Aug 282015
 

With New York City being one of the fashion capitals of the world, it's no wonder that city brides want that same stylish aesthetic injected into their wedding day — so a fashionable planner is an absolute must. These designers and ultra-chic planners have a New York sense of style and contemporary vibe for a wedding just as fabulous as Fashion Week.

Daughter of Design
Daughter of Design is often considered the "designer boutique hotel" of wedding planners, recognized for its downtown approach to classic traditions. "Banquet" is a dirty word to these stylish planners who don't do cute or kitchy, and absolutely abhor wedding baby talk or preciousness. Cool, can-do, and "real" owner Annie Lee says: "Take the bride and groom out of the room and you'd mistake one of our weddings for a fabulous fashion week party." Nearly trained therapists in addition to organized planners, Daughter of Design not only navigates the details of the day, but also the emotional and relationship issues that can come with getting hitched. Read real brides' reviews here!

Fête
Renowned for her rich designs and out of the box ideas, Jung Lee is a self-started, born and bred New Yorker with a passion for designing and executing experiential, wow-worthy events for her discerning clientele. (A recent wedding at the Museum of Natural History included a wall of individually-drawn botanical prints as seating arrangements). Her full-service firm doesn't outsource a stitch, and often creates prototypes and models to help clients envision their creative work. Want to channel Jung's fashionable eye in your home? Fête's 4,500-sqaure-foot space in NoMad now houses home accessories and accent pieces to help brides register for a stunning newlywedded nest.

See More: Hungry for the Best Bites of the Big Apple? Check Out Our NYC Wedding Catering Page

Lyndsey Hamilton Events
Lyndsey Hamilton and her East Coast event director, Carrie Sartor, emphasize the importance of fostering a distinct and personal relationship with each client, promoting an environment of trust and creativity. They offer full-scale planning and design, and lust over beautiful estate properties, such as Locusts on Hudson, where they can produce a multi-day destination weekend, blending a sophisticated New York vibe within a country chic environment. LHE brides all have impeccable taste, many working in the fashion, media, or design world. Their team thrives on collaborating with creative, fashionable brides to help elevate their unique ideas into a beautiful celebration. Read real brides' reviews here!

Sofia Crokos Events
Sofia Crokos is more than an event planner — she's a connector, a collaborator, a creator. It's these qualities that turn her clients' great expectations into elevated realities. Sofia often draws inspiration from her background in fashion, her world travels, and the cuisines and customs she has explored. She infuses these elements into her events, bringing clients outstanding style and luxury along with fabulous enjoyment. Like an architect, she is able to sketch out the various elements of an event down to the smallest of details and create a flawlessly executed experience that ties it all together in the most creative and tasteful fashion.

Want to see even more NYC Wedding Planners to handle your big day? Find your perfect planning partner here!

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Aug 242015
 
New York City Bridesmaid Boutiques

Photo: Courtesy of Bella Bridesmaids

Your bridesmaids have been your best friends through thick and thin. You've laughed. You've cried. And you've cried laughing together. Now that they've added "wedding-planning confidante" to their ever-growing list of amazing attributes, you definitely want to make sure they sparkle and shine on your big day, too. If you're about to embark upon a fun, NYC-based bridesmaid shopping trip with your besties, here are the not-to-miss spots to hit up along the way. These in-the-know NYC bridesmaid dress salons carry a plethora of dresses to suit every personal style and body type. Not only will you will leave relieved that your girls feel great but, who knows, they might actually want to wear the dresses again after your wedding!

Bella Bridesmaid
Bella Bridesmaid New York carries the lion's share of the national chain's offerings, from Donna Morgan and Aidan Maddox, to twobirds, Monique Lhuillier and more. Because there is a Bella in 43 cities, it's a great solution for bridal parties with out-of-town bridesmaids — each bridesmaid can get fitted at her local store, and give measurements to the bride for group ordering. While the majority of brands require custom order with three to six month lead time, Bella Bridesmaid also carries a number of designers offering quick ship dresses that can be in your hands in one to two weeks. Read real brides' reviews here!

The Wedding Library
The Wedding Library is a chic, NYC institution for stylish bridesmaids, carrying the broadest assortment of dresses in New York as the flagship for Amsale, Milly and Coren Moore, as well as complete collections from Monique Lhuillier, Lela Rose, Dessy, After Six, Alfred Sung and Johanna August. Owner Claudia Hanlin also stocks bridesmaid accessories and gifts for the home, making the Wedding Library a one-stop-shop for every bridesmaid on your big day. The Wedding Library operates by appointment only, with a request to shop at least 3-4 months before the wedding day. Read real brides' reviews here!

twobirds Bridesmaid
Owner Ariane Goldman created the convertible wrap dress concept for her own wedding, and now shares the love with brides citywide via her airy, expanded Soho loft space. (The company also has offices in Toronto, Sydney and the UK). The brilliant, no-alterations-needed dress can be wrapped over 15 ways, comes in 20 colors, three fabric options, and is bump-friendly for pregnant bridesmaids. A unique twobirds app takes the stress out of twisting the dress, or a twobirds stylist can come to your wedding to dress your maids for $150. What's not to love about that? Visit their studio to try on their new tulle collection, a soft take on the versatile classic. Read real brides' reviews here!

Sarah Seven
Whether she's dressed in their bridal, bridesmaid or ready-to-wear collection, a Sarah Seven girl has a distinct, boho-chic look. (Think: romantic, ethereal, and flowy silhouettes, and even the occasional crop top). The once indie-line began with a signature, soft sweetheart bridesmaid dress with swaths of silk chiffon, and has grown exponentially to include fashionable dresses that work just as well for bridesmaids as they do brunches, rehearsal dinners or honeymoons. Be sure to call in — appointments are required.

See More: Pucker Up to These NYC Bridal Makeup Artists and Get All Dolled Up for the Big Day

Jenny Yoo Collection
Jenny Yoo designs a variety of feminine bridesmaid dresses in silks chiffons and cottons, all with a focus on beautiful fit and an elegant and refined look. The designer also won't shy from in-the-moment trends, such as soft metallic details, lace or prints. Her midtown studio also includes a capsule collection of flower girl dresses and bump-friendly bridesmaid gowns specifically for chic expecting moms. As with most ateliers, appointments are required. Read real brides' reviews here!

J. Crew
This two-story space is J. Crew's first boutique dedicated to its adoring bridal and bridesmaid fans, with a private lower level for bridal and bridesmaids appointments. J. Crew bridesmaid customers gravitate to the consistent fit of the dresses, all which have the prep-meets-fashion punch of their women's line. While out of town bridesmaids can always peruse the J. Crew website and catalog for styles, their New York City bridal boutique also carries a few exclusive dresses and accessories not available elsewhere. Read real brides' reviews here!

David's Bridal
This national chain known for value-driven dresses and insane sales, also carries bridesmaid dresses. The stylish New York City bridesmaid on a budget could gravitate toward the White by Vera Wang collection, a grouping of fashion-forward, somewhat edgy chiffon, jersey and satin styles with drop waists, illusion necklines and long sleeve scoop necks — all which currently begin at $139 (on sale). Similarly, the brand's in house designs include a long sequin blouson dress to suit the glamorous bridesmaid, in four "quick-ship" colors, at $179. Read real brides' reviews here!

Want to see even more New York City dress boutiques? Try these on for size!

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Aug 222015
 
NYC Bridal Shower Venue Ideas

Photo: Courtesy of Haven's Kitchen

One of the unexpected perks of getting hitched? (Besides all the obvious and oh-so-wonderful ones!) Planning a wedding also means being able to pencil in some great, quality girl time before the big day. New York may be known for its nightclubs and the allure of staying out until 4 a.m. — which makes it a go-to locale for bachelorette parties — but the city also offers up some amazing venues for your bridal shower. Check out these out-of-the-box ideas to enjoy with the ladies in your life.

Pasta Making Class at Haven's Kitchen (Above)
Nestled on a Chelsea side street, Haven's Kitchen is known to be part café and part event space, but it also houses a unique cooking space — a hybrid of a polished residential kitchen and efficient commercial kitchen that provides the perfect backdrop for fun food with friends. Party guests congregate around an antique vineyard table inside the white subway tile, marble, and stainless steel space to begin a private pasta-cooking class with seasonal variations, beverage pairings, and personalized instruction. After chatting and cooking, you and your girls finish the evening with a meal you created yourselves over the course of the evening... All of the fun, none of the clean-up, and a cozy-cool space that feels like home. Read real brides' reviews here!

Nova Scent Bar
Julie Zangrilli is a self-taught perfumer with a one stylishly chic nose. Her Brooklyn studio, Nova, is an olfactory dream, a space awash in natural, phthalate-free fragrances, all manufactured in New York City and beautifully displayed for your custom mixing pleasure.
Nova offers amazing group classes that can include drinks and light bites. Up to 10 guests can pony up to the Nova Scent Bar, which presents 12 seasonal fine fragrance blends, ready for mixing into a completely customized scent that's tailored to your taste and skin chemistry. Leave with your very own scent, inside some insanely gorgeous packaging, to boot!

Secret Garden Rooftop Brunch at McKittrick Hotel
The McKittrick Hotel, fabled home to Sleep No More, has another hushed event up its sleeve — a secret garden brunch at Gallow Green, its lush rooftop space. Complete with endless carafes of mimosas and big band music galore, you and your girls can escape from the city life, bask in the rooftop sun and feel like you've been whisked away far, far beyond Manhattan to your own garden oasis.

The Artful Bachelorette Experience
Simply put by its creators, the Artful Bachelorette Experience includes "drinks, drawing, and a nude model" — a.k.a. a "life drawing hen party," as it's more popularly known in the co-founders' native Australia. A two-hour session costs $85 a guest and includes champagne, snacks, a teacher, waiter, hot model in the buff, and some surefire laughs.

See More: Haven't Chosen a Wedding Cake Yet? Check Out These Expert Bakers in New York City

High Tea at The Plaza (Palm Court)
Nothing says classic New York like high tea in the renovated Palm Court of the Plaza Hotel — it's sort of one of those experiences you never get around to doing as a NYC resident, so all the better to experience with a girls' guest list that includes out-of-town friends, mom, grandma and more. While the tea list is expansive, and the treats are exquisite, the real beauty here is the elegant Palm Court itself, a beaux-arts beauty of a room marked with a signature stained glass dome, impressive height, and air of sophistication (but not stuffiness — the hotel pokes fun with adorable accents like Eloise tea kettles, as well). Read real brides' reviews here!

Murray's Cheese Class
No one knows cheese as much as Murray's. The Greenwich Village institution has been serving cheese from around the world (and around NYC) since 1940, and has been a destination for foodies and city tourists for several decades. If you want to get your cheese know-how on with 10 or more of the important ladies in your life (and really, who wouldn't!), Murrays offers hour and a half long sessions on topics like Grilled Cheese 101, Mozzarella Making, or Whiskey Pairings (with cheese, of course), as well as custom designed topics. A break from girly bridal events, classes take place in a private space above their Bleeker Street storefront.

Brooklyn Winery — Private Room and Blind Tasting Party
Set in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn Winery produces premium, small batch wine inside its dramatic, rustic-chic space. With high ceilings, reclaimed wood paneling, and repurposed mid-century decor, it's no wonder the winery is a well-known wedding venue, but few realize they also cater to small groups, especially in the wintery offseason (we imagine it's the perfect warm and cozy candlelit haunt for cold evenings spent with great girlfriends and good laughs). In addition to it's awesome decor and Brooklyn-cool vibe, Brooklyn Winery doesn't have private room charges, and can even include "wine games" and blind tasting activities, to their cocktail party packages. Read real brides' reviews here!

Want to see even more venues where you can celebrate with your bridal party? Browse our New York Venues page here!

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Aug 202015
 
NYC Bridal Party Spas

Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Arden Red Door

There's certainly no shortage of spas in NYC, but which are the best for pre-wedding pampering? If you're looking for a group-friendly place to get ready with your girls before the big day, check out these prime locations. They run the gamut from day-rate bathhouses to uber-luxe retreats, but all maintain a common thread of fabulous service, comfort, and relaxation.

Elizabeth Arden Red Door Union Square
A two-story, 10,000-square-foot urban retreat shielded behind the hustle and bustle of Union Square, Elizabeth Arden's newest Red Door venture offers the tried and true traditional services loyal clients have come to love from the spa, as well as a beauty bar for experimenting with the latest products, and a very NYC-centric "speed services" menu for busy girls on the go (think blowouts, make-up applications, manicures and waxes). Read real brides' reviews here!

Aire
While other AIRE locations occupy historically rooted buildings in Spain, AIRE New York is the first stateside venture, inside what used to be an 1883-built textile factory in TriBeCa. Each AIRE shares a quest to create a space for relaxation, full of calm and serenity in an experience for the senses. In addition to the thermal bath treatments and massage add-ons, AIRE has inventive individual "rituals" that focus on the health properties of red wine, olive oil, and warm candle wax. Though not group-based, the Red Wine Ritual, which includes a 30-minute relaxing tempranillo grape bath in a private thermal tub, seems intriguing for the stress-ridden bride-to-be and her bridesmaids.

Moonshine, Drybar, Blushington, and TenOverTen at Le Parker Meridien
Moonshine, Drybar, Blushington and TenOverTen — talk about the perfection of pampering and beauty. The "underground," a.k.a. lower level of Le Parker Meridien, is now housing four chic boutiques focused on getting you and your girls absolutely picture perfect, be it for a bachelorette, bridal shower, or the big day itself. That's basically a New York City version of a beauty strip mall, ladies. Here's the drill:
Moonshine: A simple spa with two tailormade services: massage or facial.
Drybar: No cuts. No color. Just (impeccable) $40 blow outs from the company that has risen the (blowout) bar. Simple menu, smartly designed space, talented stylists. What's not to love?!
Blushington: Easy-peasy makeup application by look and style (with add-ons for airbrush and lashes), and beauty 101 classes for the (contour) artist in training.
TenOverTen: A three-salon company born of the belief that there is pure pleasure in a perfectly executed mani-pedi. Read real brides' reviews here!

See More: Think "Here Comes the Bride" is Overdone? Then Check Out These Ceremony Music Artists in NYC

Phyto Universe
If your girls are into maintaining their fabulous tresses, look no further than Phyto. Truly a "universe," this sprawling tropical luxury atop Lexington Avenue is a balmy, lush oasis that greets guests with a giant "green wall" filled with more than 9,000 tropical plants. Each Phyto experience begins with a "hairscope" analysis under a computerized photographic device that has a magnetic power of more than 200x what the naked eye can see. Products and service tweaks are recommended based off results. Once customized services have been established, guests are ushered to semi-private cabins walled off by French chateau-inspired shutters. Luxe steams, scalp massages, oil treatments, masque application, and shampooing ensue, leaving guests invigorated, glowing, and relaxed.

Great Jones Spa
Located on a quiet corner in NoHo, Great Jones Spa has become a New York institution — a luxe bathhouse with tiered levels of service depending on your de-stress needs. Groups looking to keep it simple can pay a $50 day rate to relax in the three-story indoor water lounge. The plunge pool, thermal hot tub, chakra-light steam room, and river rock sauna are meant to be used in rotation to aid detox and circulation... But we've learned from experience that if you book a treatment, lounge access is free. (We especially love the wet lounge for post-treatment chillaxing with girlfriends!)

The Spa at Trump SoHo
The Spa at the Trump SoHo is home to New York City's first and only luxury Hammam, an amazingly bubbly and drenching experience that includes buckets of water at varying temperatures and intensity applied almost in rhythm, as an ancient Turkish cleansing and revitalizing ritual. While the Hammam is certainly an experience within itself, the balance of the bi-level Trump SoHo Spa is equally special, with indoor and outdoor relaxation lounges inspired by Ivanka Trump's visits to Turkey, as well as famed Kate Somerville facials, such as the "Dermal Quench," which calms and clarifies skin before the big day. Read real brides' reviews here!

Want to see even more ways to get dolled up for the big day? Check out our NYC Beauty page for more spas, salons, and bridal beauty!

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Aug 202015
 
NYC Bridal Party Spas

Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Arden Red Door

There's certainly no shortage of spas in NYC, but which are the best for pre-wedding pampering? If you're looking for a group-friendly place to get ready with your girls before the big day, check out these prime locations. They run the gamut from day-rate bathhouses to uber-luxe retreats, but all maintain a common thread of fabulous service, comfort, and relaxation.

Elizabeth Arden Red Door Union Square
A two-story, 10,000-square-foot urban retreat shielded behind the hustle and bustle of Union Square, Elizabeth Arden's newest Red Door venture offers the tried and true traditional services loyal clients have come to love from the spa, as well as a beauty bar for experimenting with the latest products, and a very NYC-centric "speed services" menu for busy girls on the go (think blowouts, make-up applications, manicures and waxes). Read real brides' reviews here!

Aire
While other AIRE locations occupy historically rooted buildings in Spain, AIRE New York is the first stateside venture, inside what used to be an 1883-built textile factory in TriBeCa. Each AIRE shares a quest to create a space for relaxation, full of calm and serenity in an experience for the senses. In addition to the thermal bath treatments and massage add-ons, AIRE has inventive individual "rituals" that focus on the health properties of red wine, olive oil, and warm candle wax. Though not group-based, the Red Wine Ritual, which includes a 30-minute relaxing tempranillo grape bath in a private thermal tub, seems intriguing for the stress-ridden bride-to-be and her bridesmaids.

Moonshine, Drybar, Blushington, and TenOverTen at Le Parker Meridien
Moonshine, Drybar, Blushington and TenOverTen — talk about the perfection of pampering and beauty. The "underground," a.k.a. lower level of Le Parker Meridien, is now housing four chic boutiques focused on getting you and your girls absolutely picture perfect, be it for a bachelorette, bridal shower, or the big day itself. That's basically a New York City version of a beauty strip mall, ladies. Here's the drill:
Moonshine: A simple spa with two tailormade services: massage or facial.
Drybar: No cuts. No color. Just (impeccable) $40 blow outs from the company that has risen the (blowout) bar. Simple menu, smartly designed space, talented stylists. What's not to love?!
Blushington: Easy-peasy makeup application by look and style (with add-ons for airbrush and lashes), and beauty 101 classes for the (contour) artist in training.
TenOverTen: A three-salon company born of the belief that there is pure pleasure in a perfectly executed mani-pedi. Read real brides' reviews here!

See More: Think "Here Comes the Bride" is Overdone? Then Check Out These Ceremony Music Artists in NYC

Phyto Universe
If your girls are into maintaining their fabulous tresses, look no further than Phyto. Truly a "universe," this sprawling tropical luxury atop Lexington Avenue is a balmy, lush oasis that greets guests with a giant "green wall" filled with more than 9,000 tropical plants. Each Phyto experience begins with a "hairscope" analysis under a computerized photographic device that has a magnetic power of more than 200x what the naked eye can see. Products and service tweaks are recommended based off results. Once customized services have been established, guests are ushered to semi-private cabins walled off by French chateau-inspired shutters. Luxe steams, scalp massages, oil treatments, masque application, and shampooing ensue, leaving guests invigorated, glowing, and relaxed.

Great Jones Spa
Located on a quiet corner in NoHo, Great Jones Spa has become a New York institution — a luxe bathhouse with tiered levels of service depending on your de-stress needs. Groups looking to keep it simple can pay a $50 day rate to relax in the three-story indoor water lounge. The plunge pool, thermal hot tub, chakra-light steam room, and river rock sauna are meant to be used in rotation to aid detox and circulation... But we've learned from experience that if you book a treatment, lounge access is free. (We especially love the wet lounge for post-treatment chillaxing with girlfriends!)

The Spa at Trump SoHo
The Spa at the Trump SoHo is home to New York City's first and only luxury Hammam, an amazingly bubbly and drenching experience that includes buckets of water at varying temperatures and intensity applied almost in rhythm, as an ancient Turkish cleansing and revitalizing ritual. While the Hammam is certainly an experience within itself, the balance of the bi-level Trump SoHo Spa is equally special, with indoor and outdoor relaxation lounges inspired by Ivanka Trump's visits to Turkey, as well as famed Kate Somerville facials, such as the "Dermal Quench," which calms and clarifies skin before the big day. Read real brides' reviews here!

Want to see even more ways to get dolled up for the big day? Check out our NYC Beauty page for more spas, salons, and bridal beauty!

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Aug 172015
 

There's a reason photo booths are so popular at weddings — in addition to churning out amazing and silly photos to help you memorialize your big day, they provide a great opportunity for guests to mingle and have some fun. But, since they're so popular, some brides might be worried that they're a bit overdone, and want something a little more unique and fresh to entertain guests at their own nuptials. We sought the expertise of New York City's top planners to find out the latest and greatest wedding entertainment ideas. So feel free to forego the booth for one of these creative options.

Event Painter
Danielle Bobish of Curtain Up Events, tells clients to try an event painter! These pros set up shop in a corner of your reception, live paint the room and "capture the love of the day," says Bobish. It's entertaining for guests and an amazing memento for the couple. "Painting by Katherine is my favorite," she adds. "People love watching her work during the event! It's so cool to watch her make the people in the room and the décor come to life on canvas! She is a true talent."

See more: Still Searching for a Florist in NYC? Browse Dozens of Floral Vendors and Read Real Brides' Reviews!

Wow-Entertainment
"I'm doing several weddings and parties in the next few months where we are incorporating what I call 'wow entertainment,'" says Lindsay Landman of Lindsay Landman Events. "In short, it is when a specialty performer or group of performers comes in during a dance set and wows the crowd for about 10 minutes." Landman's favorite "wow entertainers" include belly dancers, break dance troupes, horn duos, electric strings groups or hip hop groups. "Everyone is looking for a "moment" at a wedding (to Instagram, of course!)," says Landman. "This creates that big moment while keeping the guests fully engaged on the dance floor — and after only a brief performance, it leaves guests energized and wanting more."

Gumball Machine Goodies
Lauren Sozmen of Loli Events has a new and whimsical trick up her sleeve for her clients. She greets guests with a gumball machine "filled with totally unexpected items, like flash tattoos." Sozmen says couples can rent the machine from Baked by Melissa — it can also dispense cupcakes to give everyone a great sugar rush on the dance floor!

Want more New York City vendors? Browse all of our New York City Wedding Vendors to Find the Best for Your Big Day!

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Aug 162015
 
Wedding Stationery Trends Ceci New York

Photo: Courtesy of Ceci New York

Your wedding invitation gives a first glimpse of your big day. It sets the tone for the style and vibe of the celebration, but also gets guests excited about what's to come. So why not "wow" them?! We sat down with Ceci Johnson, one of the most stylish and in-the-know stationers in New York City, to learn all about the hottest new techniques she's using to create wedding custom wedding invitations at Ceci New York. So take notes and get inspired: These are some truly haute new trends.

1. Personalization
"Personalize it, but go beyond the monogram! Think handmade, commissioned watercolor artwork — from washes to florals and even your venue — this medium is a great way to elevate the personalization of your stationery."

2. Laser Cutting
"While this technique has been popular for years, we're leading a new trend and style by adding laser cut details to foil stamped and letterpresses pieces. Skyline laser-cut pieces are also always on trend with city invitations — there's no better way to highlight the amazing detail."

See More: Find the Perfect NYC Baker to Create Your Dream Wedding Confection Here!

3. New Materials
"As a luxury lifestyle brand, we're always seeking out innovative ways to invite guests to and to brand your event. Metals, acrylics and boxes that play music or rise up upon opening are just a few of the items we've recently designed and produced. For day-of event details, we've created custom wallpaper, candle and votive wraps, custom luggage tags and even fine jewelry — all incorporating the artwork from the stationery suite."

4. Metallics
"Mixed metals, just as they are in fashion, are huge in invitation design. With all of my recent NYC brides, we've incorporated on-trend combinations of gold tones as well as lots of silvers, pewters and softer rose golds. The metallics are certainly fitting for a chic, city affair and always add a sophisticated luxe detail."

5. Watercolor
"Commissioning an artist to watercolor a commemorative a one of a kind piece for you is so special. Not only is it a nice keepsake, but it makes your invitations very personal. This can be anything from your wedding location, to beautiful florals to soft washes of color — anything your heart desires! Just make sure the artist can achieve the look you're going for and fantastic things will happen."

Want to see more New York stationers? Browse our New York City Wedding Invitations page to find your dream designer!

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Aug 142015
 

Photographer Christian Oth knows a thing or two about New York weddings. He's worked with celebrities and socialites alike, and far too many NYC it-girls to count. But for all the engagement sessions stories he can't disclose, he certainly has some stellar tips to make sure your upcoming engagement photo shoot is worth of a magazine tear-sheet.

Choose a Romantic Location
"The best engagement sessions are photographed in a great, romantic backdrop that is meaningful to the couple. Personally, I prefer not to shoot around sleek office buildings, or too modern buildings. Urban landscapes with art deco details lend themselves to a more romantic feel."

Don't Jump Around Too Much
"I always give each neighborhood about an hour to truly produce quality work. The West Village around Perry Street is a great spot. It's best to just drop into places in the area and get some shots. I love when the couple interacts with environment and each other. It takes away from self-consciousness and produces beautiful photos."

Don't Become a Tourist
"Even if you are doing an engagement shoot in your own city, don't become the typical tourist. You don't need to pass by every landmark and get a photo. I prefer to work with the texture of a city — that's why I like to shoot the West Village and TriBeCa. It's quintessential New York with the cobblestone. This is true for other cities as well... You can tell its Miami when you see the color of the sidewalk or the art deco details of the street."

Let the Photographer Do the Planning
"Don't over plan the logistics — keep it organic. If (your shoot) is in the city, a photographer will need to think on their feet. You can scout a location, and then have scaffolding up the next day. It's my job as a photographer to get what I need from the couple. I don't want to put it on the couple to plan their shoot. I just want them to be relaxed, look great and enjoy themselves. If they enjoy themselves, laugh and smile, then I get great pictures."

See More: Need to Nail Down Your Wedding Venue? Peruse Dozens of NYC Wedding Locations Here!

Get Chatty with Your Photographer
"Be sure to have a great rapport with the photographer and communicate any ideas or anything that is special about yourselves. I love it when couples just talk to me beforehand. I always get on the phone with my couples beforehand and ask them what's unique about them. For example, I asked this groom what kind of car he had in the garage. Before I knew it, we were taking great shots on cobblestone streets in a yellow Porche."

Get Your Groom... Groomed
"Get the guys a stylist. The easiest solution these days is Trunk Club. They find a stylist for the guys, and put outfits together. The guys always come out looking sharp."

If You Want to Be Published, Think Details
"If you want to get published in a magazine or blog, and that's what you are doing the shoot for — I would go for styling. All the elements of a regular fashion photo shoot would start to matter here. And it really makes sense to invest in a stylist. A stylist will add heat to your shoot... They will get outfits, hair and makeup, and it will really look great. The outcome is certainly more worth it."

Avoid Cliches
"Stay away from balloons. I've just seen it too many times. The first time I saw it was great. Now..."

Do Nothing the Night Before
"Eat, rest, relax and hydrate — you will look gorgeous. Making you look great is my job."

Just Be In Love
"Just be in love. Be in love and don't sweat the small details. Keep it light. Take the day off work if you can, or at least half-day off work. And guys, please, put the iPhone away."

Find your wedding photographer — and read real brides' reviews! — on our New York Wedding Photography page.

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Aug 112015
 
NYC Boutique Hotels Bowery

Photo: Liesl Henrichsen of Photo Pink

For the bride who wants a New York-style wedding that isn't into the typical ballroom affair, these boutique hotel venues perfectly capture the city's unique and trendy vibe. With everything from vintage décor to views of the twinkling skyline, these fantastic spaces are sure to bring just the right amount of character to your big day.

The Bowery Hotel (Above)
Located in New York's trendy Lower East Side, this hotel is perfect for the couple that wants to have their wedding in a luxurious, vintage-inspired ballroom. With over 100,000 square feet of space, exposed brick walls and iron chandeliers, the 200-capacity Bowery is an ideal spot for a romantic bohemian fête.

NYC Boutique Hotels Hudson

Photo: Courtesy of The Hudson Hotel

The Hudson Hotel
This chic uptown hotel features a newly-renovated, tented rooftop terrace and penthouse to wow your guests with stunning views of NYC from the hotel's 24th floor. For the couple who plans to celebrate until the sun comes up, the hotel has great spaces for an informal after party. The Hudson, which has a capacity of up to 135, also offers discounted room block rates. Read real brides' reviews here!

NYC Boutique Hotels Skylark

Photo: Courtesy of Wedding Wire

The Skylark
This trendy lounge is fairly new to the New York scene. At 30 stories, the impressive views of the Empire State Building and midtown Manhattan are hard to beat. With a capacity of up to 80, the hotel is great for a small and sophisticated nuptial celebration — and its chic indoor-outdoor space is so fab that you don't even need additional décor. Read real brides' reviews here!

See More: A New York City Bride is Never Without the Perfect Dress — Peruse New York's Top Bridal Salons Here!

NYC Boutique Hotels Soho Grand

Photo: Courtesy of Soho Grand Hotel

Soho Grand Hotel
Located right in the heart of Soho, this trendy, 70-capacity boutique hotel is perfect for the couple hosting an intimate wedding. There are lots of options available for your wedding here, from chic loft spaces to an outdoor terrace and grand clubroom for dancing — it's perfect for the "anti-ballroom" bride who still likes luxury.

NYC Boutique Hotels Trump Soho

Photo: Courtesy of Trump Soho

Trump Soho New York
Featuring expansive views of the lower Manhattan skyline and Hudson river, Trump SoHo's three distinct event spaces are perfect for the bride with a sleek and modern aesthetic. Looking to surprise your groom, or even your guests? The hotel, which has a capacity of up to 250 guests, offers a custom skywriting service for your wedding day! Read real brides' reviews here!

Still haven't found the perfect location for your wedding day? Click to see more New York Wedding Venues!

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Aug 092015
 
Bride and Groom in New York City

Photo: Sue Kessler of Christian Oth Studio

In the big, wide world of wedding planning, there are certain names that you just know (maybe even before you got engaged). These big kids on the playground — the event pros who wrote the book (literally) on wedding planning and design — count A-list celebs as their regular clientele and star in their own reality shows to boot. They're local to New York City and available to plan and design your wedding to Hollywood-standards.

David Tutera
You can imagine the gusto it takes to plan Star Jones' and Shannen Doherty's weddings, but the buck doesn't stop there for this celeb planner, bridal fashion designer, author, and reality TV star. If you're lucky enough to nail down Tutera to plan and design your big day, be ready to pay major bucks for the signature bling he brings to a ballroom wedding. The bride who books David loves opulence, glamour, and her fair share of chandeliers. Read real brides' reviews here!

Marcy Blum Associates
Marcy Blum is endearingly referred in the bridal world as an "eventiste," a wonderfully respected expert who many consider the forerunner of wedding planning. Marcy is able to produce complicated weddings with seamless results by offering the best of both worlds: 28 years of hands-on, hard-won experience with celebrities, high-end clients, and savvy brides, and her finger (and those of her staff) on the pulse of what's new and hot, innovative, and possible in events.

See More: From Kleinfeld's to Houghton, Browse Through the Best of NYC Bridal Salons Here!

Preston Bailey
Known worldwide for his epic art installations, Preston Bailey is a globally-celebrated event designer who literally travels the world creating lush, transformative spaces for the likes of celebrities, royal families, and corporate big-wigs such as Donald Trump. Preston's famous floral sculptures are seriously striking and grandiose, but somehow never overdone despite their epic scale. He often partners with planner Marcy Blum to create opulent events in NYC and beyond — and in his 35 years in the biz, he has authored six books on the process of beautiful event planning.

Colin Cowie
Lavish, opulent, and glamorous, event guru Colin Cowie has planned affairs for high-profile brides and stars like Oprah and Kim Kardashian. Colin stresses his signature "five senses approach" to ensure that everything you touch, taste, smell, see, and hear contributes to a sophisticated event experience. Having traveled 12 million miles and visited almost 100 countries, Colin finds inspiration for his brides wherever he goes. His love for travel inspires him to create a truly unique experience for every bride and groom that he works with. He begins with the DNA of each couple, and designs a wedding around the statement of style they choose to make to the world as a newly married couple.

Want to see even more wedding planning experts? Find your perfect planner on our NYC Wedding Planners page!

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