Um, WOW. Excuse us as we pick our jaws up off the floor. We are just floored by the magnificent mirrored (!) peony (!!) chuppah in today’s Jewish wedding.
It is just BEYOND, and those hanging peonies suspended from the canopy? Serious, serious #chuppahgoals. Bride Marina says standing under it felt like being in a midsummer night’s dream garden!
Actually, just about everything about this wedding is hardcore #goals. And it’s no wonder, with superstar wedding planner and Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Amy Katz running the show.
Marina, who works in product development, and Gary, an MBA student at UPenn’s Wharton School, can’t stop singing her praises, but her work bringing this epic day together really speaks for itself.
This duo had absolutely the quintessential NYC wedding, just bursting with old-school elegance (but with some very cool, very contemporary touches thrown in to keep things from getting stodgy — you won’t want to miss their tequila-infused Mar-Garita cake pops!.
And we could not be more in love with their exquisite Central Park photo shoot spearheaded by the couple’s fantastic photographer, Lilian Haidar.
There’s so much more to say, but we’ll leave it to Marina, who looked stunning in her strikingly elegant princess gown by Maria Farbinni…
How We Met
Marina, the bride: We met at a 4th of July party in Amagansett, NY. Marina invited Gary’s friend to a party her friend was hosting. The friend brought Gary along and the rest is history.
We got married at the Metropolitan Club. It was actually the first venue that we saw. After seeing about 40 other venues we decided it was perfect for our quintessential NYC wedding. We decided on doing a city wedding to make it convenient for our guests. Both of us are from NY with many guests living in the city and others in both NJ and Long Island. NYC is the perfect middle ground.
A Phenomenal Planner
Elegance was something we strived for throughout the process. It was important for us to set a solid impression for our guests upon their arrival to set the tone for the wedding and the rest of the evening.
Amy Katz was our wedding planner, and she and her team went above and beyond to cater to our ideas and budget. Amy and her team created a 15-page timeline that basically had every 5-minute increment of the day thought out – aka no details left to spare. Amy and her team kept us on schedule throughout the day. We even had time to spare after pictures so the bride was able to change her hair and have a second hair style.
We wanted to be cost effective when it came to invitations. We worked with a designer at Minted to customize/replicate a design that I found online. We were very pleased with the customer service and end product. We ended up using Minted for our menus and thank you cards.
Hair + Makeup
For hair – I wanted something natural that would also accentuate my features. After 7 hair trials, I found Senada, who was able to nail down 2 looks that worked.
The day of the wedding we opted for an untraditional second look – low pony with lots of volume. We went with our gut and this worked out great because I was on the dance floor all night and didn’t have to worry about my hair getting in my face.
For makeup – I knew I wanted to look like myself. My biggest challenge was finding a makeup artist that made me recognize the girl in the mirror while also providing maximum coverage. Diana Perez did my makeup.
A Maria Farbinni Dress
The dress was by Maria Farbinni and was purchased at Panache Bridal. I was on the hunt for the “perfect” dress and pretty much went to every single salon in Manhattan.
I couldn’t get anything to “speak to me” so took a month break and somehow ended up at Panache on 55th street. I tried on a gown by Maria Farbinni and was told the designer would be making a guest appearance at a trunk show that weekend.
I ended up meeting the designer (Oksana) that weekend and we instantly clicked as we are both originally from Ukraine. Her designs epitomized European elegance and we ended up custom designing a gown that was the perfect balance between an elegant feminine princess and sexy bride.
I had 2 veils that were both custom made by Maria Farbinni. One short one with tiny pearls, and a long cathedral veil that matched the accents on the dress.
For my first hair style, I wore a headpiece from Bridal Style Boutique. I decided to ditch the headpiece for the second look because I was going for a more “modern” look. My jewelry (earnings and tennis bracelet) were on loan from Sasha Primak Jewelers.
The handsome groom
The groom is actually a bit of a prima donna and insisted on a surprise outfit change following the ceremony. He opted for a conservative dark navy tuxedo for pictures and ceremony. After the ceremony he changed into a metallic burgundy dinner jacket from D-Squared which he paired with black tuxedo pants and suspenders.
He also wore Giorgio Armani tuxedo shoes for the entire night. The groom started his day at York Barber Shop, which is an old-school establishment on the Upper East Side, where he got a hot shave and hair styled.
Miu Miu Shoes
I opted for skyscrapers. I had kitten heels as my backup option, but I was going through so much emotion throughout the day – my footwear was the least of my concerns.
I wore swarovski Miu Miu shoes that had a jeweled heel. My husband and I found the heels at the Prada outlet in Florence on our final vacation before our wedding and both fell in love with them.
Bridesmaids in Rose
We had 6 bridesmaids and 6 groomsmen. The bridesmaids wore rose colored dresses from Dessy to go with our rose gold color scheme. Each bridesmaid was able to select her own style from the color scheme/fabric I selected.
A Mirrored Peony Chuppah
We trusted our florist’s vision, and she delivered a chuppah that far exceeded our expectations! We had a gold mirrored chuppah with white and blush peonies. Standing under the chuppah we felt like we were in a midsummer night’s dream garden.
Our rabbi suggested that instead of the bride circling the groom 7 times, we each circle each other 3 times and then for the 7th time we walked together in a circle to symbolize a sacred circle and a mutual binding to each other. We also did personalized vows, which were very touching and in our mind connected our guests to us.
A Tree of Life Ketubah
Our ketubah was designed by Danny Azoulay and had a tree of life design. We read a bunch of different ketubah texts and took parts from different ones that really spoke to us about what we wanted our relationship to encompass.
A Sky Full of Stars
Our wedding venue had such classic NY elegance, and we thought modern non-typical ceremony music would create a really nice juxtaposition for the guests and overall ambience.
We decided on instrumental versions of Sexual Healing (Marvin Gaye) and Redbone (Childish Gambino) for the processional and A Sky Full of Stars (Coldplay) for the recessional.
Midsummer Night’s Dream Flowers
Tamara of Aramat Events was our florist. Based on our budget and original ideas, Tamara put together a proposal for us that far exceeded our imagination. We trusted her completely and she delivered.
Everything she chose complimented the Metropolitan Club so well. It felt very midsummer night’s dream-esque. My bouquet was peonies and the bridesmaids had peonies and roses. The reception had mirrored table tops, which projected the ceiling murals from the Metropolitan Club.
Our Fabulous Photographer
Lilian Haidar was our photographer. I scouted over 20 photographers. Lilian and I met in person and we instantly clicked. She was very creative and it was clear how passionate she was about her job, so we knew right then and there that she would give it her all. Lilian didn’t just shoot pictures, she directed our photo shoots, taught us correct posture, and went above and beyond to get the perfect shot.
Mar-Garita Cake Pops!
We used Charlotte Neuville Cakes and Confections. I went to 5 cake tastings, and when I met Charlotte I felt like we were the same person. Charlotte spent her career in fashion and recently transitioned into being a pastry chef. She is a visionary and each of her cakes are one of a kind.
She took elements from our venue, decor, invitation and dress and created a masterpiece. We also decided to serve the cake in a very untraditional way. Instead of slicing it we created mini cake bites that were passed around the dance floor. Charlotte created 5-6 different flavors with different icing for our guests to enjoy.
Charlotte also created margarita cake-pops that were tequila infused. The cake pops were a work of art but also absolutely delicious. We chose the margarita cake pops because our names “Marina” and “Gary” Mar-Gar make up margarita. We will continue to use Charlotte for all our occasions going forward.
Since we had a Russian/Jewish/American wedding – we needed entertainment that can please different cultures while being as inclusive as possible. DJ Legacy (Yury Jacobs) put together a fantastic band of diverse musicians and MCs that had the crowd going all night!
We had Shake and Share Media take pictures of guests as they entered the reception. We purchased mini taxi cab picture holders which we gave out at the end of the night with the photos from Shake and Share from their photobooth.
A Special Song
Gary’s grandfather wrote a song for us and surprised us with a live rendition with our band the night of our wedding. Gary’s grandfather stole the show and had everyone on their feet giving him a standing ovation.
A Minimoon in Bermuda
With a busy summer and an upcoming move we decided to delay honeymoon plans and take a short trip to Bermuda to unwind from wedding planning. Bermuda has great beaches, great weather, and is an easy flight from New York, which is why we chose it.
Advice to couple planning their wedding
Remind yourself that they day is about you and your groom. It is impossible to please everyone, but the most important people to please are yourselves. You want to make sure you leave your wedding day knowing you had the time of your life and want to do it all over again!
Marina & Gary’s little white book
Photography – Lilian Haidar
Wedding planner – Amy Katz Events
Videography – Joseph Minasi
Venue – Metropolitan Club
Bride’s dress – Maria Farbinni purchased at Panache Bridal and The Wedding Dresser
Bride’s accessories – Bridal Style Boutique and Sasha Primak Jewelers
Bride’s shoes – Miu Miu
Groom’s attire – Giorgio Armani, D-Squared and York Barber Shop
Bridesmaids – Dessy
Hair + Makeup – Senada Kanaqi Ceka and Beauty By Diana
Flowers – Aramat Events
Cake – Charlotte Neuville Cakes and Confections
DJ – DJ Legacy
Lighting – Frost Productions
Ketubah – Danny Azoulay
Stationery – Minted
Photobooth – Shake and Share Media
After party dress – Bloomingdale’s and For Love And Lemons