Wedding Fall | Winter 2017
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Ceremony & Reception Decorations • 2 Traditional Altar Baskets on Stands • 8 Pew Bouquets, Flowers & Bows • 20 Centerpieces • 1 Sweetheart Table
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Celebrate Your Love in Paradise
Capture the memories with beautiful settings like this.
| Wedding Guide
aradise just keeps getting better and better. And choosing the venue for your special occasions gets easier and easier, thanks to the Paradise Catering Hall (51 Avenue U, at the corner of West 11th Street; 718-372-4352). Celebrating your special moments here means having the total attention and expertise of the staff focused exclusively on your affair. But more than this, now is a wondrous time to discover or re-discover this exceptional catering hall. After a stunning re-modeling of their the grand ballroom, management recently spared no expense when they completely re-did the facility’s grand lobby as well as the luxuriously appointed bridal suite, now done up with marble and granite accents for a look of timeless elegance. They match the walls of marble and granite in the ballroom — which itself sports one of the largest chandeliers in all of Brooklyn — giving you just a brief inkling into what they have in store for you and your guests. Come and see the grandeur for yourself. But this is only one reason to choose Paradise. Here, they accept only a single function at any one time. There’s no splitting of the resources between two or three or even more affairs. When you book Paradise, you get the skills and expertise of every person there, on scene and behind the scenes to assure that your event runs flawlessly. This sort of ultimate personalized attention starts the very minute you discover Paradise. At this facility, you don’t deal with some salesman. You deal directly with one of the owners, Hercules, or his son, Mike. And why is this so essential? Quite simply, they have a vested interest in making you happy, not just in making a sale. They know their business depends on word-of-mouth recommendations and on the special days yet to come in your life and the lives of your family. Thus, they will do everything in their power to be certain that the affair you have imagined is transformed into reality under the skilled hands of themselves and their staff. That’s the secret of their longevity
and of their success. The lavish party room, which can be made intimate enough for parties of 100, or grand enough to host a spectacular of up to 400, is marked by a central chandelier that will take your breath away. It is the focal point for a magnificent space done up in sophisticated pinks and reds, with mirrored accents that lend a touch of infinity to the already expansive area. The re-done, picture perfect bridal room is large, romantic and very feminine, accommodating up to 15 in easy comfort, with wall-to-wall mirrors. Ideal photographic locales are assured in this world of environments, which also includes an intimate private garden area, a uniquely designed water fountain, as well as a host of fine, white wrought-iron work. Can even Paradise become better? Of course it can. And they proved that when they totally renovated the large lobby area, adding a regal touch to this space, as well. Whether it be the wedding, engagement party or any other affair, plan it at Paradise and the bottom line will put a very big smile on your face. Our service is top flight, with the uniformed staff a longtime part of the Paradise family. These are full-time professionals who know their business; not weekend teens learning the trade. And when it comes to the food, the chefs are world class. Whatever you can find in the cookbooks, they can serve at the table. They offer an added expertise in all manner of ethnic cooking. Add to that everything is cooked from scratch right on the premises to assure the highest in quality control. Don’t you want to celebrate those once-in-alifetime days in Paradise? The catering office is open Tuesday through Sunday, 1 – 9 p.m. Note that the facilities are also available during the weekdays for all types of social meetings and functions. For the further convenience of your guests, Paradise also can provide free valet parking.
Wedding Fall | Winter 2017
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PLUS REAL NEW YORK WEDDINGS
CEO Les Goodstein President and Publisher Jennifer Goodstein Publisher Clifford Luster VP Advertising Ralph D’Onofrio Art DIrector Leah Mitch Editor Vince DiMiceli Copy Editor Courtney Donahue
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44 City dream Arkansas couple marries in iconic New York City
18 Paradise within budget Tips for saving money when you plan out your perfect honeymoon
48 Good timing College sweethearts marry after seven years together
22 Making it legal Steps to secure your wedding venue and license
52 Coast to coast Los Angeles couple’s Brooklyn wedding is a smash
56 The bride wore fins Performers tie knot at Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade
Planning 10 Helping hands Don’t be afraid of assistance during your planning 12 Website dos & don’ts What brides and grooms need to know
Courier Life Publications 1 MetroTech Center N. • 10th Floor Brooklyn, NY 11201 (718) 260–2500
14 Call it another day Tips for planning a Friday or Sunday wedding 16 The night before Start the celebration with your rehearsal dinner
24 For the boys Personalized gifts for your groomsmen 26 Fitting it together Proper alterations can make all the difference 28 Manly manicures Men amp up the grooming for their wedding days
style 32 Suit up Some tux-renting basics 34 Dream dresses Picking something perfect for you
Extras 6 Wedding checklist 58 Wedding Horoscopes
Fall | Winter 2017
wedding checklist It is exciting to get engaged to the man you love — but the minute you do so, you start a countdown that won’t reach zero until you are on your honeymoon. To properly plan, use our handy wedding checklist below: 12 months before the big day ■■ First, decide on a ceremony and reception site. Make sure right away if it can accommodate all your needs. ■■ Set the date. ■■ Decide on a caterer if catering on-site is unavailable. ■■ Begin shopping for your attire. ■■ Start shopping for attendants’ attires.
the resulting photos will not capture the love you feel if the photographer does not feel it. ■■ Look into wedding-day transportation. Do you want a limo, horse and carriage, limo bus? ■■ Begin drafting your guest list. ■■ Keep it fun — wedding planning is stressful, but not if you’re on the same page and have fun with it.
obligation to invite anyone who might ruin your day. ■■ Compile addresses of guests. Mail savethe-date cards to out-of-town guests. ■■ Search for wedding favors. ■■ Consider honeymoon spots. Call travel agencies for best packages. Keep having fun with the process.
4–6 months out
■■ Decide who will play important roles in your wedding like best man, maid of honor, flower girl, and ring bearer.
6–9 months out
■■ Begin searching for hair and makeup artists.
■■ Discuss the menu with caterer.
■■ Complete the guest list.
■■ If using a wedding consultant, meet and provide her or him with your vision of the wedding day. Remember, that person works for you, not the other way around.
■■ Finalize wedding-day transportation.
■■ Order invitations and other stationery. Think about what “look” and wording you want.
■■ Begin search for wedding bands. ■■ Hire a florist. Again, remember that this person works for you, so make sure you are happy with the florist’s approach. A true pro will help you work out table settings, extra flowers for wedding party members, etc. ■■ Hire a photographer and a videographer. Make sure you like their work, they understand your vision, and that you feel a sense of chemistry with this person, as
■■ Book band, musicians, or DJ service. ■■ Purchase wedding bands and engrave a special saying. ■■ Set up your wedding registry. ■■ Purchase accessories, shoes, and undergarments for first fitting. ■■ Ask friends to be key players. Key players are trustworthy pals on whom you can rely for crucial tasks. The key players are not part of the immediate wedding party since they will be busy with photo shoots. ■■ Fine-tune the guest list. Remember, this is your day, not theirs. You are under no
■■ Book wedding-day transportation. ■■ Book hotel for wedding night, if applicable. ■■ Select and order the cake. Be sure to have a topper that represents you and your spouse as a couple. ■■ Continue to compile a list of duties for key players. ■■ Mail hotel and city information to out-oftown guests. ■■ Complete insurance issues, such as coverage for the rings, as needed.
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■■ Arrange times for key players to pick up items they are responsible for. ■■ Write a toast for the rehearsal dinner. ■■ Pack for the honeymoon. ■■ Leave honeymoon itinerary with someone in case of emergency.
One day out ■■ Double-check that you have packed your clothes and other personal items for the next day. ■■ De-stress your body. Consider deep breathing and other relaxation exercises such as yoga. ■■ Allocate enough time to have fun with out-of-town guests. ■■ Enjoy your rehearsal dinner. ■■ Make time to spend alone with your husband-to-be. Soak up the moment together. ■■ Have fun. ■■ Remind your fiance to order his tux or suit. ■■ Let the DJ or band know of special songs you would like played at the ceremony and reception. ■■ Purchase wedding favors.
2–4 months out ■■ Get your marriage license application. ■■ Mail out invitations. Hint: make sure to number each invitation, because people often forget to write their name on the response card. This way, you can track it. ■■ Gather all necessary travel documents such as passports and visas. Get immunizations for honeymoon if necessary. ■■ Finalize menu. ■■ Finalize ceremony and reception music. ■■ Finalize favors or create your own. ■■ Buy thank-you gifts for wedding party and key players. ■■ Book your hair and makeup artists. ■■ Book times for fittings. Bring your accessories. Aim to schedule hair and makeup trial on the same day to get a look at the complete package. ■■ Begin finalizing seating arrangements. ■■ Begin to plan receiving line, timeline, and itinerary of the day. ■■ Purchase guest book, cake knife, champagne glasses, garters, etc. ■■ Keep having fun with the process. It is nuts! You are getting married!
4–8 weeks out ■■ Tackle applicable legal matters, such as name changes.
| Wedding Guide
■■ Finalize list of must-have photos. Give a copy to photographer and key players. ■■ Complete seating plan as RSVPs arrive. ■■ Finalize songs for the ceremony and reception. ■■ Get a pre-wedding trim and spa treatment so you feel your best during this stressful time. ■■ Write your vows. Let the officiant know of any readings or other special requests. ■■ Confirm date for rehearsal. ■■ Finalize list of responsibilities for key players and wedding party. ■■ Have a friendly get-together with everyone and distribute responsibilities.
Overall tips No matter what kind of wedding you are having, hundreds of years of human experience offers some tried-and-true tips for making sure your big day is the best day it can be. Here are some: • Trust your wedding party and key players. • Laughter is the best beauty tip. A smile goes a long way. • Remember to implement the stress-buster techniques you and your fiance agreed to use. • Always tell your loved one why you love him.
■■ Book time for final fitting.
• Assume that about 20 percent of your guest list will not attend, so invite extras accordingly.
■■ Arrange a rehearsal dinner one or two days before the wedding. Invite wedding party and key players.
• Walk around in your wedding shoes before the big day so that they are properly broken in.
■■ Confirm honeymoon plans.
• Plan a special dinner with your hubbie-tobe without any wedding talk. Just relax and enjoy a night together.
■■ Make checklist of items to bring for the honeymoon. ■■ Finalize receiving line, timeline, and itinerary of the day.
2–3 weeks out ■■ Finalize seating plan. Call guests who have not returned RSVPs. ■■ Have your final fitting. ■■ If you have a gown, pick it up and hang it in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight. ■■ Confirm details with all vendors.
Don’t be afraid of assistance during your planning
ccepting the honor of being in a friend or family member’s wedding means more than dressing in the fancy clothing and showing up on the designated date. The wedding party — particularly the bridesmaids and groomsmen — should understand that standing alongside the happy couple generally means doing some work during the planning period as well as on the big day. It’s the wise wedding couple who can recognize the strengths of their family and friends and put those attributes to work in productive ways. According to The Knot.com, the average wedding party includes four people on each side. That means eight extra people who can lend their eyes, ears, and hands to the bounty of tasks that comprise the wedding planning to-do list. Here’s how to delegate with flair: Ask and ye shall receive. First off, it 10
| Wedding Guide
is never safe to assume that the wedding party will be taking on extra work. Even if tradition suggests wedding party members lend a hand, it’s in the best interest of the couple to graciously ask for help. This helps establish good will at the start. Be specific when assigning tasks. Rather than just asking for generalized help, make a list of the tasks that seem the most challenging and then delegate accordingly. If a member of the bridal party is excellent at getting travel deals, have him or her help arrange the honeymoon. Someone with an intimate knowledge of cuisine can come along to food tastings and help plan the reception menu. Friends with a flair for organization can be in charge of disseminating information to the entire wedding party or keeping a running list of gifts given at various parties so thank-you notes can be sent.
Make wardrobe suggestions. Couples can rely on their most honest bridal party members when picking out wedding attire. These no-holds-barred individuals can set them straight on fit, look, and comfort. Trust these people in helping to make the entire wedding party look stylish and feel confident. Extend the host and hostess duties. It can be tiring for couples to tend to the needs of all their wedding guests. Couples can enlist the help of their wedding party to ensure that elderly or disabled guests get the assistance they need. The wedding party can also step up to serve as stand-in dance partners or to help grab drinks or escort people as needed. Get the party started. Couples can usually count on their wedding parties to help fill the dance floor at the wedding reception — even when others have not yet built up the courage to showcase their dancing skills. Those bold and lovable friends and family members will help keep the energy up and make the wedding a blast. Planning and hosting a wedding is a large undertaking. With the help of the wedding party, it can be that much more enjoyable.
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Fall | Winter 2017
Website dos & don’ts T
echnology continues to infiltrate all areas of life. So it should come as no surprise that apps and digital organization play a prominent role in many couples’ weddings. Couples may now feel it is necessary to design a wedding website to keep their guests up-to-date. Though they’re useful when planning a wedding, websites are not a must-have, according to bridal etiquette experts. However, those who choose to delve into the world of wedding websites can keep these pointers in mind when navigating: DO use the wedding website as a central hub for putting pertinent information about the wedding that may not be covered on invitations or save-thedate cards. DON’T ignore the potential for identity theft and privacy. Wedding websites can put quite a deal of personal information out for public consumption. Not only will the website advertise when the wedding takes place (when your home and the homes of all your guests will be empty), but also it could include birthdays, maiden names, and other information that would normally be more difficult to track down. DO use a wedding website provider that gives you the option to password protect your website. Urge guests not to share this protected information with others. DON’T caption engagement photos, bachelorette party photos, and more with dates and names on the wedding website and on other social media. DO skip the wedding website if you are strongly opposed to it. When properly composed, a wedding invitation will convey all the pertinent details. A group e-mail or phone calls can alert guests to any changes after the fact. DON’T forget to link to gift registries. DO use the wedding website to collect responses and then make a table seating arrangement online. This will help you stay more organized and streamlined. Wedding websites are yet another tool couples can use to stay organized as they plan their weddings. 12
| Wedding Guide
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Call it another day Tips for planning a Friday or Sunday wedding
he cost of weddings continues to rise. In its 2016 Real Weddings Study, bridal resource The Knot found that the average wedding cost couples and their families more than $35,000. With such a high price tag, it’s no wonder happy couples look for ways to save money. One of the ways couples can save a sizable amount of money on their weddings is to tie the knot on Friday or Sunday instead of hosting a more traditional Saturday afternoon or evening wedding. Wedding ceremony and reception venues may charge considerably less to host weddings on Fridays or Sundays. Reception venues tend to be the largest wedding expenses, so reducing those rates can go a long way toward helping couples stay within their budgets. While the cost-savings of Friday or Sunday weddings may be the main focus for happy couples, it’s important that grooms- and brides-to-be recognize that planning Friday or Sunday weddings may require some unique planning: 14
| Wedding Guide
1. Avoid holiday weekends Three-day holiday weekends may seem like the ideal time to host Friday or Sunday weddings, as guests likely already have Friday or Monday off from work. But the cost of travel and lodging may be much higher on holiday weekends than non-holiday weekends. That may compel some guests to decline their invitations. In addition, many families have holiday weekend traditions and it may be unfair for couples to ask them to interrupt or cancel those plans to attend their weddings. 2. Consider the timing When hosting a Friday wedding, couples may want to start the ceremony later than they might if they were getting married on a Saturday. That’s because out-of-town guests who don’t want to use more than one vacation day to attend the wedding may be flying in on the day of the wedding. A later start time gives guests more flexibility when booking flights. Starting later also allows local guests
to work a full day and still make it to the ceremony on time. Couples who opt for a Sunday wedding may want their ceremonies to start earlier than they would on Saturday to accommodate guests who need to go to work on Monday morning. 3. Confirm vendor availability Wedding vendors are accustomed to working on Saturdays, when the vast majority of weddings take place. So couples should not simply assume a favorite DJ, band, or catering company will be available to work their Friday or Sunday weddings. Couples who have particular entertainers or caterers in mind should confirm the availability of these vendors before booking a wedding and reception facility. It’s also important that couples getting married on Sundays confirm that hotel rooms will be clean and ready in time for their guests to make it to the ceremony. Many hotels host wedding parties on Fridays and Saturday nights, and some might not be able to turn rooms around in time to accommodate Sunday wedding parties. Tying the knot on a day other than Saturday can save couples money and help make their weddings more unique. But it’s important that couples consider more than just cost-savings before agreeing to get married on a Friday or Sunday.
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The night before Start the celebration with your rehearsal dinner
ehearsal dinners are customarily held after couples and their bridal parties walk through the wedding ceremony. Rehearsals may occur one or two nights before the actual wedding, depending on the availability of the wedding venue. Rehearsal dinners tend to be less formal than wedding receptions, but couples should still prioritize planning to ensure their dinner goes off without a hitch:
Confirm who is paying for dinner Tradition once suggested that the groom’s parents pay for the rehearsal dinner while the bride’s parents foot the bill for the wedding. But perhaps due to the rising cost of weddings, many couples no longer feel beholden to such traditions. If couples are financing their own weddings, parents of both the bride and groom may want to pay for the rehearsal dinner. If parents are splitting the cost 16
| Wedding Guide
of the wedding, then couples themselves may want to pay for the rehearsal dinner. Confirm who is paying and if there is a budget to work with before booking a restaurant. This way there is no confusion once the bill is brought to the table. Give consideration to bridal party members’ dietary restrictions Couples may not want to book a seafood restaurant if a handful of guests have shellfish allergies. So before booking a restaurant for the rehearsal dinner, couples can ask members of their bridal party and other attendees if they have any food allergies. Emphasize location Couples whose bridal party includes out-of-towners should look for a restaurant that’s close to the wedding hotel or the ceremony site to host their rehearsal dinner. Ideally, one that’s within walking distance of both makes getting to and
from a lot easier. Regardless of where the restaurant is located, make sure to arrange for transportation for any outof-town guests who are not planning to drive to the wedding. Inform guests about the dress code Rehearsal dinners tend to be laid-back affairs, but members of the bridal party may be uncertain about what to wear. Couples should inform rehearsal dinner guests well in advance of the wedding if the dinner will be casual, semiformal, or formal. This gives guests the time to shop for and pack their attire for the night, and saves couples the trouble of answering wardrobe inquiries in the busy final days before the wedding. Toast the guests Brides and grooms are toasted at their wedding receptions, but rehearsal dinners afford happy couples the chance to thank their closest friends and family members for their love and support. Plan to give a brief toast to loved ones at the dinner. Grooms may also want to use this opportunity to toast their brides-to-be, thanking them for all their efforts planning the wedding. Rehearsal dinners typically are fun, less formal affairs. But even the least formal dinners require some planning.
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Paradise within budget
Tips for saving money when you plan out your perfect honeymoon
oneymoons are big business. According to a recent Conde Nast Bridal Infobank survey, the average couple spends more than $5,000 on their honeymoon, indicating just how much meaning couples assign to their first official trip as newlyweds. If the average spending on honeymoons seems high, it’s important for couples working on budgets to realize that there are plenty of ways to plan memorable getaways without breaking the bank. Couples can keep the following strategies in mind as they plan their honeymoons: Plan and book early. In its 2016 Real Weddings Study, online wedding resource The Knot found that the average engagement length was 15 months. That gives couples plenty of time to plan their weddings, but also a great chance to book their honeymoons well in advance of their wedding days. Fifteen months 18
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affords couples the chance to piece together the perfect honeymoon on their own or shop around for package deals. Delay the honeymoon. Couples without much wiggle room in their budgets or those who simply want to save money can delay their honeymoons, choosing to take their getaways months after they tie the knot. This provides couples with more traveling flexibility. And depending on when couples get married, delaying the honeymoon may push the trip into the vacationing off-season, when more affordable deals can often be found. Don’t shy away from your newlywed status. Resorts might not advertise it, but many offer special amenities to honeymooning newlyweds. Some may provide complementary spa services, while others might offer free room upgrades if they have any vacancies. Such amenities may be grand or small, but no matter their size, they can make honeymoons
feel more special. Give ample consideration to all-inclusive honeymoon packages. Whether couples are working on tight budgets or planning their honeymoons without regard to cost, all-inclusive packages may be worth the extra money up front. All-inclusive packages tend to include meals, some beverages and fun activities that couples would otherwise have to pay for á la carte. All-inclusive packages may also remove some of the work of planning the honeymoon because couples won’t need to tirelessly research activities and find the most affordable local vendors. Couples can examine the nuts and bolts of all-inclusive packages to make sure they include activities and foods they’re likely to enjoy. Planning a honeymoon takes work, but much of that work is fun, and couples who do their due diligence can save substantial amounts of money.
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Brides can see their future groom try on his complete outfit when you place your order. • Brides would NEVER select a gown from a catalogue, why should the groom? • We have the largest inventory of tuxedos and vests on Staten Island. • We have a tailor on the premises when the tuxedo is picked up to ensure a proper fit. • Last minute rentals are never a problem. • Our expert staff has been servicing Staten Island for 20 years. • Our inventory ranges from boy 3 to adult 72 • Select an elegant tuxedo or accessory from our unique retail department. • Free Rental for the Groom w/ parties of 5 or more
2791 Richmond Avenue • Staten Island, NY 10314
718-698-4859 Most major credit cards accepted
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Keep Your Romance Alive with LED Picture Framing! Today’s hot trend, this unique custom framing technique is where modern meets vintage
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Verrazano has all the essentials for the perfect wedding
ven the most ornate of weddings begins with the invitations, and while the bride and groom are the recipients of the gifts, they are also the bearers of presents for all those who have helped in so many ways to make the day a perfect one. Whatever your needs in this area, they will surely be fulfilled to all your expectations at Verrazano Gift and Bridal (1205 86th Street, corner of 12th Avenue; 238-2722). Starting with the invitations, the store offers literally hundreds of styles from which too chose, from bold to the most traditional, elegant to sophisticated. If you can’t find it here, it probably hasn’t been designed. In terms of favors, there is no one to compare. Come and be bedazzled by some 200 different favors culled from around the country and the world. With a price range starting at $1.50 and up, there are more than a few items that will satisfy both the taste and budget of anyone. Armani dolls are irresisible, as are the custom-made bridesmaids and bridal dolls. Choose from prestigious names and fine manufacturers. There is a gamut of delights: from picture frames to crystal bowls. There are a host of items imported direct from the top designers of Italy, from napkin holders to jewelry boxes, frames to salt and pepper shakers. And certainly the low prices include personalization and lovely packaging of the favors. From the shower-signing book to the wishing wells and umbrellas (available for rental or purchase), Verrazano has what you crave. The store is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; until 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Other hours accommodated by appointment.
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Making it legal Steps to secure wedding venue and license
etting married is an exciting time in a couple’s life together. Wedding planning is the next logical step after the engagement announcement, and while couples often get swept up in planning their dream parties, it’s important to note that, ultimately, the ceremony is the star of the day. Before booking a wedding reception venue or getting one’s heart set on a particular date, couples need to secure their ceremony sites as well as apply for a marriage license. In some instances, ceremonies are held at the same site as the wedding reception, while some couples choose to tie the knot in their church or synagogue. Each of these types of ceremonies will be governed by the schedule of the house of worship or civil site.
Finding a venue Once couples choose a wedding date, it is a good idea for them to visit their ceremony site of choice to check the calendar. It helps to have some flexibility in the wedding date in case the first choice is unavailable. Although summer weddings used to be the most popular, today’s couples are tying the knot more often in September and October than other times of year. Even though a couple’s wedding is
special and unique to them, ceremony locations handle hundreds of weddings. Couples must recognize that competition for certain venues may be steep, so it helps to keep more than one venue in mind when planning a wedding. Getting a marriage license While laws may vary from state to state within the United States, getting a marriage license generally involves filling out the application and paying a fee at the county clerk’s office. Both applicants are typically required to bring identification, such as a driver’s license, passport, or birth certificate. There may be a waiting period between submitting the application and the license being issued. Couples can pick up the license or have it mailed to them. A marriage license is not the same thing as a marriage certificate. The marriage certificate typically becomes available after the ceremony has taken place and the witnesses and officiant have signed off on the proceedings. Getting married is a multistep process that begins with determining where the ceremony will take place and acquiring a marriage license. With these items in check, couples can focus on creating memorable wedding days.
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Marbella, the one ingredient for your perfect day. Please call 718.423.0100 and ask for Our Wedding Services Director. We are convenient to the Long Island Expressway, Grand Central Parkway, Cross Island Expressway and Clearview Expressway. 220-33 Northern Blvd., Bayside, NY 11361 Marbella-Restaurant.com â€˘ contact@Marbella-Restaurant.com
Fall | Winter 2017
For the boys Choosing personalized gifts for your groomsmen
eddings are steeped in tradition, and one of the more enjoyable ones is the custom of gifting members of the bridal party. With regard to picking out tuxedos and planning the wedding, grooms may not spend as much time with their groomsmen as brides do with their bridesmaids. But that does not mean grooms don’t want to go above and beyond when gifting their groomsmen. The following are a handful of unique groomsmen gift ideas:
Guys’ day out While it’s customary to gift groomsmen with mementos of the wedding that they can keep for years to come, there’s no law forbidding grooms from gifting an experience. Grooms can book a guys’ day or night out for after the wedding, buying each groomsmen 24
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a ticket to a ball game and paying for dinner for the whole crew. Or consider a more adventurous outing, such as a group bungee jump or white-water rafting trip. Provide a memento by ordering a handful of specially designed commemorative T-shirts. Commemorative photo Many grooms ask relatives and friends they have known for much of their lives to be their groomsmen. So it’s not uncommon for groomsmen to know each other very well. If each member of the party has known one another for years, grooms can try to find a photo of all of them together when they were much younger. Have the photo professionally framed, noting the date of the wedding with an engraving on the frame. If each groomsman is from a different period in
the groom’s life, then the groom can find a photo from early in each relationship to present as a gift. Commemorative beer Many grooms and groomsmen bond over beer, so grooms who have raised many a pint with their groomsmen might want to create their own commemorative beers to show their love and appreciation for their best guy friends. Many craft breweries offer brewing classes that teach beer aficionados the finer points of making beer. Grooms can attend such classes on their own and create their own batch specifically for their groomsmen or pay for the whole group to attend the class together. Movie poster Grooms with a creative side and a love of movies can create movie posters that mimic those of iconic guy films like “Goodfellas” or “Animal House,” swapping out images of the film’s stars with likenesses of themselves and their groomsmen. Have the finished products framed before presenting one to each groomsman.
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Fall | Winter 2017
Fitting it together
Proper alterations can make all the difference
eamstresses and tailors are sometimes the unsung heroes of weddings. These individuals often work tirelessly under pressure to ensure that tuxes are taken in at the right places and that gowns are hemmed to perfection. People may underestimate the importance of good wedding ensemble alterations, but having someone whose skilled with a needle and thread is essential to looking your best on such a momentous day. Proper fit can be as important as the gown or suit. Although some couples will spend thousands of dollars on wedding attire, many will not research the person to handle any necessary alterations. Few, if any, wedding ensembles can be purchased right off the rack and worn without custom tailoring. The scope of the alterations will depend on the desired changes and how well the clothing initially fits. Timing is crucial, and these guidelines can facilitate the process of wedding alterations:
Length of time Itâ€™s difficult to say how long alterations will take, as it depends on the extent of the work and how busy the seamstress or tailor is. And until the alterations have begun, seamstresses and tailors may not know how long the job will take. The bridal resource The Knot advises allowing between two and three months from a first fitting to the last as an ideal timeline to make all of the alterations. For complicated gowns, brides or bridal party members may need three or four fittings, with the last occurring a few weeks before the wedding. Alteration costs Cost alone should not dictate where to go for alterations. The costs can include many factors, including which fabrics are used in the gown or suit, which types of alterations are requested (minor tweaks or a major overhaul), proximity to the wedding date, and even geograph26
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ical location. Brides also can add straps, beading, lace, or other detailing, but it will affect the cost. Whom to choose Many bridal salons and formalwear retailers will have someone on staff who can handle alterations. If a store doesnâ€™t have a tailor or seamstress, or if this person isnâ€™t able to provide what is needed, take clothing to a professional who specializes in wedding wear. Gowns can be complex, with wedding gowns featuring bustles, intricate hems, boning, beading, and much more, so try to work with experienced professionals
who have seen it all. Ask friends and family for recommendations, or find out if wedding planners or retailers who sold you the dress recommend anyone. When attending a fitting, bring along the shoes and undergarments that will be worn on the wedding day so the fit can be matched accordingly. Also take one friend or family member who can offer an extra opinion on how the clothing falls and fits. Brides may want to bring a maid-(matron)-of-honor if she needs to learn how to bustle a gown. Skilled tailors or seamstresses help couples look their best on their wedding days, and finding reliable professionals should be part of wedding planning.
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Manly manicures Men amp up the grooming for their wedding days
variety of wedding day cosmetic preparations are geared toward the bride-to-be. Gentlemen generally limit their wedding pampering to a haircut and possibly a self-tanning product to have a golden glow in their wedding photos. As social norms continue to relax and guys grow more comfortable and confident taking care of their skin, hair, and bodies, the list of services men undergo in advance of special occasions may widen. One service that many men have already embraced is the manicure. Manicures neaten the fingernails and treat the skin and cuticles of the fingers and can be just as beneficial for men as women. In fact, male-geared hand and foot 28
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grooming have already sprouted a niche market, including the Hammer & Nails Grooming for Guys franchise that was featured on the popular show “Shark Tank.” Nail technicians can help guys achieve a clean look and alert men to possible underlying health issues present on their hands and feet. According to Dr. David E. Bank, a clinical professor of dermatology at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, technicians are trained to recognize possible fungus and other infections within the nails. Depending on his profession, a man’s hands may be on display and the appearance of those hands can help close deals or present a more
professional look. Manicures can help men achieve that. They’re also ideal for special occasions like weddings, when guys want to be groomed to perfection. GQ magazine advises that the occasional professional manicure can offer nice, even nails without out-ofcontrol cuticles — no polish or gel tips necessary. First-timers may be hesitant to give manicures a try. While salon services can differ, here’s what a typical manicure will entail: • Nails are cut and filed. • Hands will be soaked in warm water or oil to soften skin and cuticles. • Cuticles are pushed back or trimmed. • Moisturizer may be applied, and hands are given a brief massage. • Clear polish can be used if desired. However, a thorough buffing also can create a healthy shine to the nail. Men may want to visit nail salons during off-peak times if they are shy about requesting services. Otherwise, they can visit businesses that cater to men’s grooming.
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Sirico’s offers you a variety of Dinner, Cocktail, and Buffet options with a Homestyle flair. We can create any theme for your occasion with unique LED lighting options and special decor packages.
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Fall | Winter 2017
quarter- to a half-inch of shirt sleeves when arms are at the sides. An ill-fitting suit or tux can make a gentleman look sloppy. It is key to pay attention to sizing and use a shop that has a variety of styles that fit various body types.
Some tux-renting basics
rides-to-be may invest thousands of dollars into their wedding day ensembles. Online wedding resource The Knot says that the average cost for a wedding dress is $1,469. Grooms generally have a much easier and less expensive experience with their wedding day attire. In fact, grooms often rent their tuxedos for minimal cost. Renting a wedding tuxedo has its advantages, namely in the cost savings. However, it’s easy for a guy to fall into the trap of renting something that will not help him look his best if he isn’t educated about the process. Looking sharp involves a little more than just showing up to the shop and picking a tux off the rack.
Choose your retailer wisely Many stores sell or rent suits and tuxedos. As is the case with many aspects of wedding planning, getting a recommenda-
tion from friends or family members can help grooms identify the shops that offer exemplary service. When attending others’ weddings or special events, pay attention to the look of the groom and his groomsmen. Find out where they got their tuxes. Price alone should not dictate where to shop. Once bridesmaid dresses have been selected, the groomsmen can begin to shop around for tuxedoes. This way, ties and vests will coordinate. Initial tux selection should begin between four and six months before the wedding. Get a proper fitting Experts say that it is important to be fitted for a tux or suit properly. Their professionals can handle the measurements, or men shopping elsewhere can use a tailor of their choosing. Shoulders should be close to the body in the jacket but not restrictive. Sleeves should fall so that they show a
Choose a classic style No one wants to look outdated in their wedding pictures. By choosing a classic cut and color in a suit or tux, guys will look stylish no matter the year. Fun can be had with vest colors or bow ties. Confirm the order The entire wedding party can visit the tuxedo shop for selections and fittings. The groom should call the store at least a month prior to the wedding to ensure that everyone has been fitted. Tuxes should be picked up a few days in advance of the wedding and tried on to ensure that everything fits and all accessories are included. This way last-minute alterations or substitutions can be made. Grooms and groomsmen can look dapper by selecting a classic suit or tuxedo, having it properly fitted and confirming that all wardrobe components are ready to go in time for the big day.
Thank you to our contributing photographers
Sarah Tew Photography www.sarahtewphotography.com (917) 374–4346 firstname.lastname@example.org
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7319 5th Ave. Bay Ridge 718.836.5600 www.SchnitzelHausNY.com
Stylish and Hip Weddings Photography stylishhipweddings.com (646) 249–3855 email@example.com
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Dental Implants replace a missing tooth, creating a seamless and beautiful smile. As a world class prosthodontist, Dr. Lichter has advanced training in the creation and replacement of dental implants. His goal is a natural, attractive smile that lasts a lifetime.
DENTAL IMPLANTS (Abutment & Crown Additional Cost)
PORCELAIN VENEER if you have chipped, dull, rotated or gapped teeth, ask us about porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are known to be the most durable, life-like, and esthetic cosmetic dental solutions for a plefora of dental challenges. veneers are a rapid way to adjust the alignment, shape, and size of your current teeth. They’ll completely revitalize your smile and the best news is that they typically take only 2 visits 1 week apart. There is ZeRO down time veneers is a beautiful quick-fix for decay, chips, rotations, gaps or discoloration. This relatively noninvasive procedure can restore the look and function of your natural teeth.
Designed as an alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign® can inconspicuously straighten crooked and unevenly spaced teeth. Invisalign® eliminates bulky metal brackets and wires by using a system of clear plastic aligners instead. each set of aligners is custom-made to fit the patient’s teeth comfortably while gently guiding the teeth into their ideal position Dr. lichter recommends Invisalign® for patients who want to discreetly improve the appearance of their smile and function of their bite.
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Financing available Fall | Winter 2017
s a New Yorker, you want your wedding dress to reflect your home’s savvy style. Yet, in a city that never sleeps, fashion is constantly evolving. And whether you’re looking for a classic, soft and romantic ball gown or trendy, bold and daring beaded sheath, we’ve put together a few looks that will help you draw inspiration to help you find your perfect fit.
Winged sleeves of lace give “Udara” a fanciful feel. This Willowby by Watters sheath features faux wrap styling and side slit. »
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263 Prospect Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 718-788-0777 GrandProspectHall.com Fall | Winter 2017 | 35
Scatters of sequins and floral appliques stream through lace in “Sienna,” a ballgown by Casablanca.
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A lace v-neck tank by LOVE by Pnina Tornai features a droppedwaist full A-line. » Available at Kleinfelds
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A plunging neckline and banded waist meet a pleated skirt in the “Andrina” gown from Wtoo by Watters.
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The “Mellina” twopiece dress by Morilee features a beaded, embroidered bodice » with soft net skirt.
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Laure de Sagazan’s “Bukowski” shortsleeve dress in SaintGall lace with crossover neckline, fitted skirt.
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A v-neck, natural-waist ballgown with beaded and embroidered bodice by Dennis Basso. Available at Kleinfelds
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Flowers By Massenet Call for free consultation for all your Bridal needs
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WWW.BAYRIDGEDERM.COM Fall | Winter 2017
Morilleeâ€™s Merah gown has beaded straps that flow into lace appliquĂŠs along the bodice and a soft tulle skirt.
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LOVE by Pnina Tornai a-line, V-neck gown with a natural waist in beaded lace and long sleeves. Available at Kleinfelds
Fall | Winter 2017
Arkansas couple marries in iconic New York City By Ily Goyanes | Photos by stylish and Hip weddings photography
| Wedding Guide
magine that the first time you step foot in New York City is on your wedding day. Well, that is exactly what happened to Evan and Jessica Pettit, but they planned it that way. The Arkansas couple decided that their wedding should be epic — not in size, but in meaning. “We chose New York City because it is such an iconic and historic city. There is so much to see and do and so much beauty inside and outside the city,” says Jessica about their decision. She continues, “A lot of our country’s history is in New York City. Our ancestors immigrated to New York from their home countries. It was the start of a wonderful new life for them and we thought it would be a cool place to start off our new life together.” The college sweethearts met when they were both students at the University of Central Arkansas. “Our mutual friend Hunter kept telling me he had this friend that would be perfect for me,” Jessica remembers. “I did not believe him at first, since he was such a goofball. I thought ‘I am not going to date one of your friends,’ ” she says, laughing. “Well, I was wrong.” The first time she saw Evan was a seemingly inconsequential and brief meeting at a parking lot on campus. A few nights later, Evan accompanied Hunter to Jessica’s apartment. “I was sitting on the counter in my kitchen in my old sweats studying for school and eating ice cream,” she recalls. “That was the first night I really ever spoke to him.” “Jessica was actually a roommate of my friend at the time we first met,” says Evan. “I thought she was so beautiful that I made my friend introduce us.” Upon their first, brief, parking lot meeting, Jessica thought that Evan might be a bit … pompous, shall we say, due to his tricked-out truck. But she got to know him a lot better when he visited her apartment with Hunter that fateful night. “I had a guy I had never seen before leaving love letters on my car while I was in class. I was really getting freaked out about it,” says Jessica. “I was telling Evan and Hunter about it that night when they came over. Evan hardly knew me, but he got really defensive and was ready to stand up to this stalker for me. That is when I knew he liked me.” Evan’s realization came as soon as he saw her sitting on the counter. “When I first saw her I saw her eating ice cream — which is my favorite snack — I already knew we were going to be great for each other,” he says, laughing. “But in all seriousness, when I met her for the first time I was in love. I had a feeling she was the one.” Their love story graduates from college to the high seas for the engagement. The two had been enthusiastically planning to go on a cruise for a while, so they booked one that included Valentine’s Day. The evening of Feb. 14, 2016, Evan popped the question. “We had dinner on the ship and then we went to the back of the boat to take a look at the sky and water,” shares Jessica. “Evan set up the Go Pro to take some pictures of us, or so I thought. He was really recording and got down on one knee and proposed on the back of the ship.” She adds, “Everyone down below in the pool saw it and was cheering for us. It was the sweetest and best proposal ever.” After being together for four years and engaged for one, the couple tied the knot on April 14, 2017. Which is brings us to New York City. “We came to New York, just the two of us, to get married. We spent the morning of our wedding day together,” Jessica
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remembers. “We started off going to Bryant Park and eating waffles. Boy, they were delicious. We then came back to our hotel at the Hilton Garden Inn Times Square where I had my hair and make up done by Glam Squad.” Evan hung out while Jessica was getting “glammed” up. Once their photographer arrived, the two separated briefly for her to put on her dress. When they saw each other next, the two teared up. “He looked just as handsome as ever,” says Jessica. “She was so beautiful and her dress was amazing,” adds Evan. “It was the perfect dress. I just wanted to hug and kiss her all day.” The two spent the rest of the day being photographed at iconic city locations, such as Times Square and the New York Public Library. “I will say we get so many compliments on our photos,” Jessica says. “Stylish and Hip Weddings did such and amazing job with our photos and the whole ceremony,” she continues. “There is nothing more magical then getting to marry your best friend in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. To see the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time sure is something, but seeing it for the first time and knowing you are fixing to get to marry your best friend as the whole bridge stops to watch and cheer you on, well, that is magical.”
(Opposite page) Jessica found her dream dress at local Arkansas shop Low’s Bridal and Formal. (This page, clockwise from top) Joel Lawrence officiated their ceremony on the Brooklyn Bridge. Joel works for Stylish and Hip Weddings, which did the couple’s photos. Jessica’s bouquet featuring rosy peonies came from Mimosa Floral Design Studio in Brooklyn, and her shoes were from David’s Bridal. The newlyweds spent their day being photographed around iconic city locations.
Fall | Winter 2017
College sweethearts marry after seven years together
By Ily Goyanes | Photos by Sarah Tew Photography
ollege sweethearts Jared Kafer and Aviva Nusbaum aren’t quite sure about how they first met. They agree that they met in college at the University of Maryland, but whether it was in chemistry class or at a fraternity or sorority party, they’re not sure. What they are sure of is that they found their partner for life. “I don’t remember any specific impressions from our first meeting,” says Aviva. “Our friendship developed gradually over our first two years in school and naturally grew to be very close before we started dating.” Jared may have been harboring romantic notions long before that, however. “We were extremely close friends as study partners and it was eventually hard to hide my crush on her,” he says. “This girl is awesome and not like anyone else I’ve met so far. She’s cute, funny, and easy-going,” he remembers thinking. The two fell for each other hard and a proposal was inevitable. “Jared told me that his sister’s family was in Central Park that morning. On our walk over he asked a question about a subject that he knew would keep me talking excitedly because he was too nervous for conversation,” Aviva says. “He knows me very well — I got so caught up in telling the story he had asked about that I didn’t notice his nerves. I was completely
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caught off guard when I realized we were not actually on our way to see family and he stopped in the middle of our walk and proposed.” Jared had indeed put a lot of thought and effort into the proposal. “I knew I wanted as many friends to be involved as possible, so I sort of ambushed an already existing friends get-together,” he recalls. “With the help of some of Aviva’s closest girlfriends, I arranged a surprise celebration in her apartment,” says Jared. And just as he had planned, Aviva became lost in conversation and was oblivious to what was about to take place. “She managed to get pretty distracted along the way without paying close attention to where we were, and we were soon in the spot I had mapped out ahead of time,” Jared explains. “It was near a quiet stream beside an old stone bridge — a perfect, autumn Central Park location.” Evan, the future anesthesiologist, and Aviva, the future attorney, dated for six years before their one-year engagement, and tied the knot on Aug. 16, 2015. They both agree that finding the right venue was the hardest aspect to planning their nuptials. “It’s hard to plan all the details without a location and we visited a number of venues before finding the one that worked for us,” says Aviva. “The rest of the planning was less tricky once that decision was out of the way.” 50
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That venue was the Wainwright House in Rye, N.Y. The two lovebirds also had a lot of help from their friends. “We have friends who had done a lot of research for their own weddings and we got to take advantage of their recommendations. We were very confident in our band and photographer, for example, because we had been impressed by them at other friends’ weddings,” says Aviva. “We were not disappointed.” Aviva’s parents, retired professional entertainers, even performed a song that they composed and wrote lyrics for, that spanned Aviva’s life — from her birth through her wedding day. “It swept the entire crowd and I don’t think there was a single dry eye at the venue,” recalls Jared. “People were mesmerized and still talk about
it all of the time.” Friends and family were all in a sharing mood. “Our family and friends had known us as a couple for a long time and shared a lot of happy moments with us throughout our relationship,” says Aviva. “It was great to be together with those we love to celebrate the start of our marriage.” Jared agrees, “It felt like every happy emotion all rolled together. I was so excited that our big day had finally arrived, and that I’d be able to spend the rest of my life with the person I loved so much.”
(Opposite page, top) Aviva wore Oscar De La Renta and the bridesmaids all wore different dresses in a similar hue. The boutonniere made by Adam Leffel of Petals Premier. (This page, clockwise from top left) Aviva’s bouquet had a just-picked-from-thegarden feel. The couple’s ketubah — a special type of Jewish prenuptial agreement — was made by the Jared’s sister. The decor was chosen predominantly to match the elegant garden-y look of the outdoor space at the Wainwright House in Rye, N.Y. The newlyweds danced the night away with family and friends. Aviva and Jared added family photos to the fireplace.
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coast coast to
Los Angeles coupleâ€™s Brooklyn wedding is a smash By Ily Goyanes | Photos by Stylish and Hip weddings
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Fall | Winter 2017
he story of how Mickey Bloom and Catherine Regio got hitched is a tale of true love in La La Land. “I had just moved to L.A. and was living with my aunt and uncle … in Santa Monica,” says Mickey. “My friend Max, known for showing up at places unannounced with an oblivious guest in tow, dropped by with Catherine.” Max, a supporting but very important character in this tale of true love, had previously mentioned Catherine to Mickey — several times. “Max had talked up how cute Catherine was in the past, and knowing he wasn’t exactly a man of his word, I was a little dubious,” Mickey recalls. “But damn — he was right.” The “underemployed” writer and comedian tried to charm Catherine with some “bad jokes” that he says she “did not laugh at” and of course, he was immediately smitten. Catherine remembers them hanging out with groups of mutual friends until some of those friends set them up on a proper date. And although she may not have laughed at his initial jokes, she knew there was something special about him. “He was immediately very easy to talk to,” says Catherine. “Which is not usually the case for me … a sign of good things to come.” Her reticence had a sudden impact on him. “She didn’t need to say more than she needed to,” he remembers thinking. “I thought she was smart, thoughtful, and articulate. She was normal, well-adjusted, which when trying to acclimate to the desperate climate of Hollywood, is a deep sigh of relief.” “I also noticed her legs — sorry,” he adds. The tale of Mickey and Catherine is not your typical Hollywood rom-com, however, as evidenced by the unique proposal. “Catherine made it perfectly clear she did not want a surprise proposal,” Mickey says. “At a baseball game, we watched someone propose to their significant other and she immediately turned to me and said, ‘please never do that.’ We decided to do it in New York City, where Catherine is 54
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from, since we were going there for her birthday anyway.” “I wanted it to be a mutual proposal, so we decided to get each other gifts and make it official in New York,” says Catherine. “It was freezing, so even though we wanted to do it outside, we couldn’t. L.A. has turned us into wimps.” The two walked the city streets looking for the perfect spot, but none was found. “So we found a coffee shop and did our gift exchangeproposal there,” she adds. With the way the proposal went down, other patrons must have thought they were watching a film production. “Since Catherine didn’t love the implication of being ‘betrothed’ to me, it was important that she get me something, too, in lieu of a ring,” recalls Mickey. “As we sat at a lone table in an empty part of the café, she gave me a photo book she had made online that told the story of our relationship. Naturally, I sobbed.” He gave her his great grandmother’s diamond ring, a family heirloom from the 1920s, and of course, she started to sob. “Both of us were crying so hard I am pretty sure most people in the cafe thought we were breaking up,” says Catherine.
(Opposite page, left) The flower girls lead the way for Catherine. Mickey and Catherine enjoy champagne and food from Brooklyn Winery. (This page, clockwise from top left) The bridesmaids wore red, while the groom’s party wore blue. The reception space. The newlyweds entertained their guests. The cake.
Mickey agrees. “In spite of the shear joy of this moment,” he says, “I’m fairly certain people thought we were breaking up.” So on Sept. 2, 2016, five years after the two began dating, they tied the knot at the Brooklyn Winery, which made the wedding planning go pretty smoothly. “The venue was all-inclusive — they’re a functioning restaurant when not a gorgeous ceremony/reception space — and our point person was always on it,” says Mickey. “As a result, even though we were planning this from the opposite coast, the whole thing ran seamlessly without a hitch — other than the main one,” he jokes. With such a huge worry out of the way, the two weren’t nervous at all on their big day. “I had a lot of nervous energy, but wasn’t actually worried that anything would go wrong,” says Catherine.
Well, maybe the groom was a little nervous. “Um, yes,” says Mickey. As in most Hollywood love stories, the wedding went splendidly. “He’s my favorite person to be around, so in the midst of all the activity, he was a welcome sight,” says Catherine. Mickey adds, “She looked stunning in her dress, and after spending some anxious pre-ceremony time without her, it was nice to have my best friend back. We walked around Williamsburg, hand-in-hand … We actually got to hang out on our wedding day.” And what’s a Hollywood love story without one final, big number to bring the house down? “We did a choreographed dance to Katy Perry’s ‘Firework,’ complete with ribbon wands,” says Mickey. “It was as glorious and awkward as that sounds.” Fall | Winter 2017
The bride wore Performers tie knot at Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade By Ily Goyanes | Photos by Dan Howell
ome couples just make perfect sense. You know it when you see them. This past June, Coney Island served as the location for one such couple’s nuptials. The couple? Bambi the Mermaid and Charles Jonathan Varga of the band GWAR. You read that right. Varga, one of the founder’s of the notorious shock rock band GWAR, married a mermaid during the annual Mermaid Parade. Now how perfect is that? Bambi the Mermaid, like her new hubby, is also a performer. “I have been a performer at Coney Island for over 20 years and I’ve been a mermaid since the day I was born,” says Bambi. “I was given the name Bambi as a nickname and people referred to me as ‘Bambi the Mermaid’ because I had so many mermaid costumes and was such an aficionado of the parade.” The nickname stuck and as Bambi says, it became her “o-fish-al name.” Charles and Bambi met, of all places, at the Mermaid Parade two years ago, when they were introduced to each other by mutual friends during a pre-parade party. “My best friend Whitney Ward had asked Chuck to make her a costume — he is an incredible artist and costume designer — and he told her he would if she paid him with a mermaid!” recalls Bambi. “I settled the debt for her,” she adds excitedly. Charles remembers it all vividly: “Part of the negotiation was that I would be paid in mermaids, I said, half-joking. For the next month we toiled on Whitney’s costume and I was invited to a rehearsal party at her house on the eve of the parade.” At that party, Bambi was painting guests’ fingernails blue. She asked Charles if he’d like his painted and he said yes. “We introduced ourselves and chatted,” he recalls. “I got a few mermaid nibbles and the rest is history. We just clicked right from the start.” “It was basically love at first sight,” says Bambi.
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Charles felt the same way. “This woman is so interesting, so beautiful with a heart of gold,” he remembers feeling. “Exactly what I have been looking for my whole life.” On their one-year dating anniversary, he proposed. “He was dressed as King Neptune and I was a candy mermaid,” Bambi enthusiastically recalls. “He dropped to one knee in the middle of the parade and presented me with an enormous ring he had made; it was so big it went around my waist.” “I had her friends surround us in front of the judge’s stand as artist Joe Coleman delivered the ring,” adds Charles. The proposal came one year after they began dating, and the wedding took place one year after the proposal on June 17, 2017 — and all of it on Coney Island at consecutive Mermaid Parades. The couple tied the knot in front of the judges’ grandstand just before the parade commenced. “I was nervous because so many people were coming to march with us in the parade that had never been to the parade before,” says Bambi. “This was my 25th-straight year being in the parade and it was important to me to share it with as many of my non-mermaid friends as possible and especially their kids. It was a lot of people to wrangle in a rather unconventional wedding setting.” On their wedding day, she was impressed more than ever by her talented husband. “Chuck looked incredible and I was so proud of him. He made every bit of his costume himself and he looked amazing.” Not surprisingly, he was similarly impressed. “She looked amazing and I never felt as sure and as happy in my life,” he says. One might think that planning a wedding between a mermaid and a rock star might be difficult, but not so according to Bambi: “The planning was pretty simple because the parade is already very well planned out. All we had to do was show up on time and pray everyone
Bambi the Mermaid and and Charles Jonathan Varga said “I do” before walking in Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade with unicorn bridesmaids, family, and friends.
found the spot we had arranged to meet at. I asked all my bridesmaids and guests to come dressed as unicorns, which they did — I had over 50 unicorns in my bridal party!” Charles says the hardest part of wedding planning was, “Keeping up with Bambi.” “Having your wedding at a parade and in elaborate costumes might be weird to a lot of people, but for us it was very natural,” he adds. “We are both performers, as are most of our friends, and we love creating public spectacles. I guess having a herd of unicorns as your entourage is unusual too? It was absolutely perfect for us.”
Chuck and Bambi are a match made in heaven … or maybe at sea? “The Mermaid Parade is the most important day of my year. Having met my true love directly because of the parade could not have been more perfect, and then it was perfectly obvious that we should celebrate our love there and say our vows to each other in the most important place we share,” says Bambi. Charles adds, “We had a school of 50 mermaid unicorns march with us to the Sea of Love.” Perfect indeed. Fall | Winter 2017
a parting gift
horoscopes CAPRICORN Dec. 22–Jan. 19
Capricorn takes commitment seriously. If she’s going to utter sacred vows and then seal them with “till death do us part,” she’s going to mean it. Cue Capricorn Kate Moss waiting until she was 37 to tie the knot. Your wedding needs to be understated with a VIP twist — Moss’s fashionable affair ended up in the pages of Vogue, after all — and family is big, too. Moss and daughter Lila Grace had a private wedding photo shoot while extended family, like longtime friends John Galliano, designed her dress and Mario Testino, who has shooting the model since she was 16, photographed the event.
AQUARIUS Jan. 20–Feb. 18
No shoes for you: you’re getting married barefoot on the beach or in one of your BFF’s fabulous backyards. As the sign of group activity and friendship, your big day will be fun and filled with creative touches that will ensure that your eccentric guest list — from your college buddy you met at Gwar show to your aura-reading bank teller — have a great time. Take Aquarius Jennifer Aniston, who shook up her vows by promising to always make ex-husband Brad Pitt banana milk shakes. Most likely you’re marrying your best friend, so the vibe will be as playful as your union.
PISCES Feb. 19–March 20
You are a dreamer and the sign of fantasy, so your wedding will be “your” idea of a fairy tale. You have your own sense style and alternative tastes, so you will likely want creative control over aesthetic aspects like playlist (Cut Copy, Wilco, Tom Waits), food (Ethiopian), and decor (a cool mix of vintage and modern). Your ruling planet is Neptune, so the sea is in your soul. Think about embracing your inner-mermaid with a fish-tail braid, a netted veil, or details dripping in pearls.
ARIES March 21–April 19
Lady Gaga and Mariah Carey: you share a sign with some fiery females, so your wedding should be as big as your personality. It’s got to have some sizzle. 58
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Yet not every ram is into large, fabulous affairs. Some may feed their flames by having a quicky City Hall wedding and then blowing the bulk of her wedding wad on an elaborate trip for two to Tahiti, Tasmania, or Tulum Beach … or all three.
TAURUS April 20–May 30
Let us plant a seed, earth sign: try an outdoor wedding. Not backyard barbecue, but one filled with twinkling white lights twisted elegantly into the branches of an old oak tree; large, canopied tents lit by chandeliers; wild flowers; and locally sourced gourmet food. By nature, you tend to be laid back, but a lack of luxury on a bull’s big day may have her seeing red. So be prepared to get a little dirt under your nails while planning, to get what you want — or on your feet at your reception when you kick off your heels and dance!
GEMINI May 21–June 20
Your altar? The mouth of a volcano or in a cage submerged in a shark tank. If you’re going to make this big of a commitment, you’re going to need a shot of adrenaline. Yet, as unorthodox as your ceremony may be, dear twin, expect your duel personality to show face at your reception where sweet, sincere moments will be laced with light puffs of pure fun like your grandma hopping into the DJ booth or a spontaneous food fight.
CANCER June 21–July 22
Admit it: Hallmark ads make you cry and you were wrecked for weeks after watching “The Notebook.” As a crab, you tend to be sentimental, and your wedding will be filled with teary-eyed toasts and details that honor your nearest and dearest. Tradition and family is very important to you, so along with your mother’s engagement ring, that you most likely already have, try wearing her wedding dress as well.
LEO July 23–Aug. 22
Lights, camera, bride! Your wedding will be the biggest event your Facebook newsfeed has ever seen! Leos love the spotlight, so everything
about your wedding will have a “too much” quality: too much food, too much entertainment, too much glamour! But, be forewarned, lovely lion, don’t cross over into “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” territory with a dress covered in sparkling, pink LED butterflies. Whittle down the wow-factor just a bit and you’re sure to earn a #chicwedding hash tag when photos of your big day go viral.
VIRGO Aug. 23–Sept. 22
You’re a pragmatic, earthbound lady. You can handle a spreadsheet like a knight with a lance, so you may want to plan your entire wedding all by yourself. But be realistic. You’re a no-fuss gal, but your wedding is the one day it’s completely appropriate to be a princess. So, get your Kate Middleton on and hire some professional help. Let go of some control and it will be as rewarding as the first time you kissed your prince.
LIBRA Sept. 23–Oct. 22
Libra is the sign of beauty and love. Most likely you’ve had a quite a few suitors and the one you’re choosing to marry is pretty special. Honor this by allowing your well-balanced nature to come out by letting your man have some say in the wedding’s design. Even if he makes questionable choices, like wanting to include a Superman reference in the ceremony or a beer pong table during the reception, your innate sense of style and charm will refine these decisions and the ultimate compromise will be elegant.
SCORPIO Oct. 23–Nov. 21
You know exactly what you want. Vera Wang gown, Harry Winston ring, private Etta James performance. You’ve been dreaming about this day since you were a kid and the private, intimate affair is the perfect opportunity to show off your exquisite taste. Show off your creative side in the details: opt for a dress in a color other than white or arrive on horseback. Whatever you choose, your wedding will be breathtaking, memorable, romantic, and picture-worthy.
SAGITTARIUS Nov. 22–Dec. 21
Your wedding? Think: Costa Rica, on the beach, after a day of surfing. Guests? Your family, closest friends … and maybe a few monkeys. As an archer, you’re athletic, adventurous, independent, and a lover of travel. You definitely have the cool-chick vibe down pat — so even if you have a reception in a humdrum banquet hall, you’ll spice up the place with a few aerialists dropping from the ceiling with a plate of hors d’oeuvres.
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Fall - Winter 2017