Alexandra Grecco Created a Custom Gown and Coat For Her Sister’s Winter Wedding at Tavern On the Green

Samantha Grecco, the operations manager at her sister Alexandra Grecco’s namesake bridal company, and Raúl Hernández, the head producer at Gotham Production Studio, first met at her cousin’s wedding at The Bowery Hotel. Raúl was working for the event space. “Early in the evening, I asked Raúl where I could charge my phone and then made a sad attempt at flirting,” Samantha remembers. “He graciously laughed off my weird comment and then for the rest of the night we kept making eye contact, and I made more awkward comments in passing.” At the end of the night, Samantha’s sister-in-law encouraged her to go over to him once more. He asked for her number, and the two went on their first date days later.

After more than six years together, Raúl proposed at Samantha’s parents’ house in New Jersey on the Fourth of July. She had designed her N+A ring in 2019, and he picked up the ring in March of 2020. The only request Samantha had for the proposal was that they be able celebrate with family afterward. “Raúl got down on one knee after one of his sisters handed me a card welcoming me to the family—officially—and inside was a ticket to the Frick from January 2014, our second date,” Samantha remembers.

Once engaged, the pair decided to get married in their home city of Manhattan. “We wanted a smaller wedding and wanted the space to feel intimate too—like a dinner party, followed by a raging dance party,” Samantha explains. The iconic Tavern On the Green felt like the right venue. “We loved that guests would be in the middle of the park within the city, transporting them in a way to an old New York.”

January is a special time for Samantha and Raúl, and although the mother-of-the-bride had some concerns about a blizzard on the morning of the wedding, they set the date for January 29, 2022. The bride-to-be’s dear friend, Rachael Esman, managed all the logistics and planning, and Kristin Lambertsen with Samantha’s mother set the tone for the day with a beautiful invitation suite and wedding stationery.

“I can’t say I’ve always known what I wanted to wear on my wedding day. This is a bit surprising, since I have been exposed to and have tried on many gorgeous gowns at my sister’s studio over the years,” Samantha says. The bride wanted a statement look, something that felt non-traditional and unexpected. “Luckily, I have an extraordinarily talented sister who was willing to help make my vision come to life! It was obviously a no-brainer that I wanted her to create my wedding look—or looks. In addition to my wedding day ensemble, she made custom dresses for my engagement party, bridal shower, and bachelorette. She really outdid herself and is probably still recovering.”

After discussing the overall inspiration together, Alexandra got to work creating a toned-down version of an over-the-top Marie Antoinette-inspired look that Samantha had initially proposed. The bride reviewed her sister’s sketches and selected a floral-printed satin coat with a long ruffled train, oversized sleeves, and velvet ribbon details. Underneath was a classic A-line gown with the same pattern as the coat, complete with a micro-pleated tulle overlay. Alexandra embellished the jacket with laser-cut floral appliqué, laying them on top of the floral motifs.

“My gown was everything I dreamed it would be and most importantly, it passed the ‘twirl test’—something my mom has always encouraged me to check when trying on any dress,” Samantha says. “It was so fun collaborating with my sister on her wedding gown—and coat,” Alexandra adds. “She had a very specific vision and is a bit more of a maximalist than I am when it comes to style. We worked together on finding a balance that felt right to both of us, resulting in a look that I’m really proud of and stayed true to what Sam had envisioned.”

For jewelry, Samantha wore her mother’s re-sized sapphire and diamond ring, her grandmother’s pearl and diamond bangle that Alexandra had also worn on her wedding day, and a pair of Sophie Bille Brahe earrings, lent by Alexandra. And on the day-of, the bride got ready with Marco Campos, who has worked on Alexandra Grecco shoots for years. “I wanted a velvety red lip and winged liner, classic and romantic, and he nailed it of course,” Samantha says. Aurora of Yves Durif Salon, who happens to be the bride’s neighbor, added pearls into her bun as a nod to renaissance netted caps. “I ended up making the pins myself the night before the wedding with a standard pack of Goody bobby pins and pearls from M&J trimming.”

Alexandra wore her silk bias-cut Rhea gown in a soft purple and paired it with her tulle ruffle jacket in lavender, both from her Sonnet collection. Their mother put a silk crepe gown in a merlot color that Alexandra had created just for her. At the bride’s request, Alexandra also made dusty blue silk moire flower girl dresses for her niece, Ava, and daughter, Iris.

Erin from Amorosa5, a floral design studio Alexandra often collaborates with, helped create the flower aesthetic for the ceremony and reception. “I had joked before we were engaged that I wanted to get married on Halloween and have a spooky wedding,” Samantha says. “Despite the January date, I still wanted things to feel moody and a little like an overgrown forest. Erin did an amazing job making the winterized tent feel like the outside had come in with lots of branches, greenery, and floating votives.” And the blizzard that Samantha’s mother had predicted brought long icicles that lined the outside of the space.

On a crisp winter day, Samantha’s cousins, Elizabeth and Greg, officiated the ceremony. “We met at their wedding after all, and it felt fitting that they should transition us into marriage,” the bride states. “Our favorite part of the ceremony was when they asked everyone to exchange winks with someone else in the room; an unspoken agreement Raúl and I have with one another is that if one of us winks at the other they must wink back.”

Raúl’s mother passed away a few years ago and had written in journals when her kids were young. Two passages she had written that summed Raúl up perfectly were read to honor her and to lighten the mood. The couple then read love letters to one another and exchanged traditional vows. Finally, they shared their first kiss as a married couple and “Twist and Shout” blasted through the speakers, as the pair made their exit.

“For dinner, I wanted the table to feel like a modern take on a Dutch still life,” Samantha states. “We used vintage candle holders, vases, and other little vessels from my mom’s collection and added fruit throughout.” After cutting the Ron Ben-Israel cake, musicians from HudsonHorns paraded into the dining room, playing “Crazy in Love,” and led everyone from the dining room back to the tent.

The newlyweds shared their first dance to Childish Gambino’s cover of “Stay High” by Brittany Howard. “We are huge Brittany Howard fans, and one of our most cherished memories was seeing her in concert at Bowery Ballroom up close.”

The couple had planned to host a karaoke party in K-Town—their favorite way to end a night out—but with the snow and the pandemic, they scrapped a formal after-party. Instead, a dozen revelers headed to Karaoke City. Samantha recalls, “Raúl and I lasted about 30 minutes, before we turned into pumpkins and trekked back to our hotel to collapse—not before we did our duet special of ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.’”

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