I will never forget the first time I spoke to Carli Blau! I picked up the phone and before I could even finish my opening line she said "I was born to get married at The Plaza!" My immediate response was "Perfect! I was born to work here! We will get along just fine! When can you meet?" We met for the first time 24 hours later. Carli brought along her mom and within 15 minutes we were literally already practicing her walk down the aisle that she told me would be to the classic song "At Last". I had heard this song many times at a wedding but never for a walk down the aisle and it was refreshing! Someone who didn't want Canon in D and knew exactly what she wanted. It was love at first site!
"Carli what's your grooms name again?"
Her Groom Ryan Lory is the executive chef of the Charlie Palmer Steakhouse and through conversion I discovered Carli was finishing up her PhD and working as a Sex Therapist! This is a true power couple right here! We made our way up to the Grand Ballroom and as Carli and her mom Marion looked around they discovered the 4 cherubs painted into the corners of the room. Carli announced "the Angels have spoken to me..... This is it!" She wanted to look no further. She and her mom turned to me and said "Now it's up to you to talk to Dad.... Good luck!"
Carli's parents had split a while back but have a great relationship. They put me in touch with Jay Blau and we soon met in person. Jay is one of the finest gentlemen I have ever met. He has a true positive outlook on life and wants to make the most out of it always which means of course he wants to give his daughter the wedding of her dreams at The Plaza!
We soon discovered that Mike Warren, Director of Catering for CPS Events aka my boss had worked on Carli's Sweet 16 in a previous role! Mike, Jay, Carli and I got cranking on diving into the details.
We enlisted Jeff Stillwell of newly formed Stillwell Events who had also worked alongside with Mike on Carli's Sweet 16 to pull together and plan the whole thing!
Marianne Bennett and Element Music was a must on Jay's List and was locked in quickly! Jay and Carli met with DeJuan Stroud who was thrilled to see them again because he also was a part of the Sweet Sixteen Squad! And of course Brian Marcus of Fred Marcus Studios had to be included! He and Carli had a long standing relationship and she couldn't have imagined working with anyone else for photography and videography. #teamcomplete #inyouwetrust
I finally got to meet the amazing Chef Ryan Lory to discuss of course.... the menu! We had a blast taking about food and working in the hospitality industry and how much passion goes into what we do. He was very excited to meet our own Chef Geoff Rudaw and enjoy fun chef talk about the perfect wedding menu. Our goal was to have a little hint of both chef’s style and creativity showcased in the menu. Ryan wanted to serve something elegant, definitely seasonal, and not too traditional.
As a team we all agreed upon a lobster risotto to start followed by a choice of a coq-au-vain or a short rib which were definitely unique choices, and ending with fabulous alternating desserts of S'mores and a classic apple tart! Chef Ryan is known for his gorgeous plating and together he and Chef Geoff created beautiful presentations of each dish.
Soon the big day arrived and both Carli and Ryan were calm, cool and collected after Jeff had kept them at ease during the rest of the planning process! As we gathered everyone together to head to the ceremony Carli pulled me aside and said "Remember when I first met you?!" I said "Of Course!" Now it was time for that dream walk down the aisle! Marianne's orchestra played the processional and soon it was time for Carli's "At Last" moment! It was spectacular and both Carli and Ryan were beaming! As the ceremony finished the guests cheered and As Ryan and Carli were walking down the aisle, Ryan's joy got the best of him and he scooped Carli up and carried her the rest of the way! I haven't seen anyone happier! That joy carried through the rest of the night as the guests were completely entertained by the music of Marianne and in awe of DeJuan's gorgeous white and green lush centerpieces and a chandelier of flowers and crystals complete with a disco ball that sparkled over the dance floor all night! At one point Carli and Ryan even danced together on the stage! Soon it was time to cut the Ron Ben Israel cake that was complete with 2 mini sculptures of Carli and Ryan's dogs Gunner and Bentley! They were a part of this team too and they even proudly walked down the aisle! After Carli and Ryan thanked their guests it was time for one last dance set! As it came to an end, guests grabbed their coffee and Dunkin Donuts to-go and Carli, Ryan, Jay and Marion hugged the entire team and couldn't stop saying how incredible everything was! They were over the moon and said if anyone wants to have a Perfect Plaza Party this is truly the team to make it all happen!
From this team... we genuinely thank you!!!