Scarsdale Inquirer Celebrations

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A special section of The Scarsdale Inquirer, February 15, 2013


Divas, darlings and dolls dress to impress By TRACI DUTTON LUDWIG


aybe it’s all the airtime devoted to popular wedding reality shows like TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress.” Or maybe it’s a demographic of increasingly confi dent, professionally established brides. One thing is certain — contemporary brides know what they want. While individual tastes vary, and different nuptial venues and personalities influence the character of each wedding dress, there seems to be an overwhelming trend toward statement-making gowns and details that can be personalized through color, accessories or embellishment. In many ways, the white wedding dress has transcended its rarefied traditions. Timeless styles remain plentiful; however, more than ever before, contemporary bridal fashions are tuned in to runway couture and current trends. One example is the peplum skirt. Starting in fall 2012, designers revived peplum jackets and skirts with mad embrace, and runways abounded with amplified drama and feminine shape. Bridal designers have responded in kind, with a host of distinct interpretations of the peplum. These range from structured and graphic silhouettes to soft, floaty poufs overlaying column skirts. Peplums give brides a beautiful feminine silhouette as they emphasize beautiful curves and a small waist. Some peplum styles are convertible, offering brides the option of a remov-

Available at Fontana Couture in Greenwich.

able piece for a “second” look to satisfy reception festivities or dancing. Bare backs, single open shoulders and high necklines define the latest trends in glamorous

eveningwear. So, too, are these styles revolutionizing bridal fashions. Sexy has become sophisticated — and the look is desirable for modern brides. Inspiration comes from the goddesses of Hollywood’s most glamorous films. Think of Greta Garbo, Rita Hayworth and other grande dames of the red carpet. New silhouettes are refined, but the attitude is confident and sultry. Body-conscious draping, slinky textiles and sensual silks and satins reveal just the right glimpse of leg, shoulder or arm. It’s the perfect look for a bride who is both lady and temptress. Art Deco-style accessories — such as sparkly jewelry, fringe purses, fascinators, bejeweled headpieces, embellished shoes or feathery marabous — complete the look. Gowns with open backs are especially popular for 2013. These portrait backs create an unexpected sexiness and always steal the show as a bride walks down the aisle or stands before guests to say her vows. They also shine in candid photographs of the ceremony. Often paired with high necklines or halter styles, open backs offer a contrasting look to more traditional, covered-up fronts. Deep draping, plunging Vs, keyhole openings, creative cutouts and an eye-catching architecture of straps offer a wide variety of backless options. Since back details will not compete with the bride’s face, hair or makeup, this is the place to go all out. Look for exquisite attention to detail, rich embroidery, sparkly Swarovski crystals, luscious trim, fine lace frames, bustles of silk flowers or sheer illusion backs in gorgeous fabrics. Continued on page 8A

Photography worlds collide for best options By DEBRA BANERJEE

tographers who are involved with you from beginning to end put their artistic and technical skills and personalized service into giving their clients creative, stylish options for commemorating the big day. The disposable cameras at the tables for candid shots and photo booths? While fun for guests, they enhance, but don’t replace professional photography when it comes to capturing and preserving the moments.


efore photography went digital, an F-stop referred to camera lens speed. Today F-stop could mean “first stop Facebook.” In the age where life has become one big photo op, pictures can be shared on the Internet within seconds. Social media has revolutionized the way people see themselves and want to be seen by others. Photo sharing online is huge. So have the traditional wedding album or framed mantelpiece photos gone out of style? The answer is no. While many people have the technical capability to “do it themselves” (or think they do) or have their photos organized into albums by an online service, when it comes to recording life’s milestone events, professional pho-

A beautiful thing Eve Prime opened Poppy Studio at 51 Main St. in Irvington in 2009. The former rock concert photographer, who began working in “old-school” photography in college, focuses now primarily on weddings, portraits and b’nai mitzvah parties. To capture the moment “when there are two beautiful things going on at the same time,” Prime uses Peter Oberc Photography captures every aspect of your event.

Continued on page 7A

Groomsmen go beyond the traditional black tux By MARY LEGRAND


edding guests who hear the strains of Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” — better known to some as “Here Comes the Bride” — may turn their heads and focus on the woman in white walking down the aisle, but everyone knows that her groom also has to look his very best on their big day. For decades, or so it seems, many if not most well dressed grooms, their best men and ushers have been decked out in tuxedos. But that has changed in recent years for some. Groomswear now include suits, jackets and pants in rounding out their options, say those who outfit men for special occasions. Rick Fortuna of Italy Direct Menswear in Katonah sells a wide range of menswear, including suits perfect for special times such as weddings. For one recent event he outfitted the groom and the men who accompanied him in identical navy blue suits with light blue linings, white shirts and matching ties and white pocket squares. “We also did a very eclectic wedding

where everybody wore black suits with white shirts and Converse sneakers,” Fortuna said. “There’s definitely a trend right now in getting away from tuxedos for weddings. Most guys don’t have a tuxedo at the age when they’re getting married, so it’s easier to purchase a black or navy suit, which they can use at the wedding as well as later on.” Italy Direct customers also ask for destination wedding outfits, including khaki pants and navy blazers, or light-colored suits. Both would be appropriate for a wedding at a warmer climate, even one that takes place on a beach. Most men do own at least one suit — whether black or navy — but an important thing to remember when planning a wedding, Fortuna emphasized, is not just to have each groomsman show up in whatever suit he has in the closet at home. Like the bride’s attendants, groomsmen should wear outfits that match, and that coordinate with color or colors worn by the matron- and maidsof-honor. “The men’s suits all have to be the same,” Fortuna said. “The color of a navy suit changes from fabric to fabric, as does black, Continued on page 6A


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Manhattan’s Premier Bakery Now Open in White Plains!

February 15, 2013

Party Time? Relax and enjoy every moment By JACKIE LUPO


osting a party can seem like planning a military campaign. There are so many elements: food, locations, supplies, decorations, entertainment to name a few. How much of the planning and actual work should you do yourself, and what can other people do for you? Here’s a look at some options.

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Tons of options Companies who call themselves caterers range from the corner deli to large companies that regularly throw parties at places like the Metropolitan Museum. If you’re planning a modestly sized gathering where you’re just interested in having someone provide the food, storefront “caterers” or even a local restaurant might be the way to go. You’ll still have to provide a way to heat up the food, you still need to provide the dishes and other serving equipment, and you’ll still have to clean up afterward. A traditional caterer can not only provide the food, but also bring all the serving supplies, hook you up with rentals of tables, chairs and tents if necessary, and provide a staff to prepare, serve and clean up. Most full-service caterers have comprehensive websites that will give you an idea of the services they offer. If you’re planning a truly large-scale affair, a party planner may be the way to go. The party planner has all the contacts that people who are not in the business probably don’t have: many choices of caterers, designers, printers, florists, rental companies, lighting experts, limo services, musicians and other entertainers. With so many vendors involved in a large party, having a professional to pull it all together — and take responsibility when there are problems — definitely saves time and headaches, and is not necessarily more expensive than being your own contractor. Hiring a ‘party room’ You would be surprised to discover how many restaurants have a party room. Some are intimate, with one large table seating a dozen people or fewer. Some can hold upward of 50 people. You’ll generally save money if you decide on a menu in advance rather than letting your guests order off the regular menu. If you’re considering having a party

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Jean Jacques’ Culinary Creations works with many venues, including the Rowsley Estate in S carsdale.

at a restaurant where you haven’t dined before, eat there a couple of times before booking the venue. Some restaurants that don’t have a party room will let you take over the whole place for an evening, especially on a night when the restaurant is ordinarily closed. Many will also be willing to customize the menu, offering dishes that aren’t ordinarily available to regular diners. There are party rooms and then there are party rooms. For example, Il Sorriso, an Italian restaurant on the riverfront in Irvington, can serve an intimate group (up to 16) in their romantic wine cellar, or in a larger private room upstairs. Moral: it doesn’t hurt to ask what kind of arrangements a small restaurant may be open to. Going the traditional route Some venues offer package deals on events. Traditional party locations include hotels, catering halls and even some fine

restaurants with large event spaces, such as in Chappaqua. It offers two party spaces, and access to the outside gardens at this colonial era country homestead. Traditional party venues provide the space, the food and sometimes even the Continued on page 6A

Diana Gould Unlimited Floral & Event Décor is a full service design house.

February 15, 2013


The scarsdale Inquirer/Page 3A

Not-so-secrets to throwing the best parties By LAURIE SULLIVAN


ost everyone loves a great party, whether it’s a life cycle event like a wedding or a milestone anniversary or a big bash just for the fun of it. You don’t need any particular reason to celebrate and kick up your heels! Gathering dear friends and family together, be it in the backyard under a tent or under the stars or at a fabulous venue is reason enough to cheer and break out the bubbly. There are so many ways to throw a successful party, with children and adults or just grownups, so half the fun can be in the planning. Before you get down to the nitty gritty details like menu planning and table settings, estimate how many people you expect to attend, choose the venue and whether the party will have a theme. Then the details will fall into place. Why not Mardi Gras in July? Or a masquerade ball in shorts and T-shirts in the backyard or tuxes and gowns and bare feet? Perhaps a huge barbecue bash at home with multiple grills each cooking up different foods and side dishes galore? For kids and adults some good old-fashioned team games add life to the party, like potato sack races and slip and slide, with goofy prizes. Whether you send e-invitations or formal ones by snail mail, party ideas are only as limited as your imagination. Venue parties with a twist Some of the most creative and elegant parties come from thinking outside the box, as Angelo Liberatore, owner and operating partner of Harvest on Hudson in Hastings can attest. One of his clients threw a wedding where the bride threw tradition to the wind and dressed not in your typical white bridal gown but as Sonny and the groom dressed as Cher at East by Northeast in Montauk, one of Harvest’s four venues. The guests followed suit for this elegant costume wedding ball given at Harvest’s idyllic property (capacity 180-200) overlooking Fort Pond Bay. Harvest also has two other locations, another nearby in Montauk, Harvest on Fort Pond and Half Moon in Dobbs Ferry. Closer to home at Harvest on Hudson, Liberatore described how the venue was transformed into the Academy Awards for a bar mitzvah, replete with a red carpet for guests to walk, reporters and photographers to capture photos as guests arrived, even a Joan Rivers impersonator to roast people as they came in. “Guests dressed up in Hollywood gowns,” Liberatore said. “It was quite impressive.” The event for about 200 people was held during the day. For another bar mitzvah, Harvest’s parking lot was transformed into a fair, with rides and booths, including a man walking around on stilts and jugglers. Guests come to Liberatore with a party idea in mind and he guides them as to whether the theme lends itself best to a sit-down dinner or a buffet. Liberatore said Harvest has done corporate events and fundraisers, including one all-day corporate team-building event where breakfast, lunch and dinner were served. Liberatore said it was “quite elaborate” with a circus tent set up in the parking lot and a trampoline. There were massage therapists, pottery being done in the restaurant’s garden, several lectures going on simultaneously so participants

Gathering dear friends and family together, be it in the backyard under a tent or under the stars or at a fabulous venue is reason enough to throw a party!

A lperson Party R entals can transform your indoor or outdoor event into an unforgettable time.

could rotate around. Baking classes were held inside Harvest’s kitchen and participants worked with the restaurant’s chefs and pastry chefs. Harvest hosts an annual fundraiser for St. John’s Hospital in Yonkers. Open to the public the outdoor event draws between 400 and 500 people held on Columbus Day. “We do winemaking,” explained Liberatore, where several tables are set up with cases of grapes, which participants scour for extraneous things like leaves; the grapes are then put into a “crush.” “We taste the wine we’ve made in years past,” he said. “It’s a great event. In celebration of the wine crush, a couple of lambs and pigs are roasted; there are also meats, fish and cheeses and all kinds of baked goods.” Liberatore said Harvest throws parties for “any reason you would want to have a get-together, we’ve done them — bar and bat mitzvahs, anniversaries, birthdays, retirements, engagements, celebration events, even, unfortunately, bereavements.” Party essentials Tom Gagan, owner of Alperson Party Rentals since 1980, has supplied party equipment for parties of 1,000, which required several tents. Mostly he does parties for 90 to 150 people. His company has supplied tents and equipment for every occasion including weddings, bar mitzvah and graduation parties, even block parties. “You name it, we’ve supplied it,” Gagan said. Alperson, which has been around since 1967, rents just about every component you need to throw a great party beyond the tents they are famous for supplying. They have dance floors, tent heaters and, of course, tent sides with clear windows

if necessary. Gagan said they supply food equipment too, like chafing dishes, glassware, china, flatware, tables and tablecloths, napkins, etc. The company can even provide a stage if needed and for some good old-fashioned fun they have popcorn and sno-cone machines. Gagan will come to your party venue and give you a tent estimate, without obligation. Prices and pictures of other items that Alperson supplies can be found on their website, Gagan said he also suggest caterers for his clients. Gourmet catering anywhere For catering parties of just about any size, at home or at an outside venue, there’s Bedford Gourmet in Bedford village co-owned by Debbie Franzese and Alexandra Walsh. When asked what type of events they cater, Franzese said, “Oh goodness, it’s a pretty wide range — everything from small intimate sit-down parties for 12 to parties for hundreds.” They’ve done large outdoor weddings, holiday parties, open house receptions: “We do it all.” They’ve done large and small weddings and also like to do tasting menus where they pair food with wines. “One of our chefs was a restaurant chef,” said Walsh. “He’s great at pairing food with wine … we can do small plates.” Asked if they’ve done any unusual parties, she said they’ve done some thematic parties, including a book signing, a party designed as an Oktoberfest, masquerades, Halloween parties where the business’s wait staff (that they supply) got all dressed in costumes. “All of our events are customized for our client’s needs,” Franzese said. “We don’t have a stock style. Everything is customized.”

So what components make a great party? Franzese said it was fantastic food, the good attitude of the staff. “I always tell the staff before an event to have fun, smile, then the guests feel it,” Franzese said. “Our staff really enjoys what they’re doing.” Walsh added, “That it’s our job to ensure the guests are having a great time, make sure their glass is always full. That pretty much makes for a great party. Good food, good music.” When it comes to music they have a list of people they can recommend. In fact, Bedford Gourmet also does party planning. “We are a full service business,” Walsh said. Franzese worked as a chef at Bedford Gourmet for 14 years before the pair bought the business nearly three years ago. Walsh previously owned a gourmet shop in North Salem and spent 10 years as a floral designer. Franzese is a full service party planner. She can get a tent, music, flowers, do table and buffet design, floor plan layout, lighting, handle literally all the rentals, even scout event spaces. Walsh said when people have a party theme in mind they can check out the space and suggest themes, which are sometimes dictated by the time of the party. “We come up with themes all the time for people,” she noted. “We’ve worked with a lot of spaces in the area, all over Westchester and Greenwich.” Even though the majority of their business is within 30 minutes of the store, they did a party out in the Hamptons for a local client who they’ve worked with for years. “They put us up, all our staff,” she said. They also cater events in NYC. Aside from large and small events, Walsh said they “really do a fun outdoor party in conjunction with Caramoor.” They prepare a picnic basket for people to go and sit on the grass and listen to the music. “Some people are weekenders and like to use their pools,” she said. They do parties for them outside, including hoedowns. The store carries about 200 cheeses which Walsh said is “great for the catering and is probably the largest selection in Westchester.” They sell lots of fois gras and caviar and can take special orders for overnight delivery for caviar that might not be stocked. (They recently sold a kilo of caviar!) Another part of their business is catering to crews shooting commercials at homes nearby that people have rented out, providing hot breakfasts and lunch. Walsh stressed that they can work within a budget, but don’t want to sacrifice a great menu. In that case she suggests people pick up the food. “We recently did a wedding [where] their budget was $5,000 for everything,” Walsh said. “We worked within their budget and they had the number of guests they wanted and we worked it out for them. It was at their home — they didn’t have to rent the space.” She went on to say that some places can cost $8,000 “when you walk in the door.” “There are so many homes that are beautiful that people use for events,” Walsh said. Large party or small, Bedford Gourmet has a lot of chefs on hand and has been using a lot of the same staff for years. Experience counts and they’ve got it. As party season approaches, it’s time to start thinking about your next celebration. And remember to think outside the box for party ideas. It could lead to your best one ever — party on!

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Ingrid Caserta Photography

News Notes & Party Tips

Advice: what to avoid when planning your wedding By JACQUELINE VAZQUEZ

A Whether it’s the little everyday things, the joy of discovery, or those special occasions, it is my goal to capture those moments... ...moments that you will treasure and share while creating memories that will last forever.

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s an experienced wedding planner, I offer advice to couples because I love what I do. I help create a couple’s vision, and a lifetime of memories. Here are just a few things to avoid when planning your wedding. Remember that you have invited guests to a party to celebrate this important day in your life. Don’t punish them for accepting your invitation to the ceremony and reception by having a big-time gap between the two events. If you want to be married in your childhood church in the country, but want a city reception, reconsider the time lag and distance between destinations from the guest’s point of view. It can be hard to plan a seamless schedule especially if you have your heart set on locations miles apart or have ceremony and reception times that don’t line up, but if that’s what you end up with, consider providing transportation for all guests between locations or find a spot between the two where guests can “hang out” and be comfortable while they wait. You may want a destination wedding in an exotic spot, but before you book

it consider whether or not your family, wedding party and guests can afford to get there or are able to get there. You may think that declaring your vows on the edge of an active volcano is highly symbolic of your relationship with the groom, but the likelihood of grandparents making the trek is minimal. As one planner says, “Destination weddings can be terrific, but as with any wedding, it is not only about you, it is also about your

guests.” When possible, select locations that are easy for everyone to reach. A well-traveled spot is a good choice. Plan the wedding well in advance so that potential guests can make arrangements to attend. Provide travel information and group rates where possible. Try to stay in charge of the guest list. Once the wedding budget is established, you’ll have a good sense of how many guests can comfortably be invited. If

Kleinfeld, the leader in bridal fashion, is expanding their wedding reach to the online wedding stationery market with the launch of Kleinfeld Paper. Internetbased, special occasion stationery provider LookLoveSend, LLC and Manhattan-based wedding gown salon Kleinfeld Bridal, have teamed up to launch Kleinfeld Paper, a luxury line of personalized wedding invitations and stationery. The partnership blends LookLoveSend’s diverse design talent, proprietary web technology and state-of-the-art, in-house printing with the legendary acclaimed Kleinfeld Bridal customer experience. Kleinfeld Paper will provide brides with a quality online experience by offering wedding invitations, save the dates, bridal shower invitations, baby announcements (…and more!) with unique print designs — some exclusively inspired by the most popular Kleinfeld gowns — hundreds of font choices, the highest quality paper and

print techniques, personalization and embellishments. “We want brides to have a magical shopping experience with us, whatever they buy,” said Ronnie Rothstein, Kleinfeld co-owner. “Our wedding stationery will offer the level of design, detail and personalized service that brides will feel is a natural continuation of their experience in our salon.” Kleinfeld Bridal chose LookLoveSend for the company’s high quality design

Founded in 1941, Kleinfeld is the largest luxury bridal retailer in the world, carrying an unparalleled selection of American and European designer gowns. The 35,000-square-foot flagship salon is located in the heart of Chelsea, New York City, and is host to TLC’s hit show, “Say Yes to the Dress.”

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talent, sophisticated web-based ordering and personalization service, professional in-house print management and dedicated customer service. “Our web-based interface works hand in hand with our seasoned customer service team,” said LookLoveSend CEO/ president John Barry Jr. “This means we aren’t just taking orders. We speak directly to our clients and they can always reach us.” Online live help is available seven days a week and direct customer service is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. toll free at (866) 399-6265.

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your budget is a six-figure event, relax and let parents invite whomever they feel they must. But if your budget is more real than imaginary, the list will probably need trimming. Start early and ask both sets of parents for their preferred guest list in order of preference. That way you can cut from the bottom if necessary. Try negotiating the outcomes. It is a great skill to learn. Brides — don’t forget your fiancée. Yes, you are planning a gorgeous wedding, but remember that you are getting married to that guy. Involve him in the planning process. There must be an area of special interest to him that he’d like to organize. Honeymoon plans, transportation, music — ask him what he’d like to do. You do have a life outside of this wedding, so talk about it, make plans for your future together and remember why you said yes in the first place.

Bridal trend leader Keinfeld sees fine print

What may look like a Log Cabin Jewelry Store is really our Log Cabin Jewelry Factory.

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February 15, 2013

From the moment you first see our landmark log cabin buildings, we hope your expectations will be elevated and your experience at D'Errico Jewelry will exceed those expectations. We are different. We believe in old-fashioned values taught to us by our father. Give the customer the very best quality at a fair and honest price… and then go one step beyond. For us, that one step includes a multitude of products and services you won't find at any other jewelry salon in Westchester County. We look forward to showing you the "D'Errico Difference" each and every time you visit.

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Look, feel great on your special day Looking your very best is all about feeling your very best. When you are confident in your beauty, it shows. Confidence in your beauty begins with gorgeous skin. Allison Adamiak, esthetician and owner at Balance Day Spa in White Plains, offers some advice: “With the proper care and guidance, gorgeous, glowing skin is attainable; however, amazing results take time.” Adamiak recommends beginning a regular regimen of monthly facials and a custom-designed home care regimen at least six months prior to your special day. “Skin issues do not tend to develop overnight and therefore should not be expected to vanish overnight,” Adamiak said. Trained at the Institute of Aesthetic Arts and Sciences in Southbury, Conn., Adamiak has spent the past 10 years educating her clients about their skin and leading them through progressive treatments. Adamiak has established a reputation for delivering results which are often beyond her clients’ hopes and expectations. “The Balance Facial is the best facial I’ve ever had in my life and five days later my skin is still looking fantastic,” wrote one client in an online review. Still another client review stated, “I did the Balance Facial and to say that my skin was glowing is an understatement. My boyfriend could not believe how fresh, rejuvenated and literally GLOWING my face was!” Additionally, Adamiak strongly recommends partaking in hair and make-up trials prior to your special event. “When your big day finally arrives, you should not be focusing on anything but soaking it all in and enjoying yourself,” Adamiak advises. “By doing trials in advance, you are able to play around and find the right look for your event. This is also a great opportunity to be sure that you are in sync with your hair and make-up professionals.” Adamiak suggests booking your trials far enough in advance that you can allow yourself adequate time to find your look and to make any necessary changes. Lastly, she advises, “Trust your instincts. If you know what look you want, don’t let anyone else tell you that you’re wrong. Be true to yourself, and your beauty will shine through.” Balance Day Spa offers a wide range of services, including facials, waxing, make-up application, bronzing, tinting, aromatherapy and ear candling. Call 358-9898 or visit

February 15, 2013


The scarsdale Inquirer/Page 5A


Next stop graduation: Time to start planning! “A Perfect Summer� party dress.

Get a dress and a great experience MAG Tricotes, a private luxury boutique in Scarsdale, specializes in unique, custom couture and special occasion dresses. The couture boutique is all about elegance, timeless style, luxurious fabrics, intricate detailing, fashion and tradition. Whether you are a new bride planning a destination wedding, mother of the bar mitzvah kid or a woman simply wanting to celebrate your life in style, you will find your one-of-a-kind creation at MAG Tricotes. Expect to be pampered in this small boutique that feels like home, where each garment is lovingly made by hand, where every piece reflects the skill of the designer and the artisan, where the fabric is so soft, you just couldn’t help but want to touch it, where the cut is so classy and design so timeless, you never had to worry about trends, where YOU, the client, actually have a say in the final product. These days, the options of finding a dress are limitless. If you are looking for more than a dress, if you are searching for an experience that celebrates you, your personal style, your love for elegant, unique, beautifully crafted pieces, then you are the client MAG Tricotes proudly and caringly serves. Make an appointment with us now or just drop in — so that we can exceed your expectations. Call 725-4624 or visit



raduation is just around the corner. Are you prepared? You’ve already done the hard part, guiding your graduate from those first days of preschool all the way to up to the podium where they will accept their diploma. But what about the celebration? How can you make graduation day as meaningful as possible and satisfy the whims and needs of the honoree without breaking the family bank? After all, either you’ve still got to pay that college tuition, or you’ve already been paying the past four years or more. Jacqueline Vasquez, owner of Lifetime Events by Jacqueline, is party planner with a long pedigree. Her company’s tag line is, “We work with you, for you to make your special event last a Lifetime.� Among her many professional accolades, Vasquez is a graduate of the Professional Bridal Consultant Development Program, and a certified master bridal consultant. Her work has appeared in Martha Stewart Weddings, among other prestigious publications. She founded her company in 2007. High school graduation parties, Vasquez said, like other honoring celebrations, should have a theme. The theme can be as simple as coordinating napkins and decorative streamers in the school colors, or as complex or detailed as one wishes. Choosing a theme will guide you through the process of purchasing supplies, and menu planning. “Continual new trends for themes are in the interactive entertainment area — from games, dancing and experiences,� Vasquez said. One example are the popular themed photo booths. In weighing the decision to hold a party at home or at another locale, Vasquez said there are factors to consider. Do you have enough indoor and outdoor space, and will you be using both? Is there ample parking? Will you need to hire staff to assist with serving and cleanup? Do you have facilities and access to accommodate handicapped guests? If you decide to hold your party at a venue, visit the site first to see if the space is indeed suitable for your celebration. Once again, is there ample parking space? Find out what comes with the accom-

modation. Some venues are basically raw space. Will you need to rent tables and chairs? What about lighting? Are there kitchen facilities you can use? Will you be hiring an outside caterer? Make sure to check if there are any special stipulations or restrictions regarding the rental, and what prep hours for setting up and decoration are available and what cleanup arrangements must be made. Find out if there are restrictions about serving alcoholic beverages to your adult guests, and what, if any, restrictions there might be about music or dancing, and what equipment can or cannot be brought in. Compared to planning a wedding, a high school or college graduation seems easy. But when it comes to details, things can certainly get tricky. Vasquez said that while anyone can plan and execute a party, working with a professional definitely takes away the anxiety that comes from planning a party and what she calls “day of � concerns. “What a professional can do is provide guidance throughout the planning phase,� Vasquez said. “Planning a great event takes time, thought and preparation. Also a professional brings to the occasion industry expertise and ‘day of ’ management and execution so that parents can relax and also enjoy the celebration. It’s also good to have someone experienced ready to assist and address unforeseen circumstances.� For example, a professional will keep a cool head and have the right numbers to call if the cake arrives with the wrong name on it or there’s a power outage or there are crashers at the gate. “A planner is the ‘in the know expert’ who works with events on a daily basis, and offers a wealth of knowledge to create a great experience based on the clients’ vision,� Vasquez said. “As a planner, I have planned many different types of social events from weddings to graduation parties. A graduation party can range from being an intimate dinner to an elaborate party.� Is the experience of pulling off a fabulous graduation party good practice for planning something bigger and more elaborate? “The planning process may be similar in some instances based on the clients’ theme, style or vision,� Vasquez said. “Weddings, for example, are more emotional than any other social celebrations.� She said with a wedding, there also is so

much more attention to details. “With regard to weddings, it is important to some whether a flower is the right color, whether the wedding attire looks good on the bride, groom, wedding party and parents. The ultimate struggle, always, is the guest list.� Vasquez said compiling a guest list for a wedding versus a graduation is literally day and night: “With a high school or college graduation guest list, you may have mostly friends/family or just family members. Selecting which family member to attend is not a major project. When it comes to a wedding, the guest list, for the most part, is a planning project in itself. So with that said, planning a graduation party is a preparation for those who will ultimately be a part of planning a wedding for their son or daughter.� One of the easiest ways to plan a graduation party is to book a room in a fullservice restaurant. La Catena Restaurant in Ardsley makes a specialty of private parties, including graduations of all sorts. Packages are available in four different price ranges going up in increments of $15 per person from $29.95 to $50. A sample menu for example at $35 per person includes salad; a choice of chicken, fish, veal or penne alla vodka; a veg platter for the table; dessert, coffee, soda; and a bottle of red or white wine for up to 10 people per table. For $50 a head, ramp up the festivities with a hot and cold antipasta and fried calamari; rigatoni filetto and linguine marchiaro; a choice of chicken, veal, or snapper or salmon; Napoleon pastry and espresso, cappuccino, and beer, wine and soda. The restaurant has a private party room that can accommodate up to 100 people. The restaurant is open seven days a week. If you have your heart set on a certain date, it’s not too early to make reservations. Oh, and just how much input should you allow the graduate to have in the planning process? “Every event should reflect the personality of the person being feted,� Vasquez said. She recommends parents ask their child how they envision their graduation party, and then come to a style agreement: “The key points to planning a graduation party are guest count, location, budget, and then style and theme.� Once you get those items sorted out, the rest should be gravy.


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Relax and enjoy every moment of your party Continued from page 2A

trimmings such as flowers, photography and music. The advantage is one-stop shopping. The disadvantage is that options are limited, and the food offered by hotels and catering halls varies widely in quality. Be sure to have a tasting before taking a package deal. Hiring an ‘event designer’ With imagination and creativity, parties can be held in the most unlikely places, from a community room in a church to a lecture hall in a museum. “We can transform anything,â€? says event designer Jennifer Gould of Diana Gould Ltd. Floral and Event DĂŠcor, with offices in Manhattan and Elmsford. When Gould says “anything,â€? she really means it. The firm is expert at taking any space, no matter how uninteresting, and turning it into an exciting party venue. “A majority of my business is working with top party planners,â€? Gould said. If you think of the party planner as the movie producer — the one who pulls together the catering, the music and activities, and the venue itself — then Gould’s firm is the set designer, and the party venue is the soundstage. Diana Gould Ltd. has made a name for itself in Westchester and environs because of their over-the-top floral displays that transform any room from simple to spectacular. But flowers are only the beginning when it comes to the services the company offers. “We have a whole in-house custom graphic design department,â€? said Gould, explaining that they’re able to create a unified look for all the party’s printed materials such as place cards, signs and banners. The firm creates wall draping and custom lighting that can make even a school cafeteria seem palatial. They’ll furnish any

Boscobel in Garrison is another popular Jean Jacques’ location. empty space, creating a lounge or a ballroom at a client’s request. They will also coordinate all the rentals — dinnerware, linens, tables and chairs — so everything is consistent with the party’s design theme. If the rental market doesn’t offer it, they will fabricate it. For example, if clients want unusual tables rather than traditionally draped ballroom tables, they can offer tables in various materials such as leather. Clients who visit a venue may be discouraged at how a space looks in the harsh light of day, without fabric draping the walls and lighting to create ambiance. An unembellished tent can be particularly uninspiring. All that changes at party time. For example, a few weeks ago, Gould and her crew transformed a double basketball court in New York into a 13-year-old’s fantasy ballroom for a unique bat mitzvah celebration. “I personally think lighting is one of the key elements in a party,� Gould said. “You

really evoke mood and a party atmosphere with lighting.� Gould said the firm installs temporary lighting of various kinds: decorative lighting, wireless LED lights for ambient lighting, pin spot lighting and special lighting to highlight the centerpieces and the tables. Centerpieces may be as simple and classic as a gorgeous floral arrangement, or they can be as ornate as one the firm created recently on a circus theme: a doubletiered centerpiece, complete with trapeze and tightropes, with LED lights and crystals. Renting a mansion Want to feel like a multimillionaire for a day? Jean-Jacques, a catering/party planning business based in Pleasantville, has clients who give parties in mansions and entertain their guests on terraces with Hudson River views. Some of those clients actually own the spectacular proper-


ties where they party. But many more rent them via Jean-Jacques’s roster of mansion venues that are available to hire for parties. “They’re not really the cookie cutter type venues,� said Jeannette Gabrillargues, whose family owns the company. The firm will work at any venue provided by the client. (They’ve catered parties in airplane hangars, wineries and warehouses. They even catered a golf tournament on an island, where they put up a 7,000-squarefoot kitchen just for the event after shuttling the equipment from the mainland on ferryboats.) Often, they match clients up with one of the historic home venues with which they are associated. A few examples are the Victorian Gothic mansion “James House� in Sleepy Hollow, with its sweeping views of the Hudson; the Osborn Castle, a 17th century stone castle at the top of Cat Rock Mountain in Garrison; and the Rowsley Estate in Scarsdale, an elegant 19th century country manor house. For parties at Boscobel in Garrison, events are held in a large tent (some hold upward of 300 guests) and the partiers can take advantage of this historic estate’s gardens and river views. Gabrillargues said that clients who rent one of the properties she works with have the use of the house and grounds for the entire day of the event. “It’s completely private,� she noted. “We cater one event per day at each of the locations. This offers flexibility regarding the scheduling of the day.� She said that clients can use various rooms at each venue, in addition to outdoor areas and patios. “There is a sense of feeling that you’re ‘at home,’� she said. She added that she even encourages people to make it more like their own home by bringing in family photos to display around the rooms.

Groomsmen go beyond the traditional black tux Continued from page 1A

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February 15, 2013

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and the men will not look great standing together for pictures if they’re wearing different tones of the same color. Let’s face it, you’re taking pictures that will last a lifetime.� The men should also wear the same shoes — in the case of a navy suit, shoes should only be brown. For more formal occasions — such as an evening wedding at an upscale venue in New York City — tuxedos are still de rigueur. “If you’re spending a couple hundred grand for the wedding, you’re going to want it to be black tie,� Fortuna said. “But today, even with a tuxedo, it’s basically a regular white dress shirt with a tie that accompanies the tux — no cummerbund, no suspenders. You could wear a more formal black suit with a gray tie and white pocket square, or to mix it up a bit, wear a white shirt with a black stripe in it. There are many options you could do to make your look formal and be completely up to date.� Lee Masi, owner of Ridge Squire Tuxedo in Rye Brook, in business since 1969, says the basics “stay basic� in formalwear, even though trends “come and go, and then come back again.� Ridge Squire “has been doing this for

Italy Direct is a leader in getting the men ready for the special occasion. so long, and has so much in stock,� Masi said, that a groom and his attendants can come in the day of the wedding and be perfectly outfitted to arrive at the church with time to spare. Masi’s shop primarily rents, but also sells menswear, with tuxedos, suits, jackets and pants available from infant size through size 70. He even carries shoes to complete the outfit.

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“We start from scratch, dressing every man who comes in to make sure he’s in the exact size that’s correct for him,� Masi said. “We alter on the spot, press and bag the clothing, look it over numerous times before it’s ready to go.� Couples holding destination weddings in warmer climates will want to dress down for a beach venue. “We have tans, light grays, navy and black,� Masi said.

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“Grooms may not want to go as formal as they might for a city event.â€? Wearing tuxes or wedding suits with vest and full-length ties is in style these days although, Masi said, the bow tie is making a comeback: “When the jacket comes off at the reception, men still have a formality there when they wear a bow tie, so it’s still a nice formal look. And a vest holds everything together, helps keep the shirt tucked in and adds a little pattern and a nice color. So you can dress up any suit by adding a vest.â€? Another alternative to the traditional tuxedo is a white or black dinner jacket, Masi said. Men have a choice in terms of lapel style, with the notch style the most popular, as it is in suits. Another option men have is changing from a more formal outfit that’s worn during the wedding to something less formal for the reception. “We just had a wedding where for the ceremony the men wore black tuxedos,â€? Masi said. “They wanted to get more creative, so they switched into white jackets for the party, got fun and creative as the night went on.â€? Both Fortuna and Masi clearly enjoy what they do, which is helping men look their best, in this case on what is one of the most important days of their lives. Black tux‌ and beyond!


February 15, 2013


The scarsdale Inquirer/Page 7A

How to make your marriage proposal perfect


ou’ve picked the perfect ring. You’ve practiced the words you’ll use when you propose. But you know she would be livid if you asked her on the big screen at a sporting event. Making an engagement truly memorable will win you points for a lifetime each time she retells your engagement story. These tips will help your engagement stick out. Here are some great ways to make your engagement be one of a kind. Take it personally You are proposing to the woman or man of your dreams, the person you’ve chosen to spend the rest of your life with, the person who is the perfectly unique match to yourself. So, make the proposal just as personalized and special as that person. Yes, you may have chosen the perfect ring, but presentation is equally important. Choose something that will not only stun your betrothed, but also be something he or she can keep for years. Ditch the typical velvet box and go for a personalized, engraved keepsake box. With dozens of box

rate this momentous, life-changing occasion. Just be sure your future spouse is the center of attention, and you’ll be set to make the event unforgettable.

options, you can perfectly match the style of your new fiancée, from classic and elegant to contemporary chic. Then, take it one step further and engrave something meaningful to commemorate this day — your names, the date you were engaged or a personal love saying (that maybe only the two of you understand) are ideal inscriptions.

Make it a party Yes, the year is filled with parties, but a personal engagement party is something that you and your families will remember forever. Whether you choose a private, intimate locale to pop the question or a bustling public setting, convene family and friends during or afterward to celebrate together. Plan a special party to commemo-

Capture the moment Nearly all couples choose to hire photographers and videographers to capture the memories of their wedding day. But isn’t the engagement just as momentous? As your heart begins to race when your knee bends toward the ground, the last thing on your mind will be your camera. But being able to actually look back at this moment will be something you’ll treasure for years to come. If you plan on hiring a professional photographer, make sure to call at least a few weeks in advance. Luckily, unlike your wedding day, you’ll probably only need the photographer for an hour or so. When it’s all said and done, you and your new fiancée may not remember every tiny detail, but using these simple tips will ensure your engagement day is a truly unique, memorable experience for you both. — Brandpoint

Photography worlds collide for best options Continued from page 1A

Worth a thousand words Looking at Peter Oberc’s wedding photography blog and photo slideshow is enough to make you want to get married all over again. Oberc, based at 52 Gedney Way in White Plains, has been in business for 15 years. “A visual image is more important than words,” Oberc said. Technology has created better tools for photographers, he said. “There’s a lot of things you could never do before. Editing

order proofs and albums. “Some people and parents like the old-fashioned way,” he said.

Peter Oberc Photography

is better, but some people overdo effects. You don’t want to be extreme. People have to look good.” Digital technology is a “double-edged sword,” according to Oberc. While the cameras are “great,” and the photo quality is “really good,” “people who aren’t professional can do it. In the old days you had to have technique. The younger generation is really technically hip. Before everything was album-based. Now there are fewer albums. A lot of people are going for j-pegs. They get the j-pegs and run with them.” Oberc added, “The big thing now is an online slideshow. You couldn’t do that before. You put music on it, people love it. It sets a mood, sells romance.” Oberc loves what he does for a living. When shooting a wedding or bar or bat mitzvah, Oberc gets to know his clients first. “Some people don’t know what they want,” he said. “You have to make sense of everything for them. I make sense out of chaos. The best skills I have, I’m a people person.” He continued, “In the end, it’s about the photographer’s personality. I can be an artist visually, but in the end it’s the old school stuff, dealing with people.” Last year Oberc photographed 57

Caroline Moss Photography

events, which was “record-breaking in a tough economy,” he said. The technology allowed him to have a slideshow up within a week of the event for clients to view. “You’re talking to the fastest person in the business,” he said. The slideshow contains only 30 percent of images, he said: “It’s a teaser, a synopsis of the event.” Clients get images on disk, while some

Culture of sharing Caroline Moss of Caroline Moss Photography on the Upper East Side of Manhattan is “new on the scene,” and is the same age as many of the brides she photographs. She is part of the “culture of Internet sharing.” That culture is now “taking over wedding photography,” she said. Sites like Pinterest, a virtual pin board, allows users to “hone,” organize and share images they like. “They tell you what they want,” Moss said of her clients. “People like kitschy, trendy, cute, chic photos that set them apart. They don’t want a cookie-cutter wedding or photos. It’s about the couple’s interests and hobbies. They ask for photos to capture their personality. They want people to look at the photos and say that is so you!” Moss meets with her clients twice beforehand if possible: “I like to know how they met, who’s in the bridal party. I ask them about photos they’ve seen and liked, what they hate. What ends up happening, if you have a relationship, it’s so much more comfortable on the wedding day.” Moss has a team of three — a second photographer and a stylist. The stylist helps “scope out” photo opportunities while Moss is involved with the couple. She offers an a la carte package of photo options. But putting them on a flash drive and sharing rights to photos “sets us apart,” she said. Moss began her passion for digital photography when she was chosen her senior year of college to take a photojournalism class in Italy. “I learned everything I could and never stopped being mesmerized by it,” she said. “I’m a romantic at heart,” she continued. “I get to watch people in love. You go in and out, but you’re going to capture the moment. Your photos are going to be on mantels and tabletops for children and grandchildren to look back on.”





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a second photographer and recommends two photographers if the guest list is larger than 150. “It allows the event to be captured from different angles and for more candid coverage. For the wedding ceremony, it’s always great to have two different angles,” Prime said. Prime’s “photo booth” is a mini studio, not an actual box-type operation. “I am there or my associate photographer is there. We have light and a backdrop. We can get more pictures of friends and family that are fun, more than coming around the table to take pictures of you. It can be more fun and a lighthearted way of getting beautiful and funny pictures.” “Standard” photo albums are not the same as in predigital days. The photos flow to tell more of a story. “In the postdigital world, albums can be much more creative,” Prime said. “You can keep designs classic, but it doesn’t look like the old ‘stick-in’ photos in albums. I like to do a creative layout. It’s called a flush mount layout. Several images are laid out in collage form. You can be creative. It’s really beautiful, it makes more of a statement. “Some of my clients trust my judgment as an artist and want me to create an album out of my own vision, but most like to choose the majority of images and give me their selections. I play around with that and I will add some of my own choices, but the client has the final say in what their album looks like. We come to something that they love.” Prime’s wedding packages include a complimentary engagement session, proof book and digital image files.

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Contemporary Brides:

lightweight volume. Instead, it has embraced a contemporary, deconstructed look. Fresh ways of using tulle include shredded or layered applications, bows and blossoms. Stretch tulles make beautiful wraps and well-fitting illusion bodices and sleeves. Sewn-in sequins or Swarovski crystals create an effect of scattered starlight — stunning for an evening ceremony under twinkling lights. Although a wedding should be a oncein-a-lifetime event, one dress might not necessarily be enough. An increasing number of brides are looking for two dresses — one for the ceremony and one for the reception. This allows for a perfect compromise between classically formal (for the religious venue) and sexy or fun (for the party). Designers have responded to this need by offering greater flexibility and choice. Convertible dresses can change their look with a quick switch of removable components, such as peplums, trains or long, full skirts. True reception dresses are typically shorter, more casual and allow for greater freedom of movement on the dance floor. These dresses are easy to wear in the future — perhaps on subsequent wedding anniversaries. And if all that’s not enough, why not just go all the way with an over-the-top ensemble? Influenced by the fantasiescome-to-life on contemporary weddingthemed television shows, many brides are drawn to the glitz and glamour of showstopping gowns. A statement-making dress is bound to attract attention. Think oversized proportions, amplified details and extreme embellishment. If the budget allows, go for it! After all, it’s a day and a moment to be remembered forever.

Divas, darlings and dolls dress to impress Continued from page 1A

With backless gowns, don’t forget your skin. Remember to start a regiment of cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing and sun protection at least one month before the big day. Also, since elastic bra straps can leave telltale red marks, it is best to go without a bra for several hours before donning the dress! Boleros, capelets and shrugs go hand in hand — or shoulder to shoulder — with the current preference for skin-baring wedding dresses. Not only do these coverlets provide adequate coverage for religious ceremonies, they initiate creative options for personalizing a bridal look. Fur, velvet, cashmere and exquisite knits play up the atmosphere of a winter wedding. Diaphanous sheers in organza or tulle or lightweight coverlets embellished with feathers, textile flowers or sparkly crystals are the perfect accompaniment to a springtime wedding. For even greater personalization, these coverlets become the perfect background for a special heirloom brooch, an embroidered monogram representing the couple’s married name or an accessory related to the wedding theme. They are also a safe way to incorporate a splash of color through lining, trim or other details. Colorful gowns are one of the newest bridal trends — and not just pale blush

tones and subtle café au laits. Now, the bold hues of popular fashion are making their way into the world of traditionally white gowns. According to retailers, red, metallics, pinks and blues are the most popular choices among color-loving brides. The key to wearing a nonwhite wedding dress is to select a traditional silhouette with typical adornment, such as a train. This will make the dress stand out, and it will distinguish the bride from her guests. This is important for both first-time and repeat brides. Color offers unique opportunities to reflect specific elements of the wedding or to unify its entire theme. Choose a color that is flattering or meaningful and incorporate it throughout the wedding. For example, use it to distinguish the typeface of the invitations, the groom’s bow tie or socks, reception lighting, table centerpieces and sweets at a candy bar. Tradition has been twisted in more ways than color. Typical bridal textiles, such as lace and tulle, are getting new life through modern interpretation. Lace is looser and more graphic than ever before. No longer just a frilly detail, lace takes center stage with texture, pattern and its ability to simultaneously cover and reveal. Look for lace in illusion bodices, sleeves and as an all-over treatment. Likewise, tulle has abandoned its identity as an itchy, marshmallowy means of

February 15, 2013

The Dennis Basso Collection available at Kleinfeld.

Available at Fontana Couture in Greenwich.

Another Kleinfeld dress by Pnina Tornai.

Traditional tulle takes on a new look with varying layers and lengths.

celebrations A special section of

The Scarsdale Inquirer P.O. Box 418, Scarsdale, NY 10583 914-725-2500 •

PUBLISHER........................................... Deborah G. White SECTION EDITOR.............................................. Todd Sliss ART DIRECTOR.......................................Ann Marie Rezen AD DESIGN..............................................Katherine Potter AD SALES............................................. Thomas O’Halloran, Barbara Yeaker, Francesca Lynch,and Marilyn Petrosa ©2013 S.I. Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden without the Publisher’s written permission.

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