The Wedding of…
Inna Lapidus & Ben Lepore
Ceremony & Reception: Hilton Pearl River, 845.735.9000, hiltonpearlriver.com
Gown: Alon Livne, at Wedding Atelier, NYC
Tux: JoS A. Bank
Photographer: Femina Photo and Design, feminaphoto.com
Cinematographer: Kaan Tulgar
Makeup: Mariel, Lipstick and Magic Tricks
Hair: Meredith O’Connors, Beaunique Babes
Florist: Laurelwood Designs
Cake: A Little Cake
Music: Hank Lane Music, Octane Band
Photo Booth: Buddy Blue Photo Booth
“The Food Was Incredible”
We met on a dating app in 2016 and happened to live about five blocks from each other. Our first date was at the movies. I thought Ben was playing it safe by picking the movies. You can’t screw up the date if you don’t talk! But we sat in the park and chatted for two hours after the movie was over.
Ben proposed in 2019 in Central Park. He asked a stranger to take a photo of us and surprised both me and the stranger! I kept scooting over to hug him for the photo and he kept scooting away so that he could get down on one knee.
We fell in love with the Hilton Pearl River as soon as we met Gerry Burns, director of events. She became one of my favorite people on the planet. We liked that they only do one wedding per day and that both their outdoor and indoor ceremony options are gorgeous. We also loved the convenience of getting married at a hotel and having everything on-site. We had our ceremony outside, but didn’t sweat the weather because we knew the Sky Room was such a stunning backup.
Gerry, Abbey Rochford, senior events manager, and Jamie truly made us feel like family. They are the definition of a dream team. You would think we were the only people they were planning a wedding for. I didn’t have to stress about anything because Gerry and her team had it all under control. Throughout the planning, they were extremely helpful and accommodating. Every single person there made us feel like we were the most important people on Earth, from the gentleman who brought our luggage up to our insane bridal suite to the most incredible bridal attendant, Linda, to the bartenders at our after-party.
Almost a year later, our guests still tell us we had the best cocktail hour they’ve ever been to. The biggest hits were the sushi and the rosemary and garlic-encrusted rack of lamb, We also had an Asian station with steamed dumplings and shrimp shumai, Peking duck, and an Italian station with fried calamari, eggplant rollatini, and shrimp and scallop scampi.
I also loved that cocktail hour was indoors and outdoors, and they let us bring a cornhole lawn game set for guests to enjoy. We also really appreciated that they took us to a separate room for 20 minutes during cocktail hour so that we could have some time to ourselves and sample the cocktail food. Linda made sure we always had everything we needed.
The reception was amazing as we danced the night away. Our band even brought conga drums and started a conga line with us! The food was incredible. We started with the goat cheese tart appetizer. Entrée selections were cabernet-braised short ribs, French cut chicken breast, and Chilean sea bass, which is what I had and it was to die for. Our vegan entrée was roasted cauliflower steak.
For dessert we had alternating apple pie and sorbet. Our chocolate and vanilla sponge wedding cake had chocolate ganache and raspberry mousse fillings. I also loved that they passed desserts to everyone on the dance floor. The fried Oreos, milkshakes, and cake pops were amazing. Then we had our after-party at the hotel bar. Gerry made sure we didn’t have to sweat a thing.
All our friends, family, and vendors, though I don’t want to call them vendors because they felt like family, came together to truly give us the best day of our lives. I didn’t cry the entire wedding because I was very focused on not ruining my makeup, but then the waterworks suddenly started after breakfast the next day when I was saying goodbye to Gerry because I will miss her and Abbey and the entire team so much. I cannot thank them enough.