Katie Epstein and Jonathan Fine’s first date is likely one of the most successful first dates in history. “I vividly remember looking across the table thinking and feeling what a good, kind, and generous person this was,” smiles Katie who was immediately smitten. Before their second date, Jonathan knew he’d one day propose to the beautiful new woman in his life. When the time was right, he asked her parents for their blessing and looked to her dear friend, a jeweler, to design the perfect engagement ring.
In hopes that he would pop the question when she least expected it, Jonathan brought Katie to one of the restaurants where they had a date early on in their relationship under the pretense of meeting friends for karaoke night. After perusing the song list, the duo chose to serenade the restaurant with a duet of “Summer Nights;” however, once they got on stage, the band began playing an entirely different song – “our song, ‘Brighter Than Sunshine,’” adds Katie. “I had a feeling something was about to happen and exclaimed, ‘What is happening?’ At that point, Jonathan gestured to the audience and said, ‘Well, why don’t you ask them?’” To her surprise, their family and friends, who had been hiding in the kitchen, were surrounding the stage to witness Jonathan get on bended knee. “He asked me to marry him in front of all of our favorite people to the tune of our favorite song!” she exclaims.
When planning the location of their nuptials, the pair – who resides in Las Vegas – knew exactly what they desired. “We knew we wanted a destination wedding, and New York City is one of our very favorite places in the world,” says the bride. “We loved the idea of providing our guests with the quintessential New York experience.” On the night of the ceremony, 365 guests joined together at an iconic hotel to celebrate the couple’s union in a grand multi-level space showcasing impeccable crystal chandeliers and luxurious painted ceilings. Beneath lush arches composed of rosy and ivory flowers, branches, and greenery, a mirrored aisle lined with arrangements of billowing blooms led to a magnificent floral-embellished chuppah.
Twelve bridesmaids dressed in matching off-the-shoulder blush gowns, save for the matron of honor – the sister of the bride – who wore a similar dress adorned with floral appliqués, and ten groomsmen wearing tuxedos with bow ties and patent leather sneakers preceded the bride down the aisle. Katie waltzed into the space wearing a sparkling long-sleeved gown featuring an illusion bodice with a plunging V-neckline; a glistening headpiece was placed atop her sophisticated coiffure, and she held a bouquet of snowy peonies as she met her groom beneath the immaculate structure.
Since both the bride and groom are Jewish, it was very important that they incorporate the faith and culture into their wedding-day rituals. In fact, their rabbi from Las Vegas flew to New York to marry them since he had “married five of our six combined siblings, as well as my parents, Jonathan’s mother and step-father, and his father and step-mother,” explains Katie. “He has a great understanding of us as individuals as well as a couple, and it made our wedding ceremony that much more personal.” Once they exchanged vows and sealed their marriage with a kiss, confetti erupted in celebration before they walked up the aisle to a live performance of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” and a medley of “New York, New York” and “Empire State of Mind.”
Guests found their reception seating assignments displayed around a towering tree that emerged out of the center of a collection of round tables. Desiring “dreamy, ethereal, beautiful, and lush” décor for the celebration, the bride worked with her expert team of wedding professionals to transform the elegant ballroom into a warm space inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Long tables were decorated with floral runners and flickering candles as well as towering centerpieces of both traditional and garden roses, peonies, and hydrangeas in shades of ivory and pink accented with cascading amaranthus. Round tables showcased tree-like arrangements of verdure and vibrant blooms or low compilations of the same florals, and rose buds bedecked each guest’s place setting.
Following a plated three-course meal, loved ones enjoyed slices of a six-layer wedding cake that alternated between red velvet and peanut-butter-and-jelly cake – Katie and Jonathan’s favorite flavors, respectively. The confection was elaborately decorated with gold filigree details and hand-painted sugar flowers, and for the bottom tier, “they created an edible version of our black lab puppy jumping up onto the cake to take a bite!” notes the bride of the sentimental detail. Dancing ensued for the rest of the night and revelers celebrated the newlyweds until 1AM, with an after-party continuing until 4AM.
“It was a seamless event! All of it was above and beyond for us and all of our guests,” reminisces the groom. “I expected everything to go by so fast that we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the day, but it was absolutely perfect and I remember every small detail.” The bride agrees she wouldn’t change a thing and encourages other couples to “cherish and appreciate every single moment of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”