AUDREYGIRL'S Best Day of Our Lives NYC WEDDING review - 11/04/06 - Planned in 6 weeks! - NY Marriott East Side, Roberto Falck, Elegancia, Iman Bridal Couture
ETA- Disclaimer re: Pics Resolution
I have attached a few of my pro pics. PLEASE note that this is not from the CD so the resolution is horrendous. I had to 'print screen' to powerpoint, then save the picture, then upload it to snapfish, then insert it in here - so the quality has vastly suffered as a result. You can note by the pictures at the bottom that are crystal clear. If you wanna see more pics, feel free to look at Pictage (there are 1400 pictures). It's the Jenn and Carlos photos.Audreygirl's Pro Pics from Roberto
My wedding day was the BEST day of my entire life. I was totally elated and even until now, 5 days later, I am still reliving the moments. It was a completely amazing and unforgettable day.
Here are some pics in my album. Non-Pro Wedding Pics
These pictures were placed on a screen nearing the end of the reception. I keep looking at it again and again!!
I’ll give some background on my wedding and planning. We were initially going to get married next October 5, 2007 at Vanderbilt Mansion in Oakdale. We had booked the location, DJ, gotten STDs, ordered a dress etc. The pressure of wedding planning was getting to be way too much since I was also working and going to law school. We decided on a whim in mid-September that we should move up the wedding. What resulted was a wedding planned in about 6 weeks.
It was tons of work, but I had a great support system – family, friends, DH. My girls and mom were incredible – I actually got a bridal shower and bachelorette party, despite the short time. So the way it worked was that we decided to move up the wedding, a week later was our already-planned engagement party for our 2007 wedding (we partied anyway), two weeks after that was my bachelorette party, two weeks after that was my bridal shower and two weeks after that was the wedding.
What changed from the original wedding and the actual wedding was EVERYTHING besides the DJ and my favors. I always DREAMED of a New York City wedding since I am truly a NYC girl (grew up in Bergen County, lived in the Bronx during, and now in Queens during law school) and I love New York City, but I never thought I would be able to have one because of the expenses. So when we moved up the wedding I said that if we move it up, we’ll have a true NYC wedding – and we did!!
I didn’t really have a theme, but somehow the focus was on the colors brown, green and ivory. I wanted to recognize that we were getting married in the Fall, but I didn’t want a Fall theme (I thought it was kinda cheesy and too obvious for my taste – no offense).
Below the reviews are a mix of NYC, NJ, and one LI vendor. I’ve indicated where each is from in case anyone is interested. All ratings are out of 10.
LIW – 10
Although none of my final vendors were from LIW, or even from Long Island, the ideas, suggestions, help, support, and fun on this site were incredibly valuable.
Rehearsal Dinner – Rudy’s (New Jersey) – 8
Rudy’s is a long-standing restaurant in Hackensack, the town in New Jersey where I grew up. We had never been there somehow, but decided that it has a pretty good rap so it can’t hurt to try it. The lady who worked with my mom was very nice and gave us a great deal. The food was delicious. However, the service was just okay. I wasn’t too bothered because at this point I was totally relaxed and couldn’t care less what happened since I was so excited about getting married in a few hours. We all had a laugh about it, so it wasn’t so bad. I would go back, despite the service.
Gifts for Wedding Party
Pindar (LI and online)– 10
I ordered the “Four Seasons Pack” (I think it’s called) online from Pindar. It has four bottles of wine (one of each Pindar season). It arrived timely, but one of the bottles broke in transit. I called Pindar and they sent me a whole new pack without giving me a fuss. We gave one pack each to the best man and the maid of honor and we gave two each to everyone else. It was a big hit!
LeSportsac (Woodbury Commons) – 10
I also got my gals LeSportsac bags (I’m a big fan of these). One was the kind that folds into itself the other was a cosmetic bag. The two matched each other but the kind I got each bridesmaid was different based on their personalities. They all loved it.
Fountain Spa (New Jersey)– 10
I got my MOH a gift certificate to the Fountain Spa (located in NJ). She loves it there and she REALLY deserved it. She truly went above and beyond for me and I wanted to recognize that. She was very happy. I ordered the gift certificate online and it came quickly in a nice gift certificate fold.
Thomas Knoell (LI)– 9
I walked into TK about 3 weeks before my wedding. I went there because I do not like tiaras at all (no offense) and I knew that he had a lot of alternatives. Specifically I was looking for a band. I gave him a brief history of the wedding planning, what I was looking for, and a picture of my dress, and he quickly guided me to the “Elegance” band. He made it for me THAT day (I had to pay a rush fee) and I picked it up in the evening. I needed it that day because a few days later was my hair trial and TK was going away for a few days for some shows so the timing required me to pick it up that same day. I didn’t give him an A because it was way expensive for a thing to put in my hair for a few hours. Though it was truly beautiful and made me feel very beautiful and special.
Shoes – eweddingshoes.com (online - Vera Wang) – 10
I ordered my shoes from this site before we moved up the wedding, so these shoes were original to the 2007 wedding. They came quickly and were a GREAT price. In addition, I have not seen these shoes ANYWHERE else. So I was very happy. The only thing that needed to be done was to get them dyed and put in some inserts.
Shoe Dying - Bridal Shoe Boutique (LI) - 9
I dropped off my shoes here and the lady said that it would take two weeks. I didn’t really know where else to go and was afraid to drop off my Vera Wang wedding shoes jut anywhere. So I said okay. This conflicting with my second fitting and I was afraid to take a different shoe to the fitting since I had no time for mistakes (literally). I called them to ask if I could get it sooner, they said they would have to call me back and never did. Then I called again a few days later and asked if my shoes were ready (this was about a week after I originally dropped them off) and they said yes. I wish they would have just told me a week from the beginning. The shoes came out great.
e-Ring and Wedding Bands – Fortunoff (LI) – 8
We went with Fortunoff’s because we are completely skeptical of jewelers and figured that Fortunoff’s is a safe name to go with. The reason I gave them an 8 is because everytime we needed bands priced in platinum (3 times b/c I originally was going to go with a different band), it took a very long time to get a response (about 2 weeks).
I still don’t have my wedding band b/c we had to order it from Hong Kong. So I used a stand in band that is exactly like mine, except in white gold (mine will be in platinum to match my e-ring and DH’s band). FH’s band came in and it was exactly what we ordered. Also, we registered at Fortunoff’s, so we got the 10% discount. I’m hoping my wedding band comes out just as great as DH’s.
ETA: I have my wedding band now and it is even more beautiful than the stand in wedding band. Though the average person would not be able so notice any difference, as the style was the same.
Favors – bluerainbowdesign.com (online - Luggage Tags) – 10
I ordered these favors for the original 2007 wedding. I had placed the order online and about 2 hours later another LIW bride posted a discount code and I sadly replied on the thread that I had just placed an order and I wish I had known about the discount before ordering. The LIW bride quickly sent me the info on who to contact there because they would apply the discount if I asked. I tried it and they did apply the coupon. So my favors came out to a great price and they were of amazing quality, if I can say so myself. Lol.
I printed out our names and wedding date on clear labels and put them on the back of the luggage tags. Everyone thought they were so nice and great with our names on the back.
Favor Pouches – papermart.com (online - Brown Organza) – 10
I ordered the pouches a week before the wedding. They came quickly, were a good price, and were very nice. I was looking for brown organza bags and they were near-impossible to find anywhere in a brick-and-mortar, so papermart was a lifesaver b/c they have every color of the rainbow.
ETA - Favors - Personalized M&Ms (online) - 11
I ordered personalized m&m's in white and ivory and mixed them with brown and aqua m&m's. I bought the see-thru-top tins at Michael's with a coupon.
I used the labels included with the tins and put our names and date on the label. I downloaded the template from the wilton website, but it was a huge pain in the behind to get it in the perfect position. It took me days to finally get it aligned correctly. But in the end, they looked great and I was very happy with the end result.
Each person received one organza pouch with the luggage tag and a tin of the m&m's at their seat.
Invitations – writeevent.com (online - Carlson Craft) – 11
This was one of the hardest decisions for me to make. I chose my invitations with the help of my MOH. I took a chance ordering them online. But once I received them I had no doubts. They arrived quickly and turned out beautifully!!! Also, the price was great. I would definitely recommend them.
Bridesmaids Dresses – Ann Taylor Celebrations (NYC) - 10
We had to quickly find dresses for the girls and I wanted to make it easy, painless, and not too expensive. We went to Ann Taylor in the city and when the girls tried on the brown dress we knew that was the one. Two girls had to get the dress hemmed. And only my MOH (who has a huge bosom) had to get the dress altered a lot at the top. Overall, the dresses were beautiful and easy for all.
Tuxedos - Dante Zeller (Queens and NJ) - 7
Their employees are very nice, but the service is terrible - very slow and they are not very organized. They gave DH black and white patent leather shoes two days before the wedding rather than the normal shoes he ordered. They hemmed one of the groomsmen's pants two inches too short - it looked like he was waiting for a flood. And they gave some guys white shirts and some guys ivory shirts, although we ordered ivory. Overall, it worked out. But they were not organized and were a nightmare to deal with.
Day-Of Outfit – oldnavy.com (online - Pullover hoodie and pants) – 10
I got a white terry pullover hoodie and pants to wear while getting dressed and beautified on the big day. It was a good price and came quickly. I bought the iron-on letters at Michael’s and wrote out “Carlos’ Bride” on the hoodie. It’s one of my favorite things from the wedding. I keep wearing it over and over. Lol.
Wedding Dress – Iman Bridal Couture (LI) (Atelier Diagonal by Pronovias) – 10
Since everything was being planned in 6 weeks, I had to get a sample gown. I went to a few places and only found one gown that made me cry the way my first gown made me cry, but the sample price was $3,500 (yes – that’s the sample price, regular price was $4,300). So after crying some more when I heard the price, I figured I would probably not find something that made me emotional again.
I went to Iman and I found my gown – it was beautiful and I didn’t cry, but it was the prettiest gown I found and the one that was ME compared to all the others I saw. The price was reasonable and so were the alterations. They were very nice to me everytime I went there. Not just that, they truly have the most amazingly beautiful dresses I have seen ANYWHERE.
My bustle was not like anything else I had ever seen and I was initially reluctant to use that one. But in the end, I did like its originality and decided to stick with it. The only thing was that the loops for my bustle came off during the course of the day. I was trekking all over Manhattan in an un-bustled dress (I loved my train and walking around in it – made me feel like a bride), so that might be part of the reason. So my BM had to sew up my bustle after we walked in b/c if not it would not have held. Later on in the night, one of my guests stepped on my train as I was walking and pulled it off again – so it had to get sewn on again (pain in the butttt). But I definitely wore the heck out of that dress and would do it the same all over again.
Veil – SewDeb (North Carolina via email) – 10
I LOVED my veil. It was a cathedral length veil with a fingertip blusher made of ivory silk tulle. I felt like a queen wearing it. It was a pain sometimes walking around NYC with it, but I didn’t care!!! I loved the whole experience of being a bride and I lived it up!! If you want a cathedral veil – GET IT. Don’t worry about it being annoying, in the way, etc. It’s only one day in your life!!!
Sew Deb had great service, as did Hansson's in the UK. From start to end the process was an impressive 3 weeks. Highly recommended - my veil was beautiful.
ETA - Jewelry - Grandmother's Diamond Earrings - 100
I cannot possibly rate my grandmother's earrings. When she passed away shortly after my Sweet 16 she left me her diamond earrings. I have been waiting all this time to wear them for my wedding. They are beautiful and I always knew that the earrings would be part of my bridal jewelry. I did not wear any other jewelry that day besides the earrings, e-ring, and wedding band. I didn't need anything else.
Hair – Roland (NJ) – A good friend from Childhood – 11
Dunno if I can rate a friend, but he did a phenomenal job with my hair. I think it was meant to be because his mom did my mom’s hair for her wedding while she was pregnant with him!!! I was initially going to use someone else, but she flaked. His mom, who came to my e-party, suggested that he do it. I agreed b/c I had heard that he does amazing work. I went for a trial at his salon in New Jersey and was so impressed. He came to my house and brought his makeup friend to my house for the day-of.
Makeup – Brian (NJ) – Roland’s friend – 11
Brian was so nice and he did the makeup for all the women in my house. He did a great job on everyone and I was floored when I saw how great he did my makeup (seriously!!).
Placecards – DIY – Martha Stewart Magazine and Bridesmaids
I found in the Fall Martha Stewart catalog place cards that were made looking like leaves with blossoms on it. I thought it would be great for my wedding since I wanted to recognize Fall, but not go over the top. So we made them as Martha said, but made the blossoms green and ivory (my colors) and put a bead in the center of the blossom.
Sign-In Book – DIY – LIW Gals
After seeing so many LIW gals make their own sign-in book, I decided to do the same. I’ll have to see if I can get a picture of it. I bought the stuff at AC MOORE. I put a page on the front saying “Wedding”. And on the back I put a page of NYC stuff to recognize our amazing NYC wedding.
ETA - Table Name (Centerpieces)- DIY
Each of the tables was named after a place DH and I went when started dating. We both lived in the boroughs (me in Queens, him in Staten Island), so all our dates were in the city. We even met in the city when we went to the Metropolitan Opera to see Aida. I found a picture or postcard for each table (there were six tables) and put it on one side of brown cardstock that I got at Michael's. On the other side I wrote a story about what the place means to us, what date it was, what we did, what we were feeling about each other at the time, etc. I printed that out and placed it on the other side of the cardstock. At the top of the cardstock I printed in the name of the NYC location as the table name. I then covered each side with laminating paper. Next, I got one of those heart-clip stands that are usually used for seating cards and put the finished cardstock on that. Finally, the heart-clip stand was placed inside each rose centerpiece so that the table name was on the vase. PS - I also put the brown and green bow on the outside of the vase with hot glue before we gave it to the florist.
NOW FOR THE GOOD STUFF . . . . . . . .
Weather – 10
The weather was beautiful, considering it was the first weekend of November. It was a very sunny day, though the temperature fluctuated a lot depending on where we were. Before, during, and right after the church ceremony the weather was mild – beautiful actually. When we got to Central Park it was still nice, though about after 45 minutes there it began to get very chilly. During the second ceremony in the park until Times Square it was cold. In Times Square it was freezing. Then finally when we got to Grand Central Station and until we got to the Marriott, the weather was nice again. Overall, I’m sooooo happy it didn’t rain and it wasn’t very windy at all.
Church Ceremony - St. Francis of Assisi Church (New Jersey) – 11
My parents are parishioners at St. Francis and they know Fr. Brian pretty well. They really wanted us to get married in a church and we thought it would be impossible given the short notice. They spoke with Fr. Brian and he said that he could do it, even though he would be going on a trip later that day. DH and I met with Fr. Brian a few times and he was so nice and so down-to-earth everytime. We sadly didn’t do pre-cana (something I really wanted to do), but we did do FOCCUS. Fr. Brian was great when the results came in with helping us sort out certain things.
The wedding coordinator was ill most of the time we were planning our wedding, but even when she got better she was kinda ditzy. The day of the rehearsal she had all our readings wrong. We gave her the correct readings again that night so that everything would be good for the following day. We specifically did NOT want the “love is patient, love is kind” and somehow on the wedding day this is what was read. But what could I do?
The music was great, singing was great and Fr. Brian was wonderful!!
Doves – Dunno – mom did this as a surprise for me and DH – 11
I have no idea who my mom used for this, but the guy is located in Staten Island. He was early, nice, dressed well, and did an amazing job with the doves. Everyone loved it!!!!!
Limo – Frank V. Limo (NJ) – 11
Their limos were AMAZING. Their drivers were friendly and attentive. Everyone was so impressed with the limos and the service. These are friends of my dad and they were very happy to help us out on my wedding day.
There was a lot of driving around since we started in New Jersey and ended in NYC. My and DHs limo was driving around NYC for hours (literally) while we took pictures. He was so nice and did a great job with everything. The limos were amazing – clean, new, beautiful. Also, they had a limo go back to the city to pick up my family to get them back to New Jersey. Fantastic company and fantastic work!!
Flowers – Fisher and Page (NJ) – 11
This is a wholesale business, but they are friends of my dad and were more than happy to provide flowers for the wedding. The flowers were just amazing. My bouquet was white orchids and my girls had green orchids. Everyone couldn’t believe how beautiful the flowers were. My centerpieces were white roses in a low centerpiece. I put a brown and green (my colors) organza bow on each glass vase.
Celebrating From First Ceremony to Second Ceremony
Park Ceremony - Central Park Conservatory Gardens (NYC) – 10
The gardens were so beautiful. We had a second ceremony here because DH and I really wanted to get married in the park. I chose the Gardens for their beauty and because I thought it would be easier for people to locate the Gardens rather than a random rock in Central Park. We needed a permit for both the ceremony and the pictures. The process to get a permit is kinda strange – you leave a message on a voicemail and hope that they send you the info. My MOH’s cousin knows the lady who is in charge of the permits at the Gardens so it helped me out to know the contact’s name and her cousin because I got a call back immediately. I received the permit but on the day-of, as we were taking pictures in the park, a park ranger came by and asked for the permit. My parents gave it to her but she said that it did not include the permit for taking pictures. She then said that they would check in the back to ensure that I applied for and paid for the photo permit (which I did). They didn’t return, so I guess that they saw in the book that I had a permit for the photos.
One nice thing was that when my parents showed her the permit, she said to let her know where we want to do the ceremony (though you initially have to choose a location) and that about 15 minutes before the ceremony she would clear out any people that are not part of our guests so that we can have privacy. She did do this and it was nice to have the South Gardens all to ourselves.
Park Ceremony - Fr. Bernard (rentapriest.com) – 10
I found Fr. Bernard last minute on this website. It was tough to find a priest for a NYC location in short notice. He said he was available and would gladly do our ceremony. I explained to him that we would already be married but that DH and I wanted a park wedding. He understood that this would not be formal and that there would be no permit involved, etc. He was about 5 minutes late, but no big deal. He did a great ceremony acknowledging that we were getting married “again.” Everyone was laughing. This was definitely a fun ceremony for us and for our guests. We enjoyed it, were relaxed, and were laughing a lot. He told us to kiss Jesus on the Cross. Lol. We are so glad we did this and Fr. Bernard did a great job.
Photographer – Roberto Falck (NYC - favorite vendor so far) – pending (so far 100)
DH and I searched high and low for a great photographer, at a good price, that clicked with our personalities. I found Roberto by mistake. I received an email from some random wedding company in the city advertising some wedding event. I decided to look at the site. Since we were still searching for the perfect photographer for us I decided to see who their vendors were. There were only two photographers, one of them was Roberto and the other was a vendor I had already heard of but I think they were a bit pricey. Anyway, I called Roberto and we met him that weekend. When we saw him we still hadn’t changed our wedding date so it was going to be the 2007 wedding. We literally booked him on the spot. His work was so incredibly amazing – I honestly don’t think that ANY of the other photographers we saw compares at all to him. He is based out of Brooklyn and NYC, but will go ANYWHERE. He loves destination weddings.
We decided a few days after meeting him to move up the wedding. We partly chose November 4 because I wanted a day that he was available. He said that he would do our wedding and I was so excited.
Roberto arrived promptly at 8:30am to take pics of me getting my hair and makeup done. He was originally going to bring an assistant, but instead brought another independent photographer friend of his, Jason. Jason went to the hotel to take pics of DH and his guys and family. Roberto was everywhere but nowhere. He was very unobtrusive, professional, and nice. While we were driving around NYC he would see a random wall or street and ask us if we wanted to get out and take pics. We said yes!! We had a blast taking pics with him. It was soooo much FUN!!!
At the end of the night he put up a flat computer screen in the reception room with about 40 of the highlight shots of the wedding day. People were gathering around it and literally crying. Everyone was so impressed with his work and most of my girls said that if they ever get married that they want him to do their pictures. His work was amazing and he is a pleasure to be around.
I can’t wait to see all my pro pics and I will post them once I get them.
Chair Covers - Table Wear (LI) – 10
We got chair covers to cover up the meeting chairs in the Marriott. Donna was so nice and she set up the chairs beautifully!!!!! Her prices were great and she set up and took down the chairs. Highly recommended.
DJ – Elegancia Entertainment (LI) – 11
We only went to see one DJ and we booked him on the spot. Jose was so professional. When we changed the wedding date, Jose said that he would be unable to DJ, but that Louie would be available that day. The entire staff is so professional and great to work with.
They had everyone dancing all night and most of my friends said they had never had so much fun at a wedding. We got a percussionist and he made the music feel live. Great job!!! Highly recommended. I honestly can’t say enough great things about them – so accommodating, professional, nice, talented, and a great way to ensure a PARTY!!!
Wedding Cake – weddingcakeonline.com (NYC) – 9
This was the Marriott’s vendor. They were very nice and when we were having problems with the Marriott when they wanted to make our cake smaller, Vanessa said she would throw in a few more slices for us at no charge. They cake was not EXACTLY what I wanted, but it was beautiful nonetheless. I wanted a cake with green cake orchids going down the side, but I didn’t really get that. The green was not as bright as the actual flowers, but it was pretty.
The cake was DELICIOUS!! And the tasting was so much fun!
Reception – NY Marriott East Side (NYC)
Planning – 3
Day of – 10
After – 3
Doing this wedding on short notice meant that we would have to pick from RHs that were available and we would have to pick one fast!! We went to see three locations. We chose the Marriott because it really seemed like they were giving us a good deal considering the timing. If any of you followed my drama on LIW, you’ll know that they kept changing things on us. They were trying to take away food, make my cake smaller, assign my menu, etc. Link of Issues This link has a run-down of almost everything. Yesterday I spoke with my mom and she said that the BM indicated that the bill would be an additional $200 for soda for the kids. Huh??!!! What??!! I’ve never heard of such a thing. Btw- there were three kids (about 10-12 years old). I can’t imagine that they drank $200 worth of soda.
The day-of everything was set up beautifully. The CH was really good (we went to about 20 minutes of the CH). They set up my seating card table and sign-in table just as indicated, with our pictures, sign-in book, and seating cards very well. When my bustle came undone twice, the Marriott personnel fixed it for me.
They did hook us up with an amazing bridal suite for the night of the wedding. It was huge and on the 34th floor with views of the Chrysler Building. They gave us chocolate covered strawberries with home-made whipped cream, champagne, HUGE roses in a huge vase, and our BM gave us a box of Godiva chocolates. Our bed was covered with red roses in the shape of a heart and the Jacuzzi tub had red roses in it. The suite was really incredible.
If you want more info, please fm me. I don’t want this review pulled.
Overall, we had nothing major go wrong. The day went relatively smoothly and it was the BEST day of my LIFE!!!!!
Here are a few pro pics with good resolution:
Message edited 6/11/2007 7:57:43 AM.