By Emily Reifel
Anyone that has worked with me on a social event at The Plaza knows that I’m big on honoring tradition. It’s one of the reasons that The Plaza is so special to me because it’s a place where so many family traditions are celebrated.
Everyone has their favorite memories of The Plaza during the holidays. For me, my biggest honor is when a client comes, after hosting one or two Plaza affairs, and returns for another one. I was lucky enough this year to get a call from Nicole, who was looking to host her son’s wedding at The Plaza. I recognized her name and remembered that she had also hosted her other son’s bar mitzvah with us when we first reopened The Plaza in 2009. To make things even more exciting, she told me that she also had her wedding at The Plaza.
We quickly got her soon-to-be daughter in law over to do a walkthrough. It was a girl’s night with myself, the bride Alessia, Nicole and their planner Madeline Zeiberg from MZ Events (who is a regular Plaza planner). I couldn’t wait to meet Alessia and show her around. I was just hoping she fell in love with The Plaza the way she fell in love with Nicole’s son and that she would continue the tradition. There was no pressure to choose The Plaza, but of course, we were all hoping that she would like it. The next day, Nicole called and said: “We have a winner.” Alessia and Mikey came back on their own to walk around and dream of their big day.
We put the wedding together in under a year. Alessia and Mikey were always so excited every time we saw each other, and I could see the joy in Nicole and her husband David’s face when they watched the couple dream of their big day.
One of my favorite moments was when we had their tasting. Everyone was excited to try the wines, and we tried a few more bottles than we usually do and made an afternoon of it. The couple was talking about their first dance, and at one point, we had this idea that they should practice it right then and there; we turned the music on and had an impromptu rehearsal.
Before we knew it, we were ready for our final walkthrough and Madeline’s team had finalized all of the details. It was a breeze working with DeJuan Stroud for decor, Jimmy Valli for music, Jason Walker for photos and video and Ben and Jaime from Bentley Meeker Lighting and Staging.
The big day had finally arrived and guests made their way to the Terrace Room, which was decorated in all white flowers and greens—inspired by the Mediterranean. The ceremony went off without a hitch and guests enjoyed a cocktail hour, complete with a gorgeous sushi station and caviar bar—no detail was spared.
After the cocktail hour, guests were escorted into The Grand Ballroom where DeJuan had taken the Mediterranean inspiration to the next level. The guests felt as if they had been transported straight to Italy, which was just what they wanted. Large trees towered over the tables with twinkle lights glowing off off them; crystal candelabras graced the room giving it a sleek, modern, yet palatial feel; accents of pink flowers gave the room the perfect pop of color; and the ceiling was transformed into a starry night, complete with the moon. It was so stunning and untraditional but still worked in the elegant Grand Ballroom setting.
At one moment, I saw Nicole twirling in her dress on the dance floor, and I couldn’t help but think this had to be one of the best days for her to stand in the same spot where it all began for her and David.
During the toasts, many mentioned the tradition of using The Grand Ballroom at The Plaza for family affairs. I was so happy to be a part of this, and I can’t wait for the next one. The party rocked on and the after-party kept the dancing going until 2:30 am.
Thank you, Nicole, David, Mikey and Alessia. I’m so honored to continue this Plaza tradition and can’t wait for many many more!