New York City Essex House Wedding from Maggie Harkov
August 20, 2013
Tri State
Classic WeddingsRomanticBallroom Weddings
Some wedding simply take my breath away. Where I literally gasp at the prettiness I get to share. This is just such a wedding. Elegant and classic, it's the epitome of the perfectly timeless affair. And it doesn't hurt that the gorgeous images from Maggie Harkov will most definitely stand the test of time. It's gorgeous from start to finish, and it's all ready for you to devour right here.
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From the Bride... I’ve been told that I have an “old soul”. I truly appreciate the classics, I love to hear the history behind things and have a real love for anything vintage. Old movies, music, clothing...I love it! My husband on the other hand, thrives on modernization and technology. Together, I truly feel, we’re the perfect mix. We’re a healthy balance of old and new, much like the city where we met and fell in love. We met my freshmen year of college in New York and from then on I always knew that I wanted to be married in the city that ended up brining us together.

We both lead extremely hectic lives, so I knew before we even began the planning process that I would need some help along the way. We ended up hiring a wedding planner, Richard Newton from Atelier Weddings. This turned out to be one of the best decisions we made in our planning process. He listened to our needs and wants and tried to gain a true understanding of our vision for the big day. In short, we wanted our special day to properly represent us as a couple; we wanted it to be the perfect mix of old and new. Above everything else, we wanted our guests to have an absolute blast! With these things in mind, we found our venue, The Essex House. It screams classic New York, with its art deco design and vicinity to the one and only Central was love at first site. Then we were introduced to Marilyn and team at Belle Fleur in New York, who instantly grasped what we wanted for our reception. I think I only needed to say two words to her “light” and “romantic”...and they really took it from there. Next was the entertainment and as I mentioned this was was crucial to us. We had the opportunity to meet with Rich Greenfield and listen to some of the work by New York Edge and knew right then and there that they were exactly what we needed to get our party started. Now for a touch of the classics...why not hire some opera singers? Well, that’s exactly what we did, but they weren’t just opera singers...they were waiters too! We hired The Three Waiters to perform at our reception in addition to our band, and I must say it was an AMAZING choice. They started off their performance pretending to be waiters, they walked around greeted our guests and then surprised everyone by performing an absolutely amazing opera performance...our guests are still raving about them!

I can’t forget another very important piece of the wedding, the stationery! I knew that I wanted our invitations to really “wow” our guests and must say that this was achieved with the amazingly beautiful work of Lela New York. I wanted the invitations to have a luxurious vintage feel to them, so we implemented touches of silver, ivory lace and a beautiful crystal broach all on top of exquisite blush silk. The outcome was something I couldn’t have been happier with and we definitely got our “wow factor”.

After having gone through this whole wedding planning process, we’ve realized how fortunate we were to have found such amazing talent to bring our vision to life. Talent is not easy to come by, and we knew this was especially true in terms of a photographer. There are literally millions of photographers out there, many of which may have “the eye” for it...but when it comes down to it, I truly feel it takes more than that. It takes patience, understanding and the ability to capture moments in time that we would have otherwise never noticed. The look of your friend when she’s truly happy to see you marry the love of your life, the look in your father’s eyes as he gives you away or a glance you and your mother share as she’s zipping up your wedding dress. I know that her photos will speak for themselves, but Maggie Harkov is such talent and we were incredibly lucky to have her document our special day.

If I take a step back from it all and try to summarize our wedding day, all I can say is that it was everything we dreamed of and more. It was a perfect fairytale day that was made possible by all of the extremely talented vendors we were privileged to have met and by the love of my life, who continues to make my dreams come true each day I’m married to him.

Favorite moment of the day:
There were so many incredible moments that day, but I must say my absolute favorite was when we got into the taxi right after the ceremony and we had the opportunity to really speak to each other and take it all in. I remember looking at my husband and seeing how happy he was and the two of us just kept saying “I can’t believe we finally did it!”. That moment of calmness, looking into my husband’s eyes and feeling nothing but pure joy knowing that this day was the start of the rest of our lives together was a moment I will never forget.

Advice for other brides:
Some advice I’d like to share with other brides is to try your best not to stress the day of. Whatever you need to do to not stress, just do it. There is so much going on the day of your wedding that it will be easy to get caught up in all of the hustle and bustle and not enjoy the day, so try your best to prevent that from happening. We hired a great team of people and I made sure to stay extremely organized, so the day of I was very calm. Honestly, by the rehearsal I made sure to have everything in order and felt I could trust the team I hired. This allowed me to really take in what was going on around me because I wasn’t worried about anything. I could enjoy the day and all of the special moments that took place.

Another thing that my groom made sure to remind me of is that this is just one day and that we shouldn’t lose sight of what it represents. Needless to say, planning a wedding can be stressful. Be sure to remember that it’s more than just a big party you’re planning; it’s a day that represents the start of your lives together as husband and wife. It’s so much more than pretty flowers, invitations and guest lists; it signifies two people becoming one. Whenever I would begin to stress about something during the planning process, I would try to remember that if something doesn’t go exactly according to plan it’s okay because in the end I’ll still be marrying my best friend and that’s really what it’s all about.


Wedding Photographer: Maggie Harkov | Reception Venue + Catering: Essex House | Church: St. Bartholomew's Church | Wedding Planning: Richard Newton of Atelier Weddings | Cinematography: Kiss the Bride Films | Floral Design: Belle Fleur | Hair: Stacy Pitt | Makeup: Sally Duvall | Hat/Headpiece: Custom by Vivien Sheriff | Fur Shawl: Vintage | Purse: Mia Von Minks Weddings |Jewelry: Leonardo Jewelry, Red Bank NJ + Family Heirlooms | Men's Attire: Baldwin Formals | Wedding Dress: Edgardo Bonilla + Tara Keely | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alvina Valenta | Stationery: Lela New York | Entertainment: The Three Waiters +  New York Edge Band