A Dose of '90s Nostalgia Was All This Couple Needed to Make the Iconic Plaza Hotel Their Own
Lisa and Matt's story is one you've probably never heard the likes of before. "We first met in middle school on Long Island in 1994, then became friends in Mr. Lynch's physics class in high school," says Lisa. "We lost touch after graduation, and were reconnected a few years ago through an ongoing battle on 'Draw Something.'" You read that right: An iPhone game brought them back together! From drawings to texts to a date, the couple eventually ended up in Salzburg, Austria on a Sound of Music sing-along bicycle tour. "The Sound of Music is my all-time favorite movie, so Matt incorporated my dream of going on a Sound of Music tour into his proposal plans. He popped the question in the hills above Salzburg!" she remembers.
With a guest list of over 300 people and an elegant vision in mind, the couple chose the Terrace Room and the Grand Ballroom at New York City's iconic The Plaza Hotel. "We loved being able to have our ceremony and reception in two unique spaces," says Lisa. "We also wanted the evening to be formal but not overdone, so beyond the grandiosity of the venue, we kept everything very personal and customized to who we are."
With a black-and-white color scheme, playful and unique details that harkened back to the couple's childhoods in the 1980s and '90s, and a fabulous planner, Tracy Taylor Ward Design, Matt and Lisa's March 21, 2015, wedding was totally classic and a true reflection of their relationship. See how they brought all of these pieces together, photographed by Nathan Smith for Ira Lippke Studios.
During her second appointment at Gabriella Bridal, Lisa saw this Lihi Hod two-piece wedding dress on another bride. "I knew I had to try it!" she says. The gown combined an embroidered and beaded lace bodice with an ivory silk satin skirt, a modern silhouette perfect for a New York City wedding.
"Lihi Hod was in town from Israel for a trunk show, and was at the salon during one of my fittings," says Lisa. "It really reassured me that the dress was meant for me when I got to meet her while wearing her creation."
Lisa paired her wedding dress with a blush and white bouquet of roses, peonies, and ranunculus, accented with silver brunia and dusty miller. Matt wore a navy peak lapel tuxedo from Victor Talbots, which he complemented with a ranunculus boutonniere, Jimmy Choo velvet and black glitter dress shoes, and a watch borrowed from his grandfather. "Matt's grandparents couldn't come to the wedding, so they watched the ceremony via FaceTime!" says the bride.
The couple's sleek invitation suite has New York City written all over it. White ink on black paper, with a playful polka dot envelope liner, is contemporary and fun.
The wedding party looked equally modern, with Lisa's bridesmaids in black silk dresses with varying necklines and Matt's groomsmen in black tuxedos. The flower girl looked like a princess in a cloud of ivory tulle.
Matt and Lisa's altar was a semicircle of flickering candles, set in front of a curtain of white orchids. More candles lined the aisle and were arranged around the perimeter of the room.
While the couple kept their vows traditional, they did incorporate two unique readings. The first was "All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten," by Robert Fulgham. The second is one we've never seen before: Babe Ruth's monologue from The Sandlot!
"I was so anxious about standing up in front of over 300 people during the ceremony," says Lisa. "Our officiant took an air sickness bag off of the plane and tucked it into his jacket pocket. When I made it down the aisle without getting sick, he looked at me and patted his pocket to remind me that it was there just in case. It totally put me at ease!"
As a nod to Lisa's love of Lisa Frank unicorns as a kid, each escort card was accompanied by a black and white Unicorn Horn lollipop. Cocktail hour took place beneath a ceiling of black and white balloons â€” talk about an ultra-cool throwback to childhood!
In the ballroom, a mix of long and round tables mean the couple could easily fit their 333 guests in the space. "It made the room feel much more intimate," says Lisa. Centerpieces combined white taper candles, pillar candles, hydrangeas, roses, and anemones against black and white linens. Each table was given both a number and a name that corresponded to a location in the town where the bride and groom grew up together.
Tall vases held cascading white orchids, while bud vases mixed anemones, roses, and sweet peas.
After a cocktail hour featuring Moscow Mules, seven tasty food stations, passed hors d'oeuvres, and oyster shuckers from Oysters XO, guests sat down to a meal of black mission fig and chevre tart, grilled red snapper with preserved lemon couscous, filet of beef with Brussels sprouts and pancetta, elevated s'mores (read: Italian meringue with dark chocolate gelato), and dulce de leche molten cheesecake with prickly pear gel.
The black and white striped cake, topped with white sugar anemones, featured layers of vanilla and chocolate cake with blackberry and cookies 'n' cream filling.
"We hired a live event painter to capture our first dance," says Lisa. "She painted throughout the evening, and we had replicas of the painting made for our parents as gifts."
Matt is a producer for SportsNet New York, the Mets TV station, so naturally Mr. and Mrs. Met made an appearance during the reception. "They danced with us, then posed for pictures with our guests," says Lisa.
While on the dance floor, guests were treated to miniature cones of mint chip ice cream and bags of cotton candy were awaiting guests by the exit. "My father owns a carnival company on Long Island, and we knew we wanted to incorporate a part of it into the wedding," Lisa explains.
The newlyweds love karaoke, and they found a way to bring it into their wedding! "Late in the evening, we sang a duet to 'Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now' by Starship with the band," says Lisa. "We had so much fun!" Back on the dance floor, Matt surprised his bride with a black and white confetti cannon as the reception came to an end. "The whole night was very us, and we couldn't have asked for anything more!"