Wedding planning is about going all out for your once-in-a-lifetime special day. Long Island couples have a big advantage, with many of the world’s best wedding vendors located right here. From vineyards to beaches, six-star hotels to the hottest DJs and the latest fashions, here are a few different party options.
Party Go trendy! Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw celebrated her upcoming nuptials with Mr. Big at Manhattan’s trendy Buddakan. If Carrie lived on Long Island, she would have a hard time selecting a spot. The Island boasts an array of trendy places perfect for hosting an engagement party including Bohlsen Restaurant Group’s Monsoon in Islip, slated to open in February within the almost 10,000-square-foot former Bank of Babylon building built back in 1922. Monsoon offers wallet-friendly plates of different modern Asian cuisine, from Vietnamese to Thai, and boasts a trendy lounge equipped with a mobile DJ booth and Facebook-friendly photo screen. Surely, it will be known as a top choice to throw a private party.
“We hope to get a bunch of engagement parties, rehearsal dinners, bachelor or bachelorette parties,” says Michael Bohlsen of Bohlsen Restaurant Group.
Another amazing venue for an engagement party is Ferrari-Masserati in Plainview, located on the second floor of the luxury car dealership which is reserved exclusively for special events. It’s a car lover’s fantasy, with parties produced exclusively by Andrea Correale of Elegant Affairs Off Premise Catering & Event Design.
Opt for a tea party, adding to the elegant element of your upcoming wedding. A natural choice would be the Garden City Hotel, which provides quite the posh and private tea party experience. The Bridal Tea features world-class blended teas from Moroccan Mint to French Verveine matched with a delectable selection of traditional cakes, sandwiches and scones served on the hotel’s collection of fine china.
For the big day, select a venue that reflects the bride and groom as a couple. Lucky for Long Islanders, there is a vast array of places to host nuptials ranging from vineyards to trendy hotels and beachfront views.
For a romantic affair, Raphael in Peconic is a boutique winery that offers an intimate party. “When you walk through the doors, you feel like you’re in Europe,” says Melissa Martin of Raphael.
For those who want to let loose, how about a barefoot wedding? The Crescent Beach Club in Bayville offers a total beach wedding experience, the only on Long Island, they say. The upscale beachfront venue hosts outdoor white sand weddings, either casual or formal, followed by a catered cocktail reception just footsteps away.
For the trendy couple, the oceanfront Allegria Hotel in Long Beach has an amazing rooftop space fit for a spectacular wedding ceremony or VIP cocktail hour.
For an affair fit for royalty, opt for the historic Oheka Castle in Huntington. Oheka was awarded the Six Star Diamond Award in Hospitality, bestowed upon those who display an unmatched standard of dedication to hospitality and service.
“I’m tough on these properties, it’s a worldwide event and the award is international,” said Mr. Joe Cinque, president of the American Academy of Hospitality Science. “[Oheka] does a phenomenal job.”
The French-style chateau features grand ballrooms, 32 guest rooms, and amazing cuisine.
“It’s an honor, especially given the other prestigious properties on the list,” says Nancy Melius, marketing and design director at Oheka.
For a jumping dance floor, Long Islanders can choose from some of the best DJ’s and bands in the NY area. One option is Digital Mix DJ. This professional music planner based in Selden boasts a unique DJ style and provides more than 100,000 song choices from all genres of music. DJ Lucienne Mannino of Digital Mix DJ Entertainment says it’s all about the crowd.
“Reading the crowd is a very important part of being a good DJ,” she says. “Our motto has always been, ‘We will be with you from your first call to you last dance.”
If you prefer a live band, Skyline Orchestras’ Rhapsody is a great choice. Led by Charlie D’Orio and Greg Warno, this dance band features both male and female vocals, horns, keyboards, guitar, bass and drums and has long been one of the most sought-after musical ensembles on the Island.
“Let them eat cake!” If you have a sweet tooth, the most exciting part of the party just might be the dessert. Dortoni Bakery in Levittown specializes in stylish wedding cakes.
“Mostly everything traditional is coming back in style: old piping and a lot of black, white and red, which is very old fashioned,” said Dortoni Cake Stylist, Amanda Chimirri. “Also, tall and narrow is more popular now, instead of tall and wider.”
Amanda says the traditional trend is thanks in part to television. That’s right, you can thank Kim Kardashian, who styled her wedding in black, white and red colors and Kate Middleton who had old school piping on her wedding cake.
Photo booths add an extra element of excitement and offer guests a great party favor at the same time.
“Photo booth strips actually give people a cool keepsake of your event that won’t hit the trash,” says Dennis Sea of Incredibooths. “It’s cool, it’s different, it’s not the same-old-same-old, and the photos it produces resonate with everyone. No matter how old or young, everyone loves photos and memories.”