Actress Julia Garner Planned the Ideal New York City Hall Wedding

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While we’re all currently taking a pledge to #stayhome, these weddings took place in the months before the coronavirus pandemic. We hope they’ll bring some joy to your reading list.

Actress Julia Garner and musician Mark Foster’s romance started at the Sundance Film Festival, just outside of the Eccles Theatre. “In our first conversation, we realized that my grandmother lived in the same small town that his dad lives in, just outside of Cleveland,” Julia says. After that, they ended up seeing each other in Cleveland at Christmas time, year after year. “It kind of became a tradition.”

Once they officially started dating, they were together for about 10 months before Mark proposed. “Both of us had a few weeks of quiet before I had to leave for Atlanta to start shooting season three of Ozark, so we rented an RV and took a road trip up to Montana to get away from the city and just be together,” Julia says. One morning outside of Flathead Lake, Mark woke her up with a cup of coffee and took her on a walk by the water’s edge. “He read me a poem he had written to me, and when he finished, he dropped to a knee and asked me to marry him.” They then continued down to Yellowstone, where they camped under the stars. “It was surreal and beautiful,” Julia remembers.

After the proposal, the two debated between a big wedding or a Vegas elopement. Ultimately, they met in the middle, deciding to get married at New York’s City Hall—just like Julia’s parents had 40 years before.

“I love pantsuits, and I always thought that if I were to get married in a courthouse, I wanted to wear one,” Julia says. “I wanted a Carrie Bradshaw moment. But of course for the party, I wanted something more soft and feminine.” This meant two looks by Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund runner-up Danielle Frankel.

In the lead up to her wedding, the actress found herself right in the middle of production, without a moment to go dress shopping. “I started freaking out because I was getting married in 10 days and had nothing to wear,” she says. “When I was on a lunch break in my trailer, I went on Instagram, and I got a DM from Danielle Frankel asking me if I had found a dress. I wrote her back, and we exchanged numbers. The next day we spoke on the phone, and I felt like I’d known her forever. It was an Instagram miracle!”

Funnily enough, the dress the bride chose was called the “Julia dress.” “I’d been a fan of Danielle’s for a while . . . even before we started planning for the wedding,” Julia explains. “I first heard about her when she was nominated for the Fashion Fund Award. After that, I started following her on Instagram. Her pieces have everything I love. They’re beautiful, modern, smart, classic, edgy, original, flattering, and powerful.”

The wedding was intimate, with only the couples’ immediate family as witnesses. They didn’t work with a wedding planner; instead Julia, Mark, and the bride’s mother Tamar did the organizing, and friends helped where they could. Close friend Francesco Civetta (aka DJ Cash) flew out from L.A. to do the music; photographer Andy Barron came up from Nashville to shoot the wedding; and Ron Ben-Israel made the cake.

The next day, they had a dinner with extended family and close friends at Locanda Verde in Tribeca to celebrate. After that, they loaded their guests into a bus and took everyone to the Public Hotel, where they cut the cake and danced for the rest of the night.

The newlyweds’ first dance was to “Lovers in a Stream.” “It was a surprise,” Julia says. “Mark wrote, produced, and sang it. It was very surreal, and the most beautiful present I’ve ever received. It felt like I was floating up in the air—it was the most magical moment I’ve ever had. The only people who heard this song were at the wedding, but it will come out soon. It’s a beautiful love song, and I’m excited for the world to hear it.”

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