The Wedding of ...
Graziella Licata & Dominick Casale
Ceremony: Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
718.477.2400 x5, www.eventabove.com
Gown: Essence of Australia
Tux: Karako Suits
Photographer & Cinematographer: Visual Image Video and Photography
Makeup: Josephine Fusco
Hair: Judy Avila
Florist: One Up Event Design
Cake: Jackie’s Cake Boutique
Band: Dash of Class Entertainment
New Year's Eve Wedding
I met Dominick when I was in eighth grade and he had just started high school. We were good friends for about two years, both secretly liking each other, before we finally began dating. I am now a teacher and he is an architect.
Nine years later, on a backpacking trip across Italy, we went to Venice, Milan, Florence, and Tuscany, where, during a vineyard tour in the region of Chianti, Dominick got down on one knee and proposed! People nearby saw what was happening and captured photos of the whole proposal.
I passed by Above while driving on the highway and knew I needed to see it. When we visited, we fell in love with the modern chic ambiance, the intricate Swarovski crystal lighting fixture, and the intimate fireplaces. Dominick and I are foodies, so we wanted a unique and delicious menu, and Above’s food is to die for. We connected with Jennifer Finch, the event planner, from the start. I am a very organized and detail-oriented person, and so is Jenn. She guided us through everything, including the food and drinks menu, the ballroom décor, the set up of the night, the after-party, and any questions and concerns we had. Jenn was truly a dream come true.
We were married at our childhood parish by our family friend, Father Bill Sweeney. He created a thoughtful, humorous ceremony in the beautiful church. Our cocktail hour was on Above’s rooftop. Our menu was a mix of American and Italian cuisines. We had butler-passed hors d’oeuvres like littleneck clams with chorizo, beer, and saffron; baby lamb chops with pomegranate pinot noir glaze; and maple bacon shrimp. Our guests also loved the wood oven that made all kinds of pizettes and calzones!
For our New Year’s Eve wedding, the ballroom was decorated in gold and black with hints of silver. I made the place cards out of NYE foil horns and each guest had a confetti bag and Hershey’s kisses at his or her seat for midnight. One of the floor-to-ceiling windows had a huge 2017 foil balloon in it and I spray painted wine bottles gold with the number 2017 to be displayed on the bar.
Our friends and family did not stop dancing all night, thanks to our amazing band. We had all types of music so guests of all ages would know the songs. My favorite part of the night was our family’s tradition of doing a song battle to John Steinman’s “Paradise by The Dashboard Light,” where the women go on one side of the dance floor and the men on the other, both singing back and forth in microphones.
For dinner, our first course was a grilled Tuscan flatbread followed by a potato gnocchi dish. For the entrée, guests could choose between Angus beef short ribs in a Chianti glaze, pan-seared salmon with soba noodles, or Hudson Valley duck in a rosemary honey glaze. Our guests raved about the food!
In addition to our wedding cake, we also had passed dessert bites such as honey ricotta zeppoles, chocolate milkshake shots, and more. For favors, we gave out champagne bottles with New Year’s Eve gift tags for the adults and personalized coloring books for the children.
Thank you to our parents and siblings for their support and their man-and-woman-power. It was a lot of work to get this all done, but we did it! Thank you to our bridal party, family, and friends for making this day so special. Thank you to Jenn and the staff at Above for helping us plan the most perfect wedding. And thank you to Dominick, for being my best friend in this whole world.