Deborah & Julian: Quince Blossoms in the City ~ A Destination Wedding at the Mandarin Oriental


We cannot believe that we are already in 2010 ~ where did 2009 go??  It feels just like yesterday it was May and we were surrounded by thousands of Quince blossoms at our couple Deborah & Julian’s chic wedding at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City.
Debbie and Julian currently live in London and hired us to help fully plan their 200 guest wedding weekend in Manhattan.  We worked with them and their family for over a year on this grand event, which had guests coming from all over the world.   

The wedding weekend began on Thursday with a traditional Moroccan Berberisca celebration at the Four Seasons in New York City.  To read more about this unique cultural event, click here to read our earlier blog post.
On Friday, the couple held an elegant rehearsal dinner at New York City’s premier Kosher steakhouse, The Prime Grill.  The dinner was followed by a fun and casual after-party at the posh AVA Lounge in the Dream Hotel.  For more information on this hot spot, click here to read our earlier blog post.

After a relaxing day with family and friends on Saturday, the wedding day finally arrived.  The day began with Debbie and her family checking into their hotel rooms at the amazing Mandarin Oriental at Columbus Circle.  They chose the Mandarin for its fantastic views of Central Park and its first-class service and style.  Debbie slipped on her designer Amsale gown, which looked like it was designed just for her, and had her hair and makeup done by Robin Watson.  Ron Holtz Photography captured these moments and also photographed the Groom, Julian, as he prepared for the day and as he walked from the Le Parker Merdian to the Mandarin with his best man and  family.


As guests arrived in the Mandarin Ballroom lobby they were greeted by sparkling water and fruit punch.  They entered the sunlit ceremony room, enjoying the beautiful sounds of a string quartet.   The ceremony room decorated by Jane Packer Flowers resembled an enchanted garden of Quince blossoms accented with hanging lanterns.  The aisle was lined with lanterns of various heights and cream rose petals.  The bridal party was made up of the Maid of Honor and Best Man and several children.  During the procession, the string quartet was accompanied by a special singing performance by the Bride’s cousins.
The beautiful Bride processed in with her loving father.  She held a simple yet chic bouquet of lily of the valley.  The emotional and personal ceremony was officiated by Julie Laudicina, who we love to work with, and included a special Jewish blessing from the Father of the Bride.   The happy couple recessed down the aisle and went on to take photos on the streets in front of Central Park. 



The extensive cocktail hour catered by Foremost Ram Caterers included a Moroccan station to pay homage to the family’s Moroccan heritage.  Guests sipped the couple’s signature drinks and soaked in the sounds of a pianist and Spanish guitarist.  For a European twist on seating cards, guests found their seating arrangements on table plans created by our Finishing Touch Event Design team.


For the reception, the ballroom was transformed into a Quince Blossom fantasy.  Chocolate brown crushed shimmer linens adorned each table and were topped with large trumpet vases overflowing with pink quince blossom branches.  Glass chargers were topped with custom menus and quince blossom twigs accented with celadon ribbon.  Each place setting also included an authentic Moroccan Tea Glass which was wrapped up in a gold organza pouch with a sprig of mint and a scroll that let guests know that a donation was made in their name. 




The ballroom’s wrap around windows were accented by bowls of orchids and illuminated lanterns.  The room was a glow with lighting provided by Luminous Designs. At the end of the cocktail hour, the doors of the ballroom were opened to reveal the fantastic Kevin Osbourne Orchestra who immediately set the party atmosphere of the evening right from the start.  As the guests were dancing, Debbie & Julian were announced and entered into the center of the crowd.  They danced their first dance surrounded by their family and friends.


Guests enjoyed a sumptuous feast prepared by Foremost Ram Catering that included a beautiful Mushroom Trio appetizer and Rack of Lamb.  Speeches were given by family and friends.  During the Father of the Bride’s speech, fireworks were seen going off through the Mandarin’s windows (almost as if we planned it).


The Groom gave the final speech which was followed by the cake cutting.  The cake was by famed cake designer, Sylvia Weinstock, and was a vision in pink and chocolate brown with hundreds of handmade sugar cherry blossoms cascading down the cake.  Then the party really began.  The band began playing Spanish selections and went into Moroccan music to the delight of the crowd.  Our team distributed belly dancing scarves to the guests ~ a huge hit!  At the same time, the fabulous Viennese display was opened.  It featured a Moroccan dessert station complete with mint tea made in an authentic Moroccan tea pot and served in traditional tea glasses.  Foremost even created gorgeous custom monogram cookies for the couple.  The couple and their guests danced and enjoyed desserts until the wee hours of the morning, following the European custom of a lengthy reception.



The following morning, Debbie & Julian were able to relax with their guests and wish them happy trips home at a day-after brunch at the Mandarin.  A highlight of the brunch was a blue and chocolate brown birthday cake for the Father of the Bride designed by Sylva Weinstock.

We are happy to announce that Deborah & Julian are now expecting a new addition.  We congratulate this lovely couple and their amazing loving family and wish them a life full of love and happiness.

Happy Planning,
Candice & Priscilla