A wedding like this is so easy to love. It’s chic and glamorous in the most perfect of New York ways and a venue like the Essex House adds a dash of grander that kind of leaves a blogger breathless. James Abel Events whipped up about a million beautiful details and 4Eyes Photography snapped about a million beautiful images. That’s a whole lot of beautiful and we haven’t even mentioned the crazy gorgeous that is the Bride’s Pnina Tornai dress. Bellissima! See it all here.

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From 4Eyes PhotographyPhil has always made an effort to make Valentines Day a very special day.  Starting in 2008, Phil took Kelly out to a fantastic dinner in NYC and reserved a hotel suite full of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries for after dinner.  In 2009, the couple went to Paris, and had the most wonderful and romantic mini vacation.  Then in 2010, the Friday before Valentine’s Day, Phil told Kelly they were going to dinner, but first they would grab drinks at a bar near the restaurant.  When they walked in, Kelly was both annoyed and surprised.  This was not the intimate lounge Phil described, but rather a dive bar near Union Square—one that she realized she had been to before.  This was indeed the spot that Phil had first asked Kelly to “go steady” on a random Wednesday night in New York City.  Phil acted totally surprised, but equally annoyed by the alleged poor recommendation of  a co-worker.  He had Kelly completely fooled that he did not remember this unexpectedly significant place.  When Phil insisted they try the upstairs bar for a better scene, Kelly was skeptical.  As they climbed the stairs however, Kelly was greeted with a  beautiful display of roses and champagne.  Kelly gasped as she realized Phil did remember this place!  Before she could say a word, Phil was down on one knee, and Kelly could barely make out the word yes through her excitement and tears.  What followed was a whirlwind of limos, dinner, and celebrating with family.  The evening could not have been more special!

Choosing the venue is often  the first and arguably the biggest decision in wedding planning, but they were lucky  because as soon as they walked into the Essex House, with its magnificent painted murals, sky high ceilings, and glamorous chandeliers, the decision was an easy one!  They had lived near the Essex House for nearly 3 years after graduating from Cornell, and so the area, including Central Park. Columbus Circle and Fifth Avenue, had a special significance for the couple. Upon meeting with Jason Kwintner at the Essex House, Kelly easily pictured herself strolling down Central Park South in a fabulous wedding gown, elegantly posing with her new hubby while leaning on a statue in Columbus Circle, and then parading into the magnificent ballroom at the Essex House to celebrate their marriage with all of their family and friends.  And one year later they did just that!

From the Bride…I don’t pretend to know the first thing about flowers, decorating or wedding styles.  And here is where we were lucky enough to work with James Abel of James Abel Events.  All I did was give James adjectives – “formal”  ” elegant”  “glamorous ” “dramatic” – to name a few.  And boy did James deliver!  He understood exactly what I was looking for, guiding me where I needed to make decisions and taking the reigns when I confessed ignorance.  I’m not sure how someone in the industry might describe my wedding style, but I think the pictures speak for themselves…this was one fabulous event!

My husband is Jewish and I am Catholic, and it was a big deal to us to equally incorporate and feature both religions in our ceremony.  We had both a Priest and a Rabbi marry us, and incorporated elements of both traditions, as well as adding some practices of our own, including the reading of notes written to each other months before the wedding.  The ceremony then became a celebration of both of our religious traditions, as well as the personal commitment and love we share with each other.  It was so special, and had all 200 of our family and friends both laughing and crying throughout the ceremony .

I have many favorite moments! The entire day was amazing and  every moment was more special and unforgettable than the next!  I can think of some outstanding moments — the arrival of my bridesmaids to my hotel suite at the Essex House in the morning filling the room with excitement (and nervousness!), painstakingly tying the strings to my amazing Pnina Tornai corset dress, strutting down Central Park South with my sister carrying my train (very Pippa Middleton!), and that doesn’t even get us to the ceremony or reception!  My favorite pictures are those of me and my new hubby in Central Park and Columbus Circle. Other amazing moments include doing the Horah — a first for me and my family but a wonderful and fun tradition! — tearing up during my Dad’s speech, Phil getting a cold, scented towel to cool down after dancing  too much, a dear friend whispering in my ear that the wedding was so “us.”  And likely a hundred others that still occasionally pop in my head in the middle of a work day or while running on a treadmill, and that always make me smile.

Wedding Photography: 4Eyes Photography / Wedding Videography: Bryan Sarkinen / Planning, Event + Floral Design: James Abel Events / Invitation Design: James Abel Events / Venue, Cake + Desserts: Essex House / Wedding Gown: Pnina Tornai / Bridesmaid Dresses: Jim Hjelm / Lighting: Stortz Lighting

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