While helping couples plan their wedding day we are often asked, “Who would you hire?” The truth is that who you should hire depends on who your personal style, personality, and budget. However for me, the choices were simple. Let me tell you about who I hired and why…
1. Hair & Make-up- When it came to this, I knew that the choice for me was simple. The ladies at My Hair and Make-up have been a part of the A.a.B family since we started our business over 9 years ago. They have seen us through 3 offices, bad relationships, and career highlights. Because of this, having them do my hair is like having your cousin dolling you up. I knew that the most important thing for me was to look good, but also feel calm. So, the choice was simple. Also, they knew me well enough to know that “natural” meant Latina natural, which is not that natural at all:) So we spent the morning jamming to WBLS on the radio and laughing while we beautified. It was exactly the morning I had hoped for.
Mariachi- My family is REALLY Mexican. That means that they thought that 4 person mariachis were a joke. My mother wanted a 7 piece band to play for the ceremony and throughout cocktails and dinner. I thought 7 pieces were a bit much for a 35 person wedding. We settled on 5 players for ceremony and cocktails. A bit unsettled by the casual style of a few of the mariachis I spoke to, I knew I could turn to Gretchen at Elan Artists to find me the perfect (and reliable) mariachi. They showed up on time, learned all of my special requests, and sounded amazing!
Yummy Food! I am spoiled in that I get to live in a city AND work on weddings with amazing food and wine. I had a meal at a wedding (a hamachi sushi course) that made my heart sing and I declared then that Creative Edge was the best caterer in town! Through the years, they have been able to perfect my diverse clients special menus, while make them all equally awesome. So the choice was simple. Carla worked with us on creating a menu that was yummy, but simple enough for our some of our less adventurous family members palettes. Walker who works on so many weddings with us was as amazing as always and helped us get everything right. My family raved at the food…and here I thought they would be upset that it wasn’t Mexican food!
Dancing in the Streets (or at Creative Edge)- For years I have been singing the praises of DV JVC. We first met Jimmy years ago when we first started our business. We were working on a Day-of client at the time who had hired Jimmy. It was one of those days of work that didn’t feel like work. Xochitl and I danced and sang along to his fantastic music. Over the years he has worked on many weddings with us. No matter how specific the couple’s music tastes have been, he has always been able to nail it. So when it came time to choosing someone, there was really no choice. I have seen so many people micro-manage a DJ, but the truth is that you should give a little direction so that they understand what you want, and then let them do their thing! Xochitl had the music conversation for me and told him to play like it was a club…10 years ago. While not playing Rhianna or Katy Perry might not be for everyone, it was exactly what our crowd needed. Let me just say, HE HIT IT OUT OF THE PARK!! Guests came up to me DURING the party to rave. He gave us the perfect soundtrack for a great time! Amazing!!!
In an effort to not bore you I will follow up with Part 2 tomorrow!
Being such dorks, there is nothing that excites Mayra and I more than the idea of a wedding in a Library. Particularly when the Library in question is The New York Public Library. Beyond iconic. From Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Sex and the City the NYPL has been a part of our romantic consciousness… And yet, it’s been the Moby Dick to the Always a Bridesmaid Ahab. Certainly, we’ve had close brushes… but one client turned elsewhere because at the time they weren’t allowing ceremonies on site (They currently allow CIVIL ceremonies), Another because it was a bit TOO vast for her 100 person wedding (they actually renovated a reading room that is now PERFECT for a smaller reception celebration) and, well…. let’s face it the last couple of years it was a hard sell to clients since it’s legendary 5th avenue entrance looked like this:
But now, after a long renovation, it is more breathtaking than Helen of Troy (I know, the literary references are killing me too, but I can’t help it). Check out this image from Christian Oth Studios taken at the 100 Year Anniversary Celebration:
And here are a couple of shots from the celebration itself (again photos from Christian Oth Studios and band from Elan Artists):
Sigh… it’s as grand as an Edith Wharton novel…. And this is just ONE of the four fabulous areas in the Library you can utilize for your celebration… No wonder I am longing like Mr. Darcy to create a fantasy wedding here and no wonder it’s become a destination for brides from across the country.
So, after the Chinese Tea ceremony, Sara and Trevor headed over to Studio 450 for their “western” ceremony. Although they had seen one another earlier in the day, Sara didn’t want Trevor to see her in her white wedding gown, so we kept them separated until she walked down the aisle. And it worked! He was totally moved when Sara made her way with her dad down the aisle to classical selection played by the harp and flute (from Elan Artists). The wedding was only for 100 guests, and so we wanted to be sure that we maximized the space but didn’t want to make guests feel like they were swimming in the venue. We added in some filmy curtains as dividers around the room and, to play off of the white of the space, we used a variation of a ghost chair for guests to sit on. The cherry blossom arrangements,which mirrored the oversize cherry blossom escort card arrangement laden with crystals at the entry way, sat on top of clear pedestals to keep things light. We added in a pink runner from The Original Runner company and projected the couples monogram onto the runner. Afterwards, the rooftop made a perfect backdrop for photos. Stay tuned for photos of the reception and some delightful food porn from their 6 course meal!
So, a few weeks ago I had the chance to check out The Hudson Project, an amazing new(ish) band on the wedding scene. I was blown away and am SOO excited because we are going to be working together this coming weekend. Even though when I saw them at the showcase, it was an teeny tiny studio, I along with everyone else was dancing up a storm!!! You couldn’t keep me in my seat.
This coming Monday, August 23rd, you can check out some more hip, totally un-cheesy wedding bands from Elan Artists. It’s a pretty casual setting and the wine was free flowing (at least when I was there
August 23rd, 2010
307 West 36th Street – 18th Floor
Rhythm Collective 8PM
Hip Variety from Classics to Contemporary
– check out this song list http://www.elanartists.com/rhythm_collective/audio/
– band wears fab 3 piece suits a la Mad Men…very hip, young and fresh
The Elements 8:45PM
80’s and Variety Crossover
– cool, super fun hipsters belt out your 80’s faves in additional to hits from every generation
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
So, in my experience, one of the most challenging things for clients is to find EXACTLY the right music for them. Music is so personal and what we respond to and how we interact with a band or a DJ varies from person to person. And while it’s always amazing to see great videos or hear good recordings, NOTHING tops the opportunity to see a band live and in person. You can really grasp their energy.
If you are in New York this week, you have a GREAT opportunity to see some of Elan Artist’s fabulous bands. And if you are NOT in New York, happily, Elan Artists has a variety of bands that play across the country. In the next coming weeks they will be having showcases in DC, Philadelphia and elsewhere, so check out www.dancebandshowcase.com for information. In the meantime,
NYC Dance Band Showcase
Thursday January 7th 2010 7:30PM Sharp
Smash Studios – Midtown
Personalized Music / No Cheese Factor
Elan Artists Bands Recently Featured In Martha Stewart Weddings 15th Anniversary Issue…
Hear your areas top dance bands perform live. Each band performs a cross section of music from classics to contemporary. Hip, sophisticated, and affordable. Our bands personalize each performance and have zero cheese factor. Meet band leaders and musicians directly and get a feeling for style, personality and quality.
Email us to check band availability for your date. RSVP is requested.
For RSVP information, details and location info, visit
Eric Nicolas & One Love
East Village Exchange
Preview groups at www.elanartists.com