OUR JULY 4TH 2009 CRYSTAL DREAM WEDDING ****CARLYLE ON THE GREEN*STEFANS*******ANNMARIE LORENZ*NYC SWING* VINCENZA*MELVILLE MARRIOT* FINISHING TOUCH*BRILLIANCE LIGHTING*ETNY*RIVIERA MAYA*AND MUCH MORE
so where do i begin? It has taken me many months to decide to write our review of our wedding because i didn’t really know how to word it. This truly was a dream come true. First off, we had the absolute PERFECT day. Yes everyone says they do, but the weather was literally perfect on July 4th this year!! Sunny, beautiful, not a cloud in sight!! Ok so let me begin my review :)
Our wedding weekend really started Thursday night July 2nd. We had our Rehearsal Dinner at VERDI'S of Whitestone. Joe and Rosetta Rocco (the owners) treated us like we were family and went above and beyond. The food was amazing!! we truly had a wonderful dinner there!!
MELVILLE MARRIOTT - Hotel
Ok so lets go to the Hotel, which we checked into on Friday. the MELVILLE MARRIOTT. I cant even begin to express how happy i was with them!! Ilene Millman (our sales person) went above and beyond what i ever could have expected!!! When i checked in, my suite was ready for me with a beautiful tray of fruits and cheeses and wine for me wishing me a congratulations!! I began to get nervous about my dress with the bridal party being in the room, so Ilene actually moved another couple out of one of the attached rooms to my suite, and gave me a room for the night just to keep me dress in!!!! Then she gave me the other adjoining room to use for my bridesmaids to sleep in so i could be alone the night before my wedding. This made me sooooo much more relaxed!! The morning of the wedding, she set up a private suite downstairs for my bridesmaids and i to get our hair and makeup done in, and brought us mimosas and bagels and coffee on the house to begin the morning. (she even offered to go to starbucks to get me my favorite green tea lemonade!) After our wedding, we came back to the hotel to find a beautiful arrangement of roses and fruit cheese and champagne in our room again for Chris and I. The next morning we had a wonderful brunch for our family and friends in the Atrium. I would 100 percent stay there again in the future!!! They were a true pleasure to work with.
where do i begin with them? Uncle Chris and Jimmy Stefan were guests at my wedding, so of course as they have done for every event in my life, they went above and beyond. We had centerpieces i had never seen at another event before! Literally they were hanging from the ceilings!!!!!! My favorite flowers are Casa Blancas so they were EVERYWHERE literally!!!
Lets start with the entrance: we had beautiful floral arrangements as you first walked in. Lined down the hall were Topiary trees. Then outside for the ceremony, down the aisle were branches about 9 feet high with orchids hanging from them. The Chuppah was white and covered in green and white flowers. (mostly casablancas and orchids). The cocktail hour had candles everywhere inside and out with tall calla lilies, Casablancas, orchids, vindella roses and white hydrangeas. When you walked into the Ballroom, our table was covered with an arch around it, that had orchids hanging all around us. Candles and our bridesmaids bouquets were on our table. Above the inner tables were hanging centerpieces that weighed about 50 lbs each! all white and cream with little green. they had crystals hanging from them as well. On those actual tables were candles and crystals of all different heights. On the outer rows of tables were centerpieces on the tables ranging from 4 feet to 8 feet off the table, depending on location. They also tied the back of each and every chair cover in the ballroom with an orchid or Casablanca, which looked very elegant. It was like something out of a fairy tale book!!!!!!!!!!
There were very few negatives about the night, and those that there were, were so miniscule it doesnt pay to even mention them.
Jo Von - Photography
Wow. When I woke up at 8 am to begin my hair and makeup, there was already a photographer there to begin shooting! Same thing for Chris! Dave from Jo V on was at Christophers house by 12 pm shooting photos of him and the groomsmen with the Camaro, of them eating, getting dressed, literally anything and everything.
My photos began at 8 am, and didn’t end until 2 am!! We had 4 photographers, a videographer and 3 assistants. It was as if paparazzi was there!!! They made us a beautiful montage that played during our cocktail hour as well.
We were allowed to take photos in areas no one else has ever been allowed to do (as a bride and groom) thanks to the superintendant of the state parks, so the opportunities were jumped on by the photographers!!
We received our proofs and video proof, and there were so many wonderful ones we didn’t know what to choose! Literally, we have over 5000 (yes thousand) photos. I narrowed it down to 264 for our album- yes we need to have 2 albums to fit all that. We received the cd with what our album will look like, and we can not wait to get it in person!
They made our thank you cards as well, which came out OUTRAGEOUS! we are so excited to send them out to everyone.
As you may be able to tell, we had an extra long wedding, It lasted almost 9 hours. With the time before and the time after taking pictures, somehow these photographers managed to capture everything so I have pictures of every single part of the day which i am very happy about.
We also used Jo V on for our engagement party, which the photos came out wonderful for as well. we got beautiful albums made from our engagement party for our parents, which they show everyone! We can’t wait to see our albums for the wedding!
ANNMARIE LORENZ -Makeup
I had 5 makeup trials before I found AnnMarie. She somehow was able to make me look extremely natural yet over the top gorgeous! She came wherever i needed her, whenever i wanted her. She even came back to touch me up after our ceremony in case i cried, which she didn’t have to do. My bridal party all used her as well, and LOVED her.
I have actually used her again since the wedding, and would definitely recommend her to anyone!
VINCENZA SUPPA - Hair for me and mom
I have been going to Vin for my hair since i was in high school, so of course i automatically wanted her to do it for the wedding! She works at 2 Steven Street in Plainview, but is truly in a league of her own. She is a good friend of mine, and is a perfectionist, which is just what i needed for the wedding.
KIM AURIELLO - Hair for Bridesmaids
Kim was recommended to me by AnnMarie. I went and did trials with Kim to show my bridesmaids before i chose her, and was wowed with how quick and precise she was. She was able to change my hair style 5 times in a matter of 2 and a half hours and it looked wonderful every time. All that really needs to be said is that my bridesmaids were very pleased with how their hair turned out. and i was pleased as well.
NYC SWING/ UPTOWN SWING- Music
Dore DeQuatro is definitely one of a kind. Lets begin with that. Chris and I had a prerequisite for our band, and that was that we needed to be able to get up and dance even if it was just to a dvd. I went to see NYC Swing, UPTOWN swing and Dream Team (all Dore’s) at a showcase and began just sitting writing notes. By the time the showcase was over, I was up, dancing, moving, singing etc.......it was amazing!!!!!! I must say a big thank you to the singers- Charles Mack, Gideon, Ashanti, Nikki, Tommy, Michael, and everyone else i missed. You all truly made our wedding something special.
At one point during the night, every single person at my wedding (all 300 people) were up and dancing, it was a dream come true.
I gave our wedding song in literally about 2 weeks before the wedding, I belong to you, by Anastasia and Eros Ramazotti, and was truly happy with how it turned out. Having not known the song, i was a bit nervous since the song is half in Italian. We had hired an Italian singer to sing as well, but both the English and Italian were so close to the cd, that we were happier than expected!
So our band consisted of a mix of NYC Swing and Uptown Swing. There were 18 pieces. 4 Horns, Keyboardist, Drums, Sax, guitar, 8 singers, (and i forgot what the last 2 instruments were!).
OOOOO and my favorite thing! I’m Jewish, and DH is Italian, so they played both the Hora and the Tarantella going back and forth into each other to really bring the 2 families and backgrounds together
FINISHING TOUCH - Linens
MaryAnne is truly one of a kind. I went to Finishing Touch after my father said "You need to do Chair Covers and Linens", so i said ok ill take a look, not expecting to go crazy over anything. Well i walked in, told Maryanne who i was and what i was looking for, and she immediately started pulling things! We ended up deciding on Silver and White Shiny Linens (every other table the opposite color) with White shiny chair covers, and of course i then said we need matching napkins hahah. Well we did the opposite color napkins on each table and folded them up with a sheer silver ribbon and a crystal on top. They looked GORGEOUS! Maryanne herself was there making sure every single napkin was folded correctly, chair cover on right, table lined perfect. I was truly impressed.
BRILLIANCE LIGHTING - Kinetic Lighting
So We new we wanted lighting in the room, but figured it didn’t matter the colors since we were focusing on white, black and silver for everything. Well of course, BOBBY wowed us! When you first entered he had lights by the mirrors making everything a deep red. The ballroom originally was this beautiful cyan blue, but as soon as we entered for our Introductions, lights began darting around the room!!!! Then the lights changed as the music did. It was so beautiful and so different!
Bobby also put our monogram on the dance floor, and had spotlights on us as we danced. It was truly wonderful!
As we began our afterparty, Bobby worked with ETNY (our entertainment company for the afterparty) to light up the entire outside of the building for us! It was so exciting and just brought new life to the party!
JENERATIONS - Boudoir Photography
I went to Jen from Jenerations on the recommendations of people on here, and i was so happy with the results! Not only did Chris LOVE them, but i love them as well. She made me feel very comfortable and was extremely easy to work with. I would definitely do it again with her down the road and use her for other photography as well.
TASTE OF HOME BAKERY - Wedding Cake/Grooms Cake
I have been getting cakes from Taste of Home in North Bellmore for many years. They have a great group of talented bakers there and so i trust them to do my cakes. Our wedding cake was a White chocolate Swiss butter cream, with vanilla and chocolate chip cake with Oreo mousse fill. It was 5 tiers round with a pin dot and scroll design and it was AMAZING!!!!!!! It was so tall, so beautiful, and it tasted great!
They also did our Grooms Cake which was a surprise to Chris. He has always told me he wants a Ferrari and a boat, so I surprised him with a cake in the shape of a Boat docked with a Ferrari on the dock!!! It looked WONDERFUL. It was also Christopher’s favorite cake fill-funfetti and vanilla cream so he was very happy.
ETNY -After Party
Of course with a wedding as over the top as my family decided to go, we had an after party too. (also at Carlyle) So We decided to have a DJ outside for the after party which we must thank Andy for from ETNY. ETNY provided us with lit up club furniture of all different colors, lighting outside with Bob, and the DJ. Our guests were STILL dancing during the after party! It literally brought new life to our party!!!
ULTIMATE CLASS LIMO - Limos
As we stayed at the hotel with our guests, we didn’t need that much along the lined of limos for our families, but those who did need it we got from Ultimate Class. Matt pulled through for us as well with a 30 person Limo Bus to drive our guests to and from the hotel rather than using a hotel shuttle. We had champagne and wine on the bus for them, snacks and just more than we could have expected. Matt also had a private limo waiting for Chris and I after the wedding to take us back privately. It was a pleasure to work with them.
BRIDAL REFLECTIONS *BOTH MASSAPEQUA AND CARLE PLACE! - All Dresses
Bridal Reflections truly went above and beyond for us. I had 8 bridesmaids, a maid of honor, a mini maid of honor, and my mother all looking for dresses along with myself. I had looked all over for my dress, and found it last at Bridal Reflections of Carle Place. I knew as soon as i put it on that it was my dress. Tracy was a pleasure to work with when it came to finding the perfect dress. I went to Bridal Reflections of Massapequa to find my Bridesmaids dresses and worked with Celine and Mary Anne who were true pleasures to work with. Stacey as well truly made our lives easier on us. When my dress came in, Theresa helped us with everything, and Angela has to be the best seamstress ever!!! I owe all of you, and Christine, a major thank you.
******** PAPERIE- for invitations
I wanted something different for our invitations, something no one else had ever seen and I couldn’t find it anywhere. I was ready to sign a contract at a store nearby, when I received a response from Tessa. She created a boxed invitation for me that was perfect. we went with her and are still receiving raves about our invitations to this day. we couldn’t have been happier.
ECR DESIGNS - for event accessories
ECR Designs made all of our wedding accessories and we truly loved them!! Our wedding weekend bags for the hotel came out perfect! They were filled with chips, crackers, candy, water, fruit and a list of things to do on long island over the weekend!
We also had personal miniature tissue boxes made for the ceremony, programs and personalized fans made for our guests for the ceremony. Everything matched our theme so perfectly and came out so great we were so happy with them!
RABBI BLOCK/FATHER SAL
Our clergy were so wonderful! Having an interfaith marriage, Chris and I wanted to bring both of our religions into the ceremony. I had met Rabbi Block quite a few times in the past and felt very comfortable with him. He introduced us to Father Sal, and we couldnt be happier. Our ceremony was truly what we wanted and fit us perfectly.
CARLYLE ON THE GREEN
Where to begin with the Carlyle? I always knew I would get married here, but I never dreamt it would be so perfect. From the menu to the staff to everything in between it was an absolute dream come true. When I arrived at Carlyle, Christina and her staff were already running around getting everything into tip-top shape. I was immediately met by Janet running to the limo bus to get me ? When I came in the building it was as if it was made just for me, the beauty was exhilarating! We were greeted immediately with what they called our signature drink, which we named the Christolyse – it was Champagne, absolute vanilla and rose nectar. (they put a beautiful sign on the bar with it so everyone could order it all night) We also were greeted with peach Bellini’s which were a favorite of ours in Italy so we decided we had to have it ? Its as I was told, this was our wedding and everything at the Carlyle was all about us that day!
The look: Everything was exactly as I had imagined, in perfect shape, well manicured and beautiful. The tables were cleared so quickly after my guests ate that it looked as if no one had sat there at all so it was always perfect for the next person to sit during cocktail hour. The items I brought to the drop off were in the exact locations I requested them. The candles were lit everywhere, crystals were placed everywhere!!!! We were one of the first couples to get to be married under the new Gazebo and it was wonderful! The staff was all in Tuxedos and White gloves, which perfectly matched our black tie affair.
The Staff: Christina, Bello, Emril, Ron, Janet and their staff were above and beyond! Negassi, who speaks literally 11 different languages conversed with my in laws in Italian, my brother in laws girlfriend in polish and my brothers girlfriend in Portuguese!! Janet literally was there as soon as I could possibly need her ready and willing, she was like a saint! I received so many compliments from my guests on how attentive and precise and nice the staff was. They seriously did not need or want for anything it was wonderful!!!! We forgot a gift box, but Christina was to the rescue and had one for us to use immediately!!
The Food: This was the best. There was more food and better food than I have ever seen at another wedding! And we (the bride and groom) got to try EVERYTHING! We started off with tea sandwiches, fruit, cheese, crackers and wraps when we arrived at 2. Then for cocktail hour we had 16 different types of passed hors d’oeurves and many many stations! The stations we decided on were: Carving of lamb, pasta station, lobster bar, raw bar, hot seafood, pizza bagel station, slider station, Tuscan bistro/garden crudité combo, Caribbean grill with mutton, Asian duck station and dim sum station. OOO and we had an ICE BAR! completely made of ice! plus 3 ice carvings
When we went into the ballroom we started with a beautiful salad and crab cake appetizer. Then instead of doing a choice for dinner, we did a trio plate for everyone of Filet Mignon, Shrimp Francese and Cornish Hen with a lobster Risotto and Veggies. YUMMY! For Dessert we began with a layered dessert of 3 different types of mousse (in red white and blue for the 4th of July) and a slice of the wedding cake, which we designed ourselves!!!!! Then we went outside for the after party where we had a full Viennese dessert with different stations including: a waffle station with made to order waffles, a homemade cookie station, cheesecake sundae station, fondue station, cakes station, flambé station, a wine tasting bar with different cheeses and a cobbler station. We also had a cigar bar where a gentleman was cutting cigars, dipping them in brandy and lighting them, a champagne bar, passed around pastries and chocolate dipped strawberries and pretzels, and a full cordial and cappuccino/espresso bar. On the way out we had a whole NYC style thing set up out front. As guests left they were given bagels and cream cheese, hot pretzels, white castle hamburgers, sorbet, gelato and Italian ices. It was so above and beyond what we could have possibly asked for!
We had a wedding of 300 people, and there are many places that tell you they can fit that many but they really can’t. This facility held that and more. At 300 people our ballroom dance floor was still huge! No one was pushing their chairs into each other, walking into each other, or feeling squished which I know my guests appreciated. Also every single table had their OWN waiter or waitress and shared a hostess with every other table, plus there were busboys! There was so much staff!!!!
It was also so easy to work with the lighting guy here, Bob, because the lighting system is already installed at Carlyle! So I didn’t have to go find someone else!!!! When the music started, it sounded better than I expected it to! Acoustically it was perfect, and the best part of it was that I could talk to my husband while we did our first voice and actually hear him without having to scream!!!!! I happily wasn’t hoarse the day after our wedding from having to yell to talk.
BLUE RIBBON TRAVEL - planning our Honeymoon
We have planned many trips with Barbara Tepper from Blue Ribbon Travel before, and this time she truly outdid herself. She planned our honeymoon to Riviera Maya's EL DORADO ROYALE and we truly couldn’t be happier!!! Literally it was perfect!!! She got us all sorts of additional things for free, checked in on us, and even extended our trip for us while we were there!
EL DORADO ROYALE -in RIVIERA MAYA* - Our HONEYMOON
The El Dorado Royale is seriously our new FAVORITE place in the entire world. When we arrived we were picked up from the airport, brought to the resort (thanks to our travel agent) and enjoyed champagne upon arrival. Then Our butler drove us in a golf cart to our private casita which was GORGEOUS. We were on the second floor, with an indoor and outdoor shower, a private pool, Jacuzzi, concierge, indoor and outdoor eating area, our own palapa and everything we could possibly ask for. Its an all inclusive-adults only resort and you are treated like absolute Royalty there. We were originally only planning to go for 6 nights, but halfway through the trip we added another 5 nights. We just did NOT want to leave. Let alone not wanting to leave, we are already planning to go back for our one year anniversary! There were 8 different restaurants, so you never got tired of the food, room service, restaurant bars, etc. We had our own private bar by our room and another pool other than our private pool. We were 5 feet from the beach literally. At night we went to Guacamayas, Swing Bar and Martini bar depending on the mood. We relaxed all day and night and always were swimming or eating or drinking. We had a beautiful candlelit dinner on the beach, had wonderful massages, got my hair braided, and every night had something special done to our dessert for our honeymoon. Ooo and we found a new favorite liquor! 43 :) made of all herbs and is organic, but that’s another note.
Anyway, our honeymoon was something I would recommend anyone and everyone doing. If you are looking for some place that you can just relax and enjoy this is for you.
All in all, our wedding was a dream come true. It was better than we could have ever imagined, and we truly can not thank our family, friends and the vendors involved enough for making it as wonderful as it was.
Message edited 12/13/2009 2:55:01 PM.