors in Harlem in 2012. We actually lived on the same floor of the same apartment building, but we met for the first time at a restaurant called Red Rooster which is a popular neighborhood gem. I was there to meet a friend for a drink, but my friend was running late and Julian just so happened to be playing in the house band that night. After finishing up the first set, Julian came to the bar to grab a drink. I complimented him on his playing and as he began to thank me, he did a double take out of recognition. “Wait, don’t I know you from somewhere?” he asked me. “I think we live on the same floor” I said. We hit it off right away. The next day, I received a Facebook friend request from him which was impressive, seeing as how I had only given him my first name. “Do you know how many Chanels live in Harlem?!” he would later reveal to me. =-) We made a plan to get Mexican food in the West Village and the rest is history. We’ve pretty much been together ever since.
Tell us about the proposal
In November of 2018, we went to Paris to celebrate my birthday. It was our final day there which also happened to be my actual birthday and we got up early to go to The Eiffel Tower. It was so cold that day but we waited in line for over an hour to get our chance to go up to the top. Once we were up there, the view was breathtaking and magical. But as you can imagine, it was even COLDER up there. I was shivering. I kept asking Julian if we could go inside to grab some hot chocolate. At my final request to do so, he said “ok but before we do, can I get you to take off your left glove.” The rest is pretty much a romantic blur from there. It was the BEST cherry on top of an already PERFECT trip.
I wore a Paloma Blanca lace dress that I got at the EPIC Kleinfeld sample sale last year. My experience at the sample sale was great, but I do have to say I got there SUPER early so I would have first dibs on the best options. Thankfully, I went in there with a plan. I knew what I wanted: Long sleeves, sweetheart neckline, fit n flare. And luckily, I got everything on my wishlist. My shoes were blush pink, rhinestone embellished heels from Badgley Mischka.
Julian wore a navy blue suit he rented from The Black Tux. His shoes were from Kenneth Cole.
So our wedding date was always 9/20/2020 but what our wedding turned out to be was TOTALLY different than what we had originally planned. Once the pandemic hit in March, we made the difficult decision to postpone our in-person ceremony, but we knew we still wanted to get married on our date. Seeing as how we were in Brooklyn with Julian’s family and my family was all the way in Florida, we knew the only way for all of our loved ones to “be” with us on our day would be for us to get married over Zoom in our backyard. And luckily, we came to that decision at the end of March so we had six months to figure out exactly WHAT we wanted our Zoom wedding to be. Ultimately, it ended up being somewhat of a condensed version of what we originally planned. We still said our vows, had a first dance, our family gave speeches, we cut our cake and we had live music. The biggest difference was that the majority of our vendors (our officiant, our Zoom coordinator who handled the technical elements of the Zoom, and our pianist) were joining us over Zoom. Julian and I picked up our flowers from our florist the night before. The only vendor physically with us on the day was our AWESOME photographer, Sequoyah Daniel. The day went off without a hitch. No technical problems and no noise disturbances from our neighbors. We still plan on having an in-person celebration whenever it feels safer to but honestly even though it wasn’t what we planned, it was more intimate and more perfect than we could’ve ever imagined.
Advice for Engaged Couples
The advice we would give to engaged couples during this time, especially ones who have had to change their original plans, is to not get caught up in whether whatever they decide to do will be “special” or not. Whether you decide to postpone your wedding altogether, whether you decide to just go to City Hall or whether you decide to get married in front of your family and friends over Zoom, it’s going to be special because you and your partner have decided to come together and commit your love to each other and that in itself is SO special.
- Photographer: Sequoyah Daniel
- Venue: Our BK Backyard
- Wedding Dress: Paloma Blanca Bridal
- Wedding Dress Salon: Kleinfeld Bridal
- Dress Alterations: The Wedding Dresser
- Bride’s shoes: Badgley Mischka Bride
- Groom’s suit: The Black Tux
- Groom’s shoes: Kenneth Cole
- Flowers: Brooklyn Blooms
- Hair and Makeup: Bride did her own.
- Nails: Hilda at Millenial Nails
- Rings: Blue Nile
- Earrings: Crystal Corridor
- Pianist: Chez Lewis
- Cake: BCakeNY
- Officiant: Mirelle Eid
- Zoom Coordinator: Savannah DesOrmeaux