Music by the Red Stick Ramblers, Hot Tamale Baby

A few weeks back, Joe and I threw a little party at our place.
After a year of some heavy realizations and reflections, we were a little down.
The event was planned to be a celebration of love, life, and our engagement. :)

It took us a little over a month to get together, spending time designing, creating and sending the invitations. We got our tiny(messy) post-holidays space ready for a loving invasion of friends and family. Which really meant changing everything, painting everything, buying new pieces of furniture and obsessing over placement of every little thing. Ladies, you know that mode of crazy unnecessary redecorating.. right? We somehow got it all done though! Which is what I saw as another reason to celebrate!

We supported my favorite papereie here in Park Slope, Lion In the Sun for all the invite supplies – I designed and printed them in the apartment. Napkins, candles, plates, and the lantern came from IKEA and Party City. Some last minute homemade paper flowers went up and my mom surprised us day of with a gorgeous flower arrangement, corsage and boutonniere from a local florist, Zuzus Petals. My dress came from a local boutique, Sweet Charity. I bought it in the summer and it was marked down by 70% (if you are curious, Mr. Keegan’s wardrobe was provided by Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren, Levis and LL Bean.. ha)

& the menu?

We pulled in tastes from Jersey and New York.

Starting with a sprawling selection of cheese & charcuterie from a shop around the corner, The Ploughman. My step-mom made her own crostini, to be paired with a shrimp mold and bacon dip – and of course, pigs in a blanket! Wouldn’t be a party without them.
A veggie & dip platter, olives, chips & pretzels stayed out throughout.

To sip on, there was some Brooklyn Lager, and a selection of 6 pk Jersey craft beers. Of course, champagne and red wine (the booze was hauled in from NJ – a friend from Lavallette Liquors helped us curate it) AND, I made a punch! It was inspired by a cocktail I had at the Lincoln Ristorante in December. It involved juicing about 16 lemons, making sherbert from the pulp (reserving the juice) — a splurge on the accompanying, artisanal liquors from Slope Cellars (picture below) & finished with gin and champagne. Tart but sweet .. it was gooooood.

Joe’s mom brought stuffed bread & vodka sauce from a favorite place from home, Joe Leone’s – we got freshly made pasta and baguettes that morning at a favorite spot in Brooklyn! (Russo’s) since i’m going link happy, I’ll add that all the little necessities were grabbed at Union Market (I specifically told Joe I wanted fancy pretzels and chips, so he knew he was going there.)

Let’s not forget the dessert, which was cheesecake and fudge made by a family friend of Joe’s. It’s one of his favorites, and absolutely undeniable. It was a hit. I’m so thankful for Joe’s dad, who at one point held up two tin foiled plates and told me it was for me and Joey, it was going in the back of the fridge.

In the end, it all came together and we felt so blessed for everyone’s time.
You can see all the photos in the video above, but here are some of my personal favorites.

And of course, a BIG THANKS to my Aunt Carolyn for being such a great photographer! She and I traded the camera back and forth throughout the night, but she captured soo many special moments that we would have missed otherwise. Thank you Ca-Ca!

Love, Ash & Joe

related reading: we’re engaged / wedding joe / my man / wedding fun

P.S. You might have noticed our Christmas tree relocated to the back deck — it reminded me of how we got rid of our tree in 2010 .. we threw it out the window! check out the video.

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