Located blocks from Central Park, this impeccably stylish space features breathtaking views of the city, chic minimalist decor, and an incredible staff. We caught up with Lisa about how she started working in events, the day-to-day operations of this one-of-a-kind venue, and her best advice for brides to be.
How did you get into events? Is it something you were always drawn to?
My career in hospitality actually started in high school when I was given the opportunity to do an internship at a local Marriott during my senior year. The exposure to different departments solidified my decision to pursue a degree in hotel and resort management at SUNY Delhi in Upstate New York. Upon graduating from Delhi, I participated in the Disney World College Program, which was an amazing stepping stone.
When I returned to NYC, I began my events career at the Hilton New York followed by positions at The Direct Marketing Association, PGI (destination management company) and for the last twelve years, Le Parker Meridien.
With any type of event, there’s always the satisfaction of seeing it from inception through fruition but especially with a wedding, as there’s an extra level of personal fulfillment being part of such a milestone event with a couple and their families.
Tell us a little more about what your day-to- day looks like at Le Parker Meridien.
No day is ever the same but a typical office day consists of following-up on recent proposals and sites and balancing that with the paperwork that needs to be completed for each event (Banquet Event Orders, processing payments and paperwork for tastings, site inspections, etc…). There are five of us on the Catering team (plus an additional 25 people on other sales teams) and we are constantly bouncing ideas off each other as well as with our Executive Chef and Banquet team to develop new ideas to set ourselves apart from our competitors.
On wedding days, it’s a lot of running around overseeing all of the vendor deliveries/setups and checking in with the couple to relieve their nerves. My most important task on a wedding day is for that particular couple to feel like they are the only people in the world getting married and to have confidence in the team of vendors they hired to execute their vision.
What’s something that surprises clients when they visit Le Parker Meridien for the first time?
The view from the Estrela Penthouse definitely surprises clients and my favorite part of every site visit is when they enter the Estrela Penthouse for the first time. Most couples do their homework ahead of time and have seen images of the Estrela Penthouse and the view before coming in to see the event space but as amazing as photos are, there’s no comparison to actually seeing the view in person. The ability to see the full length of Central Park as well as the George Washington Bridge blows them away every time. High above the hustle of the city, it’s our own private oasis in bustling Midtown Manhattan.
Do you have a favorite room or space within the venue?
Without a doubt, the Estrela Penthouse! Aside from the exceptional view, the space is very intimate with a neutral color palette, offering clients the ability to design their dream in so many different ways. The outdoor terrace is the cherry on top as it provides the same phenomenal views, and it’s such a rare treat to have an outdoor space option in a NYC venue.
I imagine devoting yourself to each couple’s vision can be both rewarding and exhausting! Is there a certain feeling or a moment in the day that keeps you excited about bringing these visions to life?
There are so many moments throughout the course of a wedding that I get excited about but the very first on the list is when the couple does their first look, which usually takes place on the Estrela Terrace. Typically, the couple hasn’t seen each other all day as they’ve been getting ready in separate suites and when they see each other for the first time, the look on both of their faces is priceless as they are filled with every type of emotion…happiness, nervousness and pure joy, which is beautifully captured on film and video for them to enjoy and relive after the wedding.
As someone who has been through many a wedding from beginning to end, what’s your advice for future brides (and grooms!) who are feeling overwhelmed?
My advice is pure and simple, to be in the moment and to remember that everyone there loves and supports them. I also remind them that the party is for their friends and family but the ceremony is for them and to really embrace those 20-30 minutes because that is the real reason they are there that day.
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