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LET IT BRIE: Constructing the Perfect Cheese Plate

to Parties

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We are committed to providing each We are committed to providing each client, friendmember and family client, friend and family with

memberexperience with anof unrivaled an unrivaled a lifetime. experience of a lifetime. Hosting Hosting only one elegant event at a only one elegant event at a time and having over twenty years of time and having over twenty

experience allows us to provide each years of experience allows us of our patrons withour individual to valued provide each of valued service, affair and patrons withcustomization individual service, affair customization and keen keen attention to detail. As guests of to feel detail. guests our attention facility, we youAs deserve

of less. our facility, we feel you nothing deserve nothing less.

The warmth, comfort and charm ofand The The warmth, comfort Estatecharm offers of a truly The unique Estatesetting offersfor a

uniqueday. setting for your your truly most special Our Georgianspecial day. Our Georgianstyle most mansion boasts expansive style mansion boasts expansive gardens, spacious and elegant rooms gardens, spacious and elegant and décor, world-class cuisine and rooms and décor, worldexpert and cuisine courteousand and class

courteous At The Estate, staff. we are devoted to At The Estate, areeverything devoted making your specialwe day to making your special day you dreamed it would be… and much everything you dreamed it

more. We would love the opportunity to would be... and much more. be a We partwould of your beautiful beginning, love the opportunity your to wonderful journey and abeautiful day you be a part of your beginning, will remember for ayour lifetime.wonderful

journey and a day you will remember 97 Rivervale Rd.for a lifetime. River Vale, NJ 07675 P: 201-666-0444 | F: 201-666-3032 River Vale, NJ 07675 P: 201-666-0444 | F: 201-666-3032




and much more

Publishers S h a r o n & St e v e n G o l d St e i n

Associate Publisher B r a n d o n G o l d St e i n

Marketing Director S a l ly l i n c o l n

Editor J u St i n dav i d S o n

Art Director MeGhan BaShaw

Contributing Editor n ay da r o n d o n

Contributing Writers Michael Barkley J e n n i f e r B o n a z zo d e a n n a B r a n n , P h . d. J e S S i c a h u M P h r e y- c i n t i n e o eMMa deMar G i l l i a n k ay e t i f fa n y n i e l S e n c r i St i n P o n t i l lo liz Gizelle rodriGuez r ac h e l r o n d o n GaBriela SalaManca teSSa viole

Contributing Event Planners lu x e e v e n t S aart eventS & deSiGn k r a f t e v e n t M a n aG e M e n t Make an iMPreSSion no liMitS eventS

Bc the Magazine Occasions is published by BC the Mag find us at for advertising and information, please call 201-265-2286 copyright 2014. all materials are the property of Bergen county the Magazine, llc., and may not be copied or reproduced without the written consent from the publishers.


“L ive a go o d life. In t he end it is not t he ye ars in a life, but t he life in t he ye ars.” — A B R A HA M L I N C O L N

WELCOME ON A DAY LIKE TODAY, WHEN THE SUN TRIES DESPERATELY YET FRUITLESSLY TO MELT AWAY THE SNOW OF HOURS AND DAYS PAST, I STARE OUT THE WINDOW CRAVING THE RELATIVE WARMTH OF THE SPRING SUNSHINE. I’m well aware that the world doesn’t stop when it snows, but the fifth grader in me likes to convince myself that it does. How great would it be if we didn’t have to go to work, and instead could just sip hot chocolate and read by the fire or go sledding all day long? Of course, life can’t be that good! Despite the relentless frostbite and potholes that you’ve undoubtedly become accustomed to by now, there is one thing to take away from this winter: No matter how cold it may be, the party doesn’t stop. The celebrations were endless this winter. Bar Mitzvahs and weddings lasted late into the frigid night, as the warmth and happiness of friends and family made all in attendance forget the Polar Vortex that awaited them beyond the grand banquet hall doors. And so begins the countdown to spring! In the coming months, we estimate that about 300 beautiful brides will walk down the aisle in Bergen County, and we hope to capture just some of that magic. With the flowers set to bloom around BC, we sat down with Adam Leffel of Adam Leffel Productions/Petals Premier to find out the ins and outs of his incredible floral designs. As a vendor for some of the biggest weddings and events in North Jersey, Adam is in the business of making events special, something he does time and time again. Then we turn to Jason Frankel, the proud owner of Excel Entertainment. Jason’s knack for the right music at the right time has been building in him since he was a toddler. A young jack-of all-trades, Jason’s versatile approach to entertainment has revitalized the North Jersey event scene. Of course, there is so much more within these pages. From dealing with a pesky mother-in-law to what to wear to the big event, our expert advice is all you will need to host, or attend, the party of your life! Be happy, and be healthy. THE DETAILS:

May the party never stop,

Cover: Styling by AptArtment 34, photo by Aubrie pick, 18. From top: SAy “yeS” to meliSSA Sweet’S corded lAce trumpet gown, 46. AdAm leffel doeS the finiShing toucheS juSt right, 8. jASon frAnkel will keep your pArty going into the wee hourS, 30. cold weAther got you down? turn to pAge 52 for Some winter wedding inSpirAtion. whether you’re Shopping for you or your loved one, AyeShA Studio hAS Something for everyone, 36



8 P E Ta l P o w E r From daises to daffodils, adam leffel has your floral needs covered

14 wEddIng BEll BlISS making room for your mother-in-law

18 w h Y n oT n o w ? don’t let the fine china collect dust. host a dinner party already!

22 c o c k Ta I l S It’s time for you to try something new. we asked christopher James, the award-winning bartender at The ryland Inn for a few drink suggestions that are sure to impress your dinner party guests

44 I ’ m E n g ag E d ! Scenes from maria Fruci’s engagement party

46 a To u c h o F S w E E T n E S S In this exclusive interview, wedding gown designer melissa Sweet chats about everything from her rise to prominence to new trends



wEddIng In a wInTEr wondErland Your wedding doesn’t have to look and feel like christmas just because it falls during the winter months

gala SEaSon local hospitals party with a purpose


a d v E n T u r E aq u a r I u m make a splash for your next big party

E xc E l E n T E r Ta I n m E n T versatility and vision powered by a true entertainment entrepreneur

Pa u l a a n d PaT r I c k a dream day for a lovely couple




T h E Fa S h I o n r u l E S we caught up with Suite201 to talk about how to look your best in 2014

JESSIca and mIchaEl a lovely affair overlooking the hudson

kId TImE Your youngster will have a blast at these kid-friendly Bc venues

28 SEEkIng wordS oF chEESEdom… let it Brie


36 JEwElrY Two local jewelers showcase these fabulous pieces

40 F I v E P E r F E c T lo o k S F o r anY occaSIon liz gizelle rodriguez of 217 Beauty helped us assemble these looks that will have you looking simply stunning

42 E n g ag E m E n T r I n g S If you love her, then you should put (the right) ring on it

58 m Y w E d d I n g daY why I chose Seasons

62 T h E B r a z I l I a n c o u r T h oT E l & B E ac h c lu B a relaxing honeymoon? Yes, please!

68 B r a h m ’ S B a r m I T z va h not your typical sports-themed affair

69 BEnnETT’S BIg gamE a championship caliber Bar mitzvah


79 m a d E l I n E ’ S F I r ST B I r T h daY a disney bash fit for minnie mouse

80 a rESourcE guIdE For all your party needs

86 FIndIng BalancE These five advanced yoga poses will soothe your soul

88 c IS For cookIE The party is over, and now it’s time for dessert. what does your cookie choice say about you?

The Event of a Lifetime

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PETAL POWER FROM DAISIES TO DAFFODILS, ADAM LEFFEL HAS YOUR FLORAL NEEDS COVERED ADAM LEFFEL, THE CREATIVE director and owner of Petals Premier and Adam Leffel Productions, has been making dreams a reality for over ten years. With his sharp eye for design, floral expertise and a talented group of designers by his side, the Bergen County native has built one of the strongest reputations in the event industry. In the last decade, over 4,000 brides have enlisted Adam to help plan one of the biggest days of their lives. Adam puts his heart and soul into each floral arrangement, which are assembled with roses, lilies and magnolias from some of the best flower farms from across the world. Adam goes beyond just flowers. His company also provides custom lighting, linens and furniture to accommodate any bride. Adam does all that he can to ensure that each event runs smoothly. With Petals Premier’s many relationships in the floral industry, he keeps clients happy by following through with each and every order. If a particular flower is not in season, Adam will tap into his many connections in the business so that he can deliver a beautiful arrangement that satisfies the requests of his clientele for every occasion. When Adam first entered the professional world, he worked in finance, not flowers. In 1995, he was

trading stocks, but as the world of finance started to change, Adam decided he was up for a new challenge. During this time, he was living on the Upper West Side and met an NYU graduate student who lived in the same apartment building. As fate would have it, this young woman’s roommate was dating his roommate. A friendship soon blossomed. They soon started dating and the rest is history. After getting married in Los Angeles in 1998, Adam started to surprise his wife with a weekly bouquet of flowers. He relished the time spent handpicking the perfect arrangement for his young wife. It was through this act of love and kindness that Adam was able to catch a glimpse into the world of floral design. When an opportunity for him to purchase a flower shop came about, Adam seized the moment. Shortly after opening the shop, Adam realized there was more potential in the events side of floral design, and he sold his retail store. He moved the business to Hackensack, the site of his current studio and a 10,000-square-foot warehouse that houses production and lighting equipment, as well as customizable furniture. Petals Premier and Adam Leffel Productions do more than just weddings. Adam and his team also pro-

Spring 2014


vide flowers and decorative pieces for sweet sixteens, corporate events and Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. In fact, his daughter recently celebrated a Bat Mitzvah of her own, and according to Adam, it was one for the ages. “It was a lounge theme, so we built custom props, had dance cages, daybeds, ottomans, couches, light up tables and a custom candy bar,” he said. “All one-of-a-kind items that her classmates hadn’t seen so we were able to make something unusual and special for her,” said Leffel. He’s in the business of making events feel special, and it is something he takes tremendous pride in doing. In October 2013, Petals Premier and Adam Leffel Productions worked 40 events in 30 days—their most successful month to date. With such a jam-packed schedule, Adam still makes time to be around his loving wife, two daughters, and son. He realizes the happiness and joy that he brings other families, and recognizes the importance of doing the same with his own on a daily basis. “Family is above everything else,” said Leffel. “I am a family man. I love my kids. I love my wife and everything that I do is for them,” he continued. “You know, we are here for a short time. We have to make the most of it, live every day like it’s our last and do the right thing.” With a successful business, and a happy home, Adam is thriving at doing precisely that.—RACHEL RONDON





What is your favorite part about workThe challenge and excitement of making every dream into a reality and seeing conclusion of an event. You can see with the types of reviews that we get; I think we do a very good job of that. What have you found to be some of the A lot of people are into orchids. Orchids certainly have a reputation of being a elegant. People also like hydrangeas and peonies. Roses are timeless. Calla lilies, of course, are very durable, very elegant and very sexy.

Yes we do. Our proximity to Manhattan

Every client is different and it really can be anywhere between two and 24 months. If you want to say what that

What is the best way for a pro-

Rarely. Perhaps in the wintertime, it is a little more off-peak than usual. business but it is a little bit more manageable compared to the rest of the year. But prime time for us is more or less from March to October.


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We have not been blessed to go away to any fabulous places yet, but we are waiting our turn. However, we are capable of sourcing destination weddings, absolutely.

relationships with several venues. We are very competitively priced; I am giving them New York execution at a New Jersey price.

It's a combination of things! We have a consultation widget that we just activated on our Facebook page. This allows anyone to see a real time calendar of my availability and to make appointments electronically. Alternately, they can email me directly or call the available beyond what is posted and options for weekend appointments.


Have you worked on any weddings for your family members? business relates to your experience

Are you able to meet with every bride yourself? I do the majority of my consultations but thankfully, my business is bigger than

er skills also correlate including being

am a very hands-on owner and I am in

Do you enjoy the pressure that comes with the business?


designer, Patricia, is my assistant and


taking some of the load off doing con-

Do you think any of your children would eventually be interested in working with you and taking over your business?

Visit Adam online at adamleffel, or find him on Hackensack, call (201) 487-1300

Has owning your own business always been one of your personal goals? You know, I think after I left trading and

Do you advise brides to bring a variety of photographs and ideas of what they may be interested in to the consultation?

going to be the same anymore that is

have recognized things that they might where I would be able to control my that I was going to get involved in a business where there is technically no What advice would give to a arrangements?

bride may not be able to articulate of the things her eyes tell her she likes

for, recognize the consistency, make design suggestions and tell them we can make sure that we are as equi-

What flowers did you have at your own wedding? -

and only realized after the fact, now of


















Wedding Bell Bliss , TH 2014


WEDDING SEASON WILL BE HERE before you know it. Until the big day arrives, brides have so much to think about and plan— invitations, dresses, showers, flowers, cakes, reception details, and so on. The list seems endless! But one vital element for making the day flawless is often forgotten: deciding how to “manage” your future mother-in-law. This relationship, after all, may feel a bit awkward at first. Your fiancé’s mother is not your mother, and she’s also not really your friend, yet she’s about to become a big part of what you hope will be the rest of your life. As if that wasn’t stressful enough, you have no doubt heard all sorts of stories about what an absolute nightmare mothers-in-law can be. It doesn’t exactly tempt you to embrace this near stranger with wild abandon, does it? 14

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No two mothers-in-law are alike. Each lady comes with her own personality, demeanor, and style based on her life experiences, personal history, and yes, her own emotional baggage. To make both your wedding and your future life with your mother-in-law go as smoothly as possible, it helps to know more about the cards you’ve been dealt. With that in mind, below are descriptions of the four basic types of mothers-in-law, excerpted from the book Reluctantly Related: Secrets To Getting Along With Your Motherin-Law Or Daughter-in-Law. Figuring out which category she’s in will go a long way toward helping you see the best way to handle any situation that arises with her—wedding or otherwise—so you can avoid stress or tension before it occurs.—Dr. Deanna Brann





She has created a new identity for herself beyond that of “mother.” She is clear that her new role in her son’s life is secondary to his wife’s role.


She struggles with letting go of her mom role. She wants everything to be the way it’s always been, even though circumstances are now different. She not only wants to continue to mother her son, but she also views her daughterin-law as a “daughter,” which means she wants to mother her as well.


She comes across as mean, insensitive, and self-centered. Everything is about her and what she feels, wants and needs. Her behavior is often extreme.


She has let go of her son, but she is uncertain about her new role as a mother to an adult child and to a daughter-in-law. Sometimes she tries too hard, and sometimes she just misses the mark.


EXPERT ADVICE keeping your mother-in-law’s “type” in mind, consider the following tips for starting out on the right foot and setting the tone for how your relationship will go: 1. DeciDe what you will call her Figuring out what you are comfortable calling your future mother-in-law may not seem like a big deal to you, but it’s a really big deal to her. once you’ve made the decision, talk with her about your choice so she can get used to it. let her wear it for a while.

300 Third Avenue Westwood, NJ 07675 201.722.1700 51 New Bridge Road Bergenfield, NJ 07621 201.384.1992



·On Set Hair and Makeup ·HD Airbrush Makeup ·Traditional Makeup ·Hair Design ·Hair Extension ·Eye Lash Application ·Airbrush Spray Tan

2. GiVe her a Piece oF the action let her be part of the preparations – as well as the wedding itself. you can assign her major duties or small tasks, but be sure to give her something to do that she can feel good about that will ensure she won’t feel pushed aside or ignored. 3. ask her For inPut remember, this is her child’s wedding too. you don’t have to let her make the most critical decisions, but asking her for her opinion now and then is a gracious gesture that will make her feel valued. 4. let her join in the Fun if you’re having a “nail” day or other excursion that includes your mother and bridesmaids, consider asking your future mother-in-law to come along. you don’t have to ask her every time, but extending a few invitations assures her that you want her to be a part of your new life with her son. 5. share with her keep her updated on the wedding plans and share some of the funny stories with her. Many mothers of the groom feel as though the wedding is happening around them, with them being merely passive observers instead of key players. help her to have some special memories that she can share with her friends, too.


above all, remember to speak and act with kindness and compassion. trust me, it never hurts to be gracious, and your efforts will go a long way toward ensuring that everyone lives happily ever after!

Contact 201.228.9492

{ Liz Gizelle }

Deanna Brann, Ph.D., is the author of Reluctantly Related: Secrets To Getting Along With Your Mother-in-Law or Daughter-in-Law and Mothersin-Law and Daughters-in-Law Say the Darndest Things. Visit her online at

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Text By Tiffany Nielsen » styling by Aptartment 34 » photos by Aubrie Pick


Don’t let the fine china collect dust. Host a dinner party already! MY HUSBAND AND I BECAME ENTHRALLED BY Amsterdam’s picturesque antique district while walking through it this past summer on vacation. Even thought it was raining, passersby slowed down to press against the glass and gaze at the whimsical treasures on the other side. As we walked down each cobblestone street, we would stop to take a look at these charming shops, filled with beautiful furniture, artwork, and silver. I could picture precisely how I would use each item I dreamed of purchasing for my home. One shop, a special shop, was particularly captivating. It displayed flatware, salt-and-pepper shakers, and salt cellars—nothing more. Imagine that! I told my husband that we better take a look inside. He immediately grinned. “No way are you going in there!” he said. “You will spend every last dime we have.” “But look at those beautiful salt cellars!” I cried, knowing full well that we were on vacation. “What’s a salt cellar?” he replied. “Oh, you know, Honey,” I replied. “I have one at home with a tiny spoon.” “Oh, you mean the one you never use?” he asked. I had nothing. He caught me! I have never used my one personal small dish for salt. Recently, I was talking about my summer travels with a friend of mine who is an entrepreneur in the food and hospitality industry and who shares my appreciation for various table setting customs and dining etiquette. At first, my friend listened with some amusement as I shared my Amsterdam epiphany. Suddenly, she interrupted me sternly: “Why aren't you using your china? What are you waiting for?” She was right, of course. What was I waiting for? A holiday? An anniversary? A funeral, for heaven’s sake? I had no answer. Thanks to my friend’s intervention, I am encouraged to make an occasion of everyday doings in my own home. I also enjoy the positive feedback I get from advising my clients to try and carry over the spirit of the holidays and other special occasions by making time to set a nice table for family meals. My dining programs range from professional business associations to family gatherings and groups of children. Engaging children in setting the table according to the menu enhances the mood of the mealtime gathering. Learning to navigate casual dining on a regular basis builds everyone’s confidence in dealing with more formal occasions. Everywhere I go, people are enthusiastic to learn more about table etiquette. Believe it or not, the fine art of dining can be fun! » Spring 2014


HERE ARE SOME MORE OF MY TIPS FOR REFRESHING THE DINING EXPERIENCE: The sTandard family place seTTing Takes iT easy One fork, one knife, and a spoon are typically used at everyday meals. The spoon is for dessert, soup, coffee, tea, or iced tea. You will most likely encounter this informal place setting when dining at restaurants and attending informal parties or receptions where seated meals are served. The formal p l ace se TTi n g d raw s ouT ou r b e sT Tableware and Table décor Place cards, salt cellars and individual finger bowls are a treat that make guests feel important. Start with the standard family place setting and then build from there, adding a charger, additional flatware, crystal glassware and a bread plate and butter spreader. flaTware is laid on The Table in The order of use The number of courses being served determines the amount of flatware laid on a table. Place forks on the left side of the place setting, except for the cocktail fork, which is placed to the right of the soup spoon. Knives



and spoons are placed to the right of the place setting with the blade of the knives facing the plate.

napkin is to use it and then leave it resting in your lap until it is time to leave the table.

bread plaTe sTays To The lefT The bread plate is placed to the upper left side of the place setting. Avoid moving it to the center of your place setting because at some point your table conversation will be interrupted when a member of the wait staff kindly asks you to put your bread plate back to allow your plated course to be served.

enjoy decoraTing your Table Centerpieces and candles should contribute to the ambiance without competing with the meal. Diners should be able to see each other, unobstructed by overzealous floral arrangements. Burn only unscented candles. Let the delicious aromas of your cooking fill the air.

glasses sTay To The righT If you take your right hand and form an “OK” sign, look how the “OK” sign now looks like a lower case letter “d.” “Little d” stands for “drink” and drink glasses are always found on the right side of a place setting. This is a perfect lesson to teach kids and adults, so please pass it on! The napkin has iTs place Too Napkins can be found in the center or on the left side of a place setting. They can also be found nestled inside of a glass. The most important etiquette tip to remember about a

I hope I have inspired you to set your most beautiful table yet! Serving our families as thoughtfully as we do our guests may help the next generation preserve traditions that otherwise might get lost to the times. Why wait? Be creative and by all means, invite people to dine with you!

Tiffany Nielsen is a public speaker, author and business and children’s etiquette professional. She is co-author of the books, The Power of Civility, and Incredible Business. Her company, Premier Etiquette, offers small business and corporate workshops, guest speaking presentations and children’s manners programs.



Dry shake and then shake with ice. Fine strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with an Angostura swirl.


Stir and strain. Garnish with a lime wheel.



Shake and strain. Top with ½ oz. Brut Champagne. Garnish with a lemon wheel.


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Shake and fine strain into a chilled port glass crusted in brown sugar. Garnish with a horse’s neck of lemon peel.

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Stir and strain. Garnish with a blood orange peel.

Cookie + kate

Cookie + kate


Shake and strain over fresh ice. Top with Fever -Tree club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig.

SPODIVA 1 1 1 1



Run under cappuccino wand until scalded. Garnish with a housemade cinnamon stout marshmallow.

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Cookie + kate

Shake and strain over Fresh ice in a double rocks tumbler. Top with a small dash of soda. Garnish with a mint sprig and 2 Luxardo Maraschino Cherries on a bamboo pick.


JAR NONE 2 他 他 1



Shake and strain over fresh ice in a mason jar. Top off with Fever-Tree Ginger Beer. Garnish with a clove-studded lemon wheel.

S e e k i n g W o rdS of C h e e S e d o m … L e t i t B r i e By Brandon Goldstein and Gillian Kaye ANYONE CAN GO TO THEIR LOCAL supermarket and pick up a standard cheese platter. You’ll have your Cheddar, Jarlsberg, Havarti, Provolone, and if you’re lucky, they’ll even throw in a few cubes of Muenster. But if you want to impress your guests, this cheese tray just won’t suffice. We went to Whole Foods in Paramus to get the lowdown on The Perfect Cheese Platter. “THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A PERFECT CHEESE PLATTER!” That is the first thing Erica, a Whole Foods Cheesemonger yelled at us. For about 30 minutes, Erica talked us through a cheese tasting so that we could serve our guests our perfect cheese plate. Here were the winners: Melkbus 14 9 Truf f l e - NeThe rl a Nd s Prior to its ten-week aging process, Italian black truffle is added to the curd of Melkbus’ rawmilk Farmer Cheese. Ten weeks later, and you have delicious semi-soft Gouda. Cheese and black truffle: can you go wrong? r ed W iTch – sW iTze rl a Nd This semi-hard, raw cow’s milk cheese is fabled to have been created as the perfect cheese for Carnevale – a pre-Lent celebration that takes place only in New Orleans in the U.S., but in many more locales overseas. Now, it’s a perfect party cheese any time. On the milder side, Red Witch still packs quite a flavorful punch. druN keN GoaT – spai N Though not typically fans of goat cheese, it was important for us to present our guests a wellrounded platter of cheese offerings. This Spanish cheese’s name quickly got my attention. A milder goat cheese, it still had that signature goat cheese


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tang, but not quite as strong. In its place were hints of Mourvèdre, a red wine that the cheese is washed in before a sixty-day aging process. Drunken Goat + drunken guests = great party all around! p ’T i T b as q u e – f r aN c e Creamier and sweeter than expected, this sheep’s milk cheese is aged for 70 days to bring out a perfect, semi-soft level of firmness. Although Erica warned us that the cheese might be the most pungent on our platter, it was truly delectable. P’tit Basque went perfectly with grapes. i s i GN y sT e . M è r e – f r a N c e Brie had to be on our platter. Omitting it was not an option. Isigny Ste. Mère is produced exclusively for Whole Foods, and much like Whole Foods, the company wholeheartedly believes in conservation, converting their facility to run on biomass renewable energy. Of course, their Brie is incredible. It is soft and gooey, perfect for spreading on a cracker, but without too pungent of an odor. Once the Brie was chosen, it was time to begin our party. While creating our cheese platter, we recognized that we were more mild-mannered cheese lovers. Although we appreciate the boldness of the more robust smelling cheeses—the stinky ones—they simply weren’t for us. Instead, we looked to give our guests a well-rounded plate of textures, milk types, and tastes. Let’s just say they are already looking forward to our next Wine and Cheese night!

The PerfecT Brie reciPe: iNGredieNTs: One wheel Isigny Ste. Mère Brie 2 ½ tablespoons apricot jam One puff pastry sheet, thawed Two tablespoons milk direcTioNs: 1 Apply apricot jam to the top of the Brie, enough to coat the top. 2 Wrap puff pastry around entire Brie. 3 Cut small slit, or heart shape, in top for ventilation. 4 Place on greased baking sheet. 5 Place in oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, brush top with milk. 6 Place back in oven for five minutes, or until golden brown.

floral and event decor 123 SuSSex Street, HackenSack, nJ 07601 201 4871300

ExcEl EntErtainmEnt V E r s at i l i t y a n d V i s i o n Powered by a tr u e E n t e r t a i n m e n t E n t r e p r e n e u r


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Jason Frankel is as professional as they come. When i met the young owner of excel entertainment at his office in edgewater, the sharply dressed man greeted me like a gentleman. Jason showed me around out into the Hudson river. Framed photographs of weddings he has worked on surround Jason’s spacious and tidy desk. in the room set up two plush sofas with purple pillows, and a low table for drinks. as comfortable as any family room found in one’s home, Jason uses this space to show clients footage from his events on a television screen. everything about Jason

Photos by Papillio Photography

relaxed, and from sitting with him in this cozy room, i knew that this atmosphere would be conducive to planning a one-of-a-kind event. Jason has been an entertainer his whole life. He started playing guitar at a young age, and it was his interest in music that made him realize that entertaining would be his calling. He was exposed to the business growing up as well. Jason’s grandfather was a wedding photographer and his father was a radio producer for aBC Disney. Jason’s father had also been a vocal coach for some of the biggest names in the business, including Bill st. James, so he would often turn to his father for pointers once he developed a serious interest in becoming an MC. Jason’s dad taught him how to speak clearly and with energy, a vital skill for hosting a successful wedding or bar mitzvah. “i am a real lover of music,” Jason told me. “What really draws me to this business is my love of the arts and of sound. i see concerts all the time, and i know the difference between real quality music and all the rest.” When Jason launched excel entertainment back in January 2007, he did so on the founding principle that he would focus on quality, not quantity. The company always remained relatively small

EXCEL ENTERTAINMENT by design. Frankel is not trying to grow into a factory company. As he says, “I just want Excel to grow in reputation, maintaining its integrity.” Jason will only take on up to three weddings at a time, as he wants to give each his full attention. When a client approaches Jason for the first time, he starts by asking them how they envision the event. While some people have been dreaming of their wedding day since they were young, others

VE R sATILITy Is TH E A B ILITy TO E NTE RTAIN al l OF yOuR GuEsT s do not really know what it is they want. If they are looking for ideas, Jason explains to them in detail what Excel offers. Excel offers many unique packages in terms of music, lighting, and multimedia presentations for events, so clients have numerous options to choose from to make their event as personalized as possible. Jason stresses how he is not a salesman. “I am not going to push anything on my clients, but I want them to be well-informed on all of the possibilities we offer so that they can make the decisions that will best suit them,” he said. Excel Entertainment boasts a wide array of music packages. Excel started out offering only DJ services, mostly for weddings, but now it has grown to provide live musicians. For clients who want the best of both worlds, Excel offers a half band, half DJ package. Other companies offer DJ services with added musicians as a background gimmick, whereas Excel’s musicians are added to not only enhance the recorded sound, but to deliver a full-scale performance. In terms of musicians, Excel allows you to book anywhere from one musician to entire string ensembles. Excel’s offerings have grown tremendously since the company’s inception. All of Jason’s musicians are handpicked. His DJs and 32

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musicians have worked with the likes of Alicia Keys, Nicki Manaj, Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, Gloria Gaynor, and Billy Joel, among others. All performers are highly energized and really know how to read the crowd. There are no predetermined set lists at any of Excel’s events, though clients can choose songs they wish to be played and those they prefer not to be played. The DJ and band will and know what the crowd really wants, and they will give them just that. Jason is never far from the action, as he still DJs, emcees, and plays guitar at many of the events, especially the weddings. With Excel, you’re truly in good hands. He knows he’s produced a winning event when he can tell the guests are having a blast. While Jason works tirelessly to assure the quality of the beats and rhythms for each event, the lighting is equally as important. Excel offers LED lighting that stylishly colors each banquet room. Clients can also choose Intelligent Lighting, which are lights that are choreographed by trained technicians. For example, clients can opt for a spotlight to highlight a special dance. Excel also offers custom monograms and gobos like initials, names, and designs that transform the

surfaces of events with personalized creations. If that isn’t enough for his clients, Excel can also create a gorgeous, starlit ceiling to completely enchant the entire room. Jason is a strong believer in the power of versatility at every event. “Versatility is the ability to entertain all of your guests no matter what surprise requests your special day may bring,” Jason said. It isn’t just about holding your microphone and entertaining the crowd, but rather it’s about fully entertaining the crowd and keeping them engaged. New ideas are always welcomed at Excel. Jason feels that you are only as good as the entertainers around you. As a true entertainment entrepreneur, blessed with incredible talent, and driven by integrity, versatility and vision, Jason and Excel Entertainment will continue to thrive for years to come.—EMMA DEMAR

VIsIT Excel Entertainment online at, or call (973) 320-3241


for more information, visit, or email

The Fashion Rules Suite201, a women’S clothing boutique in Ridgewood, recently launched Social by Suite201, a store dedicated solely to event dressing. we caught up with them to talk about how to look your best in 2014. with wedding and prom season slowly but surely creeping up on us, we are excited to share our Do's and Don’ts of proper dressing for these magical next few months. think of these not so much as rules, but as tips and tricks to make you look and feel your very best.


L e t ’ s ta L k C o Lo r black and blue Do go together. in fact, they complement each other very well. if you are wearing a navy dress, you can wear a nude or black shoe, black tights, and of course, a black bag.

Wear red not only is red the “it” color right now, but it is also a very rich dressy color. no, you’re not taking away from the bride if you wear red to a wedding, but just make sure you do it with class. that means no cutouts or low-plunge neckline dresses. Remember where you are going, and who will be there. You want to be respectful.

giambattiSta valli

lanvin J.cRew men

Wearing White is stiLL a no go for Weddings however, white is still a key choice for prom. think about it: other than at your own wedding, when else can you wear a gorgeous white gown? take advantage of this!

a m e t h y s t, L i L a C , a n d P u r P L e any shade of purple will have you looking very fresh and updated this season. ‘tis the season for purple, and there are so many different shades of it that complement any complexion.

as for the men, a boW tie is a must right noW!

buRbeRRY pRoRSum

don’t oveRDo it our only major Don’t. Yes, we are from Jersey and a lot of us love that sparkle, but you don't want to over-sparkle. if your dress is embellished, leave it at that. wear a classic diamond stud and a dainty necklace.


Do all fouR if your dress is on the cleaner side and you want to accessorize, then pick two parts of the body. maybe you want to wear a great necklace and cocktail ring, or maybe you want to layer an armful of classy bangles and crystal earrings, but please…don’t do all four.

236 Ridgedale Avenue, Florham Park, NJ 07932 ••'•••• 973.377.7100•••• '•••••••• '•••• www.•• •• • •• •• •• •••• • • • • • • • •

Since 1982, we have pursued a single goal: to create settings for a garden weddings warmed by timeless elegance and matched by a wedding reception with flawless service. From superb cuisine to lovely natural garden settings and unparalleled staff. The Park Savoy is a wonderfully unique wedding facility. And in keeping with our commitment to service, we cater to only one wedding at at time so that we can fully meet your personal needs.

FASHION & BEAUTY Available at Ayesha Studio 21 N. Dean Street Englewood (201) 503-0073

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1 Gold Diamond Driftwood Earrings with Wreath Attachment. Slender earrings with budding diamond wreaths. Two part 18K yellow gold earrings. Top half with diamonds 0.20 ct tw and bottom removable wreath attachment with 0.21 ct tw diamonds. Other attachments available. 2 White Sterling Silver Wafer Cuff. Modern rustic, sterling silver cuff with a creased fabric-like texture and elongated individually so the texture will vary from piece to piece. 3 Aquamarine Cuff Bracelet Stack. A bracelet stack featuring 18K yellow gold Whisper Cuff bracelet with 2 diamonds, 0.84 - 0.87 ct tw, and 18K yellow gold Aquamarine Cuff Bracelet with 12.34 ct tw center aquamarine. 4 Gold Diamond 5 Ring Stack. A diamond-spangled ring stack made up of different textures and forms. 5 ring stack in 18K gold and diamonds. 5 Small Autumn Leaves Earrings fresh water pearls (white). 6 Gold Diamond Star Cluster Ring


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FASHION & BEAUTY Available at Devon Fine Jewelry 303 Franklin Avenue, Wyckoff (201) 848-8489

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4 6


1 18K Rose Gold Rose Quartz drop earrings surrounded by brown and white diamonds. 2 18K White Gold pendant containing Lapis, Mother of Pearl, and White Topaz (triplet), surrounded by diamonds. 3 18K Rose Gold Rose Quartz and Mother of Pearl pendant accented with white and brown diamonds. 4 18K Rose Gold Rose Quartz and Mother of Pearl ring, accented with brown and white diamonds. 5 18K White Gold earrings containing Lapis, Mother of Pearl, and White Topaz (triplet), accented with diamonds. 6 18K White Gold Lapis, Mother of Pearl, and White Topaz (triplet) ring, accented with diamonds.


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We can accommodate parties of up to 150 people for celebratory luncheons and dinners, cocktail parties, elegant rehearsal dinners, stylish weddings, corporate events and more. We will provide you and your guests with a memorable setting for your special occasion. Our Bar Lounge upstairs and clubby cigar bar downstairs offer our customers some very different kinds of places to relax and entertain.

179 GODWIN AVE,WYCKOFF NJ 07481 ; 201.848.1211 T H E B R I C K H O U S E W YC KO F F. C O M VISIT US 7 DAYS A WEEK / Bar Open until 1:00 am Monday - Thursday: 12:00pm - 10:00pm Friday: 12:00pm - 11:00pm / Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm Sunday: 1:00pm - 9:00pm

ALDO'S ITALIAN RESTAURANT: For More Than 30 years, Aldo’s Italian Restaurant has supplied his customers with high quality food, great service and good prices. Open 7 Days a week, this new location provides a wonderful space for Family Dining and Special intimate Gatherings. Featuring 3 Separate Dining Rooms, Seasonal Outdoor Patio and Private Dining Rooms. Under the same roof you’ll find Pane & Vino Wine Bar, a welcoming Full Bar and liquor store, Customers can purchase at retail prices and enjoy at Aldo’s Restaurant or you can bring your own. As one of our new additions at Pane E Vino customers will be delighted with a well prepared and fresh Brick Oven Pizza and a wonderful hot and cold antipasto station.

640 Wyckoff Avenue, Wyckoff, New Jersey 201.891.2618 M-Th: 11am -10pm, F&S: 11am -11pm Sun: 1pm- 9pm, Bar Open until 1:00 am

You are invited to LIVE THE WINE EMOTION EXPERIENCE at Pane E Vino: WINE EMOTION is the next generation of wine dispensing and preservation systems created to enhance the passion and experience of fine wine through technology.


Five PerFect Looks For Any occAsion You’re beauTiful. looking good is easY for You. but how to look at certain times—that’s not quite so simple… liz gizelle rodriguez of 217 beauty helped us assemble these five looks that will have you looking simply stunning from that very first date to the day you’re walking down the red carpet for your movie’s premiere.

1 S u n day B r u n c h This look is for the early daytime affair. We gave her soft eye shadows that help the blue in her eyes pop, with a soft shadow liner on top and halfway on the bottom. We added a soft pink blush and neutral pink lip with a natural lip liner. This is the “barely there” look that also works in a work environment.

3 B ac h e lo r e t t e Pa r t y We darkened the dinner date look by adding a deep, smoky gray to the lid and smoking out the outside corners of the eye. We added shadow and black liner to the bottom of the eye to complete the smoky look. The lips are a deep pink because she is the life of the party!

4 claSSic Beauty The eyes are defined with liner on the top and bottom. The shadows were kept soft to emphasize the shape of the eyes. The lips are the main focus here. she is wearing a deep red lipstick with a darker red lip liner for a more stunning look.

5 2 d i n n e r dat e one made for nighttime. she has a beautifully defined eye, with a light beige lid, a touch of smoke, and a classic black liquid liner on top. Her lips and cheeks have a soft pop of peachy beige.

To contact liz, call (201) 228-9492, or email Visit her online at


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Benefit We transformed the sunday brunch look into an evening benefit look. We gave her a deeper set of colors on her eyes, while keeping the lid a little on the softer side. We smoked out the outer lid just a touch and added a liner and shadow to the bottom eyelid. We also deepened her lip to give her a more sophisticated look.

Good advice

if you love her… Then you should puT (The righT) ring on iT B y J e ss ic a humphrey-c inTineo

YOU KNOW THAT YOU’VE FOUND “THE ONE.” Now you need the diamond that will make her shriek “Yes!” when the time is just right. Don’t fret! Shopping for an engagement ring doesn’t have to be a dreaded experience. With the right amount of knowledge, paired with your love and excitement, you will have a future Mrs. in no time. According to Israel Ocasio, a sales

“fix a budget and consider practicality.” associate at Devon Fine Jewelry in Wyckoff, the first step is to know the basics. “There’s a lot of components of an engagement ring,” Ocasio said. “It helps to come in a little prepared.” Shoppers don’t need to necessarily be experts on diamonds when they begin their quest for the perfect ring. However, it doesn’t hurt when the customer is at least aware of diamond shapes. “It can be stressful for a customer when they come in unprepared,” said Ocasio. “They become overwhelmed with the knowledge—education becomes a lot more than they thought it would.” The average future husband will have no clue as to how a diamond is valued. For the most part, a diamond’s value is determined by its cut, clarity, carat weight, and color. Known as “The Four C’s,” a jeweler will often need to educate potential buyers on each category. For your shopping needs, here is a quick breakdown:


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CUT This essentially refers to the shape of the diamond. This is perhaps the most important and challenging feature, as the brilliance of a diamond depends heavily on its cut. According to Ocasio, 90% of shoppers arrive at Devon Fine Jewelry knowing what shape diamond they are interested in purchasing. CLARITY Most diamonds contain inner flaws that occur during the formation process. The visibility, number and size of these inclusions determine the diamond’s clarity. Don’t neglect the second “C” when choosing a ring. CARAT WEIGHT For budget savvy shoppers, this is an important element. Large diamonds are less common than small diamonds. Therefore, the price of a diamond rises exponentially with its size. “Most like a balance between a nice size and nice clarity where they aren’t seeing any imperfections to the naked eye,” said Ocasio. COLOR The last of “The Four C’s.” According to Ocasio, color is very subtle, but if shoppers want to make a real statement for their future Mrs., then they won’t ignore a diamond’s hue.

“The Four C’s are important,” Ocasio said. “But it’s a personal decision for the customer. It all depends on what matters to you.” For Justin Leon of Mahwah, the engagement ring shopping process was nearly effortless. “As soon as I found the ring it was exactly the same feeling as when I met her,” Leon said of his girlfriend Amy Graboski, also of Mahwah. “It was beautiful and unique and I loved it as soon as I saw it, and knew she would also.” Leon, 25, who proposed to Graboski, on December 12, 2013, knew he wanted to make a statement loud and clear with his diamond. “The diamond is the most important part of the ring for me. It is a symbol of your commitment to love and cherish each other forever,” he said. “Another important element, the ‘side view’ because she had mentioned it.” Armed with his vision of the perfect diamond and Graboski’s hope of a stunning “side view,” Leon chose an infinity twist round diamond engagement ring. Both Leon and Ocasio advise shoppers to fix a budget and consider practicality. Fixing a budget is important, “but practicality should also be considered,” according to Ocasio, who has 28 years of experience in the jewelry industry. Factors to consider include if the engagement ring will be worn daily and the wearer’s lifestyle. “Some diamonds sit higher, some sit lower, some have prongs,” said Ocasio. “It’s something to think about.” Armed with knowledge and the eagerness to purchase an engagement ring, people should remain joyous, said Ocasio, who added that a lot of people tend to get stressed out. “It’s a fun time. It’s a joyous time, and it’s certainly a romantic time,” Ocasio said. With the right knowledge, jeweler and “The One,” all that’s left to worry about is practicing getting down on one knee and uttering those four magical words: Will you marry me?

real weddings


THE DETAILS: Invitations: East six nEw york, n.y. Flowers and Décor: aDam lEffEl proDuctions/pEtals prEmiEr - hackEnsack Venue: sEasons - washington township Entertainment: DJ ExprEss EntErtainmEnt - paramus Photography: stuDio uno photography & ViDEo paramus Cake: palErmo's BakEry - riDgEfiElD park Gown: mac Duggal

StuDIo uno PhotoGraPhy

A Touch of SweeTneSS MELISSA SWEET HAS BEEN DESIGNING beautiful bridal gowns for years. In this exclusive interview with Occasions, the designer chats about everything from her rise to prominence, to new trends. Wedding season will be here before you know it. Take note, brides-to-be! 46

Where would you say your talent comes from? Oh wow. Let’s see. You know, I think to me design talent is really an alchemy of something we’re born with as designers that I call the fire in the belly, and it’s something that we learn through observations of the world. So it’s observation all the time. Everything from what’s happening culturally, politically—you know, the fashion street beat to the natural world. For me, inspiration comes from hiking in the jungle. So I think being able to synthesize all of the inspiration, all of the input and put it through this filter that is the beauty, the translation of all of that into this offering of art, really. When did you first know that you wanted to become a bridal gown designer? Since I was a child, I’ve been sewing, and designing, and creating, and everything from cutting up my shoes, and re-coloring and remaking them, to cutting up clothes and remaking them. I was designing

“I wanted to make this passage with women, and help them to translate what they were feeling on the inside.” and sewing clothes when I was seven. I always gravitated toward white. I always had white prom dresses, and special occasion dresses. Even to this day, my typical wardrobe of the day usually involves white. When I segued that into bridal, it was after I graduated from college, and I was kind of like wanting to map out my next move very strategically, like ‘What direction do I want to go in?’ and ‘Where do I want to try and get a job that’s going to help me go in that direction?’ I just kind of stumbled onto an opportunity at a bridal salon, and it just sort of unfolded, and I started designing bridal gowns there, and they were the best sellers in the store, of the lines they had existing, and then I started adding and they just took off. I think it was that I really got brides, like I really understood this moment that a woman sort of was in the portal of. When she comes in and she puts on a gown, she’s looking at herself in the mirror in a way she never has ever in her life, and she never will again. It’s like that lens, and somehow I could see through that lens with

her. With every woman that came in, I got it. I got this experience. I understood this emotional, sort of spiritual, really passage that a woman is making, and I don’t mean from a religious standpoint, but just from being a woman. Every story was different, and every experience of each woman was different because she brought her unique life up until that point with her, and I was so inspired and energized by being able to make that passage, that part of the journey with her, and I knew that this is what I wanted to do for my life. It seems like you really have an affinity for the bride. It’s a really strong bond that you share. You grew your own design house, Melissa Sweet Bridal, into a national brand. What was that journey like for you? Work, work, work, work and more work! It was morning, noon, and night. But again, it’s that, what I always say about the bridal industry is it’s one of these spots in life where you show up in the bridal industry, and all the emotional ups and downs that are inherent to working with brides, because it is a bride’s journey, the ups and the downs are a bride’s journey, so as professionals in the industry we go through it with them. But you either love it, and you can’t not do it, or you run screaming in the other direction. Really it’s either-or. For me, it was just that I loved it, and I couldn’t not do it, so all of the work and the time, the elbow grease, the countless hours working, designing—I had to do it. It was exhausting in its own way, because eventually I did have to take a break. I did need to go on a sabbatical, and kind of reevaluate, because my personality tends toward ‘go for the gold.’ You know, ‘go for the gold,’ and whatever you need to sacrifice in the meantime is OK, because you ‘go for the gold.’ And I reached that point in my life where I realized that I wanted more than just the business gold, because it wasn’t feeding all of me in a way that I needed, and wanted to be fed on its own level, and so taking the time out to reevaluate and recalibrate in my own personal life, so that my work now, as I come back into it, is really an expression of my art, not just ‘going for the gold.’ It’s about doing what I love to do. In 2010, I saw that you moved to Costa Rica. How would you say that has influenced your design sense? I would say that it brought me a deeper SpRIng 2014


sense of authenticity, and so what shifted with the way I design is not just about designing from the outside, so it’s not just think this ability came through—it has to do with living in my own skin, and so that’s expressed really in each dress. So I would say how does that show up to the observer? It’s probably more textural. I would say it’s less shiny, and more depth. So I use a lot of shells and ceramic beads, and natural stones and that kind of stuff, as opposed to Swarovski crystal, and glass. You love to incorporate vintage features into your gowns. What are some of those features that you like to work with? I love to work with vintage laces. They’re more textural. They have a lot of structure, where some of the more modern laces don’t as much, or they’re modern laces They’re more defined and textural. Also, stones that have—you know, that aren’t so ‘bling bling,’ but they’re more faceted and they have more depth. I would say another thing that’s very vintage is working with the multiple layers of detail. So you might have a layer of organza around the dress, and the lace is under the organza, or the pearls or the stones are peeking out somewhere or they’re on top of a layer somewhere, so it’s really about mixing the layers. I think that’s a very vintage inspired style. How do you go about combining vintage features with more modern taste? I would say what really dictates making a gown that’s vintage inspired but very much of the moment is about working with the modern silhouette. So a silhouette of what is hot for a bride, you know, is on the fashion scene right now, and yet takes cues in its detailing from the vintage world and from bygone eras. It might be looking embroidery, and vintage looking embroidery, and then a lace that looks like it may have come from the 40s, but then you mix all those things together, and that’s what makes it really modern. If you look at fashion right now, the way that vintage is being used is by the mixing. It’s not a literal translation. It’s taking what was great, and what we’re inspired by, and using it kind of in an alchemy of what’s really of the moment now. »


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LILAc JAcquArd STrApLeSS corSeT Gown wITh pockeTS: $1150

A C AT E R E D A f fA I R . . .with a Restaurant Menu Warm, Intimate Decor : Two Banquet Rooms Private Parties up to 100 People : Corporate Events to Weddings 800 R i d g e w o o d R o a d, T o w n s h i p o f wa s h i n g T o n , n J 201. 358. 6330

It’s not quite wedding season yet, but for 2014, what do you think are some major trends to be on the lookout for? In 2014, the trends that are coming down the pipe are we’re seeing a lot of blush and champagne tones. It’s been a very important trend. Not every bride looks great or feels her best in white or ivory tones, so it’s a fresh touch and it’s a unique and different way to have the feminine quality, the feminine essence of dressing in a bridal gown but with more warmth. Also, this vintage detailing—super hot right now. Things that look like vintage jewelry, even vintage inspired shoe clips, and then of course in the ways that it translates to

the dress. I would say a really important trend right now is alternative necklines. So while strapless remains a mainstay for bridal dresses, there are a lot of options sleeve, a long sleeve, an off-the-shoulder portrait neckline. So it’s different opportunities to get a little more coverage, but also it changes the look. In 2012, you embarked on your collaboration with David’s Bridal. What has that experience been like? Amazing. If I could give it one word, I would say amazing. They’re such an amazing company to work for. The inner

workings of the company are so steady and solid, and positive. What they’re doing really is unprecedented in the bridal industry. They really are offering brides truly unique designs—truly unique to buy today and wear it tomorrow which is hard to find for a true designer gown. They’re doing it in a beautiful environment, and making that available to so many brides that otherwise might not be able to afford to have that kind of experience. No one has ever done this before, and I have had so much fun and have been so honored to get to be a part of the process they’re continually providing. What is your favorite dress that you’ve designed? I’m sure there are many that stand out, but if you had to pick one, is there one that really just jumps out to you? You might think this is a really sort of tight answer, but it’s really the truth. It’s my own wedding gown. I was living in Costa Rica when I married my husband Kevin, but I had pieces of my favorite silks and my favorite laces from all of my years working. I was on sabbatical at the time. The things that I’d done in Japan, and Hong Kong, and France, and London—just pieces, things that were my favorite, that I tucked away. And then, there’s actually a little store in the town closest to me that brings in like containers of the leftover things from vintage stores, and thrift stores in the United States. There was this bin of things that no one was interested in. There were antique doilies, tablecloths and handkerchiefs, and lace collars, and so I bought up all these amazing pieces, and I cut them all up and sewed them all together to make the bodice of the dress, and I used the silks and the laces that I had from my years, and I used seashells, and ceramic beads, and stones, and I even used little buttons that were made from the antlers of a deer that my father hunted.

CoRded LACe TRUmpeT GoWN WITH RUFFLe deTAIL: $1200


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What’s that feeling like when you know that you’ve designed the perfect dress, and you see someone wearing this dress that you’ve designed? I feel like I can’t stop smiling. When a dress reaches its place of perfection, I always say that it looks like it fell from heaven. It doesn’t look like it was made with human hands. It’s the most satisfying thing in the world for me.


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winter wonderland


Your wedding doesn’t have to look and feel like Christmas just because it falls during the winter months. Snowflakes, icicles, and evergreens are not necessary. Though the weather outside is frightful, these five trends for next winter will make your day delightful! By G abri el a S a l am an c a






Metallic touches are a beautiful way to add shimmer and class. Consider metallic charger plates, metallic accents in your invitations, or even in your linens. Done properly, metallic light accents can make a space feel regal!

Headscarves and adorned headbands are huge this year. Birdcage veils are a dramatic and romantic accessory. Think about your theme, or the vibe you’re trying to create. Going with a bohemian feel? Try on a headscarf! Want a more vintage, or stately affair? Then how about a birdcage veil?

Similar to the light effects produced by metallic tones, adding some sparkle is huge on the runway this year. Embellished bodices, necklines and backs on gowns are very popular right now. Consider adding hints of sparkle in the form of eye makeup, stemware, a statement cocktail ring, or fabulous chandelier earrings!

Playing with textures can be a fun way to enhance your theme. Consider a coat or shawl in soft fur or faux fur as a way to warm up your pictures. Using pieces that may be coarse against smooth and silky linen can be dramatic and bold. Tree bark, or lace lined around candleholders is a nice seasonal touch. Get creative. Dip pinecones in white lacquer and attach a delicate note as place cards for guests.

Tall and bold, or low and light. Centerpieces will be a major focal point at your reception. If you go tall, make a bold statement. Tall pieces this season can be all white, with lots of green foliage. To make them more modern, use elaborate floral bases with feather tops. If you go low, use pastels, and light shades of blue, green and pink. Remember, depending on where you are in the world, sunlight may be minimal because there is less natural light during the winter months. These lighter tones will let light pass through easily, and will brighten up your venue.

real weddings A Championship Caliber Bar mitzvah

a dream day for a lovely couple

P a u l a K l e i m a n &

P a tri cK O’Hager ty IF PAULA KNEW shE WoULd mEEt hEr FUtUrE husband on that night in december of 2011, she wouldn’t have thought twice about driving from New Jersey to massachusetts for a holiday party. Paula and Patrick only chatted briefly that night, and the conversation was mostly about their mutual love of ‘80s hair bands. still, it was the beginning of something special and they both knew it. they started out as friends and immediately helped each other through some tough times. they became “official” in may. Knowing that this was it, Patrick proposed to Paula in August. As is usually the case in life, Patrick’s original plan didn’t work out. he had arranged to propose on stage at a show of one of the couple’s favorite ‘80s bands, but the show was unfortunately cancelled at the last minute. Plan B was the exact opposite, but equally as special. Patrick got on one knee in the living room after a delicious meal that he cooked. Paula had no idea

what was going on until he popped the question. Paula is passionate about marilyn monroe, and all things old hollywood, so the wedding theme came naturally. she always pictured herself looking like her own version of marilyn in a birdcage veil, walking down a red carpet aisle to her groom in a white dinner jacket with black lapels. Paula and Patrick created a vision of an old hollywood movie premiere. their movie was entitled Love, Laughter, and Happily Ever After, which sums up not only what they wanted for their wedding, but also for their life. With the help of their wedding coordinators, No Limit Events, LLC, and their other amazing vendors, Paula and Patrick’s vision was brought to life. red roses, damask, crystals, and ostrich feathers were everywhere. If you ask them, it couldn’t have been more perfect. this was only the beginning of their loving, laughter-filled journey. Paula and Patrick’s dream continues, as they are expecting their first child in July.

Photos By sAvIor ProdUCtIoNs

THE DETAILS: Date: AUgUst 17, 2013 Theme: CLAssIC, BUt styLEd WIth A toUCh oF roCK! Colors: rEd ANd WhItE, WIth toUChEs oF sILvEr ANd BLACK Planner: No LImIt EvENts, LLC – soUth hACKENsACK Venue and Caterer: thE BroWNstoNE – PAtErsoN Hair and Makeup: I do hAIr ANd mAKE-UP – WEstFIELd Music: d’AmICo ENtErtAINmENt – EAst hANovEr Stationary: thINKINg PAPEr – rEd BANK Paula’s Dress: JEFrE BrIdALs – grEENBrooK Tuxedos: tUx ExPrEss – PIttsFIELd, mA Photographer: sAvIor ProdUCtIoNs Florist: BLACK EyEd sUsIEs CELIA mILtoN Photo Booth: good tImEs Photo Booth









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201.568.0606 700 EAST PALISADE AVENUE




IF YOU ASK JESSICA HUMPHREY, THE BUTTERflies started fluttering her sophomore year of high school when she met Michael Cintineo of Montvale during their mandatory Confirmation class at Our Lady of Mercy Church, located in Park Ridge. If you ask Michael, he’ll tell you that sparks started flying two years later, when the pair had a by chance run-in at a local Starbucks. Regardless of when they knew that they were meant for one another, the couple can agree that 3,186 days after becoming boyfriend and girlfriend on December 31, 2004, the pair married their better halves. Jessica, originally of Hillsdale, and an assistant editor for a community newspaper group and freelancer, wed Michael, originally of Montvale, and a controller and accountant, on Saturday, September 21, 2013. It was four days shy of the two-year anniversary of Michael proposing aboard the Norwegian Gem en route to Bermuda. The newlyweds exchanged vows at Our Lady of Mercy Church, standing on the very same altar that their

THE DETAILS: Photography and Cinematography: Bill Mitchell PhotograPhy & ViDeo - ParaMus Ceremony: our laDy of Mercy church - Park riDge Bagpipes: richarD stillMan - Montclair Reception: the View on the huDson - PierMont, n.y. Transportation: MontVale fire DePartMent’s M4 fire truck Bride’s Gown: white By Vera wang, DaViD’s BriDal - ParaMus Garter Set: le ange BriDal Bridesmaid Dresses: DaViD’s BriDal - ParaMus Bride’s Hair: Mania hair stuDio - Park riDge Bride’s Makeup: Mania hair stuDio - Park riDge


respective parents stood on three decades prior. The 160 guests in attendance exited the traditional ceremony to a surprise bagpipe performance by Richard Stillman of Montclair, a favorite of Michael’s. Instead of taking a limo to the reception at The View on the Hudson, located in Piermont, N.Y., Mr. and

“I know I’ll look back on thIs day a s t he gr e at e st adv e n tur e o f my lI fe .” Mrs. Cintineo boarded the Montvale Fire Department’s M4 fire truck. It wasn’t the most traditional mode of transport, but it was fitting, as Michael serves as a volunteer firefighter in his hometown. The reception was a beautiful, rustic fall theme complete with sunflowers, orange roses, hydrangeas, and berries. The centerpieces featured more autumntoned flowers as well as small pumpkins and gourds. Baby pumpkins served as escort cards for guests. The eight bridesmaids wore plum-colored floor-length

Photos ProvIded by bIll mItchell PhotograPhy

chiffon dresses, each with its own unique style. The bride was stunning in a White by Vera Wang ball gown with a corded lace bodice and a tulle skirt. The groom and seven groomsmen all wore black by Vera Wang gray slim fit tuxedos from Men’s Wearhouse. A memorable cocktail hour, a stellar dinner, and a personable and accommodating staff at The View on the Hudson made for a picture perfect day overlooking the Hudson River and the Tappan Zee Bridge. When guests weren’t munching on the fine fare or sipping cocktails, they flocked to the dance floor, and moved to the sounds of Andrew Gangi Entertainment. Some enjoyed the crisp fall day outdoors in the garden with breathtaking views of the Hudson while partaking in the “Groom's Cigar Bar.” “September 21 is the day Mike and I will reminisce about as our hair turns gray and wrinkles crowd our faces,” said Jessica. “I know I’ll look back on this day as the greatest adventure of my life.” After the wedding, Jessica, the daughter of Ronald and Yvette Humphrey, and Michael, the son of Dr. John and Lenore Cintineo, set sail for Bermuda, aboard the Norwegian Breakaway. The pair happily resides in Ramsey.

Groom and Groomsmen Tuxedos: black by vera wang, men’s wearhouse Paramus Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands: f. sIlverman Jewelers - montvale Cupcake Tower and Cake Stands: made by the brIde’s father, ronald humPhrey Cupcakes: homestyle desserts bakery - PeekskIll, n.y. Cake Topper: gInger babIes Groom’s Cake: sandra marInI, owner of sandra’s cakes - washIngton townshIP Flowers: floral cottage glen sPey, n.y. DJ: andrew gangI entertaInment Stationary: vIstaPrInt Birdcage Wedding Card Holder: yesmorefunk Favors: donatIons Wedding Song: “then” by braId PaIsley

sPrIng 2014




WHY I CHOSE SEASONS By Jennifer Bonazzo

WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL, I WOULD PRETEND THAT I was at my own wedding in my bedroom. My lace curtain served as my veil, and I imagined riding off with my prince in a horse and carriage, using my stuffed animals instead of actual people. I believe every young girl cherishes her own vision of what she hopes her wedding day will be like, and carries this in her heart with passion until it becomes a reality. Whether it is a Cinderella fairy tale, a sunset ceremony by the water with fireworks or even a Goth-themed wedding, every bride wants her day to exude her individualism while producing the most memorable outcome. Unfortunately, circumstances or money sometimes get in the way of what is supposed to be a purely blissful affair. When the bumps of reality, budgets, and conflicts with inlaws disrupt this road we all really just want to savor, it’s time to turn on your creative juices to find a way to make your dream come true. After experiencing it firsthand, I realized it is about the celebration of love between you and your partner, nothing more, and nothing less. If you keep this your main focus, respecting and taking care of your loved ones and friends around you will eventually just take care of itself. The most important step in this eventful journey of wedding planning—after you have found the one you want to spend your life with of course—is choosing a venue. I visited over ten locations and never really felt right in my gut about any of them. Some were just too expensive, and at others, I didn’t feel satisfied with the service or the online reviews. Then someone asked me if I had visited Seasons in Washington Township. I had driven by Seasons many times, but I had never actually gone inside. Right when I started to lose hope in finding the perfect venue, I decided to at least peep inside. When my fiancé Matt Peters and I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed the unique layout of lavish fountains and well-maintained floral arrangements. I knew these features would be great for pictures. However, I was determined to get the information I needed. I was still expecting to be disappointed. I entered a house that appeared to be straight from Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, and was instantly captivated by the immaculate marble floors, massive chandeliers and a gorgeous fireplace that immediately added a touch of home. I met with Carl Carfello, who gave me the official tour of the fine establishment. The venue’s sheer beauty and the feeling that I had finally found what I was looking for gave me goose bumps. Then came the disappointment I knew all too well. Carl informed me that the date we wanted had already been booked. That was when he offered my fiancé and I a daytime affair, something we had never considered up until that moment. I must admit that I had doubts about starting such a precious 58

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event at noon. Would our guests really loosen up and dance? Would fewer guests attend since it was a workday? Despite our skepticism, we were just so impressed by Seasons that it was impossible to say no. Upon signing the contract, which included an over-thetop amount of food and alcohol, I still had questions. I remember asking Carl the following: "Will there still be a lot of food at the cocktail hour, or is it going to be much smaller since it is an afternoon wedding?" I will never forget his response: "Nothing we do here is small." His response could not have been more accurate. His statement was followed by a menu presentation of both classic and exotic hors d’oeuvres—25 of them to be exact—along with mouthwatering entree descriptions. I noticed a plethora of plaques adorning Carl's office, displaying prestigious awards for their outstanding fare and impeccable service. I knew I made the right choice. I emailed Carl many times during the planning process. If he didn’t reply “Yes, absolutely,” which he would most of the time, then I’d get a “Let me see what I can do.” A couple of months before our wedding, I received a phone call from a friendly Seasons employee to set up an appointment to choose linens, a wedding cake, and a customized ice sculpture. At the time, I was starting to get nervous. It was time to finalize everything. Our dialogue was inundated with several questions on my end. Carl then said to me, "Jennifer, you've got to let us do some of the driving." This was a tough pill to swallow as I was used to being the bride behind the wheel at all times. I then looked down and saw our file that contained the pile of emails I had sent over the course of 18 months, all

noted and ready for completion. This gave me such relief. I knew that I was in good hands. Following our morning church ceremony, Matt and I were driven to the front door of Seasons where our bridal attendant welcomed us with a warm smile and congratulatory wishes. We felt like royalty. She took such good care of my incredibly long train, and asked for our drink and appetizer order immediately. When we got to the cocktail hour, I spotted our maître d’ running around nonstop, checking in with his fellow employees with an earpiece. He had displayed the unique place cards, décor, and personal touches perfectly. For example, I had a florist deliver a large number of long stem roses to be passed out to each couple as they entered. I asked for this once a year ago and that was all I needed to do. Guests were given the rose, and a tall glass of sparkling champagne, with a side of sweet strawberries. The most amazing way we could begin this joyous occasion was having countless amounts of our guests approaching us within only the first hour saying, "This is the best wedding I have ever been to." I put my heart into every

all phoTos: m & a phoTography

“They mighT as well have called us The King and Queen.”

spring 2014



opportunity to not only customize, but also really allow those attending to feel that and share in our love, so it meant the world to hear this, especially so early on. I knew at that moment they would not have experienced this at any other venue. At the cocktail hour, not one person had to stand in line to fill their plates; they were being served with class every moment with a different outstanding appetizer and their favorite cocktail from the five-hour open bar. Everyone was literally surrounded by fresh lobster rolls, succulent shrimp, tender lamb chops, and espresso cups filled with tomato bisque presented with a side of grilled cheese sandwiches. The generous portions and varieties seemed endless. In addition, the outside vendors we hired for entertainment and photography were treated with the utmost respect. When I looked around, it was evident that Seasons was running the show. Suddenly I thought to myself: “This was all I had to do? Breathe, relax and enjoy?” It was clear that Seasons had one goal in mind: ensuring the happiness for everyone attending the wedding, including the bride and groom. They might as well have called us the King and Queen. The procession into the incredibly spacious and extravagant dining ballroom was flawless. The congenial waiters invited our guests who did not finish their filet mignon or Florida red snapper to take home leftovers. I purchased a guest book that allowed guests to sign with an engraving pen. In the lobby, I noticed only a few signatures on it. I mentioned this out loud and not even directly to a Seasons staff member. Frankly, I was not remotely close to being upset about it, as it was just more of a quick observation. As I was eating my own dinner, I saw the guest book tray had been moved into the reception room. The maître d’ was kindly requesting that every attendee sign it. I cannot even begin to recall all of the magnificent moments that the Seasons staff helped produce, but I believe my father-in-law put it best. When we were leaving Seasons he stopped our maître d’ and said, "They do not have this kind of service even at the White House." We all had a good laugh of course, as none of us have ever been to the White House. However, what he was implying was undoubtedly true. Seasons provides a paramount customer service and their entire staff epitomize the label “Wedding experts.” Most important, our previous doubts about the time of day that we wrestled with for over a year disappeared instantaneously. The bridal attendant used a remote control to draw down stunning curtains to hide the sunlight and dimmed the chandeliers accordingly. Beyond just the lighting, Seasons employees came together as an untouchable team with one mission. They created a wonderful atmosphere for all to indulge in a marvelous ambiance that they crafted so graciously. Our guests let down their hair and danced. They had the time of their lives, and so did we. In the final moments of this tremendous afternoon, my husband and I stood together on the most important day of our lives in complete awe. We never expected to spend the entire day singing along with the band, delighting in the love we have for each other, and genuinely rejoicing in the present moment with our family and friends. This was how all weddings should be. When I look back at our celebration at Seasons, one word will always come to mind: Magical. I am forever grateful that they helped make all of my childhood dreams come true. 60

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“Our guests let dOwn their hair and danced. they had the time Of their lives, and sO did we.”

t h e d e ta i l s Photography and Cinematography: M & A Video Productions by MArio - WoodlAnd PArk Ceremony: our lAdy of Mercy church - PArk ridge Reception Entertainment: the b street bAnd Cocktail Hour Entertainment: life o’ the PArty, sinAtrA singer - hAckensAck Wedding Rings: hAniken JeWelers - neW york, n.y. reception: seAsons cAtering & sPeciAl eVents WAshington toWnshiP Transportation: White rolls royce rentAl, PriVAte shuttles for guests, And stretch liMos for the bridAl PArty froM My liMo - eAst hAnoVer Bridal Gown: by Alfred Angelo froM sAndreen’s bridAl boutique - sAddle brook Groom’s Tuxedo: biltMore tuxedos - ridgeWood Monogram Castle Ice Sculpture: seAsons cAtering & sPeciAl eVents - WAshington toWnshiP Hotel Accommodation for Wedding Guests: PArk ridge MArriott - PArk ridge Post-reception Celebration: seAn o’cAsey’s - PArk ridge MArriott Bride’s Hair and Makeup: studio VerVe - on locAtion At PArk ridge MArriott, bAsed out of lodi Cake: A little cAke - PArk ridge Bridal Party Bouquets and Corsages: PArk ridge florist Favors: MiniAture APPle cruMb Pies froM reinhold’s quAlity bAkery WAldWick Wedding Song: “if i should fAll behind” by bruce sPringsteen, coVered by the b street bAnd As A surPrise to the guests

“I was walking my dog, when I got the scare of my life.” Joan Goldman

From left:

Stephen Angeli, MD, Gerard Eichman, MD, Tariqshah Syed, MD, David Wild, MD, Angel Mulkay, MD, Scott Ruffo, MD, Soo Mi Park, MD, Michael Cohen, MD, Ebrahim Issa, MD

Both of Joan Goldman’s parents had heart disease. So when Joan was walking her Yorkie up the hill near her home and suddenly felt short of breath, she wondered if she would be next. There was no question about who she would turn to for answers. Her mom and dad had trusted Holy Name cardiologist Stephen Angeli, MD, to help them fight their battles with heart disease. Tests showed that Joan had a blockage in her heart. She had a through-the-wrist cardiac catheterization, followed by medication and cardiac rehab. Joan lives closer to other hospitals. But there is no other place she trusts more.

Healing begins here. 718 Teaneck Road  Teaneck, NJ 07666

Call 1-877-HOLY-NAME (465-9626) for a referral to a Holy Name Medical Center cardiologist, or visit for more information.

The Joint Commission Top Performer on ®





YOU JUST HOSTED THE WEDDING OF A LIFETIME. Your friends will talk about it endlessly, which is, of course, the best way to gauge whether it was a raging success or just something fun but nothing special. It was a stressful few weeks leading up to the big day. Hosting a wedding is no easy task. You chose all the right vendors and customized every detail down to the shade of green for the stems of those oversized seasonal blooms. The reception was a huge success—even your mother-in-law said so—and now it’s time for you and your hubby to skip town. The options are truly endless, but the right decision comes down to what you and your husband are in the mood for. Some couples seek an intense, touristy adventure. After a flight that takes up half a day, you arrive at some exotic destination. For the next week or so, you will be running around with your copy of Frommer’s trying to see every waterfall, mountain, and volcano in a 50-mile radius. You’ll come home exhausted, sunburned, and in need of a second honeymoon. Don’t forget all the vaccinations. Ouch! A honeymoon doesn’t need to be stressful. You could sit in a plane for just over two hours and be down in Palm 62

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Beach, Florida in the blink of an eye. For a week, you could enjoy intimate seclusion, incredible dining, clear blue waters, and world-class service at The Brazilian Court Hotel & Beach Club. The Brazilian Court Hotel is just a four-mile drive from Palm Beach International Airport. At first, you won’t even realize that you’re at the 80-room “boutique chic” hotel, seamlessly tucked away amongst the many lavish residences of Palm Beach Island. However, for the last several decades, The Brazilian Court has been the hotel of choice for many of the rich and famous vacationing on the island. Frequently appearing at the top of the list of Florida’s top hotels, the four-star hotel recently underwent renovations that will keep the accolades coming in droves. The Brazilian Court Hotel received a Four Diamond Rating from AAA, and Condé Nast Traveler placed it on its Gold List. The Brazilian Court’s renovation has left no stone unturned. The entire hotel now has all the modern amenities one expects in a four-star hotel. Still, it has maintained its classic architectural charm. As soon as you enter the hotel’s lobby, you immediately

Photos Provided by the brazilian Court hotel and beaCh Club

feel the secluded nature of a resort where celebrities often stay. There are no children running around, and the hotel is neither loud nor crowded. It’s peaceful, intimate, and private—just the way your honeymoon should be. It’s easy to get lost on the hotel’s whimsical grounds, as passages lead you through beautiful gardens and courtyards. At first, you may fault the hotel for the confusion, but after a short time it becomes clear that this feeling of seclusion was the intention of the hotel’s design team all along. Just past the beautiful pool and fountain, and behind the thick private hedges that provide you with your own patio, are the double doors leading to your room where you and your beloved can finally just relax. The wedding is over. You have arrived at your destination. You enter your room, and the first thing that stands out is the massive king bed. A heavenly comforter covers the dark wood frame. You truly feel like you’re sleeping on a bed of clouds. You could stay in it for the entire day, but wait until you see the bathroom. On your left is a large, walk-in shower with a rainfall showerhead.


bC OccasiOns

Sugar Flake —BAKESHOP—


C u s to m C a k e s fo r ANY OCCASION

A high window gives you a view of lush plants and flowers. This is your own private bungalow. Also in the bathroom—by the way, I’ll rarely write this much about bathrooms—is a private Jacuzzi for two (wink, wink). Next to the Jacuzzi is a bottle of champagne for you and your lover to enjoy. It’s important to eat like royalty on your honeymoon, and The Brazilian Court has made it a point that you do just that. In 2003, Café Boulud opened its doors at the hotel. Award-winning Chef Daniel Boulud and Executive Chef Rick Mace, have created a culinary landmark in Palm Beach—and it’s literally seconds away from your room. Meals are served all day long. You can sit inside, or out on a terrace overlooking gardens and a beautiful fountain. Every Thursday and Friday, there is live music. With a daily happy hour featuring specialty cocktails, there really is no reason to ever leave The Brazilian Court’s grounds. However, you may decide to venture out a little bit. If you do, you’re just minutes away from some of the best shopping this

“ Voted New Jersey’s BEST Cheesecake ”

s u g a r f l a k e b a k e s h o p. c o m 397 Franklin Ave Wyckoff, NJ 201-485-8413

24-04 Fair Lawn Ave Fair Lawn, NJ 201-796-3800

257 Westwood Ave Westwood, NJ 201-664-1253

side of Rodeo Drive. Worth Avenue is a mere four-minute walk from The Brazilian Court, and the white sand beaches of Palm Beach are just ten minutes away by foot. When you decide it’s time to get some shut-eye, you’ll notice a small form sitting beside your bed each night. It is the breakfast menu. Breakfast in bed is highly encouraged. It’s crafted by Café Boulud, and is quite possibly the finest in-room fine dining there is. No honeymoon is complete without a bit of pampering, and The Brazilian Court made sure to pull out all the stops when they partnered with Frédéric Fekkai to open the Frédéric Fekkai Salon and Spa in Palm Beach. Fekkai, a world-renowned celebrity hairstylist in Beverly Hills and New York, brought his talents down south, and in doing so, solidified The Brazilian Court’s reputation as the best hotel in Palm Beach. The spa offers a full-range of incredible services, from soothing massages, haircuts and styling, to European facials, manicures, and pedicures. Each treatment is created with the individual in mind, further enhancing the spa experience. If you want certain spa or salon treatments poolside, they will make it happen. This is your honeymoon, and it’s all about you. The Brazilian Court has remained a world-class hotel by constantly updating and upgrading, all while never sacrificing the elegant charm that has made the hotel a Palm Beach mainstay. For honeymooners looking for a secluded getaway only a few hours away, The Brazilian Court truly has it all.

THE BRA Z IL IA N COURT BR I D E The Brazilian Court isn’t just a great vacation spot. Many soon-to-be brides fall in love with the whimsical gardens and fountains. The boutique hotel offers a secluded getaway for you and your guests, with incredible service that matches any banquet hall you could think of. Café Boulud handles the catering, so you’re ensured that guests will go crazy about the food. With Frédéric Fekkai’s Salon and Spa on premises, you and your guests won’t even have the stress of leaving the hotel to ensure your hair, nails, and makeup are done to perfection. If you’re looking for a unique destination wedding, tie the knot under a canopy of beautiful palm trees while 100 of your closest friends and family look on in absolute envy. —BRANDON GOLDSTEIN


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Brahm’s Bar mitzvah Not your typical sports

themed affair

Brahm is a huge sports fan like many 13year-old boys, but his Bar mitzvah wasn’t your typical yankees and giants—or mets and Jets—bash. With the help of kraft event management, green Brook Country Club transformed into one of the biggest sports broadcasting studios in the country. Brahm and his 125 friends in attendance sat at a broadcast studio desk created by Creative games inc., and selected one of many iconic sports calls to relive themselves. as a takeaway from the party, each teen could download their live moment in addition to their customized headphones. the unique experiences at Brahm’s sports studio weren’t limited to the kids. kraft event management worked with eggsotic events to create diamond plate lazy susans, complete with scrolling leD table signs. all in all, it was a truly memorable experience. maybe the next al michaels will look back at Brahm’s Bar mitzvah one day as the start of a great career.

photos proviDeD By anDré maier photography

TH E DE TA I LS: Venue: green Brook Country CluB north CalDWell Event Planner: kraft event management Caterer: laurenCe Craig Catering - mapleWooD Tabletop Construction: eggsotiC events - hampton Event Rentals: party rental ltD. - teterBoro Valet: Country CluB serviCes millBurn Teen Games: Creative games inC. – hiCksville, n.y. Emcee and DJ: shiran niCholson Photographer: anDré maier photography Videographer: hart piCtures – neW york, n.y.


B e n n e t t ’ s B i g g a m e

A Championship Caliber Bar Mitzvah

a Championship Caliber Bar mitzvah Fans piled into temple emanu-el, beaming with excitement. The days leading up to the big game passed by slowly, and now it was time for Bennett to take the stage, or bimah, rather. Bennett was crowned the MVP, after whizzing through his Torah portion with the confidence of a seasoned pro. Afterwards, it was time to celebrate. The boisterous cheers of his many fans could be heard all around Closter, as Bennett was introduced in the grand ballroom. Bennett’s fans celebrated the day’s MVP by playing simulators, sports games, and dancing to the sounds of electric violins. Fans also received airbrushed personalized pillows, and later on, an LED robot capped off one of the grandest bar mitzvahs in Bergen County history. Guests took home jerseys signed by none other than the MVP himself.



Joy GLEnn PhoToGrAPhy

invites: PArTy PLus sTuDio - souTh hACkEnsACk décor & Flowers: ATLAs FLorAL DECorATors - nEw york catering: norThErn VALLEy AFFAirs - CLosTEr music and entertainment: ToTAL EnTErTAinMEnT EnGLEwooD, AnD ALLEn DALTon ProDuCTions - nEw york giveaways: LinDA MiLLEr oF iTz My PArTy - CrEsskiLL sPrinG 2014


Gala Season EVENTS

Holy NaMe Medical ceNter FoUNders Ball


EACH YEAH, LOCAL BERGEN COUNTY hospitals host ornate galas to boost fundraising and impress those in attendance. While BC has many suitable venues for such affairs, Holy Name Medical Center and Hackensack University Medical Center (HackensackUMC) traveled across the Hudson to Manhattan to throw this year’s fundraising bashes. Back in October, Holy Name Medical Center Foundation honored Dr. Robert Rigolosi at Pier 60 (Chelsea Piers) in Manhattan. The venue, one of the only such spaces with a dedicated waterfront in all of Manhattan, was completely adorned in Mediterranean-themed décor. A band played into the night, and 500 guests clamored for gondolas to take them on a tour of the Hudson, though they simply never came.* *Note: Holy Name never planned for gondolas, and guests did not actually clamor for them. PHOTOs By ViCTORiA MATTHews/HOly NAMe MeDiCAl CeNTeR

HackeNsack UNiversity Medical ceNter recogNitioN gala This year, HackensackUMC headed to The Plaza Hotel to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the medical center. More than 1,100 guests gathered as Neil sedaka performed, as well as jazz ensembles, a salsa band, and many other local New york City artists. The gala spanned three floors of The Plaza, and included cirque performances and other dancers. Beautiful floral chandeliers hung in the Plaza’s Palm Court, as a classy rose theme encompassed the entire venue. PHOTOs PROViDeD By HACkeNsACkUMC


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621 Godwin Avenue Midland Park, NJ 07432


CloCkwise from top left: tami melissa photography, wandering Bohemian photography, ClassiC photo and Video, miChael leslie


To find ouT more abouT advenTure aquarium, visiT or call 856.365.3300.

ADVENTURE AQUARIUM Make a splash for your next big party SOME DESTINATION WEDDINGS ARE A LITTLE MORE extreme than others. If you follow the industry, then you may have heard the wild stories of people tying the knot in the waters off Australia wearing scuba suits instead of tuxes and gowns. A steel cage serves as a chapel, and hammerhead sharks swim in place of guests. As captivating as those wedding photos may be, that isn’t exactly the beautiful ceremony many brides have in mind as they plan their big day. For those searching for an aquatic setting without the saltwater and sharks, a short trip down to Camden, N.J. to Adventure Aquarium is all you need. You’re completely dry outside the water, and thick glass keeps you and those hungry sharks separated. Does this sound more up your alley? 72

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Since 2007, Adventure Aquarium has hosted many unique parties, from upscale weddings and corporate gatherings, to casual birthday parties. There are several different event spaces that can accommodate any need, all while being surrounded by wildlife certainly not found in any New Jersey body of water. Oftentimes, a Bar Mitzvah will require additional vendors to provide entertainment for the kids. At Adventure Aquarium, the banquet hall is the entertainment. Giant sea turtles, schools of exotic fish, and of course, sharks, all provide an excellent backdrop for a non-traditional affair. Let’s be honest: your gown and his tux just won’t look as good with scuba gear.— MICHAEL BARKLEY

Kid Time YOUR YOUNGSTER WILL HAVE A BLAST AT THESE KID-FRIENDLY BC VENUES BIRTHDAYS ARE AN EXTRA-SPECIAL TIME FOR CHILDREN. PLANNING A PART Y FOR YOUR young son or daughter might not be as hectic as planning your wedding, but there’s still a lot of work that goes into making sure your child is happy on his or her big day. With so many options these days, always remember that the point of the party is to make sure that your kid has fun above all else. Fortunately, Bergen County offers some of the best venues for children’s birthday parties, so if you and your child are in need of some fantastic ideas, look no further. Written by Tessa Viole

AbmA’s FArm mArket & Greenhouse If your child loves the great outdoors, this familyowned farm has the perfect themes for them! From fairy garden parties for those who love fantasy and a sense of mysticism to hayrides and pumpkin picking for the October kids, Abma’s Farm will give your child a wonderful time in a scenic setting. Mom and dad will have lots of great photos to flip through when the kids are all grown up. 700 Lawlins Road, Wyckoff (201) 891-0278


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The New Jersey ChildreN’s MuseuM The New Jersey Children’s Museum is a place where learning and fun come together! With exhibits such as the medieval castle and the dinosaur cave, this Bergen County staple is a great place to bring the little ones for a party. The museum offers a wide range of fun themes, such as pirates, princesses, firefighters, and safari adventures. Parties include a host dressed according to the desired theme. 599 Valley Health Plaza, Paramus (201) 262-5151

aeon Fitness & gyMnastiCs


A birthday party at Aeon Fitness & Gymnastics will definitely get your child moving. Aeon offers several different party options for different age groups and even a “Parent and Me� party for toddlers. Kids can get in touch with their adventurous side as parties include the use of obstacle courses and gymnastic apparatuses. Parties start at $200.00. 157 Patterson Street, Hillsdale (201) 664-0304,

the art PlaCe If your child is a creative and artsy type, this is the place! The Art Place offers arts and crafts parties perfect for the next Picasso. Invitations are included with the cost, as is a $50.00 gift card for your next visit. Parties cost $375.00 but rates are discounted for parties of 35 or more guests. 490 Curry Avenue, Englewood (201) 871-8804

Making ChoColate Every child has a sweet tooth. For the chocoholics out there, what better way to celebrate than by making your very own chocolate? Making Chocolate offers party packages for ages four and up and prices vary by package. Kids can either dip or mold their own chocolate, or they can create their own chocolate pizzas. All party packages come with a goody bag for the child to take home with them as well. Invitations and refreshments are included in the packages. Yummy! 10 E. Madison Avenue, Dumont, (201) 385-0483,

SPrInG 2014


KIDS Kid’z MusiK


We all know that music brings joy. How often do you hear your kid singing or humming around the house? Kid’z Musik offers a party package for boys and girls ages one to six, and a girls-only package for girls between six and eight. Your child and their friends can sing and play with many different themed parties, such as prince and princess, and Dora the Explorer. The girls-only package features dances and music native to Hawaii, Trinidad, and Africa. How cool! Kid’z Musik also offers an all-inclusive one and a half hour birthday party, priced at $399.00 which is filmed by CBS 2 and FOX 5! This party includes food and drinks for all children, an arts and crafts project that the guests get to take home, a surprise costume character, and a whole lot more. 260 Grand Avenue, Englewood (201) 503-9479

Fine Dry Cleaning and Tailoring

Leather & Suede Specialists, Including Handbags, Gloves & Hats

Shirts Laundered Experts in Stain Removal Wedding Gowns Cleaned & Preserved Drapes Removed and Rehung Household Items Expert Tailoring

10 Oak Street, Ridgewood, NJ 07450 201.445.4242

Photo CourtESy of SPaCE oDySSEy

Space OdySSey USa

491 South Dean Street, Englewood (201) 567-3810

Gift baskets & Custom Cookies for all Occasions Shower and Wedding Favors Gourmet Cookies and Treats by the Pound Personalized Cookies and Cakes Corporate Logos and Gifts New All Natural Dog Cookies

Contact us:


your child doesn’t have to be a science geek to love space odyssey. With a stylish interior, this place not only caters to children’s birthdays, but also offers space for adult and corporate occasions. this englewood venue is also a great spot for parents. space odyssey offers an extensive birthday party package including invitations, thank you cards, a private party room, food and drinks, laser tag, bowling, party host supervision, and free perks for the birthday boy or girl. space odyssey offers many different party themes such as the “supreme dream” party, Galactic Bowling, or Arcade mecca. if those don’t suit your child’s fancy, then you can create your own theme! Prices vary depending on the theme.


Monster Mini Golf This indoor miniature golf venue is a great place to venture to for hours of fun on a rainy day or for a birthday party. Monster Mini Golf is full of backlights and neon colors, making for a futuristic fun time. When you’re done on the links, keep the party going at the arcade. Monster Mini Golf offers a private party room with many amenities that can be reserved for one and a half hours, as well as extra services to make your child’s birthday party even more special such as invitations and thank you notes. Rates are dependant on the number of guests and services. 49 E. Midland Avenue, Paramus (201) 261-0032


289 Westwood Ave. Westwood, NJ 07675


Sydney Madison Salon


MADELINE’S FIRST BIRTHDAY a Disney Bash fit for minnie mouse For her very first birthday, little madeline transformed The estate at Florentine gardens into The happiest Place on earth. guests waltzed around with face paint masterpieces while a magician brought the Disney magic to life. a party held to mickey and minnie’s highest standards, guests included cinderella, Belle, Pocahontas, lilo and Tinker Bell. Peter Pan was conspicuously absent.

Cake: Palermo’s Bakery DJ: sal Travis enTerTainmenT Photography & Photo Booth: Jacusin PhoTograPhy Face Painter & Magician: sal Travis enTerTainmenT Invitations: anna haTcher Design Favors: homemaDe chocolaTe Balloons: eleganT Balloons

photos by Jacusin photography

sPring 2014


A RESOURCE GUIDE F O R A L L Y O U R PA R T Y N E E D S VENUES 201 Club 90 Palisade Avenue Englewood (201) 541-0101 AndiAmo 23 Hardenburgh Avenue Haworth (201) 384-1551 bACAri Grill 800 Ridgewood Road Washington Township (201) 358-6330

The briCk house 179 Godwin Avenue Wyckoff (201) 848-1211

nAninA’s in The PArk 540 Mill Street Belleville (973) 751-1230

The roCkleiGh 26 Paris Avenue Rockleigh (201) 768-7171

The esTATe AT FlorenTine GArdens 97 Rivervale Road River Vale (201) 666-0444

PArk sAVoy 236 Ridgedale Avenue Florham Park (973) 377-7100

seAsons 644 Pascack Road, Washington Township (201) 664-6141

The PlAyers Club 348 Evelyn Street Paramus (201) 483-9690

sTony hill inn

PeArl riVer hilTon 500 Veterans Memorial Drive Pearl River (NY) (845) 735-9000

VAlley reGenCy 1129 Valley Road Clifton (973) 744-4510

il VillAGGio 651 Route 17 North Carlstadt (201) 935-7733

K R A F T EVENTS & DESIGN 908 221 0448 W W W.K R A FTE V E NTS .C OM

Hackensack (201) 342-4085

Perfection can be yours

Running from your legs? Slow down! The specialists at Hackensack Vein Center can help. Our expert team of board-certified physicians and vascular specialists treat the most severe cases of varicose and spider veins using the latest in state-of-the-art laser technology to improve the overall patient outcome and experience. All procedures are performed in the comfort of our outpatient centers including our new office in the Heart and Vascular Institute at 493 Essex Street,Hackensack.


Vein treatments are covered by most insurance plans. For more information or to schedule an appointment please call 201-996-9244 or visit us on the web at 493 Essex Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601 T 201-996-9244 F 201-996-9243 529 39th Street, Union City, NJ 07087 201-601-0900 F 201-601-0995


Angel J. Mulkay, MD, FACC

Scott D. Ruffo, MD, FACC



RESOURCE GUIDE The VeneTian 546 River Drive

Personal TouCh eVenTs

Carlo’s bake shoP

(973) 546-2250

(201) 488-8820

(201) 962-9080

WesTmounT CounTry Club

seasons off Premises CaTering

sugar flake bakery

(973) 256-2700 WoodCliff lake hilTon


CATERING in Thyme CaTered eVenTs

floral exPressions (201) 664-1253

(201) 664-6141


(201) 391-3600

Wild Willy’s Casino ParTies (732) 690-8324

a liTTle Cake

(201) 664-8474 We knead The dough (201) 888-2222

lyndhursT florisT


(201) 939-4484

dJ exPress enTerTainmenT PeTals Premier/adam leffel ProduCTions

(201) 391-6300 (201) 694-8202 The arT of Cake

(201) 666-3533

(201) 487-1300 exCel enTerTainmenT

lushe’ann CaTerers

(201) 483-9176 (973) 320-3241

(800) 573-9090

T he c o m p a ny to c a l l for t h e be st qu a l it y a n d se r v ic e in n ew Jer sey!

WILD WILLY’S CaSIno ParTIeS W I L D W I L L Y S C a S I n o Pa r T I e S . C o m 732 690-8324 m Y C a S I n o Pa r T Y @ g m a I L . C o m


Private Parties

Corporate Parties

Te x a s H o l d ’ e m To u r n a m e n t s

Bring this Ad for 10% Off Your Next Visit to Giulio’s Cannot Combine with Other Offers

Giulio’s Restaurant is housed in a beautiful Queen Anne Victorian built in the 1880’s. Giulio’s offers a Continental menu with an Italian flare, featuring market fresh ingredients. We can accommodate small intimate parties in one of our private rooms or larger parties up to 65 guests in our Main Dining Room. We also offer off-site catering for your home or place of business. Available for Private Parties of 10 or more for Brunch, Lunch & Dinner



reVe boutique

SAl lAurettA For men

AbellA StudioS 271 Route 46 West G-202

Women’s boutique 811

(201) 569-8383

(201) 444-1666

(201) 485-8650

Suite 201


the engle ShoP

(201) 670-0200

(973) 575-6633 Abbey PhotogrAPhy

(201) 947-1221 (201) 568-1331 gem Photo booth (973)-632-9791

bbZ limouSine

(800) 815-5466 biltmore tuxedoS

hArtly FAShionS

dAnAro limouSine (201) 444-2722

mAgique StudioS 193 New Jersey 17 (201) 265-9140

Studio uno PhotogrAPhy & Video

(201) 523-9102

(201) 664-3111

(201) 939-7077 deluxe FormAl weAr

goldStein Jewelry And Couture

(201) 871-8774

(800) 924-1645

FormAlS only tuxedoS

(201) 722-1700

greAt AmeriCAn trolley ComPAny Cape May (609) 884-5230

EVENT PLANNING AART EvEnTs & DEsign (201) 873-4921 KRAfT EvEnT MAnAgEMEnT 131 Woods End Drive, Basking Ridge (908) 221-0448 LuxE EvEnTs (347) 661-1099 MAKE An iMpREssion 792 Kinderkamack Road River Edge (201) 261-2777 MARThA BAuM EvEnTs (201) 848-9078 no LiMiT EvEnTs (800) 670-3671

HAIR/MAKE UP/ BEAUTY 217 BEAuTy (201) 228-9492 ALT sALon 67 East Allendale Road Saddle River (201) 934-1150 ART pLAsTic suRgERy 1 West Ridgewood Avenue, Suite 302 Paramus (201) 345-3518 BEAuTifuL BoDiEs BooT cAMp 469 New Jersey 17 Paramus (201) 978-0015 nJ cEnTER foR AEsThETic EnhAncEMEnT 700 E Palisade Avenue Englewood Cliffs (201) 568-0606

pAnico sALon 144 East Ridgewood Avenue Ridgewood (201) 652-4515

DEvon finE JEwELRy 303 Franklin Avenue Wyckoff (201) 848-8489


goLDsTEin JEwELRy AnD couTuRE 88 Engle Street Englewood (201) 871-8774 goldsteinjewelryand

ELEnA BoRRERo TRAvEL sERvicEs 24 Sheridan Avenue, Suite 6 HoHoKus (201) 493-7200

GOWN MAINTENANCE LEonARD AnThony cLEAnERs 10 Oak Street Ridgewood (201) 445-4242

LA viAno JEwELERs 175 Westwood Avenue Westwood (201) 664-0616


LE cRisTAL inc. 5 North Dean Street Englewood (201) 227-9100

AyEshA JEwELRy 21 North Dean Street Englewood (201) 503-0073

ThE TiMEpiEcE coLLEcTion 58 East Palisade Avenue Englewood (201) 894-1825 973.632.9791


Crane/CroW Pose

By Cristin Pontillo



their overall well-being. For many of my students, some of the


elbows hugging toward each other, and slightly bend the elbows (similar to Chaturanga but without a full bend). Lift your booty, and come onto the balls of your feet so that your knees are above

under your seat. For beginners, or those working

heart closer to the earth. Hold for a few breaths. BENEFITS: Creates heat, stillness, focus, and strength. Stretches back and groin.

your feet on either the floor or a block. PREP: From high crescent lunge, root down in the front foot and slowly begin to transfer weight off of the back foot and into the front. Begin to

your heart and reach your hands forward, creating head to your back foot. Hold for a few breaths.

Warrior iii

BENEFITS: Improves posture and balance, strengthens entire body, creates a sense of adventure and empowerment.

side of your front foot to stabilize.


Bird of paradiSe

Standing Split

Supported HeadStand



P R E P:

BENEFITS: Deep stretching, improves balance and Drishti, embodiment of Sthira and Sukha.

BENEFITS: Focus, stillness, deep stretch, relaxing, de-stresses.


BENEFITS: Rejuvenation, stress relieving, calming, centering, strength.







IS FOR COOKIE The Party is over, and now it’s time for dessert. What does your cookie choice say about you? B y Bra ndo n Go ldstein

You survived the family party, and miraculously, so did everyone else. Your belly is full, and grandpa is asleep on the couch. It looks like dad has mysteriously migrated to the bedroom. But now it’s time for everyone to wake up. It’s dessert time. The cookie platter is about to be unveiled. Ever wonder what your choice in circular sweetness says about you?

C h o C o l at e C h i p Don’t worry: you’re not a bore. You’re traditional—a sentimentalist, even. Do these taste like the ones grandma used to make with you? Those were the best, right? You’re a believer that everything was simpler in an era you may have never lived in. You know, the days of four channels on the black and white tube, when everything was paid for in cash. In those days, you’d never leave home without your fedora. In those days, one cookie reigned supreme: good ole chocolate chip.

Sugar Unfortunately, you’re a little boring. After dinner you’ll probably head home, watch Antiques Roadshow and pet Chance, your aging golden retriever. Last I checked, most cookies already had sugar in them—plenty of sugar. Using a main ingredient as your most enticing feature leaves much to be desired. Put the sugar cookie down. Actually, throw it out. That’s rebellious. Live a little, please. o at m e a l You don’t conform. Oatmeal cookies,

Look fabulous, day or night!

102 Engle Street Englewood, NJ 07631 201.568.1331

whether they have raisins or chocolate chips, or both—scratch that, always both, are all about expressing that you’re different. You don’t necessarily strive to be unique—lets face it, you’re no elephant ears—but you’re constantly recognizing that you’re a bit different than your peers. Maybe you’re just smarter. You realized that oatmeal is more nutritious than that extra be healthier than their standard chocolate chip brethren. I tip my hat to thee. s a lt E d C a r a M E l You have an extensive knowledge of all things cookie. Friends call you a cookie snob, but you take it with a grain of salt. Your refined palette craves cookies that are above and beyond the norm, and that beautiful cookie, sitting there with its caramel glaze and sprinklings of salt beckons for your mouth. Before your first bite, you grab your iPhone and seconds later your Pinterest or Instagram feed is buzzing with the newest trend for the internet to see: The Salted Caramel Cookie. pEanut ButtEr nutElla You discovered it had Nutella, and it was a match made in cookie heaven. While peanut butter is great, and nutella is delicious, combined they are an unstoppable force hell-bent on wreaking havoc on your taste buds and waistline. A trusted partner can go a long way in helping you realize your dreams, much like how Mrs. Nutella helped Ebenezer Peanut Butter III, Esq. recognize his. The fabled lovers are now making their presence felt on every cookie platter this side of the Mississippi. thE CoConut MaCaroon You thought you would live to see the day when it would be removed from the cookie platter once and for all, yet it conspicuously remains at the party, just like you. See, the rest of the party went on to meet people and do fun things. Unfortunately, nobody chose you. Just like nobody chose the coconut macaroons. Lucky for you, and not so much for your coconut macaroons, your path does not lead straight to the trash bin. Even the dog didn’t want them. But hey, I know you’ll find someone, someday. thE FrEnCh MaCaron You were fashionably late to the party, but you look stunning, and that’s all that matters to you. With your sexy accent and bespoke clothing, all eyes are on you. You’re used to all of the attention, and you’re a bit snobby about it, much like the French themselves. That isn’t cause to leave the party just yet. After all, through-

out the night people will get to see the other side of you. Unfortunately, it turns out that side is exactly the same. They just stare because they’re jealous, right? Oh well, at least the French Macarons come in a lot of loveable flavors. EvErything But thE KitChEn sinK You took a quick glance down at the rest of the platter and said, “Why don’t we just combine them all?” You dip your fries in your strawberry milkshake at the diner. Some people give you weird looks, but they don’t know what they’re missing. There’s a solid chance it was you who discovered these cookies in the first place, just like that time you made doughnuts out of croissant dough but didn’t get any of the credit. You stopped reading this a few sentences ago, because you needed to find a pint of Rocky Road Ice Cream – that would go perfect with this cookie! BisCotti The classiest person at the party, you wore a tux while everyone else was dressed down. Your family looks at you like you’re the one who made it. You were the one who put that expensive Ivy League education to good use. You never liked getting down and dirty, and you found that the

classy life just suited you better. The simple truth though, is you’re just a bland guy with an exciting foreign name. I hope this goes well with your espresso. ElEphant Ears You don’t believe in labels. Some may argue that elephant ears have no place among the rest of the cookies, because well, what kind of cookie is made with puff pastry dough? But you stand cheese on the platter and said, “Well if elephant ears are cookies then so are these,” you would take a bite from said grilled cheese, and then agree that they are in fact, delicious cookies worthy of every cookie tray in America. You don’t conform, and that’s perfectly OK. Jeeves, your pet ferret, will still love you unconditionally. M & M You’re the 21st century chocolate chip cookie. You have been genetically engineered to dominate the world. Let’s face it: you’re brighter than most. You’re well connected, and you’ve expanded your business dealings. You’ve got your peanut company, and your peanut butter company. Plus, those white gloves just look dashing on you, darling.

atches & Jewelry W st ne Fi e th of rs le ea D ed iz or Auth


For nearly half a century Benzel-Busch Motor Car Corp., one of the Nation’s largest Mercedes-Benz Dealers,

425 Route 3 East


BC Occasions Spring 2014  

Bergen County's Premiere Party Magazine. From first birthdays to grand weddings, we have you covered.