Winter is coming… Part 2 

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Christmas: the happiest day for all children (wise enough to wait until morning). But before Christmas day, it is Christmas Eve. It is more a family event than a party with friends, though in this day and age, we get to choose our family J.

f886709752aab251e2ba3fa56fe08c74Once again, you can prepare a lovely dinner and concoct a musical atmosphere (AC/DC is good but you should prefer some jazzy, low key tunes for this event). About the dinner; it is the time to be creative while keeping the favorite traditional comfort foods. Be spontaneous and add in a dish most people may never have thought to display. It is now appreciated and trendy to eat foods such as fish and seafood. You can do salmon, oysters, lobster, and other dishes the sea offers us. Speaking of eating differently, our French intern eats snails for Christmas; can you believe it? Why not try? If you prefer those succulent traditional birds, make sure you stuff them with apples and butter and of course, stuffing! Perfect traditional dinner! Maybe try venison, lamb, something new. Vegitarian? Tofurkey! Or some really awesome veggie platters. Corn casserole is always a favorite. So now you have the dinner and the music, is there something missing? YES: the table!

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Once again, the table is very important and is part of the full ambiance of the evening. Thinking of a table center is a way to express your artistic side again, you should keep a theme in mind, the result will be better. Don’t forget the candles, the flowers, you even can add fake snow (real snow tends to melt really fast you know), add place cards, and your most beautiful tableware on this special day. You should bet on a minimalist design, simple, with bright accents, maybe throw in some sequins and flashy objects (white & gold, or white & silver for example).

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Christmas day is now here; it is time to share presents and to wear your pajamas all day long! You can share brunch with your family (mimosas, bloody mary’s and screwdrivers!). It is perfect after the big Christmas Eve dinner. Brunch is cozy, not too serious, intimate, and the fact that you can drink before 3pm will delight everyone. If you don’t have any idea of which kind of food you should prepare for a brunch, do as simple as you can: some fruits, fruit juices, coffee, tea, bacon, eggs, avocados, muffins, toasts, jam, butter, maybe some turkey sandwiches (once again?), and some sweet deserts like the pie from last night. You can add some chill music, such as Amy Winehouse or Frank Sinatra, clear the table entirely form the night before, keep a couple of lively flowers and small pumpkins, but obviously this will be low key. The most important thing will be sharing this magical moment with your loved ones, and to enjoy the beauty of the simplicity of this day.

And, don’t forget that (winter is coming…). No seriously, don’t forget that SWANK is here to help you if you do not have the time to get through all the events this season has to offer, or if you need any advice, it’s our pleasure to help!

xoxo

The SWANK Team

NYC Wedding Specialist for The Knot NYC Wedding Specialist for TheKnot.com Blog! NYC Wedding Specialist for TheKnot.com Blog!

SO EXCITED! Can’t even begin to explain!
I am thrilled to have been asked to be the NYC wedding specialist blogger for the knot.com’s new New York City Page!http://newyorkcity.weddings.com/

I’ll be sharing the details of weddings we’re planning, things that inspire me, design ideas, vendors we love, sample sales, you name it…if it has to do with weddings in New York City we’ll be talking about it!
Would LOVE it if you followed!

Here’s my first post!
Tomorrow I’m showing a wedding client one of my favorite little secret venues for their upcoming Summer wedding. On a fairly nondescript area of 10th Ave. between 20th & 21st St. is The Desmond Tutu Center a true oasis of serenity. For a client who is looking for a venue that has magnificent lawns (yes two huge lawns!) and a Gothic-Castle-type of feel this event venue is a true gem. Things I love about it.
The lawns!

The two lawns are really nice sized and fairly level. Perfect for outdoor ceremony’s and cocktail hours. There’s a wonderful serenity to the outdoor space that makes you immediately forget that you could possibly be in New York City. The trees are big and bushy and beautiful and when you’re there in the spring or summer time you hear birds chirping and see the butterflies in the flowers!…its sublime and very romantic! (can you tell I like this place!) The space is both a hotel and a seminary so there are rules that need to be followed, but with enough notice they are very reasonable with requests. Oh and there is also a tennis court which you can also tent if needed (which is always a great option because you’ve got a built in floor!)
My other favorite part of the venue is the reception hall!(the Refectory)

 

This room is just breathtaking. There’s a regal feel you get when walking up the stairs and entering the heavy doors to this long beautiful room. I have to admit that scene in Harry Potter is exactly what I thought of the very first time I saw it. The length of the room. The two giant fireplaces at either end. The Gothic wooden chairs. The chandeliers. All amazing! Very cool and very chic! There’s a lot that can be done to this venue to create some amazingly breathtaking design moments. (by the way, there are a bunch of large paintings hanging in the room, but again, with prior notice they are really great and will take them all down if you’d like)

The venue is also a hotel, which for a wedding venue can be another added nicety. The rooms and suites are all quite large and designed with what I would call handsome, modern and chic details. The rates are really reasonable and can give your guests the ability to have a little NYC vacation weekend in Chelsea!

As as wedding planner, if I’m going to rave about the place I have to also tell you the things you might not love (but honestly you can get past)

The entrance,while very nice, clean and neat is a functioning hotel front desk – and thus does feel just like one. Its small and fairly neutral, maybe even a bit dry. So to a bride thinking about a venue I can see how that might be a small concern. BUT, I think it’s a minimal issue and is definitely something you can glaze over and solve in creative design ways. (I would say lets chalk it up to another one of those ‘NYC wedding venue’ experiences).

*I have theories you’ll start to get to know as you get to know me!

In order to help my clients find the best venue, I try to get them to understand and accept this theory. Most NYC venue entrances (other than hotels) are ‘gritty’ and ‘urban’ to say the least. Not what a stylish bride might normally think of as a beautiful, cool or chic wedding entrance to her wedding venue. BUT, when you enter the venue and the event itself! – That’s when the WOW moment happens! That’s a huge part of what makes a NYC wedding unique for you and your guests! So, in order to really be happy with picking a NYC venue for your wedding – I think you have to be open to this theory and make the decisions based on the wow factors to come, not necessarily what the outside of the building or the area looks like.

Anyway, I digress. The other thing you may be concerned with while walking around the property is the playground. Yes, there is a playground. (again, it’s a hotel and a seminary that has a nursery school. No big deal, it wont effect your event at all). If you feel the need, screens will make it disappear on the day of your event, so don’t event think about it twice!

All of that being said, as a wedding designer I love the bones of this venue! Its a beautiful, peaceful, and very cool space where truly magical moment can be created. Now after writing about it, I’m even more excited to show it to my clients tomorrow! I will certainly keep you posted on the details of the visit and of course the wedding planning to come. If you have any great stories or details of events from this venue you want to share I’d love to see them!

Cheers to getting married in New York City!
~Maya