Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Beverly's 10 Best Weddings for February 2011

  1. Camila & Michael’s Wedding: Last April, Michael saw Camila in the lobby of the building where they both lived and asked whether she wanted to go out sometime. When she said, "Sure," Michael followed with, "How about tonight?" They ended up drinking sangria and eating tapas at La Tasca in Penn Quarter, where they remained until closing. The evening ended at Michael's apartment with dancing and a kiss. Four months after their first date, Michael and Camila vacationed in Garden City, S.C., where Michael's family has a home. Michael popped the question to Camilia while walking on the beach and watching fireworks in the distance.  Their wedding was an international gathering that brought together Camila's family from Brazil and Michael's family and friends from China, India, Mexico and Bangladesh. Camila red bouquet was covered with shafts of wheat as a tribute to her grandparents, who were farmers. The gold-and-white color scheme paired perfectly with the Willard's Crystal Room, which was dressed festively for the holidays. They honeymooned from Puerto Rico to St. Thomas, Tortola, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados.

  2. Eboni & Rossie’s Wedding: Rossie planned to propose to Eboni on a Saturday in June, he was shocked to discover that the restaurant where he wanted to do it had booked him for the following Saturday. He made frantic calls to the restaurant and was told he would be called back if they could accommodate him. He told his hoped-to-be-fiancée about what happened as they were driving toward the restaurant. Knowing nothing of the proposal, she tried to assure him that pizza or McDonald’s would do. Rossie shouted “no” took her hand and began to pray. “I asked for God’s blessing,” he recalled, “and said, ‘God, we have a reservation problem and I know you are capable of handling much bigger things.’ ” As soon as he said “Amen,” his phone rang. The restaurant had a table. The couple made much about God’s role in their relationship was very important, which is understandable since they met at a church. He was a trustee and she was the assistant minister for youth. Early on Jan. 1, 2010, after a service at to “pray in” the New Year, they went to a restaurant where he told her, “I love you and I want you to be my wife.” She responded that she had other suitors, and he jokingly told her that he would eliminate all of them.” After they became engaged that night, the first people they called were her mother and his mother. The next day an announcement was made to the congregation. There was polite applause. At the reception, the bride’s entrance was announced by a boy ringing a bell from the choir loft. The reception at Guastavino’s, under the Queensboro Bridge looked a little like a movie premiere. Fashionably late, the couple climbed the marble staircase to the cheers of some 700 guests — she in a white mink stole, he in a cashmere overcoat and carrying a cane.

  3. Sarah & Brandon’s Wedding: Sarah and Brandon married on July 3, 2010 at St.Anthony's Chapel, Gloucester, MA. The wedding party traveled by trolley to the Headlands in Rockport for pictures. The Headlands is a special place for the groom as his maternal grandparents are memorialized with a granite bench. Following pictures, the reception was held at The Oceanview Inn, on Gloucester's backshore. Sarah graduated from Methuen High School, received a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education and Psychology from Worcester State University and Masters Degree in Reading and Language from University of Massachusetts Lowell. She currently teaches Kindergarten at the Tenney Grammar School in Methuen, MA. Brandon graduated from St. John's Prep and received a Bachelor's degree in Marketing from Bentley University. Brandon is a Senior Derivative Business Analyst at Manulife Financial in Boston, MA. Sara and Brandon spent their honeymoon in Mexico and now reside on Rocky Neck in Gloucester, MA.

  4. Jeanne & Drew’s Wedding: Jeanne and Drew were married on August 14, 2010 at the Mansion at Turner Hill in Ipswich. Jeanne and Drew are both graduates of Trinity College and the University of Connecticut School of Law. Jeanne is a law clerk for the Connecticut Superior Court. Drew clerks for the Honorable Christopher Droney U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. In 2011, he is to become an associate at the Boston law office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. The couple currently resides in West Hartford, CT.

  5. Nari & Samuel’s Wedding: After making it through three costume changes, a public parade, a Korean tea ceremony, and one heartfelt serenade, Nari and Samuel missed their honeymoon flight to Mexico. But when your wedding is a piece of theater, something like this can happen.  The couple’s courtship started with a shared appreciation of Twin Peaks (they even announced their engagement on YouTube with a parody of the show). Then, inspired by Fellini’s, they asked guests to wear only black or white. “We wanted it to be very dramatic,” Nari explains. “Like a dream sequence.” The ceremony took place at Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, where Nari wore a replica of her mother’s wedding dress and walked down the aisle to “Rhapsody in Blue,” holding a bouquet of raw cotton. When it was time to head to the reception at Smack Mellon, “we had one big parade,” says Samuel, “with the band leading everyone out to ‘Bicycle Built for Two.’ ” Dinner was a barbecue bonanza after which the couple changed into traditional Korean garb for a formal tea ceremony, before Nari donned yet another ensemble: a gorgeous cocktail dress she collaborated on with a designer from Bensoni, in which she serenaded her groom with an original song, “Wonderful We.”

  6. Christine & Kevin’s Wedding: Romanced blossomed for Christine and Kevin after they met as accounting majors at San Diego State University, where they got an education not only in crunching the numbers, but most importantly, in love that lasts a lifetime. Fifteen months after Kevin dropped to his knee atop Wrigley Monument on Catalina Island and popped the most fateful of all questions to his paramour Christine, the college sweethearts were united in matrimony on a June afternoon at the home of Christine’s parents in scenic Nevada City. Surrounded by 87 acres of pristine natural beauty, the backdrop for the High Sierra nuptials was selected for its pictorial quality and the personal relevance it held for the couple, and what they most treasure: family, friends and the great outdoors. There were many twists to the a ceremony that Christine describes as “traditional with a few alternative spins,” such as the moment when Kevin first caught a glimpse of Christine as she came around the driveway in a horse and carriage before her waltz down the aisle. “It was an indescribable moment,” Christine remembers. “We just looked at each other and knew that nothing in the world could make the moment go wrong.  We looked out at all of our smiling guests who were there to support us...it was simply amazing.” Christine and Kevin personalized their wedding by writing their own wedding vows and incorporating individual touches throughout the day. The mother of the bride and friends decorated the Olson residence which included adorning the dance floor with tulle and white lights and hanging purple lanterns that mirrored the wedding’s purple and silver color palette. Floating, color-changing orbs flickered softly in the pool, providing romantic illumination, even when Kevin’s groomsmen unexpectedly tossed him into the pool; a spontaneous dip several guests subsequently duplicated. Memorably, Christine also dedicated a unique a delightful mix of cupcakes for Kevin, chocolate covered strawberries in the shape of brides and grooms for Christine and a six-inch mini cake for the customary cake-cutting. Although Lisa and John both attended California State University Chico and graduated a year apart, the couple didn’t meet at school. Instead, they were fated to meet through eHarmony. About a year-and-a-half after love bloomed online, the two got engaged.

  7. Lisa & John’s Wedding: Lisa was surprised by the proposal on the day of the engagement, although in the back of her mind, she had a hunch. John was extremely nervous. But the big question went off without a hitch, and the two shared a special day the next afternoon at the Special Olympics – John is a coach for one of the volleyball teams in the East Bay. Then in the evening, the couple announced the engagement at Lisa’s grandparent’s home over Chinese food and chocolate cake. Lisa began the wedding planning process almost immediately. First she picked the venue, then a dress and a photographer. The spring wedding was held at the Yocha Dehe Golf Club at Cache Creek Casino Resort. The ceremony took place in the early evening on top of a hill overlooking the golf course. The 100 guests were in awe of the couple and the view. The bride and groom paid tribute to their families on the special day. An empty chair draped with greenery sat in the first row of the ceremony in memory of Lisa’s father. Also, the bride carried a small white bible her mother carried on the day she was married to Lisa’s father, almost 50 years prior. Lisa also wore a crystal bracelet on her left wrist made by her mother. Lisa’s mother wasn’t the only creative one in the bunch. The bride's best friend and matron of honor wore a dress she handmade from a pattern she copied from a design off of Project Runway she and also made Lisa’s garter and the ring-bearer pillows. Lisa prepared all the dinner menus placed at each guest’s seat and the escort cards. She also came up with all of the table names, which were the couple’s favorite Disneyland rides and placed them in crystal picture frames. Additional family members were honored throughout the ceremony and reception including Lisa’s brother and mother walking her down the aisle to John. And the finishing touch was crystal-framed photos of both Lisa’s and John’s parents cutting their wedding cakes, which were placed next to the couple’s cake on the big day. The most memorable parts of the wedding remained the couple’s intimate moments of the vows and their first dance; followed by the romantic setting during dinner of the sun setting behind the green hills as the couple looked through the floor-to-ceiling glass doors.

  8. Katherine & Scott’s Wedding: You could say that from the get-go Katherine and Scott were the right blend. They met at his first job, Planet Smoothie. Scott came in every day with all his buddies and order a smoothie. After a couple months of these daily smoothies, he asked if I wanted to go to the mall with him and his friends after my shift. They didn’t begin dating until about six months later. It was about six years before became engaged during the Memorial Day holiday with Scott’s family in Santa Cruz. While everyone was on the beach, at one o’clock sharp, the humming of an airplane flew over the bluff.  As it soon approached, she was still dumbfounded until she read the words that were written on the plane, “Katherine, will you marry me? Love, Scott”. Scott’s mom made a huge sign with the word ‘YES‘ spray painted in hot pink for the kids to hold up so the pilot could see. The moment was captured and posted on YouTube with almost 40,000 views to date. Katherine and Scott received generous help from family and friends with their wedding plans. There were caravans of people driving up to the reception site to drop off chairs, flowers, and even trees. She remembers that the hardest thing was choosing vendors, as there are so many qualified ones. Their garden party ceremony could be described as “Parisian Chic.” They installed a beautiful crystal chandelier under the overhang and arranged lovely spring flowers in every corner. Accompanied by a flute and harp, they exchanged vows with the help of a good friend.  The guests moved on to a reception at The Lodge at Four Seasons at El Dorado Hills. Again, the couple got creative with the décor. There were life-size cutouts made of them and strategically placed around the room. The patio was decorated with Japanese lanterns and they rented a cotton candy machine for all the kids. One of the highlights of the reception came during the late-night dancing marathon on the floor. Katherine talked with the drummer and asked if they knew any Lady Gaga songs, as she is overly obsessed with Lady Gaga.

  9. Kelli & Scott’s Wedding: For their January 2008 wedding, Kelli and Scott “Craig” incorporated family traditions and close friends to create a memorable event that was all about the two of them. When Craig popped the question in June of 2007, the couple knew that Craig’s grandfather, a minister, would preside over the service, just as he had done for his 10 children and two of his grandchildren. The wedding party consisted of the pair’s siblings and childhood best friends; another friend performed a song that Kelli’s grandmother, an organist, used to play at weddings more than 50 years ago. In this way, Kelli and Craig’s union was firmly rooted in family history.  “I was looking for a place that exuded unbridled romance,” says Kelli, describing her ideal wedding venue. She found exactly that when she and Craig pulled up to Oheka Castle in Huntington, NY. Built in 1917 to resemble a French chateau, the restored hotel served as a home base for Kelli and Craig during their wedding weekend. They rented out the estate’s 32 rooms for their out-of-town guests and placed family photos throughout the library at Oheka. The hotel felt private that Kelli joked that she walked around in a robe and slippers prior to getting dressed with the help of the castle’s own lady-in-waiting. The couple planned an evening ceremony followed by dinner and dancing, and topped it off with a brunch and a walk through the grounds for their guests the next morning. In the room where the ceremony took place, two fireplaces created a cozy atmosphere as Kelli’s father walked her down the aisle to a joyous rendition of the “Wedding March” and she saw Craig for the first time that day. To infuse their wedding with more personal details, the couple recited their own vows, arranged to have their mothers light a unity candle, and asked their guests to recite a reading in unison, involving everyone in their union. Craig and Kelli performed a well-rehearsed choreographed first dance to Stevie Wonder’s “As.” She described the part-waltz, part-hustle number as “our own Dancing with the Stars moment!” With the help of their band, Craig surprised his bride with a serenade of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours” and inspired the guests to join in an impromptu conga line at the end of the night. Surrounded by friends and family, Craig and Kelli ushered in the start of a beautiful life together.

  10. Rubian & Matthew’s Wedding: Matthew and Rubian met eight years ago when both worked at a midtown securities firm. They hit it off right away and became fast friends. Through the years their friendship grew stronger. It was a hot summer day in June when Matthew invited her to a brunch with his family. The restaurant had a live band playing and Matthew invited her to dance. While dancing closely in his arms, Matthew asked her to marry him. I was completely surprised, but at the end of that dance they decided that five years of friendship is a great way to start a romance! Three years later, at the suggestion of their friend and photographer, they visited Oheka Castle. Once they saw Oheka, they knew it was perfect for them! They wanted a place that would allow them to feel as if they were entertaining in their own home. Oheka provided them with the luxury of a private estate to host an intimate weekend wedding with their closest friends and family. They relied on the staff at Oheka to set up four locations within the castle for them. They used the new ballroom for their traditional wedding ceremony. The cocktail hour was held in two rooms plus the back lawn overlooking Long Island harbor. An elegant dinner was served in the formal dining room, with a separate room for a Venetian dessert hour. The food was fantastic! Afterwards, the guests relaxed in the library with a live jazz band, fine cigars, and cordials. The next morning, after spending an incredible evening in the castle’s luxurious bridal suite, they joined our guests for a private breakfast before catching our cruise to the Bahamas.
Beverly Harris Weddings & Events
(310) 487-9698

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