Maria Geyman and Evan Sietel first met almost a decade ago after moving from the East Coast to Portland, Oregon for grad school. She lived in a “messy but charming” shared house that Evan had previously occupied. “We had big family dinners with our friends every Sunday and spent a lot of time together,” Maria recalls. but Evan worked with touring bands at the time and soon had to leave Portland; Maria eventually relocated to New York. In the fall of 2020, they got back together and started dating again. Evanwho now works in hotel management was based in Wyoming Maria is a naturopathic doctor who runs her tea company, Masha Tea, from Brooklyn. The potential cross-country problem was quickly resolved. “I spent the winter in Wyoming, then we moved back to New York together,” Maria says. Then she found out she was pregnant. “We were talking about our future marriage when we found out we were having a baby, so Maria picked a ring and that was it.” Evan recalls. (Maria Immediately knew who to go to for her engagement ring: “We texted the day after we decided to get married Alice Waese and asked if she would do the engagement ring. We were in her studio this week!”)
Evan had planned to officially propose during a trip to Martha’s Vineyard, but Maria struggled with morning sickness, so it turned out not to be the ideal day he was hoping for. A few weeks later, the right moment came: “After a perfect day at Fort Tilden Beach, as we got into bed to watch a Kurosawa movie, I knelt down by our bed and told her how much I loved her, and officially asked her to marry me.”
With a mid-September wedding date, they had less than three months to plan everything. “We made quick decisions, but ones that fit who we are,” Maria says. “For example, my family is Russian-Jewish, so we chose Russian food from a restaurant that has been in North Jersey for 26 years. possibly‘s grandparents were active in their community, hiking and canoeing possiblys mom built a bar out of her mom’s canoe.” The bride took the lead, with guidance and up-to-date support from the planner Brianna Iannello. Friends were involved in all aspects of the day. “My best friend Melissa Markert and her fiancé Will Pasternak are both New York bartenders and created the cocktail program. We are friends with the manager of our local wine shop, Dandelion Wine, so all the wine is from there. Alexandra Hodkowski and Mosco Alcocer from our favorite café Head Hi offered to provide the coffee and of course there was Masha Tea. Basically, we planned the wedding with the help of our community.”
When it came to clothes Maria always wanted to become maximalist. She found most of her ensemble at pronovias on the Upper West Side. “My sister noticed a layered tulle skirt that was perfect.” Maria recalls. She combined the sculptural, voluminous shape with a meringue-like shape pronovias Jacket and white vintage top underneath. Pops of color came courtesy of the bride’s tomato red nails and chanels Lipstick. Her earrings and anklet were with her Laura Lombardi, while her amber and gold necklace was passed down from her mother. “Maria thought for a while and when I finally saw how her full outfit was put together for our wedding day, I was blown away.” Evan says. “The pieces all matched perfectly and she looked stunning, like a fairytale bride.”
After all guests were vaccinated, the ceremony and reception took place outdoors Evan‘s mother in the backyard by the lake in Sparta, New Jersey. As everyone gathered by the waterfront to the sound of a local string trio, a heron flew overhead. After the bridesmaids walked down the aisle, each carrying a single pale pink dahlia, Maria arrived with her bouquet – an arrangement of hanging cedars and dahlias Allora flowers-in the hand. The couple’s close friend Chris Bott celebrated the wedding, which took place succinctly under a birch chuppah – a mixture of personal touch and Jewish traditions. “We had another friend read a poem by Mary Oliver, wrote our own vows, exchanged rings and sealed the deal with a broken glass and a big kiss.” Evan says.
The couple then greeted their guests at the end of the path that led to the lake. When cocktails were in progress, they’d sneak off for a quick paddle on the water. “Ev’s grandmother’s canoes are with his mother, and every time we visit her, we take a canoe and try to see the heron, Evelyn, or the great blue heron, Hank.” Maria says. “On our wedding day, we wanted to take a few minutes just to ourselves, and being by the lake felt best.”
Maria changed to a crocheted green and white floor Lace for dancing. The couple had their first dance to You’re Just Too Good To Be True, performed by members of the wedding party Melissa Markert and derek Brown. then DJ Julie Allen started their set and between courses the dance floor filled up. “Highlights were the Hora dancing, the speeches and the Russian food which is so comforting to me.” Maria says. “It was great to see our friends and family from all over the world come together to celebrate with us.”