A Night at the Plaza

A Night at the Plaza
Wedding designed and produced by Elegant Occasions, Inc.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It’s all about the details

For me a wedding has all the same motions: bride wears a white dress, walks down the aisle, marries her groom, goes to a party and ends
with eating cake and dancing. That is the typical wedding. How do you make your wedding memorable? It’s all in the details. It might be cliché, but it is very true that people appreciate the small things in life.

I find it important for the couple to always add touches that make the wedding their own. The details can be put into any area of the wedding that the couple feels is more important to them. Some of my clients are foodies so they put more detail into food presentation; others want décor to be what I call the “Wow!” factor. A wow factor is simple; it makes your guests go, “Wow!”

It does not matter how big your budget is, you can still have a wow factor. Some clients I meet with love the DIY little projects where they make the favors together, and those are things your guests appreciate.

The photos are from a wedding in Jamaica.

For this couple, the décor was the wow factor. With beautiful linens, we didn’t’ want the centerpieces to take away from amazing linens, but instead we wanted the centerpieces to compliment them. We had topiaries made to tie in their color scheme: green, yellow, and white.

A nice little detail, we had white chivari chairs for the guests, and put a matching chair cover only on the bride and groom’s chairs. We also had hand-written table numbers. I cannot stress enough that when planning your wedding, stay true you and your fiancé’s visions.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Get Married at a Gallery

Ok, this isn't a formal gallery of art but it has enough artifacts to be! And the owner does actually own galleries.

There are not many places for American citizens to go without a passport, obviously anywhere in the United States is fine, but it may not occur to many that Puerto Rico counts as U.S. territory. This means it’s an easy travel place for U.S. citizens: no customs!

When in Puerto Rico, there are many things to see and do, but my favorite spot is Old San Juan. This area attracts many tourists because of its old-world, classic feeling. At the end of Old San Juan, beyond the ancient fort, at the top of the hill, and overlooking the ocean sits a hidden yet exquisite inn: The Gallery Inn.

You are greeted at a wrought iron gate and as you walk through an open corridor filled with antiques, this setting transports you into an unknown era. Every piece in this Inn was hand picked by the owners to enhance their collection of fine art as well as showcase them. I fell in love with every detail of this place. It's hard to tell you about how this place makes you feel, so I'm including many photos that can help me say this.

The view is spectacular from the roof deck. For dinner, you can enjoy delicious tapas outside on the roof garden. The artifacts, paintings, and statues are unique and intriguing. The bedrooms are impeccably decorated and fit for royalty.

If you are considering an intimate wedding this is the best place. They can accommodate a small wedding or a large cocktail party. Your guests and you can enjoy everything the Gallery Inn has to offer. With the attention to detail, this place makes you feel at home (Fun fact: this boutique inn is the owner’s home).

The owner has her own kiln, which she uses to make all the dishes for the inn. She even makes custom chargers for the wedding.

It is definitely a place you won't forget. With this amazing decor and art you actually forget that you are in Puerto Rico. For more information on this place go to www.thegalleryinn.com

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hidden Jewel of the Caribbean

I love when clients choose exotic destinations for their weddings because it gives everyone an added sense of great adventures. Iceland is a fantastic choice for any couple who loves hiking and cooler weather. However, the warmer destinations can be just as exotic and intriguing.

A true jewel of the Caribbean is the tiny island of Canouan. While this island isn’t the easiest to get to, you might have to take 2 or 3 flights depending on where you are coming from, it is a beautiful place to host a wedding.

It’s part of St. Vincent & the Grenadines and sits below Barbados, which is where you fly to and take a smaller plane to Canouan. This island is not very well known, not even my Word spell-check thinks it exists, underlining Canouan with that red line!

But this place exists, even if it you feel like you are in a dream while you are there! In the green mountains and valleys of the gorgeous island, sits the beautiful Canouan Resort that has breathtaking views of the bright blue water.

This resort is appealing to any couple because they can accommodate from a small getaway up to about 100 guests. The suites and villas add a touch luxury for this relaxing environment.

My favorite thing about this resort is the feeling I get when I’m there: complete calmness. There is a Zen tone to this property. If you want to relax and sit in the sun all day, go ahead! For those who want to play golf, there is an 18-hole championship, which happens to be part of the Trump International Golf Club. The views from each hole vary, but they are all spectacular.

One of my favorite features of this resort is their 17th century chapel. This is perfect for couples who want to host the ceremony there instead of the beach.

The resort has an amazing pool that it boasts as the largest in the Caribbean where you can host amazing cocktail parties. There are other options for cocktails; they have three restaurants that are all great spaces. You can even maybe host a party on the golf course.

The world-class spa is amazing. You can take the tram up the mountain to the individual treatment bungalows or take a boat out to the water and have a spa treatment in one of the huts sitting in the ocean.

The best way I can put this, is that it’s a tropical paradise that makes you feel like you have arrived in Bali but with less jet lag. It is certainly one of my favorites!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

An Estate Tucked into the Hills of New Jersey...

I recently got to enjoy a wonderful tour of this amazing estate known as Natirar, in the gorgeous rolling hills of New Jersey. Most people are probably thinking, “Oh no! New Jersey?!” But this estate will make your jaw drop with breathtaking views and completely change those horrible stereotypes of New Jersey’s settings. This estate is fit for a king, and was even owned by one years ago.

While this place is still transforming, they want to add accommodations and a spa is in the works plus so much more, there is a restaurant that you can arrange for a delectable dinner.
“From Farm to Table…” is the mantra of this amazing restaurant. The Club at Natirar is a perfect location to host a rehearsal dinner or cooking classes.The farm to table concept comes from the practice of gardening and using organic foods. Natirar is set against 411 rolling acres, and was also once the home to the King of Morocco. Sir Richard Branson, of Virgin Atlantic, recently has become a part owner of this estate.

The estate is the venue to host large private events, from weddings to corporate events. Walking through the mansion and onto the patio, you will see the rolling hills of Somerset County- home to horse country in New Jersey. Cocktails can be held on this terrace followed by dinner in the enclosed, climate-controlled tent. In order to maximize the use of the estate, they have attached a permanent tent structure to the property, which sits on top of the hill, for the best view.

The size of the tent can accommodate approximately 300 people for a seated dinner. This tent has a draped ceiling ready for the client to create their vision and paint a picture of their perfect wedding day.

Once the tour had ended, we were treated to the most amazing meal that I have enjoyed in a long time. This estate has so much character and history, and now there is an added flair of innovation. Because of the work that has gone into giving this property a “face-lift,” keep an eye as this becoming a great spot for New York City brides who want that elegant wedding among hills and valleys.

Check out their website for more information at http://www.natirar.com/

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Getting Married in Bermuda? My pick...

Pink sandy beaches, short flight from the United States' East coast, 180 islands connected by bridges, motor scooters and pastel-painted houses describe the friendly island of Bermuda.

From cozy Bed and Breakfasts to large hotels and world-class golf courses this English paradise offers visitors a host of options. One of my favorites is the Fairmont Southampton, this amazing hotel sits on the hill and overlooks world class beaches. This hotel is on 100 tropical acres outlined with lush bougainvillea and towering palm trees.

The Fairmont Southampton's guestrooms, most with sweeping water view and many with private balconies, have walk-in closets and marble bathrooms. For grand service reserve a room on the Fairmont Gold Floor, a hotel-within-a-hotel that pampers guests with its dedicated concierge, complimentary continental breakfast and complimentary canapés served daily in a private harbor view lounge.

An 18-hole par three golf course, a 31,000-square-feet Willow Stream spa, and some of the island’s finest restaurants including the historic Waterlot Inn, housed in a large traditional Bermuda cottage and winner of the prestigious AAA Four Diamond award.

For a romantic dinner, reserve a table at the elegant Newport Room designed to look like luxury yacht and winner of the AAA 5 Diamond award. For a more of a casual Bermuda dining experience and a family feast, visit Bacci for authentic Italian cuisine, which sits on the golf course or visit the. Jasmine Lounge serves wonderful martinis, tapas and other light fare at its lobby setting. Wickets is a great place for a casual poolside lunch, and in the mornings, grab a seat at Windows on the Sound for breakfast with a view of the Great Sound. This room is one of my favorite rooms to host a wedding. The wonderful patio that wraps around this room is perfect to host a sunset cocktail hour and dinner inside this all-windowed room allows the nighttime to fall and still see the glistening of the island lights.

For weddings, the ceremony can take place on the pink sand beaches to the terrace of the Windows on the Sound dining room overlooking the vista of the Atlantic Ocean. Or host your ceremony on the deck of the Waterlot and let the sunset be your backdrop. Share a kiss under the traditional Moongate - native to Bermuda.

Bermuda offers you a wonderful destination that is only 1.5 - 2 hours from NYC. You can get to Bermuda in the summer faster than you get to the Hamptons in Long Island ....

This island is a true gem off the East’s coast.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Love and Luxury in Lake Como

This adventure really starts with flying from New York to Milan… look out your window as you approach Northern Italy and you are greeted by the peaks of the Swiss Alps, which is truly breathtaking. The snow- capped mountains are as far as the eye can see. Landing in Milan is a treat in itself because it’s a fashion capital for Europe.

As I collected my luggage, I got into a car and made my way to Lake Como to stay at Villa D’Este. The views are spectacular here. Not only because Lake Como sits near the Alps, but the architecture of this place is amazing.

Villa D’Este sits on the banks of one of the most romantic lakes in the world and just north of Milan; this amazing hotel was built in 1568 as the summer residence of Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio. The property sits on 25 acres of manicured gardens.

The Veranda restaurant overlooks the Lake and the gardens. It is formal and elegant. Glassed-in or al fresco, windows are automated and can disappear into the ground creating an amazing venue for dinner.
Whether you are in a classic or a suite, you will feel like royalty the brocade silk curtains and artwork on the walls, make you feel like you are a queen for a day. I was most impressed with the amazing vaulted ceiling hallway that led to the steps to the rooms in the main building... For those couple who want to splurge on luxury over seas, this is my number 1 choice!

Villa D’Este treats their guests like royalty. The food is great and so is the staff. The manicured gardens are a perfect place to host a ceremony. There is a terrace that overlooks Lake Como that can only be described as breathtaking. This can be used for cocktails or intimate dining/reception area. The terrace view looks beyond the lake and you will see the Swiss Alps in the distance, which is a short drive away, one can buy the best Swiss Chocolate in the world.

Their dining rooms overlook the gardens and terrace that offer equally breathtaking views of the area. We enjoyed a wonderful meal that featured the best risotto I have ever tasted following by braised short ribs cooked in a wonderful Chianti sauce.

Once you see your bedroom, you will feel like a king and queen. As you enter the rooms your mouth will drop in awe at the majestic feel to the room- the oversized bed features a fabric silk canopy that just invites you to fall onto the bed. The living area and the view makes you want to stay in your room.

As you venture into the region - you will enter the wonderful town square for amazing gelato and visit the Duomo in town - perfect place to host a ceremony.

As you sit by the terrace and feel the sunshine, swim in the floating pool that sits on the lake - and as you venture on to the lake via boat, wave at George Clooney's villa that sits next to Villa D'Este.
Everything about this site will take your breath away; it’s truly a favorite of mine!

For more information please visit our site at www.elegantoccasions.com

Please note two of these photos were taken from the brochure...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Plaza is the Place to Be...

For over 100 years this icon of New York City has sat majestically on the corner of Central Park South and 5th Avenue. This New York legend has hosted events for the likes of kings, heads of state, socialites and celebrities. Since the reopening of The Plaza, it is now under the the culinary leadership of Executive Chef Chris Harkness, from CPS Events who has elevated the menu concept and

Exchange vows under the opulent canopy of The Plaza’s Grand Ballroom or in the timeless magnificence of The Terrace Room or host cocktails in the Historic Palm Court.

The Plaza has provided the location many motion pictures such as: The Way We Were, The Great Gatsby, Barefoot in the Park, Funny Girl, Cotton Club, Crocodile Dundee I and II, and Home Alone II: Lost In New-York. Designated a New York City Landmark in 1969, The Plaza is listed on the Register of Historic Places and the only New York City hotel to be designated as a National Historic Landmark.

This national landmark embodies the soul of New York City; once you enter the grand front doors you will see the wonderful renovated Palm Court. Here you must enjoy the Afternoon Tea service that blends an innovative menu with a formal tea to provide guests with a balance of service and flavorful cuisine.

Take the elevators to the dramatic ballroom, which boasts new carpeting and wonderful refurnishings. Cocktails can be enjoyed in the foyer of the ballroom where perfectly attired staff greets every guest with silver passing trays holding sparkling champagne. As you enter the ballroom, your eyes naturally take in the huge expanse and sense of awe as you see the wonderful columns extend upward.

And one must not forget the Famous Oak Room. The Oak Room, New York’s fabled landmark, is now open in The Plaza Hotel. It is the most romantic meeting spot in New York City and bringing old-world glamour to the next generation. The Oak Room closed during Prohibition and re-opened in 1934 as a full service restaurant. The Oak Room’s wood-paneled walls and barrel-vaulted ceiling remain today.

The Plaza Hotel is such a great spot to host a memorable wedding or event. This is the perfect place for any bride who wants a touch of chic royalty while still being in the heart of the city that never sleeps.