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Wedding Inspiration from TODAY’s Jill Martin & Erik Brooks’ New York Public Library Celebration

Published Monday, Sep. 26th, 2022

Cover image via Instagram @jillmartin

TODAY contributor Jill Martin married financier Erik Brooks in an epic wedding ceremony at the New York Public Library earlier this month. Martin shared photos and video of the special event to Instagram this week, to the delight of long-time fans and viewers.


The couple’s ceremony was one-of-a-kind, from a whimsical ‘parade’ of Fudgie the Whale wedding cakes, to a very special officiant – Jill Martin’s father, Martin ‘Marty’ Dorfman, who was ordained with American Marriage Ministries for the occasion. 


According to the bride, the ceremony broke all the usual wedding ‘rules.’ Martin and Brooks refused to be boxed-in by outdated ideas about proper wedding etiquette and order, and did things their way, for a truly authentic day. 


“When you get married later in life, you set your own rules,” Ms. Martin told the New York Times.


Here’s a look at a few highlights from the couple’s non-traditional wedding ceremony, to help inspire your own.



Jill Martin instagram photo, of Martin feeding Brooks a bite of food at the wedding

Photo via @jillmartin



1. Love at the library  


Book lovers, take note of this creative location: Martin and Brooks held their ceremony at the New York Public Library, which the TODAY contributor described as “beautiful” and “epic” (via TODAY). 


Libraries and bookstores have become increasingly popular spots for elopements and microweddings in recent years, especially among book lovers, college students, and young professionals. And we expect this trend to continue, as more couples choose affordable and fun alternatives over traditional wedding venues.


Related: 10 Micro Wedding Ideas to Inspire An Intimate Ceremony




2. Cocktails before the ceremony 


Breaking with tradition, Martin and Brooks held a chic cocktail hour before the wedding ceremony instead of waiting until after (via @jillmartin). (But there were plenty of cocktails later on too, by the looks of it…)


This schedule switch-up was completely intentional, as the couple wanted the entire day to be fun, festive, and informal, with plenty of dancing throughout. 


If you plan to host a cocktail hour or open bar at your own celebration, don’t forget to offer non-alcoholic options for your non-drinking guests. This is one of the simplest ways to make everyone feel welcome on your big day. 


And a little advice for first time wedding officiants: Save that cocktail for after the ceremony, you’ll want to be as clear headed as possible until after the marriage license is signed and your legal duties as officiant are taken care of. 



Jill Martin hugs guests at wedding ceremony

Jill and her father, Marty, Photo via @jillmartin


3. Father of the bride doubles as wedding officiant 


Jill Martin describes her dad, Martin ‘Marty’ Dorfman, as her ‘bestie,’ so it’s no surprise that the couple asked the retired criminal defense attorney to perform their ceremony. (via TODAY)


Marty was ordained with American Marriage Ministries in March of 2022 in preparation for the big day, and definitely looked the part: He wore a stylish black suit and black bowtie for the big event. 


Related: 5 Great Reasons to Ask a Friend to Officiate Your Wedding


Get ordained early! We recommend that anyone asked to officiate a friend or relative’s wedding follow Marty’s lead, and get ordained several months before the scheduled ceremony. This will leave enough time to order and file any additional paperwork that might be required to register as a minister in your state. 



Jill Martin poses in her wedding dress

The bride - Photo via @jillmartin


4. Quick costume changes


Why choose one wedding day look, when you can choose four? Jill Martin told fans that she wore four different looks on her wedding day, including a stylish pink wedding gown, “jeans and a tee,” and a pair of sneakers she says she kept on for “80% of the night.” (via @jillmartin)


Heck yes for comfortable footwear and clothing at wedding celebrations, and not just for brides and grooms! This goes for wedding officiants too: Choosing the right shoes to wear to a wedding ceremony is one of the most important things an officiant can do before heading out the door. 


Related: What to Wear (and Not Wear) as a Wedding Officiant



5. A 'parade' of wedding cakes 


Unique and sweet: Instead of a single traditional wedding cake, Martin and Brooks opted for an entire table filled with candy and Carvel brand Fudgie the Whale ice cream cakes at their reception. 


Although traditional wedding cakes have fallen out of fashion with some couples, sweet treats are still a big hit – as long as they’re creative! Favorites include pull-apart cupcake towers, wedding pies and tarts, donuts, cheese cakes, candy tables, and an assortment of individual cakes, like Martin and Brooks chose. 



Congratulations to the newlyweds!



Jill Martin wedding photos, a whale shaped ice cream cake table, photos via Instagram

Fudgie the Whale cake parade!

Photo via @jillmartin




Get ordained with American Marriage Ministries and learn how to marry friends and family. 




Get ordained! 
 How to Become a Wedding Officiant in New York


Friends and family members can perform wedding ceremonies in New York if they’ve been ordained. Get ordained online with AMM to get started.





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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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