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.

2008 – What a Year!

What a year!  2008 flew by so quickly and was so full of amazing events, we can hardly believe 2009 is already here.

As we think of all of the wonderful things we have to be thankful for here at The Finishing Touch, we would like to take this opportunity to look back on 2008 and talk about all of the fantastic events and accomplishments.  We would also like to let you know about the great things we have coming up in the new year.

2008 brought many changes to The Finishing Touch.  We opened a London office to cater to European clients looking to get married in the NY Metro area and US clients planning European destination weddings and honeymoons. 

We gained four new team members – Leah Rosensweig, Nicole Spagnoli, Priscilla Leto, and Soroya Campbell.

Another huge milestone that we are very excited about is that we added an Event Decor Design division specializing in creation of unique custom stationery and decor including invitations, programs, menus, seating cards, table numbers, favors, and bridal party gifts.

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Photos above by Infnity Photography, Francesco Mastalia Photography, and Ron Holtz Photography

One of our accomplishments for the year, is that we were selected to plan The Knot Magazine's annual North New Jersey Market Party which will be featured in their upcoming January 2009 issue.  The Olde Mill Innwas transformed into a chic Rainforest to showcase the event's "Going Green" theme.

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Photography by Magique Studios, Cake by Pink Cake Box, Furniture by Jersey Street Furniture Rental, and Floral Design by Santos Florist

We were also very honored this year to have been hand-picked to be listed in The Little Black Book of The Best Wedding Vendors on Style Me Pretty.comStyle Me Pretty.com is the ultimate wedding blog for "the style obsessed Bride."  The Little Black Book is a unique virtual resource to help Brides find the very best vendors.  Only three vendors per region per category are hand-picked for this distinction.  Stay tuned for more in upcoming blog entries.
 
This past year, our company and events were featured in various media outlets such as The Knot New York Magazine, Special Events Magazine, Manhattan Bride Magazine, The New York Times, 201Bride.com, and NJ Monthly Magazine – among others.

Of course, most importantly, there were our fabulous couples and their families.  We were so honored to be able to be part of their big day and help them make that day even more special and perfect.   

We rang in 2008 with Meghan & Kevin at their New Year's Eve Wedding at The Manor in West Orange, NJ.  Then it was off to the Dreams Resortin Cabo San Lucas with Jamie & Jason where we coordinated a gorgeous beach wedding and "Mess the Dress" session with their photographer, Norman Gilbert.  Their "Mess the Dress" session was featured in NJ Bride, NJ Monthly, the NY Times, 201 Bride.com, and even on TV.

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Up next was a cherry blossom fantasy wedding for Beth & Alex at The Roosevelt Hotel in NYC.  Then a beautiful seaside affair for Letty & Jeff in Cape May at the Hotel Alcott.

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Photos by Aleksey Photography

With the Spring also came the Bridal Shower, Bachelorette Party, Rehearsal Dinner, and Wedding for Rebecca & John.  Each event was uniquely personalized for the couple by our Event Design division.  Look for their "Match Made in Heaven" wedding at The Knoll Country Club in the January 2009 issue of Contemporary Bride.

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Photos by Infinity Photography, Floral Design by Santos Florist

Spring also brought a truly one-of-a-kind wedding for Tiffany & Howie.  This very fun, memorable wedding at The Addison Parkwas filled with unique touches and entertainment including a fairy tale horse drawn coach, a living statue, a jazz band, an acapella group, and a magician for the kids.  To top all that, the very talented Bride had a music video of herself singing "God Bless This Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts professionally recorded by Pro Video Productions to play during the couples' first dance much to the Groom's surprise.  Click here to go to our Facebook page to see the video "Tiffany & Howie's Love Story".

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Photos by Artistic Imagery Photography, Floral Design by Diana Gould Ltd., Living Statue from World Gate Entertainment, Horse Drawn Coach from Valentine Carriage

Rose & Mike's chic Pink and Brown wedding at The Venetian kicked off the summer.  (More about Rose & Mike's wedding in an upcoming blog entry). 

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Photos by M & R Foto

Then began a very busy Fall.  Irene & Alex's intimate ceremony was held in Central Park and their sophisticated wedding dinner was held at Le Bernardin.  Irene looked beautiful in her Oscar de la Renta gown and, in fact, was the very first Bride to wear this stunning creation that has been featured in countless magazines.   

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Photos by Francesco Mastalia Photography, Floral Design by The Romantic Garden

Jill & Alan's wedding at the Puck Building was the ultimate New York City wedding.  The Puck Building was transformed into a swanky lounge for an all night cocktail party.  The talented Bride's gorgeous artwork was used to personalize everything from the invitations to even the cake.  To watch a video clip from Bitcon Productions of this amazing wedding , click here.

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Photos by Francesco Mastalia Photography, Floral Design by Florisan, Cake by The Painted Cake, Rentals by Jersey Street Furniture Rental

September also included a tented wedding at the romantic Oakside Mansion for Laura & Travis.  (More on their wedding in an upcoming blog entry.)

Autumn in all its splendor was featured at Stacy & Jeff's posh affair at The Green Brook Country Club. 

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Photos by Ron Holtz Photography, Floral Design by The Romantic Garden, Cake by Carlo's Bakery

Mariana & Andrew's wedding was the epitome of New York City style and elegance.

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Photos by Grant Govier Photography, Floral Design by Thomas C. Anderson, Cake by Ron Ben-Israel

Jayme & Nick's wedding at the Manor in West Orange showcased the beauty of the Fall season with personal touches like custom pumpkin carvings and mini pumpkin seating card holders.

    

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Photos by Magique Studios

Whitney & Michael's nature inspired Chocolate Brown and French Blue wedding at the Montclair Golf Club showcased the Groom's Scottish hertiage with kilts, traditional fare and drink, and of course, a bagpiper.  (More on their wedding in an upcoming post entry.) 

We would like to thank all of the fabulous vendors we work with – the venues, photographers, videographers, hair/makeup stylists, caterers, officiants, musicians, DJs, limo companies, bridal gown and tuxedo shops, floral designers, rental companies – without whom none of these fabulous events would be possible.  

We have some very exciting plans for 2009.  We have fantastic weddings coming up including a Dominican Republic destination wedding, a New York City destination wedding for one of our London clients, and an "Old Hollywood Glitz and Glamor" styled wedding.  Be on the lookout for details on these and many more weddings and events in the upcoming year.

We also look forward to expanding our Decor Division in the future to help even more couples personalize their weddings and make them truly memorable.

Be sure to watch for us in the media in early 2009.  Our founder, Candice Benson, will be on an upcoming episode of Get Married on Lifetime.  In addition several of our events will be featured in industry print:  Rebecca & John's wedding will be featured in the upcoming January issue of Contemporary Bride; Tiffany & Howie's wedding will be in the upcoming issue of NJ Bride which will also feature Candice in an article on top Wedding Consultant secrets;  The Knot North New Jersey Market Party will be featured in their upcoming issue out in January ~ with more to come as the year goes on.

Thank you all so much again for your continued support and for allowing us to be a part of your very special day!  All the Best in 2009 and Beyond,

The Team at The Finishing Touch

Candice, Leah, Nicole, Priscilla, and Soroya

     

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Holiday Luncheon in NYC

 

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It truly is a wonderful time of the year in Rockefeller Center.   Recently I had the opportunity to plan a Christmas Luncheon for an investment firm in NYC.   Based on the criteria they gave me, I selected a great location for them on 49th and 6th at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House http://www.delfriscos.com/newyork/.  This restaurant is a local favorite for business people in the area and they offer wonderful holiday menus. 

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With only 13 people at the firm I researched the different options and finally settled on a private room in their wine cellar as it is secluded and has a wonderful atmosphere.  To reach the room, attendees had to actually walk through the large restaurant and take an escalator downstairs into a private bar area, before being escorted into the wine cellar.  Being seated in the space is truly an experience as it is surrounded by glass walls, which allow you to see the countless bottles and the wait staff locating them as they are chosen by patrons.

The décor chosen was very simple, yet elegant ~ you don’t need much when wine bottles surround you.  Given the number in the party we were able to go with just one conference style table.  On the table were votives filled with water and one floating candle, offering a warm feel to the room. 

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After meeting with the owners it was obvious that the economy has taken a toll on the company and employee morale as well, so this luncheon was important on so many levels.  Therefore, I suggested that a company-wide Secret Santa gift exchange might be another great way to help boost spirits.  Each person was told to spend $15-$25 and they would exchange their gifts at the luncheon.  The owner handed the gifts out and everyone had to open their gifts one by one while trying to guess who had purchased each item.  It was a great addition to their lunch.

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The owners conveyed that it was truly a beautiful luncheon and a perfect way to enter the holiday season.  It was a great way to show their employees how much they are valued and it was also a nice distraction for them…at least for a couple hours.   The spirit of the holidays was definitely in the air ~ a tough thing to avoid when you pass the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree on your way to lunch!

Happy holidays!!

Leah

 

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

Rebecca & John’s Rehearsal Dinner

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On May 16, 2008, we had the honor of creating a "Dressed-Up Simpsons" themed rehearsal dinner for our couple Rebecca & John. John loves adult cartoons like The Simpsons and Family Guy so we figured out a way to theme the dinner with The Simpsons while keeping it classy and elegant at the same time.

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Rebecca had found a website that was a promo for The Simpsons Movie where you could submit pictures of people and the website "Simpsonized" them.  We used the "Simpsonized" image of Rebecca & John to create invitations to the dinner with the tag line "Rebecca & John – A Couple of Real Characters." The image was also used on the favor tags attached to small bags of heart shaped red-foil wrapped chocolates. To bring guests into the theme, each guest was "Simpsonized" and their images where printed on individual place cards.

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The dinner was held at Cucina Calandra's Executive Lounge in Fairfield, NJ. The couple wanted a complete contrast to their blue and white heaven themed wedding which would be held two days later so the dinner had a very swanky lounge atmosphere with all of the guests seated on one long table with large leather chairs. The table was decorated with candles, red rose petals, red crystals, and a large arrangement of red roses tied with a black silk ribbon.

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To continue the theme, the bridal party gifts were movie themed. They consisted of ceramic popcorn buckets filled with microwave popcorn, movie candy, and gift certificates to Dunkin Donuts and Blockbuster. The tag on the baskets read "Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy the Show" which was in the shape of a Director's clapboard.

It was definitely a night to remember.

Until next time,

Priscilla

Professional pictures shown above: Infinity Photography by Demitrius & Melinda