The Wedding of ...
Katie Nestor & Stephen Comanto
Ceremony: Church of the Nativity
Reception: Hilton Pearl River
Bridesmaids: Sorella Vita
Photographer: Matt Stallone Photography
Cinematographer: Reggio Productions, 732.807.6413, www.joereggioproductions.com
Makeup & Hair: Panico Salon & Spa
Florist: Morningside Greenhouse
Cake: A Little Cake
Band: Hank Lane Music, Frank Simmons Band
Sweetheart Table Backdrop: Stellar Village Rentals
Katie: I met Stephen in high school through a mutual friend, seeing him occasionally at social events and track meets. We both continued running in college and reconnected at a track meet years later. After much persistence, I agreed to a date with him. It was the best decision I could’ve made.
Stephen: I asked Katie’s father for permission to marry her before we moved in together, and two weeks after the move, I asked her to marry me. I wanted her to be as surprised as possible, so I told her weeks in advance that we were going to an opera in the fall. I suggested a walk in Central Park before the show, and I proposed by the water near the Bow Bridge.
Katie: Stephen hired photographers to capture the whole moment, and they certainly captured my shocked face! I was so excited, and even more so when I learned that instead of the opera, we were meeting all our friends and family in Midtown to celebrate!
Stephen: I had been to the Hilton Pearl River for another event, and I knew Gerry Burns, the director of events, and Abbey Rochford, the events manager. They offered so much, and from the second Katie and I walked in, they welcomed us, took care of us, and set themselves apart by making us feel our wedding was a top priority to them. Throughout the planning process, they were so responsive and friendly. We could rely on them to handle everything.
Katie: The event space, the beautiful views of the Hudson Valley, and meeting Abbey and Gerry solidified our choice. It was great having our guests spend the night and join us for breakfast the next morning. Abbey and Derek Rubino, our maître d’, anticipated our needs and managed everything flawlessly. We were able to enjoy the food and drinks, converse, and dance the night away.
Stephen: Our ceremony was in a church, so our day at the Hilton began at cocktail hour. We wanted to spend the hour with our guests, so about five minutes before it started, Abbey brought us to the bridal suite to enjoy a moment alone together with a full spread of cocktail hour food. We had a snow cone bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, a carving station, a Tuscan table, an Italian station with fried calamari, and more. The fresh, homemade mozzarella bar was a huge hit with our guests. Due to weather, we moved our outdoor cocktail hour inside. With only two hours notice, the Hilton Pearl River staff rearranged the handmade bar and custom furniture to look as if it was meant to be indoors all along.
Katie: For our reception décor, we accentuated the high ceilings with tall centerpieces filled with hydrangeas, roses, and eucalyptus. They gave the room a lovely, fresh scent. We had a custom backdrop for our sweetheart table and chose amber lighting which reminded us of candlelight and gave the whole room a very classically romantic feel. Abbey and Derek made sure we slowed down, got every picture we wanted, and enjoyed every second of our reception. We loved how spacious the ballroom was. The huge dance floor was packed all night long! The band started playing the moment the doors opened and didn’t stop until the encore song at the end of the night.
Stephen: The food at the reception was superb! We offered a jumbo lump crab cake and a watermelon salad as appetizers. Our guests chose their entrées tableside, as if they were in a restaurant. Their options were chateaubriand, French-cut chicken breasts, or Chilean sea bass – which our guests still rave about! For dessert, we chose a chocolate waffle basket filled with vanilla ice cream along with our wedding cake. Warm chocolate chip cookies, churros, and mini pretzel bites were a sweet farewell as people headed to the after-party.
Katie: We thank our amazing parents and bridal party for giving us the wedding of our dreams. We owe an infinite amount of gratitude to Abbey, Gerry, Derek and the entire staff for going above and beyond all our expectations. They were so communicative with our vendors and ensured the entire evening had a great flow. Our wedding was the most wonderful day of our lives and we’ll certainly be returning to celebrate our anniversaries!
Hilton Pearl River
Pearl River, NY 845.735.9000, www.hiltonpearlriver.com