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Weddings with a view pretty much take the cake in my book. So, when I discovered that recently opened skyline sanctuary, Upper Story by Charlie Palmer, combined two of my favorite things (food and skyline views) I had to pinch myself. Taking in the Midtown Manhattan skyline is stunning, but their food? Well, it’s legendary. Perfect for private events, this sophisticated sanctuary is the perfect place for any soirée.

From Upper StoryRenowned chef and restaurateur Charlie Palmer officially debuts his all-new sophisticated private events and wedding venue in NYC’s Decoration & Design Building. Following an extensive six-month build out, Chef Charlie Palmer is proud to announce the official opening of Upper Story by Charlie Palmer on the 14th floor of the Decoration & Design Building on Monday, January 12, 2015. 

Boasting 2700 square feet of sophisticated dining and private entertaining space, including division into two areas, each accommodating 70 guests and 90 guests for seated affairs or 160 when combined, and up to 300 in the combined space for cocktail-style receptions. The 1000-square foot balcony offers panoramic views beyond Midtown and the Upper East Side, a prime location for alfresco receptions overlooking the 59th Street Bridge and wedding ceremonies and keynote speaker addresses are idyllically positioned with same scenic backdrop. Additionally, the venue offers state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment and a green room or bridal suite for day-of preparations. Menus are customized for each event to meet the needs of the host or group—be it a bride, fundraising committee or corporate planner.

Offering an extensive list of event menus ranging from breakfast to dessert and everything in between, Upper Story’s experienced culinary crew is the best in the business. Led by longtime Palmer protégé Adam Bordonaro, the kitchen’s flawless plates are prepared with the highest quality of ingredients with menus customized to the specifications of each event. Palmer and Bordonaro have a few unique menu items up their sleeves, including a “progressive tasting menu,” which consists of six dishes presented as side-by-side stations, each served with a paired cocktail or beverage. The venue will also offer a variety of experiential activities for off-site planners and group meetings, including cocktail demonstrations from Palmer’s Crimson & Rye craft cocktail team, cigar tastings from Nat Sherman, cooking classes, and more. Sample menus can be seen here.

With a location in the esteemed Decoration & Design building, this all-new venue required the expert hand of renowned designer, Scott Salvator. Taking a modern yet classic approach, Salvator introduced a soft color palette with dark nuances offset by burnished mirrors, complementing both the daytime and nighttime views through Upper Story’s expansive windows framing the unparalleled Manhattan skyline view. A dream for event designers and planners, Upper Story’s atmosphere is the perfect combination of blank slate and subtle décor.

The most exciting and inviting event venue in midtown Manhattan, the space sparkles with an unparalleled richness and provides the perfect stage for any event alongside our culinary creations while guests raise their glass to the most amazing city light views. 

Welcome to the family Upper Story! xox

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Fairytale Ending NYC Bookshop Wedding

My favorite weddings are always the ones filled with personality, and this one? Well, it’s certainly a new favorite. The clouds parted for their fairytale ending, and this adorable bookshop romance brought along Shannen Norman to snap some pictures of their day. With images that are simply page-turning, this wedding is perfectly New York and you can see why I’m such a huge fan here.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Store
Styles
Romantic

From the Bride… Steve and I met while working together for a book publisher, so when we discovered that we could get married in a bookstore, we knew we had found the perfect venue for our wedding. In addition to offering a gorgeous event space in a historic Manhattan building, the Housing Works Bookstore is part of a non-profit organization that helps homeless New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS. Their amazing staff helped us plan our celebration and transformed the store into a warm and romantic space for our intimate wedding.

Once we had our venue set, the rest of the details fell into place… except for the wedding dress. Luckily, after what felt like an endless search, I spotted Jenny Packham’s Joy gown and loved the vintage look. I was able to order it from the designer shortly before the wedding and crossed my fingers that it would fit. When it arrived, I slipped it on and it was perfect—elegant and comfortable. I added simple rhinestone earrings and a feather hair clip from Etsy.

Steve illustrated our Save the Date cards and we chose letterpress invitations in a chevron design that reminded us of a book’s end papers. We kept the wedding decorations simple, since the library setting was gorgeous on its own. On the tables, we used a mix of apricot, cream, and yellow flowers, along with tea lights. My mother-in-law designed the 50 floral arrangements in small glasses that we found on a shopping trip to Ikea. The bridal party flowers included cream and apricot roses, yellow craspedia, and seeded eucalyptus, designed by my mother and a family friend.

On the day of our wedding, Steve and I met in the West Village just as the skies cleared and the rain stopped. We took photos before the wedding in the garden of St. Luke’s and in the elegant rooms of the Down Town Association. Working with our photographer Shannen Norman was a dream. She kept things laid back and fun and captured the magic of the day.

Steve and I are so thankful for everyone who helped make our wedding special. We treasure the memory of saying our vows with family and friends gathered closely around us, among the candlelit bookcases. Reverend Carlton Elliot Smith led us through a very personal and heartfelt ceremony that included laughs and tears. And then we ate and drank and talked and danced as the hours whirled by. It was the best night of our lives.

Photography: Shannen Norman | Dress: Jenny Packham | Invitations: Sesame Letterpress | Catering: The Works Catering | Hair & Makeup: Expert Makeup Artistry | Groom's Attire: Brooks Brothers | Hair Clip: Brass Lotus

Romantic NYC High Line Engagement

This couple’s recipe for a darling engagement is simply beyond. Avid foodies, the groom whipped up the ultimate ruse for his Alexandra Grecco donning bride-to-be. No step was omitted – from curating a completely custom cookbook to celebratory champagne where their first date took place. With Shadi Boulos behind the lens, every image captured is entirely delightful and can be enjoyed here.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Urban Space
Styles
Elegant

From Shadi Boulos Photography…”The Perfect Pairing”. One of my greatest joys is sharing one of life’s special moments with close friends. A few months ago, my friend Tony approached me to help him with a wonderful proposal idea for his girlfriend, Sherry. Both Tony and Sherry share an appreciation for cooking and dining out. There’s no other way of saying it – they love food. Over the course of their relationship, Tony and Sherry dined out a lot and there were a select few meals that left an impression on them. So, Tony’s proposal idea: Tony contacted restaurants in Jersey City, New York, Detroit, and Los Angeles where they had their most memorable meals to compile a book of recipes containing his and Sherry’s favorite dishes. The restaurants loved the idea! Not only that, but Tony commissioned me to photograph some of the dishes he chose to include in the cookbook.

Tony and I worked hard to keep Sherry unsuspecting. You see, Sherry and I previously planned to do a photo session of her donning a beautiful ivory tulle skirt by up-and-coming designer, Alexandra Grecco. What Sherry didn’t know is that these photos were also to be her engagement pictures! As far as Sherry knew, Tony “reluctantly” agreed to make an appearance in some of the photos. I met the couple at The High Line in New York City where they had their first NY date, and where Tony had planned the proposal.

Tony decided that he wanted to propose to Sherry privately, so I called the couple and pretended I was running late. With a basket of “props” in hand, the scene was set for Tony to propose.

As they “waited for me to arrive,” Tony suggested to go through the props, which included the cookbook, a bottle of champagne, two champagne flutes, and a beautiful diamond ring. Upon seeing the book, Sherry said “Oh, Shadi got us a cookbook to take photos with!” As she started flipping the pages, Sherry slowly came to the realization that all of the restaurants were ones she’s been to before and that the recipes were some of their favorites. She continued until the last recipe; a recipe for their story:

The Perfect Pairing

For the Michigan girl:

  • 1 package of Canadian Bacon
  • ¾ cup of Yellow Maize
  • Bake in California sun for 2 years

For the Jersey guy:

  • 4 blocks of Swiss Chocolate
  • 2 cups of Kenyan coffee beans
  • Heat in a Jersey City melting pot

ONE | Thoroughly whisk 1 Michigan girl and 1 Jersey guy at a destination wedding in California for 5 hours. Follow by seasoning with countless hours of Facetime.

TWO | To add in East Coast flavor, move mixture to Jersey City. In a saucepan over low heat, pour in 2 unhealthy obsessions with food, 1 instant camera, 50 new friends and a generous amount of love.

THREE | Let sit until the 27th of September. When ready, add the following: 1 tulle skirt, 2 champagne flutes and 1 fake cookbook. Cover entire recipe with an abundance of God’s blessings. Top with 1 diamond ring.

FOUR | Propose and serve.

As she finished reading the final recipe, she looked up to see Tony down on one knee. After many tears and a resounding “YES,” I arrived to photograph the newly engaged couple.

I took them to one of my favorite locations and began photographing. The beautiful scenery, Sherry’s stunning outfit, and their happiness made for an outstanding proposal session.

From The Bride…To say that I was completely surprised is an understatement. While Tony was busy planning behind the scenes, I was under the impression that should a proposal happen, it wouldn’t be for several months given our families travel schedules and the desire to have both our families be together on that special day. On that particular Saturday, Tony’s father was “out of the country” so a trip to the High Line in a beautiful tulle skirt, and with Tony dressed to the nines, didn’t raise me any suspicions.

There’s no other way to describe Tony’s proposal idea as anything short of perfection; there was no detail left unplanned. And afterwards, while doing a proposal photo-shoot with Shadi, I’ll never forget that feeling I had looking up at Tony of just true joy and an overwhelming amount of love. The entire day – from the most perfect proposal, the beautiful photo shoot with the talented Shadi Boulos, a delicious 7-course dinner at Per Se, and a surprise late night celebratory dessert and champagne with both of our families – is what every girl dreams of, and is what will always serve to remind me how beyond blessed I am to have found someone like Tony.

Photography: Shadi Boulos Photography | Men's Attire: Charles Tyrwhitt Shirt | Mens Attire: Kenneth Cole Reaction Shoes | Mens Attire: J. Crew Suit | Location: The High Line | Location: Greenwich Village | Moto Jacket: Lucy Paris/ Bloomingdales | Skirt: Alexandra Grecco | Women's Attire Styling: Candace Hanna | Women's Hair: Sarah Elsie | Women's Shirt: Wolford | Women's Shoes: Ralph Lauren