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Williamsburg wedding on the East River

Big, fat geek wedding

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Photo gallery

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Callie and Keil Hock on the day of their Brooklyn wedding.
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The gorgeous ceremony was at Giando on the Water in Williamsburg, a venue that offers unique views of the East River (www.giandoonthewater.com).
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The gorgeous ceremony was at Giando on the Water in Williamsburg, a venue that offers unique views of the East River (www.giandoonthewater.com).
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The Hocks tied in a lot of bright, happy colors — like purple — into their wedding, which represents their collective vibe as a couple.
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The Hocks tied in a lot of bright, happy colors — like purple — into their wedding, which represents their collective vibe as a couple.
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The Hocks tied in a lot of bright, happy colors — like purple — into their wedding, which represents their collective vibe as a couple.
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The couple samples their wedding cake that was supplied by their vendor, Giando on the Water.
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A little pony dancing at the reception c/o PSY’s “Gangnam Style.”
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A little pony dancing at the reception c/o PSY’s “Gangnam Style.”
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Mr. and Mrs. Hock!

If you are an oddball, you can bounce around the globe in search of another freewheeling soul. Lucky for kooky kids Callie Knoepffler and Keil Hock, they didn’t have to hike any further than their Long Island hometown of Blue Point, NY. The couple met when they were in pre-K, and their peculiar personalities just seemed to click.

“My aunt told me that Kiel and I speak in our own language,” says Callie. “We tend to make up words, nicknames, and little phrases for things that only mean things to us. Sometimes it’s even in song form!”

The two bonded over their love of sci-fi and fantasy movies and by senior year of college, Keil surprised his high-school sweetheart with a ring after a long day of snowboarding on Valentine’s Day weekend.

“It is so nice when two weird people can appreciate each other’s weirdness,” Kiel’s brother said in his toast at the dorky duo’s wedding. “I am glad you found each other.”

Callie and Keil feel like square pegs in a round world, so they didn’t want to have a cookie-cutter wedding meant to fit someone else.

“Most of the weddings we have attended have been near our hometown and we felt that many of those venues started to look the same to us,” says Callie of the grinding search for the perfect venue.

The two finally stumbled upon Williamsburg’s Giando on the Water — an event and fine-dining space with a glass-walled view of the Manhattan skyline over the East River.

“You can’t really get a more unique setting than Giando’s,” says Callie. “I would recommend it in a heartbeat.”

The gorgeous city skyline was a breathtaking backdrop, but guests were gasping at the couple’s wedding for a completely different reason.

“I can’t even tell you how many people mentioned to us that they had never seen a bride and groom in glasses,” says Callie.

But their decision to don their spectacles wasn’t a deliberate attempt at being unusual. Rather, it was about being individuals.

“There was never a question as to whether or not we would wear our glasses at our wedding. We never even thought twice about it,” says Callie. “I honestly don’t think people would recognize me without glasses. They are a part of who I am, and it was important for me to feel like myself at my wedding.”

And for Callie, the need to express her personality trickled down to her dress. She really wanted lace and straps, but couldn’t seem to find the two details in the same gown.

The Allure Bridal number she wound up buying from Long Island’s Bridal Suite of Bayshore was originally sleeveless, but the store customized the frock by adding straps in such a way that it formed a keyhole back.

Kiel and Callie kept adding personal touches to their big day. Kiel wore a suit instead of a traditional tuxedo, Callie’s cousin officiated the ceremony, and the two personalized their vows by “promising to walk together as best friends for life.” All the traditional dances at the reception, like the couple’s first dance and parents’ dances, were done to upbeat songs such as “You Are The Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne, “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra, and “I’ll Always Love My Mama” by The Intruders. The up-tempo tunes got everyone dancing, even between courses, but the big hit of the night turned out to be “Gangnam Style” by Psy. And, since everyone knew the dance from the viral YouTube video, the guests went bananas.

“Everyone knew the moves and had so much fun dancing that we played it a second time,” says Callie. “The pictures are hysterical!”

Callie & Kiel’s top 5 wedding tips

1. Don’t forget to include your husband!

If your husband is busy with work or school, don’t make all the decisions without consulting him. Bounce ideas back and forth.

2. Accept help.

If someone, like your mom, is willing to help, let them! They can be a savior in terms of coming up with ideas, booking appointments, writing invitations, and a lot of other time-consuming tasks.

3. Study up!

Do you research, especially when it comes to your photographer. You want your photos to capture your day, so you can relive it forever.

4. Draft the perfect guest list.

If you invite people who really matter to you, you will have a wonderful party … complete with pony dancing.

5. Stay organized.

Give yourself plenty of time to plan so that you don’t get stressed or overwhelmed with minor details.

VENDORS

Photographer

Lindsay Taryn Photography

Caterer and cake

Giando on the Water

DJ

AVC Music

Florist

Madison Floral

Dress

Allure Bridal; finishing touches by the Bridal Suite of Bayshore

Suit

Ermenegildo Zegna from Saks Off 5th

Tie

The Tie Bar

Shoes

Hers: Nina “Criana”

His: G.H. Bass & Co.

Bride’s jewelry

DivineJewel on Etsy

Veil

abusymother on Etsy

Rings

Stadtmuller Jewelers

Glasses

Hers: Ray Ban

His: Warby Parker

Bride’s hair

Vanity Square Salon

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