Every wedding is different as every family is different, let alone each couple and venue. Planning a wedding for a couple that has been together for over a decade has its own special characteristics too. Also, this is a second marriage for them both. The inclusion of children became most important, and sweet, and honoring both family members and friends that have been by their side through thick and thin, for decades.
While most couples today want their ceremony to be over as soon as possible, it’s the ceremony we talked about most while planning this wedding. For one, limiting the bridal party was hard! Does the Bride and Groom keep it to friends or to family because having them both was just too many people! In the end we got very creative which made for a more personal, goose bump worthy ceremony.
First in the processional came the Bride’s closest friends, some of which have become the Groom’s as well. These friends were coined “the flower friends”. They walked first and to assigned seats, which lined the ceremony aisle. Once they got to their assigned seats, they stood by their chair until it was time for them to sit. In their hands they carried a portion of Rachel’s bridal bouquet. Then came her closer family members - her niece, the Groom’s niece, siblings and then last, the Bride’s two daughters, all of which stood under the Chuppha with the Bride and Groom, and Rabbi. Rachel then walked the aisle by herself making her way from one flower friend to the next, building her bridal bouquet as she walked. Each piece was wrapped in ribbon with a heavy duty magnet inside to help keep the pieces together. Once she got to the Chuppha her long time friend and mentor, who sat in the front row, met her by the Chuppha. This friend has been in her life since they met at Summer camp when he was just a few years older and her CIT - “Counselor in training” for those of you who never went to camp! He helped her tie the pieces of her bouquet into one, and lifted her veil over her face as a father would, and helped her walk up to the Chuppha to meet her Groom. It was a tear jerker to say the least. Guests hummed to Do Di Lee along with the musicians.
When it came to design, she would use the words such as lush, feminine and romantic. While she loved the pictures she accumulated that were more traditional for a ballroom or hotel setting, she also loved more modern weddings and couldn’t really make up her mind what direction she wanted to move. In the end she felt if she went too modern then she may regret it later on, so the sense of modern was minimal, such as chairs we chose. This is a common conversation that comes up with wedding gowns more often but for venue design as well. If I really express myself and how I feel today, will I regret not having been more traditional in design twenty years from now? For her the answer was yes.
The venue was chosen for a host of reasons and in the end, the main ingredient they wanted in a venue, which was to be by the ocean, was not possible. The couple resides in Westchester and needed the venue to be rather local to accommodate all the people they hoped to attend - more important than the ocean. Having hotel accommodations on-site to make the weekend easy for all far away family members, many of which have children, and to be close to the city, close to LaGuardia and close to their home. The Ritz in Westchester is located near metro north and there is another hotel that is brand new as of 2016 right around the corner for those that wanted to spend a bit less on accommodations. The weekend started with dinner at a near by restaurant and ended on Sunday with guests being shuttled to the couples brand new home in nearby Rye, New York - something that was very important to them both.
We got lucky that day on traffic. As sometimes is the case we watched WAZE like a hawk and all roads were clear, so the couple, along with their fabulous photographer we love so much, Roey Yohair, traveled to Greenwich to get in some waterfront photos. Then on the way back they also managed to take a quick pit stop at their home in Rye, NY to include Ackerman, their family dog in the festivities. Then back to the Ritz in time for the Ketubah signing and ceremony. All roads where clear and gosh are we thankful. The risk was worth the reward said the bride and I was happy to oblige as long we the risks were understood. Thank you to the traffic gods!
Thank you to all the vendors that made this wedding exactly what the couple wanted it to be! They waited a awful long time for this day to come and they couldn’t have been more thrilled. I will never forget the look at Rachel’s face when she entered the reception room during cocktail hour and her jaw fell. She screamed, “My white dance floor, my big white dance floor” and began to dance as the band, The Carlos Estrella Band, warmed up. They were fabulous by the way and nailed the very much rehearsed first dance the couple had prepared with them for weeks beforehand.
Photography below by Roey Yohair
Planning + Design | Ashley Douglass Events
Florals + Design | Fleurs NYC
Photography | Roey Yohai Photography
Venue | Ritz Carlton
Gown | Austin Scarlett
Band | Carlos Estrella Band from Hank Lane
Cinematographer | First Day Films
Lighting | Social Event Decor
Make up | Amanda Shakleton
Gown Dresser | The Stylish Dresser
Invitations | Bella Figura
Caligraphy & Design | Sarah Hanna
Rentals | Nuage Designs
Rentals | Party Rental LTD