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Love Sets The Tone | Great Performances


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Love Sets The Tone
CPS Events at The Plaza
by Emily Reifel

It's very unusual for me to book a wedding, and not meet the bride until after it's been booked. Well not until this past September! Last November I had the pleasure of meeting Phylis who was the Mother of the Bride, Sarah. Phylis and I hit it off right away. After meeting, Phylis said my work here is done and she made no other venue appointments. September 23rd was booked for Sarah and Sam's Wedding.  Phylis let me know that Sarah and Sam live in Boston and that they would be visiting NYC soon and then I would get to meet them. I met Sarah a few weeks later and we got started!

After a brief visit to NYC to see the space, Sarah headed back to Boston. She was sure to let me know I may end up seeing her mom more than I would see her. Phylis and I setup a lunch meeting and had a great time getting to know each other. One of the first things I learned about Phylis was how she and her husband Randy were still after many years were very much in love and truly each other's best friends. They call each other "my sweetie". It was so lovely to see and it actually made the wedding planning process smooth because Randy trusted Phylis' decisions and of course he just wanted his girls to be happy! Sarah and Phylis didn't agree on everything but they had a great time putting it all together.

Soon it was time for the tasting and I got to meet the whole family! Randy came and of course Sam and Sarah's son Brayden who couldn't have been more excited to have Sam as a stepfather. The whole family unit just worked and they all had a great time together. Because of the distance that Sarah, Sam and Brayden had from Phylis and Randy, the wedding gave them reasons to come and visit more often. You could tell that with each visit Phylis and Randy were over the moon to have their family around. We selected a stellar menu and put together our last few notes on the timeline and we were ready to go!

The wedding weekend came quickly and before I knew it, Sarah and Sam along with their bridal party arrived to the hotel via a party bus from Boston. Not a bad way to kick off the weekend! They got Ready for their rehearsal dinner and then Sarah, Brayden and her best friend Helene had a great pre-wedding slumber party giggling with excitement!

We kicked off the next day with photos.  Sarah looked beyond stunning in the most unique Pnina Tornai gown that was brand new for the season. Her bridesmaids all in light pink were in awe and so was Phylis who wasn't sure of the dress in the beginning but Sarah and I convinced her otherwise. Boy was she happy we did! Then Sarah and Sam meet for their first look. It was one of the most romantic moments I have ever seen at The Plaza! Truly like the stuff you see in the movies. Some brides and grooms are nervous and it's hard for them to be in front of the cameras but not these two. They couldn't take their eyes or arms of each other! 

Soon the bridal party made their way down for pictures and the groomsmen were so excited to show off their custom Nike sneakers that Sam had made with each groomsmen's initials. Best bridal party gift I have seen to date!

Then we were off to the cocktail hour first. I love having the cocktail hour first and so did Phylis. It was her idea and she was right - it really gets everyone in the mood early in the night. Guests loved the sushi and fiesta stations and were certainly relaxed before the ceremony began. The ceremony was held in the Centennial Foyer which is nontraditional for me but I love the intimacy of it. What really struck me was the level of intimacy of this crowd too. Phylis and Randy wanted this wedding to really be about Sarah and Sam. Everyone in that room knew the bride and groom personally. It was truly full of their friends and close family. It was a young crowd which we knew would make for a very energetic party!

As Sarah and Sam became Mr. and Mrs. Schulsinger the crowd erupted and we were off to the party!  Each member of the bridal party was announced as they entered the Grand Ballroom. Sarah and Sam then went into their first dance to the best throwback song, N'Sync's "This I Promise You". I've never seen a first dance to N'Sync but it makes sense given that Sarah and Sam met when these songs were what we all fell in love to back then. The crowd loved it! Sarah and Sam were very selective of their song choices and it was perfect for the kids of the 90's that took up every seat in the room that night. Meredith and her team from Belle Fleur perfectly designed simple and elegant low centerpieces for each table with light pink and ivory hues and then their was this glorious hydrangea runner that went down the length of the bridal party table that was overflowing with gorgeousness! It was all just the right amount and Sarah and Sam and of course a Phylis were in awe!

Dinner was served, toasts were given and soon after the cake cutting Sarah surprised Sam with a groom's cake that was built to look like Sam's fraternity house. Being a former Greek-life girl myself I absolutely died when I saw what Madison Lee's cakes had designed! Sam was of course floored and his fraternity brothers couldn't believe it. Sarah locked in the best wife award forever with that one!

Dancing continued and we soon switched over to DJ for the after party that played all the hits from today. Phylis and Randy kept on dancing too - I was so impressed! There they were showing all of us kids of the 90's that true love and dance parties and can live on years down the road. As my team passed out the custom Plaza themed chocolates that Sarah had designed I couldn't help but smile. This was a perfect recipe for a wedding and love truly set the tone!

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