My Review! 6-25-10, Inn at NHP, Bravura, Oksana, Nicole D'Angio, Duet wedding! Pictures!!
My June 25, 2010 Inn at New Hyde Park Wedding with Oksana, Nicole D’Angio, Bravura, Duet, Flower Michele, Thomas Knoell and more!!
Mike and I were engaged on October 24, 2008 and decided to wait until the summer of 2010 to have our wedding since he is a teacher and I always wanted a spring/summer wedding – hello peonies!!! It was the most wonderful day I could ever imagine and it is all because of our friends and family who were nothing but supportive and loving throughout the process, which I know is no small thing! My mom and sister were amazing and I am also thankful for all the support and feedback I gained on this website as well as the vendor recommendations and advice from fellow brides. Thank you!!!
We decided to have a “Northern European” theme at our engagement party, which took place at Waterzooi (Belgian Bistro) in Garden City on April 25, 2009. This happens to be our favorite restaurant since DH did a summer abroad in Belgium during college and we got engaged shortly after I took a trip to Belgium where I met the diamond dealer who made my engagement ring (how random!)! We took all of this to be a sign to a good start to our engagement!!
Wedding Paper Divas A+
We wanted something simple, elegant, and affordable. Wedding paper divas have so many different designs to choose from it was easy. The ordering process was simple and they arrived in a timely manner in good condition! Would definitely use them again!
Everyone loved our personalized stamps – I can’t tell you how many people cut them off the envelopes and saved them! We thought this was a great way to personalize our invitations. I think the stamps ended up costing about $1 each, but that is why we did it for the engagement party – far fewer invitations than the other events associated with the wedding!
Favors and favor tags: A+ and B+, respectively
Belgian chocolates from Leonida’s (485 Madison Avenue and online) and Jean M (online)
Ordering through Leonida’s was simple enough and since they are located close to my office, I was able to drop by to check out the chocolates and the boxes because I wanted to see what, exactly, we were getting. I knew I wanted to do Belgian chocolates in keeping with our theme. They were a big hit and I would absolutely use them again for a similar event!
I ordered favor tags through Jean M and was somewhat disappointed with them. They arrived in sheets, you had to hand-punch them out, and then, to me, it looked like you could see the perforation marks on their edges. Also, I chose to have a white ink which seemed to rub off in places, giving the tag a shabby-chic feel we weren’t necessarily going for. I think they were pretty cheap though, so it wasn’t worth making a fuss. I thought we were going to have to un-do the ribbons on the favor boxes but the woman at Leonida’s (Tess, I think was her name), said that if we dropped them off they would include the tags in the ribbon. They completely took care of it at no extra cost, which was great!
Guest sign-in platter
Pottery Piazza, CT: A+
I found pottery piazza early on from an ‘08 bride who had used them for her wedding. Their website makes placing the order a breeze and the women I dealt with over the phone were extremely helpful and communicative. I received the platter, painted as requested, within weeks of placing the order and we were glad to have it for people to sign at the engagement party, rather than the wedding, because only our closest friends and family were in attendance. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of mine, and it is all packed up now, but there are many great examples on their website. www.thepotterpiazza.net I would definitely use them again! Also, it is worth noting that their platters are completely customizable, they are not like the plain, standard sign-in plates you see advertised in the wedding magazines, etc. You can completely choose the plate shape, size, pattern, wording, everything! I can’t wait to display ours!
Red velvet sheet cake
Buttercooky Bakery, Floral Park, A+
Since DH and I have lived in Floral Park, we’ve frequented Buttercooky for all our bakery needs. They are always a crowd-pleaser and we knew we had to have a red velvet sheet cake with cream cheese filling and chocolate ganache icing for the e-party. It was a huge hit and everyone loved it! It’s not exactly a “pretty” cake, but it was absolutely delicious!
B * ella Flower s – B+
This particular florist was easy to work with and accommodating and professional over email and the phone leading up to the event date; however, day of, I was disappointed with the cps. They were smaller than I expected. They were pretty, but it almost seemed like they came from the restaurant, not that we had them delivered from an outside florist!!! People didn’t want to take the cps because they thought they belonged to the restaurant!
This was our first wedding-related event and it took place more than a year before our wedding, so the whole day was almost like an out of body experience. It was the first time our families were gathering to celebrate us and I was so nervous! We chose to have a buffet luncheon with open bar and some platters of cheese and crackers and shrimp cocktail to start. There are a lot of different menus to choose from at Waterzooi, from buffet style to sit down luncheons, and they will really work with you on your selections. The only negative thing is that the private parties are day functions only (they do shut the restaurant down for you) but the front of the restaurant, near the bar, remains open to other patrons. So, while you have the entire restaurant to yourself, if anyone wanted to grab a drink from the bar, it was not a private area. The service was very good and I felt very happy with our decision to have the party there especially since it was such a meaningful place for us. For dessert they served our red velvet cake, but also made fresh Belgian waffles with whipped cream and toppings! This was a huge hit with everyone!! We had a great day and would recommend them for a similar kind of party or shower!
The Palm Court at The Carltun in Eisenhower Park, A+
My mother and sister planned my shower without any input from me, so while I knew when it would take place, I didn’t know where. The food was amazing and the cake was out of this world (check out those sugar flowers!!)! The setting is amazing, the service was fantastic. I said afterward that my only regret was that we did not look here for our wedding, it was THAT good! My bridal party bought a scrapbook for guests to sign and decorated it with pages they had cut out of various bridal magazines. They also had a Polaroid camera and went around taking pictures of everything that day and gluing the pictures right into the scrapbook! I thought this was a great idea. They took table pictures and then asked everyone to sign near their picture. I really can’t review anything else about the day because I had no part in it, but it was all amazing! I can’t say enough good things about the Carltun. I really want to go to another event there!!! I got my shower dress from J. Crew and loved it! It photographed really well and just felt so appropriate and cheery for the occasion! It also matched the champagne punch!
My adorable flowergirls:
Save the Dates and Invitations
Glidewell Press, A+
I love my invitations. I knew all along I wanted letterpress and did massive amounts of research until I found the one printing press that would work with me to customize my design and wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg (it was still very pricey, but definitely the best price for letterpress that I found). Adam is located in CA so, every day, for over a month, we emailed back and forth about wording, fonts, colors, paper, etc. He was extremely patient with me, I cannot stress that enough. I never felt like I was bothering him and was never afraid to tell him my ideas, which is so important during this process. These pictures just do not do them justice. They used crane lettra paper, in ecru to match my ivory gown, with a gold and blush pink font to match our wedding colors and theme. I really felt the invitations set the tone for the day and we received many compliments on them, especially on the quality of the paper! We had 100 save the dates printed and the return addresses embossed on the envelopes, and 125 invitations, embossed envelopes, response cards with embossed return address envelopes, a reception enclosure card, and “belly band” that said “You’re Invited” to hold all the components together. We decided to use the direction cards from the Inn because they were fine and very neutral. Adam was professional, responsive, and creative and the finished product turned out exactly as I had hoped they would. They shipped from CA with tons of extras of everything! Here are some pictures of the suite!
And on the day of with my bracelets:
Mountain Cow (online)
Envelope Liners, A
This was one of my few DIY projects – lining the invitation envelopes. We ordered liners in gold and ivory and while it was kind of difficult to get the hang of it, once we did, we had no problems! I would recommend lining your own envelopes if you are interested in this added touch because it saves money, I think it would have cost an extra $3/envelope to have them lined! It gave the invites a little bit more heft and made the envelopes, which were also crane lettra, a bit more substantial. We were still able to use the regular 64 cent postage stamp too! I would use them again, they are worth looking into for rare paper products – for example, we needed square flap, A7 liners and this was the only place that had them! Good luck!!
My mom dealt with inkspun almost exclusively but we were very pleased with their service and the quality of the product. I was very nervous about sending our envelopes away, but they received great care and everything turned out perfectly. It was effortless!
Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner
Holy Name of Mary Church, Valley Stream and Jack Duggans in Floral Park, A
Our rehearsal was two weeks before the wedding and I am really glad it was!! This gave us time to get everything organized and done in advance, like the programs, our marriage license, the bridal party gifts, etc. The church was a bit laid back about coordinating the rehearsal, but everything went smoothly then and on the day of the wedding. The rehearsal helped, but afterward I really still had no idea what we were supposed to do on the day of the wedding, and it didn’t matter since the priest led us through it anyway. I also got my rehearsal dress from J. Crew and it was super comfortable and, again, felt appropriate for the occasion.
After the rehearsal we all headed to Jack Duggans’ in Floral Park for dinner, buffet-style and open bar, in their private room upstairs. This is truly a great space (so long as everyone can handle a flight of stairs). If you need an affordable place for a shower or private party, it is definitely worth looking here! The room is spacious, has exposed brick, a fireplace, private restrooms, and a private bar. The people were nice and the service was great. The food was also really good! It’s nice because it is private and completely separate from the bar downstairs. We had the 4 hour party with open bar from 7:30-11:30, so everyone was drinking and having a great time!
The Cake Gallery, Bellmore A+
DH was completely surprised. I really wanted to do something special for him at the RD and saw an ’09 brides (kittygags) groom cake and she highly recommended them! We had a Yankee Stadium cake on top of a half sheet cake – we had so much cake. It was great though, the cake itself was delicious and it was a lot of fun to unveil. I would definitely use Tom at the Cake Gallery again, his price was also very reasonable compared to others I had priced. Check them out on facebook, he has tons of pictures!!
Ring bearer gift:
Black converse, Yankee tickets, A
Our rb was grateful to have comfy sneakers to change into after the ceremony and will go to his first Yankee’s game with my husband, his uncle, and dad!
Flowergirl gifts, A:
I bought decorative picture frames from Target and put a picture of me with them in it from the shower. We also got them crystal and pearl charm bracelets with their initial to wear for the day of. We ordered them from www.goweddinggifts.com and they were shipped promptly! I emailed their info address to ask if they would fit young girls and they wrote back promptly and even gave me a coupon code to use on my order. I would recommend checking this site out if you still need any small gifts.
We also put together activity bags for the RB and FGs for once we got to the reception. We got some activity books and peel off sticker books from Matty’s Toy Stop and also put fruit snacks, goldfish crackers, and juicy juice in there for them. This kept them calm and occupied in the downtime between the ceremony and reception.
Anya Hindmarch Tote Bags, A+
Bridesmaid wine, A+
Freshwater Pearl Earrings (from Red Envelope), A+
I wanted to get my girls something practical and useful and found these canvas totes by Anya Hindmarch a while ago. I had been waiting for them to go on sale and, on a fluke one day, I went into her boutique in midtown and they were on sale!! I bought them up (and one for me too, of course)! I tracked down the bridesmaid wine over a year ago from a wine shop in CA and I got his last 8 bottles! The earrings are really beautiful and I wanted the girls to wear them on the day of, which they did. They were simple and elegant and really worked well with their dresses. I bought my sister, MOH, different jewelry, earrings and a necklace that matched my own day of jewelry, so she would stand out, but also so we would have something in common to share. Everything (except the wine) can be used again and I really think the girls liked the gifts!
Burberry Ties from Bloomingdale’s, A+
DH has gotten many useless gifts in all his experience as a groomsman, so we wanted something practical and of good quality. We decided to get Burberry ties for the guys to wear on the day of the wedding. They worked really well with the girls’ dresses and I know that they have been worn and will be worn again! DH also put money toward each of their tuxes, which I think was a kind gesture and very much appreciated. Here’s a pic of DH trying the tie with the faille vests and another of the bp outside the church:
Lenox 8 x 10 Picture frame from BBB, A+, and tickets to see “Lend Me a Tenor” on Broadway (my parents)
Silver Kate Spade Picture frame from Bloomingdale’s, A+ (ILs)
My parents paid for 99% of our wedding so there was no way we could ever thank them enough or repay them. We got them just a little something extra for them to have some time alone and do something for themselves since they have been so selfless over the past two years! We wanted to give frames for wedding pictures, which are forthcoming, and we also got them albums and DVDs from our photographer, which they get to select!
Wedding Gown, Skirt, and Belt
Monique Lhuillier at Saks Fifth Avenue, A+
I felt like my dress was the star of the show. Just about everyone came over to me at one point or another, even the men (some of them FILs friends who I had never met before!) to compliment my dress. I tried many gowns and it was truly the last dress I tried. I shopped at:
Priscilla of Boston
The Bridal Salon of Manhasset
Wedding Plaza in Floral Park
Bridal Reflections, Carle Place
. . . . and finally bought my gown at Sak’s Fifth Avenue. The experience at Saks was one of the best I had. I pretty much all along knew I wanted a Monique Lhuillier gown and when I tried on Grace, I had that “the one” feeling that I had been waiting and hoping for. I wanted something different that no one had seen before. I loved walking into the church in a huge ball-gown type dress and then, after our first dance, surprising all my guests by removing the tulle skirt, and dancing in a form-fitting gown! The belt added just the right amount of sparkle. I highly recommend Sak’s for a very high-end experience and great service throughout the process. They were great over the phone and over email. The gown was custom made to fit my measurements and it fit like a glove, except for the length and a little extra illusion material up top. The minor alterations were well done, Kay, my seamstress, did an amazing job! We bought the dress during a “gift card” event at Saks and since it was such a large purchase, we got a $450 gift card that completely covered the cost of alterations and the bustle. To me, this experience was what buying your dream wedding gown should be like.
Sans skirt and belt:
Getting into the skirt:
J. Crew, A
I spent a looooooong time looking for shoes and, in the end, couldn’t justify spending more than I did on shoes for one day. These shoes were great, comfortable, and matched the color of my gown precisely! Also, well-made. Highly recommend if you are looking for an ivory shoe.
Day of Jewelry
Carolee at Lord & Taylor, A
I bought cluster earrings and two bracelets to accessorize my dress and I loved how the color tones really worked with my belt. I love that I can even wear them again – I brought them on my honeymoon too!
Thomas Knoell, A+
It’s been said before, but this guy knows his stuff and his pieces are beautiful. I loved my hair stick, the Lourdes, and would recommend stopping into his storefront to try on a few things. He really knew how to accessorize my gown and didn’t really try to pressure me into overspending. I definitely plan on wearing it again. Got many compliments!
Jenny Leigh for Thomas Knoell, A+
I loved my veil!! I wasn’t crazy about the idea of a veil when I was dress shopping – I never liked with the consultants tried to finalize the look with the veil – I always felt like I was hiding under a sheet. And, since my skirt was so full, I didn’t want to overkill with the tulle. I found the “Gardenia” veil by Jenny Leigh at a trunk show at Thomas Knoell and it was exactly what I was looking for!! An ’09 bride (allegracristina) had a similar veil from Priscilla of Boston, but this one came in ivory (matched perfectly) and was only $120. I didn’t want to spend a lot on the veil because I only planned to wear it for the ceremony, but ended up keeping it on until after our first dance, I loved it so much (and forgot it was there)! The second tier could be used as the blusher. It was perfect! Here is a picture of me with my eyes closed, but it’s a good picture of the veil!!
Day of Make-up
I have nothing but kind and wonderful things to say about Oksana. She is such a nice woman and definitely a calming presence on the day of your wedding. She does amazing work with regular make-up and it was flawless. She also did my mother and sister (MOH) and they looked amazing. She spends as much time and puts as much care into her work for each person and makes sure you are happy with the results as she does for the bride. She’s a total sweetheart and I will definitely use again for events. Be patient with her, she can be slow to respond over email, but I promise that she is worth the wait!
Day of Hair
Nicole D’Angio, A+
Another vendor of mine suggested I contact Nicole for my “day of” hair because she is, simply put, “the best.” When I saw her price list I decided to do a trial with a more affordable LIW vendor but we just didn’t click and I was out $60. So, I figured that rather than spend a small fortune doing trials to find a stylist cheaper than Nicole, that I would just go for it and save my time and money. My MOH and I drove out to her Mt. Sinai studio and she spent 3 hours with me. She really took the time to get to know me, my gown, vendors, style and incorporated that into the hair styles. We didn’t nail down a specific style at the trial, but it was more so for me to feel comfortable with her abilities and to be able to put my complete trust in her on the day of the wedding. She can be difficult, at times, to get a hold of over email or telephone, but she is extremely organized and I had no real worries as we approached my wedding day. I think my mother and sister both looked absolutely beautiful and glamorous on my wedding day.
Priscilla of Boston, Roslyn and then Manhasset, A
Felisa was our consultant at Priscilla of Boston and she was very helpful. I went to POB at least 3 times before I chose a gown and every time I went they were helpful and accommodating, always letting me peruse the racks and try things on. Everything went smoothly with my girls ordering their dresses and they came in with plenty of time. Girls were having their alterations done around Memorial Day for my June 25 wedding. I didn’t get my gown there, but they still gave me a 10% discount. I think the color, which was sapphire, I believe, really pops in the pictures:
Tuxedo Park, Carle Place, B
Unfortunately, Tuxedo Park left much to be desired. For all their claims about customer service being top of the line, we found them to be less than service oriented once they had our deposit. The tuxes looked great on the day of, sure, but there were a few snafus:
We were told to get our groomsmen and male family members together for a group measuring at Tuxedo Park and that it would be a relaxing experience with beers, light snacks, etc. On the day of the measuring it was mayhem in the store and we had to ASK for anything to drink.
Several of the tuxedos were not perfect fits when they were picked up, the usual, pants too short, shirt collars to small, that sort of thing. Everything was taken care of in the end.
The one thing that really really really really annoyed me is that our consultant told us how once we picked the rb tie she would cut it down to child’s size so it wouldn’t look ridiculously out of place on our 4 year old ring boy. (She also knew that we had gotten skinny Burberry ties for the rest of the bp, so it was important that the rb’s tie be consistent with that style). His tie was not cut down and looked ridiculous on him. He is such a sweetheart and cute kid, it didn’t matter in the least, but I hate nothing more than to have the world promised to me and the bare minimum delivered. You can see his tie knot in this picture –
We would not use them again.
Good Old Gold, A
This place is great. We worked with Amy to design our wedding bands and she is super nice and really knows her stuff! She designed a wedding band to match my engagement ring band and it is perfect!! They have great customer service. We also had my engagement ring dipped here the week before the wedding and they did it very quickly and it looked great! Super sparkly.
My mom and I worked on the programs together. She bought a program kit from Michael’s and I downloaded a template from online and they were perfect, absolutely did the trick. If it were up to me, I probably wouldn’t have done programs. I think we printed about 100 and have most leftover. And I thought our church was pretty full!
Legends Limousines, A
Bobby was great to work with, very accessible via email and over the phone. On the day of, the cars and drivers were early and professional. I have no complaints and would suggest them to other brides without reservation. We had a Bentley for my parents and I to the church, which then took DH and I to the hall. We had an Expedition SUV limo for the guys to get from DH’s house to the church and then for the whole bridal party to get from the church to the hall. They were helpful coordinating the logistics, their website is informative with lots of great pictures, and the cars were new and clean.
Photographer / Videographer
Duet, A (TJs team)
I am really pleased with our decision to use Duet and TJ. We love their overall aesthetic and are both really happy with the service we’ve received thus far. Our engagement shoot was a lot of fun and really got us acquainted with the TJ, which then made us more comfortable with him on the day of. I think we got all of the shots we wanted on the day of, but, for some reason, I feel like we got less proofs than other brides on this website. We got about 400 re-touched printed proofs (and a disk of these images) as well as another disk of about 2000+ unedited images. We had two photographers, a videographer, and an assistant for 12 hours on the day of. Some of my favorite shots:
They were great without being too obtrusive. I did get fidgety though during the formal shots at the Inn, I just wanted to be DONE with pictures, but now I’m glad we have them all! I think everyone was getting tired of posing, but I’m glad we did it. No complaints about Duet, but we have yet to submit for our video or albums! I’m sure they won’t disappoint, I’m very confident!!
DJ, MC, Jazz Trio, and Lighting
Bravura Entertainment, A++++++
Bravura gets my highest rating of all our vendors. They are consummate professionals and truly made the party! I cannot even remember how many different people asked us where we found them and who they were! I can’t wait for my sister’s wedding in December to see them all again! Bravura was the one vendor I did not stress about AT ALL. They made me feel completely comfortable throughout the entire planning process and I just knew that everything would be taken care of on the day of the wedding. It was all just so easy. We filled out our music selections and it was done! We saw them perform at a Chateau Briand showcase (they are a Scotto house vendor) and we knew we had to have them. We met with many other popular DJ companies and they didn’t even compare, Bravura just blew everyone else out of the water. Their MCs were professional and engaging without being cheesy (Tony was amazing and kept checking in with us to make sure we were happy). We had to have Paul and so we chose to have him play the piano during the pseudo-hospitality hour between the church and cocktail hour at the Inn and then we had their jazz trio play during the “down times” while people were eating their meals. Everyone just wanted to keep dancing, even during the so called “down time” so it was a lot of fun. Paul sang our first dance, which made it extra special, and his rendition of “Con Te Partiro” by Andrea Boccelli had the entire room dancing and applauding! We wanted to have Italian and Latin music played, and Bravura handles it all. They had tons of energy and everyone dancing all night long. An example of their professionalism and good common sense: DH and I knew we wanted perimeter lighting to liven up the space (which I heard can get dark as the night goes on) and I’m glad we did. At our final DJ meeting we said we wanted the room uplit an amber color and then to fade to pink and blues throughout the night. While they were setting up during the CH Aaron, one of their other mcs, came to find us in the CH because they weren’t happy with the amber color and felt it was too green, which it was. I’m so glad they found us and asked our opinion because I would have really hated to be announced into a lime green ballroom!! Crisis averted and everything was spectacular. I wish we could work with them again. If you haven’t booked a DJ yet, you MUST MUST MUST meet with Bravura.
The Inn at New Hyde Park, A
After visiting 30+ reception halls, the Inn was the last we visited, on a fluke, and it ended up being our dream venue. We booked with Linda, who was very helpful and accessible throughout the planning process. Even though the newly refurbished in is a huge hall that can accommodate 450 people comfortably, you really get a family-feel at the place. Frank always made us feel at home on any of our numerous visits and every time we ate at the restaurant leading up to our day (and even after) they would greet us and really make us feel welcome. Everyone has raved about the Inn – from the unreal 2 hr long cocktail hour, which they opened early as our guests started to arrive, to the 7 entrée choices on the menu – one of them being porterhouse steak, which was a huge hit. They let us do a free tasting with both sets of our parents before signing the contract since they are confident that their service and the quality of their food will impress – and they are right. There was just no comparison with the other halls that we visited. I’m happy to answer specific questions about the hall, but overall we could not be happier with our decision. After we booked, every vendor we met with told us that the Inn was one of the best RH’s on LI and that definitely made us feel good about our decision – especially because these are people who visit and eat at all the halls!
Riesterer’s Bakery, West Hempstead, A
Our cake was delish – not a lot of bells and whistles, but it was Tres leches cake and filling with bananas and an ivory butter cream. We asked them to leave room between the tiers for our florist to decorate with fresh flowers, and it came out awesome!
I hope this will help future brides and that you enjoy my review!!! Thanks!
Message edited 11/2/2010 11:54:37 AM.