MR O.K Grooms: Darrell Hartman

Darrell Hartman is a freelance writer and editor, and cofounder of Jungles in Paris.

Darrell, a former party reporter for (known to frequent top bachelor lists of New York), met Dana by chance at a party during New York Fashion Week, where they were introduced by a mutual friend. Four years later he proposed on top of a little mountain in the Catskills. Today, the newlyweds live in Brooklyn’s Carroll Gardens.

What style of wedding ring did you choose, and why?

I have my father’s wedding band—a 3mm half-round style in white gold—for the simplicity and sentimental value.

What was your first dance song and how did you choose it?

Leon Bridges, “River.” We weren’t super attached to the song, necessarily, but it’s a beauty and it seemed just right for the moment. The other top option, a Nick Drake song, was a little too much of a heartbreaker!

Tell us about your DJ...

Two of my wife’s friends, Paul Johnston and Adam Beck of MEMBERSONLY who are professional DJ’s in Toronto. We knew they’d take some of our suggestions and also improv some awesome stuff of their own, especially since they were friends with a decent number of the wedding guests.

How did you choose your photographer?

Karen Obrist. Our planner recommended her company, Lev Kuperman, and we liked the portfolio: heartfelt and beautiful without being goopy. We were really happy with the results.

Where did you get married? Tell us a little bit about the venue.

The Carey Institute for Global Good. It’s an old estate in a tiny, historic town in upstate New York. It feels timeless and genteel and doesn’t scream “luxury.” They have a handful of houses and a lot of lodging for guests, which was hugely convenient. Lake loop, views of the Catskills, deer grazing on the lawn, tennis court, good food. Everything you need!

What did you gift your groomsmen?

Everyone got a (matching) necktie from Brooks Bros. The one condition was they had to wear it during the ceremony.

Tell us about choosing your suit...

A bespoke suit in navy blue. Normally I like soft-shouldered jackets but I had this one with a little extra structure in the shoulders, for a more formal look. White shirt (spread collar) and silver tie. Black brogues from Rancourt, a shoemaker in my native state of Maine. It was a fall wedding in the country, so somewhere between casual and formal seemed to make sense.

Was it difficult to find what you wanted? Any advice to other grooms looking for their ideal suit?

I’m lucky—my friend Jake Mueser is a tailor (J. Mueser, based in NYC) and made me the suit and the shirt. If it had been an option, I would have looked at having a tailor alter a suit that belonged to my dad—with Dad’s blessing, of course. I think that’s a nice move if you can make it work, but unfortunately, Dad basically threw out all his suits when he retired. If there ever was an occasion to get a suit made, your own wedding is it. Relatedly, relatives are often feeling generous around this time in your life.

Advice you wish another groom had given you before the big day?

You won’t have enough time to spend QT with everyone you know and love at the wedding. Know that in advance, set a few social priorities, spend enough time with the bride, and trust that guests will meet each other and have a great time without you.

What did you obsess over the most when planning your wedding?

Dinner seating. Which is funny, since a third of the arrangements went to hell day-of anyway.

What was the hardest/easiest part about planning your wedding?

Hardest: we had mist and cool fall weather on the wedding day, so it was a little agonizing to choose between two types of potential discomfort for guests: a little cold and wet (if outdoors), or crowded (if indoors). We went for indoors, in a private-library type of room, and it was the right choice. Easiest: I was 100% happy with the venue the moment we visited and feeling that certainty throughout the months we did our planning was a boon.

Looking back now, what was the highlight of your day?

The exchanging of vows was really special.

Matt Rubin