Real Long Island Wedding: Allegra and Michael
Michael and I had both put a lot of time, love and effort into long prior relationships. When we got together, it was during a period for both of us when it seemed like the dark times would never end. But the moment we kissed it was like the clouds parted and the sun came out! We had known each other as friends for a few years, and seen how amazing each one could be in a relationship. Now we were able to have that REAL relationship together! We both truly feel that fate brought us together, and we are forever soul mates. We knew we were meant to be! We are both extremely devoted to our families, which is something that is still very important to us. That was one of the things that made me sure that Michael was the one for me. He would do anything for his family, and I know he would do anything for me, and I for him.
The Royalton was literally the 12th place we looked at from Wading River to Manhattan. We had tastings with two Manhattan caterers/venues, and tastings with two Long Island venues. Each place was lacking something. We had never heard of The Royalton at Roslyn Country Club, even though it is in our very own town! When we visited we just knew! We had seen soooo many different places, and NO place on Long Island was like The Royalton. It truly is your own private mansion. I loved the shingled siding and shutters and the look of the mansion. I also was most thrilled with the ballroom, because it truly is a perfect palate. The hardwood floors and white columns were classic to me. I loved the layout of the ballroom, and how it adjoined to the cocktail hour room, which would double as our after party room! Another huge benefit to booking The Royalton is the amount of private rooms and attendants you are given. We had a giant bridal suite with full bathroom, walk in closet, and fireplace with remote. It also had a large plasma screen tv! There is also groom's suite with private bathroom and attendant (as well as plasma screen tv), a parents' suite with private bathroom and attendant, and a cigar room/library with couches and tables and a large plasma tv as well! We basically had the entire upstairs of the mansion to ourselves!
The Royalton caters each affair to the couple. There are no packages and presets. Basically you and your banquet manager choose each detail of your wedding together. The Royalton was able to do everything we wanted, and most importantly they were able to please my impossible to please mother! They procured different types of wines as we requested and had a wine tasting for my mother to choose the wines we would be serving. They found an Argentinian sparkling wine, which flowed throughout the night! My mom was in heaven! Some of the cocktail hour stations that were included for us were a mashed potato bar, grill station with skirt steak and chimichurri, grilled shrimp and fish, grilled veggies and grilled chicken, sliced imported cheese from around the world, amazing selection of prosciutto, and different cured meats. The passed hors d'oeuvres were just to die for. There were about 17 in total! Roasted little legs of lamb, spanakopita, seared wasabi tuna bites, black sesame sprinkled pigs in a blanket! MMM!!! The food is just outstanding at the Royalton. We had our tasting and booked on the spot. No other venue matches the taste and quality of the entree courses in my humble opinion :)
Our color palette was as vibrant as we are. Our colours fuschia and green were special for two reasons: One, I love bright colors and have always seen them in my wedding; and two, they signifies flowers, nature and a garden…and set the tone for our whole “theme”. My decor was really centered around flowers and branches. I didn't want crystals and hanging candles, I wanted really organic and natural looking centerpieces and accent pieces. We had magenta orchids, white orchids, green and white hydrangea, and birch branches everywhere! It was an explosion of color! Our ceremony arch, which sat behind us at our sweetheart table for the reception, was absolutely stunningly breathtaking. It is a masterpiece of ivory roses, sprays upon sprays of magenta orchids, and hydrangea. Our centerpieces ranged from tall glass vases bursting with magenta orchids, green hydrangea, and birch branches, to as many as three short vases to make up the low centerpieces. Birch branches were used on the low centerpieces for texture, as well as banana leaves were wrapped around the vases and tied with raffia on some of the pieces. There were hurricanes with submerged orchids lining the escort card table, and two gorgeous credenza pieces accenting the entrance to the ballroom. The grand entryway piece was just breathtaking. It was a large gold urn lined with green hydrangea and magenta orchids, and coming out of it were birch branches covered in magenta orchids. It was just beautiful. The bridesmaids bouquets were composed of green and ivory roses, with accents of solid magenta orchids. My bouquet contained a mix of various different kinds of orchids, and accented with green hypericum.
In fact, these “theme”, if you will carried over into the selection I made for my bridal party, and the reason I chose to have them wear two different hues. I knew I wanted a contrast in my bridesmaids. The green symbolizes the leaves of the flowers, and other beautiful plants in the garden. The purple/fuchsia represents the color and brightness of flowers. I knew I was going to have a contrast in the colors of the dresses, as well as the styles and lengths. I always knew I wanted short dresses for the bridesmaids. I love that look! I wanted them to be free to dance and bust moves all night long! I like the youthful, fun look of short bridesmaid dresses. However for my junior bridesmaid Madison who was 12 at the time, I wanted her to stand out, and feel elegant and grown up. You don't get to wear evening gowns too often at that age! I put her in a floor length gown that was so fun, yet elegant. Some girls asked to be a specific color, and some girls didn't mind which they were. I gave them a choice of 4 dresses, and they all picked the same one! Except one picked a different dress and I was so happy! I LOVED that style and was psyched someone loved it too! It really complemented the whole group.
Because of my/our personalities I was important that preserving our day was professional but fun and most of all creative. Blue Daisy's work speaks for itself. I had seen Mariann's work MONTHS before I got in contact with her about our wedding. I had seen her wedding photos and her boudoir. I could not believe my eyes. Her photos are like fairytale pictures to me. Her use of color and light are just unreal. I was absolutely blown away by her talent and style. Months later when we were looking for a photographer, I emailed her on a long shot. I for sure thought my window had passed for her. She wrote back and said she was available! My heart raced! Working with Mariann has been the most positive and uplifting experience ever! I knew she would bring to life the bright, colorful vision I had for my wedding. I knew that my tattoos would stand out in her photos, and that this was going to be a match made in heaven! From my boudoir session and album, to my amazing wedding day, to my fun filled day after session, Mariann has made us smile and laugh and just have a blast.
A bit “edgy” and adventurous, we also chose to include uplighting in our special celebration. The uplighting was a huge part of our wedding decor that we knew from day one would make our vision really come true. Our MC/DJ Michael from Eclipse Entertainment got our vision immediately. We had 12- color changing led uplights, that made the room glow different shades of green, fuchsia, and purple. We also had two columns of intelligent dance floor lights, as well as a custom 'name in lights' on the dance floor. The lighting made the room look like an enchanted garden, and it was exactly what I imagined. My mother actually was completely against the lighting and bad mouthed it the entire year before the wedding! She thought for sure it was going to be tacky. Well she was one of the first people to say 'WOW!' The lighting makes all the difference in creating the ambiance of the night.
Our wedding was finishing at 1:00 am, which for a lot of people is LATE! Our family and friends are party people! This starts with my parents! We knew that we did not want to be trying to figure out where to go, what to do next after the wedding. We wanted to keep partying! So when we booked the Royalton, we asked if we would be able to add two hours onto the wedding for an after party. They said they could do it, and we talked about the details. The food would be cheeseburger sliders, mini grilled cheeses, mini pulled pork sandwiches, and french fries. There would be a candy bar complete with a mini oven baking fresh chocolate chip cookies! The bar remained open, and cigars and cognacs were passed. As far as entertainment, we are really into Rock Band! We wanted to show off our skills, as well as have a fun, interactive form of entertainment for the after party. We set up a stage for our Ion Drum Rocker, complete with a tv screen in the front of it so the crowd can watch along! We also had two plasma screens set up on each side of the room (one was our tv and one was FIL's!) so the players could see what they were doing. We had binders with the 500 songs that people could choose from! We started off the night with our BIG performance as husband and wife! I had changed into my short second dress, in order to play the drums. Our band consisted of Michael, our best man, maid of honor, and me! The first song had me on drums and Michael on lead guitar and vocals for Weezer's 'Say it Ain't So'. Then we went into Michael on drums, me on lead vocals, best man Brian on lead guitar, and maid of honor Ally on bass! I sang Tenacious D's 'Master Exploder' which is a funny song from their movie! It was an absolute blast!! The greatest moment for me was when the bridesmaids and I did No Doubt's 'Spiderwebs'!! We broke it down!!!
The most memorable part of the day for me was during a slow dance to 'I'll Be' by Edwin McKay. It felt like it was just the two of us dancing, like we were completely alone in the room. It felt like forever, and it was amazing. When we looked back on the video of the wedding, it turns out there were people all around us. They were dancing, taking photos of us, and just watching. I never even sensed their presence! That will always be my most memorable moment. Michael has recounted his most memorable moment to be when we met for the first time. He felt his heart racing, and couldn't wait any long for me to come down the grand foyer stairs! He met me on the stairs and helped me down. It was a beautiful moment. We both had the biggest smiles on our faces. We knew it was our time, our moment that we had waited so long for. I had never had my hair pulled up in my entire life, and I knew Michael couldn't wait to see what it would look like. He said I looked like a princess! It was like a fairytale moment for both of us.
The best advice I can give to other Couples is stay focused on each other and what both of you want. Everyone wants to give opinions and put input into the situation. I find that in order to avoid regrets, you must follow your heart. Remember in all your decisions, that it's about you and your partner. If not for the two of you, why would you be here?! Also, when was the last time you planned a formal event for over a hundred people? It's stressful! So take it one day at a time, and support each other in order to avoid bickering and meltdowns. It's a stressful time for everyone, but with a positive, team oriented mentality everyone can have the time of their life.
Positivity was a constant driving force for me during the year before the wedding. I had a a lot of negativity coming at me, and in order to be truly happy I had to really bring out all my positive energies, and truly turn them on full blast! I wasn't going to let ANYTHING get me down when it culminated on my wedding day. That is the absolute best advice I can give any future Bride. Do not let ANYTHING get you down on your day! You will regret it! There will be little things and big things, and there will be things that could make you lose your cool. But you mustn't!
Here is why: There are no do-overs. No next times. No mulligans, no retakes. No tomorrows. This is it! Your day! The day you have both been planning and working towards for so long. Are you willing to let that go down the drain because something went wrong? I for sure, was not. It was a virtual monsoon on our wedding day. We were supposed to get married in the garden, that was my vision, my dream. The LAST thing I wanted in the world was to get married in a ballroom. But Mother Nature cannot be contended with! She wanted to rain down! I didn't feel a drop though. It stayed dry until I had my hair done and was swiftly inside the Royalton where I stayed until the next day. I didn't even think about the rain again, and the fact that I wouldn't have my garden wedding ceremony, or any outdoor pics with my husband or bridal party, and no outdoor cocktail hour on a fresh June night. None of those things mattered on that day. What mattered was all the happy and beautiful goings on INSIDE the Royalton! So remember, don't sweat the small stuff, or the big stuff. Let things roll right off you as you enjoy the day you deserve! Good luck to all!