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Wedding Winter | Spring 2016



Choosing the best honeymoon destination for every season



Fresh, gorgeous designs to make you shine



Getting in step with your new partner


Marine Florists Visit Our Spectacular Showroom


and Decorators Over 100 Years In Business

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Ceremony Package

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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 Winter | Spring 2016



Choosing the best honeymoon destination for every season



Fresh, gorgeous designs to make you shine



Getting in step with your new partner


on the cover


Stylish and Hip Weddings Photography

CEO Les Goodstein President and Publisher Jennifer Goodstein Publisher Clifford Luster VP Advertising Ralph D’Onofrio

Photo: Stylish and hip weddings photography (54), Srah Tew (62), Irene Bella Photography (58)

Art DIrector Leah Mitch Editor Vince DiMiceli Copy Editor Courtney Donahue

Production Staff Arthur Arutyunov Raymond Cho Mauro Deluca Yvonne Farley Earl Ferrer Advertising sales Jack Agliata Laura Cangiano Jeanne Eisenhardt Suzanne Green Rami Hauzenberg Andrew Mark Lebert McBean Jay Pelc Sherri Rossi Stephanie Stellaccio Len Vigliotti Kathy Wenk

62 Real weddings


50 A couple on the move Bria and Nate’s workplace meeting leads to a New York wedding

24 Two left feet (between you) Nervous about your (other) big moment? Consider adding dance lessons to your wedding preparations

54 City lights Carolyn and Justin’s big day was full of personal touches — down to the aisle runner 58 It takes a village Stephanie and Patrick’s DIY wedding comes together with the help of friends 62 Setting the scene James and Nicole’s love of movies and books shines through

Wedding GUIDE

Published by

26 Photo shoot fresh Getting the best photos of your whole crew

style 30 Gold standards How to shop for your wedding rings


32 Giving the bride a hand Diverse nail color options to give the perfect finishing touch to wedding day preparation

12 Mail models What to include in wedding invitations

40 Dream dresses Picking something perfect for you

14 Romance times When to visit these honeymoon hot spots


18 The night before Start the celebration with your rehearsal dinner

Courier Life Publications 1 MetroTech Center N. • 10th Floor Brooklyn, NY 11201 (718) 260–2500


20 Love is in the air Why a Valentine’s Day wedding might be right for you 22 Natural selection Planning an outdoor wedding? Read this first!

36 Moving pictures Trends in videography 38 Curry favors Choosing the right reception gift for your guests

Extras 8 Wedding checklist 66 Horoscopes Winter | Spring 2016



Floral Decorators

Wedding and Event Decor

8103 Fifth Avenue • Brooklyn, NY 11209

800.543.6797 • 718.238.3838

Henry’s Floral Florist Decorators has been proudly serving Brooklyn over 90 years. We are a family owned and operated florist since 1929 serving the Brooklyn and Tri state areas. We are committed to offering you only the finest artistic Wedding floral arrangements, backed by professional services that is friendly and prompt. Our professional staff takes special pride in creating for you finest unique wedding floral designs that will meet any bride and grooms individual taste and flexible budget. At Henry’s Florist Floral Decorator’s our goal is in providing you extra ordinary wedding flowers, personalized designs, and trendy chic high level arrangements. Let Henry’s Florist Floral Decorator’s go that extra mile for you for your next special event and occasion. The results are exquisite; memorable breathtaking moments of happiness for you and all your guests who attend your special event only in the way extraordinary floral designs can. Aside from suggesting floral designs our professional staff can offer you helpful suggestions in theme decorating, lighting, tree rentals, draping table linen and chair covers. At Henry’s Florist Floral Decorators No detail Job is too small, no request too large for our professional courteous staff. At Henry’s Florist Floral Decorators you’re not just our client, you’re our family. We would like to offer you a free complimentary consultation of the floral designs and decor of your occasion, in our large floral showroom or one of our professional floral designers can have a walk through consultation with you at the reception hall in which your event will take place. All our customers are important, our professional staff is dedicated to making your experience at Henry’s Florist Floral Decorators a pleasant one. So for your next special event when you think of Unique Wedding Floral Designs think of Henry’s Florist Floral Decorators.




• 2 Alter Baskets • 8 Pew Bouquets, Bow and Flowers • 1 Runner

• 1 Bride’s Bouquet • 1 Maid of Honor Bouquet • 3 Bridesmaid’s Bouquets • 1 Flower Girl Bouquet • 7 Boutonnieres • 2 Corsages

• 1 Bride’s Bouquet • 1 Maid of Honor • 5 Bridesmaid • 1 Flower Girl • 2 Mother’s Corsage • 1 Groom Boutonniere • 1 Best Man • 6 Ushers




• 10 Low Table Centerpieces



• 1 Ring Bearer • 2 Fathers’ • 2 Altar Arrangements • 20 White Bows and Flowers • 25 Centerpieces for Reception • 1 Bridal Table and more





• 1 Bride’s Bouquet • 1 Maid of Honor • 1 Bridesmaid • 1 Flower Girl • 2 Mother’s Corsage • 1 Groom Boutonniere • 1 Best Man • 5 Ushers • 1 Ring Bearer • 2 Fathers’ • 2 Altar Arrangements • 8 White Bows & Flowers • 10 Centerpieces for Reception and more

• 1 Bride’s Bouquet • 1 Maid of Honor • 3 Bridesmaids • 1 Flower Girl • 2 Mothers Corsages • 8 Boutonnieres • 2 Altar Baskets • 8 Pew Bows & Flowers • 1 Runner • 10 High Centerpieces with Pedstals • 1 Dais • 1 Place Card Table and much more

• 1 Bride’s Bouquet • 1 Maid of Honor • 4 Bridesmaids • 1 Flower Girl • 2 Mothers Corsages • 10 Boutonnieres • 2 Altar Baskets • 10 Pew Bows & Flowers • 1 Runner • 15 High Centerpieces with Pedstals • 1 Dais • 1 Cake and much more

• 1 Bride’s Bouquet • 1 Maid of Honor • 5 Bridesmaids • 1 Flower Girl • 2 Mothers Corsages • 10 Boutonnieres • 2 Altar Baskets • 12 Pew Bows & Flowers • 1 Runner • 20 High Centerpieces with Pedstals • 1 Dais • 1 Place Card Table and much more






wedding checklist It is exciting to get down on your knee to propose to your future wife — 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:

■■ 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 8

| Wedding Guide

■■ 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.


Photo: Sarah Tew photography

12 months before the big day

■■ 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.

■■ 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.

Photos: Katie Osgood photography (top), Stylish & Hip weddings Photography (bottom)

■■ Make time to spend alone with your husband-to-be. Soak up the moment together.

Make It Glamorous

Winter | Spring 2016




mail models What to include in wedding invitations


edding invitations once followed a relatively standard format that did not necessarily require much thought on the part of the grooms- and brides-to-be. But many couples now take more creative approaches to their wedding invitations, using them to evoke a certain theme or to establish if the wedding will be formal or casual. Invitation designs might have become more flexible over the years, but couples should still make sure to include certain information in their invitations to avoid being overwhelmed with questions from guests excited to attend the festivities: Date and time: It may seem simple, but don’t forget to include the date and time of both the wedding and reception in the invitation. If there will be a considerable amount of time between the ceremony and the reception, you may want to include a handful of local dining suggestions so guests can grab a quick bite to eat before the cocktail hour. Venue information: Guests will need to know where couples are tying the knot, so be sure to include the address of the ceremony site as well as a link to its website. The address will help guests find the venue, while the website can prove an invaluable source of information about the venue, which can save couples the trouble of answering questions about the ceremony site that can more easily and quickly be answered by visiting the website. Reception hall information: Couples whose receptions will be in a different location than their ceremonies should include the same information about the reception hall that they did about the ceremony site. Reception hall information is often listed on reception cards, which can include information on the front and back to save paper and money on postage. Hotel information: Many couples arrange special room rates with nearby hotels for their wedding guests. Include 12

| Wedding Guide

the names of these hotels, directions to the hotel from all directions, directions from the hotel to the ceremony, and reception sites and the various rates for rooms (single room, double room, etc.). If possible, include a link to each hotel’s reservation form as well. Reply cards: Reply cards are included so guests can easily reply to let couples know if they will or will not be attending. Couples with wedding websites can even include a link to their sites on the reply cards, letting guests know they can reply via the website if they so choose. Reception menu: Many reception halls

ask that couples give them a ballpark figure as to how many of their guests will prefer each type of entrée available at the reception. Include menu options within your invitation package, ideally on your reply card, so you can easily provide this information for your vendor. Wedding website information: If you did not already include a link to your wedding website on your save-the-date cards, include that information within your invitation package. Wedding websites will answer many of your guests’ questions for you, so don’t forget to make this valuable tool a part of your wedding planning.

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Romance times

When to visit these honeymoon hot spots


honeymoon provides a welcome retreat for couples after months upon months of budgeting, planning, and ironing out the details of their weddings. On their honeymoons, couples get the chance to escape the pressures of everyday life and simply enjoy being alone with each other in a beautiful and 14

| Wedding Guide

romantic location. Honeymoon vacations can be expensive, and many couples want to ensure they get the best value for their trips. A honeymoon that is overshadowed by inclement weather can make this oncein-a-lifetime trip memorable for all the wrong reasons. Not every hiccup can be avoided, but

couples can plan their honeymoons for those times of year when specific locales experience their best weather. Here are some popular destinations: Jamaica Couples tying the knot in the earlier part of the year may want to honeymoon in Jamaica. With average temperatures in the 80s year-round, Jamaica makes for a great honeymoon destination. January through April see Âť

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certain areas in March, as students visiting for spring break may compromise the romantic atmosphere honeymooners are hoping for.

less rain than other times of the year, and keep in mind June through the end of December is hurricane season. Australia People opting to get married in the winter in the Northern Hemisphere might want to escape the cooler temperatures and shorter days with a honeymoon south of the equator. Australia and New Zealand are beautiful spots to visit and enjoy summer when those in the Northern Hemisphere are mired in winter. France Paris and other French cities can be enchanting to visit any time of the year, but locals advise honeymooners visit in September when the climate is quite comfortable and tourism is minimal. Spring is another great time to visit France, especially for those people who want to spend plenty of time outdoors. Mexico Areas of Mexico, such as popular Cancún and Cozumel, tend to stay warm all year long, but they can be particularly hot in the summer. Spring brides and grooms may want to venture there before the summer season is in full swing. Couples might want to avoid vacationing in

Hawaii Spring and summer can be ideal times to visit the islands of Hawaii, as the weather can be beautiful and travel tends to be less expensive during these times of year. Rains increase as autumn sets in, and Hawaii often sees the bulk of its vacationers during the winter, meaning higher costs and bigger crowds. Italy April through June and September through October are some of the best times to visit Italy. Be aware that Venice tends to be misty and damp during the late fall and early spring. Italy, especially southern Italy and Sicily, can get quite hot during the peak summer months.

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Benny’s Jewelry

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238 1/2 S. Beverly Drive Beverly Hills, CA 90212 P: 310.275.CALI P: 310.858.7852 Winter | Spring 2016




The night before Start the celebration with your rehearsal dinner


ehearsal dinners are a fun wedding tradition that typically take place the night before a couple walks down the aisle. The immediate families of the bride and groom as well as any additional members of the wedding party are on hand for the rehearsal dinner, which often follows a walk-through of the wedding ceremony. The rehearsal dinner is usually a laidback affair, but there are some things couples must navigate as they sit down to their last dinner together before becoming husband and wife:

Guest list It is customary to invite anyone participating in the wedding, including bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, flower girls, and ring bearers, to the rehearsal dinner. In addition to those in the wedding, family members, such as parents of both the bride and groom and their respective siblings who are not in the wedding, also are invited to traditional rehearsal dinners. 18

| Wedding Guide

Menu If your rehearsal dinner will take place at a restaurant, then try to find a restaurant that can cater to various tastes. Rehearsal dinner parties tend to be large, and within your party you may have guests who are vegetarian or on gluten-free diets or those who need to avoid certain foods. The more versatile the menu, the more capable an establishment is likely to be with regard to meeting the various needs of your party. Many rehearsal dinners are held at restaurants, but it’s not unheard of to host a dinner party at home or at the home of the bride’s or groom’s parents. If you plan to go this route, just be sure to provide a variety of food so no one goes home hungry. Booking If you are hosting a rehearsal dinner at a restaurant, booking a reservation should be near the top of your priority list once you have chosen a date for the wedding. It’s not always easy to find restaurants that can accommodate especially large parties, nor is it easy to find

restaurants that can accommodate the unique diets of potential party guests. So try to book a reservation three to six months in advance of the dinner. If you are getting married during an especially popular month to tie the knot, such as June or October, try to make the reservation even earlier, as the longer you wait the more likely other couples will have booked the restaurant for their rehearsal dinners. Starting early also gives you more time to find the ideal restaurant to host the dinner. Tab Many wedding traditions have fallen by the wayside over the last several decades, and that includes who is picking up the tab. In the past, the brides’ parents paid for the wedding while the grooms’ parents were expected to pick up the tab for the rehearsal dinner. But many couples now pay for their own weddings, and those that are footing the bill should include the rehearsal dinner in their wedding budgets. If parents offer to pay or split the tab, you can take them up on their generous offer. But it is still to a couple’s advantage to expect to pay for their rehearsal dinners. Rehearsal dinners are an enjoyable tradition that affords couples the chance to sit down with their closest friends and family members and enjoy a great meal together. Planning ahead can make the dinner even more enjoyable.

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Love is in the air

Why a Valentine’s Day wedding might be right for you


alentine’s Day evokes strong emotions in so many people. On the official day of all things love, many eagerly anticipate the chance to spend time with their sweethearts. Couples who already have hearts in their eyes and are enamored with all things Valentine’s Day may want to tie the knot on this special holiday, and few can argue when a couple decides to become husband and wife on this day devoted to love and affection. Valentine’s Day is a popular day to tie the knot, as more than two million people choose Feb. 14 to walk down the aisle in the United States alone. Valentine’s Day is an easy day to 20

| Wedding Guide

remember, meaning it will be hard for husbands and wives to forget their wedding anniversaries. Another benefit to getting married on Valentine’s Day is the ambiance may already be taken care of by various establishments in the community. Reception halls may be embellished with flowers, balloons, and other décor, while businesses may already be displaying hearts in their windows and twinkling pink, red, and white lights for Valentine’s-focused customers. Couples who may not know which colors to choose for their wedding parties and table linens can just go with the colors and themes of Valentine’s Day if they decide to

tie the knot on Feb. 14. Chocolate brown, red, lavender, and pink are primary hues for the season, and any combination will complement the festivities and ceremony — whether they’re the color of the napkins or making up the bouquet. Valentine’s Day treats and trinkets make for great wedding favors. Guests can take home individual boxes of chocolates or crystal candle votives, while buffet dessert tables can be embellished with vases filled with chocolate kisses or candied hearts. Couples looking for a special day to tie the knot need not look any further than Valentine’s Day, a day devoted to couples and the affection they share for each other.

Photo by Blue Jar Photo


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Natural selection Planning an outdoor wedding? Read this first!


any couples tie the knot outdoors, as nature can provide an idyllic backdrop on such a special day. In many ways, planning outdoor weddings is similar to planning weddings that take place with a roof overhead and four walls surrounding couples and their guests. But there are some distinct features of both indoor and outdoor weddings, and couples planning the latter would be wise to consider the following factors before they commit to a location for their ceremony:

Laws Laws dictate what can and cannot be done in open spaces, and couples with outdoor locations in mind should confirm local laws and regulations before they commit to a location for their wedding. Research which permits you might need and if there are any rules or restrictions at each location you are considering. The cost of such permits may be neg22

| Wedding Guide

ligible, but the rules may restrict what you can do in a given space and how long you can do it. Discuss these rules with each other to determine if the rules are something both of you can live with. Location Proximity to your reception venue and the hotel where guests are staying is another factor to consider if you are planning on hosting an outdoor wedding. A remote location might provide stunning views and privacy, but guests might tire if the ceremony location is far from the hotel or reception venue. This should not be too big an issue if the ceremony and reception are held at the same locale, but couples should still look for nearby lodging before booking remote outdoor locations. Weather Weather is perhaps the biggest factor couples must consider when planning an outdoor wedding. Outdoor weddings are

best held during those seasons when the threat of precipitation is insignificant and temperatures are mild, but it’s still necessary to have a backup plan just in case Mother Nature does not want to cooperate. If possible, find an outdoor location that provides access to an indoor ceremony facility in case of inclement weather. If that’s not possible, monitor the forecast as closely as possible and arrange for a tent to be erected should rain start to fall. (Note: The cost of such tents can be considerable, so build this contingency into your budget.) If the forecast is calling for chillier temperatures than you had hoped for, email out-of-town guests a few days in advance to remind them to dress warm. Logistics No matter how beautiful a backdrop may be, photos of an outdoor ceremony can be compromised. Couples, along with their photographers, should visit the site in the weeks before their weddings to determine arrangements for the ceremony that will guarantee photos are not compromised by sunlight or shade. Facility managers can probably offer advice as to the best places to hold the ceremony and seat guests, but a runthrough at the location with your photographer in tow can help ensure your photos come out perfect.

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Two left

feet (between you) Nervous about your (other) big moment? Consider adding dance lessons to your wedding preparations


part from their initial nerves during their wedding ceremonies, many couples feel comfortable having all eyes on them for the majority of their wedding days. However, some couples get a bit of stagefright when dancing as husband and wife for the first time. First dances and parent-child dances are popular wedding reception rituals. The couple’s dance serves as their first act as a married pair, often occurring at the onset of the wedding reception. Father-daughter and mother-son dances may take place at different points in the evening. Some people relish the idea of having the spotlight on them, while others are nervous about dancing in front of a crowd. Couples need not look like contestants on “Dancing With the Stars� to pull off a successful first dance, but taking dance lessons prior to the wedding can teach men and women some key moves and help calm their nerves. Couples may want to begin dance lessons a few months before their wedding day to get acclimated to the experience. The more lessons couples take, the more comfortable they will likely be when it comes time to cut a rug. Private dance lessons may be more effective than group lessons, as they enable one-on-one interaction with instructors, who point out any missteps immediately and correct form on the spot. Instructors also may suggest which routines couples should embrace and 24

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which they may want to avoid. Preparation can stem nervousness and help couples feel more confident on the dance floor, even if their dances last only a few minutes. The goal of dance lessons is for couples to become better dancers, but improved skills on the dance floor is not the only thing couples can take from dance lessons. Exercise: Dancing is an excellent form of exercise that can help couples build up their endurance. In addition, the cardiovascular benefits of dancing can help couples shed a few pounds

prior to their wedding days. Stress relief: Planning a wedding is not always easy. Having a night of the week devoted to some fun couple time can help relieve some of the stress couples may feel when planning a wedding. Enjoyable memories: Taking dance lessons as a couple is something couples may look back on fondly long after they have tied the knot and cut their first rug as husband and wife. Dance lessons can help couples calm their nerves as their first dance approaches.

The Ultimate in Affordable Elegance We take pride in our reputation for excellent cuisine and professional presentation. Buckley’s holds only one reception at a time in order to give you their full attention and dedication. A personal maitre d’ assigned to the Happy Couple will satisfy every need and desire.

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2926 Avenue S, Brooklyn, New York •



Photo shoot fresh Getting the best photos of your whole crew


hotography is a great way for couples to capture all the special moments that occur on their wedding days. Long after the final piece of wedding cake has been consumed, wedding albums remain to remind couples of all those moments that made their big day so special. Photography preferences differ from couple to couple, but when weather permits, many brides and grooms prefer to take photos outdoors. Mother Nature can provide some awe-inspiring backdrops, and such beauty comes at no extra cost. Couples using professional photographers should share their image preferences with their photographers, especially if outdoor photography is desired. Photographers may have to do a little more work to achieve great outdoor photographs, even visiting a site in advance of the big day to scout areas that can produce great photos. Scouting 26

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and preparation can involve seeing the landscape, examining the way the light shines on photo subjects, and getting an accurate light reading on a meter to adjust flash accordingly. Photographers also will need to ensure there are no obstructions that will appear in the background of the photos. It’s also important for photographers to select locations that have shade. This way they can adjust the amount of light needed, rather than having to contend with the photo washing out from too much sunlight. There’s much a photographer can do in production to fine-tune photos, but the couple can help things along. Bring along some powder or makeup to touch up between photos. Warm weather can cause shininess or beads of sweat on the skin. A light dusting of powder can tame shine, while any remaining moisture can be blotted away with a towel. Brides and grooms may think clouds

on their wedding days are a harbinger of bad luck, but overcast conditions can actually contribute to better photos. A healthy blanket of cloud cover can produce richer colors and pleasing shadows, making photos even more appealing. If the clouds are just passing, photographers may wait until a cloud passes over the sun to provide just the right amount of light filter. Couples may want to change into comfortable footwear as they traverse the landscape to get into perfect portraiture locations. This will help keep their fancier shoes clean, and photos can be cropped to hide feet. Bring along some refreshments when posing for photos, as it can be tiring. Couples can take frequent breaks as the photographer adjusts his or her camera for the next shot. Staying hydrated will keep skin looking supple and ensure that everyone feels refreshed when it’s time to return to the party. Not every family member will be able to join the happy couple for outdoor photos. Elderly relatives or those who have mobility issues may find it difficult to stand in the sun or make their way across certain landscapes. Arrange for indoor photoshoots with guests who can’t handle the outdoors.

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| Wedding Guide


Winter | Spring 2016




Gold standards How to shop for your wedding rings


ngagement ring purchases are usually a solo endeavor, with the groom having an idea of the ring style and color his bride-to-be prefers. But couples usually shop for their wedding ring sets together, and such excursions can be special and meaningful. Like many decisions couples make when planning their weddings, choosing rings comes down to personal preference. There are no steadfast rules when it comes to purchasing wedding rings, but some guidelines can make shopping far easier. As couples prepare to shop for rings, it can help for each person to list the attributes he or she would like in a ring. This should include the type of metal, color, width, and even cost. Couples may find they have different preferences, and this is perfectly fine, as wedding rings do not have to match. A wedding band should complement the engagement ring but not be a perfect match. An ornate engagement ring might look better with a simple band, and viceversa. Similarly cut gemstones also can complement an engagement ring. If the bride chooses to wear both her engagement ring and wedding band together on the same finger, she should choose a band that will accommodate the curves of uniquely shaped engagement rings. Couples can make some early choices even before they visit jewelry stores. Narrow down your options so the experience will not be overwhelming. When the time comes to shop, give yourselves at least two months to browse and then choose the rings you like best. Lifestyle and daily routine should be considered at all times. These rings will be worn daily, and no one wants to fret about a ring being too delicate to stand up to everyday wear and tear. Also, think long-term. Trendy rings can be fun, but will they still seem like such a good idea when you are celebrating your 20th wed30

| Wedding Guide

ding anniversary? When getting rings sized, both the bride and groom should go when their fingers aren’t swollen from exercise or early in the morning after they may have retained fluid. Shopping should take place when hands aren’t too hot or cold. This will allow the best size so the bands fit comfortably and will have enough wiggle room should fingers swell or shrink a little bit. People can protect their investments by keeping the ring on as much as possible and only removing it when engaging in demanding physical activity or when working with chemicals. Store the ring in a safe spot when you are not wearing it so you are less likely to lose it. Wedding rings can be purchased from any number of retailers. Just be sure the rings are of good quality and sellers stands by the craftsmanship.

Easily accessible from all five boroughs, New Jersey & Long Island, The Vanderbilt at South Beach has been designed to offer the latest in technological and comfort amenities with stunning surroundings. With dramatic ocean views, relaxing natural acoustics, and truly magnificent vista of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, our facility is the perfect setting for your wedding day.

300 Father Capodanno Blvd

Staten Island, NY


Our facility offers an ideal banquet location for Weddings, Family Celebrations and more. As you plan your special event, our professional catering consultants will guide you through the entire process and will make your event both one of a kind and memorable. Our great service, signature cuisine and beautiful banquet facility guarantees that your guests will be talking about their wonderful experience for years to come.

200 Huguenot Avenue

Staten Island, NY



Giving the bride a hand Diverse nail color options to give the perfect finishing touch to wedding day preparation


ertainly a bride’s gown receives its fair share of attention on her wedding day, especially in those first moments when she proceeds down the aisle to her soon-to-be spouse. But another part of the bride’s ensemble will be scrutinized … her hands. Wedding guests will be anxious to see the wedding ring, and photographs of the couple holding hands typically are included in the wedding album. A bride’s hands need to look as polished as the rest of her wedding day ensemble. Luckily there are no established rules when it comes to wedding day nail polish. Colors can range from neutrals and traditional shades to shades that are brighter and more exotic. Some brides like to wear blue nail polish, which gives them flair and completes the requisite “something blue” tradition. Not sure what to choose for your 32

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wedding day color? See if one of these suggestions fits your style: Nude colors Brides may want to downplay their nails and not let them detract from their rings or gowns. Using nude colors will help achieve this. Nudes can include blush pink, off-white and beige-toned nail polish alone or in combination, such as with a French manicure. Some brides choose to go with clear polish and let their natural nails shine through. Glitter For a bit more pizzazz, brides can have their nails done with a nude or clear color enhanced with glitter. The glitter will add a bit of sparkle that can complement the shine of wedding rings and any embellishments on gowns or veils. An alternative is to have tiny faux gems imbedded into the polish near

the base of the nail where it meets the cuticle. Nail art Polish can be enhanced further with nail appliques or painted-on designs. It’s common for nail art to only appear on one nail of each hand, and it’s usually reserved for the ring finger. As people admire the wedding ring, they also can grab a peek at some fun and flirty nail art designs. Bold and beautiful Brides who really want to make a statement can select a bold color for their nail polish. Coral and deep pinks can be a stark contrast against a white gown and add a bit of drama to a bride’s look. Brides also may want to coordinate their nail colors to the theme of the wedding. A blue or teal shade for an ocean-side wedding or a lavender shade for a spring wedding amid tons of blooms can look beautiful. It pays to have nails professionally manicured so that fingers will be flawless. A manicure also provides a little pampering before the demands of the wedding day set in.

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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

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Thirteenth Avenue Florist WEDDING & EVENT DESIGN

Servicing all of the New York Metropolitan area. 7806 13th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11228

718/236-9088 | 866/331-3100 Contact George today or email him at to set up your free consultation. | @13thavenueflorist

At 13th Avenue Florist we understand that flowers have an emotional impact on happiness, enhance personal connections and foster a longterm positive effect on mood. We do not see ourselves as just selling flowers but rather providing a service to our clients. We assist in expressing a wish! Our mission is to share the gift of joy, beauty and love through the media of floral design. We take the time to get to know our clients and we provide a Down-to Earth approach to Trendy Design. Our arrangements are tailored to express their wishes by understanding their motivation, intent, and design preferences. Whether a small gift bouquet or a large extravagant event, meeting or exceeding our client’s desires is our

Ultimate Package 1 1 8 1 2 1 1

8 1 2 2 20 30

Bride Bouquet Maid Of Honor Bridesmaid Flower Girl Mothers’ Corsage Groom Boutonniere Best Man


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& More


1 1 3 1 2 1 1

2 1 2 2 8 10


Ushers Ring Bearer Fathers’ Altar Arrangements White Bows and Flowers Centerpieces for Reception

& More


& More

5,49500 3 1 2 2 10 10

Bride Bouquet Maid Of Honor Bridesmaid Flower Girl Mothers’ Corsage Groom Boutonniere Best Man



Bride Bouquet Maid Of Honor Bridesmaid Flower Girl Mothers’ Corsage Groom Boutonniere Best Man

Ushers Ring Bearer Fathers’ Altar Arrangements White Bows and Flowers Centerpieces for Reception

Silver Package Ushers Ring Bearer Fathers’ Altar Arrangements White Bows and Flowers Centerpieces for Reception

& More


Bronze Package I

Bronze Package II 1 1 2 1 2 1 1

6 1 2 2 20 25

Bride Bouquet Maid Of Honor Bridesmaid Flower Girl Mothers’ Corsage Groom Boutonniere Best Man


Gold Package 1 1 5 1 2 1 1

We have a fresh team of energetic, passionate & artistic designers. Our background comes from fresh floral design, retail management, hospitality, & visual merchandising. 13th Avenue Florist customizes each wedding to your specific needs & wants. We specialize in giving our brides today’s couture look while staying within their budget. We can meet all of your wedding floral needs such as bridal & bridesmaid bouquets, bridal portrait bouquet, toss bouquet, boutonnières, corsages, flower girl halos, petals, altar pieces, pew markers, guest book table décor, centerpieces, floating candles, votives, & so much more. Any theme can be created from country rustic to black tie formal.

top priority. As the co-founder of 13th Avenue Florist, George enjoys the opportunity to work with today’s brides to ensure that their special day is as beautiful as they dreamed it could be. His fifteen years experience in floral design combined with his innate sense of style and artistic flare allow him to provide customized designs that make any setting unforgettable. One of his strengths is the ability to produce beautiful florals in a variety of styles to suit the taste of any bride. 13th Avenue Florist is a floral & event design company here to create one of a kind designs for your special day. We pride ourselves in customer relations, quality & the attention to small details.

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5 1 2 2 8 10

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Ushers Ring Bearer Fathers’ Altar Arrangements White Bows and Flowers Centerpieces for Reception

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pictures Trends in videography


couple’s wedding day is often a whirlwind for the bride- and groom-to-be. Happy couples hope to remember every little detail, but that can be difficult when so much is going on. That is why many brides and grooms hire videographers to preserve the memories of their weddings. Couples who fail to capture their ceremony and reception on film may feel like they missed out once their big day has come and gone. As a result, a professional videographer can be a wise investment. Today’s wedding videos have come a long way from their poorly produced predecessors. Gone are the potentially cheesy soundbites and elevator music. Many of today’s videos are artfully edited and highly cinematic productions that could have couples wishing they were viewing videos in theaters. The following are some wedding video trends popular among today’s couples: Brief clips and highlights: Few people want to sit through their entire wedding day frame-by-frame. Montages of key elements of the day are much more popular than a chronological unfolding of the ceremony and reception. Some videographers like to show snippets of what’s to come at the start of the wedding video, then go into more extensive segments later on. Special filters or film: Filters and lighting effects can give a wedding video an entirely different feel. For example, filming in 8mm can lend a grainy touch to the video and make it seem ethereal or even part of a home movie collection. However, few people want the stark reality of a high-definition camera that highlights every flaw. Film chapters: Dividing segments of the video into different chapters allows viewers to fast forward to the parts they want to see and pass those they can skip. This saves the hassle of having to watch the video in its entirety. Cinematic styling: Instead of a stationary camera on a tripod, this method of filming incorporates different angles and close-up shots to give the video a 36

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modern feel. It’s shot more like a movie than a documentary, allowing viewers to feel as though they’re really experiencing the event. Artistic, indy feel: Film buffs may want a wedding video that breaks the mold. Ask videographers to create something that would fit in at the Sundance or Tribeca film festivals. Same-day editing: Want to revisit the ceremony at your wedding reception? Some videographers will edit portions of the ceremony and preparations for the big day in the time between the ceremony and reception. This gives all guests,

including those who may not have been able to make the ceremony, the chance to view the nuptials. Unobtrusive technology: This trend relates to the equipment used to capture wedding memories rather than the actual finished product. No one wants their view of the ceremony or reception to be marred by a big, bulky camera. Smaller video cameras enable videographers to seamlessly blend in and perhaps capture shots that larger cameras could not. Preserving wedding memories takes on new meaning when couples explore the growing trends in wedding videos.


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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.


| Wedding Guide

Curry favors Choosing the right reception gift for your guests


lanning a perfect wedding is no small undertaking. From scheduling venues and hiring vendors to tasting menus, lots of decisions must be made when planning a wedding. But when the pieces fall into place, the entire day can be magical. One of the final components of weddings are the favors guests will take home with them as mementos of the festivities. Though favors don’t require immediate attention, that does not mean couples should wait until the last minute to make decisions regarding their wedding favors. Brides- and grooms-to-be should not underestimate the importance of handing out wedding favors, a tradition with a rich history. A wedding favor is considered a symbol of good will to guests, and there are many different favors on the market. Finding the right one can take a little work. It is usually a good idea to find something that suits the theme of the wedding and is both long-lasting and practical. Try to avoid anything that is too kitschy. A couple’s budget should be considered when choosing wedding favors. A couple may want to give their guests lavish gifts but should only do so if their budget allows. It may be challenging for couples to find favors that fit the theme of their wedding, as well as their own personalities and budgets. But it can be done. The following are some favor-finding guidelines.

Be creative Wedding favors can be just about anything, so there’s no need to stick to Jordan almonds or wine bottle stoppers. The more creative couples are, the more receptive their guests will likely be. For example, for an autumn-theme wedding, fill mason jars

with the ingredients for a spiced cake and give the recipe directions on a tag. For a summer wedding, gift guests with a sun and surf survival bag, full of sunblock, a beach towel, and sunglasses. Complete the theme Some weddings follow a particular theme from start to finish, and wedding favors should stick with that theme. Couples who will showcase their love of travel on their wedding days may want to give guests keychains or purse holders that feature popular landmarks around the world. Those who are admitted beach bums may want to present a small fishbowl with sand and a goldfish inside, reminiscent of days at the seashore. Go traditional Couples who opt for universally appealing favors can lean toward some popular options such as silver cake servers, candlestick holders, decorative photo frames, or engraved keepsake boxes. Aim for favors that have utility. Otherwise, favors may end up collecting dust on someone’s shelf. Food and drink gifts are fun Food favors mean guests can enjoy their gifts and not have to worry about finding space inside their homes to display trinkets. Food favors can be lavishly decorated cookies, fine chocolates, petit fours, small bottles of champagne or cupcakes decorated like the wedding cake. Favors are often integral to wedding celebrations. Selecting a favor that will be appreciated and fit with the wedding is often a fun and stress-free part of planning a wedding.

Photo: Sarah Tew photography



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ou may not know a peplum from a pepperoni, but as 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. So what trends will fashion-forward, Big-Apple brides boast in 2015? We consulted the experts:

styles and silhouettes Up-to-date wives-to-be prefer a look that is less traditional and more glamorous. “Brides are starting to steer away from the classic big ballroom gown with lots of ruching,” says New York-based personal shopper and image consultant, Mona Sharaf. “They want form-fitting evening gowns with a lot less embellishment.” Art deco-style dresses that reflect the 1920s and ’30s embody this trend with their geometric beading and seaming, slim and fluid silhouettes, and low-cut backs with a dash of “Great Gatsby” glamour. “Modern brides like a bit of bling and sparkle that’s done in an Old Hollywood rather than a ‘princess-y’ way,” explains designer Rebecca Schoneveld, who opened the Brooklyn-based Rebecca Schoneveld Design Studio in 2013. sleeves and necklines Strapless gowns have long been — and still are — a bridal-boutique staple, but sleeved styles are currently undergoing a renaissance. Flowing bell sleeves are beginning to burgeon, as are cap sleeves, which literally “cap” the shoulder with their width that is wider than a strap but narrower than a short sleeve. And thanks to Kate Middleton’s Alexander McQueen wedding dress, long and lace sleeves are very fashionable. “I love the trend of longer lace sleeves,” says Schoneveld. “Especially for fall and winter weddings.” Schoneveld has also noticed that necklines are rising. In fact, many of her clients want a sheer lace top, which gives a dress an illusion V- or bateau(boat) neckline. “You still get the flattering fit of a strapless bustier with the illusion neckline,” says Schoneveld. “But with the comfort and design detail of a higher neckline.” » iSaBella armStrong

“Your Ideas, Our Creations”

Weddings Bridal & Baby Showers Sweet 16 Bar/Bat Mitzvah Quinceanera Corporate Events & More Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

Favors • Invitations • Decorations • Gifts & More

Invitations by:

• Arlene Segal Designs • Cést Pappier • Birchcraft Studios • Carlson Craft • Our own custom-made invitations

We carry a full line of favors & gift including: Lenox ◆ Debora Carlucci ◆ Juliska Italian Imports D’Lusso and many more!

Rentals • Wishing Wells • Umbrellas • Candy & Cake Displays • Centerpieces • Trees etc Unique Seating Displays • Customized Candy Tables



Pia Gladys’s silky jersey gathered bodice, deep back, wide belt, and column skirt gathered at the waist.


| Wedding Guide

Jean Ralph Thurin’s embroidered tulle gown with curved deep front and back neckline with crystals. »

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Isabelle Armstrongâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s corded lace over sparkle organza with a dramatic neckline and illusion back.


| Wedding Guide

Sabrina Dahan long-sleeved, threedimensional cream A-line gown of silk tulle with organza applique.

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| Wedding Guide

Let us make your Wedding, Prom, Sweet 16, Quinceañera, or Bat Mitzvah “the” glamour event, by outfitting your entire party

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Weddings Engagements Showers Corporate Events Sweet 16s Sirico’s offers you a variety of Dinner, Cocktail, and Buffet options. We can create any theme for your occasion with unique LED lighting options & special decor packages.

8015/23 13th Avenue Dyker Heights Brooklyn, NY 11228



A couple on the

Bria and Nate’s workplace meeting leads to a New York wedding

By Ily Goyanes | Photos by Stylish & Hip weddings Photography


ometimes when you meet someone, you just know that you have a shared destiny. Bria and Nate met at work, when they both worked at start-up in Scottsdale, Ariz. “My manager was giving me a tour of the office and I remember he was wearing a bowtie and I said to myself, ‘I want to date this guy,’ ” recalls Bria. “A month later we were dating and six months later we moved in together across the country to New York City.” Nate, wary of becoming what he calls “the creep at work that preys on the new girl,” chose to resist the attraction at first — which confused some relatives. “It only led to her mother questioning my sexual orientation,” he said. Their former workplace not only played a role in their meeting; it played a role in their engagement as well. “We had an awards trip to Mexico for work, so I decided to capitalize on the opportunity,” said Nate. “I had to have my friend, Leonzo, carry the ring through airport security, because I was terrified they were going to stop me and I would have to get on my knee in the middle of JFK.” Fortunately, there was no need for an airport proposal, and the couple’s shared love for all things New York made choosing the locations for the ceremony and reception a breeze. The couple married in Brooklyn Bridge Park, at the top of the Granite Prospect staircase, and then everyone rode the ferry to Manhattan for the reception at the Kitchen Table. The venue, a loft space in Little Italy, happened to be on the same block as the San Gennaro Feast, a huge Italian festival that was taking place that same day. “The guys got cigars, the girls zeppolis and gelato, and we all played different festival games. Walking through a crowded festival like that in a wedding dress led to a lot of congrats from locals,” Bria recalled fondly. “It was the best ending to the best day.” Aside from venue selection, there was another aspect to the wedding planning that went quite smoothly. “Cupcake testing,” says Nate. “Twenty different flavors and tons of coffee. Best. Morning. Ever.” Choosing venues was easy, but finalizing the guest list proved difficult. “When we started looking at venues for 60-plus people, we realized we would never be able to afford it, which meant the tough decision of cutting back the guest


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Winter | Spring 2016



list to having what we called an ‘expanded elopement’ with our immediate family and our bridal party. This narrowed our guest list to a whopping 20 guests.” Neither Nate or Bria like being the center of attention, so both were nervous before the big day. “I had a hard time sleeping, and apparently so did Nate,” Bria recalled. “I was laying in bed at 5:30 am when I got a text from Nate that said ‘I can’t wait to marry you today.’ That text and knowing I would see him that day turned my nerves into excitement.” Nate says he felt better once he saw his beautiful bride. “It was breathtaking and relieving. She looked so beautiful, but after being separated the night before to deal with all of the pre-game jitters, it felt good to have my partner-in-crime back.” Having just celebrated their one year anniversary on Sept. 19, Bria is glad that she went with her gut while planning the wedding. “In an age of Pinterest and myself being admittedly indecisive, it was really hard to make all of the decisions in six months. Since friends and family were traveling so far for our wedding and most weren’t local, I wanted to make it as easy on them as possible, but with the best experience. So a lot of the things I spent time on were details like making sure local wines and beers were available, picking out a chef who could make local fresh food, and picking a unique bakery to provide our cake and cupcakes. I focused a little less on the details you see on Pinterest and tried to keep it simple and focus on things people would remember about the wedding.” She added, “My advice to other brides is to keep these things in mind when you’re planning your wedding, especially on a time crunch. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the details, but at the end of the day, if you pick out what you want your guests to remember from your wedding, and focus on those, they’ll remember it forever, and I promise you … it won’t be your centerpieces.” 52

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(Clockwise from top left) Nate and Bria’s reception coincided with the San Genaro Feast in Little Italy. The couple had a small guest count. Bubbles escort the newlyweds down the aisle. Cupcakes from Red Hook. Reception decor featured photos of their families.

vendors photographer Jenny MacFarlane, Stylish and Hip Wedding Photography wedding planner and coordinator Anthony Zaccone, ADZ Events private chef Linda Sarris of The Cheeky Chef Reception venue The Kitchen Table cake and cupcakes Baked (Red Hook, Brooklyn) invitations makeup Pucker hair Lucia at DryBar Tribeca dress Nicole Miller suit H&M

Winter | Spring 2016



City lights Carolyn and Justin’s big day was full of personal touches — down to the aisle runner By Ily Goyanes | Photos by Stylish & Hip weddings Photography


t some points during your love life, such as when being proposed to, you may feel as if fireworks are going off … metaphorically speaking, of course. But sometimes, fireworks actually do light up the sky, especially when you plan an event perfectly. And as the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Day, when Justin asked Carolyn to be his wife, real fireworks indeed lit up the night sky. Justin recalled the proposal, which happened during a family trip to the Philippines. “I decided to pop the question in Boracay Island, Philippines. We were at a beach club, the music was blasting, the people were excited, and the countdown started. I reached in my pocket for the ring, and as soon the clock struck midnight, I got down on one knee and popped the question, she said yes, obviously, and the champagne started flowing and the fireworks were going off. I couldn’t have planned it out in my head any better.” “The proposal was the most perfect thing that has ever happened to me besides our wedding day,” Carolyn adds. Husband and wife met in a much more reserved setting, however. On their way to a review class for their nursing boards, the two happened to get in the same elevator. It was kismet. “At first glance when I walked into that elevator, I thought to myself, ‘Wow, she’s beautiful, but get


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your head on straight. You’re here for the most important test of your life.’ Well, that pretty much just turned into me asking her for help to ‘study’ for the test,” jokes Justin. “Which led to her coming over my house and study.” Having both grown up on Staten Island, and having several mutual friends, it was a wonder the two hadn’t met before. Neither knew that their shared ride on the elevator would lead to sharing their lives. “We were the only ones in the same elevator,” recalls Carolyn. “Who would know we would end up in the same room?” The couple did get some actual studying done and passed their exams. Carolyn works at a CVS Minute Clinic and Justin works at the emergency room at Staten Island University Hospital. After such a spectacular proposal, one might think there would be pressure to throw an equally dramatic wedding, but the couple’s main concern was having a personalized wedding, rather than a cookie-cutter ceremony and reception. They chose a venue with lofts, rooftop space, and panoramic views of New York City, Studio Square in Queens. Plus, they added several personal touches. “From the personalized napkins and straws, to the boutonnieres for the groomsmen — made of fabric flowers in our color — and the aisle runner,” Carolyn shares the many aspects that were personalized. “We also hired a vintage cab for photos, which was really fun.” 56

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She added, “The ceremony was unique because we had an officiant who told more of a story about our meeting and falling in love and we also wrote our own vows.” Justin recalls those custom details fondly. “We had this really awesome personalized cake topper, both of us in our nursing scrubs, and they put our puppy Pomeranian Luna in there too, who also walked down the aisle with our flower girl, Anna. We also hand wrote our favorite movie quotes, song quotes, and bible quotes on our aisle runner, to throw a little extra jazz on what’s usually a plain white sheet.” After all their wedding homework, which included YouTube videos on how to make a boutonniere, the two couldn’t help but be a tad nervous on the biggest day of their lives. “Anybody that isn’t nervous on the day of their wedding is either crazy or lying,” kidded Justin. “However, I was nervous about the actual logistics of the wedding and making sure everything went smoothly as possible. My wife deserved to have a memorable day and I wanted to make sure she got that.” Like her husband, Carolyn only sweated the logistics. “I was super nervous the day would not go smoothly. There are a lot of moving parts — as with any big event.” Of course, all the nervous excitement was worth it in the end. “Marrying him was the easiest and best decision I have ever made,” says Carolyn.

vendors photo Stylish & Hip Photography video Grasmere Hills Productions florist Carroll’s Florist gown Kleinfeld Bridal tuxes Phil’s Tuxedos tables and chairs Smith Party Rentals band The Bandulos dJ Danny Estrella (M2M) special guest dJ (surprise for the groom) Cosmo Baker officiant Matt Levy catering and cake The Sterling Caterers

(Opposite page, from top) The bridal party strikes a pose. The couple recites their vows. (This page, clockwise from top left) Carolyn and Justin enjoy their reception. The couple wrote their favorite quotes on their aisle runner. Their dog Luna walked with the flower girl. The groom busts a move on the dance floor. The bouquet featured crystal brooches. Winter | Spring 2016



it takes a

Village Stephanie and Patrick’s diy wedding comes together with the help of friends

By ily goyanes | PhotoS By irene Bella photography


ometimes a woman has to take matters into her own hands… Stephanie and Patrick met through a mutual friend while she was in a relationship. As time passed, and that relationship ended, the two spent more and more time together, hanging out as buds. Eventually, she realized that she liked this guy who made her laugh and shared her tastes in music. But according to all accounts, Patrick, who was also on the rebound, wasn’t an easy nut to crack. When she told him that she was interested in him romantically, he told her that they were both getting over a breakup and that he didn’t want to ruin their friendship. “I tell my friend Jesus, and he tells me it would take a year for me to break Patrick down,” recalls Stephanie. Well, Stephanie finds that more of a challenge than a warning, and pointed out that she was up to it. Eventually, Patrick could no longer resist his feelings and the two fall asleep in each other’s arms after their first kiss. He eventually admited that turning her down the first time was a big mistake. The second mistake was botching his original proposal. “I had this whole thing planned out. The city had commissioned a fake living


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room to be built high above the ground, in the middle of Columbus Circle, right at the foot of the statue. What a better place to propose than in a spot that would only exist for a few weeks, with a view that only a statue gets?” Patrick exclaimed. “Well, the ring that I had ordered online a month before hadn’t arrived,” he continues. “So we go up there and stand around awkwardly. For some reason, I stupidly thought I couldn’t propose without a ring. I ending up asking her the next week, at home, on the couch.” After dating for five years, and then a two-year engagement, the two tied the knot on Sept. 6 of this year, the day after Patrick’s birthday. The ceremony and reception were real do-it-yourself affairs, with friends, family, and even bosses pitching in. Patrick, a film and television engineer, works at Post Factory in Tribeca, and his bosses let the couple use the gorgeous office building, with its wood floors, vaulted ceilings, and vintage and rustic furniture, as the location for the ceremony and reception. “My office has a small number of employees, whom I’ve worked with for several years,” Patrick explained. “Since the wedding was at the office, my co-workers were happy to volunteer. The sound mixer was our DJ, the accounting department were our caterers, the I.T. department filled in as ushers. It was quite the ‘family’ affair.” Stephanie pointed out that the couple was blessed to be surrounded by friends and family willing to put their 60

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hearts and souls into the preparations. “So many people volunteered their services,” she said. “And all of our friends are just so talented that it all came together amazingly.” Patrick agreed. “Our friends were instrumental in keeping things going. Even the day after, when my new wife and I had to clean up the office to turn it back into a workspace, our friends came out to help.” With all the help, it was hard to feel nervous on the big day, but Stephanie says she was a little nervous about being the center of attention. Patrick’s only concern was that all the components would come together. “Planning was the hardest part,” he shares. “I understand now the importance of a wedding planner. The save the dates, invitations, websites, table centerpieces, and so on, were all created by us. There was no template or guide, just a vague idea of what we wanted and then made it happen.” Fortunately, everything went perfectly, resulting in a true do-it-yourself wedding and wonderful memories. “The first time I saw the dress was when she walked down the aisle,” Patrick says, recalling one of his most relished memories of their wedding day. “Everything after that moment is a blur, but that moment I’ll always remember.” And the best part? “Having a partner and best friend to help plan and create an awesome day,” he said.

vendors make up Janis Marino photo Irene Bella of Irene Bella Photography dessert Buttermilk Bake Shop bartender Matt Review (Opposite page, clockwise) The bridal party celebrates after the ceremony. Patrick recites his vows. The ceremony and reception were held at the groomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s place of work. Stephanie walks down the aisle. (Above) The couple wrote their own vows. (Left) Stephanie gets ready.

Winter | Spring 2016



Scene setting the

James and Nicole’s love of movies and books shines through

By Ily Goyanes | Photos by sarah tew


ames, a philosopher and professor, was not normally shy, but became flustered the first time he met Nicole after being introduced by a mutual friend. “I remember that I kind of gasped,” he recalled. “I knew that she was interesting, but I did not know that she was going to be that good-looking, too. Acting shy at first sight, he some how was able to hold it together through the first date — even after he had a bit of a meltdown. Since then, Nicole has realized James has a much more out-going personality. “I didn’t know then that he’s not at all a shy person,” Nicole recalled. “Now that I do, I wish I had it on camera. It was this very cute little five-second meltdown —


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vendors photographer Sarah Tew flowers Opalia Flowers did the bouquet and the kissing ball our ring bearer used. They also provided the flowers for the reception, which our family friend, Margaret Moulton, arranged. day of coordinator Joshua Gregory at Housing Works Bookstore and Cafe map Naomi Leeman (nleeman at signage Hellomygem on and DesignsbySoaringBird on decorative banners Vintagebabydoll on transportation Grayline Tours save the date Designed by bride, printed at Soho Letterpress invitations Designed by bride with artist Annie Sieg, printed at Soho Reprographics

(Clockwise this page from left) The newlyweds walk down the aisle. The ceremony was held at a Chelsea church. The flower girls drop petals. (Clockwise opposite page) The guests board a double-decker bus headed for the reception. The couple hosted their reception at Housing Works Bookstore in a nod to their love of books, movies, and music.

he rallied quickly.” Taking a walk through Prospect Park, James and Nicole spent their first meeting discussing books and film, so it makes perfect sense that James proposed at their favorite movie theater and that their wedding reception was held at a bookstore. James was living in Virginia at the time and neither the mutual friend, nor James and Nicole considered the introduction a set up of any sort, but the cultured duo hit it off, and James would drive to Brooklyn from Virginia every weekend to spend time with Nicole. A little more than a year later, James popped the question at Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg, as the previews before the film “The Trip to Italy” played. Nicole was prepared for the question since she had helped James choose the ring. “He wanted to surprise me, but I worried he’d spend a ton of money on a ring — he’s much more extravagant than I am — and so I insisted on helping to pick it out.” James recalled first visiting Tiffany’s and Harry Winston, before heading to Erica Weiner where they found the perfect ring — a 1940s, Asscher-cut diamond engagement ring and wedding band combination in both white and yellow gold. After the cinematic proposal, it was just a matter of planing a wedding that captured their shared love of culture. On May 30, the couple’s friends and families gathered at the Church of the Transfiguration in Chelsea to witness the couple exchange their vows. They chose the church 64

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due to its stunning architecture and incredible history. The “Wedding Church” or the “Little Church Around the Corner” as locals call it, was part of the Underground Railroad and the location of the first same-sex wedding in the Diocese of New York. James, ever the perfectionist, was stressing out on the big day. “I did not think that I was going to be nervous,” he said. “But I was, big time, by the time I was in the church. My sister Alyce was the person who told me that I was to calm down and relax — otherwise she would hit me. It worked.” Nicole walked down the aisle to an original song by her former roommate at Brown University, as a boys choir performed accompanied by organ music. The couple nailed music for the ceremony, but choosing music for the reception proved to be the most difficult aspect to planning for their big day. However, after some debate over DJs and playlists, the music proved to be somewhat inconsequential, says James. “As it happens, we were very late in starting the music and not very many people were up for dancing. They were too busy talking and drinking.” And there was plenty to talk about, starting with the ride from the church to the reception. Guests boarded an open-top, double-decker bus for the ride to the reception at Housing Works Bookstore and Cafe in SoHo, where the seating chart was organized according to movie posters and the wedding favors were egg cups. Yes, egg cups.

The wedding favors included an explanation about the “great egg cup debate,” which took place in the beginning of their relationship and culminated in Nicole gifting James with a personalized egg cup. For the record, James was pro-egg cup and Nicole was con. And while the couple may have debated over music and kitchenware, the reception venue was a no-brainer from Day One. “My family and friends are academics and teachers, and Nicole’s family and friends teach and write and are artists, so it was appropriate that we celebrated the wedding surrounded by books and LPs and posters featuring writers and artists,” says James. “And Housing Works Bookstore and Cafe is a charity, so the proceeds went to the needy.” The couple also loved being able to share their love of New York with their guests. Since many guests were from out of town, the couple had custom-drawn maps made. “The maps had little sketches of our three locations — the church, Housing Works, and the Counting Room, a bar in Brooklyn where we had a gathering the night before,” says Nicole. “We included little maps in the invitations, plus there was a big map at the reception space.” So after some close calls and frayed nerves, both James and Nicole had the customized wedding of their dreams. And it was all captured by photographer Sarah Tew. “She is an artist,” says James. “We called her a ninja because she took lots of amazing shots and yet we did not even know that she was there. My advice to everyone is — get a great photographer, whatever else you do.” Winter | Spring 2016



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 fairytale. 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. 66

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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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Winter spring 2016 weddingguide  
Winter spring 2016 weddingguide