New York is For Lovers
Sunset Terrace gives Kathy and Brit a wedding as magical as the city they fell in love in.


In a city of millions, everyone has their own love story. Whether it’s a friendship, career, or, in those very rare occasions, a soul mate, love pulses through the veins of New York, keeping its restless, magical allure alive.

And everyone is searching for that special something.

Like many singles in this technology-driven world, Kathy Gardner and Brit Bangel’s love story begins with a click of a mouse. Coming across Brit’s profile on an online dating website in the summer of 2009, Kathy sent the first flirtatious email. Not receiving a response, she reached out again to the girl whom she couldn’t get out of her mind. “I was dating someone the first time Kathy messaged me, so I never responded,” recalls Brit. “But this girl did not give up!” After finally responding, one phone call was all it took before Brit was hooked. “I remember thinking, ‘Have I really found a bigger button pusher than I am?’” laughs Brit. “It all happened under a wink of an eye. I was in love and didn’t care if everyone around me knew it.”

A year later, after spending a warm August day strolling through their beloved city and making stops along memorable locations (first date, first kiss, first Pride event), Brit asked her one and only to be her wife on their Upper East Side terrace over a romantic dinner. “Expecting ‘yes!’ to come out of her mouth, she instead ran away to look at the ring under some light,” laughs Brit. “I asked in the distance ‘Is that a yes?” and she ran to me screaming with joy, ‘Of course!’”

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The next 10 months were a whirlwind of wedding planning. Because of their past, present and future together, the pair decided upon a New York City theme. “We met here, fell in love here, and will live our lives together here, “ says Kathy. But deciding on an affordable wedding location that suited them equally proved to be a challenge.  “Brit wanted a beach wedding and I wanted city,” says Kathy. A serendipitous compromise was made with Sunset Terrace at Chelsea Piers, located on the west side of Manhattan, along the waters of the Hudson River. “We got the best of both worlds. It still had the water and outside feel with a New York touch.”

The 3,400-square-foot space can hold up to 120 guests for wedding celebrations and sits on the second floor of the Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers. The loft-like interiors offers couples a beautiful canvas to customize, creating a look that’s their very own. The retractable glass-enclosed doors to the terrace offer guests sweeping views of the Hudson River, Statue of Liberty, and New Jersey that is unparalleled, especially at sunset, when the dipping sun glints off of the passing yachts and turns the waters into brilliant, breathtaking golds and blues.

Bringing Kathy’s vision to life, the team at Sunset Terrace helped the couple create the New York wedding of their dreams. Tables were labeled after the city’s neighborhoods, using customized black-and-white photos, and the food was designed after the couple’s favorite restaurants. Black-and-white 9-foot feather arrangements, combined with lamps and hot pink orchids, provided an elegant girly-rocker vibe – the epitome of the duo’s personality.

  View Sunset Terrace at Chelsea Piers Local Resource Marketplace vendor listing for more info here.

“Everything I had in my mind came true. I had some unique ideas that I’m not sure they’d seen before. But Sherwin Johnson, co-director of events at Chelsea Piers, and his team never said no, and everything that I wanted happened, no matter what they had to do,” explains Kathy.

When the big day finally arrived, just a mere week after the Marriage Equality bill passed in New York, Kathy, dressed in a custom couture gown by Winnie from the gay-friendly Designer Loft, gave Brit a glimpse of her wedding-day splendor. “The moment I saw how beautiful she looked in her dress, the smile on her face and that second where we knew this would be the most wonderful day of our life, and the first day of a lifetime together, was simply magical,” says Brit.

Even sans an official wedding planner, the day went off without a hitch. “[Sunset Terrace] made it a very non-stressful day,” exclaims Kathy. “Sherwin kept me calm throughout all of my wedding planning. It would not have been the beautiful, modern, elegant New York wedding we pictured without the Sunset Terrace team.”

Photography by Prestige Weddings