The Wedding of ...
Kierstin Barnett & Gary Messina
Ceremony: St. Dominic Chapel
Reception: The Mansion at Oyster Bay, 516.921.5707, lessings.com
Bridesmaids: The Dessy Group
Tux: Black Lapel
Photographer: Doug Young Photography
Cinematographer: AJ Ingoglia Films
Makeup: The Beauty Window
Hair: The Salon Cartel
Florist: Flora’s Avenue
Band: Code Bleu Band from Skyline Orchestra
The summer before our freshman year of college, a mutual friend introduced me to Gary during a concert at Jones Beach Theatre in Long Island. We learned we’d both be attending Quinnipiac University in the fall. Little did we know, we’d meet again one of the first weekends of college at a local bar. We quickly became friends, but didn’t begin dating until our junior year. After graduation, we spent a few years apart when we both got jobs and moved to the city. I work in advertising sales and Gary works in finance. Love soon brought us back together.
After two years of dating, we moved in together and two years after that, on Christmas weekend, I came home from work early to find the apartment decorated with candles and roses, with our song from college playing in the background. Minutes later, Gary was on one knee asking me to marry him!
I started venue shopping with my mother, but one day Gary and I decided to search, just us two. We stumbled upon what was then The Woodlands, and now is The Mansion at Oyster Bay. We were greeted by Matt Perez, maître d’, who could not have been more helpful. He explained that the venue was in the midst of being taken over by new ownership and we’d surely be in good hands.
Working with The Mansion at Oyster Bay was phenomenal from start to finish. Every ounce of renovations they promised was done on time and exactly as described. Matt and Gary Schneider, director of sales, helped us coordinate every detail. Anything we needed on the day of, Kayla, bar manager, and Erica, bridal attendant, were there. The attitudes and attentiveness of the staff through the whole process was nothing short of outstanding!
Our ceremony was held at the church where my parents had been married 42 years prior and also went to high school together. The cozy atmosphere and nostalgic sentiment made for a romantic and lovely ceremony. After the ceremony, guests walked through the mansion’s various candlelit rooms for cocktail hour while enjoying music by a pianist and saxophone player. We had butlers pass hors d’oeuvres like smoked chicken quesadillas, Yukon gold potatoes stuffed with bacon and gorgonzola, pea and basil risotto cakes, and more. We also had several hot food stations including a Ship-Wrecked Seafood Bar with fried calamari and baked clams and a carving station with turkey breast and marinated flank steak.
Our alternating high and low centerpieces incorporated a touch of the winter season into our ballroom décor. High centerpieces were filled with white orchids, cascading flowers, and rustic twigs. For the low centerpieces, gold bowls were filled with wintery greens and small white fairy lights.
For dinner, the first course was a grilled vegetable tower with balsamic vinaigrette. For the main course, our guests had a choice of braised short ribs with chianti demi glaze, French breast of chicken in roasted garlic au jus, or mascarpone and risotto stuffed ravioli with sage and brown butter reduction. Everything was amazing. For dessert, we offered our wedding cake and a sampling of homemade desserts such as cookies and pastries.
The band really wowed our guests during the whole reception. They had people on their feet from start to finish, ending the night with a powerful circle of people arm-in-arm dancing to “Piano Man.” It is a vision I will never forget!
We cannot thank everyone enough who played a part in our special day. Our parents for the love and support always, our maid of honor, best man, and bridal party for standing by our sides. To our band and all our vendors and to Gary, Matt, Kayla, Erica, and the staff at The Mansion, thank you for making our wedding the best day of our lives.
The Mansion at Oyster Bay
Woodbury, NY, 516.921.5707, lessings.com, themansionatoysterbay.com