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A Classic Winter Wedding at the Union Club in Manhattan

By Alexandra Macon | Photography by 

Tim Yun of Ein Photography

Shannon Demers, a PR manager at Project MM, first met Brooks Comstock, when they were both working at Sotheby’s—he’s still VP of advertising and demand at the auction house. “I always made a point to chat with him at work parties and happy hours,” she says. “It was a total, head-over-heels crush, and it didn’t take too long to realize that the feeling was mutual!”

After their work happy hours eventually morphed into proper one-on-one dates, the two were together for two years when Brooks proposed on the two-year anniversary of their first date during a ski trip in Vermont. “We stayed at the charming Dorset Inn, and it all seemed like the perfect setting for a proposal. After two days and plenty of opportunities, I figured I was wrong and let the idea go,” Shannon explains. “Then on Saturday night, I fell asleep on the couch in our room, and he woke me up around midnight, lying next to me with the ring and asked me to marry him. I was still sleepy, but this woke me up!”

Since Brooks was a member of The Union Club in Manhattan, the couple would often stop by for cocktails after work. “It’s a special place for us, and I’ve always been drawn to the classic, historic atmosphere of the club,” she explains. “The roaring fireplaces and grand architecture were just asking for a winter wedding! Once we set the date, March 3rd, I knew the rest would come easy.” To help with the planning, they hired Lauren Schaefer of Your Wedding By Lauren as their month-of coordinator. “I don’t know how it would have come together without her!”

While the bride initially fell in love with a structured A-line Carolina Herrera gown, she later tried on an Alexandra Grecco sheath dress, which she says felt just right. “I looked to Carolyn Bessette Kennedy for inspiration. She was the picture of understated elegance on her wedding day, so I kept my accessories, makeup, and hair simple as well,” Shannon says. “My veil was one of my favorite accessories of the day. It was cathedral-length and so lightweight that it looked like air.” And while many brides like to change into another dress for the reception, Shannon chose to add a black velvet sash to her dress instead. “My own interpretation of a dress change!”

The bride’s sisters and future sisters-in-law wore navy blue dresses, while her bridesmaids were in long, black dresses of their choosing. “I loved how they were able to pick something they felt comfortable in,” she explains. The flower girls wore Isabel Garreton dresses and baby’s breath floral crowns.

When the day of the ceremony came, the couple were married by an officiant who kept it short and sweet, while students from the Juilliard School of Music played the violin and cello. “I walked down the aisle to “The Wind” by Cat Stevens. Their rendition was so beautiful, it took my breath away,” Shannon recalls.

Once they were declared husband and wife, it was time for cocktail hour, where hors d’oeuvres and a large raw bar awaited. “The Union Club called it a ‘shellfish cornucopia,’” the bride adds. Shannon’s dad kicked off dinner with a touching speech, and they both went straight into their father and daughter dance right after. Later, the maid of honor and best man followed with toasts that had everyone laughing and crying, while Brooks capped off the speeches with a long-standing family grace: “It is a gift to end up where we want to be.” “After everyone’s speeches were done, I was grateful that my makeup artist convinced me to use waterproof mascara!” Shannon admits.

Once it was time for the couple to take the dance floor, the two chose “Cheek to Cheek” by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, and were later joined by guests who stayed on their feet for most of the night, dancing to the music of an eight-piece band called Joelle and the Pinehurst Trio. “We ended the night with Jackie Wilson’s “Higher and Higher,” and everyone gathered around us as we danced our hearts out,” Shannon says. “While Brooks can cut a rug with the best of them, I’m definitely not the world’s best dancer, but it was the perfect ending to the most incredible evening. I know whenever I hear that song, I’ll start laughing at the memory!”