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A Family Affair: The Guarinos | Great Performances


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A Family Affair: The Guarinos
CPS Events at The Plaza
by Emily Reifel

One of the greatest compliments I could ever receive is to have the honor to host more than 1 wedding for a family! It doesn't happen often because sometimes a sibling wants something different in the way of a celebration for a bar/bat mitzvah or a wedding. Others think of it as a family tradition to host a celebration in the same place as their prior family members and then there are those who liked the first party so much they can't imagine going anywhere else for round 2, 3 or more!

The latter was the case for the Guarino Family! I say the Guarino Family because putting together Rocco and Jessica's wedding was truly a family affair. I had helped Angela and Danny Guarino put on their daughter's wedding back in 2009 when I was still just getting my feet wet at The Plaza! My former boss and I really enjoyed getting to know the Guarino's and they were, in my mind, one of our first weddings in the newly renovated Grand Ballroom! After Danielle and her husband Al's wedding we stayed in touch over the years. You can only imagine how excited I was to get a call on my cell phone in early 2015 from Angela. I knew what was coming! Her older son Rocco had proposed to his girlfriend Jessica and luckily for me they were on board to return to The Plaza for their very own nuptials!

We signed, sealed and delivered quite quickly and the planning began. Angela filled Jessica in about Danielle's wedding and we all discussed how we would mix it up with some new teammates!  Phase 4 was hired to be the entertainment for the night and the fabulous Louis Konstantinos from Avenue J would be creating the perfect environment for the Terrace Room and the Grand Ballroom.  We had quite a bit of fun over the next few months, setting up table demos for decor, reviewing timelines, selecting the perfect lighting with our friends from Bentley Meeker Lighting and Staging and setting up a very sophisticated engagement photo shoot with the super fun and mega talented photographer Anthony Vasquez. Anthony had worked on the previous wedding as well so Rocco and he were already pals which helped Jessica warm up to him quickly! There were always a ton of laughs along the way. We probably had the most fun at the tasting where Chef Rudaw helped create an Italian menu that was all theirs!

Then Angela had one more idea.... she wanted to surprise Rocco and Jessica with something and she just wasn't sure what.... she then saw a group of former Jersey Boys from the hit Broadway show on Instagram and she immediately knew this would be perfect. She hired the team from LLG Events to help coordinate the Jersey Boys talent and help out with some day of responsibilities! It's always helpful to make sure everyone gets to church on time!

Then quickly November 5th was here!

Kaitlyn and I kept everyone calm at The Plaza while Lauren and her LLG Events Team kept the wedding party calm.  After a flawless ceremony came a perfectly executed cocktail hour in the Terrace Room with gorgeous custom bars by Avenue J, super sparkly table linens to get everyone into party mood and of course fabulous food such a as custom Peter Lugers steak station!

Guests thoroughly enjoyed every minute before heading up the Grand Staircase to the Grand Ballroom and were mesmerized by the stunning 8 feet tall centerpieces complete with callalilies, roses, and sparkling crystals! A gorgeous white dance floor with a personalized gold crest with the couple’s names was the perfect addition to tie the whole room together!

We announced the whole bridal and the guests went wild! The dance party started on a high note and only stopped so the guests could dine on their burrata & roasted peppers first course, a Garganelli & Romesco sauce for a second course, then a choice of 3 entrees; branzino, truffle chicken or grilled filet mignon! Accompanied by Stags Leap Cabernet and Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio!

Then perfectly on cue the Jersey Boys made their surprise appearance on the dance floor and the crowd really went wild! Angela was right about it really being the perfect surprise!

As the wedding in the Grand Ballroom had to come to a perfect end the Rose Club was just heating up for Rocco and Jessica's after party! The DJ rocked it out for another 2 hours and everyone had a blast taking photos with the couples own Boomerang photo station!

Somehow everyone managed to make it to their post wedding brunch the next Morning in The Todd English Food Hall.  Jessica wrote to me the next day saying she had just lived her very own fairy tale!  It was perfect! And my Team at CPS Events couldn't have been happier for everyone. Now only if the Guarino's had more kids! We will just have to stick around long enough for grandkids!

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