Jillian & Alan: An Ultimate New York City Wedding

Happy Anniversary to our couple Jillian & Alan!

In honor of Wedding Wednesday, let’s take a look back at their stunning NYC wedding that we were so honored to be a part of!

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On a beautiful day in September, our couple Jillian & Alan held their exclusive wedding at the historic Puck Building in New York City. The day began with a photo session with Francesco Mastalia Photography. Jill & Alan saw each other for the first time that day on the rooftop terrace of their apartment building.

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The couple then went on to pose for photos at iconic sites throughout the city.

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The Bride & Groom and their bridal party stopped in Times Square to take some amazing photos including posing with members of the cast of Broadway’s Young Frankenstein!

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Finally, it came time for their chic all-white ceremony at the Puck Building. As guests arrived they were greeted with sparkling water and beautiful classical music from The Schiller Quartet.


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All eyes were on our gorgeous Bride as she walked down the aisle in her simple yet stunning ivory lace gown with her proud Father at her side.  Surrounded by their bridal party and covered by a white canopy, Jillian & Alan were married in a touching ceremony officiated by the charming Julie Laudicina.

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For the reception, the blank canvas loft space overlooking the city was transformed into an ultra lounge atmosphere by Jersey Street Furniture Rental.  They created the look using sleek lounge furniture, illuminated tables, and flowing white drapings.

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The room was decorated with stunning all-white centerpieces from Florisan that were draped with pearls.

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The entire evening was one continuous cocktail hour with amazing food from Hudson Yards Catering which is owned by Danny Meyer of Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern fame.  The event was kicked off with passed canapes such as Lobster and Watercress Dumplings and Truffled Mushroom Feuilette.  Guests were then treated to stations that ranged from genuine Blue Smoke Barbecue to mini modern presentations of raw bar selections including Union Square Cafe’s Crab and Endive Salad.

Dessert included a gorgeous wedding cake from The Painted Cake.  There was also a selection of delectable mini desserts such as mini ice cream cones and individual berry trifles.  The night was capped off by a late night snack of authentic miniature Shake Shack Burgers.

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We believe that the most special events are those that have a personal touch.  Our very talented artist Bride painted a gorgeous water color of cherry blossoms.  This water color was used in everything from the invitations to being the inspiration for the Wedding cake design.

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The gorgeous shimmery programs, menus, and signature cocktail signs were created by our design team and also showcased Jillian’s beautiful cherry blossom design.

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The guests danced the night away to the band from Hank Lane and had a blast dressing up and taking fun photos in the photo booth from Party Booths.

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What an amazing day for a truly special couple!  We wish them a life of love and happiness.


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Top NYC Venue Openings of 2010

The year 2010 may have endured economic hardships, but New York City was still able to bring planners and brides alike some brand-new venue openings.

Let’s take a look at NYC’s Top 9:

Javits Center North
The Convention Center expanded and opened in July, adding 100,000 square feet to this already extensive facility.  An impressive site, hosting column-free, modern & polished spaces with ceilings that are 25 feet high at its lowest point.


New Meadowlands Stadium

The completion of the renovated stadium offers numerous private spaces including two 30,00 square-foot mezzanine clubs, 280-square-foot halls and a 280,000 square-foot plaza. Not only will the complex host private events, but the new home of the NY Giants & Jets will bring the 2014 Super Bowl to the region!

Andaz Wall Street & Andaz 5th Avenue

The Hyatt Hotel group was proud to announce the openings of their two Andaz properties downtown and midtown; two new boutique hotels offering trendy restaurant and bars. The hospitality group also offers Apartment 2E, a unique location to host a special event or wedding with the feel of your very own New York apartment.

Broadway Pedestrian Plazas

Mayor Bloomberg announced in February that the car-free zones around Times Square, Herald Square & the Flatiron building would remain permanent. A great place to relax with friends in the middle of such a busy city; these plazas are now known for hosting publicity stunts and flash mobs. It also provided a great spot for one of our brides to announce to the world she was getting married as one of her bachelorette party dares!

Apella

This stylish event space features 16,000 square feet of sleek architecture and flexibility. The space has the ability to accommodate up to 300 guests for a cocktail reception and is complete with state of the art audio visual and exclusive catering by Riverpark and ‘wichcraft’.

Bowlmor Lanes Times Square

One of the biggest venues to open in NY in 2010 measuring at 90,00 square feet, Bowlmor is a conveniently located venue to host a bachelor/bachelorette  party. The venue occupies two floors inside the former New York Times building and is built for events, with 50 lanes divided between seven sections, all of which are available for private groups, three lounges and dedicated private rooms for events.

New York Stock Exchange

For the first time ever, the Stock Exchange opened up its landmark building to outside parties.  Already having hosted 945 events, this venue offers access to the trading floor, dining room, lounge & card room as well as the plaza out front.  The NYSE is the perfect place to host your event at the iconic New York spot.

Lincoln Ristorante

A striking glass-enclosed pavilion topped with a 7,200 square-foot curved roof was added to the Lincoln Center’s campus this year. Lounges, outdoor seating and private dining rooms, Lincoln draws attention from foodies, architects and theater-goers everywhere.

Sweet Views of Manhattan

This past Wednesday evening we took a trip to the beautiful space, Harborside Creative Catering at 34 Exchange Place, Jersey City, for The Cake-Off  Kick Off.  This wonderful event was sponsored by the ISES NJ North Chapter and  featured bakers from New Jersey fighting for the title of best tasting and best designed cakes.

We fell in love with this venue as soon as we stepped outside and saw the amazing skyline of Manhattan.  The event was wonderfully catered by Harborside Creative Catering and the amazing sweets were a treat for us all.

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TFT’s Most Beautiful Cake award went to Sue’s Sweets by Susan Martino. We thought her cake was the most elaborate and stunning.

The TFT’s Most Delicious Award went to The Hudson Cakery by Jennifer Bunce. Her chocolate peanut butter combo was to die for!

President Jackie Marko of the NJ North ISES chapter, alongside the mayor of Jersey City Jeremiah Healy,  did a faboulous job hosting the event.  Congrats to Richard O’Malley of  The O’Malley Project and Christine Bower for organizing the Cake-Off Kick Off.

THE OFFICIAL WINNERS WERE:

Best Tasting Cake – Sabrina Kuratana, A Cake Dream LLC

Best Cake Design – Elena Shumskaya, The Fine Art of Cakes

What a fun night.  As usual, it is always great to catch up with our friends and colleagues at these events. We all know how to have a great time.  A big thanks to Harborside Creative Catering. You are definitely a sweet spot in Jersey City for events!

Fab Find: Customize Your Own Cupcakes!

With shows like TLC's Cake Boss and the Food Network's Cupcake Wars, it's hard to go anywhere these days without seeing some delicious custom made bakery treats. However, with custom comes cost and it's not always feasible to have a custom cake for a smaller event you may have..so why not do it yourself?

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Roundabouts features some great cupcake sleeves that you can use to make your very own custom cupcakes! They have a wide variety of sleeves to choose from -you can create 'Popcorn' cupcakes for movie night or 'hamburger' cupcakes for a barbecue. From baby showers to football parties they have cupcake sleeves for all occasions!


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Click here to check out more on Roundabouts and to see some of their yummy recipes!

Guest Blogger: Lia from Chocolate Bacio – How to Select Chocolate Favors for your Next Special Occasion

Party favors, Wedding favors, What color?, What flavor?, Oh the choices…

Belgian chocolate is one of the best chocolates in the world. But then again it doesn't have to be Belgium chocolate to create a mouth watering effect to those people who crave for sweets. Belgian chocolate, dark chocolate, light chocolate, colored chocolates, dark chocolate, the choices are endless! Wedding chocolates, party chocolates, corporate chocolates for events, the lists for a party can be numerous and overwhelming! By the time you are done reading the choices, you are having an anxiety attack before the occasion even arises! Lia Caravella of Chocolate Bacio is here to give you some insider information on making the right and quality choice for your occasion!

Chocolates are not just a token given to someone special on an occasion or event. Chocolate wedding and party favors have become one of the greatest items a couple or individual could use in their wedding or party as a favor. Not only does chocolate have to taste great, it can also serve as a home décor, and also be a usable or an edible thing! Intimacy and passion comes to mind when talking chocolates. Perhaps it is the reason why they have been used as one of the options in the lineup of wedding and party favors.

To make special occasion chocolate favors more suitable for a wedding or party, different molds have been created to shape the chocolate into designs that would suit any type of wedding. Of course there are other tastes available as well in mint, dark, or white chocolate, and these can be appropriately matched with a particular shape or style of wedding chocolate favors.

The best part about chocolate is that you can fit any style a customer wants! Let’s say you are making favors for a wedding, you can have a royal wedding theme, an outdoor wedding, or Disney themed wedding. A chocolate favor lollipop can take about any shape or designs that could fit a wedding celebration! Those heart-shaped chocolate favors that have a design in the middle are the simplest design that you can have, or if you choose, you can have a whole entire basket filled to the max with every shape, size, character, color chocolates in a basket as a center piece on tables! Anything your heart desires can be done!

For party favors, you can use an oval, round, or rectangular forms since they are wide enough to make more patterns in the middle of the chocolate. Some of the more unique shapes in the wedding chocolates design world would be wedding gown, tuxedo, bride and groom image, flowers such as rose and calla lily, birds such as swans and doves, castle, wedding bell, wedding cake, and even elegant fans. Check out some of Chocolate Bacio’s designs or see below for examples of Lia’s amazing masterpieces.

  

Furthermore, you can use your chocolates as wedding chocolate cake topper or even centerpieces! Individualized chocolate favors are also more inviting because your guest will see that you have put some extra effort into creating them. You can add some more accessories to your chocolate favors with a colorful mini stick and a ribbon! You can turn your favor lollipop into a more amazing wedding or party favor. Anything your heart desires can be done, all with the help of Chocolate Bacio!

Chocolate Bacio, a business created by Italian chocolate lover herself, Lia Caravella, believes in the finer treats in life. In Italian, we would call this “La Dolce Vita,” or as most say, “The Good Life.” Chocolate should only be served to you using the world’s finest ingredients, creating the most luxurious taste once that chocolate hits your mouth!

Chocolate Bacio is here to save the day! Call Lia to experience the finest in chocolates, made to customize to your style, taste, event, or party! The choices are endless, but just know, the best chocolate and designs are waiting for you with your name on it. Get your hands on them now! And of course, all orders are sealed with a kiss. Baci!

Lia Caravella, owner of Chocolate Bacio

Call 973.390.4627 or email Chocolatebacio@aol.com for more information on Chocolate Bacio and/or placing and customizing orders.

Visit us at: http://www.facebook.com/ChocolateBacio

Rose & Mike: Pink & Brown Chic

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With the cold weather outside, it is hard not to reminisce about the warm weather and beautiful colors of summer.  We love looking through the bright beautiful pictures from our summer weddings ~ like the one we coordinated for our couple Rose and Mike in July. 

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The Bride looked gorgeous in her stunning gown and crystal trimmed veil.  To tie in Rose's color theme, her beautiful bridesmaids were clad in lovely pink dresses with brown sashes and held simple yet elegant clutches of pink roses from A Touch of Elegance

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This chic color combination of was woven throughout the day starting with the ceremony programs which our Event Design division created for the event.

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During the wedding ceremony , to honor Rose's Filipino heritage, the couple participated in the traditional Coin, Veil, and Cord ceremony.  During the ceremony, sponsors were present to witness the union of the couple. The sponsors symbolized guidance and support – people that Rose and Mike can turn to in times of need throughout their lives together. 

During the ceremony, the priest gave Mike 13 coins (or Arrhae) which he then gave to Rose.  Then Rose gave them back.  The Arrhae represented the Groom's dedication to the welfare of the Bride. It signified the their mutual hope for wealth, prosperity, and security as they build their lives and family together.

Then came the placing of the veil, a symbol of the faithful and everlasting love the Bride and Groom have for each other.  It was placed around Rose and Mike by a set of their sponsors.  Through the passing of the years, it will remind them that they belong to each other.

Finally, there was the placing of the cord.  Another set of sponsors draped the cord (or yugal) in a figure eight over the veil.  The yugal symbolizes the love and friendship that bind the couple together.  The figure eight shape represents the infinite nature of matrimony.

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After a beautiful and meaningful ceremony, it was on to the reception at the magnificent Venetian in Garfield, New Jersey.  

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As guests enjoyed the Venetian's fabulous cocktail hour, they picked up their adorable pink and brown seating cards.  Each seating card jacket contained a note letting guests know that a donation was made in their name. 

The guests danced all night with the help of Gemini Productions, accompanied by a percussionist, Howie Bongo, who played along with the music.  Rose and Mike's guests enjoyed the touch of live music.

The Filipino traditions also carried into the reception where Rose and Mike participated in a Dollar Dance.  During the Dollar Dance, guests line up to take turns dancing with the Bride or Groom.  To be able to dance with the couple, the guests need to first pin a dollar bill to the Bride or Groom's clothing.  We had a lot of fun handing out the pins to guest patiently waiting for their turn to dance with the couple. 

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To put a sweet ending on this perfect day, guests were treated to a beautiful pink and brown cake from Palermo Bakery and the Venetian's unbelievable Viennese hour – quite possible the most inventive and extensive Viennese available in NJ.  It included everything from "fruit sushi" to a Malt Shoppe Station with mini milk shakes and "hamburgers", "hot dogs", and "french fries" made out of cake!
 
Happy Planning,

Candice and Priscilla

 

“Cheese” Cake

No the picture below is not of a cake that one of our Brides decided to leave in the fridge too long but is a "true" cake of cheese. 

This savory alternative to the traditional fruit cakes used in the UK are becoming increasingly popular as it adds an original touch to the wedding.  From our discussions with the vendors who have started to provide these "cakes," it takes many hours of preparation to get the size and shape just right.   Many different cheeses can be used but our bride opted for tiers of Brie, Cheddar, Cornish Yarg and Stilton — Yum!  We are hoping this one catches on in the States. 

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Dining on the High Seas

Last week I had the pleasure of having lunch on The Moshulu at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, PA.  This 125-year old boat has had a very interesting past from working ports all over the world to serving as a floating warehouse and surviving a fire.  Now its a AAA Four Diamond Award gourmet restaurant. 

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Besides the very interesting and unique setting, the food was awesome.  For an appetizer, I had the hands down best bruschetta ever.  It was on grilled ciabatta bread topped with some of the best fresh mozzarella I have ever had, grilled onions, and giant slices of red and yellow beefsteak tomatoes, drizzled with aged balsamic. 

The sandwiches they have for lunch are huge and I should have shared mine as I did not even eat 1/2 of it.

Dessert was the piece de resistant.  I had the Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches and Cones.  There were 3 homemade mini ice cream sandwiches – Oreo White Chocolate Raspberry, Chipwich Butter Pecan, and Graham Cracker Apple Crisp.  Each had a hole in the top that had a mini cone in each topped with 3 different flavors of water ice.  Adorable!!

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They were setting up for a wedding while we were there.  What a unique spot for an event!  

I would love to go back there one night for dinner since lunch was so good.  It would be nice to have dinner and then go up to their deck bar for drinks.  I need to make plans to go to one of their Mojito parties on Saturday nights soon.  :  )

All the best,

Priscilla

The Knot and North New Jersey Wedding Professionals Go Green

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Last month we planned The Knot's annual wedding industry party.  The Knot wanted to partner with North New Jersey-based wedding professionals to created a chic, green evening designed with less eco-impact in mind.  This event invited local wedding professionals to be the guests, share ideas, and network with their peers while highlighting one of the industry’s largest growing trends in weddings: going green.

 

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We would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to our partners in the industry who helped us produce this great event: 

·         Venue/Catering –  The Olde Mill Inn                      

·         Floral Decor –  Santos Florist                               

·         Lounge Furniture/Linens – Jersey Street Furniture  

·         Entertainment –  Craig Scott Entertainment           

·         Cake – Pink Cake Box                                       

·         Photography – Magique Studios                           

·         Lighting – Dynamite Fx                            

·         Photo Booth – Party Booths  

·         Gourmet Coffee/Espresso Bar – Cupa Cabana  

·         Bar Mixers – Stirrings  

·         Floral/Leftover Rescue – The Special E  

·         Scent Machine - Scentevents 

 

To help showcase go green ideas, our team of wedding professionals created a sophisticated rain forest themed environment using florals, decor and lighting.  The event was held on Thursday, July 17 at The Olde Mill Inn.  The Olde Mill Inn was a perfect choice of location given that the hotel is a member of the Green Hotels Association and is dedicated to providing their guests reduced allergen friendly accommodations for a healthier pollution free night sleep.  They also create meals, whenever possible, using certified organic fruits and vegetables, purified water and natural grass fed meats that are free from chemicals and pesticides. 

 

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The room was decorated with live plants such as palm trees, ferns, and fichus trees and up lit in varying shades of green with LED lights which use less energy than traditional canister lighting.  Custom lounge furniture was used to create a relaxed yet elegant feel while stimulating networking.  Since the custom lounge furniture is refurbished and reupholstered for each unique event, instead of building all new furniture, this is another way to go green at an event.

 

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A favorite of our guests was the tropical inspired signature drinks, which included a Pomegranate Acai Berry martini made with all natural Stirrings Pomegranate cocktail mix and Acai Berry juice which originates from the Amazon Rain Forest.  Dessert featured a chocolate fountain, gourmet coffee/espresso bar, and a rain forest themed cake complete with bamboo, leopard print, orchids, and butterflies. Guests also enjoyed posing for fun pictures in the photo booth and listening to the smooth sounds of the Latin trio.  

 

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We also had some wonderful giveaways and heard from our client (The Knot) that they had never had such great giveaway and gift bag items.  Thank you to those who provided these items:

Green giveaways included reusable tote gift bags filled with organic chocolates, all natural cocktail mixers, and plantable seeded paper favors.  Other green giveaways included necklaces with an eco-friendly message, a purse made of 100% recycled juice boxes, and gift certificates to an organic spa and a stay in an allergen-free room at the Olde Mill Inn.

In order to minimize the event's carbon footprint, representatives of The Special E were present.  The Special E is a unique "green" service that rescues leftovers from events and then recycles them in ways that help our planet and people in need.  The Special E rescued the leftover food and floral arrangements from the event.

It was a fabulous evening with great networking, food, cocktails, giveaways, and entertainment all while providing ideas to be eco-friendly.

 

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All the best,

 

Candice and the FT Team

Girls’ Night Out 19 Floors Up

On Monday night, Candice and I went to a Grand Opening "Girls' Night Out" at Mad46, the new rooftop lounge on the 19th floor of New York City's Roosevelt Hotel.  This invitation-only event was designed to bring together female event professionals for a fun night of food and drinks – no boys allowed.  : ) 

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We snacked on chicken satay and coconut shrimp and sipped creative cocktails, while taking in the amazing view of the NY skyline and sharing stories about our event experiences.  By the way, I am not a big fan of mojitos normally but the Mad Coconut Mojito they offer there is excellent.  I also recommend the Summertime Splash made with Pineapple Vodka, Coconut Rum, Blue Curacao, and Pineapple Juice – its like a tropical vacation in a glass.   

Mad46 is a fantastic place to go for an after-work drink with co-workers or a relaxing night out with friends.  They offer a light snack menu and an extensive cocktail menu.  They can also host private parties such as corporate events or bridal/baby showers.

For more information, go to www.theroosevelthotel.com/Dining/Mad46/.

All the best,

Priscilla