When your brand new sister-in-law is the fabulous Raina of Raina Dawn Events, you’re going to have a fabulous wedding – no doubt about it. The proof is in this New York Botanical Garden affair – it’s gorgeous. Raina was able to work with her new sister-in-law to create the wedding of her dreams, and I’ll admit – it’s been the wedding of my dreams since I first laid eye on the soiree, captured by Carrie Rodman Wedding Photography. I bet it will even grace a few of your dreams tonight – especially after checking out all the stunning deets in the full image gallery!

In order to make it easy for our family and friends to attend our wedding, we chose to get married in New York.  We both live in New York City and Rick’s family and some of my family are in metropolitan area, and all of our friends are here, so it was very easy for us to decide on a location right outside the Manhattan.

We wanted a venue that would provide an elegant and formal atmosphere with a traditional ballroom and amazing food.  We also wanted a place provided an opportunity to take amazing pictures.  We found that at The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, New York.

We decided on a very formal, black tie, and elegant wedding.  Rick left most of the wedding planning up to me and his sister.  He only had a couple requests, one of which was for a red velvet wedding cake.  When it came to reception papers I chose a company recommended by my sister in law and professional wedding planner, Raina Dawn Events, called Haute Papier.  The menus they did added an accent flare to the table by using a scripty font in purple againstan ecru card stock with a damask theme. I used this same design for the programs, table numbers, and seating cards.

When it came to photography we chose the photographer who shot our surprise engagement and did such an amazing job that we hired her for the wedding.  She put the extra time and attention into the pictures and they turned out amazing!

Thanks to my amazing sister in law and wedding planner, I had a 33-page itinerary that included everything from the menu, contact numbersfor all the venders and bridal party, and an extensive timeline.   I allotted extra time in the timeline to minimize the stress on my wedding day and to account for the unexpected. Therefore,the day ran smoothly and on time.  Rick and I wanted to enjoy our cocktail hour and, since we have to see each other before the wedding in the Jewish tradition, we took pictures before the wedding.

I was told that something unexpected will always happen and to be prepared for it. That one thing that stands out was that the two people I asked to sign my katubah didn’t arrive in time. One of the individuals accidentally went to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens instead of the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. When he arrived at the wrong destination there was a wedding and they were about to sign the ketubah. He told them he was there to sign the ketubah and they ushered him immediately in.  Not until he looked at the name imprinted into the yameka did he realize he was at the wrong wedding.  Needless to say, he didn’t make it in time for my ketubah signing.  These events you can’t predict, so we found two other jewish guests to sign the ketubah.  A story we will always laugh about in years to come!

When I think back on our special day there were so many memorable moments!  The ceremony by far was the most memorable moment for me.  Since I was a child, I imagined myself walking down the aisle and right before the doors opened, I still, couldn’t believe it was happening.  I just tried to take in that moment as best as I could and as I walked down the aisle,  I just gazed into Rick’s eyes.  I felt like I was floating down the aisle with my mom and dad guiding me.  It was completely surreal.

Another moment I’ll never forget was the ceremony kiss.  Our rabbi told us to practice, so we would know what appropriate and would prevent an awkward moment. Rick and I didn’t practice or discuss the topic much before the event, so we winged it.  Rick took control and it was the best kiss and an amazing moment full of emotion and elation.  Those emotions came out in the kiss and it was perfect!

Then of course there was the first dance.  That was an intimate momentthat we could hold each other and allow the events of the day to sink in. We spoke without others around, and kissed like no one was watching.

The night went by fast, so when I had the dance with my father, it was very touching between the two of us.  It was at that moment that it set in- this was my wedding and I’m was finally married to the most amazing man!

Photography: Carrie Rodman Wedding Photography / Cinematography: The Bleu Studios / Flowers: Lucy Wu Floral Design / Event Planning: Raina Dawn Events / Ceremony Location: The New York Botanical Garden / Reception Location: The New York Botanical Garden / Invitations: Judy Paulen Designs / Reception Papers: Haute Papier / Shoes: Stuart Weitzman / Dress: Pronovias / Entertainment: NYC Swing / Hair: Davide Torchio Salon

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