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BC Occasions

Occasions Celebrating the times of your life

Summer 2013

The Premiere issue!

Throw this Summer’s Hottest Party Tips for Hosting your Best Party Ever

Chic Looks for any Occasion

BERGEN Takes the Cake

The County’s Most Decadent Delights

laugh, drink, love Cocktail Recipes to Wow the Crowd

Summer 2013

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, customization keen keenaffair attention to detail. Asand guests of attention to detail. As guests our facility, we feel you 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 staff.expert 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 florentinegardens.com P: 201-666-0444 | F: 201-666-3032 florentinegardens.com


to making your special day

everything you dreamed it would be‌

and much more

VR A Romantic Location for Unforgettable Weddings

129 Valley Road, Clifton, NJ 07013 路 973-744-4510; F 973-744-3838 An Exclusive, Dynamic Setting for Business 路 A Long-Standing Tradition of Excellenece

Publishers Sharon & Steven Goldstein Brandon Goldstein Marketing Director Sally Lincoln Editor Justin Davidson Contributing Editor Nayda Rondon Art Director Meghan Bashaw Contributing Writers Jennifer Bonazzo Michael Bellantoni Rachel Rondon Stacy Lawrence Carina Moreno McEmsara Quesada Cristin Pontillo Jessica Humphrey Mark Gold Tessa Viole Michael Barkley Contributing Event Planners Luxe Events AART Event Planning Kraft Event Management Make An Impression

BC the Magazine Occasions is published by BC the Mag Find us at www.BCtheMag.com For advertising and information, please call 201-265-2286 Copyright 2013. 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.

“I wouldn’t want the guests at my birthday party confusing my celebration with the Oscars. That’s why I’m having the awards ceremony after we eat cake and I open my presents.” —Jarod Kintz, This Book Title is Invisible

Welcome to the inaugural issue of BC Occasions!

On September 10, 2001, Bergen County the Magazine became the area’s first lifestyle magazine featuring the many outstanding residents of Bergen County. We have witnessed and documented the County’s vast and remarkable transformation into the hub of culture that it is today. We have shared laughs with you, shed tears with you, waited on lengthy post-hurricane gas lines with you, and most importantly, we have gotten to know so many of you. For the past 12 years, Sharon and Steven Goldstein, publishers of Bergen County the Magazine, have become quite familiar on Bergen County’s event scene. My father Steven could be seen behind the camera at over 100 charity functions each year, and my mother Sharon was quick to approach you after the camera flashed to get your name. Night after night, they witnessed how the people of Bergen County could throw a party like no other. From weddings and charity functions, corporate parties and Bar Mitzvahs, to Quinces and backyard birthday parties, Bergen County was celebrating every day of the year. It was about time to expose our raucous revelry! Finally, it dawned on them: it was time to showcase Bergen County’s party prowess, and BC Occasions was born. BC Occasions is meant to serve a dual purpose. First, it is the only hyperlocal print resource guide covering all types of “occasions.” Second, we knew it was a must to highlight and feature the brilliant, over-the-top events that Bergen County partiers

have become known for. With BC Occasions, we feel we have accomplished exactly that. When putting this new magazine together, there were a lot of new faces willing to lend a helping hand. Seemingly apropos, I would like to take this occasion to thank a few of them. To my loving parents, Sharon and Steven Goldstein. Thank you. You have served the community relentlessly for over 10 years, running from one event to the next and making sure every charity could get just a little more exposure that might make a difference. Your devotion to your craft, and unwavering love for your community is truly inspiring. To Sally Lincoln, our partner in this venture and hopefully many more. We could not have gotten here without your dedication and hard work. To Justin Davidson, the Editor of this magazine. He’s young, talented, and has an incredibly admirable work ethic. If anything is spelled incorrectly in this magazine though, it is his fault. Finally, to Meghan Bashaw, our Art Director. She has transformed simple word documents and photos into the beautiful magazine you now hold. Her expertise perfectly captured our vision of what BC Occasions should look like. To our families, friends, writers, staffers, and of course, enemies: we hope to share endless drinks on countless occasions with you very, very soon. Cheers,

Brandon Goldstein

10 14 16 17 22 24

Your Fantastic Fourth The backyard shouldn’t be about stress. The Fourth of July is a day to relax and revel in the glory of the Stars and Stripes!

Food for Thought How to make the right menu choices for your guests with dietary restrictions A Franklin Lakes Circus Bergen County goes big for a young boy’s 1st birthday First Birthdays Scenes of the little ones celebrating the first of many Catering to the Younger Crowd Are you prepared to keep the younger ones entertained on your big day? The Premium 2013 Summer Cocktails It’s no secret: People love to drink. When hosting this summer’s party, be sure to have these cocktails that will wow all of your guests


Inside Invitations Advice for choosing the best wedding invites


Krafting the Perfect Event For over a decade, Jennifer Kraft has produced one-of-a-kind events for her clients


Joe Zisa and Nick Gagliano How DJ Express Entertainment and Studio Uno Photography & Video are bringing youthful energy to the old party game


The Great American Trolley Company Capturing your modern moments in classic style


Happily Ever After The wedding tale of Michael & Janelle Wilenta Love In Bloom

Contents Spring / Summer 2013


Just in time for one of the busiest wedding seasons, Franklin Lakesbased event planner Martha Baum shares 10 top tips for cultivating the “wow” factor with wedding flowers


Fashion & Beauty Week A charitable soiree worthy of an Oscar


Picture Perfect For years, award-winning Magique Studios has photographed the beautiful people and special events in Bergen County and Beyond


Just Girls, Just Guys Forget Vegas. Check out these spots for the best bachelor and bachelorette parties


Bergen Bakers These masters of eggs, sugar, and flour are whipping up much more than your typical chocolate or vanilla cake

68 84

Style Guide Dress for the Occasion

88 92

Celebrating in Style Bar and Bat Mitzvahs


Fabulous Favors Tips for leaving your guests with something memorable

96 98

Teenage Dreams Bella’s Bat Mitzvah, a Juicy Bat Mitzvah and one Caliente Quince

Color Me Lovely Julie Vinolas of Khuraira Cosmetics shares the secrets of how to achieve makeup perfection

Inhale, Exhale With your big day looming, these five yoga poses are sure to calm you down Resource Guide

floral and event decor 123 Sussex Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601 201 4871300 info@adamleffelproductions.com

Your Fantastic Fourth The backyard shouldn’t be about stress. The Fourth of July is a day to relax and revel in the glory of the Stars and Stripes!

Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon Recipe: The Fourth of July. Does a better American holiday exist? We grill burgers and eat corn on the cob in the backyard. We wave miniature flags at community parades, and of course we launch many, many booming fireworks into the sky once the sun goes down. It’s a spectacular way to celebrate our independence from our friends across the pond. Anyone who has had company over on July Fourth knows that it can be a lot of work. Bugs, kids, humidity, and of course, rain can try to spoil the holiday fun. But we have you covered. Cheryl Najafi, a New York Times best-selling author, and CEO of CherylStyle, her popular lifestyle company, is an expert when it comes to do-it-yourself suggestions, and unconventional ideas for making your backyard party unique. She shared many helpful tips with us that will make sure that you amateur party planners out there will have a nice, relaxing, and fun day off. From what to do in the tragic event of rain, to spicing up a classic dish, Cheryl has a tip for you!

Ingredients: Fresh Salmon fillets - Preferably with the skin attached Salt, pepper, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, lemon juice Wine, beer, sake or cider - for soaking your wood plank Lemon slices and fresh dill - for garnish Cedar wood planks - found at your local grocery store Charcoal or gas grill Directions: Start by soaking your cedar plank in wine, cider, etc. for a minimum of three hours— set a heavy pot atop of the plank to keep it sub-merged. Not only will this prevent your plank from burning, it will also infuse the salmon with steamy moistness as it cooks. Light your grill- approximately 350-degrees. Liberally rub salt, pepper, and brown sugar, as well as cayenne pepper to taste, onto the flesh side of your salmon then place skin side down on the wiped-dry plank. Use the lemon juice for squirting onto the fish as it cooks so the juice doesn’t blacken. Place plank on grill grate and close cover. Cook for 10–12 minutes. Check for doneness by carefully piercing with a grill fork and looking for a uniformly pink center. Remove from grill and transfer to a cutting board, peel off skin and garnish with dill and lemon slices.

“My mantra is to take classic things, and then add a twist. I’m always saying what’s the twist in this? How can we twist it? How can we look at this differently?”

CHERYL’S TOP TIPS “I suggest that you do a little bit of pre-production if you will. And people sign up. Let’s say you do an Evite or something where you’re asking people to bring something for a potluck, you can also ask what chore they want to do to help out. So if Aunt Sally is bringing the deviled eggs, she also can put ice in the glasses. And if Katie is bringing egg salad, then she can also take the trash out.”

Quick Suggestions Strategic placement of the bar, cocktail tables and buffet table Physical barriers will naturally tell your guests where you want them to congregate. Borders created with tiki torches or hanging lights These work just as well and look much nicer than a rope or temporary fence.

Grilled Halibut with Pesto Sauce:

Use a fire pit or space heaters Even on warmer nights, people instinctively flock to heat sources.

Ingredients: 4 Halibut Steaks ½ cup white wine Pesto sauce Salt and Pepper

Closed doors and gates A colorful ribbon or twine tied around the latch will let people know to turn back. A floor boundary, such as a portable dance floor These are surprisingly affordable to rent and save your yard from wear and tear, while saving your guests' shoes from any stray mud. Make friends with Mother Nature Stay tuned to weather forecasts and always have a solid Plan B just in case. That means not being afraid to relocate the party to your living room at the last minute, even if you have to clear out some existing furniture to create the space. Don't get blown away Wind can really wreak havoc on an outdoor event, so be sure to invest in some oversized clips to hold down your tablecloths. You'll also want to anchor umbrellas and other unstable objects that could blow away Mary Poppins-like. Avoid a meltdown Make sure your gathering includes shading over the tables so the sun doesn't beat down on them, causing butter, cakes (or your guests) to melt. Set some boundaries Just because it rained recently and you have some muddy patches doesn't mean you have to call off your backyard bash. Simply use your bar, buffet tables or even tiki torches to hem in the party and keep guests from stepping in a sticky situation.


To avoid melting ice cream and a messy counter top, freeze individual portions in muffin tins. Set ice cream out to soften. Using an ice cream scoop, place individual servings into muffin tins. Refreeze for quick, completely frozen summertime desserts.


To keep those pesky ants from invading your picnic space, use broken chalk pieces and smash in a paper bag with a hammer to create chalk dust. Spread around the perimeter of your picnic area. Ants are repelled by the chalk and your sandwiches and lemonade will be ant free.


For a soothing remedy for that summer sunburn, freeze a mixture of cucumber and aloe vera juice in ice cube trays. Remove and store in a plastic baggie. Take out and apply the cool cube for instant relief.


To keep those summer salads refrigeratorsafe, use an ice bath. Take a bowl larger than the one you are serving in and add ice and a little bit of water. The bath will keep your salads from turning into a salmonella outbreak.


After the kids finish their play in the pool, sprinklers or with water balloons, create a quick dry place for your towels. Use your ladder as an easy outdoor towel rack. Just set it up, and ask the kids to lay their towels out on the rungs. Voila! The towels will dry in no time.


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Pesto Sauce: 3 cups basil 4 cloves garlic ¾ cup Parmesan cheese ½ cup olive oil ¼ cup pine nuts Directions: Combine basil, garlic, Parmesan, olive oil, and pine nuts in a food processor and mix until smooth. Combine white wine and pesto sauce in a sealed bag and shake to mix. Add halibut steaks and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Preheat grill. Remove halibut from bag and place on hot grill, drizzling the tops with marinade and sprinkling with salt and pepper to taste. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes per side. Fish is done when it is opaque all the way through.

“Do what you love to do, and then outsource or resource the rest of it. If you’re not a baker, then order baked goods from the bakery down the street. If you can’t grill, then someone can pitch in and give you a hand. It’s not about the fuss. It’s not about making sure everything is perfect.”

Bacon Jalapeño Spicy Coleslaw: Ingredients: 1 container Greek yogurt Juice of 1 lemon 2 cloves garlic, minced ½ head of cabbage, thinly sliced ½ head of purple cabbage, thinly sliced 1 carrot, shredded 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced 1 cup feta cheese ¼ teaspoon kosher salt Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste 8 slices of bacon, crisped and crumbled Directions: Whisk yogurt, lemon juice and garlic together to create dressing Add cabbages, carrots, jalapeño and feta cheese to yogurt dressing Season with salt and pepper and toss Top with crumbled bacon

“Thinking about things that won’t spoil in the summertime heat is really important so a lot of my salads that I prepare in the summertime, we’ll take out the mayonnaise and substitute Fage yogurt, or just a full-fat—I think the fuller fat yogurts are better especially in the salads. They add a creamy feel. But that’s one of my all-time favorites. I love it.”

Cheryl’s book, You’re So Invited: Panic Less, Play More, and Get Your Party On! reached #3 on the New York Times Best Sellers List. Visit her online at www.cherylstyle.com.


for thought

How to make the right menu choices for your guests with dietary restrictions

Engagement parties, bridal showers and wedding receptions are joyous occasions that celebrate the future with those near and dear. However, planning these special events is no simple task, especially when it comes to choosing a menu. The days of either a chicken or beef entree are long gone. Many Americans have celiac disease, or are lactose intolerant. In fact, more than 21 million households report themselves as gluten-free, and vegetarians and vegans total nearly 22 million people. It’s becoming more likely that you will receive special menu requests at your celebration. You should be prepared. How do you create a menu that pleases all palates and ensures that every guest feels like a part of the celebration? These simple tips make it easy to plan a menu that is delicious, safe and satisfying for all.

Dietary Restriction RSVP

Lemon Poppy Cake Balls

Include a section for dietary restrictions in the RSVP. This ensures that guests will enjoy the meal without worry and can fully participate in the celebration. There’s no need to list out the various preferences. If they have celiac, or are a vegan, simply provide a space for them to indicate just that.

Prep time: 35 minutes Total time: 1 hour 35 minutes Serves: 12

Be Cautious of Cocktails Thoroughly research wine, liquor and beer before making a selection, as many types of alcohol deceptively contain gluten. There are great gluten-free options available that allow guests with celiac to drink worry-free. Stock some gluten-free selections for these people. Get Creative with Options Use gluten-free products, such as Udi’s Double Chocolate or Double Vanilla muffins. Get creative, and use them to create fun and trendy cake balls. It’s a treat that is delicious enough for all guests to indulge in. You won’t even realize there’s no gluten in what you’re enjoying. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Many caterers and bakers have experience accommodating gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan requests. Don’t be afraid to work with them to figure out the tastiest ways to satisfy the more sensitive palates. Label Clearly When offering hors d’oeuvres or serving on a buffet, clearly label gluten-free, dairyfree, vegetarian and vegan choices so guests can easily make selections without asking the servers if something is safe to eat.

Ingredients Udi’s Lemon Streusel Muffins - 1 package ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened 2 cups confectioners’ sugar ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 tablespoon lemon juice - fresh-squeezed 12 ounces white chocolate, - chopped 2 tablespoons shortening - all-vegetable Poppy seeds - for sprinkling Directions: Crumble the muffins in a large bowl. Using an electric hand mixer, beat together butter and sugar until creamy and blended. Beat in vanilla and lemon juice until fluffy. Add half of lemon frosting to crumbled muffins and combine using a fork. If mixture isn’t moist enough, add more frosting, a little at a time. Using tablespoon-sized cookie scoop, form cake balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour. In double boiler set over medium heat, melt together white chocolate and shortening. Working one at a time and using a toothpick, dip cake balls into the chocolate mixture. Sprinkle with poppy seeds and let set on parchmentlined baking sheet.

For flavorful ideas and more gluten-free options, visit udisglutenfree.com.


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Our lavish Grand Ballroom, highlighted by crystal chandeliers and floor to ceiling windows, our elegant Conservatory, with its hand-painted domed ceiling and marble accents, our artfully redesigned restaurant and bar, gorgeously renovated guestrooms, and our 17 picturesque acres of wooded countryside in the heart of the scenic Hudson River Valley offer the perfect setting to create magnificent memories. Bordering Bergen County, and just minutes from Manhattan and Westchester via the George Washington and Tappan Zee Bridges.

HILTON PEARL RIVER The Chateau in The Country near The City.

500 Veterans Memorial Drive Pearl River, NY 845.735.9000 hiltonpearlriver.com/weddings

For more information on AART Events & Design, visit them at aarteventsanddesign.com, or call them at (201) 873-4921.

A Franklin Lakes Circus

Bergen County Goes Big for a Young Boy’s 1st Birthday There are few absolute truths in life. However, there is one thing we know for certain: the people of Bergen County know how to throw a party. For proof, look no further than young Maxwell’s 1st birthday celebration. First birthdays are always unique. As we all know, they are more for the parents than for the child, who has no shot at remembering any of it. In February, Lauren and Seth of Franklin Lakes sat down with AART Events & Design and began discussing exactly what they were looking for. Originally, little Maxwell’s parents wanted to throw a safari-themed backyard bash. It quickly became clear that they would need to change themes. Lauren mentioned the movie “Water for Elephants” when it


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came to the setting of the party she envisioned for Maxwell. After meeting with Lauren and Seth, and checking out the couple’s sprawling backyard, AART came up with a concept they truly loved: a vintage circus theme. The kids were sure to love it, and the adults as well. Sold on the idea, AART got right to work planning the April party. The clients wanted the party to have a more sophisticated look and feel than your typical 1st birthday, and with a budget for décor that was around $2,000, AART was confident they could come up with a scheme that perfectly fit Lauren and Seth’s ideas. The traditional colors of a circus did not work for the clients, so Aelicia of AART used a lot more navy, white, and yellow, with bursts of red to give the circus a much classier and refined look.

Playing on the three-ring circus vibe, AART erected three tents in Lauren and Seth’s backyard. Each tent served a different purpose. In one tent, uniquely colored and patterned umbrellas hung down from the ceiling and livened up what can often be a dull setting. There were multiple fun activities for the kids, such as a bounce house, hula-hoops, and of course that classic parachute. Foodwise, there was a hot dog stand, and catered food from Market Basket. Who says eating isn’t an activity? Maxwell’s birthday went on successfully without a hitch. The little guy might not remember his 1st birthday bash, but Lauren and Seth will have the photos of his fantastic afternoon to show him when he’s a grown-up.—Brandon Goldstein

First Birthdays Images courtesy of Jenny G rant D ig i tal Imag i ng Jennygrantdigitalimaging.com · NJ/NY portrait/event/wedding photographer

KATHY GOLDSTEIN events Be a guest at your own party! Kathy goldstein combines her expertise and unique style with your personal desires to create one-of-a-kind events!

(973) 647-4990 · kathygoldsteinevents.com · kathy@kathygoldsteinevents.com

Complete eVent plannIng · personal Individual assistance · entertainment: Bands, DJ’s, magicians and more · Photography, Florist, Transportation · Creative room Decor and table arrangements · Unique Venues, Catering, Wait Staff · Fun & Different giveaways, Favors, arcades, games · unique Custom Invitations weDDIngs · Bar/Bat mItzVah · sweet 16’s QUinCeañera · CorPoraTe ParTieS/eVenTS

First Birthdays Images courtesy of Jenny G rant D ig ital Imag i ng Jennygrantdigitalimaging.com 路 NJ/NY portrait/event/wedding photographer

First Birthdays Images courtesy of Jenny G rant D ig i tal Imag i ng Jennygrantdigitalimaging.com 路 NJ/NY portrait/event/wedding photographer

Go to the chapel in style aboard an elegantly styled Wedding Trolley in Wedding White, Victorian Red or Black & Navy Blue. Beautifully adorned with fine brass railings and solid oak seating or cloth padded seats, the entire Wedding Party can ride together as we have trolley sizes from 21 passengers up to 50 passengers, making your ride to the ceremony, pictures and reception even more memorable. CeleBRaTiNG 30 yeaRs of seRViCe! 1-800-487-6559 路 gatrolley.com 821 shunpike Road, Cape May, NJ 08204

First Birthdays Project by Emily Kla parda “retired� corporate interior architect turns to event planning, invitations, and home design - mostly for her sweet little girls!

Catering to the Younger Crowd Are you prepared to keep the little ones entertained on your big day? You’ll have children at your next event, and they need special attention. Carina Moreno and McEmsara Quesada of Clifton-based Luxe Events offer up five kid-friendly tips that will guarantee a good time for the little ones, and peace of mind for mom and dad.


Supervision is key

Hiring a professional event sitter will keep children safe and entertained, while freeing their parents so they can enjoy the party. Set up a children’s table in the same room—but away from the action. The event sitter will supervise them and can take the lead on arts and crafts projects and other fun activities.


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Order a happy meal

Hire entertainment

Children won’t appreciate your gourmet menu, so it’s best to work with your caterer to include kidfriendly options. Your caterer can get creative. Why not include signature mocktails for the underage crowd during the cocktail hour? Garnish the mocktails with gummy bears or rock candy sticks for a sugary touch the kids will love. These non-alcoholic beverages will make the little ones feel special and included. Want to make your drinks pop? Just add pop rocks!

Take your party to the next level by hiring live entertainment. Consider strolling tables for appetizers and dessert. It will give your party a memorable touch. You can also hire dance motivators, strolling illusionists, magicians or caricaturists. These professionals are experienced with entertaining children of all ages. There are many options nowadays and you’ll want to choose one that is appropriate for your audience and your event’s theme.


Designate a party lounge

Use a private room nearby for the older children and set up board games, video games, ping-pong and air hockey tables, and age appropriate movies. They’ll enjoy this so much they won’t want to leave when the party is over!


SuperSize the extras

If you have games for the kids, include a display for them to pick up their prizes and favors. Bring in a Cold Stone Creamery Bar so they can scream for ice cream! For an added surprise, hire a food truck so your guests can enjoy a savory or sweet snack on their way out the door. It will definitely give them something to talk about on their way home.


Cocktails 2013




Casa Noble 2 oz. Casa Noble Crystal 1 oz. Fresh Organic Lime Juice (or the juice of 1 whole lime) ž oz. Organic Agave Nectar Garnish: lime wheel and kosher salt rim (optional) Method: Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake, strain and serve up or on the rocks. Garnish with a lime wheel. To salt rim – moisten rim of glass with lime and gently roll in a plate of kosher salt.

Sp rin g/Summe r 2013



(3:1) 3 dashes Angostura Bitters ž oz. Carpano Antica 2 Ÿ oz. Four Roses Single Barrel Stirred, and served in a chilled cocktail (martini) glass and garnished with a cherry.


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Give use a Call to set up your Complimentary Cake Tasting & Design Consultation

A 94 Berthoud Street Park Ridge, NJ, 07656 201-391-6300

Rum Raisin 1 ¾ oz. Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum 1 Bar spoon Fig Preserves ½ oz. Agave Nectar ½ oz. Lemon Juice Fig Preserves Add ingredients in a Boston glass. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into rocks glass. Garnish with raisins.


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YOUR SPECIAL OCCASION IS OUR MAIN EVENT. On 21 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, Hilton Woodcliff Lake offers you unparalleled venues for an elegant grand gala and more intimate special event. Coupled with an exemplary standard of service, Hilton Woodcliff Lake both delights and excites. The perfect setting for your unforgettable event. Begin your experience. Visit hiltonwoodclifflake.com or woodcliff.hilton.com S TAY HI LTON. G O E VERYWHERE.

200 Tice Blvd | Woodcliff Lake | NJ 07677-9998 | USA | +201 391 3600 | E: wodhi-salesadm@hilton.com ©2013 Hilton Worldwide

Van gogh Cocktails Peachy Palmer Created by The Cocktail Guru, Jonathan Pogash 1 ½ oz. Van Gogh Cool Peach Vodka 1 part Iced Tea 1 part Lemonade I peach slice Add ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and shake very well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with peach slice.

Pomegranate Creamsicle
 1 ½ oz. Van Gogh Pomegranate
 ¾ oz. fresh orange juice
 ¾ oz. honey syrup
 ¾ oz. half and half

BLOODY GOOD TIMES 2 oz. Van Gogh BLUE vodka 2 oz. bloody mary mix Fresh lime juice Dash of Scotch bonnet sauce or hot sauce of choice Old Bay to cover rim Pickled asparagus Coat rim of glass with Old Bay seasoning. Then fill with Van Gogh BLUE vodka and bloody mary mix. Add fresh lime juice and a dash of Scotch bonnet sauce or hot sauce to taste. Garnish with pickled asparagus. And voila- a glass of good times. Take a sip and let ‘em roll.

Shake hard with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish: floating orange wheel and ground cinnamon.

Dessert Fizz 1 ½ oz. Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate 1 large strawberry, chopped handful of mint leaves 1 tsp. agave nectar ¼ oz. fresh lemon juice 3 oz. sparkling wine or Champagne Muddle the strawberry with the agave and lemon. Add Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate and strain into chilled Champagne flute. Top with the sparkling wine or Champagne. Garnish: strawberry slice on rim.

X-RITA Xoxo 2 oz. X-Rated Fusion Liqueur® 2. oz Malibu Rum Mix and pour over a low-ball glass filled with ice.

1 ½ oz. SKYY Infusions Passion Fruit 1 oz. X-Rated Fusion Liqueur 1 oz. Passion Fruit Puree Splash of sour. Combine ingredients in shaker. Strain and serve in a martini glass.


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inside invitations Advice for Choosing the Best Wedding Invites The wedding invitation is your first chance to make a great first impression. Everything from the elegance of a calligraphyaddressed envelope to the intricacy of the pocket folds that keep all the enclosures in place elevates the initial perception your guests will have of your special day. While the 21st century bride might feel ordering online is convenient and efficient, doing so can cause headaches as your wedding approaches. Unlike choosing a gown at a bridal shop or purchasing flowers at a florist, invitations are often an add-on product, and not the focal point of many businesses. Purchasing invitations at the same place where you select your flower arrangement may prove more convenient, but in doing so, you could be sacrificing valuable expertise. The selection may be limited, and you want the perfect invitation. One of the first businesses couples contact in their search for the perfect invitation is a printer. The reality is that you will find many printers have a limited selection available. The selection process can take hours, and many print shops do not offer comfortable seating. Some printers specialize in invitations, and you will know right off the bat if that is the case. If not, you may not receive the proper attention you deserve.

For optimal selection and expertise, the best person to visit is an invitation specialist. So who are invitation specialists? Invitation specialists are retailers who focus solely on printing and personalizing invitations and stationery. They pride themselves on offering customers upscale and unique designs along with other products. Beautiful displays of invitation samples line the walls and counters of their shops. Invitation specialists give you undivided attention and gladly share their expertise. You can find them anywhere from malls and shopping centers to their very own home studios. Before the digital age, brides had to interact face-to-face with a specialist. Now, brides can find visual inspiration without stepping outside. Good photography, however, can accentuate the look and quality of the physical invitation. A computer screen can alter the color of the actual invitation. If you opt for the digital route, order a sample of the invitation and enclosure to make sure you get precisely what you want. Ordering online in some cases leads to mistakes in the ordering process. Invitation professionals provide a hands-on approach, and know the precise quantity of invitations to order. Depending on the size of your wedding, a specialist will know the right number of invitations to order to account for unanticipated additions. While it may seem simple to craft the text you want on your invitation, a professional provides a mastery of wording etiquette. A set of professional eyes can help you avoid crucial errors before sending out the invitations. Even the most sophisticated online ordering website does not reveal some intricacies that quality-conscious brides require. It’s impossible to feel the texture of your paper, and to view layering and perforations through the lens of a computer screen. Invitation specialists carry brands that are so complex that they need to be viewed in person. A trip to a professional can make all the difference. Also, think about what would happen if you catch a mistake shortly after placing an order through a faceless website. The results could be both expensive and embarrassing. A professional proofreads the invitations many times before giving the green light. Planning a wedding can be stressful for many brides. A professional may catch something as silly as the incorrect year or state of your wedding when you have a million other things on your mind.—Stacy Lawrence


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Stacy Lawrence is an event planning professional and owner of Make an Impression, in River Edge. For more information, visit yourpartyexpert.com, or call (201) 261-2777 Invitations by Jill Ryder of Shindig (917) 405-9366 : shindiginvites.com

Before you begin your quest for the perfect invitation, here are some tips: No. 1 Be aware if the invitation includes an inner envelope, should that be your preference. Having both envelopes when you do not want an inner envelope results in the invitation swimming in the larger outer envelope. When the invitation includes an outer envelope, the envelope is sized to fit the invitation properly. No. 2 If you want your envelopes lined, it is almost always an option that needs to be selected separately. No. 3 Order at least 25 extra envelopes to allow for calligraphic mistakes. No. 4 If you order online, some of the more contemporary ideas for wedding invitations may be displayed in other categories of the site such as Bar and Bat Mitzvah, or Sweet Sixteen. No. 5 To make a traditional invitation seem more contemporary and or to make a contemporary invitation seem more traditional, try changing the font and layout of the wording. No. 6 If you want your invitation done in a foreign language, in many cases you will need to have the invitation typeset on your own and sent to the printer camera-ready. Make sure you get the dimensions of the invitation for the right type placement. No. 7 Direction cards are often one of the most difficult enclosures to lay out because of an excess of copy for the small enclosure on which it is printed. Check if your reception hall has direction cards you can use or information you can replicate. No. 8 It is generally recommended to place an order a minimum of four months before the wedding. No. 9 One of the most common ordering errors is to order one invitation for every guest. You need invitations for every couple, grown child who does not live at home, family and single person. Generally half the guest list and an additional 25 will suffice. Ordering invitations can be a pleasant, creative experience when you have a firm grasp of the process and an awareness of common mistakes. If you take the time and effort to make the right choices, you will love the finished product and so will your guests.

A CATERED AffAIR...with a Restaurant Menu Warm, Intimate Decor : Two Banquet Rooms : Private Parties up to 100 People : Corporate Events to Weddings 800 Ridgewood Road, Township of Washington, NJ : 201.358.6330


ennifer Kraft is a busy woman. After graduating from college, Jennifer worked in client services and event planning at Christie’s Auction House where she gained valuable experience in event planning before starting Kraft Events in 1996. With the 2013 wedding season quickly approaching, the 15-year event planning veteran took time to chat with BC Occasions about what makes an event memorable. Kraft Events prides itself on thinking outside the box. Jennifer and her team consistently deliver high-quality customer service and care for every client. For example, at a recent Bar Mitzvah party, Kraft Events transformed a section of the party venue into a sports broadcast studio. The man of honor dreams of becoming an ESPN personality one day, and Jennifer produced something that he will surely remember for years to come. At the broadcast station, a camera crew filmed each guest’s 15 minutes of fame and provided them with information on how to view their video after the party ended. “The guest experience is extremely important to me,” Jennifer said. The concept was a hit for both the 13-year-olds and grownups alike. When working with her clients, Jennifer encourages this type of idea. “I feel with private social events, it should reflect what the client or family wants,” she said. “I don’t like the cookie-cutter event,” Jennifer continued. “I challenge my clients to think of unique ideas, as long as it makes sense.” For a Bat Mitzvah, Kraft Events surprised the guests by incorporating the birthday girl who was a dancer into a performance of “A Chorus Line.” “My favorite is the element of surprise, the unexpected,” said Jennifer. By putting the focus of the party in the immediate spotlight in an unconventional fashion, Jennifer left guests, and of course the Bat Mitzvah girl with a performance that will last a lifetime. Jennifer also likes the idea of making the guests participants in the event—not merely spectators. A great way to do this, she said, is to incorporate a popular game or activity that the client enjoys. For one birthday party, Kraft Events worked with a family which loved trivia. Jennifer caught on to this quickly and created a Jeopardy-like game show, hosted by the father. In combining her design expertise and customer service skills, Jennifer has become a visionary in the event planning world. Her artistic background helps clients realize their event visions. “I work closely with every single one of my clients. I am their point person and client advocate,” Jennifer said. The trusting relationships which she establishes with her clients has ultimately led to the lasting success of her company. At the end of the day, event planning can be hectic and fast-paced, but Jennifer thrives in this business. She truly enjoys it when clients love her creations. “There is a great satisfaction in that.”


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Krafting the perfect event For over a decade, Jennifer Kraft has produced oneof-a-kind events for her clients —R a c h e l R o n d o n

Tips for a Successful Event: 1.Be true to yourself and your immediate family and create an event that reflects who you are 2.For a clear vision, keep your party plans between you and your party planner 3.For a truly memorable event, incorporate an element of surprise 4.Be honest about your budget from the beginning and be realistic about what is really possible 5.Consider guest experience and how your guests can be participants instead of just spectators

Private Parties 路 Kosher Catering available CorPorate events 路 Weddings Unparalleled service 路 Flawless execUtion all the right ingredients inthyme.com 路 info@inthyme.com (201) 666-3353 nJ office 97 rivervale road river vale, nJ 07675

For more information, visit kraftevents.com

nY oFFiCe 227 West 29th street new York, nY 10001

To contact DJ Express Entertainment, call 201.694.8202, or visit them online at djexpressnj.com. For Studio Uno, call 201.523.9102, or visit studio-uno.com.

Joe Zisa and Nick Gagliano How DJ Express Entertainment and Studio Uno Photography & Video are Bringing Youthful Energy to the Old Party Game The 2013 party scene is more competitive than ever. Artists quietly sketch renderings of the evening’s events, while trapeze swingers deliver your vodka tonic. It wasn’t always like this. With every client trying to outdo their friends, the stakes for delivering the party of a lifetime have never been higher. Few people in the business understand that better than Joe Zisa of DJ Express Entertainment, and Nick Gagliano of Studio Uno Photography & Video. While the old-timers attempt to catch up to the new trends, these two youngsters are on top of the next big thing, and are already at the pinnacle of Bergen County’s party scene. »


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Nick Gagliano (left), and Joe Zisa: two young guys on top of the BC event scene

standing behind a booth playing music. He was now the portal from which the entire vibe and atmosphere of the party would emanate.

“DJ Express is the Hugo Boss of the entertainment world— not the Wal-Mart”

Joe Zisa DJ Express Ent ertainment IT WAS AROUND 1997 when Joe Zisa, still enrolled at Lodi High School, first bought DJ equipment. “I just had a passion for music, a passion for people,” Joe told me as we sat down in his Paramus office. “My goal was always not to be like everyone else. Great sound, great equipment. The newest stuff. Not the same old music. We’re not your cheesy DJ.” Almost 15 years later, Joe Zisa and his company, DJ Express Entertainment, are setting the tone for Bergen County’s top parties. Only 16, Joe and his friends Alessio and Joe, started playing local gigs and a business was born. “I didn’t have an office, so we would meet people at my uncle’s bar for consultations. I was doing all sorts of jobs then—just trying to get my name out there.” Too young to drive, his mother would drop Joe off at parties, and his father would swing by to pick him up late at night. Joe is a first-generation Italian-American. Before getting really serious about DJ-ing and even after, Joe worked at his father’s tree service company. He operated machinery and worked hard so he could save up to buy the DJ equipment he needed. His father taught him to seize the opportunities America provided, and instilled in him the drive to work hard. America, his father told him, was

where you could make something of yourself. Joe was soon DJ-ing backyard parties for his high school buddies. Some nights, he would play at local bars, but he knew this wasn’t where he belonged. He had visions of a “boutique style entertainment company,” and his concept was quickly being realized. After Joe and his partners graduated from high school, they began to go their separate ways. Alessio joined the Air Force, where he continues to serve today. Joe’s other partner, Joe, became a full-time electrician. While the group somewhat disbanded, Joe Zisa knew the time was ripe to take DJ Express to the next level. With the success or failure of the business all resting on Joe’s shoulders, he brought his vision of what an entertainment company should be to reality. In 2003, Joe began DJ-ing his first weddings. Initially, that was Joe’s biggest obstacle – not just standing and talking in front of 250 people, but bringing an energy that gets those 250 people up on their feet and dancing all through the night. He practiced reciting the names of brides and grooms in his living room in front of his family and friends until he had it all down. Joe promised his clients an amazing party, and he was not about to disappoint. By 2004, the DJ scene was changing drastically. The conversion from CD to MP3 turned the music industry on its head. Now, everyone and their uncle thought they could spin the ones and twos. Hosts thought they had found a cheap way to entertain. While the world got its taste of awful amateur DJs, Joe took that time to master these new computer programs. Now, DJs were able to create masterfully produced entertainment sets, with lighting effects and video monitors that complemented the music. The DJ was becoming more than just a man

While other entertainment companies lagged behind in fully grasping the advances in technology, Joe, the young guy on the scene, had already mastered it. He was producing full sets the older guys couldn’t even wrap their heads around. While they tried to catch up, Joe was teaching some of his buddies how to operate and create these full DJ sets, strengthening Joe’s position on the BC party scene. By 2005, Joe was doing around five weddings each year. He was perfecting his “boutique style” philosophy. Around this time, Joe met Nick Gagliano, a young photographer who was shooting a lot of the major parties. As the two young guys surrounded by all the old men in their tuxes from the 80s, they quickly struck up a friendship. By 2008, Joe and Nick shared an office. Joe envisioned offering personal, conciergestyle service to all of his clients. He began with a consultation, but rather than a quick “all business” chat, Joe noticed that his consults were turning into multiple-hour sessions. He was becoming friends with his clients. Often, his clients were close to his age, so they were already connecting on levels that other entertainment companies could not. He also recommended other vendors that would suit his clients perfectly. More than just a vendor, Joe was becoming a helpful resource. Joe’s boutique philosophy was evident throughout all aspects of his business. Dressed in custom-made suits, Joe met with clients personally, and designed packages that catered to their specific high-end needs. In addition to intricate DJ sets, and cuttingedge equipment, Joe offered what many entertainment companies could not: a luxurious feel that matched every other aspect of the client’s special day. Joe didn’t want cheesy line dances and tasteless music, and he really didn’t want exposed wires. Everything had to look clean. It was a new age of party production, and Joe was now at the helm. Fast-forward to 2013, and Joe is a recommended vendor at some of North Jersey’s biggest and most-esteemed venues. Each year, he does about 40 weddings, and he isn’t looking to DJ over 150, as other companies claim. He’s about doing a small number, but doing them perfectly. DJ Express is the Hugo Boss of the entertainment world—not the Wal-Mart. Joe Zisa’s boutique style is no longer a dream. It’s a reality, and one he executes with a youthful passion and unwavering love that simply isn’t found in your typical entertainment company. »

S p ring/ Summ e r 2013


Nick Gagliano Studio Uno Photography & Video A couple days after I sat down with Nick, he sent me a picture of himself at age three. He was holding a camera, and looked obviously disgruntled. He had told me the story earlier. He was yelling at his mother because she wasn’t posing the way he wanted her to. Even as an infant, the art of photography was coursing through Nick Gagliano’s veins. Nick’s father started a photography business called Studio Uno in 1977, long before Nick was born. His Sicilian parents created a comfortable life for themselves in Saddle Brook through the business, but they knew that it would be Nick’s responsibility to take it to the next level. Nick recalled the oft-repeated words of his father: “If I came here and made this business, you should own a casino by the time you’re my age.” In 1996, when Nick was just nine, he worked his first party on New Year’s Eve. Someone on his father’s staff called out, and the old man deemed his young boy a worthy replacement. For the next five years, Nick’s responsibility was carrying the photographer’s bags and holding lights. “Back when film was used, lighting was actually important. I learned all the techniques and where to aim it. That was key. That was a big deal. Nowadays it doesn’t matter with the cameras,” Nick reminisced. When he was about 14, Nick started shooting the second camera, capturing the party’s important moments from secondary angles. When he turned 17 and got his license, he began shooting smaller gigs and tiny weddings as the main photographer. He had to prove to his father that he was mastering the craft. He worked in the office as well, and familiarized himself with the inner-workings of a photography studio. Five years ago, when he was only 19, Nick did his first big wedding. It was at Westmount Country Club. Three hundred people were coming. “I was so nervous,” Nick said. “He sent me out with two other people. It probably cost my father so much money that day.” Shortly after that, in 2007, Nick Gagliano took the reigns of Studio Uno. It was desperately needed injection of youth into the business, and it helped usher Studio Uno into the 21st century with style and a commitment to excellence. Of course, while Nick was transforming his company, the world was undergoing its most disastrous financial crisis in decades. The party world was hit especially hard.


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Nobody wanted to party while so many were suffering. Worse for those in the business, clients were not spending the same money they used to for the bigger, ritzier packages. Confident in his talents, and armed with a work ethic that puts many to shame, Nick hunkered down and took on as many jobs as he could. He was hustling, doing a lot more small gigs solo, but it was the necessary work to survive. When a lot of event photography studios were closing shop, Nick was steadily creating a name for himself and Studio Uno that he knew would pay off once the financial situation became less dire. By creating smaller, less pricey packages for clients, he showed them that he truly cared. When the worst of the crisis was over, Nick knew it was time to upgrade every aspect of his business. He moved out of his original office in Lodi, and into a nice office in Paramus. He had noticed that when people were coming in and sitting with a young kid in Lodi, they didn’t feel comfortable or take him seriously. He changed Studio Uno’s image. When clients come in, Nick treats them like friends. They sit down, have a drink, and chat before getting down to business. Nick has caught on to Joe’s “boutique style” approach. He realizes that clients have a vision of how their wedding should look. Years after the big day, Nick’s photographs are still the key to remembering even the most miniscule of details. Nick carries himself like he’s 30, though he’s only 25. He has garnered the respect of the entire party industry and is a recommended vendor at North Jersey’s top venues. Nick is his own harshest critic, and he always strives for the unreachable standard of perfection. “I will find something wrong with the most beautiful

photograph. Always,” he said. While Nick, donned in a tailored suit, makes sure to bring his “A” game to every gig, the work that goes on in his studio is just as important. Nick edits every single picture that comes out of the studio. Not his photographers—nobody but him. He has a personal standard only he understands. I sat in his office flipping through albums of incredible wedding photos, but after each one I mentioned, Nick still gave an unsatisfied response. He is a true perfectionist, something that his clients appreciate.

“When clients come in, Nick treats them like friends” Nick has not only taken the business beyond its original heights, he has made the leap to video that was key for its success. “Clients were seeing our great photos, but we didn’t offer video, so we were losing them right when they walked in the door,” Nick explained. For Nick and Studio Uno, this was a game changer. Now, Studio Uno offers some of the most incredible video productions in Bergen County, something that quickly catches the eye of all his clients. Nick is solely responsible for making a one-night affair an everlasting event. Memories are created that night, but they last for an eternity in albums and on DVDs. Studio Uno does about 100 events per year, and Nick can be found at about 70 of them, dedicating his weekends and holidays to ensuring that memories are captured forever. With no plans on stopping, look for Nick behind the camera at Bergen County’s biggest weddings and parties for quite some time. —Brandon Goldstein

The Great American

Trolley Company capturing your modern moments in classic style In “Something Borrowed,” Emily Giffin famously wrote: “Songs and smells will bring you back to a moment in time more than anything else. It's amazing how much can be conjured with a few notes of a song or a solitary whiff of a room. A song you didn't even pay attention to at the time, a place that you didn't even know had a particular smell.” As much as we celebrate the present, there’s always something burning inside of us that yearns for the past. Nostalgia is one of life’s sweetest feelings, and recapturing those cherished moments of the past is often no more than just a reminiscent fantasy. Close your eyes. Imagine if you could, for one moment, retell that story. You board a classic trolley and turn on the tunes of yesteryear, and travel back to where it all started. You take your bridal party on a tour to your middle school, where for the first time, you so innocently met the man who would one day become your husband. Then it’s on to the high school football field, where you shared your first kiss under the bleachers, the location of the first date, and then finally the tour takes you to where he got on his knee and promised you the world. For the past 30 years, Great American Trolley Company has grown its fleet of classic-style trolleys to become the largest trolley charter company on the East Coast. Founded by Richard Adelizzi, who still owns it to this day, Great American Trolley Company can now provide anything from school buses and coach buses to trolleys and passenger vans. The tour idea came about because people kept searching for the newest party trend. With a classic look and modern comfort, the trolleys were the perfect vehicles for the task. It soon became a unique way for brides to pay homage to the past while celebrating the future. The trolleys may look like they are straight out of old-time San Francisco, but in fact, they are handcrafted at Great American Trolley Company’s factory in Florida, and they include all the modern nuances,


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comforts, and safety features that clients expect. The 20-trolley fleet is configured in ways to perfectly suit a party’s needs. A trolley can hold anywhere from 21 to 50 guests. While some have row seating, others have perimeter seating, allowing for more open space in the middle of the trolley for dancing and frolicking. Adorned with beautiful fine brass railings and handcrafted oak seats, these trolleys are beautiful inside and out. The elegantly styled trolleys come in red, white and blue, and allow passengers to ride with the windows open or closed so the journey can go on rain or shine. There are endless transportation possibilities for these vehicles of a bygone era. Rather than squeezing into a claustrophobic limo, many high school kids are choosing trolleys as their way to roll up to Prom and Pre-Prom in style. You’ll see trolleys whisking the Bar Mitzvah Boy and his party to the reception. They’re even being chartered for parades. In addition, Great American Trolley allows clients to arrive at the trolley a little early so they can decorate the vehicle with balloons, flowers, or whatever they desire. Great American Trolley will always put your party first. They have built a fleet that can now handle any request. From airport transfers to managing convention transportation and trolley tours to Atlantic City, Great American Trolley Company is getting you to where you need to be safely, promptly, and stylishly. What more could you ask for? F. Scott Fitzgerald once said: “I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again.” As you plan your special event, don’t forget how it came to be and where you see it going. Let Great American Trolley Company help you recapture that special nostalgic feeling.—Mark Gold

To inquire about Great American Trolley Company, visit gatrolley.com, or call 1-800-487-6559.

Available for Weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvah's , Christenings, Corporate Events. We can accommodate small intimate gatherings to large affairs in our many unique rooms.


231 Polifly Rd. HACkEnsACk (201)342-4085 stonyHillinn.CoM

happily ever after The Wedding Tale of

Michael & Janelle Wilenta


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It was a typical May evening for Janelle. She sat in her Manhattan apartment, texting away, waiting for her boyfriend Mike to come home from work. It was Tuesday, date night, and he dare not be late. Mike quickly changed upon arrival and emerged minutes later, ready for the sacred date night. He asked Janelle if she knew where their dog Luciano was. Without looking up from her phone, she called for him. As Luciano came running toward her, the huge red bow tied around his neck with a beautiful diamond ring attached slipped to the floor. Glued to the phone, and paying no attention to the dog, Janelle had no clue that one of the biggest moments of her life was unfolding at that very instant. Mike, meanwhile, scrambled to reattach the bow while Janelle nonchalantly texted away. When she finally looked up, Mike was down on one knee. The perfect ring, wrapped in a ribbon, dangled from Luciano’s neck. What started as a typical May evening was the beginning of Janelle and Michael’s fairy tale wedding story. About a month later, with the excitement of the engagement still lingering, the planning stages began. Most girls, regardless of what they say, fantasize about their dream wedding for years. While the boys still have cooties, the girls play princess with the vision of their perfect wedding rarely leaving their young minds. When the wedding day finally comes, it’s time to play the princess for real. Janelle, of course, was the exception to that rule. Up until the day she met Mike, and a little while after as well, Janelle thought she’d be a career woman. Never settling down, no time for a man. Her only marriage would be to her job. Janelle hadn’t planned out her fairy tale wedding from childhood, so she had a fresh perspective and open mind about what her wedding would entail. The first big decision: venue. Originally, Mike and Janelle wanted to find a venue in Manhattan. Janelle’s mother Debbie felt differently. Naturally, like any mother of the bride, Debbie chipped in her two cents about why the wedding should be on the other side of the Hudson—right here in New Jersey. Debbie took Janelle to see The Venetian in Garfield. The beauty of The Venetian’s Palazzo Ballroom dazzled Janelle. Their reputation for incredible food beat out any of the New York City options. As Janelle put it, the room would be filled with mostly Italians, so the food needed to exceed expectations. Once they booked The Venetian, Janelle sought out the perfect entertainment for the big day. She heard about a local group, The Rhythm Shop from New Milford and went into New York to catch a showcase of their repertoire. With tears filling their eyes as the sounds of an Andrea Bocelli cover filled the room, Janelle and Mike knew The Rhythm Shop was the perfect fit. With two major pieces of their wedding down, next up on the agenda was the photographer. Janelle’s cousin had used Abella Studios out of Fairfield, and once Janelle saw her cousin’s pictures, she fell in love. Their unique style captured exactly what Janelle had envisioned, and no sooner Abella Studios was booked. When it came to flowers, Janelle and Mike had the idea for an enchanted Victorian Autumn theme. As they looked for different florists who could replicate that theme, Crest Florist in West Orange stood out because of their ornate and intricate floral designs. Janelle really didn’t price out different vendors to see how they compared, having fallen in love with Crest’s style. A hefty bill, yet beautiful arrangement later, this is something Janelle wishes she had done. The big day quickly approached, and with all the big logistical decisions out of the way, it was time to celebrate. With the wedding a few months away, Janelle had her bridal shower at Waterside Restaurant in North Bergen. It was a beautiful summer day, and with fantastic views of New York City and the shimmering Hudson the group drank, ate, and laughed well into the night. ▶

Photos by Abella Studios Text by Brandon Goldstein

As we all know, a wedding isn’t about just one day, but the months of celebrations leading up to it as well. So, next up were the famous, or infamous, bachelor and bachelorette parties. Janelle had two. First, her cousins and aunts joined her for a weekend of summer fun in Atlantic City. They stayed at Revel and never left, enjoying the pools, the beach, the casino, all the great dining options and of course, the night club. A week later, the other half of Janelle’s bridal party joined her at the Fountainebleau in Miami Beach for another weekend of revelry. Of course, Mike and his boys went to Vegas and stayed at the Encore. Mike wore a big grin on his face, and disclosed few details of the weekend that was. What happened in Vegas, ultimately stayed there. While Mike and Janelle enjoyed the months leading up to their October wedding, excitement started to build from their guests as they began to receive invitations. Not your ordinary invite, these invitations came in a box with all the event details etched in glass and bedazzled with crystal. The invitations, from Paper Works and Events in Englewood, immediately set the tone for what was to be an extraordinary and glamorous affair. October 12th had finally arrived. With anxious excitement, Janelle’s home in Franklin Lakes began to fill up with bridesmaids, hair stylists, makeup artists, and anyone else who could add to the stress that ultimately comes with the morning of your wedding day. Janelle hired Styling the Bride from Lyndhurst to help her prep for the big day. Kristy and Christina, who did the bridal party’s hair and makeup, came to the house on time and ready to go, and made Janelle even more beautiful. Fast forward several hours, and there Mike was, standing at the altar of The Church of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Franklin Lakes. Dressed from head to toe by Sal Lauretta for Men in Midland Park, Mike’s custom tuxedo was tailored to perfection. A simple white pocket square and classic bow tie, along with his Prada shoes, complemented his tux and Janelle’s dress perfectly. ▶


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The time had finally arrived. Janelle, accompanied by her father Nick, began her walk down the aisle. All heads turned to look at the beautiful bride, donning a stunning Lazaro dress from Kleinfeld in New York City, and a pair of Jimmy Choos. Her ten striking bridesmaids wore dusty rose Lazaro dresses, while Mike’s groomsmen wore simple black tuxedos. With beautiful rings from Devon Fine Jewelry in Wyckoff exchanged, eloquent vows recited, and a kiss to make their promise to each other everlasting, the beautiful ceremony harmoniously concluded. Ms. Cangialosi was now Mrs. Janelle Wilenta. Their nuptials were set in ceremonial stone. It was now time for the best part: the party. While the caravan of 350 guests followed Janelle and Mike’s white Rolls Royce to The Venetian, it was only starting to sink in to the newlyweds that this was all real. The dream was being realized, and they were in for one of the most memorable nights of their lives! As guests enjoyed The Venetian’s cocktail hour – something Janelle says people still talk about to this day – Janelle and Mike took a few minutes to be alone in the bridal suite. It was here that they say it finally sank in. Laughing and flirting as if it were still their first date, Janelle says that regardless of all the planning and the big party going on downstairs, this was her favorite moment of her entire wedding.

The Rhythm Shop kicked off the intros. The energy in the room was electric. As the bridal party and guests surrounded the dance floor, it was time for the bride and groom’s first dance. The summer they met, Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” was playing on the radio as they said those three famous words to each other for the first time: I love you. Naturally, their first dance would be set to the famous song. As the band played their best rendition of the classic Aerosmith power ballad, snow began to fall from the chandeliers. A slow-dancing Mike and Janelle smiled uncontrollably, as the guests took in this picture perfect moment. Meanwhile, an artist painted their wedding live from the ballroom. Finally, it was time to cut the cake. An incredible, 5-foot tall masterpiece from Palermo’s Bakery in Ridgefield Park, topped with an eloquent W was rolled out to the middle of the floor. Janelle and Mike ceremoniously cut into this decadent dream, and snow once again fell from The Venetian’s ballroom chandeliers. Janelle and Mike are counting down the days until they can eat the top of the cake to commemorate their oneyear anniversary. With most of the guests tired from their countless hours spent on the dance floor and full from their fantastic meal and over-the-top dessert hour, the party began to wind down. Guests picked up their favor – a professional picture taken upon their arrival at the ballroom—and began their moonlit trip home. As the last guests

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left, Mike and Janelle’s newlywed journey was just beginning. The first leg of their honeymoon took them to the Maldives, where they stayed at Cocoa Island and also the Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa. At both resorts, the couple stayed at huts overlooking the water—the kind you see on TV shows and dream about. The second part of the trip took the happy couple to Dubai, where they stayed at the chic Armani Hotel. After a dune ride through the desert and of course, a trip on camels, they stopped at the world’s largest mall for a day of shopping before it was time to fly back to normalcy. With their wedding and honeymoon now months behind them, Janelle’s biggest lesson learned was that you shouldn’t jump the gun when it comes to vendors. You should have a clear vision of your perfect day and then shop around and compare, reading reviews and looking through certain magazines (hint, hint). Her most stressful moment: creating the seating arrangement for 350 people. And so it goes, a fairy tale wedding come to fruition. As Janelle and Michael prepare for the birth of their baby daughter this June, and settle into their new home, they will never forget the whimsical experience of becoming husband and wife. The career woman dream faded into distant memory. Replacing it was the loving embrace of a husband, who promises to keep Janelle living happily ever after.

Sugar Flake

Bake Shop

"Voted Best Bakery in Bergen County"

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201-796-3800 397 Franklin ave Wyckoff, NJ


257 Westwood ave Westwood, NJ


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love in Just in time for one of the busiest wedding seasons, Franklin Lakesbased event planner Martha Baum shares 10 top tips for cultivating the “wow” factor with wedding flowers. 1. Shop in season.

You will want to work with flowers that are in season as they will be cost-efficient, in peak form and readily obtainable. Peonies, tulips and flowering branches like cherry blossoms are top requests from brides. However, these types of flowers have a limited window of availability. If your favorite flower won’t be in bloom on your wedding date, talk with your floral designer for suggestions on suitable alternatives. Consider going solo by opting for a profusion of one type of flower. Roses, hydrangea, tulips and even gerbera daisies are all excellent candidates for this type of single-species arrangement, according to Martha. Not only will this strategy produce a stunning uniform effect, it’s also a great cost-saving idea.

2. Color your world

Don’t be afraid of color! “While white remains a classic choice, some of my favorite events have been bold in their flower colors. Orange can run from rustic to cheerful, reds from romantic to rich pinks, and purples can range from ethereal to eclectic,” notes Martha, who recommends adding personality to your venue through a complementary palate in coordinating hues. “Martha has an amazing eye for color and style,” says Alyson Waldman. She and her groom, Matthew, enlisted Martha to help them create their dream wedding, which they celebrated at the Preakness Hills Country Club in Wayne, NJ. “She took me to the flower district in Manhattan and walked me around, giving me lots of different options. “I didn’t have a theme, but I wanted to stick with lots of oranges, pinks, yellows and greens,” Alyson continues. “My bouquets were extremely elegant and the chuppah was a masterpiece. The flowers made a statement without being overpowering.”

3. Personalize your personals

“I like to customize my bridal bouquets to reflect the bride’s style, pick up elements of her gown or to compliment the overall look of the wedding,” Martha explains. She also suggests incorporating distinctive flowers like freesia or lady slipper orchids for a delicate texture. As for the look of the bridesmaids, uniformity—whether in gowns, hairstyles or accessories—is no longer the norm. Consider carrying this over to their bouquets as well. “Let their bouquets reflect each of your bridesmaids’ personalities and tastes,” Martha encourages.


Photos by Leila Brewster Text by Nayda Rondon

bloom 4. Follow the path to perfection Martha loves to play up the aisle with flowers. “Thick, straight lines down the edges of an aisle runner are great for a modern look and can be illuminated with a battery of bright votive candles,” she notes. “For a softer look, petals can be groomed into swirls and organic designs along the length of the pathway.”

8. It’s all in the details Recognize that the tiniest nuances can often have the biggest impact. Often the most photographed, small elements such as the groom’s boutonniere, a fresh floral accent in the bride’s hair, or a flower girl’s basket are all subtle touches that can create arresting and memorable images.

5. Focus on front and center Although the aisle can be a beautiful decor enhancement, your altar area is truly the focal point of your ceremony. Make this area stand out by framing the scene with gorgeous tall pieces, with an enveloping chuppah or with a great backdrop design.

9. Make it count for maximum wow Put your largest, most elaborate arrangements where they will have the biggest impact. For example, entryways and escort card tables will be seen by everyone, and the bar area will give your pieces added height for a presentation that exclaims “look at me!”

6. Add high and low elements to the mix If you’re working within a budget, consider mixing in low floral arrangements with your taller designs. “For a touch of height on these shorter pieces, try taper candles on beautiful crystal candlesticks, pillar candles or floating candles in tall glass pedestals,” Martha suggests. An added benefit of this strategy: it will help create a unique landscape to your room design.

10. Think outside the box “Martha’s idea for using a succulent mat as a runner down our long tables blew us and our guests away. She incorporated our vision of lanterns, candles and organic-looking flowers into this feature and the end result was unique and absolutely stunning. She repurposed some of the chuppah flowers to enhance our band’s set-up as well as our gift table and bar,” says Dara Polera. Dara and her groom, Doug, credit Martha with making their wedding at the Indian Trail Club in Franklin Lakes, NJ, such a spectacular once-in-a-lifetime affair. “We received tremendous feedback on how over-the-top amazing our chuppah was, lavish and elaborate, yet natural looking. Guests were amazed by the beauty and creativity used in our table arrangements,” says Dara. “As soon as we saw our reception room, we were blown away by the depth of the beauty. It was truly enchanting in ways that exceeded our vision and expectations.”

7. Go for the glow Candlelight is an excellent way to embellish decor on a budget and to give your space a soft, flattering glow. Taper candles and pillars are beautiful additions to your tablescape. They come in a full range of colors and can be enhanced further through the stand or base you choose. Martha recommends adding votive candles in abundance to surround your centerpiece designs or to highlight unique features of your venue like mantles, windowsills or steps.

For more information, visit eventsbymartha.com or contact Martha Baum at (201) 848-9078.


Fashion & Beauty week A C h a r i t a b l e S o i r e e W o r t h y o f a n Osca r

A FEW YEARS AGO, while sitting with his friend Bonnie Inserra, an idea dawned on Jack Panico, owner of Panico Salons. Jack believed it was time to give back something to his community. He knew it was going to be fashion-oriented and it would have a charitable arm, but the exact concept wasn’t yet clear to him. He only knew one thing for certain: it had to be big. Jack doesn’t do ordinary events. He doesn’t believe in run-of-the-mill fundraisers. His event had to be way bigger than the typical charity fundraisers that go on night after night around town. It had to be different—a little edgy. It had to get the attention of the young crowd that wasn’t really sparing its loose change for charity just yet. Jack, always a visionary, began to articulate his ideas into a concrete plan. Three years later, Fashion & Beauty Week is a growing success, garnering year-round excitement leading up to the runway show and subsequent night of partying. When the dance floor clears, and revelers head home, all proceeds head straight to the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI). The Fashion & Beauty Week Kickoff Event and the subsequent Fashion &

Beauty Week Nights’ Out took place this past March. The premier fashion event of New Jersey, the Kickoff, held at The Venetian in Garfield, combined the glitz and glamour of fashion and beauty with the kindness and generosity of charitable giving. Before the runway show began, over 600 guests were treated to copious amounts of food while they walked around the smaller of The Venetian’s ballrooms. This room, sizeable enough to fit large weddings, was transformed into a luxury lounge area where sponsors displayed their latest products, gave makeovers, and tastings of their cocktails. It was an enjoyable, unique cocktail hour experience and a pleasant and rewarding time for the guests. As the extended cocktail hour wound down, guests took their pictures on the red carpet with celebrities and Bergen County’s power players, and then headed to the Palazzo Ballroom to be seated for the start of the runway show. While model after model strolled down the catwalk, guests were treated to the newest, most-stylish looks from famed designers. A vocal performance by a celebrity guest signaled the end of the runway show. Some guests chose to mingle, but most headed for the after-party in another one of The Venetian’s huge rooms. As the night wound down, Fashion Week was only beginning. New to the agenda this year, Fashion & Beauty Nights’ Out allowed local

Photos by Magique Studios : Text by Michael Barkley


stores to throw their own parties where they could showcase their seasonal clothing lines. All proceeds went to DRI. Several shops throughout Bergen County participated, and with the success of this past March, Jack has already vowed to do something bigger and better next year. This year’s event raised over $50,000 for DRI, and Jack is setting the bar even higher for next year. With a promise to make it larger, more charitable, and more fun each year, Fashion & Beauty Week will soon be Bergen County’s largest and most charitable fashion event.

To find out more about Magique Studios, visit magiquestudios.com or find them on Facebook.

Picture Perfect

For years, award-winning Magique Studios has photographed the beautiful people and special events in Bergen County and beyond


ome photographers argue that the digital age has threatened both the art and business of photography. Digital photography, they believe, simplifies the process of taking pictures as it affords the photographer the luxury of snapping as many shots as his or her memory card can hold. What is lost, ultimately, is care and attention to detail. Magique Studios, a photography and cinematography specialist based in Paramus, brings an old-school approach to an everchanging field. As other studios have struggled in recent years, Magique has utilized its artistic photojournalism skills and industry experience to emerge as one of the premier photography studios in the tri-state area. “It’s one thing to be creative and shoot and be a photographer, and it’s another to be in the business,” says Stella, head of sales and marketing at Magique. “You need to have a happy compromise and a combination of both.” Stella’s husband, Razmik, founded Magique Studios in 2004. A professional photographer with over 25 years of experience, Razmik has worked for high-profile clients from the


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New York Yankees to Steiner Sports, a leading sports memorabilia company. Razmik and his staff offer a wide-range of services to capture exactly what the client deserves. Magique’s dedication to its clients is paying off. The company has grown steadily in spite of the sluggish economy. Established wedding and event companies recognize Magique as a leading photography studio. Every year since 2008, The Knot has awarded Magique the “Best of Wedding” award. In 2012 and 2013, it became “WeddingWire Rated,” and earlier this year, WeddingWire gave Magique the “Bride’s Choice” award. While Magique’s focus is primarily on joyous occasions such as weddings, portraits, Sweet Sixteens, and Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, the company also shoots charity and fundraising events. In one especially memorable shoot, Magique worked with Shelley Nolden, a cancer survivor. During treatment, Nolden wore different creative hats as motivation to beat her disease. At no expense to Nolden, Magique set up a variety of scenes with Nolden posing with her different hats. Over the years, Magique has formed intimate bonds with many of its clients. It is not uncommon to shoot more than one event

for a family. During shoots, the staff works diligently to make everyone feel comfortable. “For us, it’s very important that their day is smooth,” explains Stella. “That’s what our staff is well-known for. They’re very calming. When somebody calls the office we know them by name. We’ve been invited to the weddings. The human connection that we make is a very big deal for us.” One of the biggest challenges for Magique was the transition from film to digital. There has been an influx of amateur photographers entering the market with the emergence of digital photography. Magique’s four full-time staff and 10 regular freelance photographers and videographers are formally trained in the art of photography, which is helpful when working with clients who deserve perfection. The company does all of its editing and custom-designed albums in-house, creating a sense of consistency in the production process. In the digital age, Magique continues to pride itself on the personal touch. “Every event that we do is a special event,” said Stella. “We feel every bride and groom— every wedding is different. We get to know our clients.”—Michael J. Bellantoni

The Event of a Lifetime

Celebrate your dreams in our elegant ballroom and stately lobby, set amidst lavish gardens and the historic homes of Rockleigh. Our unsurpassed personal service and custom menus enhance the magic of your wedding day.

26 Paris Avenue • Rockleigh, New Jersey 07647 • Tel. 201-768-7171 • www.therockleigh.net

Just girls, just guys Book your next big night out with

your close friends at these great places.

Not every big night out with the girls or guys needs to end up on the roof of a Vegas casino with no recollection of how and why you got there. Still, when you’re planning a fun time with friends, you’ll want to choose a venue that suits your crew, depending on how tame or rowdy they may be. For your next birthday bash, bachelor or bachelorette party, or recent promotion party, consider these following hot spots. By the end of the night, you’ll (hopefully) have a lifetime of memories. Written by Jessica Humphrey

Photo courtesy of 201

G irls’ Night Out For a fun—and maybe f lirty—night out with t he ladies, che ck out t hese spots

War wick Valley Winery and Distillery Pack up the car for a short road trip to the Hudson Valley where you’ll sip delicious vino in this picturesque spot nestled between Mount Adam and Mount Eve. Warwick offers up several packages, including one that has apple and pear picking. You’ll feel like a kid again, except this time you’ll be able to taste fine wines. The group wine tasting includes six wines, a cider, and a souvenir wine glass. Sit down for lunch at Pane Café and Bakery. For starters, order the fruit and cheese platter, and then nosh on a gourmet pizza or a sandwich, all while enjoying another glass of cool chardonnay. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., 114 Little York Road, Warwick, NY, 10990 (845) 258-4858 wvwinery.com warwickwinery@gmail.com

(201) Pole Dancing Ridgewood native Rena Christie brings empowering, sexy and fun exercise into your home with this great activity. Tone muscle and increase your strength and flexibility all while learning something that you can show your guy later on. Christie offers a 90-minute party for up to 10 women for $300. Have more than 10 gal pals? No problem. Each additional female will cost $30. Simply wear comfortable clothing (no zippers or buttons) and your choice of bare feet or high heels for a flirty feel. Christie supplies the pole. (201) 960-0497 201poledancing.com bepolefit@gmail.com


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T he F ounta in Spa The girls will leave feeling 10 years younger after enjoying The Fountain’s “Girls Night Out Package.” Start the night off with “Your Complimentary Steam,” followed by a sideby-side “Warm Stone Therapy Massage.” Then you and the girls are off to a “Skin Refining Facial” that enhances cellular renewal and will leave your skin smooth and glowing. Sit back, relax and chat about life with “Spa Cuisine” in The Fountain’s Tranquility Room. Cap the night off with a manicure and pedicure that will leave you feeling even more beautiful and refreshed. The package costs $300 per lovely lady. Rt. 17 N. at Franklin Turnpike, Ramsey Route 4 at Hackensack Ave., The Shops at Riverside, Hackensack, (201) 327-5155 thefountainspa.com

Wa nnaBee Chef Aspiring gourmet chefs out there should look no further than Englewood where Chef Rama Ginde serves up sensational adult cooking classes. Chef Rama’s twohour classes, which range in price from $70 to $90 per person, have funky themes, from “Ultimate Seafood,” to “The Darjeeling Limited.” Want it to be just you and your girls? Rama offers customized private classes where your group of eight girls can choose the cuisine. Bring a bottle of your favorite bubbly and make a toast to old friends and new beginnings while eating delicious food that you prepared. 176 South Van Brunt St, Englewood (917)-449-2459 wannabeechef.com rama@wannabeechef.com

ArteVino Studio Sign up, and start sipping at this laid-back BYOB painting group. You’ll get started on your 16 by 20 inch chef-d’oeuvre alongside 8 to 20 other aspiring Picassos. The studio provides all necessary supplies, including paint, brushes, canvases and fabulous instructors. Students can also reserve the studio for private parties or pay by the hour for walk-in studio sessions, during which they have use of ArteVino’s supplies and can store their paintings until they're complete. Doors open 30 minutes before class, giving everyone time to chat, and to get the wine and creative juices flowing. 720 Monroe St. #C 307, Hoboken · (551) 226-9442 · artevinostudio.com · info@artevinostudio.com

S pr i ng /S ummer 2013


Guys’ Nig ht Out Let the ladies enjoy themse lves, and head to these destination s

Ivan Kane’s Royal Jelly Bu r lesque Ni ghtclu b Keep the ultimate guys’ night going all night long at Revel’s newest offering– Ivan Kane’s Royal Jelly Burlesque Nightclub. Taking cues from Kane’s renowned Forty Deuce clubs in Hollywood and Las Vegas, Revel’s new nightclub allows guests to sip on bottle service and gamble seven days a week. Typical nights begin with DJs and dancing at 10, followed by live swingin’ jazz and the main event – Royal Jelly’s famed burlesque striptease dancers followed by the world-famous rock ‘n roll burlesque extravaganza. Hit the nightclub on Friday night and on Saturday or Sunday afternoon get up close and personal with the dancers as they share some of their sexy secrets during their private or group burlesque lessons. But shhh! Don’t tell the girls. Revel, 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City · (855) 348-0500 · RoyalJellyBurlesque.com

What’s better than sharing a good laugh with your buds? Located at The Holiday Inn in Hasbrouck Heights, Bananas puts on a great show for up to 250 people every weekend. Their overnight package includes dinner, the show and a room for the evening. If you live nearby there’s a package for just dinner and the show. The dinner package at Gabriel’s Restaurant tacks only $23.95 plus tax and gratuity to the comedy ticket price, and is served two hours prior to the show. If the upcoming comedians don’t tickle your fancy, the club can supply comedians and variety acts such as magicians, ventriloquists, fortune tellers, and game show hosts. 283 Route 17 South, Hasbrouck Heights (201) 727-1090 bananascomedyclub.com

Left: courtesy of Ivan Kane

Bananas Comedy Clu b

236 Ridgedale Avenue, Florham Park, NJ 07932 • 973.377.7100 • info@theparksavoy.com • www.theparksavoy.com

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.

Guys’ Nig ht Out Let the ladies enjoy themse lves, and head to these destination s

Lucky Strike Lane s

4662 Palisades Center Drive West Nyack, NY, 10994 (845) 358-1602 bowlluckystrike.com


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T he P l ayer s Club Indoor Golf If the weather isn’t nice enough for 18 holes, head inside to this Paramus facility for a game with the boys. The Players Club offers a year-round, golf entertainment and training facility with the vibe of a relaxed country club. Perfect for league play and private parties, the 8,000 square foot facility features a 3D golf adventure playing on one of nearly 50 world-famous golf courses, and six golf simulators. Whether you are looking to improve your game with a simulator experience or complete 18 holes in an hour, The Players Club can cater to corporate events, private parties and business lunches. Be sure to take advantage of the driving range feature. Gain knowledge about true distance, swing classification and spin all while one-upping your friends. Guests are asked to book 5 to 7 days in advance. Rates are based on the number of hours the room is reserved for and full facility rentals are also available. Be sure to start your round with a toast, as the facility is BYOB and refrigerator beverage stations are provided at each simulator. You’ll feel like you’re at Pebble Beach. 348 Evelyn St., Paramus · (201) 483-9690 · njindoorgolf.com

Top: Courtesy of Lucky Strike

Roll a 300 at this upscale bowling alley just over the border in Rockland County. The 28,000 square foot facility located on the fourth floor of the Palisades Center Mall offers 12 state-of-the-art bowling lanes, six tournament quality billiard tables, a game room, lounge areas, six projectors and six plasma televisions—perfect for showing the guys your game. Party packages are available for groups of 8 to 9 people or for more than 20. Lucky Strike offers a DJ booth to take the party to the next level, with music and lounge areas for relaxing or grabbing a bite to eat or a pitcher of cold beer. Your needs, time of the day and length of the event determine the cost for party packages.

tom@naninasinthepark.com • 540 Mill Street, Belleville, NJ 07109 • 973-751-1230 • www.naninasinthepark.com

Guys’ Nig ht Out L et t he ladi es enjoy t hemselves, and head to these destinat ions

Medieval Ti mes Dinner and Tournamen t
 Embrace your inner child, and head to Medieval Times, an 11th century feast and tournament affair. The evening will begin with a four-course banquet where you and your noble steeds will feast on garlic bread, tomato bisque soup, roasted chicken, spare ribs and herb-pasted potatoes all sans utensils. Truly barbaric! Not a carnivore? Vegetarian options are available as well. Drink an alcoholic beverage out of a goblet like a Spanish King. As dinner is served, you’ll cheer for one of six knights competing in the joust and other tests of skill. Medieval Times guarantees nearly two hours of jousting, swordsmanship, thrilling hand-to-hand combat, and extraordinary horsemanship and falconry as part of an exciting yet touching story set in Medieval Spain. 169 Polito Ave., Lyndhurst
· (866) 543-9637 · medievaltimes. com/Lyndhurst

Wants to Celebrate with You! Want your party to be featured in BC Occasions? Let us know! Simply Email us at: info@bcthemag.com with the email subject “Let’s Party”


bergen bakers

These masters of eggs, sugar, and flour are whipping up much more than your typical chocolate or vanilla cake… Reality TV has thrust the baking industry into the spotlight in recent years. Shows like “Cake Boss” and “Cupcake Wars” have shown Americans all the creative and colorful possibilities with these magnificient desserts, and the personalities behind them. Here we take a look at four of Bergen County’s popular bakers and bakeries which have been serving up slices of decorative sweetness for years. PHOTOS by Bakeries : Text by Rachel Rondon


Leo Sciancalepore of A Little Cake in Park Ridge is a veteran in the world of sweetness. After graduating from the Culinary Institute in New York, he worked in various bakeries in Park Ridge before opening A Little Cake with John Chayka in 1999. A Little Cake takes great pride in their custom cakes. Whether it’s for a wedding, birthday or anniversary party, they strive to make the cakes look unique and realistic. “It is a lot of fun, the challenge of trying to make a cake look like something it’s not supposed to look like,” Leo said. For a first birthday celebration, Leo’s team crafted a majestic six-foot tall, multi-tiered birthday cake that was showcased at The Venetian catering hall in Garfield. For another client, Leo worked closely with the husbandto-be to come up with a creative way to incorporate the groom’s favorite car with the traditional wedding cake. Their vision came to life, as they replicated the groom’s ride which then splashed fondant mud onto the traditional wedding cake. Leo is no stranger to television either. He was featured on the Demolition Derby Cakes episode of “Food Network Challenge” where he was tasked with making two cakes: one large car cake and a replica cake that was a fully functioning derby car. The demolition derby cake then competed in a demolition ring to see which of the four cakes could outlast the rest. His cake didn’t win, but he still enjoyed the experience. “An opportunity like this is amazing. I worked for plumbers, electricians—really wasn’t for me,” Leo said on The Food Network. “My bakery is pretty busy. I’ll do 35 to 50 weddings a weekend,” he continued. “I do feel real proud of myself, but the neighborhood I grew up in was very rough. I find that people don’t like to see people do better. They want to see you fail.” After being in business for 14 years, failure does not seem like an option for Leo and A Litte Cake. They have made a name for themselves and will be in Park Ridge for years to come. Maybe they’ll even expand.

94 Berthoud St., Park Ridge · (201) 391-6300 leo@alittlecake.com · alittlecake.com

It is a lot of fun, the challenge of trying to make a cake look like something it’s not supposed to look like —Leo Sciancalepore

carlosbakery.com 12 Wilsey Square, Ridgewood (201) 962-9080, 95 Washington Street, Hoboken (201) 659-3671

While filming Season Six of “Cake Boss,” Frank Amato of Carlo’s Bakery chatted with me about the Buddy Valastro empire he helped establish. “Buddy had a dream of becoming a household name,” Frank said. “However, we’re still that small community bakery. We want to be that town bakery.” Carlo’s Bakery has been a part of Hoboken since 1910 when master baker Bartolo Jr. “Buddy” Valastro’s father Carlo Guastaffero opened the shop. Buddy acquired the bakery in 1964 and has made it into the Carlo’s Bakery we know today. “We were always extremely busy and well-known in Hoboken,” Frank said. After “Cake Boss,” Carlo’s popularity exploded and they saw an opportunity to expand. In 2013, Carlo’s Bakery opened in Ridgewood and will soon be opening a store in Westfield. But the plans don’t stop there, and they plan on opening up other shops in family-oriented towns in the tri-state area. “We don’t just cater to the high-end cakes,” said Frank. “You can buy a cake here for $20 or $1,000.” One of the cakes featured on “Cake Boss” was a cake replica of the Statue of Liberty. “That was for Nationalization Day,” Frank said. “One of our bakers actually got his papers that day,” he continued. Mauro Castano, who is married to Madeline, Buddy’s sister, is the baker whom Frankie was referring to. For Mauro, and the Carlo’s family, it was a joyous occasion, celebrated the “Cake Boss” way. The bakery has become a part of the Hoboken community, and now the guys are doing the same thing in Ridgewood. “[Buddy] feels that since the bakery has been very successful it is important to give back,” Frank said. Over 20 kids came to Carlo’s one day through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. They were battling life threatening illnesses, so Buddy, Frank and the gang treated them to a special afternoon of fun. “They can go anywhere and they chose to go to the bakery and spend the day or a few hours with us. It is very touching,” Frank said. “If you ask Buddy he would say that these opportunities to give back are one of the best things that came from the show. That’s how he was raised.” Now with “Bakery Boss,” which premiered on May 27th, Buddy and the gang will have even more opportunities to entertain and spread deliciousness around Jersey and beyond.


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Tamyl Dunwoody, owner of The Art of Cake in Oradell, got her first taste of baking as a child with her Easy Bake Oven. As she grew older, her grandmother taught her the ins and outs of baking, but it still remained a hobby during her 13-year career as a stockbroker. Eventually Tamyl needed a change of scenery, and she started working at a bakery full-time. “I never thought you could make a living out of cakes,” Tamyl said. She proved herself wrong, and has evolved into a successful business owner and mother. Even with the busy schedule of creating custom cakes, and running baking camps during the summer, she still has time to attend all of her children’s track meets. In 2011, Tamyl won a spot on “The Martha Stewart Show” by submitting a Maine-themed cake. A client had originally commissioned Tamyl to bake a cake that embodied Maine for his wife’s birthday. “I wanted that cake to be the most wonderful thing I ever saw. It was the most intense, most heartfelt cake I ever made,” Tamyl said. She made shorebirds out of Rice Krispies Treats, and Martha was captivated. “It was the most wonderful experience you could imagine. They treated us very well,” Tamyl said. In 2010, Tamyl was commissioned to design a cake for the dedication ceremony of the Bob Hope Memorial Library on Ellis Island. Her father is a Vietnam War Veteran, and he remembers watching Bob Hope specials during the tough times in the trenches. For Tamyl, this job had a special significance. She designed what she called a “Vintange Luggage Suitcase Fondant Specialty Cake,” and then presented it to Hope’s daughters Kelly and Linda. For Tamyl, it was an experience she won’t soon forget. Cakes are like giving a present to a loved one, according to Tamyl. She gets cards, and pictures, and all sorts of gratitidude for giving people what they want, and more. “When you see tears in their eyes, it’s all worth it,” she said.

246 Kinderkamack Road., Oradell (201) 483-9176 theartofcake.net artofcake@gmail.com

Steven Leyva of Sugar Flake Bakery grew up in bakeries, and learned the science and craft from his father. Steven has done well for himself, as he owns locations in Westwood, Fair Lawn and Wyckoff. Sugar Flake offers everything from custom cakes to pastries, but they’re really known for cheesecakes and gluten-free cakes and desserts. Bergen Health and Life Magazine gave Steven’s cheesecake the “Best Cheescake” award two years in a row. “It’s how you make it, and what you make it with,” said Steven. “I just have the best recipe for cheesecakes.” Steven got started baking gluten-free goodies when he found out some members of his family had celiac. His baked goods were such a hit with his family that he started bringing them to places other than family functions. “I then started to make cakes commercially and they started to take off,” Steven said. “Lean On Me Baking” is Steven’s line of reduced fat, sugar-free and gluten-free baked goods. Steven was featured on a CNBC segment as a “Gluten-Free Food Crusader” and is continuing to grow this aspect of his business. “People are really grateful for giving them something they can’t have, and with mine you can’t tell the difference,” Steven said. His custom cakes have grabbed the attention of at least one Real Housewife of New Jersey. Teresa Giudice, from the hit Bravo show goes to Steven for all of her celebrations and in March, he created Milania Giudice’s cake for her seventh birthday, which Teresa happily displayed on her website. Gluten-free or filled with flour, all of Sugar Flake’s custom cakes are very popular. Tasty, too. sugarflakebakeshop.com · 24-04 Fair Lawn Avenue, Fair Lawn, (201) 796-3800 · 397 Franklin Avenue, Wyckoff, (201) 485-8413 257 Westwood Avenue, Westwood, (201) 664-1253

Occasions Location: The Estate at Florentine Gardens, River Vale. Hair: Mimi Saitoski, Eric Alt Salon, Ho-Ho-Kus, Saddle River and Wood-Ridge. Makeup: Cori Colonna Leontaris. Models: Alison, Doug, James and Nicole. Styling: Meghan Bashaw; Rumilda Ramos. Photographer: Bill Streicher. all men’s fashions: Sal Lauretta, Midland Park

James: Tuxedo by Hugo Boss, shirt and bowtie by Eton. Nicole: White beaded and lace crepe gown by Alberto Makali—The Engle Shop, Englewood. Wide cuff bracelet by Bal Harbour Collection and emerald and diamond drop earrings by Oliver Weber—Goldstein Jewelry & Couture, Englewood. Doug: Tuxedo and tie by Canali, shirt by Robert Graham, lapel flower and pocket circle by Edward Armah, shoes by Donald J Pliner.

Alison: Beige tulle gown with flower appliqué by Ypsy—The Engle Shop, Englewood. Gold tassle earrings by C2 and gold and diamond ring by UR—Goldstein Jewelry & Couture, Englewood. Copper glitter sandals by Charles David—Shoe-Inn, Englewood. James: Tuxedo by Hugo Boss, shirt and bowtie by Eton, shoes by Santoni.

Nicole: Purple oneshoulder gown with feather detail by John Paul Ataker—the Engle Shop, Englewood.

Alison: Kelly green silk gown and belt by Issue—Reve, Englewood.

Nicole: Black jerseystudded gown by Jovani—Goldstein Jewelry & Couture, Englewood.

Doug: Tuxedo and tie by Canali, shirt by Robert Graham, lapel flower and pocket circle by Edward Armah, Shoes by Donald J Pliner. Nicole: Emerald green swirl gown by Saborama—Engle Shop, Englewood. Emerald and diamond drop earrings by Oliver Weber and gold and diamond cuff by Bal Harbour Collection—Goldstein Jewelry & Couture, Englewood. James: Tuxedo by Hugo Boss, shirt and bowtie by Eton, shoes by Santoni. Alison: Navy tulle strapless hi-low dress by Suzanne Ermann—Goldstein Jewelry & Couture. Black satin strappy sandals by Roberto Festa—Shoe-Inn, Englewood.

Nicole: Aqua silk beaded dress by Sue Wong—The Engle Shop, Englewood. Silver sandals by Roberto Festa—Shoe-Inn, Englewood. Doug: Suit by Ravazzolo, shirt and tie by Hugo Boss, Lapel flower by Hook + Albert.

Alison: Lavender taffeta and marabou feather dress by B. Louise and crystal bag— Goldstein Jewelry & Couture. Silver sandals by Roberto Festa—Shoe-Inn, Englewood.

Alison: Aqua beaded gown by Alberto Makali— The Engle Shop, Englewood.

Alison: White lace dress with black patent leather belt by Byron Lars — Reve, Englewood. Black patent leather pumps by L.K.Bennett— Shoe-Inn, Englewood. Doug: Suit and shirt by Canali, tie by Edward Armah, lapel flower by Hook + Albert, Shoes by Allen Edmonds.

Alison: Navy, light-blue and white patterned strapless dress with chains by John Paul Ataker—the Engle Shop, Englewood. James: Sport jacket and trousers by Canali, shirt and tie by Eton, pocket square by Edward Armah.

Nicole: Black lace long-sleeve dress by Boulee available at Suite 201, Ridgewood. Gold glitter sandals by Nina— Shoe-Inn, Englewood.

Nicole: Multi-color caftan with leather shoulder and waist detail by V&K Studio— Reve, Englewood.

Alison: White beaded and feathered strapless dress by Rene Ruiz—Goldstein Jewelry & Couture, Englewood.

Nicole: Purple silk dress by Jay Godfrey—Suite 201, Ridgewood. Gold glitter sandals by Nina—Shoe Inn, Englewood. Alison: Hot pink and red silk dress by Jay Godfrey—Suite 201, Ridgewood. Metallic gold peep-toe pumps by Bianca Di—Shoe Inn, Englewood.

Alison: White flower embossed dress with gold sequin detail by V&K Studio—Reve, Englewood. Gold glitter pumps by Brian Atwood— Shoe-Inn, Englewood. Nicole: White, gold and brown butterfly sleeve dress by Party 21—Reve, Englewood. Gold metallic sandals by L.K. Bennett—Shoe-Inn, Englewood.

Bella’s Bat Mitzvah For One Night Only, Hackensack’s Hottest Nightclub This past April, Bella transformed one of the ballrooms at the Stony Hill Inn into the nightclub of every young adult’s dreams. Complete with a step and repeat, LCD TVs, trees, and booming music, Bella’s Bat Mitzvah was the talk of the town.


Healing is in our soul. Practicing medicine is what we do. But the soul behind it is what defines us. It’s more than technology and innovation. It’s about our passion for health care and our commitment to all the lives we touch. It’s creating a culture of kindness and respect. And recognizing that caring is the essence of who we are. Health care at Holy Name isn’t just for you, but about you. We call it the soul of medicine. Once you experience it, you’ll know why. To learn more, or for a physician referral, visit holyname.org or call 1-877-Holy-Name (1-877-465-9626).

Healing begins here. • 718 Teaneck Road • Teaneck, NJ 07666

A Juicy Bat Mitzvah Jesse’s Eye for Style Made her Big Night one to Remember In early April, young Jesse took over the Woodcliff Lake Hilton in a grand way. With a designer theme playing off Juicy Couture, the Jesse Couture Bat Mitzvah included custom pillows in luxurious lounge areas. While guests danced the night away, an artist sketched the night’s events as they unfolded ever so chicly. Photos by Abbey Photography


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A Caliente Quinceaùera This Phantom of the Opera-themed Quince had masked guests dancing well into the night Last August, Isabel celebrated her Quince with the help of Luxe Events. Seven boys, and seven girls made up her court, with Isabel completing the traditional 15. The group performed a choreographed dance for guests to enjoy when they entered the reception. Keeping with Quince tradition, Isabel’s father changed her flat shoes to heels, symbolizing her journey from childhood to maturity. Wearing her new heels, Isabel joined her father in a waltz.

celebrating in style

Bar & Bat mitzvahs

Start me up! Max and his family decided on a Rock and Roll theme. Could he be the next Keith Richards?


It was a Pink Tie affair for Jenna’s elegant evening

73-35097 Proof 2

Dream It, Create It, Live It… ELENA BORRERO TRAVEL SERVICES, LLC In affiliation with Smart Flyer, Virtuoso Member 24 Sheridan Ave, Suite 6 - HoHoKus, NJ 07423 - (201) 493-7200 - www.ebts.info

Elena Borrero Travel Services, LLC redefines the concept of luxury. Contact us today for a true Virtuoso experience.

Ariella brought a little bit or Bourbon Street to Bergen County for her Bat Mitzvah

Color Me Lovely Julie Vinolas of Khuraira Cosmetics shares the secrets of how to achieve makeup perfection INTERVIEW BY TESSA VIOLE

Julie demonstrated her classic look on me- simple, fresh, clean, and looked great when she was finished!


Makeup is a great way to express your creativity. It’s versatile, and altering just the smallest detail or color can transform your entire look. Many women choose to do their own makeup, but when it comes time for that big occasion, it’s best to sit back and have a professional take care of you so you’re guaranteed to look stunning. I recently caught up with Julie Vinolas, a professional makeup artist at Khuraira Cosmetics. Named after its founder, the highend Tenafly makeup boutique is a cozy and inviting place, whose customers include many brides and celebrities, including Trista Rehn from the hit ABC show The Bachelorette. Julie chatted with me about all things makeup before trying out one of her favorite looks on me. Hi, Julie! I’m glad that I’m able to interview you today. Before we get started, would you mind giving our readers a little bit of information on your expertise? I am a licensed cosmetologist. I work at Khuraira Cosmetics, which is a makeup boutique located in Tenafly. I have been working here for three years and I have been in the beauty industry, as well as studying cosmetology for about six years. Wow! You definitely have some experience under your belt. That’s great! As a professional makeup artist, what is your go-to makeup look for an event? For a special event, airbrush makeup is definitely my go-to look. To get the best results for this look, I recommend starting with an eye primer and doing a traditional makeup application first, using makeup brushes. Then use the airbrush to seal everything on the skin. Airbrushing basically is a custom-blended foundation sprayed by a professional using an airbrush wand on the face to seal in the flawless look. This lightweight foundation won’t rub off or settle into pores. It will guarantee you won’t have to touch up your blush or foundation for hours, which is great for those daylong events! And I thought airbrushing was only for tanning. It’s great that it’s so long lasting, because always having to touch up makeup isn’t the most fun time. What looks would you often recommend to your clients if they were unsure of what they want?

I would start by asking about their everyday makeup routine. The majority of the time, those who are comfortable with makeup end up wearing more makeup, where those who do not have as much of a passion for makeup prefer to wear less. I would recommend looks that best suit them and bring out their natural features whether it be their eye color, eye shape, great brows, high cheek bones, lips, et cetera. Even though Bergen County is an affluent area, what about those going through financial difficulties? Sometimes, people can’t get their makeup done professionally because they can’t afford it. If someone couldn't go or didn't have the chance to get their makeup done by a professional, what tips could you give them on doing their own makeup? Definitely make sure you have the right tools and products to do it yourself. Makeup brushes are very important and can really help you create a great look. Also, know what works for you. Maybe even get a makeup lesson done in advance if you get the chance, so the day of your event you are confident in your ability to do your own makeup. Great tips! What about those who don’t know as much about makeup as someone who is a licensed cosmetologist like you? What are your dos and don'ts of makeup? Do blend your foundation down past your jawline to your neck and décolletage. Don’t stop applying your foundation at your jawline because there will be a clear line where you stopped and finished. Do invest in quality makeup brushes that will last you. Brushes can get into areas your fingers and makeup sponges can’t reach. Don’t apply eye shadows and foundations using your fingers only. Your makeup will appear uneven and you end up using more product when you do this. Do use complementary colors that bring out eye color. For example, if you have green eyes use plum eye shadows. Don’t use all the colors offered in a palette in one look. Do use primers such as eye primers, face primer and lash primer. Do educate yourself in skin care and makeup to find out what works best for you. Which makeup looks do you feel work well for any kind of event? A classic look is one that can work for any kind

of event and can easily be toned up or down, if necessary. One of my favorite classic looks is clean, yet beautiful. To get this look, start with an eye primer and a neutral color on the eyelid. Add top and bottom eyeliner to open up the eye as well as mascara. Fill in brows if necessary. Add foundation and a soft blush. Here is where the look becomes very versatile. For the lips, you can do a nude or a soft pink if you want a softer look. If you want to add a little edge, a bold pop of color on the lips can do the trick. Sometimes a nice pop of color really is all you need when it comes to makeup or fashion. We all deal with having to touch up our makeup. How do you go about making your makeup flawless and touch-up free? Are there any tips you could share with other women? The key to doing minimum touch-ups is making sure you are using the proper product for you and taking the time to apply it correctly once in the morning. Skin care is very important, no matter what age, skin type, or color you have. Educate yourself on skin care as well as the best makeup that works for you and your everyday routine. Always make sure you use an eye primer to ensure your eye shadow will stay put and a face primer as well. This might take a few extra minutes but it is worth it when you see your eye shadow hasn’t faded away and when you see using a face primer allows your foundation to look smoother. It goes to show that those few extra steps can really go a long way! Lastly, when you're going out somewhere and you don't want to carry all of your makeup with you, what are the essentials that you have in your bag? For touch-ups, I always suggest carrying a lipstick or gloss in your bag. Also, don’t leave home without your Khuraira Invisible Powder. This invisible finishing powder has no color and is a light reflector that takes away shine while basically refreshing your makeup, leaving your skin looking flawless.

Khuraira Cosmetics is located at 29 Washington St. in Tenafly. You can also shop online, khuraira.com

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


217Beauty.com 217Beauty@gmail.com 201.228.9492

{ Liz Gizelle }

favors Fabulous

Tips for leaving your guests with something memorable

Planning a party can be stressful. With all that goes into an event from the flowers to the food, many hosts wait until the last minute to prepare their favors. Unfortunately, a drained host often chooses a forgettable party favor that guests simply toss in the trash. A small bag of coated almonds or mints once sufficed, but as you know, times have changed. Favors are a special gesture. They show that you care about your family and friends who have 94

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traveled long distances to share your special day with you. These people have given you thoughtful gifts. It only makes sense that you should take time to think of them. Whether you’re hosting a 30th birthday party or a commitment ceremony, a great favor choice will leave your guests feeling that they are truly a part of your event. When surfing the internet and asking around for suggestions, just remember two simple words: edible and functional. Based on my experience, I’ve come up with three tips for each category to share with you. I wish I knew them when I started planning my wedding!

Edible favors

Functional Favors no. 1 Order carefully online

no. 1 Desserts are your safest bet You cannot please every guest’s palate, but what you can do is choose a popular dessert and avoid baked goods such as cheesecake, carrot cake, or chocolates containing nuts. With these desserts, you either love them, or hate them. To target a larger group of appetites at your party, choose cookies, brownies or a combination of white and dark chocolate fudge. For my event, I contacted five bakeries until I found one that would agree to bake one miniature apple pie per couple. The bakery even agreed to deliver them to the reception, saving me the trip when I had a million other errands to run. The pies were made from scratch, and came beautifully wrapped. I can’t say that every single guest loved them, but I knew that apple pie is a very popular dessert. A female guest told me that she wouldn’t eat it because she was dieting, but she did say that her husband devoured the entire thing when he got home. My money didn’t go to waste, and at least someone loved it!

No. 2 One ingredient goes a long way Seasonings are ideal favors, especially for baby and bridal showers. My mother bought small salt shakers at her local party store for my shower and filled them with basil salt. It was a unique favor, and the guests loved it. In addition, this particular flavor can be used in homemade Italian sauce, chicken dishes, and soups. The bottom line is if you take the seasoning route, head toward a staple if you can. There are always cute ways to present sugar and salt, but why not add a little kick to it? Check out your own seasoning rack in your kitchen and see what you use the most. Chances are your guests will have similar tastes.

No. 3 Make a Toast Buying alcohol for a large number of attendees can become costly so this option is definitely best for a party of fewer than 50 guests. If you want to leave an alcoholic favor, tally up the number of non-drinkers. If there are more non-drinkers than drinkers, try mini non-alcoholic champagne bottles, especially if your event is around Christmas or New Years. A helpful idea you don’t see too often is an RSVP card for smaller parties where invitees can check off their favorite drink. You want to limit it to three or four options so you don’t get overwhelmed. There are several chain liquor stores that offer great deals on smaller wine bottles. You can make customized labels on a computer, or have a company do it for you to add a personal touch. If your guests are mostly cocktail aficionados, head to the front of the liquor store. Most stores carry small bottles of topbrand vodka and tequila for just a few bucks. If you want to, place the small bottle inside a cocktail glass so your guests can take it home to use another time. Top it with an umbrella straw to make it fun. You can find affordable deals for classy plastic glasses anywhere from Wal-Mart to your local dollar store. Alcohol is a fine choice as a favor for a variety of occasions, as long as you take a close look at the guest list. Of course, be mindful of age groups.

Many companies charge less than $2 per functional favor online. Some are flimsy and fall apart after one or two uses. Again, if it is too close to your event date, it’s easier to give these out than to start from scratch, but still, it’s a few hundred dollars down the drain. You don’t need to avoid the internet for your functional purposes per se, but be sure to read as many reviews as possible before making a decision. I thought pie servers were an adorable extra to present with my miniature apple pies, until 75 pie servers with minor but visible scratches and water stains arrived at my door. They were $3 each, but I know I could have found better options at a store, and I would have saved on delivery charges. Not following my own advice, I had only two weeks until the big day, and at that point I couldn’t get a refund. I received a new shipment from the company, and the servers were scratch-free, but I still had to spend hours of my time opening each one and wiping them down with cloth so they would be presentable for my guests. So remember, if you like the idea of gifting an ice cream scooper, or measuring spoons, consider finding them yourself or at the very least read what previous buyers have to say and always allow yourself enough time for the unexpected.

No. 2 Have fun—personalize It is always special to have the guest of honor or the bride and groom’s names and date printed on the décor. However, not every favor needs another branding for your guests. Your immediate families will love them and will probably save them as a keepsake, but not everyone will. As far as my wedding theme, again, I tried my best to choose wisely knowing in the back of my mind it wouldn’t be possible to make every person love the favors. I knew my dad’s friend from work wouldn’t necessarily hold on to something engraved with our picture on it. I definitely knew my husband’s bachelor friends flying solo to the event wouldn’t put a pepper shaker shaped like a bird wearing a tuxedo on his kitchen table. Don’t get me wrong, I personally find these types of gifts adorable, but that doesn’t mean everyone will. Why not spend your budgeted amount on a gift that will go to good use? If you really want the personalization all the way around, try having it printed on just the favor box or label. At the end of the day, the key is for the gift to be used, saved, or eaten.

No. 3 Ask yourself if one is enough Before making your functional favor choice, ask yourself if you could use an extra one. Personally, I like the fact that I have more than one wine stopper, an extra set of luggage tags, and a creamer server for both my tea and coffee sets. I could always use additional coasters or glassware. If you are replicating an item that many people already have in their homes, make sure that your guests could actually use another.

Above all, whether you go the edible or functional route, ask yourself this question: Would I be happy to receive my favor if I was a guest at my event? If the answer is yes, then you’ve made the right choice.

Written by Jennifer Bonazzo

Sp rin g/Summe r 2013


Inhale, With your big day looming, these five yoga poses are sure to calm you down

Planning a party can be both exciting and stressful. As the event draws closer and the stress intensifies, yoga can help soothe the body and mind. In ayurvedic medicine, stress is a result or symptom of an imbalance in one of the three doshas. The first dosha, vata (space), relates to creativity. The second, pitta (fire), contributes to one’s power. The last dosha, kapha (earth), relates to groundedness. When we are born, our doshas are properly balanced, but as we mature, events in our lives, such as planning a wedding, can cause the doshas to become imbalanced. Planning an event requires creativity and multitasking, and can cause the vata dosha to overtake the pitta and kapha doshas. The following are a series of yoga asanas, or poses, that are meant for grounding and relaxation. With these poses, you’ll balance your doshas, relieve stress, and get back to the fun parts of party planning! Remember to always consult your physician before starting any new physical activity or exercise routine.



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Bridge Pose

Child’s Pose

Setup: For this pose, begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor a few inches away from your glutes. Have your hands parallel to the sides of your body with your palms facing down flat on the mat. On an inhale, begin to raise your hips up toward the ceiling and track your thighs in so they don’t splay out to the sides. Once here, you can either place a block on the sacrum for a more restorative bridge pose, or you can begin to roll your shoulders underneath you and clasp your palms together to open your chest. Remember to relax the muscles of the gluteus maximus and engage the legs while in the pose.

Setup: Begin kneeling with your knees wide apart and your big toes touching. Place your palms on the mat in front of you and walk your arms out until your forehead touches the mat. Rest here while still trying to root down through the tail bone and take full inhalations and exhalations.

Benefits: Bridge pose is a terrific relaxation pose. It opens the heart for positive energy flow and allows the mind to relax, and because it is performed close to the mat, it is a great pose for grounding and centering. The bridge can also relieve headaches. Take that, aspirin!

Benefits: Child’s pose is often offered as the pose to come to during a yoga class when you need a break or are unable to continue. This pose rests the third eye chakra to the ground and is an extremely humbling pose. It allows for rest as well as inward reflection where we find gratitude and acknowledgement for our hard work. In this pose, we completely release ourselves and allow the ground beneath us to support us.

exhale 3

4 5

Pigeon Pose

Plow Pose

Wide-Legged Forward Bend

Setup: From downward dog, bring the right knee to the right wrist and allow the leg to rest on the mat. For a deeper hip opening, you can begin to bring your right shin parallel to the front of your mat. Keeping your hips square, flex the front foot and bring your hands to support your weight at either side of your hips. Make sure the back foot does not sickle, and that your hips are square to the front of the room. Keep your weight even. Open up the chest by shining the heart up. You can either stay in this position or walk your hands out in front of you and allow your chest to sink to the mat for a deeper hip opening. For more advanced yogis, come into a full pigeon with the back leg bent and hooked into the elbow. If you feel tightness in the hip, place a block under your right hip. Repeat pose on the left side.

Setup: Begin by lying flat on your mat. Pull your navel in toward your spine to use the abdominal muscles and bring your legs in toward your chest. Lifting the hips off the mat, slide your elbows under your hips and place your palms on your lower back to provide support. Keeping the neck long and relaxed, bring your knees toward your nose and begin to straighten the legs until your toes find the floor behind your head. When in the pose, make sure you do not feel any compression or discomfort in the neck or lower back, and keep your focus directly in front of you. If this pose is not possible for you, simply lie on the floor in front of a wall and allow your legs to rest against the wall above your hips while your butt is flush against the bottom of the wall leaving your body in an ‘L’ shape.

Setup: Stand facing the side of your mat with your feet greater than hipswidth apart. In this wide stance, your toes will slightly turn in as your heels slightly turn out. Bring your palms to your lower back with your fingertips facing up toward the sky. Open the chest on an inhale, and on the exhale begin to lower the chest toward the floor by hinging from the hips and keeping your back flat. Once you’re close enough to the mat, release your hands to the mat. Bring your hands under your shoulders while keeping your elbows bent and arms in or parallel with one another. Try not to round your back. Remember to be hinging from the hips, allowing the pelvis to rotate away from the chest. Keep the legs engaged and the thighs pulled upward.

Benefits: Pigeon pose is a deep hip opener and it is believed that a lot of emotional stress and baggage is stored in the hips. By opening the hips, we release any stored negative energy, and in opening the heart, we can receive love and positive energy. It is also a nice pose to counter the compression our hip flexors are under every day when we are seated in a chair.

Benefits: Plow pose allows for a redistribution of blood flow throughout the body. It is a very calming pose and relieves tension in the neck and back. It also compresses the stomach organs, which aids in digestion and improves sleep.

Benefits: I could hang out in this pose all day! It is extremely relaxing and allows blood to flow to the head—similar to an inversion but without flow from the legs. This pose opens up several parts of the body at once and creates a calming sensation.

For more information, visit Cristin at CristinPontillo.com and CristinPontillo.zumba.com. Email her at CJPontillo@yahoo.com, and follow her on Twitter @CristinPFitness.

S pri n g/Su mm e r 2013


A Resource Guide

for all your party needs Venues


Andiamo 23 Hardenburgh Avenue Haworth (201) 384-1551 andiamorestaurant.net

In Thyme Catered Events Pearl River Hilton 97 Rivervale Road 500 Veterans Memorial Drive River Vale Pearl River (NY) (201) 666-3533 (845) 735-9000 inthyme.com hiltonpearlriver.com

Bacari Grill 800 Ridgewood Road Washington Township (201) 358-6330 bacarigrill.com

The Rockleigh 26 Paris Avenue Rockleigh (201) 768-7171 therockleigh.net

Personal Touch Events 148 Porter Street Hackensack (201) 488-8820 ptevents.com

The Brick House 179 Godwin Avenue Wyckoff (201) 848-1211 thebrickhousewyckoff.com

Seasons 644 Pascack Road, Washington Township (201) 664-6141 seasonscatering.com

Seasons Off Premises Catering 644 Pascack Road Washington Township (201) 664-6141 seasonscatering.com

The Estate at Florentine Gardens 97 Rivervale Road River Vale (201) 666-0444 florentinegardens.com

Stony Hill Inn 231 Polifly Road Hackensack (201) 342-4085 stonyhillinn.com

Il Villaggio 651 Route 17 North Carlstadt (201) 935-7733 ilvillaggio.com

Valley Regency 1129 Valley Road Clifton (973) 744-4510 valleyregency.com

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DJ Express Entertainment 121 Gertrude Avenue, Paramus (201) 694-8202 djexpressnj.com Excel Entertainment 115 River Road Suite 821 Edgewater (973) 320-3241 excel-entertainment.net

Florists Floral Expressions 91 Main Street Woodbridge Township (732) 634-6868 floristofwoodbridgenj.com

Cakeries and Bakeries

Lyndhurst Florist 319 Ridge Road Lyndhurst A Little Cake (201) 939-4484 lyndhurstfloristnj.com 94 Berthoud Street Park Ridge (201) 391-6300 alittlecake.com

The Art of Cake 246 Kinderkamack Road The Venetian Oradell Naninas in the Park 546 River Drive (201) 483-9176 540 Mill Street Garfield theartofcake.net Belleville (973) 546-2250 (973) 751-1230 venetiannj.com Carlos Bakery naninasinthepark.com 12 Wilsey Square Westmount Country Club Ridgewood Park Savoy 728 Rifle Camp Road (201) 962-9080 236 Ridgedale Avenue Woodland Park carlosbakery.com Florham Park (973) 256-2700 (973) 377-7100 westmountcc.com SugarFlake Bakery theparksavoy.com 257 Westwood Avenue Woodcliff Lake Hilton Westwood The Players Club 200 Tice Boulevard (201) 664-1253 348 Evelyn Street Woodcliff Lake sugarflakebakeshop.com Paramus (201) 391-3600 (201) 483-9690 hiltonwoodclifflake.com njindoorgolf.com



Petals Premier/ Adam Leffel Productions 123 Sussex Street Hackensack (201) 487-1300 adamleffelproductions.com


Abella Studios 271 Route 46 West G-202 Fairfield (973) 575-6633 abellastudios.com Abbey Photography 416 East Central Boulevard Palisades Park (201) 947-1221 abbeyphotographers.com Jenny Grant Digital Imaging jennygrantdigitalimaging.com

A Resource Guide

for all your party needs

Event Planning Travel Leila Brewster Photography leilabrewsterphotography.com 949.939.3039 Magique Studios 193 New Jersey 17 Paramus (201) 265-9140 magiquestudios.com Studio Uno Photography & Video 121 Gertrude Avenue Paramus (201) 523-9102 http://studio-uno.com

Fashion Women’s The Engle Shop 102 Engle Street Englewood (201) 568-1331 Hartly Fashions 104 Westwood Avenue Westwood (201) 664-3111 hartlyfashions.com Goldstein Couture 88 Engle Street Englewood (201) 567-0550 goldsteinjewelryandcouture.com Reve Boutique 22 North Dean Street Englewood (201) 569-8383 reveboutique.com Suite 201 11 South Walnut Street Ridgewood (201)-670-0200 shopsuite201.com

Men’s Elena Travel AART Biltmore Tuxedo 24 Sheridan Avenue Suite 6, 36 East Ridgewood Avenue (201) 873-4921 HoHoKus Ridgewood aarteventsanddesign.com (201) 493 7200 (201) 444-2722 ebts.info biltmoretuxedos.com

Kathy Goldstein Events (732) 672-0282 Deluxe Formal Wear kathygoldsteinevents.com 1280 Maine Avenue Clifton Kraft Events 131 Woods End Drive, Basking (800) 924-1645 Ridge deluxeformalwear.com Formal Tuxedo 300 3rd Avenue Westwood (201) 722-1700 tuxedorentalsnjny.com Sal Lauretta for Men 621 Godwin Avenue Midland Park (201) 444-1666 sal4men.com

Transportation BBZ Limousine 115 Woodbine Street, Bergenfield (201) 501-0615 bbzlimo.com Danaro Limousine 321 10th Street Carlstadt (201) 939-7077 danarolimo.com Great American Trolley Company 821 Shunpike Road North Cape May (609) 884-5230 gatrolley.com

Gown Maintenance and Cleaning

Leonard Anthoy Cleaners 10 Oak Street Ridgewood (201) 445-4242 Luxe Events leonardanthonycleaners.com (347) 661-1099 luxeeventsnj.com Jewelers (908) 221-0448 kraftevents.com

Make an Impression Devon Fine Jewelry 792 Kinderkamack Road, River 303 Franklin Avenue Edge (201) 261-2777 Wyckoff yourpartyexpert.com (201) 848-8489 devonfinejewelry.com Martha Baum Events (201) 848-9078 Goldstein Jewelers eventsbymartha.com 88 Engle Street Englewood Hair/Make Up/ (201) 567-0550 Beauty goldsteinjewelryandcouture.com 217 Beauty La Viano Jewelers (201) 228-9492 175 Westwood Avenue 217beauty.com Westwood (201) 664-0616 Alt Salon lavianojewelers.com 67 East Allendale Road, Saddle River Le Cristal Jewelers (201) 934-1150 5 North Dean Street ericaltsalon.com Englewood (201) 227-9100 Beautiful Body lecristalinc.com (201) 954-8633 beautifulbodiesbootcamp.com The Timepiece Collection 58 East Palisade Avenue Panico Salon Englewood 144 East Ridgewood Avenue, (201) 894-1825 Ridgewood collectionltd.com (201) 652-4515 panico.com

S pr i ng /Su mmer 2013



Profile for Bergen County the Magazine

BC Occasions  

The Premiere Issue! Bergen County, NJ's first and ONLY magazine focusing on all the different kinds of events and parties that go on in one...

BC Occasions  

The Premiere Issue! Bergen County, NJ's first and ONLY magazine focusing on all the different kinds of events and parties that go on in one...

Profile for tott