This past year, I got to experience the ultimate NYC entertainment event planner dream by planning my very own wedding. My then-fiancée and I were engaged last October, and when choosing when to hold our event, we decided that it made the most sense to go on the academic calendar during one of her breaks (she’s a teacher). I was thinking summer break; she was thinking February break.
Guess who won.
Yes, we actually planned our entire wedding in just shy of 4 months. And it wasn’t some thrown-together operation, either- it was a real wedding! I’m talking nice invitations, classy venue, fully catered for over 200 guests. Most were shocked that we were able to pull something off in 4 months which people typically devote a year or more to; I was actually most delighted that we were able to include all of the personalized touches that we wanted.
Working on a limited budget, we wanted to customize as much as we could to avoid a cookie cutter affair. For starters, both of us are major food lovers (and occasional snobs). As such, we really wanted to make sure that it wasn’t a “chicken or fish” situation. Working closely with the venue, we created a series of food stations that you’ll likely not see at other weddings – NYC-centric fare like pastrami, hot dogs and knishes, even pizzas and spumoni brought in special from L&B Spumoni Gardens, my favorite (the final bill included an extra item fee, labeled “Ice Cream Upgrade” – classic!)
We made sure that there were plenty of famed photos of us all around for the cocktail hour, and the reception had no assigned seats- just a bunch of tables, so people could get up and sit as they pleased. We deviated a bit from the traditional wedding reception script, too: rather than having everyone seated and then being announced for our first dance, we had the DJ get everyone up and dancing on the floor, and when we were announced, BOOM! Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” as we ran out to join them. We went from that to the hora, the traditional Jewish celebratory dance, and THEN we had our dance.
Since we met at a karaoke party (one of our shared loves), we made sure to have a great custom-made karaoke cake topper. And for our after party? You guessed it – we surprised everyone by having arranged a professional karaoke setup in the next room!
People told us it was the most fun wedding they’d ever been to, and that couldn’t have made me happier. But really, the best part for me?
I get to be married to her.
I’ll be taking off from blogging the rest of this week in observance of Rosh Hashanah – will be back next Monday. See you then!