October 2, 2012

A wedding celebration in downtown Manhattan

There is something so romantic and magical about an outdoor wedding, especially one with a fabulous view!  A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to be a part of a wonderful wedding celebration at the gorgeous Battery Gardens, in downtown Manhattan, for one of our favorite couples Reuben and Michelle.  The weather gods cooperated and the day was fabulous, sunny and most importantly not too hot.  We knew the day was going to be perfection.
We were especially excited about this wedding because we had helped to design two of their other wedding-related events.  Back in July, we designed Michelle’s Bridal Shower at the lovely Opia restaurant.   Then, the night before the wedding, we planned a gorgeous Rehearsal dinner for the couple, complete with an ice cream bar and scrabble place cards — it was definitely one of our favorites so far!  So, after all of the anticipation, the big day was finally here.  And what a day it was.
It all started at the Millenium Hilton, in downtown Manhattan.  Michelle booked a lovely suite, which turned out to be such amazing space and fantastic light for all of her close friends and family to gather in while getting hair and makeup done.  Everyone was calm and relaxed and ready to celebrate the wonderful day ahead.  Soon it was time to put on the wedding dress, a moment every little girl dreams of her whole life.  That first look (sometimes a tear) when a mother and father see her baby girl for the first time…those are the moments we love.  Those are the moments that make a wedding so incredibly special.

Before the wedding guests even arrive in town, there is so much “behind the scenes” planning that goes on.  Months and months of planning, to be exact.  One aspect of the planning that Little Miss Party loves to get involved in is the Welcome Bag, a bag of goodies usually given to guests as they check into their hotel rooms.  Nowadays, most couples end up having one side if not both sides of friends/family who have to travel to be a part of their special day…the welcome bag is a perfect way to “Welcome” everyone and thank them for making the trip.  There are endless possibilities when it comes to these bags and the first thing to consider is the design of the actual bag itself.  We love to suggest using a canvas tote or some kind of reusable bag, which doubles as a favor for guests to take home with them.  Michelle & Reuben got married in the city they call home, Manhattan.  In honor of this, we found this fitting “Manhattan” tote from Maptotes — it was the perfect start.

There was a simple M&R monogram being used throughout wedding stationary, cocktail napkins, and everything in between, so we decided to carry this into the bags as well.  Water is essential in every welcome bag, so we included two bottles with monogrammed labels with a NYC skyline.  We found these amazing natural kraft take out containers at Save On Crafts, which were perfect for all of the fabulous goodies Evelyn found at Costco!  Their guests had the most amazing assortment I have ever seen…sweet, salty, sugary, chocolatey, you name it…I had a hard time not eating it all as I stuffed each take out container with the treats.  Each container was sealed with a monogrammed circular scalloped sticker, we designed at  My Own Labels, our go-to place for personalized stickers and tags.  In addition, we also included a few bags of chips or pretzels, caramel popcorn cones, an I HEART NY sample of perfume and a biscotti cookie.  These guests were certainly not going to go hungry!  Last but not least, a thoughtful welcome letter from Michelle and Reuben.  A good welcome letter includes a detailed schedule for all guests, including any transportation information and of course who needs to be where and when!  No matter how many times you give out this info, there is always someone who asks.  So including this in the welcome letter can definitely help to alleviate the “what time is the bus coming?”  We also always encourage including a map of the area, and a list of “to do” ideas.  This is not only a great way to introduce guests to a new city, but also a way to showcase any favorites you may have as a couple, such as restaurants, museums, or even shopping.  Wedding guests always appreciate the recommendations.  Once everything was stuffed and ready to go, each bag was tied with a monogrammed tag and ready to be dropped off at the hotel for guests to begin enjoying!

Many couples are now choosing to see each other and take photos before the wedding.  This “first look” tradition when the Bride and Groom first see each other can be such a raw and emotional moment.  Most photographers will coordinate the first look in a more private setting, where usually the Groom is waiting for his Bride to arrive.  The look of anticipation and excitement is always followed by pure joy and happiness.  Michelle and Reuben’s First Look is amazing, you can actually feel the love.

After photos with each other, their families and close friends, it was time to head inside as guests were beginning to arrive.  With the chairs set, the Chuppah in place and the Acoustic Guitarist beginning to play, everything was ready to go for the most important part of the entire wedding day…the ceremony.  As their families lined up, everyone was all smiles as they got ready for the big walk down the aisle.  Michelle and Reuben chose to have an interactive ceremony, where both the Ketubah (Jewish marriage license) and secular marriage license were signed during the ceremony, as opposed to beforehand.  This was an amazing way to include those most important to them in the ceremony.  They also chose to have loved ones help with the Seven Blessings.  It was a magical ceremony, from start to finish.  Even some on-lookers stuck around to witness this gorgeous couple exchange vows.

After the touching ceremony, everyone was ready to celebrate this amazing couple.  Cocktail hour was both indoors and outdoors allowing guests to take in the gorgeous views.  The Kosher catering was courtesy of the amazing Husband and Wife team Michael and Avril Kaye of Avril Kaye Caterers, and was as delicious as it was gorgeous.   Everyone always loves cocktail hour, especially with a spread like this.  My favorites included the mini slider bar, with mini pints of beer (genius!!) And the Summer market garden selection.  Guests washed it all down with a vodka and martini bar, complete with blinis topped with smoked salmon, smoked trout or caviar.

As the sun began to set, guests were escorted upstairs to the main ballroom where they found their seats for the evening.  The happy couple found a moment alone for a quick First Dance practice.  This picture is just amazing.

The reception that followed was an absolute blast, and there was always a packed dance floor to prove it.  Joel Young Band and DJ West, from Hank Lane Music, rocked all night long.  Having both a band and DJ is a fabulous way to incorporate a variety of different music which encourages different sets of guests to hit the dance floor.  And as guests made their way to the dance floor, ladies were relieved to find baskets of flip flops available to soothe their aching feet.  As the party rocked on, Michelle’s longtime friend and former American Idol contestant even made his way ontstage to sing a few numbers with the band.  The energy was simply amazing.  There was never a lull in the excitement, which also included some very funny and also touching speeches from their siblings and parents.

We are loving your dance moves Reuben!

Congratulations to the gorgeous and amazingly sweet couple.  We loved working with you and your families, and wish you a lifetime of love, laughter and happiness.  Thank you for letting LMP be a part of your special day.

All photographs courtesy of Kelly Geunther Studio.

xx, Michelle
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