It comes as no surprise that Elizabeth and Kathryn Fortunato, the identical twin founders of accessories line Lizzie Fortunato, would be in lockstep with their wedding dates. They live a few blocks away from each other in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill neighborhood and have had a symbiotic work relationship—Elizabeth designs; Kathryn handles the biz—since launching their brand in 2008.
“Our parents thought it was hilarious that we had both been with our guys for so long [almost a decade] and we waited for the same three-month period to get married. It’s the summer of Fortunato love,” says Kathryn, laughing. She married in Portugal in May, while Elizabeth will have an August wedding in the Hudson Valley.
“As opposed to the planning being overwhelming, it feels so much better to do this together,” adds Kathryn. That includes their joint bridal shower, which the sisters hosted at the plant-filled Brooklyn studio of their childhood friend Taylor Patterson, founder of Fox Fodder Farm. The colorful afternoon fete included spritz cocktails, tea sandwiches, and dreamy arrangements provided by Patterson.
Instead of using the occasion to spotlight themselves, the Fortunatos saw it as a chance to celebrate their creative power squad (like Erica Cerulo from Of a Kind and womenswear designer Maud Heline). And each lady’s presence was the only present allowed. “We love the idea of giving back versus getting showered with stuff,” explains Kathryn. “We wanted to treat them to a fun day!” Here’s how they did it.
ON THE MENU
Open-face tea sandwiches are easy to whip up and make pretty seasonal ingredients the focal point:
– Fig, goat cheese, and mascarpone mix; sliced almonds; honey; and black pepper on seeded whole wheat (shown above on a stainless steel serving plate by CB2, $5.95).
– Smoked salmon, shaved cucumber, pickled shallots, salted butter, and dill on rye.
– Prosciutto, slivered cantaloupe, mango chutney, mint, and Aleppo-style pepper on white bread.
Strawberry-laced tomato gazpacho and bright lemon tartlets for two rounded out the light lunch.
Give Gift Bags a Personal Touch
Since the shower guests are making the trip to Portugal and then upstate New York for the Fortunato weddings, each
heart-embroidered linen tote was put together with travel in mind. Tucked inside were a mini perfume, summery red
nail polish, champagne cocktail-to-go kit, handwritten thank-you notes on pretty botanical watercolors, and homemade
[Gift bags, shown here, included Apothecary Glass Mist Bottle from Rail 19, $13; The Champagne Cocktail Carry-on Kit by Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. $20; Nail Polish from Tenoverten, $18; Four Pack Sample Set from D.S. & Durga, $30; Zip Pouch in Sunbather by Lizzie Fortunato, $160.]
[Handwritten thank you notes were written on cards from the Living Pattern Postcard Packet by Jenny Kiker at Princeton Architectural Press, $16.]
Nothing says festive quite like a spritz cocktail. The Fortunatos wanted guests to be able to fashion their own, offering Prosecco and seltzer, plus three brightly hued liqueurs—Aperol, Crème de Violette, and St. Germain. The bottles were arranged on the bar table alongside piles of citrus, rosemary sprigs, and a vase of Red Lion tulips (courtesy of Patterson)
for an added punch of color.
Simplicity Makes a Statement
The key to a chic centerpiece arrangement, according to Patterson (above), is a less-is-more approach. First, assemble similar style bud vases in different sizes to cluster on the table. Then pick two or three floral elements in varying hues—the Fortunatos chose ranunculus, muscari, and anthurium in shades inspired by their summer collection. “A few single flowers en masse can look expensive and really elegant,” says Patterson.
The Five-Minute Floral Water
Making your own floral mist, that summertime essential, is a cinch. In a clean glass spray bottle, add four fluid ounces distilled water (for more of a toner, use half witch hazel) and then around 25 drops pure essential oil (the Fortunatos chose calming lavender and zesty bergamot, but go with whichever scent you like best). Finish with a splash of vodka, a natural preservative, and store in the fridge for an extra-refreshing mist.