Sierra Tishgart, the cofounder of cookware company Great Jones, first connected with hedge fund analyst and professional poker player Galen Hall online. “Our first date was at Little Branch, a cocktail bar in the West Village, and it lasted five hours,” she remembers. “I actually sent a text to my sister 40 minutes in that said, ‘Save this text, I’m going to marry this dude.’ I have the evidence!”
The two had been seeing each other for three years when they traveled to Taiwan to mark Galen’s grandmother’s 100th birthday. After the celebration, they ended up extending their trip to Sun Moon Lake, a haven in the center of the island. “Upon our arrival, Galen revealed he booked me a two-hour massage,” Sierra says. “I was thrilled—and a little suspicious. He spent that time showering our room with peonies; I walked in, wearing a spa bathrobe and slippers, to find him in a suit. He gave a moving speech, in which he used the words ‘Philly tough’ to describe his love for me, and I happily said yes. We then enjoyed a few blissful, quiet days in Taiwan together—a place that’s especially meaningful to us as it’s where Galen’s mother grew up.”
Sierra and Galen knew they wanted to marry in New York, as they wanted to share their favorite places with family and friends who live elsewhere. First, they selected Flora Bar at the Met Breuer for their reception. “It was the only reception venue we even considered,” Sierra says. “It’s one of our favorite restaurants, and the Marcel Breuer Brutalist backdrop doesn’t hurt. We live in the West Village, and I joke that getting married on the Upper East Side actually felt like a destination wedding!”
The challenging part for the couple was finding an equally special ceremony venue. Luckily, a friend tipped them off to a bookshop called Albertine, hidden inside the French Consulate. “The consulate’s marble-columned rotunda contrasts beautifully with the colorful bookshop, which features a hand-painted mural of constellations in Yves Klein blue and lamps with amber silk shades,” Sierra enthuses. “It felt warm and unusual, and I spent months trying to convince the consulate to say yes, as they don’t typically permit weddings.”
They sent out tasseled bookmarks as their invitations. The overall aesthetic of the wedding, which Sierra planned herself—with an assist from Quinn Levine, who stepped in as a month-of coordinator—was meant to feel a little spooky. “I kept using this word!” Sierra explains. “Perhaps it was the October timing, or my obsession with the wedding scene in Beetlejuice, but I loved the idea of our wedding looking eerily beautiful and haunting, as opposed to a fairy-tale feeling.”
Two years before Sierra and Galen were even engaged, she fell in love with a tulle resort 2017 Alexander McQueen dress embroidered with colorful poppy flowers. “I’m an avid gardener and quite nontraditional, so I knew it was the dress I wanted to wear to my wedding, but it felt preposterous to purchase it with no plans to marry,” she says. “Once we set a wedding date, I was on a mission to track it down—and it was nowhere to be found.” Eventually, Sierra had the creative idea to call the McQueen outlet in Cabazon in the hopes that they might have seen it. “A wonderful saleswoman searched and searched and located it for me!” she says. “The only catch: It was several sizes too large. I reached out to tailor extraordinaire Bill Bull, who performed surgery to make my dress fit perfectly and also create my veil.” She paired the dress with white satin Manolo Blahnik heels.
In lieu of a traditional aisle, Sierra descended the French Consulate’s stairs to the tune of “Hungry Eyes,” played by a live string quartet. The bride and groom stood in a doorway that bridged the consulate with the Albertine bookshop, while their 140 guests surrounded them. A friend officiated, weaving both religious and cultural traditions into the ceremony. “We thought critically about which traditions aligned with our values and ditched the ones that did not,” Sierra says. “In my vows, I said, ‘As a feminist, I do think it’s worth acknowledging, why get married at all, why buy into this patriarchal institution? I believe there’s great power and strength in proclaiming loud and clear to our community that, as equals, we will do whatever we can to support each other.’ This thinking certainly informed our ceremony.” Then, to welcome Sierra into their family, Galen’s relatives gave her a Chinese name—a great honor. “Galen’s cousin explained the significance and presented my new name during the ceremony, with a personalized calligraphy scroll drawn by Galen’s uncle,” Sierra says. “We also both stomped on the glass at the end of the ceremony—a feminist take on a Jewish tradition.”
Right after the ceremony, the newlyweds led their guests on a short walk to Flora Bar, carrying silver heart-shaped balloons. “It was so fun to see everyone walk down Fifth Avenue in their black-tie outfits,” the bride says.
During cocktail hour, the band Hearing Things played ’60s jazz meets surf rock. Genevieve Rainsberger, an alum of Saipua, and her team at the newly formed Et Vernal, created wild, dramatic floral arrangements. The tablescapes had an ikebana quality to them, and tall, lush plants scaled the Flora windows.
Sierra worked as a food writer at New York Magazine prior to founding Great Jones, so serving a delicious meal at the wedding was top of mind when planning. They selected their favorite dishes from Ignacio Mattos’s Flora Bar menu and served orange wine. “We wanted our wedding to feel like one big, extravagant dinner party, with long, candle-lit tables and food served family-style,” Sierra says. The meal ended with a cake by Flora Bar’s pastry chef (and the couple’s good friend) Natasha Pickowicz. “The hardest wedding decision we made was choosing a flavor for our cake—we landed on a mix of bergamot, Meyer lemon, Champagne, and vanilla,” Sierra says. “I’ve never tasted a better cake. We’ve already eaten the entirety of our stash in the freezer.”
After dinner, the bar area was transformed into a dance floor, and the bride snuck off to change into a red, sequined Rodarte dress with velvet butterflies. “It was extra, in all the best ways!” Sierra says. “Wearing red was a nod to Taiwanese wedding tradition, as well as my inspiration, Lydia Deetz from Beetlejuice. I wore metallic Prada heels.”
She once again descended a staircase—“It was my second She’s All That moment of the night!” Then, Richard Drydon, aka DJ Treats, kicked off the dance party, and people went wild. Late night, the couple returned to their suite at the Carlyle, and the new Sierra treated herself to a bubble bath.