A Night at the Plaza

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

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fairytale Weddings


Fairytale Weddings --

For those who want to splurge on a wedding in castle, there are some wonderful options that await the Princess Bride -

Waterford Castle Hotel and Golf Resort, Waterford, Ireland

Waterford Castle is a a wonderful private 310 - acre island that is the home to a 16th century castle on the River Suir. Guests are ferried across the waters to the beech - lined arbor that leads to the 19 - bedroom estate. Stone walls and intricate tapestries with four poster beds await your arrival to this fairytale castle.  The grand staircase in the foyer, makes you feel like Scarlett Ohara in Gone with the Wind as you descend to meet your Prince Charming.

The wonderful oak paneled walled dining room sets the tone for a wedding feast to highlight the ceremony. The stunning gardens filled with pink and purple rhododendroms make for an old english garden backdrop to offset your wedding day.

The hotel is famous for its gourmet pig roast that would be a wonderful rehearsal dinner celebration.

For those who love activities, why know play some croquet on the croquet lawn, try your hand at shooting of the clay pigeons or play a round of golf on the islands 18 - hole golf course.
Biltmore Castle, Asheville, North Carolina

This 210 room French Renaissance Chateau, gives you the touch of royalty without traveling to Europe to experience, shall we say American style.  This chateau was once the largest private residence in the United States, built by George Vanderbilt in 1895.  This estate offers thirteen venues which include a champagne cellar that can host a party for 30 , the rustic courtyard of the Barn which can host 40 - 300 guests and Vanderbilt Ballrom that can seat up to 550 guests.  This majestic home was set high on the hills so you can enjoy the vistas of the Blue Ridge mountains all set upon 8000 acres of land.  Fall in love with the Vanderbilt Ballroom where you can  a feast featuring farm to table cuisine, which you can pair your courses with the Biltmore winery, conveniently located nearby.

This Chateau offers your guests 201 guest rooms and 9 suites to allow you to enjoy this for your destination wedding guests.

Biltmore - Village.com

This property offers a variety of activities to keep your guests occupied all weekend long. Enjoy the grounds of the estate to the fullest extent by letting us help you reserve an off-road segway tour, , or a cruise down French Board River. They also offer fly- fishing, clay shooting,  horseback riding and carriage rides

Oheka Castle, Cold Spring Harbor, New York

Once you enter the gates of Oheka you are transported back to the Golden Age. This French Chateau built in the 1920's by financier and philanthropist Otto Herman Kahn, was home to many lavish parties and events hosted by Kahn.  The Castle offers 32 guests rooms for out- of- town guests located on the upper floors of the estate.  The Castle boasts a grand ballroom, wood paneled library, sitting room, dining room, terrace and manicured sculpted formal gardens, perfect for a garden ceremony.

The guests of Oheka may enjoy golf and tennis with use of the private club of  prestigious Cold Spring Golf Club.

The food possiblities are endless at Oheka, from their extensive cocktail hour to wonderful seated dinner to their bountiful dessert table your guests will be impressed, food fit for a king and queen.  Your guests can enjoy everything from a seafood station, lobster station, roasted pig carving station, caviar station and sushi station for cocktails. Then complete the dinner by an amazing display of desserts complete with cupcake tree, candy bar, waffle station and chocolate fountain.

The best ending to the event is having after hour scotch and cigars with jazz ensemble in the library.

Gotham Hall Events

Gotham Hall ...Step Back in Time to  Experience the Grandeur of the City!

Gotham Hall the former headquarters of the Greenwich Savings Bank, Gotham Hall is a magnificent Art Deco ballroom with a seven-story-tall grand vaulted dome.

This is one of the many former banks, turned event space in the heart of Manhattan. Its seven story high glass dome ceiling, above its 10,000 square foot ballroom, surrounded by its grand Corinthian columns, gorgeous authentic marble, and u oval shape helps give Gotham Hall its warm, elegant feeling. Gotham Hall’s Main Ballroom, as well as, smaller side rooms including a Lounge, Mezzanine, and Oak Room.

This space will  only host one event at a time and the entire facility is used exclusively for your corporate gatherings, non-profit galas or social events.

Staged against the amazing turn-of-the-century architecture of the seven-story gilded Ballroom,  events will truly shine. Gotham Hall combines the style of Manhattan’s Broadway with the sophistication and tradition of New York’s finest architecture. The lighting of the venue is truly exceptional and takes the space from beautiful to outstanding.

For smaller, private gatherings, unwind in either of the oak paneled rooms, complete with fireplaces and private restrooms. Guests can enjoy cocktails on the mezzanine as they overlook the spectacular ballroom, or mingle in the lounge for a more intimate cocktail setting.

This room was built for Royalty. The ten foot tall brass doors of the foyer give way to reveal the heart of Gotham Hall, the Grand Ballroom. From fifty to twelve hundred guests, the Ballroom can host a wide variety of events including non-profit galas, corporate dinners, fashion shows, product launches, wine tastings, film and Broadway premieres, boxing matches, corporate meetings, trade expos, concerts, weddings, bar mitzvahs, television and movie shoots.

Gotham Hall Events

Step back in time and enjoy this truly amazing venue!!!

Landmark images

The Many Personalities of St. Barths!!

This unique gem of an island, is an island that one cannot compare to any island in the Caribbean.  St. Barth is a french island which creates a cosmopolitan European environment, unlike any other island in the Caribbean.  There are no casinos, no high rises and no all inclusives, but instead you will find red roofed
villas dotted along the hillside and small, chic hotels set along the beaches.  This charming island is known for its world class cuisine.

In order to reach this gem you must land in St. Maarten, which is the main gateway to St. Barth (the largest plane that can land in St. Barth is a 19 -seater). You can take the small charter plane or a ferry, which can transport you to the island.  The crossing by boat can take an average of 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the weather conditions and departure point of the ferry.

Since St. Barths is a French island, French is the official language of the island. However, English is widely spoken at the resorts, shops and restaurants.

What makes this island unique is the types of properties and restaurants that is is has to offer. You will find the five star luxury hotels from Eden Roc to Isle De France to a more relaxed vibe of  Le Plage at Tom Beach Hotel.  Le Plage is a fun, relaxing seaside restaurant, where you enjoy the beauty of the beach and
watch the planes land literally right over your heads (you can almost feel the wind as it passes by) and you can certainly hear them screeching of the tires as the plane touches down.  Or you can rent one of the many villas that dot the hillside and enjoy the beauty of island from your perch atop the sea.

Saint- Barths.com

There are over 80 restaurants ranging from beach side grilles and chic sidewalk cafes to gourmet dining rooms.The island of St Barths is known for its sophisticated yet casual restaurant scene. Caribbean Travel & Life magazine named it the culinary capital of the Caribbean.  From four star Relais & Chateaux rated dining at Isle De France, The Rock, and Victoria's, to harborside bistros and cafes like Boucanniers, Le Repair and the Wall House, to feet in the sand casual dining at La Plage and Do Brazil.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

There no place like home: for an event or wedding!

If you’re thinking about holding your wedding, a bridal shower or any wedding-weekend event such as the rehearsal dinner—know the limitations of the house.

Here are some more helpful hints to hosting an at-home event, and if you’re planning on making a call to an event planner to handle the details for you (this may be the most cost-effective and hassle-free way of handling an at-home party)

Location: First, take a look at your home and property and decide if it’s equipped to handle the size of your party. Are there spacious rooms like a living room and den where people can gather? Will there be enough space for tables and chairs? Will you have to remove furniture to fit the rentals, and if so, do you have a storage space available? Where would a buffet table go? A bar? Have a planner map out your home to see where everything would fit, allowing for plenty of walking space for guests. Remember to allow space for servers to pass through. If you plan on having musicians or entertainment, keep that in mind for space.

Tented: If you’re envisioning an outdoor-tented wedding, be sure your backyard is spacious enough for the tent that covers tables and dance floor. You don’t want to get too small of a tent and have some tables outside of the tent.

Bathrooms: Keep in mind that two or three bathrooms in your house will not be able to handle 150 guests. Renting portable bathrooms is advisable. There are even bathroom trailers that are modeled after household bathrooms.  Also make sure you know where the septic system sits and BE SURE to have it pumped right before the event.

Parking: What are the parking restrictions in your neighborhood? Alert the police that an event is taking place, prior to the event.

Permits: Make sure you apply for proper permits, if a tent is being erected.

Sound Restrictions: If you are planning on taking the party outside, make sure you know the sound ordinances in your area, before the police make a surprise visit that evening.

No Access: Mark rooms that you do not want to have guests access with  “No Entry” signs on private rooms. For a tented wedding, do not be afraid to put a “No Entry” sign on the entrances to the house if you don’t want anyone entering the house.

Kitchen: Is the kitchen capable of producing an event in a timely manner? Caterer’s trays are often oversized, so they need to have access to ovens and refrigerators that will accommodate them. A hired caterer will want to tour your kitchen ahead of time to be sure he/she can work well there. He/she will want to make sure that there’s plenty of counter space for staging and plating. They may require you to rent a separate tent in the yard where they will work their magic.
If you have a small kitchen, do not worry; a great caterer can produce magic from the garage or a cook tent.

Finally, hire a planner who has the vast experience with at home weddings or events, they will know what questions to ask and allow you actually be a GUEST at your own home.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Questions to Ask When Picking: Videography

Videography, also known as Cinematography, is a method of moving pictures telling a story. Be sure to ask the following questions:

  1. Check to see if you can find their videos on Vimeo.com (this is sort of like Youtube but meant for more edited works). Most videographers post their newer videos on there.
  2. How many cameras will you have on the day? How many assistants?
  3. How early will you arrive at the ceremony to set up the equipment?
  4. Will you bring backup equipment?
  5. How soon can I see the final cut?
  6. What will your attire be?
  7. Is my wedding the only wedding being shot that day? This question is super important. Sometimes the people you meet with may not be the people who will be shooting your wedding...
  8. How will you capture sound during the ceremony? Will I need to wear a wireless mic?
  9. Can I select the music for the final cut?
  10. Can you install a stationary camera in an area where your presence isn't interfering with the ceremony?
  11. What type of cameras do you shoot with?
  12. Do you shoot any super 8 film? (if this is important to you)
  13. How long is the typical final edited version? There is a trend now where the final versions are not 20 minutes long and they are more like 10 minutes long. Don't panic. Many videographers include full toasts and ceremony on the same DVD or another DVD.
This should help you in the interview process! Happy Wedding Picking :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Grand Velas Riviera Maya sits on the pristine 1000 feet of white sand shores of Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The newly opened Grand Velas sits on over 400 acres. The property sits on over 80 acres of mangroves, jungle, and natural freshwater wells locally known as cenotes. Beautiful luxury accommodation options include uniquely exotic garden suites, oceanview suites for guests ages 12 and up with private plunge pools overlooking the Mexican Caribbean.
Grand Velas Riviera Maya is just 5 minutes from downtown Playa del Carmen and a short 35- minute drive from Cancun International Airport. This property also received AAA’s highest award rating of a five-diamond property.
This is the only resort in the area to offer a culinary tour. The restaurants span the globe in 8 locations including the internationally-acclaimed Cocina de Autor restaurant. Other include:
Piaf – French cuisine
Sen-Lin – Asian inspired
Frida – Mexican
Azul – International
Bistro – French

The resort Spa offers guests a magnificent 75,000 square feet spa dedicated to the body and soul, with a re-hydrotherapy circuit and a cutting edge menu of treatments inspired by the ancient healing practices of Mexico and distinct world cultures. The spa is comprised of the following therapies:
Sauna, color therapy steam room, clay room, ice room, sensation showers, hot tub and cold plunge pool.
Sensations pool offers: sensory pebbly walkway, cascades, bubble beds, neck-massage jets, bubble geyser and warm chlorine free pool.
All suites offer personalized butler concierge services, a convention center, and a modern Kids Club.
The resort is divided into 3 sections:
The Zen Grand Section: sits in the natural environment of the Mayan Jungle, this family-friendly section features 206 elegantly exotic suites, each with over 1,000 square feet of space, private terrace and interior Jacuzzi. It is located ¾ of a mile from the beach, but the hotel offers shuttles that run continuously to the beach.

The Ambassador Section: family-friendly area of the resort that includes 195 spacious 1,200 + square foot ocean-view suites with a terrace, a sitting area, and some with private plunge pool. All of our beautiful suites offer interior Jacuzzis and terraces to enhance the experience in paradise. These suites are conveniently arranges around the main infinity pool.
The Grand Class: adult-only area of the resort designed for optimum privacy and relaxation and features 90 sophisticated ocean-view suites with private plunge pools, in-room massage tables, two Jacuzzis and modern conveniences such as wireless Internet ($), a DVD/CD/MP3 player and a plasma screen TV.
Wedding receptions can be held in a variety of locations, offering your guests world class experience and fine dining choices.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rosewood Tucker's Point Hotel, Bermuda

As you approach the island of Bermuda, just a short 90-minute flight from the NY Metropolitan Area, you are instantly mesmerized by the gorgeous color of the water, pink sand beaches and pastel painted homes that dot the landscape.

Then just a short 15-minute car ride you arrive at the most amazing location of all in Tuckers Point. Once you arrive to your suite, most rooms are ocean view, room service offering you the makings for a Dark and Stormy greet you - this creation consists of Ginger Beer and Rum -- very tasty and very potent.
Rosewood Tucker's Point offers some of the finest accommodations on the island of Bermuda. Each of the resort's 88 guestrooms and suites are decorated in classic British-seaside style with distinctive artwork, elegant fabrics and furniture, luxurious five-fixture bathrooms, marble bath/shower, stand-alone deep soaking tubs "fit for two", unique stone and wood finishes. All of the rooms are suites are gorgeously appointed with plus carpeting, wonderful comforters and mattresses.
As you walk the grounds, you are greeted by the wonderful croquet lawn, where you will most likely see guests, dressed in white playing a game or two. This resort also offers Bermuda's finest golf resort experience, a stunning private beach club on the island's famous pink sands and world-class tennis facilities.

Tuckers Point's Award-winning Executive Chef Serge Bottelli and his world-class team provide the finest culinary experience in Bermuda at The Point Restaurant & Terrace. Renowned for superb international cuisine infused with fresh local ingredients. I had dinner at the Point overseen by Chef Bottelli, the wonderful fireplace was warm and inviting as you sat in the plush-armed chairs and enjoyed the twinkling lights of the harbor. You also have a choice of dining at the Cafe, poolside, or at the Beach Club or Grille Room.
The one thing I loved about this property is the variety of locations to host events. If you select one selection, they always offer a rain back up plan - which is very rare for an island hotel to offer, I have included the list below of the locations available to host a variety of wedding events.
At The Resort

CAMDEN BALLROOM: Perfect for formal wedding receptions and catered events, the ballroom accommodates up to 400 persons. Situated in a stand-alone wing, it offers the utmost privacy while our staff delivers personalized attention. The Ballroom may also be divided into three soundproof rooms — the Verdmont Room, Soncy Room and Chelston Room. State-of-the-art A/V, lighting and climate controls as well as WiFi, image projection, and HD monitors are available throughout.

THE GALLERY: This space offers the perfect venue for a variety of dining experiences, including plated luncheons and cocktail receptions. Expansive windows overlook the Palm Court and manicured Croquet Lawn. Custom loomed rugs, white marble floors and glimmering chandeliers create a light, yet refined atmosphere.

BOARDROOM: The Boardroom is handsomely appointed with seating for 14 persons at a handcrafted mahogany table. The high-tech capabilities found throughout the resort are available in the Boardroom.

WINE ROOM: The Wine Room at Tucker’s Point Restaurant may be reserved for private dining to accommodate 18 persons. Over 3,000 bottles of fine wine fill the walls from wood-plank floor to barrel-vaulted brick ceiling. Petite sconces and candlelight create an intimate atmosphere for rehearsal dinners and anniversary celebrations.

WALSINGHAM SUITE: The resort’s premier suite provides spacious accommodations and the capacity for gracious entertaining. The living room has a service entrance and pantry, study, powder room, wet bar, fireplace and dining area. A broad balcony overlooks a beautifully landscaped pool with views of Castle Harbour.

THE POINT TERRACE: Perfect for cocktails, the terrace features twin outdoor fireplaces and gorgeous views of Harrington Sound.

CABANA & PERGOLA TERRACE: The Pergola Terrace is located a step above the Palm Court Horizon Pool. Dine al fresco in brightly colored cabanas comfortably furnished or under a pergola with a softly cushioned banquette. This is a perfect location for outdoor receptions.

CROQUET LAWN: The Croquet Lawn suits a wedding ceremony or cocktail party with the Palm Court as a dramatic backdrop.

At The Beach Club

HORIZON POOL: Enjoy a spectacular vista of the Atlantic Ocean with waves breaking on the reef 300 meters from shore. The shaded pergola provides an excellent venue for a casual or formal dinner party up to 30 persons (available after 7 p.m.).

FOUNTAIN POOL: Overlooking the private pink-sand beach, the Fountain Pool area makes an evening cocktail reception or seated dinner extra-special (available after 7 p.m.). Fountains of water arch over the pool and Italian string lights illuminate this beautiful seaside setting where as many as 100 guests can be accommodated.

EAST BEACH: The Beach Club is home to the largest private beach in Bermuda and is ideally suited for ceremonies, barbeques and bonfires on the sand (beginning at 7 p.m.).

At The Golf Club

The Golf Club offers a variety of options, from the casual Grille Room & Bar to the grand Ballroom and Terrace with panoramic views of the golf course and Castle Harbour. The Private Dining Room and Clubhouse Boardroom provide ideal settings for a more intimate gathering. Cocktail gatherings may also be hosted on the course — the "Old 12th Tee" provides

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What To Consider When Planning: A Tented Wedding

Tented weddings give the couple an opportunity to really take their own visions and work from there. Tents are an empty canvas ready to be painted by the vision created by the couple. Tented weddings are, by far, my favorite weddings. As a planner you may feel like a general contractor building a home because there are so many things to consider when planning a tented wedding.

When you consider a tented wedding the cost of these types of weddings are usually more expensive than the ballroom wedding or destination wedding.

The following are some of the areas to consider:

1. Parking situation
2. Location of the septic system
3. Rain contingency plan
4. Sound ordinance of the area and don’t forget town permits
5. Level land
6. Bathroom situation
7. Power hookup
8. Lighting of the event site and surrounding areas
9. Bug spraying the land

Each tent should be treated as a separate entity from the existing house because most clients don’t want people walking in and out of the house.

My biggest challenge for a tent installation was a campground in the woods of Maine - where I had no running water or electricity. We literally had to build the site from ground up and bring in water tanker trucks to support the event, along with generators and pathway lighting to get the guests from point A to point B without getting hurt.

Tented weddings give freedom to the couple with design, themes, and other details. You don’t have to worry about an ugly wall color. You can choose any theme and put it under a gorgeous clear-top tent, which is great for stargazing. Tackling the scary tented weddings can be a handful, but knowing the things I’ve mentioned earlier will definitely help with the research. These weddings are always beautiful and stunning, and will probably always be my favorite.