Certain that they wanted a venue with a “wow” factor, Michelle Wurtz and her fiancé Michael Kutsak began searching The Big Apple for something that was atypical of a wedding rehearsal dinner. “We wanted a venue that offered our guests a prelude of the incredible day to follow,” explains the bride. The couple selected the rooftop of Rockefeller Center, a spectacular space that offers sweeping views of New York City. “The perfectly manicured rooftop garden boasts its own fountain and reflecting pool, and the alfresco space is ideal for private parties,” adds Michelle.
The couple confides that they didn’t follow tradition per se when it came to their rehearsal dinner. “It was more of a party before the party,” Michelle admits. “We didn’t actually rehearse anything that evening!” It did, however, provide a chance for family and friends to spend time with one another and the couple, as well as toast Michelle and Michael on the joyous occasion. “The important components of the evening were to allow everyone who wanted to toast us as a couple the opportunity to do so, reminisce, and partake in a truly memorable evening,” confirms the groom.
With eight months to plan the event, Michelle and Michael were meticulous in selecting the décor, entertainment, and fare for the evening. Every detail was carefully coordinated through their trusted vendors: floral arrangements, custom menus, live bands, exquisite linens, and specialty foods and drinks.
For the celebration, the couple dressed in style. Their chosen ensembles did, however, allow for comfort, as there was plenty of dancing that took place once the sun set. The bride looked stunning in a timeless, off-the-shoulder custom dress in a frothy white hue. Her glistening jewelry was kept minimal, and her hair worn loosely with classic waves. Michael looked dapper in a crisp navy suit paired with a pink silk tie and matching pocket square.
The couple arranged for limousines to transport their guests to the venue, while Michelle and Michael were shuttled privately in a 1937 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith. “Upon arrival to [the dinner], passersby took pictures – it felt magical,” remembers the bride. Not breaking the spell, as the couple and loved ones made their way through the entrance, an acoustic guitarist began playing romantic melodies.
Once guests entered the banquet space, they were met with striking blooming branches and large arrangements of fragrant blush and pink peonies. Escort cards were found on a table decorated by a grand fixture of fresh seasonal florals in hues of muted pinks placed in an heirloom sterling-silver vase. Loved ones found their seats at either of the two long tables that were beautifully adorned with tall, crystal-encrusted candelabrums overflowing with mounds of peonies, hydrangeas, roses, and orchids in romantic shades of blush. Place settings featured hemstitched linen napkins in a shade of sea green, topped off by a fully bloomed pink peony. Flickering pillar candles and votives in gold mercury glass completed the look of the well-dressed tabletops.
The décor was so breathtaking, even the bride herself took a moment to take it all in. “It felt like you left reality and entered a fairy tale on top of New York City,” she remembers. “It was all so elegant.”
Guests relished in a variety of specialty drinks and dining options. From Bellini bars to Tuscan-inspired eats for the cocktail hour, to hors d’oeuvre choices such as roasted duck and baby filet mignon, and veal tenderloin or homemade lasagna for dinner courses, there was not a palate that was left unsatisfied.
Since the couple enjoys entertaining and knowing their loved ones are having a good time, they felt that a live band was necessary to match the ambience of the evening. A five-piece band and a six-piece jazz ensemble – that focuses on vintage standards with a modern twist – were selected as the entertainment. As favors, guests were given custom copies of the music played throughout the night.
Michelle and Michael took delight in every aspect of the celebration – from beginning to end. “I loved watching the guests arrive,” recounts Michael. “You could see the immediate smiles and emotional sighs.” His bride agrees the event was a success: “The weather was incredible and the setting unique… Dancing under the stars and overlooking Rockefeller Center was epic.”