Ceremony: Immaculate Heart of Mary
718.477.2400 x5, www.eventabove.com
Gown: Pnina Tornai
Bridesmaids: Vera Wang
Tux: Enzo Custom
Photographer: Philip Siciliano Photography
Cinematographer: Majestic Films
Makeup: George Miguel
Hair: Tantrum Salon & Boutique
Florist: Eltingville Florist
Cake: Jackie’s Cake Boutique
DJ: Platinum Entertainment
After-Party Food: Conrad’s Concessions Event Rentals
Limo: Romantique Limousines
Invitations: The September Rose
Romantic, Elegant, & Sophisticated
Bryan and I were set up on a blind date by my uncle Leo and Bryan’s brother Keith, who were friends. We met at a restaurant in Hoboken and hit it off. I work in marketing and he is a financial advisor. A year and a half later, I thought I was meeting my brother for dinner at a restaurant, when the hostess led me upstairs to a private room with an empty chair. Our song was playing and a TV screen read “Erica, please sit.” A video played, and there was Bryan talking about how we met, acting out funny skits, and asking my parents for my hand in marriage. The hostess walked me to another room, where both our immediate families were, all holding lit candles that led to Bryan. When I got to Bryan, he got down on one knee and proposed.
We wanted a unique, elegant, and modern wedding venue. Bryan, being from Staten Island, suggested Above right off the bat. When I walked into the ballroom and saw the floor-to-ceiling glass windows, I instantly fell in love. Sue Vaiana, our event planner, Lois and Richard Nicotra, the owners, and the whole staff, were amazing to work with. Both of us are from large Italian families, so food was very important to us and they helped plan our menus exactly how we wanted. Sue was attentive to all our needs and even worked with all our outside vendors to make sure everything was seamless.
Our ceremony was held at my childhood church where I had all my sacraments. Then off to Above for cocktail hour. Above’s cocktail hour setup had a huge bar, an open layout, and the wait staff was always within arm’s reach. Not only was the ambiance beautiful, but the food was incredible. We had several hors d’oeuvres including baby lamb chops, lobster and truffle mac and cheese, waffles with southern fried chicken, corn and crab quesadilla, and more. We also had a modern harvest station with a selection of meats, cheeses, and flatbreads; an antipasto station with items like artichoke caponata and capri seafood salad; and a wood oven with various pizzettes and calzones.
The reception décor was simple and elegant with a touch of sexy. The windowsills were covered with 450 votive candles and the centerpieces were my three favorite flowers: orchids, white roses, and white hydrangeas. My favorite touch was our custom mirror seating chart, with an orchid lei draping over it, surrounded by candles.
Our guests are still talking about the remarkable dinner! The first course was a grilled Tuscan flatbread with arugula, tomatoes, buratta cheese, and prosciutto di parma. The second course was potato gnocchi with mushrooms, truffle oil, and chives. For entrées, guests chose between bone-in-rib steak, pesto-crusted chicken breast, or my favorite, macadamia and sesame-crusted grouper.
Our wedding cake was perfection and we also had delicious passed dessert bites, including individual Nutella-strawberry pizzas, honey ricotta zeppoles, cheesecake lollipops, and more!
When our guests weren’t enjoying the delicious food, they were dancing. The dance floor was packed all night! Our DJ created a fantastic energy. Bryan even surprised me during our first dance and sang our wedding song. Our after-party was on the rooftop bar, where the dancing continued until 2 am!
We cannot thank Lois and Richard Nicotra and Sue at Above and all our vendors enough. We are so grateful to have worked with such talented people. Most of all, we want to thank our parents, family, and friends for their support, love, and laughter. They helped make our fairy tale wedding come to life.
1100 South Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10314
718.477.2400 x 5, www.eventabove.com