When Alix Krinick’s college sweetheart swept her away to her family’s lake house, she had no idea what surprise was in store. However, shortly after she and Steven Kantowitz arrived, Alix was aware that it wouldn’t be an ordinary weekend escape. Illuminated on the lawn in strings of lights were two very important words (and one very important question): “Marry me?”
“The lake house reminds me of my childhood, family, and love – all parts of me that I hoped to bring into my marriage,” shares Alix of the perfect proposal.
As the wedding was to take place on a Sunday evening, and most of the pair’s loved ones reside in New York City, Alix didn’t want to ask guests to travel outside of Manhattan. The groom also was intent on selecting the perfect venue. “I wanted to make sure [the wedding] would be a great party, and I knew the venue and the band would play a large role in that,” he asserts of the two aspects of the event in which he was most involved. Ultimately, a storied Manhattan hotel known for making fairy tales come true was selected. “The Plaza is magical and enchanting, yet feels very cozy and intimate,” says Alix of the historical address that lies at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Central Park. “I loved the balance of glamorous and personal at the same time.”
In accordance with the venue, the ceremony décor was based on a romantic fairy-tale theme. This was achieved through a white color palette, the use of intimate, soft lighting, and an abundance of candles. The bride looked like a princess sheathed in a white gown with sweet cap sleeves and a rouched skirt. She carried a bouquet of peonies in shades of pale pink and white. “I was blown away,” says the groom of seeing Alix for the first time that day. “She looked amazing and it was the type of thing you can’t really imagine or picture beforehand.”
Prior to the nuptials, a bedeken ceremony was held, a Jewish tradition in which the groom – surrounded by his father, the father of the bride, the groomsmen, and all of the male guests – approaches his bride to “confirm” that she is indeed his intended. To the sound of trumpets and Hebrew music played by a live 12-piece band, the groom danced to where Alix was seated with her bridesmaids and immediate female relatives, verified her identity, and draped her veil in place. Following this treasured tradition, guests were seated in the famous Terrace Room of the hotel and the ceremony commenced.
A traditional Orthodox Jewish ceremony was led beneath a chuppah formed from wintry white blossoms accented by wispy greenery. Gossamer fabric was poised from above, laying the backdrop for the nuptials, and magnificent crystal chandeliers were suspended from the ornate ceiling. The Beaux Arts-adorned room was bathed in amber light while golden chiavari chairs lined each side of an aisle introduced by two soaring arrangements of snowy florals. Clear round vases housing sprigs of orchids were placed atop ledges that lined the perimeter of the room.
Following the ceremony, guests were treated to an enchanted reception featuring a romantic, natural theme. A rose pattern reminiscent of an English garden was projected onto the ceiling and ballroom floor in pretty rosy hues that changed throughout the night. Round tables were draped in ivory linens that featured a delicate pattern of concentric circles. Vanilla phalaenopsis and dendrobium orchids spilled from tall cylindrical vases with slim bases. “The centerpieces were tall because the ceiling in The Plaza ballroom is quite high,” notes the bride. Other centerpieces featured gangly branches of mountain laurel accented with cascades of orchids in geometric vases. Gold-trimmed chargers presented menus scrawled with the evening’s delights, while a plethora of candles shimmered with light. Gilded chiavari chairs topped with ivory bengaline cushions served as seating. “Our wedding consultant was an invaluable asset in the planning,” Alix says.
While the décor was a definite highlight, it was the music that really stole the hearts of the bride and groom. They danced the night away to a mix of modern tunes played by one band, and traditional Hebrew music played by another. A special chazzan (cantor) also crooned traditional Hebrew wedding songs. “The music was incredible,” remembers the groom. “The band did a great job of playing off of the crowd and keeping the party going,” he recalls. While the bride fondly remembers running out together to the dance floor for the first time as man and wife and twirling the night away with friends and family, there’s one memory the groom can’t help but treasure: “Seeing my brother playing air-guitar on stage in the middle of the wedding was unforgettable,” he laughs.
Is there anything else that surprised the couple on their fairy-tale day? “I went into the day so nervous,” confesses Steven “and before I knew it, it was over. It kind of felt like I was watching myself experience the day while it was actually happening, kind of like an out-of-body experience.” Alix affirms that she was astonished at how quickly the day flew by as well, and encourages fellow brides and grooms to take it all in and not to stress over the small things. “The actual day will be blissful and a day you will always remember – in the most positive way!”