From intern Gina:
Over this past weekend, not only was there one fabulous wedding, there were two! Friday night we had a wonderful rustic themed wedding out east at the Martha Clara Vineyards. I have never been out there before; it honestly felt like I was in a different state. The location was so perfect and beautiful. Before I get into the nitty gritty of the wedding, I must confess a little mishap. On my way to the ceremony to meet up with Patryk, I had a run in with a Sheriff! Apparently, I did not see him in the traffic circle so he got a tiny bit mad. Needless to say, I made it to the church, without a ticket and still early! After telling Patryk my lovely story, we were on point at the ceremony making sure that everything was perfect. Father Tom was great as well as the string quartet. Once we got to the vineyards, I was responsible for making sure the photographer took all of the “must shoot” photos that our bride and groom requested. It felt great being on my own to help out and make sure that if anyone needed anything, I was there. Shortly after, the cocktail hour and reception began, the room looked great. Once guests sat for toasts and dinner orders, the CNE team had some fun and got a few crazy pictures in the photo booth.
Then the next day was Shekinah’s wedding! I could not wait to help work on this one. Thankfully this time I made it to the ceremony without any bumps in the road. Before the ceremony began, I filled up cones with the handpicked leaves Shekinah provided us. I also got to hear their choir practicing the songs they were going to sing during the ceremony, they were amazing. Once the ceremony started, I handed out the programs to those who attended. Quickly after the ceremony ended, Patryk and I headed over to the reception area at Smithtown Landing, a country club, to set up for cocktail hour. Set up went great and we even added a few extra touches. We had some extra lanterns left over from the ceremony so we used them to be light up with candles and displayed as guests were walking in to the reception area. Once the cocktail hour began, we headed over to the reception room to transform it to Shekinah’s perfect vision. We double checked that there were enough tables and chairs for each guest, and made sure the table cards were correct and in order.
After that Jessica and I, set up the tables with votive and tea light candles, as well as their beautiful floral centerpieces with branches extending from them. It gave the room a very romantic, fall look, I loved it. As the night went on I checked in with Shekinah to see if she needed anything as well as her new husband. After Jessica and Regina left, I stayed a little longer with Patryk to make sure everything ran smoothly. This weekend gave me great opportunity to do things on my own and make sure our timeline and all details were implemented, I can’t wait for our next wedding in New York City!
From intern Jessica:
This weekend was a double header for the CNE Team. Our Friday wedding, I was scheduled to be with the bride in the morning. This had to be my favorite part! I loved being with the girls while they were getting ready, checking bouquets and ensuring we stayed on time. The bride was rather laid back the morning of, even though the weather was rather dreary. Her mother reminded me a bit of my mom, in the fact that she was wearing a beautiful designer gown and she couldn't put the sponge down! The brides nieces also reminded me of my own sister-in-laws children, beautiful and very energetic. Once getting the ladies into the limo, bride & dad into the Phantom it was time to get the bride married! As the bridal party makes their way down the aisle, Patryk and I dash off to the reception site. Being perfectionists, we spent much of our time lining the path to the barn with tall candle lit lanterns and ensuring all decor/tables/flowers were set properly. As the bridal party arrived on site, the clouds disappeared leaving a gorgeous sunset for photos.
This was definitely my favorite wedding to work as I felt some sense of accomplishment at the end of the night. After suggesting some last minute changes to the timeline, to ensure the photographer was present to capture key moments like cake cutting, Regina and Patryk told me to "make it happen". I relayed the changes to the photographer, videographer, DJ and venue manager. I was definitely being tested by the CNE team. The night went without a hitch and I hope I did the team proud.
Saturday's wedding was a special one indeed as our own Shekinah wed her beau James! Again I was scheduled to be with the bride! The morning ran as scheduled. Regina even addressed the bridesmaid's last minute fit concerns with their bridesmaids dresses...thank goodness for her emergency kit! After ushering the groom and bridal party into the limo, the bride was escorted by her father to their awaiting transportation and we were off to the church! Due to their shared love, music was a big part of Shekinah and Jim's wedding day. Only Shekinah...and NeNe Leakes, could pull off an entire choir serenading them down the aisle. As a treat for the guests, after being pronounced husband and wife, the newlyweds joined the choir for a song. It was absolutely beautiful and heartwarming.
After tossing "leaves of love", as I like to call them, at the bride and groom while they exited the church; Regina and I followed the party to a photo location. Shekinah was prepared with a list of must have photos. I recommend everyone do this. She flew through photos because of her checklist. My favorite shot would have to be the football photo where the groomsmen lined up next to Shekinah and she hiked the bouquet to her groom. Not only that, the lighting was beyond perfect for their shoot. Upon arrival at Smithtown Landing the bridal party jumped right into cocktail hour while Patryk, Gina and I set up the reception room. Once I confirmed music selections with the band I was free to go. To say Shekinah looked beautiful on her wedding day is such an understatement...she looked like an absolute dream.
After working two weddings back to back I have learned that I love being at the bride's side from hair & makeup to photos to the final send-off. This is what I live for, seeing the bride happy on her special day. I learned that this is exactly what I hope to do with my life, help couples plan and execute their special day. Finally I have learned that everyone deals with stress differently and I need not take things to heart but rather learn from it. Hopefully, I will be able to continue on this path to follow my dreams.