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Destination wedding

Destination Wedding, North America

A Junior Prom Adventure turns into a Lifetime of Love: NYC Wedding

April 5, 2016 • By

It’s a beautiful spring afternoon; the beauty salons are bustling with anxious young women and excited mothers. Friends advise, “wear your hair up or I like it down.” The salon reeks of fragrant flowers with a hint of alcohol, aerosol bottles of hairspray empty quickly and bobby pins fall to the floor. The prom is many hours later but the limo arrives at 4:00 PM for pictures.  There isn’t a moment to waste.

For Marla and Paul, it’s 1989. Marla is dressed in a powdered blue, calf length, strapless stunner and Paul is donning a stylish, black Italian custom cut (rented) tux with matching powder blue bowtie and cummerbund. She is radiant and confident; he is handsome in a sheepish kind of way. Think Debbie Gibson meets Jon Bon Jovi.

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Marla and Paul, Jonathan Dayton HS, New Jersey – Junior Prom

The charming couple connected in a high school class at Jonathan Dayton High School in Springfield, New Jersey. Marla being the temptress invited her older classmate Paul to the Junior Prom. He left for college months later and as Marla stated, “He implied, see you later.”

Since life reminds us to be present and look forward, Marla and Paul simply parted their respective ways attending college, studying abroad, moving from apartment to apartment, city to city until the evolution of Facebook. This time Paul took the bold initiative and requested Marla as his Facebook friend.

It would be almost a year before they would meet in person in Florida, where Paul lived.  He nearly missed his chance ditching Marla on their first attempted date due to being exhausted from work.  An excuse Marla accepted thankfully.  A day later on a bright and sunny Sunday afternoon, the couple reunited.  Moments before a pigeon expelled itself on Marla, which she took as a positive sign because Paul and Marla have been laughing for the last six years.

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Under the Chuppah at City Winery. No nerves for these love birds

Marla and Paul married on a magical fall evening in New York City. The day delivered overcast skies, drizzle and blustering winds but the electricity inside City Winery suited Marla, Paul and their 140 guests just fine.

A wedding in New York City made the ideal location for Marla and Paul. They gathered family, friends and colleagues from as nearby as Greenwich Village and as far away as Indonesia.

Why choose City Winery? Marla said, “It optimized who we are and encapsulated our love of music, food and wine downtown in the city.”

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City Winery before the wedding ceremony

Being of Jewish faith, Marla and Paul celebrated their marriage ceremony with their parents at their side under the Chuppah (canopy) and a very cool modern, female rabbi served as the celebrant.   The Ketubah (marriage contract) perfectly placed next to the happy couple symbolized their commitment to each other. Paul smashed the glass and guests shouted Mazel Tov!

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This prom dress 27 years later. Impressed it fits!

City Winery transformed into an elegant setting for Paul and Marla’s wedding. Guests devoured incredible cheeses and Mediterranean spreads, sipped and later slurped wine in the Barrel Room and enjoyed a seated dinner with pumpkin ravioli and fish entrees. The Greg Buford Band busted jams and people piled on the dance floor partying like it was 1989.

From young love and a special spring dance to a fabulous night on October 4, 2015, Marla traded her corsage for the bouquet.  Jonathan Dayton High School had it right all along, “It was meant to be” and Marla still has the baby blue prom dress to prove it (and it fits)!


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The bride and ME at City Winery, NYC

Marla and Paul traveled to Italy on their honeymoon visiting the Puglia Region and Rome.  Italy holds a very special place in Marla’s heart since she studied abroad in Florence and later lived there for a year.  She wanted Paul to experience the allure of sweet tomatoes, tart lemons, flavorful olive oil, freshly caught fish and beautiful, welcoming countryside.  They drank wine, lots of it, dined on local favorites and tracked the mileage of their new life together exploring Italy with happy hearts and eternal smiles.

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Now the fun part, the honeymoon! Paul and Marla in Italy

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An Italian Panini is the best but a Honeymoon in Italy is better

Destination Wedding, North America

Destination Wedding: Nantucket

February 10, 2016 • By

There are fantastic movies to adequately describe my plight in life such as 27 Dresses, the Wedding Date, My Best Friends Wedding but somehow those features end with the beautiful bride scooping up the handsome groom and I’ve either ended up with a hangover, or a dress I am totally never going to wear again. That’s why I am featuring a series on Destination Weddings over the coming weeks and I hope my stories will inspire couples to plan their dream wedding with pleasure.

Suffice it to say I participate in my fair share of weddings and I store a baggie full of bobby pins to prove it. I’ve experienced the highs and lows of each celebration and I’ve silently whispered to myself and maybe others around me which couples I deem worthy of staying power and those likely headed for divorce court.

This is why I am single.

The Bride and her sidekicks

The Bride and her sidekicks

Weddings are exciting. They are symbolic of something greater than the love between two people. They represent goodness and hope in the world and it’s an honor to be an attendee and a privilege to serve as an attendant. It’s also a time when friends and families come together for a joyous occasion. A wedding guest list tells the tale and the history of the couple. When I spend time talking with neighbors, old boyfriends, best friends from grade school or college, former work colleagues, new friends old friends, cousins I begin to piece together a narrative of the couple’s life I may not have known.

The stories warm my heart and make me laugh but they also explain the person standing before me today.

The Whaling Museum, Nantucket, Massachusetts

Emily and Joel met in 2012 at a birthday party of a mutual friend in New York City and they married atop the Whaling Museum on Saturday, September 26, 2016 with the sun setting, wind gusting and a rooftop of guests applauding their love. Their decision to marry on the Island of Nantucket was an easy one. Emily considered Nantucket a second home. Her sister married on Nantucket and her parents discovered the allure of the once sleepy island early in their marriage eventually buying a home and spending summers on Nantucket as a family. I most enjoyed an enthusiastic reading by friends providing an overview of the couple’s ancestry.

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Bride and Groom at the Whaling Museum Rooftop

Tips: Spend at least four days visiting Nantucket. It’s easy to stay short term or long term but be careful, you may never want to leave. You can rent a home for a month, find a special bed and breakfast within walking distance of the town or rest your head at one the hotels scattered around the island. It’s a great place for families or for those searching for solitude. I spent my days eating fudge at Aunt Leah’s Fudge, getting my licks in at the Juice Bar (Don’t miss the Green Monster) and tasting lobster roles every opportunity I found. I rented a bike at Young’s and each morning I peddled with purpose but without direction admiring the ocean views, vast areas of natural reserve and beautiful homes with pitches roofs, weathered gray shingles and blue and pink hydrangeas fading for the season.

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The alluring dock at the Wharf

When you arrive, you will be on island time, buy some cashmere sweaters for the ladies or Nantucket “reds” for the men, walk the cobblestone streets in the town, shop for antiques, admire the boats in the harbor and the clouds ushering in changing weather.  Slow your pace, decompress, smell the saltwater, feel the warmth of the sun on your back and the wind on your face.

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Pink hydrangeas fading for the fall

Nantucket is a great place for a destination wedding because it’s a vacation spot. You can fly from Boston, New York City, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Providence or take the ferry from Cape Cod, Harwichport or Martha’s Vineyard.

After the wedding, I crawled to Black-Eyed Susan’s for some eggs and grits. I would say that was a sign of a good time and a fantastic wedding.

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Ice Cream at the Juice Bar tasting the Green Monster

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