Dina and Michael’s friendship blossomed into a relationship after sharing a spontaneous kiss while in college. The two immediately became inseparable and on June 30, 2007, Michael arranged to bring Dina, her brother, sister, and best friend to Serendipity’s in New York City. As their orders came out, Dina’s plate read, “Will You Marry Me?” in chocolate fudge. After she excitedly accepted, the people around them began to cheer and clap. “The day was even more special because when we returned home, a surprise engagement party was set up for us. It was nice to be able to celebrate with family and friends. I was so surprised,” reminisced the bride. With about two years until the big day, the couple was able to enjoy their engagement and have plenty of time to plan their July 11, 2009 wedding.
When it came to finding the banquet facility, the Valley Regency fit perfectly with what Dina and Michael were looking for. They loved the high ceilings, spacious ballroom, windows, big dance floor, and the overall décor. In addition, the couple liked how it was one wedding at a time and how they offered an on-site ceremony location, which made it convenient for their guests.
The interfaith ceremony was held in the garden area underneath the gazebo. Ryan Kaplan, the ceremony officiant, did a great job incorporating both of their lives within the vows. Dina walked down the aisle wearing a custom-made ball-gown-style dress. It was a sweetheart neckline with an off-the-shoulder top and a pick-up skirt adorned with Swarovski crystals. She held a bouquet of calla lilies and stephanotis with crystals. “Seeing my wife for the first time in her dress was by far the best memory of the day,” Michael reminisced.
The bride’s maid of honor and bridesmaids wore black strapless, floor-length dresses with white sashes around the waist. The groom looked charming in a classic black tuxedo, white shirt, vest, and tie, while his best man and groomsmen wore black tuxedos, white shirts, and black ties. After Dina and Michael were announced as husband and wife, guests made their way into the cocktail hour room, which also has an outdoor terrace overlooking the beautiful gardens.
During cocktail hour, guests indulged in a sushi bar, pasta station, mashed potato bar, and passed hors d’oeuvres. They also had a martini luge that served a variety of cold drinks to order. Guests had a choice of chateaubriand, fish, chicken, or veal. “The food was unbelievable. There was so much food and the presentation of everything was phenomenal,” noted the couple.
Designed by Le Petit Gateau, the wedding cake was a five-tiered, square vanilla cake with cannoli filling and white frosting. It had a black scrollwork design, black satin ribbon, and a monogram cake topper. In addition to the wedding cake, a Viennese hour was set up with an ice cream bar, a white-and milk-chocolate fondue fountain, fruit, cookies, pastries, and after-dinner cordials.
Tim from Abella Studios photographed the day’s events flawlessly. He was able to get their large bridal party to cooperate and was personable. They also liked his unique photojournalistic approach, which captured the real moments as they happened. “Any questions we had, Tim was able to answer them and made us feel extremely comfortable in knowing he would do a great job on the wedding day,” commented Dina. (…read more)
Ceremony & Reception Location: Valley Regency
Officiant: Ryan Kaplan
Photographer: Abella Studios
Entertainment: DMC Sound featuring Dawn Michaels
Florist: Regency Design Group
Bakery: Le Petit Gateau
Bridal Salon: NY Bridal Couture
Headpiece/Veil: NY Bridal Couture
Formal Attire: Men’s Warehouse
Invitations: Uniquely Yours
Favors: Uniquely Yours
Hair Salon: Casa Bella
Jeweler: Salvatore & Company