“I’m a firm believer in ‘what is meant to be, will be,’” shares Daniel Axelrod, who knew very early on that he and Jenna Finegold were destined to be together. The pair was first introduced as seniors in college through a mutual friend while visiting Las Vegas; however, it wasn’t until nearly four years later that they finally went on their first date in New York City. “As soon as I saw her, I experienced the same awestruck feeling that I had several years prior,” confirms Daniel. “I felt an immediate connection and knew there was something special about her.”
When the time was right, Daniel asked Jenna’s family for their blessing to propose. As he knew Jenna was not likely to get dressed up unless there was an occasion to celebrate, he created a fake invitation for a holiday party hosted by one of his clients. On the way to the faux event, Daniel stopped at the Vermont home of the bride’s parents, which, of course, was the plan all along. “There was live music playing ‘Perfect’ by Ed Sheeran, which is the song I walked down the aisle to,” remembers Jenna of the special moment. Once she said yes, the betrothed celebrated with their parents.
As Jenna and Daniel began planning their nuptials and selecting a venue, they had a few “musts” in mind: a winter wedding, in New York City, and not at a hotel. “We wanted a grand room that still felt warm,” affirms the bride of their vision. Thus, the pair chose a spectacular landmark in lower Manhattan that offered everything they desired. When planning the design of the celebration, the bride relied heavily on her mother, who is a designer, to work with the wedding team to produce an event inspired by the murals painted on the 65-foot-high ceiling of the great hall designed in an Italian neo-renaissance style. The result was a stunning display of colors, textures, and romance.
Since it was important to the groom to have a traditional Jewish wedding, the bride and groom took part in the customs of their shared religion and culture. “Having my family all together was incredibly important as well,” Daniel adds, sharing that they were incredibly fortunate to have so many grandparents at their wedding, including his 98-year-old grandfather. To make the grandiose ceremony space feel more intimate, 230 of the couple’s friends and family members sat in the round to witness the vow exchange beneath a striking chuppah of florals in tones of blue and purple. “When I was walking down the aisle and saw my soon-to-be husband standing there crying, I couldn’t get down the aisle quick enough to hug him and become husband and wife,” the bride smiles.
Following the touching vow exchange, loved ones enjoyed a glamorous cocktail hour complete with delectable libations and tasty hors d’oeuvres, as well as chic décor in the colorful winter palette that was carried throughout the event. “The cocktail hour very much had a Mad Men vibe,” describes the groom, who felt like Don Draper in his smart tuxedo. Before entering the reception hall, guests found their seating assignments on an escort card table decorated with lush blossoms in hot pink, lavender, and baby blue illuminated with ambient candlelight. As attendees walked into the room for dinner and dancing, they were in awe of the incredibly ornate décor.
The grand venue, which features stately marble columns and towering ceilings, was illuminated with vibrant violet lighting for the luxurious fête. To bring in the blues from the impressive blooms suspended over the dance floor, guests found their seats at oval-back chairs upholstered in various tones of blue velvet. Round tables were strewn with velvety linens, while rectangular varieties featured sophisticated mirrored elements that reflected the light emitted from taper candles and metallic votives. Centerpieces showcased unique candleholders and lanterns, as well as compilations of anemones, roses, cherry blossoms, and additional florals in shades of ivory, pink, and lavender.
Despite having taken a lesson before their first dance to “Love Someone” by Lukas Graham, Daniel admits he was anxious for everyone’s eyes to be on them. “The dance was the only thing I was nervous about all day and when it finally started, I didn’t feel nervous at all,” he reminisces. “I couldn’t look away from Jenna’s eyes and didn’t want the song to end.” The newlyweds spent the rest of the night dancing with their family and friends to the sounds of an exquisite live band, making sure to take time to observe everyone enjoying themselves. “Take a moment to yourself or with your spouse to take it all in and appreciate that all of these people are here for you,” urges the bride. Her groom adds, “It was a perfect day.”