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8/25/13 Wedding at the Riviera
ricciardi2013 Posted: Oct 08, 2013 01:04 PM+
ricciardi2013 MEMBER SINCE: 8/12 TOTAL POSTS : 72 WEDDING DATE: Aug 25, 2013
Posted: Oct 08, 2013 01:04 PM bride-minus.png

8/25/13 Wedding at the Riviera

Engagement Party
Our engagement party was thrown at the Masonic Lodge in Babylon. Our Uncle is a member there and helped us get a good rate. It’s a great space for anyone that wants to “DIY” their party. They have an entire kitchen attached to the hall and you can do an open bar for a reasonable dollar amount per person. We also booked a DJ that was just the essentials – nothing flashy. Our family members helped us cook food and we did appetizers, dinner (buffet style), and had a cake. It was one of my most favorite events during the planning process. We had a large turn out, so we did table assignments. We had “g-clef” picture frame holders in the middle of each table with pictures from our engagement photo shoot, and balloons were attached to them. Each guest also had a “g-clef” photo holder holding their place card and that was the favor.

Bridal Shower
My Mother-in-Law, Sister-in- Law, and dear friend helped plan my bridal shower. It was in The Victorian Room at Milk & Sugar Café in Bayshore. This was the perfect bridal shower for me. I did ask to know the date of the shower, because I have a chaotic performing schedule. I did not know any of the other details. So many of my family members and friends pitched in to help out that day. We were truly blessed by wonderful gifts. We did have a Wishing Well and people filled it with household items. We had just moved into an apartment together, so this was well received. We had passed appetizer at the start of the shower, then we had a buffet style brunch. There was a chef that made omelets for us as well. There was champagne punch and tea service at all of the tables. It was feminine, flowery and beautiful – totally me! My Mom made me a pillow for my ring-bearer that was made from material from my grandmother’s wedding gown and her wedding gown. She also made my garter from the same materials. My Mother-in-Law gave me a family cook book, and we also received a family lineage from my husband’s family. It was truly a beautiful day.

Bachelorette Party
If there was one disappointing part of my planning process, it was this. My husband and I did not really want separate parties. Neither of us was in to strip clubs, or drinking in excess. So, we planned a wine tour for our close friends and bridal party. Each person paid $80 each and that paid for the limo bus, a tasting at one of three vineyards, and food to nosh on during all of this. We then hosted a bbq back at his parents’ house after the wine tour concluded. People bowed out at the last minute and my husband and I ended up footing the bill for 4 or more people. We also had to play “host” during this entire time – he was grilling meats and I was putting food out, cleaning up after people etc. I don’t recommend this to anyone! I was disappointed our bridal party did not step up to help us. Many of them did help during the party to clean etc, but the planning all fell on us. We did enjoy the vineyards. So if you plan on going, we highly recommend Jason’s Vineyard and Baiting Hollow. We also visited Macari, but that was our least favorite.

Oh my dress… this is a story. I originally purchased a Private Label by G dress at RK Bridal in September 2012. It was a size 14 off the rack and I got it for a fantastic price. My Mom sews and was going to alter it. She also made my veil and we found trim that was perfect for it in the Garment district – go to SHINE trim if you are looking for bridal trim. You can sometimes haggle them down, but they have a great selection. My Mom lives in Ohio. She brought the dress to NYC for my shower in June to fit it to me. The dress traveled to and from Ohio 4 different times. Each time it arrived safely…except when she traveled to me for the wedding. She got in a week and a few days prior to the wedding to help me. She was also my matron of honor. My wedding dress & hand-made veil, her matron of honor dress, her rehearsal dinner dress, other clothes and wedding items were all lost in her luggage on her way her. It was a week before my wedding and I was without a wedding dress. We traveled halls in LaGuardia Airport that we never should have been in – looking for security cameras ANYTHING to tell us that the suitcase was stolen etc. On Monday before my wedding on Sunday, the suitcase had still not showed up. I had seen another dress at David’s Bridal that was OK, but didn’t thrill me. They allowed us to put it on lay-away. I went back to RK, explained the situation, and Joann helped me find a dress that was just as beautiful and the same style as my other dress. It was also 50% off. I stayed pretty calm throughout this entire process, because my Mom was devastated that she had lost her only daughter’s wedding dress. It brought us closer together and my husband was amazing – he would have taken me to the ends of the earth to find a dress. It also made me realize WHY we were getting married and I worried less about WHAT was happening or going wrong. My Mom spent the entire week altering my dress. We hand steamed it on our own, and I felt like a Queen in my gown the day of my wedding. Don’t ever put your bridal gown in a suitcase – buy a seat for it. We are currently in touch with American Airlines for reimbursement for everything. But they were less than helpful or sympathetic to the situation. I was truly blessed in this entire situation that things turned out as well as they did – I LOVED my dress.

Vesta Goodarz – – did my hair and make up. I have stick straight hair and she got it to curl with a flat iron – this is a miracle, ladies! She’s the best. She does hair and make up for TV shows in NYC. She will travel to you and she is wonderful to work with. I HIGHLY recommend her and will be using her again when I next get my headshots done.

I got my shoes at DSW. I wanted a pop of color. My girls wore purple, so I wore purple glitter shoes! They had an ugly bow on them, so I pulled that off and found wonderful glitter rosettes at MJ Trimming to glue on them. I will totally wear them again!

I had chandelier earrings by Carole Lee that I bought at Bloomingdale’s. My necklace was by Charter Club and I got it at Macy’s. The hardest thing was matching the silver toned beads on my dress – but I was so happy with the delicate yet dramatic statement that my jewelry made.

ETSY Vendors
Bridesmaids Initial Necklaces
This Vendor is Awesome! It’s the best price I have found for the initial necklaces that are so popular. I got them for each bridesmaid AND bought one with my new initials as a present to myself! The items take about a month to get because they ship from Israel, but they are great communicators!

I had three dear friends help me the morning of my wedding. They were at the venue overseeing set up and putting silk flower arrangements places. They each had a copy of my day-of timeline, so I purchased personalized clipboards for each of them. I also gave each of them a wrist corsage. This etsy vendor did a beautiful job, rushed my order, and was openly communicative. I would use her again! She also sent me a discount coupon after I reviewed the shop for my next purchase.

Men’s shaving kits
We bought these shaving kits for each of our groomsmen. We got the sandalwood flavor and it was a nice neutral, clean smell. They all loved them and my husband bought one too. They also sent us other soap samples in the package – really nice and affordable gift.

Unity Candle
Jackie was great. She did my unity candle for me. I had been dealing with another vendor who was completely unresponsive. Although it took her awhile to get my order to me, it arrived on time. I think she was finishing orders in chronological order by wedding date, and I submitted my request early. Ultimately, we were pleased with the end result.

Bridal Hanger
I wanted a padded hanger that had lace on it for my dress hanger. I loved how my hanger turned out and I now am using it in my closet at home. It was a good transaction and I asked for a few special things that the vendor accommodated.

I Do/Me Too Stickers
This was an easy transaction and I was happy to find these in purple – my wedding colors!

Channa Plaque
We loved our channa plaque. It is now hanging in our apartment. Channa was easy to work with and very pleasant.

We purchased several items from the knot for our attendants. I had make up bags made for each bridesmaid and they turned out nicely. I got them on sale and it was price effective and good quality. We purchased three pocket watches for some of our groomsmen. The watches were nice, but the batteries were dead when we received them and we had to replace them. We also got an engraved business card holder for a groomsman and were less than thrilled with its quality, so we went to Things Remembered instead.

A cousin of my husband officiated at our wedding. Pastor Nicholas D’Onofrio of Upper Room Christian Community in Deer Park. Nicky was great and we really loved what we said at our ceremony. Our voice teacher composed our vows for us. We sang our vows and everyone really loved that. It was a unique way to make our wedding personal and special.

This was something that took me awhile in my planning process. For some reason, the wording took my husband and I forever to decide. We wanted something all encompassing of our families. My Mom is a member at Direct Buy, so we purchased the invitations through them and the company was Carlson Crafts. I probably splurged a little on the invitations, but it was super important to me. My Mom has stunning handwriting so she hand addressed all of them. We also purchased cocktail napkins for cocktail hour through Carlson Crafts and they had our initials on them.

The Riviera in Massapequa Park. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this venue. We immediately fell in love with it because it has a “homey” feel to it. It was reasonably priced. The Banquet Managers were wonderful, and our guests told us how much they loved it too! We had a Maitre D and many things ran smoothly. The food was wonderful, and we hear the cocktail hour was superb (we took pics during that time, but they gave us a little spread of our own in the bridal suite). We had one banquet manager, but she was out due to personal reasons. Our BM, Mary, was actually the one we booked the venue with and she was fantastic. I got bit by a bug when we were outside taking pictures. She had hydrocortisone cream and we were able to get the swelling of the bite to reduce. They were attentive and really cared about our wedding. They only do one wedding at a time, and this was a huge draw for us. Everyone says that 180 guests is too many for that room and IT’S NOT! You can fit 180. We did it. We had 4 tables on the perimeter of the dance floor, the DJ in the corner and we still had plenty of dance floor. Dancing is huge in our family, so we wanted to make sure that we could have a large space in which to dance. They also have a baby grand piano and our voice teacher was gracious enough to play pre-lude music in the foyer prior to the start of the ceremony. They also threw in extras once we booked with them. Our bridal attendant, Sharon, was also fabulous. You can tell this is a family run business because they really CARE about people. The grounds were also beautifully manicured and the gazebos made for great pictures.

D3 Photogroup did our photos. These are our cousins and they are great. Dave actually brought on another photographer to help him, and they were wonderful. We have some of our proofs back, but not all. What we have thus far is wonderful.

We used John Bilski. We wanted a film, not a cheesey wedding video. We splurged on John’s services, but we know his work will be worth it. We are currently working with him on our 30 minute film and will also receive all the raw footage.

Parties Alive Entertainment. They did a pretty good job. Things were missed along the way and our bridal party entrance was not correct, but the music was great.

Tim’s Florist was linked to The Riviera and they were just wonderful. It was like having your Aunt do you flowers for you. They were accommodating and wonderful. The bouquets and boutinierres were perfect. They also did our centerpieces – a pillar candle with a wreath of flowers around it. My Mom did my bouquet charms for me as an early wedding present and had my grandparents with me. Gail and her sister run Tim’s florist and they were reasonably priced and always willing to answer questions and provide good guidance.

We booked through a friend of the family, and ultimately the company was Dynasty Limousines. The driver was polite and courteous. He was on time and the air conditioning ran full blast in the double stretch limo we had. If we had not had a family rate, I would have booked with Camelot – Joe and his team were great. Limos were not a priority for us, but we needed transportation for the bridal party and us the day of the wedding. We were able to get away with one double stretch limousine.

DIY Projects:
Placecards, Programs & Table Numbers
I made our placecards, programs and table numbers. I got the materials from Paper Presentation on 18th street in NYC. You can also purchase from them online – I printed most of this at home, but had Fedex/Kinko’s print the programs for me.

Bathroom baskets
We wanted to provide some special hospitality to our guests, so we did bathroom baskets for each bathroom. Many people commented on how nice this was.

I must have printed a million things using vistaprint: invitations for the bachelor/ett party, invitations for rehearsal dinner, menus for the wedding and rehearsal dinner, Mr/Mrs/Thank/You signs and thank you notes for the wedding. I lived for those groupon specials and it really helped!

Family Pictures as Décor
Family is extremely important to us. On the piano in the foyer, we had a montage photo frame of our grandparents and our parents on their wedding days. We also had younger pictures of our grandparents on display. All of our grandfathers had served in the military, so they were all shown in their uniforms. We also had one flag there to represent all of them. This was very special to us and many people commented on how personal this was.

Parent Gifts
We got special mats cut at Michaels, and picked up 16x20 frames on sale there. We put pictures of our parents and grandparents on their wedding days in it. Then we left a blank space for them put a picture of us – they LOVED it. We also gave each of them an individual gift:
MOG – special dragonfly necklace
FOG – we framed his father’s military flag
MOB – blue tanzanite ring
FOB – I recorded the song we danced to at the wedding. We also did this for my mother-in-law – they both loved it.

My husband and I both sing. We made a CD of songs that were our favorite. We used karaoke tracks (the good fully orchestrated kind) and recorded our singing voices to each song. We also included the special songs we recorded for our Mom & Dad on it. Our guests loved this.

Dessert Boxes
We ordered dessert boxes from Papermart for our guests to take home their dessert goodies. I usually eat too much at weddings and can’t enjoy dessert, so I wanted to provide this for any left-overs that people had.

OOT Bags
We used recyclable bags for our OOT bags. We put local items in there: Entenmann’s, Newsday papers etc. We also used North Fork Chips: Contact Carol Sidor there – she is SO nice and bride’s get a discount. We went to Costco and just filled in the rest – granola bars, bottles of water, cheezits (it’s a thing for my family),

Bridesmaid dresses
I wanted all the girls to have the same color dress, but to wear a style that flattered their body type and that they cold wear again. We chose Impressions as the designer and they wore the color Aubergine. We bought them from the “No Frills” program at RK Bridal because I had ladies that were out of state and they shipped directly to them. They did alterations on their own and they all looked gorgeous. I asked them to wear silver shoes and minimal jewelry. Because my Mom lost her dress, we got EXTREMELY lucky that Macy’s had dresses in this shade of color. She also didn’t look out of place since she was my Matron of Honor.

My husband had a set of formal tails that he wore and my Mom made him a peak vest and bow tie to match my dress (ivory). The groomsmen wore regular tuxes and black tie/cummerbunds. We had a few issues with Jos A. Bank in Babylon. They were disorganized. Everyone who got measured there had a size issue with a part of their tux. My dad and another groomsman were measured elsewhere and their tuxes fit perfectly. One of the out of town groomsmen was supposed to pick up his tux in DC, but it ended up being at the store in Babylon. No biggie, but had the tux not fit him, we would have had an issue.

Rehearsal Dinner
We had our rehearsal dinner at Papa Joe’s in Deer Park. They have recently renovated and it was beautiful! The food was delicious. I designed menus on vistaprint and had a black and white theme. We used A Fresh Approach to design little favors for us. They did groom and bride truffle pops – these were a big hit. We received a cake with our package from Campbell’s bakery and I made this a surprise for my husband and did a groom’s cake for him. I will say that we had some difficulty communicating with this bakery and found it more helpful to actually go there and speak with someone. However, both our wedding cake and rehearsal dinner cake came out beautifully.

We stayed for two nights at The Viana Hotel. Do yourself a favor…if you have not gone here, GO! Or, if you are looking for a splurge hotel in the area for a mini-moon or special weekend, go here and have a spa treatment and enjoy peace and quiet. Get the suite with the jacuzzi in the room. We literally just sequestered ourselves in our room for two days ordering room service and we had a massage while there. Sept/Oct is a busy singing season for us, so we didn’t leave for our honeymoon right away. This was the perfect treat for us to unwind and enjoy being newlyweds. We are going to Hawaii later this March. We have a timeshare through my in-laws in Maui for a week and then will take another week to see Kaui and Oahu.

Happy planning ladies! Feel free to reach out to me with any questions and enjoy your planning process and special days!!!

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ricciardi2013 Posted: Oct 08, 2013 01:09 PM+
ricciardi2013 MEMBER SINCE: 8/12 TOTAL POSTS : 72 WEDDING DATE: Aug 25, 2013
Posted: Oct 08, 2013 01:09 PM bride-minus.png

Re: 8/25/13 Wedding at the Riviera

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ricciardi2013 Posted: Oct 08, 2013 01:10 PM+
ricciardi2013 MEMBER SINCE: 8/12 TOTAL POSTS : 72 WEDDING DATE: Aug 25, 2013
Posted: Oct 08, 2013 01:10 PM bride-minus.png

Re: 8/25/13 Wedding at the Riviera

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ricciardi2013 Posted: Oct 08, 2013 01:11 PM+
ricciardi2013 MEMBER SINCE: 8/12 TOTAL POSTS : 72 WEDDING DATE: Aug 25, 2013
Posted: Oct 08, 2013 01:11 PM bride-minus.png

Re: 8/25/13 Wedding at the Riviera

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lauren1802 Posted: Oct 08, 2013 01:50 PM+
lauren1802 MEMBER SINCE: 10/11 TOTAL POSTS : 5335 WEDDING DATE: Sep 20, 2013
Posted: Oct 08, 2013 01:50 PM bride-minus.png

8/25/13 Wedding at the Riviera - Long Island Weddings

great review!
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dariamarie2 Posted: Oct 08, 2013 02:45 PM+
dariamarie2 MEMBER SINCE: 4/13 TOTAL POSTS : 1425 WEDDING DATE: Oct 10, 2014
Posted: Oct 08, 2013 02:45 PM bride-minus.png

8/25/13 Wedding at the Riviera - Long Island Weddings

That's crazy what happened to your first dress. Glad it all worked out in the end! Great review!
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cupcakegal930 Posted: Oct 08, 2013 02:51 PM+
cupcakegal930 MEMBER SINCE: 1/13 TOTAL POSTS : 591 WEDDING DATE: Dec 27, 2013
Posted: Oct 08, 2013 02:51 PM bride-minus.png

8/25/13 Wedding at the Riviera - Long Island Weddings

So glad everything worked out for you! That dress story is unbelievable! Don't stop fighting with American Airlines!!!!
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Pinkisles Posted: Oct 08, 2013 04:20 PM+
Pinkisles MEMBER SINCE: 1/12 TOTAL POSTS : 1297 WEDDING DATE: Mar 15, 2013
Posted: Oct 08, 2013 04:20 PM bride-minus.png

8/25/13 Wedding at the Riviera - Long Island Weddings

You looked beautiful. I can't believe what happened with your dress. I would have lost it. I really admire how you kept yourself together!! Congrats!
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Caity828 Posted: Oct 08, 2013 05:35 PM+
Caity828 MEMBER SINCE: 7/13 TOTAL POSTS : 1415 WEDDING DATE: Jul 18, 2014
Posted: Oct 08, 2013 05:35 PM bride-minus.png

8/25/13 Wedding at the Riviera - Long Island Weddings

OMG You deserve bride of the year for not losing it about your dress!! I love that your mom and FH were so supportive, like you said, it makes you think about why you're getting married and not about the details (however big those details may be!). Great review! You looked gorgeous!
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joeanna anthony Posted: Oct 12, 2013 06:11 AM+
joeanna anthony MEMBER SINCE: 7/13 TOTAL POSTS : 93 WEDDING DATE: Jul 18, 2014
Posted: Oct 12, 2013 06:11 AM bride-minus.png

8/25/13 Wedding at the Riviera - Long Island Weddings

You have taken care of even the minutest details. Your post is excellent. THANK YOU greatly for delivering a lot of details and facts. There were a lot of things I was unaware of. Your post is a very big help to me.
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MsErikaLynn Posted: Jan 15, 2014 01:43 AM+
MsErikaLynn MEMBER SINCE: 11/12 TOTAL POSTS : 1445 WEDDING DATE: Aug 24, 2014
Posted: Jan 15, 2014 01:43 AM bride-minus.png

8/25/13 Wedding at the Riviera - Long Island Weddings

sounds amazing!!! makes me very happy to hear about The Riviera and Tim's because we are getting married there in August!!! :)
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Jonsgirl024 Posted: Feb 09, 2014 11:13 AM+
Jonsgirl024 MEMBER SINCE: 4/13 TOTAL POSTS : 1046 WEDDING DATE: Mar 07, 2014
Posted: Feb 09, 2014 11:13 AM bride-minus.png

Re: 8/25/13 Wedding at the Riviera

Congrats n great review
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KryssiW Posted: Apr 27, 2014 06:19 PM+
KryssiW MEMBER SINCE: 3/14 TOTAL POSTS : 28 WEDDING DATE: May 02, 2016
Posted: Apr 27, 2014 06:19 PM bride-minus.png

8/25/13 Wedding at the Riviera

I almost cried reading what happened to your dress. I'm so sorry, but SO happy that it worked out! I'm looking forward to maybe a Riviera wedding, so I'm happy you were pleased. :)
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deedoubleyou Posted: May 12, 2014 10:05 PM+
deedoubleyou MEMBER SINCE: 10/12 TOTAL POSTS : 13 WEDDING DATE: May 21, 2015
Posted: May 12, 2014 10:05 PM bride-minus.png

8/25/13 Wedding at the Riviera

Great post! Quick question-- did you block off rooms for any out of town guests at a nearby hotel? If so, which hotel, and would you recommend it? Thanks!
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xoxlilqtexox1 Posted: May 13, 2014 01:44 PM+
xoxlilqtexox1 MEMBER SINCE: 1/12 TOTAL POSTS : 432 WEDDING DATE: Mar 04, 2016
Posted: May 13, 2014 01:44 PM bride-minus.png

8/25/13 Wedding at the Riviera

Check out the Best Western in Massapequa. Very reasonably priced. That's who everyone seems to be recommending to me for the hotel block. Includes breakfast.
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Djswedding Posted: May 14, 2014 07:18 PM+
Djswedding MEMBER SINCE: 2/14 TOTAL POSTS : 838 WEDDING DATE: Oct 11, 2015
Posted: May 14, 2014 07:18 PM bride-minus.png

8/25/13 Wedding at the Riviera

The dress story...oh my!!! But I'm glad it worked out in the end. I'm a RK bride too!!!
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