After seeing a Broadway show with her mom and grandma, Stefanie planned to meet up with friends for a night out in the city. Stefanie reassured them not to worry about how she would get home – her friend Mike had offered to drive in from East Meadow, just a town over from where her parents lived in Long Island and pick her up. She just had to ask. Grandmas know best and Stefanie’s grandma saw the situation clear as day. “If he is going to drive all the way into Manhattan at 1 am to pick you up and then just turn around and bring you home, he must be in love with you.”
We are excited to introduce Stefanie, our Bride & Blossom Featured Bride for February. Stefanie and Mike exchanged vows at Gotham Hall. Here, she shares the first chapter of their love story.
Part 1: Proposal & Planning
The transition from being just friends to dating was effortless for Stefanie and Mike. In fact, they were already considered a couple before having their official first date (a sushi dinner followed by a drive to a park in Cold Spring Harbor to look at the stars). After finishing school, they entered the post-graduation/first job period of early adulthood. For many, this is a time of self-discovery and let’s be honest, instability and fear of commitment. But Stefanie and Mike only grew closer. Five years flew by and they found themselves in the same Cold Spring Harbor park reliving their first date all over again.
When asked if she was anticipating a proposal that night, Stefanie looks back and says, “We had been together for a while by that point, so I had a feeling that it was coming. But I was still totally surprised.” Hollywood couldn’t have directed a proposal scene any better. Mike looked up to the stars, took a photo, and then asked Stefanie to marry him.
Narrowing down wedding spaces to visit in New York City can be overwhelming for anyone. Stefanie knew this and had a plan of action. “I’m super Type A and put together a spreadsheet of ‘potential’ venues to see. After doing all this research, I was confident that we would find our place, but I didn’t like any of them.”
Mike works in media and going to parties is part of the job. Shortly after they became engaged, he went to a Hulu Halloween party at Gotham Hall. During the evening, Mike’s assistant turned to him and said, “This would be a cool place for a wedding.” Mike had been silent during the wedding planning process until then. Sensing Stefanie’s frustration, he suggested they check out Gotham Hall. “We called and they said we could visit, but the venue was being set up for a luxury watch event,” Stefanie says. “We still went, and I remember the space being so beautiful. Then they explained the history and that the building was formerly a bank. My grandfather with whom I was very close had recently passed away. He loved watches and banks. I saw this as a sign.”
Gotham Hall was built in 1924 and originally served as The Greenwich Savings Bank. Drawing from ancient Roman architecture, the landmark building’s defining features include a soaring dome, coffered ceiling, and Corinthian columns. As an event venue, Gotham Hall offers a magnificent 9,000 square-foot ballroom with 70-foot ceiling that opens up to a stunning stained-glass skylight.
Despite being self-described as Type A, Stefanie didn’t have a Pinterest inspiration board devoted to wedding flowers and décor. She enlisted event planner Pejy Kash for help. “When we first started working together, Pejy had a ton of questions. He helped me figure out what my wedding vision was. After the wedding, I told him that he made dreams I didn’t even know I had come true.”
When Stefanie met with Bride & Blossom, she brought a single photo for inspiration. “I did see one bouquet that I loved. Rachel (Bride & Blossom Founder) took the idea and we worked together, planning the rest of the flowers around that bouquet.” Rachel describes the design process. “Stephanie wanted vibrant fall jewel toned hues and dramatic florals for her stunning Gotham Hall wedding. The varied textures seen throughout the wedding decor and artful arrangements were inspired by the bridal bouquet.”
Stay tuned for Part 2: Wedding Dress & Personals when Stefanie talks about her beautiful Anne Barge gown.
Venue: Gotham Hall
Photographer + Videographer: Emma Cleary Photo & Video
Planner: Pejy Kash Events
Bride’s Dress: Anne Barge
Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Groom’s Tux: Vera Wang
Groom’s Shoes: Gucci
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo
Hair: Styles By Marcella
Invitations: Ceci New York
Cake: Ron Ben Israel
Lighting: Bentley Meeker
Music: Cafe Wha