Scarsdale Inquirer Celebrations

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A S P E C I A L S E C T I O N O F T H E S C A R S DA L E I N Q U I R E R • F E B R U A R Y 13 , 2 015

An insider’s guide to dressing for the night of your life!

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cessories and splurge on the gown. The gown is what you see the most of and what attracts the most attention.

t might not be cool for prom girls to take advice from their moms, but tips from industry experts are another story. “Celebrations” reached out to some of the best local professionals who generously shared their insight and experience in helping girls look and feel their best on prom’s very special night. So gather round; here’s who they are and here’s what they had to say. Monique Gootkin and Betty Dayan are co-owners of All Dressed Up, a premier fashion boutique in the Rye Ridge Plaza in Rye Brook. They each have degrees from the Fashion Institute of Technology, and they both have daughters — two important factors that make All Dressed Up a special shop for unique party attire. “It’s really a privilege to operate All Dressed Up,” said Gootkin, “because we get to share over and over again that excitement that goes along with all the different events people purchase dresses for.” Dayan added, “These are wonderful moments in young woman’s life, some events are spiritual, some just about fun, but all of them are meant to be remembered.” Melanie Harris, a Scarsdale native, was born and bred in the fashion design industry — and she attended the Scarsdale High School prom in her youth. With this background, it was only natural for her to launch her own brand, Melanie Harris, Inc., which is based in New York City and which focuses on special occasion dresses of quality, exquisite workmanship and innovative, yet classic design — all made in the USA. One of Harris’s daughters, Sam, went to the Scarsdale High School prom last year. “She designed her own gown along with me, which has been selling in my spring/summer 2015 collection,” Harris said. “My other daughter, Sloane, is in ninth grade, and I’m sure she has something brewing in her head already!”

Certain silhouettes look better on certain body types. What are your tips for finding the best look for each girl? H: Several designs will have specific details that will enhance your best feature. For example, girls with a larger bust-line tend to look better in an off-the-shoulder style. This is because an off-the-shoulder dress focuses attention on a girl’s open neckline and shoulders — and away from the bust size. Girls with fuller hips tend to look better in a flowing silhouette or an A-line skirt, rather than in tight and straight styles. However, some girls that are very thin may also look better in a fuller skirt, especially if the volume of the skirt enhances a small waistline. G&D: To find the best style of gown for your body, try on different silhouettes and take suggestions from your salesperson. Salespeople have a lot of experience and generally know what will look good. They are a great resource! Gowns also look different once they are tried on, as opposed to how they look on a hanger — so always give different gowns a chance by trying them on.


Tradition remains for wedding invitations By VALERIE ABRAHAMS


he internet recently was all atwitter with news that adorable Oscarnominated actor Benedict Cumberbatch and fiancée Sophie Hunter sent out a hasty wedding Evite. Amid speculation that the celebrity couple want to wed before the baby arrives in early summer, the guests might forgive the pair for not following social protocol with ink and paper invites. The rules of wedding etiquette are constantly evolving, but traditional printed, mailed invitations remain the preferred — and more personal — option for special occasions such as weddings or bar and bat mitzvahs. According to a recent wedding planning survey by and Mashable, two-thirds of brides used paperless options for wedding related events, but only 12 percent went paperless for the wedding invitation. Evites, easily forgotten or deleted, may be acceptable for celebrities or for casual events such as barbecues or birthdays, but, “It will never be appropriate to send an Evite for a formal event,” said Alissa Harvey of Kings Scribe in Chappaqua. “If you send an Evite for an event at the Westchester or Sleepy Hollow Country Clubs, you are confusing people’s expectations.” Ken Chorzewski of Invitations Plus agreed: “There is no one who is having an elegant affair who would not want an engraved or thermographic invitation. Both are still in vogue. Some people are using Evites, but only for small parties or a quick engagement.” Chorzewski’s company represents every major American engraver and thermographic house and has been serving people planning high end affairs in the New York metro area for more than 33 years. Even young couples entrenched in the digital world believe nothing supplants a printed invitation, he said, and they want a copy of the invitation to display in their wedding album. “If you send it online, it’s in cyberspace somewhere, but not in your hand or in your album,” Chorzewski said. If a couple wants to make an eco-friendly statement by using less paper, they might ask for an

What’s the best way to stand out at prom? H (Harris): A big, beautiful smile will always have you standing out of any crowd! A smile is your best accessory. G&D (Gootkin & Davan): Wear a colorful dress to stand out! With so many styles to choose from, where do you start? What advice can you offer on narrowing down the choices and making the best selection? H: Prior to shopping, it always helps to have a price range in mind and possibly a color or silhouette to narrow your options in a retail store with a larger inventory. G&D: We recommend trying on many different styles and silhouettes to get an idea of what you really like. Always be open to suggestions, too. When working with a budget, where should you splurge and where should you save? H: When working within a specific budget, I would splurge on the perfect dress that enhances your best features and save on a high priced heel. Many shoes look similar and are just as comfortable at a lower price. G&D: If you are on a budget, save on the shoes and ac-


How can girls personalize their look with accessories? H: From personal experience, my daughter Sam added a beautiful hair accessory that coordinated with her prom gown of tiny tie-dyed flowers and soft cascading rows of gold chains that flowed through the curls in the back of her hair. Fashion bloggers linked her prom picture to the “Winning Look of 2014 Prom Hair.” G&D: Jewelry always complements the look! For example, a great bracelet and earring adds a finishing touch that can really make a difference to the total look. Since we offer a complete range of accessories, a girl can try out various options all at once when she is purchasing her dress. This will give her ideas of how to play with the overall look and personalize it to achieve the Wow! factor. What are the current prom styles and colors this year? What’s new and exciting? H: In years past, straight, tight, heavily sequined, sexy styles were more popular among prom girls. However, the new trends in prom are following the trends from red carpet events and New York Fashion Week runway shows. Flowing, less adorned, more classic styling is now the most sought after look for the prom. Today’s prom girls want to look like their favorite movie stars, rather than beauty pageant contestants. Colors remain a personal preference, whether it is a vibrant bright color, classic white or always elegant black. A color is usually selected by what looks best on a certain skin tone or by what color matches a girl’s personality. G&D: Open backs continue to be a great feature and a very popular look right now. Illusion necklines and illusion panels by the knee are also extraordinarily popular looks this season. As far as color is concerned, pastels are currently a beautiful look. However, along with lavender and pale pink, neon colors and lemon yellow are also key colors. We’re also seeing a lot of red – which can be very rich and dramatic. For girls interested in capturing a glamorous look, you can never go wrong with this season’s gorgeous lace gowns or, of course, anything with sequins. CONTINUED ON PAGE 7A

Bridal bootcamp: Fitness prep before the big event By MARY LEGRAND

E INSIDE CELEBRATIONS Make your big day as unique as you are............................ 2A Getting hitched at home? 3 things to think about............ 3A Bar and Bat Mitzvahs: Start with a plan, end with fun!.... 4A Hiring a wedding photographer........................................ 5A Planning an ideal weekend wedding................................. 6A Party time? Tips for beer and wine pairings...................... 6A Wedding gowns reflect personality and tradition............. 8A

ngaged couples have a lot of wedding details to work through prior to the big day, including choosing a venue, caterer, band and photographer. In recent years there have been additional priorities on the to-do lists, including, for some brides and grooms, putting the finishing touches on themselves. Some call this “bridal boot camp,” but in most cases the training doesn’t involve being yelled at by drill sergeants. Joseph Frisenda, a personal trainer and owner of Push Personal Training in Irvington, said his company is well acquainted with taking on clients who are anticipating getting married. Good things can happen even in a

relatively short timeframe, whether the client hopes to improve his or her body in one-onone sessions or in partner training. “Whatever it takes for someone to get into shape and do something for herself or himself is an excellent move, and hopefully those good habits stick after the initial, pre-wedding push,” Frisenda said. “It’s like when someone quits smoking because of his spouse, but in the end he feels better and realizes how much healthier he feels. Whatever the impetus, it’s always a good thing to do the right thing.” Frisenda said between six and 12 months before one’s wedding date is plenty of time to get into prenuptials shape. “Everyone has individual needs, with different body composition and metabolism, so our workouts depend on the person,” he said. “We try to adhere to a CONTINUED ON PAGE 6A



I Love You

I Love You

FEBRUARY 13, 2015

I Love You

Make your big day as unique as you are I Love You

I Love You

I Love You


eddings are steeped in tradition, no matter whom you are or where you live. But what if you’re not interested in wearing the same dress your mother did, getting married in the same location your sister did or wearing something blue? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Plenty of brides search for ways to make their special day as unique as they are. Here are five ways to put your own special spin on this classic tradition: • A guest book you’ll use. Signing the guest book is a common tradition at most weddings; you’ve probably signed a few in your lifetime. After the wedding is over, however, this priceless keepsake often disappears into a box never to be seen again. Break from tradition by creating a guest book you’ll actually use. Take a trip to the book store with your partner and browse the coffee table books. Once you find one that interests both of you, claim it as your guest book. Your wedding guests can sign their names in the margins and afterwards you’ll be left with a permanent, functional guest book to display for visitors and friends. • Dance under the stars. Looking to create a one-of-a-kind wedding? Don’t rent the same ballroom as all of your friends. Host your reception outdoors. You can rent a dance floor from a local rental facility and trained technicians will arrive to set it up easily. You’ll dance on a traditional wood floor while looking up at the stars. What could be more original than that? Don’t

forget to rent a tent so that weather doesn’t dampen the mood. • Treasure the memories. Get your guests involved in the event by placing blank cards and pens at each seat location. Ask your guests to write about their favorite memory of you and/or your spouse. Collect all of these cards and turn them into a scrapbook for a treasured keepsake. • Prepare a menu that is uniquely you. Chocolate fountains were once unique and elegant, but now they’re commonplace. Don’t despair, though, because there are plenty of unique edible snack options you can include in your special day. If you’re getting married in the blistering heat, rent a snow cone machine to offer your guests some sweet relief. If you and your spouse are big movie buffs or your wedding has a Hollywood theme, rent a popcorn machine to complete the look. And for the bride who’s still a kid at heart, nothing captures that better than renting an authentic cotton candy machine. • Find the color that suits you. Maybe wearing something blue doesn’t suit you, but perhaps you’re not too wild about black and white either. At many venues, though, these colors are the only choices you have when it comes to tablecloths and napkins. Remember, you don’t have to settle; you can provide your own materials simply by renting them. This opens up a color palette of limitless options. If you are planning a fall wedding, look for napkins that reflect the colors of the leaves. Did you meet in col-

lege? Choose linens in your school’s colors. Whatever shade speaks to you, you can find it and give your wedding a look no one will expect. Keep the tradition, but be uniquely you with options limited only by your own imagination. — BPT

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 ADVERTISING DESIGN Katherine Potter ADVERTISING SALES Thomas O’Halloran, Barbara Yeaker, Marilyn Petrosa and Francesca Lynch ©2015 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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First things first — make sure you have enough space to accommodate everyone. If you need to make extra space, get creative. Did you know you can fit more guests at round tables than rectangular or square ones? You can also invest in a short-term storage locker, which can temporarily house excess furniture as well as valuables you don’t want left out among wandering and rowdy guests. You’ll also want to check into local noise ordinances, which might require a permit to host a loud party. You might need a permit to park cars along your street, too.

Looking good

Prepared and protected

In addition to these important basic details, couples need to make sure they are protected if anything goes wrong on their big day. Joe Vahey, vice president and product manager at Erie Insurance, suggests happy couples think about the following three key insurance issues when planning a wedding at their home or someone else’s to make sure they’re prepared for the unexpected: • Personal property: Keep valuable wed-

ding gifts protected. Depending on how many guests attend your event, you could end up with thousands of dollars’ worth of gifts. Since personal property like this is covered by your homeowners insurance policy, make sure to talk to your agent. They’ll look into your policy’s personal property limit — it’s usually a percentage of the value of your home — to ensure ev-

erything is covered. • Liability issues: It’s important to make sure you’re protected from liability, too. If your uncle falls while doing the chicken dance or your cousin trips while diving to catch the bouquet, you could end up in trouble. While some liability coverage is included on standard homeowners policies, you’ll want to review the liability limits

Once the behind-the-scenes details have been addressed, it’s time to pull back the curtain and focus on putting on a spectacular show. Properly welcome guests by getting your landscape in tip-top shape and making sure to clean your house top to bottom a week before the wedding. Consider hiring professionals to lessen your responsibilities leading up to the big day. Keep wedding decor and flowers in line with the look and feel of the home. Getting married at a beach house on the lake? Then, stick to a more casual, understated feel. If you’re hosting a black-tie gala at a friend’s mansion, don’t be afraid to embrace elegance and opulence. Regardless of how you choose to celebrate your big day, planning ahead to ensure you’re prepared and protected is one way to enjoy it worry-free, with the one you love. — BPT



I ta l I a n R e s ta u R a n t


Beginning basics

La Catena


with your agent in order to assure you have enough coverage. Additionally, it’s always wise to consider adding an inexpensive personal catastrophe liability policy (sometimes called an umbrella policy) to your insurance. Having this extra protection will provide you and your future spouse with needed peace of mind on a hectic day. • Rings: Wedding rings are an important part of the ceremony, a symbol of your special bond. Consider “scheduling” the rings rather than relying on the blanket coverage provided by a standard policy, which may have a value limit. A scheduled ring has additional coverage up to the specific value of that ring, so you won’t have to worry about replacing a lost or stolen ring.

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eciding to get married is one of the biggest and most important decisions many people will ever make. According to The Knot and, the average wedding costing more than $28,000, so your next biggest decision may be figuring out how to pay for it. With that in mind, many couples are opting to tie the knot at home. Although hosting your special day in your own backyard can cut costs and give you more flexibility, you must address some critical details before you walk down the aisle.


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Trends: Tradition remains in style for wedding invitations CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1A

email RSVP instead of providing a printed reply card. But handwritten response notes from near and dear family and friends can become keepsakes. “I still have my reply cards from my wedding,” said Roberta Binder, owner of Binderart in Scarsdale, which creates custom invitations for weddings, parties and bar or bat mitzvah celebrations, as well as social stationery. She said her clients agree: “There’s something about getting a real handwritten note or something you can hold on to.” Binder uses her design background and years of experience as an advertising art director to work with clients who want invitations and related printed materials that set an aesthetic tone or reflect a special theme. She works from an array of sample books, many of which are exclusive from what’s carried at a typical stationery studio. “We can pick something right from a book or we can work together” to select patterned envelope liners, for example, or ribbons or a floral design, she said. The selections can be produced on a wide range of materials, such as lucite, plexiglass, metal, leather or heavy paper. “An invitation is a real piece of art,” Binder said. “As much as we get all excited about getting something on our phones, it’s special to get [an invitation] in the mail.” Laura Marks of Fine Lines, a stationery store in Katonah that has specialized in

engraving and printing of invitations for wedding and other special occasions for 20 years, said, “People are using Evites for sure, but my customers prefer printed invitations which are more meaningful. A digital invitation is just not the same. A fine invitation sets the tone for a fine event.” Marks noted that more people are using digital printing for wedding related events like showers and rehearsal dinners. But traditional printing processes — letterpress, engraving and thermography — are still popular for the main event. “Fine tra-

ditional letterpress is making a big comeback, but thermography is most popular because of the price point and turn around time is a bit faster,” Marks said. What’s trending now

Some couples mix and match, sending wedding invites via email to younger friends, and sending printed ones by post to those who are older or not on email. Trending in some circles: Sending iPads preprogrammed with all the details for the couple’s big day.

Millennials planning nuptials often create a website with information such as directions, where to stay and what to do in the area around the wedding location. Typically, they include the web address on the invitation or on a mailed save the date card. Chorzewski described an emerging practice of adding the names of grandparents at bottom of an invitation, paying respects to their family history and longevity. For printed materials, Harvey sees a return to classic timeless designs with good craftsmanship. Bold engraving and even handwritten calligraphy are becoming popular, she said, mixed with modern touches like painted edges or foil stamping. Watercolor effects are in trend as well. Indeed, today’s creative options certainly are not stodgy, predictable or boring. Fun colors like fuchsia or coral or French blue add to the traditional silver and gold pallet, Marks said, and many of her customers are enjoying heavyweight four- or six-ply papers; some even order plaque-weight materials. “A nice heavy weight card is very appealing,” she said. Fancy printed invitations cost more than something floating around on the Web, but a wedding is certainly is one event in life that justifies that expense. Whether a happy couple’s style will be Kim-andKanye ultra-elegant black and gold letterpress or Cumberbatch ultra-easy Evite, an invitation expert can help them get it right.

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FEBRUARY 13, 2015

Bar and Bat Mitzvahs:

Start with a plan, end with fun! By LAURIE SULLIVAN

Be it a small affair or a “grand gala” Vazquez will ensure that the budget stays on track. “At times we do have a small percentage of clients who will indulge in a ‘must-have’ which will put them over budget and they are fine with it,” she said. If there is a budget line, i.e. florals which the client would like to splurge on, Vazquez will suggest another line item to cut back on. Some of the more unusual venues her company has planned for bar and bat mitzvahs include Central Park and raceways. Lifetime Events by Jacqueline, which was started in 2007, can take a party from inception right up to and including the day of the event to coordinate last-minute details and ensures that the party will go seamlessly. Fees for planning and design service all are based on the number of guests, type of event, location, logistics and the details of the services selected. “The amount of guests is a big factor because it determines the amount of staff I need to have on my team for the preparations before and during the day of the event,” Vazquez said.


e it a black tie blowout at the Ritz, an informal backyard barbeque around the pool or anything in between, throwing unique bar or bat mitzvahs for creating lasting memories is easier than you might imagine. Though many traditions may be part of your event — like dancing the Horah and the bar or bat mitzvah child and their parents held up on chairs to honor them — there is no reason not to think out-of-the-box for a celebration that can be anything you want it to be. With some help from the experts your event can go beyond a one-size-fits-all party and step it up into a new dimension to turn your child’s special day into non-stop fun for all. We spoke to a party planner, a party venue owner and an event coordinator at an event space and a party favor specialist. Each can work with you to have a unique celebration within any budget — and help you stick to it. These professionals can take your ideas or come up with others to bring your party to life. It’s all in the planning. Staging events at unusual venues that are budget friendly are out there. And what bar or bat mitzvah would be complete without party favors? Themes, including personalized gifts start with brainstorming with a party favor expert. Great parties start here, so meet the four experts and listen to what they had to say. Action is the name of the game At Chelsea Piers in Stamford, the focus is on action, with on a wide variety of activities for kids to engage in while the adults relax and enjoy their cocktails. During bar and bar mitzvahs, there are many of different options for fun. There’s a rock climbing wall, gymnastics, a tumble track, small trampolines and batting cages, all in one area. The venue prov ides snacks for the kids during playtime so they don’t get too hungry. In spring and summer, kids can avail themselves of the basketball courts and turf field outdoors at Chelsea Piers. Lauren McCourt, the coordinator of special events at Chelsea Piers, said that kidsonly parties versus parties for adults and kids runs about 50/50. “After the activities, we have the option for dinner and dancing,” McCourt said. Catering is done by Great Performances. Although a sit-down dinner can be arranged, most of their parties are buffets generally without assigned seating. They don’t have a list of preferred vendors so people can bring in their own, including music, flowers and decorations. The venue’s caterer provides the wait staff, the linen and alcohol for the adults. “Parties are all pretty different in terms of how elaborate they are,” McCourt said. They help as much as they can, but McCourt said they not party planners and most of their clients don’t use them. At Chelsea Piers, normally a minimum of 40 and a maximum of 125 kids enjoy the activities that are supervised by the venue’s staff. McCourt said that the activities are the big draw for holding parties at Chelsea Piers “because it makes it different than any other party they’ve been to.” According to McCourt, you can customize what you’re doing, keep it simple and keep the costs down with flexible budgets. On the upper turf they can set up a party for upwards of 350 to 450 people, which is season-

ally available. Chelsea Piers in Stamford does party receptions on the mini turf area that has a hardwood floor underneath. The turf is picked up for dinner and dancing. A typical party runs from 7-11 pm; longer than that and they charge accordingly. The Stamford location is in the process of building a new dedicated event space for dinner and dancing called The Loft, which will be bi-level and done in neutral colors. It is set to open in March. The new space will offer clients the option of doing a party with or without the activities. The all-inclusive, soup to nuts party Life, the Place to Be in Ardsley is what owner Steven Zukerman describes as a New York City-sized loft in Westchester that he runs with his wife, Sharon. Zukerman, has been in the business 32 years, running a production company in NYC before opening Life in 2009. He can produce parties with a minimum guest list of 125 all the way up to 450. Zukerman can offer clients full service party planning, literally from soup to nuts. He said because they can offer all the components for an event, it makes throwing a bar or bat mitzvah more cost effective. Clients have the option to have a sit-down dinner catered by Abigail Kirsch or a more casual one catered by Life’s in-house catering or kosher catering (Zukerman can supply a list of kosher caterers). Life also provides wait staff, tables, chairs, decorations, flowers, centerpieces, a

D.J., special effects lighting and their permanently installed AV system is available. Literally any and everything you can think of, this venue will supply to throw any kind of party you can imagine. Zukerman works with clients to create a budget and ensures the party comes in within it. As an option, Life offers activities for the kids including a climbing wall, laser tag, arcade games, four mini-sized bowling alleys and other activities for non-stop fun, all well-supervised during parties “It’s not a free-for-all,” stressed Zukerman, though not all parties use those facilities. For those who do, it’s usually during the cocktail hour. For one party Zukerman said one bar mitzvah boy liked to dance, but was also into baseball. They were able to offer both, letting the kids play whiffle ball in between the dancing. Life has the ability to tailor a party to suit what the kids and adults will enjoy most. For limited budgets, the venue can do kidsonly events for any time, but a Saturday night — value and action-packed for unlimited fun! They’ve done parties up to six figures, but Zukerman said he feels that it’s not necessary to “go over the top to have a great party.” For a kids-only party, Life can transform a room into a lounge with special lighting, comfy sofas and high top tables and chairs. The venue supplies its own lounge furniture and high-top tables and chairs. There’s permanently installed plasma TV and projection screens for slide shows or movies of the bar/bat mitz-

vah boy or girl if desired. Zukerman can create a party theme of anything the client wants. Life’s 6,000-square-foot room can offer a minimum of 280 guests for a sit-down dinner with a dance floor. Using two rooms, partygivers can seat 440 guests. “Our bread and butter is 150 to 225 people,” Zukerman said. Last year Life had 120 bar and bat mitzvahs. Since opening in 2009, the venue has had more than 600 bar and bat mitzvahs. More than 70 percent of his clients go with all-inclusive packages. “It makes it easier to do and adds flexibility, especially if both parents work,” Zukerman said. “But something unique to our venue is that someone can come in with other vendors.” Because his venue is unique, Zukerman tries not to do more than a few parties a year from the same neighborhood. If someone from the same neighborhood wants to throw a party at Life he will ask a client who recently had an event there if it’s OK. He feels that too many bar and bat mitzvahs from the same area diminish the uniqueness of the venue. Most of his business is by word of mouth or from someone who has attended a party at Life or has had it recommended to them. Life attracts clients from all over Westchester, the city and New Jersey. In addition to bar and bat mitzvahs, Life also does catering and birthday parties, typically for kids under 12. When it comes to throwing parties, Zukerman’s philosophy is “less is more.”

“I believe in my heart that one or two enhancements, special elements or entertainment help make the party great, but you don’t have to go over the top,” Zukerman said. Start with a professional and a plan What’s the easiest way to plan your bar or bat Mitzvah? Consult an expert. Jacqueline Vazquez, owner of Lifetime Events by Jacqueline in Scarsdale, has been in the party and wedding planning business long enough to understand what elements go into making a good party a great one. Vazquez said the majority of her clients already know the theme for their celebration and style, but her company does offer full service planning that includes finding a venue if a client doesn’t have one in mind. Vazquez will locate a venue to fit their budget and guest list size. But first she will set up an in-depth meeting to discuss a client’s vision, their guest count and the style of event they envision. “Some need our guidance to take their vision and create a theme,” she said. In terms of budget Vazquez, who has an accounting background, said most of her clients know their maximum budget before they meet with her and say up front if it’s a firm number. “During our in-depth meeting we discuss the budget and ensure that we review every line item to know the client’s expectations,” she said. “If a client does not know what a budget plan their event entails, we will review it with them and create a budget that works for them.”

Do the kids a favor In Scarsdale village, co-owner Donna Halperin of Imagine Candy creates all types of customized chocolate, large rice crispy lollipops and more delicious confections that can be customized with names, even custom pillows and any type of goody bag in fun containers. The store, which has been on Harwood Court for three years, can create customized molded chocolate for the bar or bat mitzvah child made to reflect any interest the child may have. If your child is interested in singing, the chocolate could be molded into the shape of a microphone, etc. Halperin can put Belgian chocolate in special containers or boxes with personalized labels or ribbons. Or jelly beans in fun containers. When it comes to party favors, Halperin said it was all about creativity; she can create favors to match the décor of the party. She works with clients to come up with ideas that “will be cohesive and of course, delicious.” Imagine Candy not only does goody bags, but table design as well, depending on the theme of the party. Halperin also does corporate work. Halperin can supply what she referred to as “vintage candy” if it fits the theme. Generally people come to her shop wanting ideas for their parties. In terms of selecting candy, she will go down the list of candy they offer, some not readily available elsewhere. “The most important thing is to hear what they’re looking for, what they’re envisioning for their event,” Halperin said. Although Imagine Candy doesn’t make the products on site, some are their own recipes made just for the shop, including chocolate pretzels and truffles. The business has made a commitment to meet the needs of the way people eat, including gluten-free products, products made with ginger syrups and more. “There’s a reason to come to the shop whether you’re looking for a piece of chocolate or need things for a party,” Halperin said, noting that Imagine Candy’s dark chocolate bark could “cause dependency.” With so many choices and these experts ready and willing to help, your child’s bar or bat Mitzvah will be everything you and your child hoped for and more. Bring on the fun — and mazel tov!

Piccola Trattoria & Chefs at Work Caterers are announcing their new off-site event location -

The Milestone Estate Custom designed menus and private dining arrangements for parties of 15 or more guests. Sergio Pennacchio, born in Argentina of Italian background, came to New York in 1986 where he began his career in the restaurant industry. He opened his first restaurant, Pasta e Pesce in 1992 and reopened Piccola in 2013. Enjoying many years of success, Sergio expanded his business into catering, opening Chef’s at Work Caterer in 2006.

(914) 674-8427 .


FEBRUARY 13, 2015


Hiring a wedding photographer – 10 interview questions


ome moments are simply too important to trust to a camera phone. Your wedding will be one of the most memorable times of your life and no one can capture it better than a professional photographer. So how do you find the right one? As you begin the interview process, here are 10 questions to help you determine if you’ve found the best photographer for your wedding: 1. Does the photographer have a gallery of wedding images you can review? Reviewing sample work allows you to see the photographer’s strengths and weaknesses — don’t fool yourself, every photographer has them. You’ll also be able to get an idea of their style. Are they formal with an eye for the perfect picture or do they love to capture the hidden moments when no one is looking? Look for images that you can see yourself in. Think of three words that describe you and share those with your photographer. Every photographer has a style and reviewing their gallery can help you determine if theirs is right for you. 2. What is the photographer’s working style? Some photographers are orderly and operate like wedding planners. Others prefer to sit back and let the events of the wedding unfold. It’s important that you find someone who can understand and meet your expectations. Discuss this ahead of time and ask away, so that you understand how well the photographer’s working style matches your own. 3. Is the photographer available for an engagement session? An engagement session does more than provide you with priceless images together

before you get married. It’s also your first opportunity to work with your photographer and develop a relationship that will allow you to be completely at ease on your big day. Use this session to confirm if the photographer is indeed the right person to capture your wedding. 4. Will the photographer create a detailed shot list? This list will ensure no important photo is missed during the commotion and excitement of the big day. You should be able to create that list together, add to the list leading up to the day and have a copy of that list the day of. Take an honest look at what images really matter and fill your photographer in on situations he or she might need to be aware of in order to prevent awkward moments, and to

ensure that he or she can get the shots that matter most. 5. What kind of lighting will be used? Whether you have an indoor or outdoor wedding, you’ll want to make sure your photographer has professional grade lighting equipment to deliver the images your wedding deserves. 6. Does the photographer have backup equipment? You’ve prepared contingency plans for every other aspect of your wedding; your photographer should as well. A true professional photographer won’t miss your perfect shot because of a technology issue. He or she will always bring one or two back-up cameras, lenses, flashes, additional lighting equipment, extra memory cards and batteries.

7. Does the photographer have liability insurance? Accidents happen at weddings and if one of your guests trips over your photographer’s light stand, it’s good to know you both are protected. Your reception venue may even ask the photographer to submit a certificate of liability ahead of time. 8. Will there be one photographer or two? A second shooter increases the probability that no shot will be missed, especially if you are having a large wedding. If there will be two photographers, ask to meet them both to get a feel for their personalities and how well they might blend in on your big day. 9. What will happen to the images after your wedding? Will your images be backed up to a hard drive or the cloud once processed? How long will your photographer keep the images afterward? Will they be kept for a couple of years or dumped immediately? If you have any concerns about losing your photos, knowing what the photographer plans to do with your images after your wedding is important. 10. When will you get your photos? No, you won’t get your pictures the day after; no photographer can deliver that quickly. It’s a good idea, though, to get a general idea of the timeline ahead of time. You might even be able to agree on getting a couple of images ready for social media use very quickly. But obtaining your photos will likely take several weeks. To help with the wait, some photographers will send you a sneak peak with a few images. Just ask ahead of time. — BPT


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Warren Tricomi The Plaza Hotel 1 West 58th Street | Floor 2 New York, NY 10019 (631) 228-7257 For more information about our bridal services visit or contact



FEBRUARY 13, 2015

Planning the ideal weekend wedding By JACQUELINE VAZQUEZ


Bridal bootcamp: Fitness before the big event CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1A

fairly regimented schedule, with frequent check-ins and reminders so our clients very easily stay on track.” Working with clients one-on-one or in a couples or small group is what Frisenda referred to as a “team-building exercise before the wedding takes place. It strengthens and deepens the relationship because they’re doing something positive for themselves.” Sandra Russak is a certified master personal trainer, health coach and clinical nutritionist who is CEO and founder of Wellness by Sandra LLC. She is affiliated with Equalize Fitness, located in Yonkers, where she trains brides in its bridal body makeover program. “Nutrition and exercise go hand in hand when someone is getting ready for a wedding or any other event — or, for that matter, just living life in general,” Russak said. “Getting in shape is actually more about what you put in your mouth than it is exercise. Eating right is very important — it burns calories, which helps you lose weight, and strengthens muscles. There are so many benefits. If you’re not eating right you’re not going to lose that much weight.” Equalize Fitness’s bridal body makeovers involve the bride working with a personal trainer and nutritionist to set individual goals. “We recommend a bride starts at least 12 weeks prior to the wedding date,” Russak said. “Some brides might have 40 pounds to lose, while others might have 10 pounds to lose or just want to tighten up. We do have an eight-week program if someone is on a budget.” Initial fitness and nutrition consultations let the personal trainer and nutritionist know how to proceed. “We ask about medical conditions, medications and eating habits,” Russak said, adding that clients are given individualized meal plans. Results are typically seen about two weeks into the program, when the client starts to tone up and lose water weight. Providing this kind of help to people getting ready for their weddings is “very rewarding,” Russak said. “I’ve gotten thank

you notes, flowers, even gift baskets.” Russak cautioned that weight loss needs to stabilize around the time of a bride’s final dress fitting. “The last couple of weeks are maintenance, because we want to make sure the dress fits perfectly,” she said. “Clients can take that maintenance diet and fitness plan into the future. They have all the tools they need to move forward.” Most people enjoy entering into a fitness regimen prior to a wedding or other big event, especially because they’ll look better than ever in pictures taken on the big day. “But everyone should keep it going after the wedding,” Russak said. “You’ll live longer and enjoy a better quality of life when you’re exercising and eating right.” The Center for Movement was founded in 1998 by cousins Elle Jardim and Donna Singer, who trained with mentor Romana Kryzanowska, one of Joseph Pilates’s protégés. Their studio in Scarsdale was one of the first in Westchester to offer classical Pilates. “We have had plenty of people come to us who want to get ready for their weddings,” Jardim said. “There are some things you can quickly fix to make yourself look and feel better on your wedding day, and I know that the idea of getting ready while you have something to motivate you is an excellent one.” Jardim stressed the principles of Pilates that will help a bride look her very best on her wedding day. “Pilates does improve your posture,” she said. “I feel the most important thing on your wedding day is how you hold yourself. Holding yourself the right way makes all the difference in the world, and Pilates teaches you how to stand up straight, pull your stomach up and in while breathing naturally. You look like a new person.” With “consistent and correct training” through Pilates, “you’ll be able to change your size, even without losing a lot of weight,” Jardim said. “But you will whittle your waist, tone your arms.” Michael Tedesco, owner of Body Fit in Cross River, is a personal trainer, group instructor and someone who is involved in the community in many ways, including as a youth athletics coach. Body Fit

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offers private one-on-one training as well as small group and group exercise classes and gym membership. “We’ve had success in helping some brides drop those last couple of pounds and get fit for their weddings,” he said. “We’ve also worked with entire bridal parties, individually or in groups. Sometimes brides like having a support mechanism with them, and inviting their family and friends to do small group training seems to be a good thing to pursue when their big day is coming up and they’re full of nerves.” Bridegrooms “aren’t typically as selfconscious about getting into their tuxes,” Tedesco said, “but we have had some prospective husbands and wives come in together. We’ve also had couples work individually but with the same goal in terms of wedding date.” To see real benefits, “You need to invest 90 days or a 12-week program,” Tedesco said. “You don’t want to wait any later than three months before the wedding to see definitive results, lose weight and look more toned. We don’t want to end the program on the wedding day, of course, so we try to work backwards. We’ll plan the last day of the workout program so we’re about a week before the wedding.” The best way to determine a bride’s goals is to look at her wedding dress, Tedesco said: “If it’s sleeveless there will be a priority on arm development and toning. If the dress is tight-waisted then weight loss and toning are key. It’s about the bride’s body, her dress and the timeframe we have to work in.” Tedesco recommended Ulive Java as a nutritional cleanse that some clients have found useful. This can help the individual kind of jumpstart her nutrition by helping the organs to function properly. Echoing the sentiments of the other experts, Tedesco emphasized that health and fitness shouldn’t be short-term fads. “It’s not just a phase of life you’re going through, so clients hopefully embrace the plan and carry it forward for the rest of their lives,” he said. “We want clients to be happy, healthy and fit for long after the wedding.”

f yours is a family whose members are spread across the country, a weekend wedding is ideal for you. Guests who have time and distance to cross to be with you on your big day are more likely to make the effort when the celebration is more than a day. They will come to spend time with you and celebrate over a weekend, making it worth their while and giving you time to truly spend with those close to you whom you see on a less regular basis. When the wedding is planned for an entire weekend, there is an incentive for guests to travel longer distances to attend. In that way, your wedding becomes the driving force behind a family reunion or a memorable gathering. Here is a sample plan for a great weekend wedding: On Friday, you might kick things off by having a friend or relative host a welcoming party or by expanding the rehearsal dinner to include out of town guests. On Saturday, another friend or relative could host a luncheon for out of town guests, followed by an afternoon of activities like golf or tennis or sightseeing from a list of special features that you have provided. Saturday evening is your formal wedding and reception — “The Event” of the weekend and the reason everyone has gathered. On Sunday, the bride and groom stay in town and greet their guests at a late morning brunch, usually held at the hotel they are staying at. That afternoon or early evening, the bride and groom say their goodbyes and leave for their honeymoon. Guests leave at their leisure either checking out of the hotel, for which you have arranged a late checkout time, or they may stay another day and depart at their leisure. (If guests are

planning on staying another day, don’t forget to have some recommended places for them to visit.) Because guests will need plenty of time to plan for a weekend away, consider ordering save the date cards to go out well in advance of the invitations. As the date gets closer let guests know about activities that are planned so that they know what kind of clothes to bring and also provide any information about lodging and any reduced rates you have been able to obtain. For more and more couples, a weekend wedding becomes a reality. They have heard too many of their recently married friends say, “Our wedding was such a blur. It was over before we knew it.” A well-planned

weekend wedding is as much for the couple as it is for out of town guests. Jacqueline Vazquez, MBC, CWEP is the owner, designer and professional wedding and event consultant of Lifetime Events by Jacqueline. Vazquez is an instructor for aspiring and seasoned planners and designers, as well as a mentor and expert in the industry. She is a member and New York State manager of the Association of Bridal Consultants, a member of Weddings Beautiful Worldwide and an active board member for the Girls Inc. Westchester organization. Jacqueline recently published her quarterly online “LEBJV Celebrates Magazine” sharing design tips and ideas. Visit

Party time? Tips for beer and wine pairings dishes, like a lobster roll, the vanilla notes of a chardonnay go perfectly with the natural sweetness of the lobster meat. If craft beer is more your thing, try a pilsner. The slight bitterness (from the hops) and sweetness (from the malt) flavors, as well as the fizziness of the beer, help cut through the richness in the creamy lobster roll.

When you hear the phrase “pairing tips,” do you instinctively grab your corkscrew and pull out stemmed glasses? Wine is divine, but over the past few years there’s no denying that craft beers are trending and getting foodies everywhere excited to re-think pairing possibilities. Artisan and handcrafted beers are no longer just an afterthought on the drink menu — they’re standing tall next to your favorite red and white wine varietals, proving to be just as food-friendly. Whether you’re an aspiring sommelier or a beer enthusiast, it’s time to pour a glass of something new and see how the other side pairs. Get started with these tips from renowned foodie expert and blogger Brian Samuels of “A Thought for Food.” Food: Burger with caramelized onions Beverage: Pinot noir or English IPA Why: Burgers and beer always seem like a natural pairing, but have you ever tried pairing it with a glass of wine? Next time you’re lighting up the grill, pull out a bottle of pinot noir. A slight char on the burger pairs beautifully with the hint of black pepper in the wine. For the brew lovers in the group, serve an English IPA. The caramel notes that come through in the beer pair perfectly with burger toppings such as grilled red onions.



Hampshire offers a wide range of membership categories to fit any of your club needs. Founded in 1944, Hampshire is rich in tradition and situated along the beautiful Long Island Sound, in Mamaroneck, New York. Conveniently located in Westchester Country, Hampshire is just a 30 minute drive from Manhattan or short drive from anywhere in the Tri-State area.


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Food: Roasted vegetables with Gorgonzola and fresh herbs Beverage: Brown ale or cabernet sauvignon Why: Traditionally, cabernet pairs best with meat, but what about a dish for vegetarians? Roast up cold weather favorites such as carrots, parsnips and turnips to bring out their natural sweetness. These satisfying flavors will shine when sipping on cabernet sauvignon with its subtle notes of chocolate and molasses — or try a glass of brown ale, which embodies caramel and nutty flavors.

Food: Lobster roll Beverage: Chardonnay or pilsner Why: There are few things more enjoyable than sitting outside on a blazing hot summer day with a tall beer or a glass of wine. Pilsners and chardonnay are lighter options that pair with a variety of foods. For heavier

Food: Chocolate truffles Beverage: Red blend or stout Why: End the feast with a plate of decadent chocolate truffles and serve with the red blend, loaded with jammy notes. For the beer lovers at the table, a stout, which is rich in chocolate and coffee notes, is another natural accompaniment. — BPT

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FEBRUARY 13, 2015


Prom Perfect: An insider’s guide to the night of your life! jumpsuits for my 2015 collection in lace, sequins and other novelty fabrics. Jumpsuits worn with heels can actually elongate your appearance and are a very tasteful dressy option in place of the “fancy gown.” G&D: There are always simple, comfortable gowns for simple girls in simple colors. We offer every type of style, in every size and in every color to make sure each girl finds the perfect solution for her. Let your salesperson know your thoughts, and she will help you find exactly what you want.


Long or short? Trendy or classic? What are your thoughts? H: Selecting a long or short style for the prom usually comes down to preference and comfort. However, I prefer a classic long gown for such a special celebration. Even though short styles are starting to become more acceptable at formal events, if it is appropriate to wear long, you should! G&D: Long is always the most popular choice for a senior! But we believe a girl should feel comfortable in whatever gown she chooses. Trendy or classic doesn’t matter. It’s more about the girl’s own individual style. What about vintage looks? What’s the benefit of wearing a vintage dress to prom? H: Depending on your personality, vintage looks can be fun. This is especially true if you wear a prom dress that was once worn by your own mother or grandmother and has some sort of special meaning. G&D: A girl either likes vintage or not; so that is really a personal decision. What are your thoughts on matching a girl’s look to her date? How can the guy coordinate his look to the girl’s? H: A classic black tuxedo with a white shirt always looks polished, and it coordinates with whatever color dress the girl selects. Color coordinating a boutonniere and corsage completes the look and coordinates the couple in a very tasteful way. As a bit of practical advice, guys should steer away from the red bow tie and cummerbund, even if his date is wearing a red dress! The red and black combination tends to look more like a waiter, rather than an elegant tuxedo. G&D: Of course, the young man should dress in formal attire to match the elegance of his date’s look. To pull the look of the couple together even more, we often see the young man choosing a simple tie that coordinates with his date’s gown. If he needs help, he should consult with his date. What advice can you offer for the prom dress shopping trip? H: Appointments should always be made to ensure proper attention by the retailer, rather than shopping during a time when the store may be too busy to focus solely on you. Shopping with too many people should definitely be avoided. Too many

opinions make the decision-making process much more difficult and confusing. Bringing pictures along with you to show the retail staff your thoughts is a great idea and can help guide your salesperson. It can also help eliminate some initial styles you think you must have. Often, after trying on certain styles that look attractive in magazines, you may realize these styles may not look as attractive in person or as flattering on you versus the celebrity who was photographed in it. G&D: Today, most girls go to the Internet for ideas. That is fine, but the best advice is for them is to follow up by always coming in to the store and trying on different styles. You can’t try on a gown through

the Internet! You can’t see and feel a gown’s quality, in terms of material and construction, and you cannot easily compare gowns. Many of the Websites selling gowns are fraudulent, and these gowns are often not returnable. Each prom season, we see at least 20 cases where a girl buys a gown online, and it comes in not looking the same as the picture or it suffers from extremely poor quality and fit. If laidback girls want a more casual look or aren’t comfortable in a fancy dress and heels, what options does she have? H: Dressy jumpsuits are a new fashionable and stylish option specifically for girls and women who aren’t comfortable in a fancy dress. I have designed several evening

As prom professionals and moms, what are your philosophies for achieving a perfect prom experience? H: As we all know, prom time is one of the most exciting times for a high school girl. She anticipates who she’ll go with and what she will be wearing, possibly for the four years leading up to the senior prom! When shopping for a dress or gown, it is important to select something that is a reflection of your personality. Select a design that is comfortable to dance in and makes you feel beautiful. Mental and physical comfort are of equal importance at any event. When you choose something that may be out of character — whether it is a vibrant color versus a neutral shade or simplicity versus beading — chances are, a dramatic transformation from your true personality may hamper the fun factor of prom’s muchanticipated celebration. An overall prom “look” should ideally be a more beautiful version of you. It is an evening to celebrate and remember as being incredible! G&D: Prom is a very memorable time in a girl’s life! Each girl wants to feel special in her gown and we specialize in making that a reality! At All Dressed Up, we give you attention, a variety of options and excellent service to make your day a special one! Since there are so many girls at each high school, and they don’t want to be in the same gown, we keep track of the gowns we sell, so there are no duplications. We are known for carrying a large variety of designers, silhouettes, colors and unique pieces. We definitely don’t look like the department stores. In addition to gowns, we provide jewelry, shoes, handbags and suggestions for hairstyles. We are passionate about being a full service special occasion store. We especially love our prom girls and enjoy celebrating the excitement of the event with you!


Before the I do’s, remember important insurance to-do’s


ongratulations, you’re engaged. Once the excitement of sharing the news with your loved ones and Facebook friends dies down, there are several important issues to consider. This includes building your guest list, setting a budget, picking a venue, D.J. versus band and other to-do’s. However, there are also some vital details pertaining to insurance that many prospective newlyweds overlook. True, it’s not the most exciting topic, but it is, nonetheless, something that should be considered before marriage. Before you tie the knot, make sure you consider these options: • Get your engagement ring appraised and insured: Whether you’re traditionalists who believe an engagement ring should cost three months of the future husband’s salary or you’re a modern couple who opted to go Dutch and split the cost, an engagement ring is no small investment. Even if

the ring is a family heirloom that didn’t cost anything, it’s a good idea to be protected against the unthinkable circumstance of losing your ring. “Most renters or homeowners insurance policies offer riders for special or expensive items like engagement rings, costing on average $1 to $2 for every $100 to replace the ring,” said Doug Menges, chief claims officer for Mercury Insurance Group. “Show your insurance agent a receipt for the ring, as well as an appraisal, to assure you get sufficient coverage.” • Compare your existing auto insurance providers: Many couples don’t have the same carrier for auto insurance when they join together in holy matrimony, but keep in mind marriage can impact how much you pay for your premium. Be sure to talk about accidents, outstanding tickets, coverage lapses and similar issues while you’re deciding if a joint policy is

right for you. And don’t be afraid to reach out to a local insurance agent for advice on how to best proceed. If you opt to combine policies, consider what’s most important to you when choosing a provider. Is it the cost of your policy or having a local agent with whom to build a relationship? What about insurance bundling options and the discount types offered? When you agree upon what you’re both seeking, you can choose to stay with one of your current providers or find a new company. Regardless of what you decide, however, it’s a good idea to shop around to see if you are getting the most for your money. • Create and merge itemized household inventories: Whether you cohabitate with your beloved before or after taking the marriage plunge, an important insurance lesson is to keep a detailed record of everything you own. Mashable lists several apps

that will assist with the inventory process. This inventory keeps track of the belongings you’ve accumulated over the years and helps your homeowners or renters insurance provider determine the proper amount of coverage you’ll need if you fall victim to a burglary, fire, natural disaster or other loss requiring a claim to be filed. When you move in together, be sure to combine your respective inventories into one master list and remember to add all of the gifts you receive at your engagement party, bridal shower and the wedding. • Relax: Your wedding day is hopefully one of the best days of your life. Don’t get lost in the planning process because the most important detail is the person who’ll be standing next to you. Take a deep breath, relax and remember to enjoy every second on your journey to a shared future. — BPT





1 King Street . Chappaqua, New York . 914.861.2799



FEBRUARY 13, 2015

Your wedding, Your style

Today’s gowns reflect personality and tradition By TRACI DUTTON LUDWIG

vintage attitude or a Boho-inspired “je ne sais quoi.” Geometric pattern, sparkle and texture define the decoration of these sinuous gowns. For extra dazzle, look for glass beads, metallic embroidery, crystal appliqués, feathers and fringe. And don’t forget the fun accessories — because of their unique and retro looks, these dresses are magnificently complemented by interesting headpieces, such as floral crowns, dramatic headbands, beaded caps, feathery fascinators and jeweled halos. The personality of these dresses is glamorous and chic.


his year’s bridal fashions are the perfect union of traditional and modern. Classic details, fabrics and finishes have been transformed in exciting ways to create looks that feel absolutely bridal, but exert a fresh, contemporary vibe. With these new gowns — suited for every personality — it’s the perfect time to say, “I do.”

Love birds

Because feathers are such a glamorous element this season, some designers have elevated them from captivating detail to exuberant extravagance. Abundant on skirts and delicate on décolletages, feathers are a showstopper. Because of their smooth textural sheen and natural iridescence, feathers add immediate sensuality to any bridal look. Teasing the imagination, they evoke the sweet melodies of the songbird, the proud beauty of the peacock and the symbolic romance of the dove. On shorter dresses, feathered skirts make for high style that’s both bold and playful.

Belle of the ball

A big day calls for a big dress — and ball gowns never go out of style. The perfect centerpiece for fairytale celebrations, ball gowns perfectly define the abundant exuberance of the nuptial mood. This year’s manifestations are richer, fuller and more fluid than ever before. Stiff skirts have softened their silhouettes through the addition of asymmetrical ruffles, billowy layers, lightweight fabrics and unexpected edgings and trims. Options abound, with maximum flexibility offered by combinable skirt and bodice separates. Pair a beaded or stoned bustier with a voluminous skirt for romantic luxury. Or try a sheer, long-sleeved number with a plunging neckline or a deep back drape for unexpected sexuality. With full ball skirts, a satin sash accentuates a small waist and is the perfect way to add a wink of color.

Take the plunge

Nothing is more beautiful than skin. Bare shoulders, a toned waist, a glimpse of rounded breast can be either sexy or innocent — but always utterly feminine. Designers are celebrating glimpses of the body with this new season of bridal fashions. In particular, bodices with deeply cut Vs or low backs are one of this season’s favorite looks. Paired with sleek, slim skirts or contrasted with billowy froths of tulle, these lines are daring and confidently sexy. Keep accessories simple to not distract from the lines of the gown. A long lariat necklace is recommended, as it draws the eye into the décolletage; or forgo jewelry altogether for a celebration of skin. Halter necks provide extra support if needed. Expert tailoring will keep everything in place. And a little fashion tape never hurt either! Keyhole openings at the neck or back are a modified, modest way of capturing the trend. At the side, cutouts — with or without sheer panels — visually cinch the waist and create an illusion of dynamic energy. Crop tops and coordinating skirts showing bare midriffs are contemporary and chic.

Modern lace

Today’s lace is far from old-fashioned. While still evoking romance and femininity, creative lace techniques are asserting some of the season’s most dramatic statements. In addition to the love affair with all-over lace gowns — especially gorgeous in diaphanous layers — many designers are reinventing lace as a design element. Panels and bands of lace, pieced into the garment or applied in unusual places, add surface texture and visual interest. Like bursts of energy, hand-applied strips of lace invigorate gowns with linear rhythm. In nontraditional finishes, lace becomes an expressive art. Metallic lace glistens like silver leaf, perfect for candlelight ceremonies in regal venues. Raw edge lace, with its casual vibe, is just the right accompaniment for natural, outdoor ceremonies. Lace made from laser cut florals is fresh and sophisticated — and bespoke for contemporary brides with couture tastes.

Outer layer

This season, many gowns are paired with coordinating outerwear. This includes fur stoles, cool motorcycle jackets, quilted bolero jackets, beaded shrugs, glamorous trapeze coats and dramatic capes. The best examples stand out with exaggerated texture and form — for breezy ceremonies, grand entrances and cute photos on the courthouse steps. Not just practical for the bride who feels the need for a coat, these outerwear pieces entertain fantasy and playfulness.

Arm candy

Ever since Kate Middleton became the sweetheart of the British Monarchy in a lace-sleeved gown, statement sleeves have been a focus of bridal fashion. This season’s sleeve of choice is “off the shoulder,” which is really more of a modified drape or band wrapping the arms somewhere between the shoulder and the elbow. An off-the-shoulder silhouette epitomizes sweet romance. By revealing the collarbone and shoulders, this silhouette captures the appeal of a strapless bodice — but softens it with the demure touch of a sleeve. Other popular versions include structured and often heavily beaded cap sleeves, dramatic bell sleeves (of Bohemian or Medieval inspiration) and sheer long sleeves with or without cuffs. One-shouldered gowns remain sophisticated and strong, but with the added draping of a sleeve, they become angelic fantasies. Fluttering organza sleeves are sweet and flirty.

Shimmer and glow

With so many sophisticated, confident brides wanting to individualize their look according to their personality or ceremony, nonwhite dresses are becoming increasingly popular. Blush tones, champagne, café au lait and subtle metallic hues are soft and gorgeous. Gold, silver, copper and bronze colored weaves give fabrics a beautiful shimmer. Used as trim or embroidery, metallic threads impart regal flair. For the perfect combination, pair a silver or gold tone corset bodice, embellished with crystals, with a white tulle skirt. To add color to a white dress, consider an embellished belt, a bow-tied satin sash or colorful shoes.

Perfectly simple

When love is everything, let simplicity make its statement. This is a time when less is — perfectly — more. The beauty of modern gowns is expressed through elegant construction, much like the high style of haute couture. In the architecture of these gowns, nothing is extraneous. Exacting cuts, pared-down silhouettes and body-enhancing stretch and drape are the hallmarks of these well-orchestrated gowns. Luxe fabrics, hand-stitched details and rich finishes add a deliciously sumptuous factor. High collars, turtlenecks and cowl necks enhance simple silhouettes — and depending on the gown, these necklines can either highlight the placement of sparkly jewelry or alleviate the need for a necklace altogether. Timeless, these gowns are heirlooms in the making.


Dance hall

Silk flapper dresses and sleek Art Deco gowns have inspired a collection of embellished sheaths and slip dresses. These exude a



he facility hosts weddings, engagements, corporate events, bar and bat mitzvahs, bridal & baby showers, anniversaries, milestones, award ceremonies, birthdays and other special occasions. No matter what you are celebrating, Castle Royale can be your one step destination. Since each occasion is unique in size, Castle Royale has a variety of ballrooms to accommodate a range of party sizes, from the small and intimate ones to very large groups. Our largest ballroom can hold up to 850 guests. “During renovation, the focus was to create a venue like no other. On completion, it perfectly portrayed a touch of old world appeal in a brand new, spectacular, modern facility. When you and your guests enter Castle Royale, you will be transported from modern-day New York City into an atmosphere of old-fashioned regal charm. This blend of styles appeal to a wide variety of personal tastes. The Executive Chef and his kitchen staffs are professionally trained in state of the art of International Cuisine. Whether it’s Italian, Latin, Greek, Indian, Chinese, Eastern European, Irish or Mediterranean, Castle Royale has combined Old World traditional dishes with a hint of modern day flavor and style. To take a look at the complete menu offerings, please contact a member of the banquet team or visit Castle Royale for a grand tour of the establishment.

For further information and inquiries please feel free to contact our banquet department at 914-965-2559, or arrange to come in for a tour or a food tasting at Castle Royale, located at 92 Waverly St, Yonkers NY 10701 To take a virtual tour or book an event online, visit

Let’s face it, not everyone loves to frolic in a frock. For some girls, dressing up is just more comfortable in pants. Attentive designers have been listening, and they’ve responded to the need with numerous options in all varieties of style. Leggy looks are chic and cool in skinny white pantsuits, tailored to a tee. Flowing palazzo pants are elegant and feminine — and especially sexy when worn with cheeky crop tops or beaded corsets. Lace shorts are fun for beach nuptials and jumpsuits are a sophisticated, one-piece choice that can look especially refined in fabrics with a luxurious hand or intricate embroidery. Jackets with tails, a long scarf or a detachable train provide just the right movement for the bride’s walk down the aisle. Of course, a headpiece, veil or hat finishes the look.

Jacqueline Vazquez EVENT PLANNER


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FEBRUARY 13, 2015





FEBRUARY 13, 2015


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