Modern Black, White + Red Cipriani Wedding
December 31, 2013
Tri State
Classic WeddingsModernBallroom Weddings
A day like today deserves a party. So before you pull together you shiny NYE party tonight, I thought we'd take a little glance inside the gorgeous wedding of a Christian Louboutin buyer and her beau. Ever Swoon planned the gorgeous soiree captured by both Heather Waraksa + First Day Films and "party" might just be an understatement.
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Don't miss this gorgeous highlight film from First Day Films!
From the stunning bride... Our wedding was a true testament to fate. Zach and I met at Columbia University while we were both undergrad students. We had mutual friends and socialized frequently, but never dated while we were in school together. Five years later, my best friend was dating one of Zach’s frat brothers (they too are now planning a wedding!) and we somehow all ended up at the same concert together. We didn’t leave each other’s side after that night, and 3 years later we were engaged!

Zach proposed on a spring evening in March on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Having such an iconic New York location as the backdrop for this important first step, we knew that we wanted to make our wedding an ode to our favorite city – where we had grown up, fallen in love, and where we now call home.

First things first we needed to find a location, and we pounded the pavement of the city for the perfect venue. Both Zach and I are foodies and wanted to make sure that our guests enjoyed an amazing meal as well as an amazing party. With this in mind, we eventually found ourselves at Cipriani 42nd Street. It took only a few seconds after stepping through the revolving doors to know that we had found the place. Cipriani is a New York City landmark and was formerly the Bowery Savings Bank, built in 1921; elements of the bank remain untouched on the interior down to the original ironwork and signage. We loved this touch since Zach works in finance at Credit Suisse, and found it a fortuitous personal element.

With the backdrop set, I began to imagine the remaining details. Probably one of the most important things I kept in mind was that I wanted the wedding to feel young and fresh, but of course still elegant and beautiful. This concept set the tone for the planning that would follow – choosing invitations in a classic engraved script but set on an angle with a red painted border was my message that this would be a formal wedding, but with a twist. Similarly, when selecting our ceremony music, we knew we wanted a classic quartet, but we only wanted to feature contemporary favorites from Adele, Florence + The Machine, Michael Jackson and Beyonce in lieu of the classical pieces traditionally used. We weren’t worried since we knew Starlight Orchestra was the absolute best and there really isn’t anything they can’t do. Claudia led the quartet on the Harp and was absolutely perfection. When it came to the reception, of course Valerie and her musicians hit the mark – giving the kind of performance that keeps everyone on the dance floor all night. There really is no one better.

When it came to the “fashion” – I really took the reigns. Despite majoring in Political Science, my professional path has led me to the buying offices of Henri Bendel, Intermix, and most recently, Christian Louboutin. Shoes have always been my passion, so I knew I had to step it up for our wedding (no pun intended). For me, I selected Dos Noeud, a satin peeptoe pump in the gentlest shade of baby pink with a large bow at the heel. Louboutin is very well known for making wedding shoes in strass (crystals) – and I couldn’t not wear a pair, so I went for a twist, picking our classic sneaker Louis in nude strass for when my feet needed to come a bit closer to the ground. They were a highlight of the dance party! Of course, there was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to get Zach into his very own pair, and it was a “go big or go home” kind of scenario. He chose Ironito, a great patent tux shoe adorned with spikes on the toe and heel. There may have been some injuries when he was hoisted up in the air during the horah, but baby, beauty is pain – and some groomsmen learned their lesson that night.

I really feel that the best events are those in which the details matter. I paid close attention to adding elements that really made the evening our own – a balloon drop of 500 white balloons (a staple in the LCD Soundsystem concerts we had attended together), our favors of mini black & white cookies from Greenberg’s Bakery packaged in Chinese take-out boxes (hands down 2 of the top NYC Jewish delicacies!), signature His & Her Martinis, photos of our dog Zooey under the chuppah, and of course our hashtag on Instagram: #zachandsandra.

Last but certainly not least -- for ambiance, I really wanted to contrast the Italian renaissance architecture in Cipriani with some whimsy and glamour. Since our wedding was taking place in July, I wanted it to feel like guests were transported into a modern Midsummer Nights Dream or a chic garden party in the Hamptons or Hudson Valley. I knew it wasn’t a job for just anyone, and Tantawan Bloom immediately came to mind - I had seen their work before and knew how phenomenal and special it was. It only took 5 minutes with lead designer Golf Srithamrong and his talented team (Laura, I love you!) to know that I couldn’t possible work with anyone else. Planning a wedding isn’t always roses so I really wanted my vendors to feel like friends, and without a doubt Golf and Laura felt like family. Together we poured over my print outs, magazine tears, and Pinterest board -- I knew I had my heart set on an impossible task – bringing in towering trees to help offset the high ceilings in Cipriani and making the space feel more intimate and cozy. While real trees weren’t possible, Golf didn’t blink an eye and told me he could re-create the overall affect, and “not to worry – it’s going to be gorgeous."

The result was above and beyond my wildest dreams – on the day of our wedding, Zach and I stepped into our very own moonlit garden on 42nd street. Focusing on a crisp and clean palette of white and green, the overall effect was modern, but softened by the amber twinkle of candlelight. Strategic pops of white sequins and shimmer added some glam and were a nod to my wedding gown by Vera Wang. My favorite part -- scattered throughout the room were beautiful urns exploding with lush green branches – better than any trees I had ever seen. To say that it was perfect is an understatement. At every turn, I was in awe. Words simply do not do it justice and we were absolutely speechless – Golf had given us a fairytale.

We didn’t want the evening to ever end, but thankfully we have the most beautiful images and video captured by the talented Heather Waraksa and First Day Films to always remind us of this special day and to transport us once again to that magical night.