The Heidi Schuster and John Helfst Wedding
By By Nancy L. Claus; Photography by Shannen Norman
John, an equity analyst at Schroders in New York City, met Heidi, who had worked for jewelry designers David Yurman, John Hardy, and Robert Lee Morris, at a restaurant in SoHo. Since meeting, the couple has traveled extensively to Spain, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, France, Turks and Caicos, Peru, Argentina, and Antigua. Honeymooning in Thailand, Bhutan, Nepal, and China inspired Heidi to launch a website that sells handmade jewelry and accessories from around the world. “Oftentimes, locals sell their jewelry as their main source of income,” she explains. “Selling it helps to provide them with life’s basic necessities.”
Heidi’s arty side came in handy when planning their wedding. A sapphire engagement ring, as well as the fact that the wedding was held on Memorial Day weekend, was the impetus for her choice of a red, white, and blue theme. For the reception, for example, they had someone make red and blue crackers—or festive paper cylinders that, when twisted, release a ‘surprise’ inside. "They were filled with either a funny fact about us or a toy; crowns; and fun mustache, lip, and glasses masks for guests at each table,” she says. “I didn't know how people would respond, but they loved everything. I was so happy coming into my reception and seeing people wearing the crowns and the masks.” She also had a custom red-and-blue linen guest book; a red, white, and blue themed candy bar with lobster lollipops; and custom-made bags featuring the same boat the couple used on their invitations.
Heidi knew she wanted her gown to be something unique that also had significance to it. She had purchased the Donna Karan dress five years ago. It was ornamented with a brass element designed by Robert Lee Morris, the jewelry designer she used to work with. “I bought it because Robert had designed it, and I love Donna Karan dresses. I had planned to wear to an event but never did. So, when we got engaged I knew exactly what I would wear.”
Morris gave Heidi the stunning cuff bracelet she wore with her gown as a wedding gift and also designed and made the groom’s gold band (which he was tempted to keep for himself, Heidi confides) and the earrings for all the bridesmaids.
The couple married over Memorial Day weekend; both the ceremony and reception were held at the Larchmont Yacht Club. “We loved the laid-back, All-American atmosphere at the club. Everyone was so friendly and we felt it was the perfect place for our Memorial Day weekend wedding.
The groomsmen wore Hermès ties with anchors on them and arrived at the ceremony on the yacht club’s boat. Guests arrived on a yellow school bus and received little snack sacks with juice boxes and apples for the ride.
Heidi and John both love sidecars, so they served them along with Champagne after the ceremony. There were several crudité and cheese tables for the cocktail hour, and dinner was vegetable Napoleon, salad with goat cheese and grapefruit, choice of filet or capon, and white chocolate raspberry mousse cake along with the candy bar.
“We love to dance—I worked on my play list for months in advance—so I knew that I wanted to be able to move. I changed into a Jill Stuart ivory lace dress that I had happened to buy years ago. We all danced the night away and I even got Robert on the dance floor to show off his amazing dance skills! Everyone really liked all of our unique touches and commented on what a beautiful, laid-back, fun night it was. And that was our goal.”
White chocolate raspberry
3 W Elm St, Greenwich, CT
CEREMONY AND RECEPTION
Larchmont Yacht Club
1 Woodbine Ave, Larchmont
BOK-Music Entertainment, Audio, Video & Event Lighting
33 Stonehouse Rd, Scarsdale
(914) 723 0739
The Flower Bar
11 Addison St, Larchmont
Custom-made from files found on Etsy, which the bride modified and printed herself. The theme from the invitation and font carried through to every element of the wedding: “save the dates,” invitations, menu cards, table numbers, seating board, candy bags, lunch sacks for school bus ride for guests, welcome boxes, programs.
Donna Karan gown
Donna Karan New York
819 Madison Ave, New York, NY
754 5th Ave, New York, NY
Custom baroque pearl earrings and wedding ring
Royal Jewels of Rye
56 Purchase St, Rye
Bride’s cuff bracelet, groom’s gold band, and earrings for all the bridesmaids
Designer Robert Lee Morris
BRIDESMAID/FLOWER GIRL DRESSES
16 Taylor Pl Westport, CT
Custom Brooks Brothers suit
346 Madison Ave, New York, NY