Curtis and Linda

We all met Curtis and Linda at Chelsea Piers for a game of bowling. They are die-hard bowlers so Gino thought it would be fun to meet them and talk about their wedding details and location. I suck at bowling! Gino threw down a strike. So of course the next day he asked if we remembered his strike. Ha! Yessss Gino…

I really admire and respect Linda. She knows what she wants. This girl proposed to Curtis on his birthday. She gave him a ring and he said yes! Now that is a story. How many women out there have the courage to propose to their significant other?

But I hated to hear that her mother doesn’t approve of Curtis. Her mom is old fashioned and wanted an ‘arranged’ wedding for Linda.

The wedding ceremony was classic. Gino married them in a vintage taxi riding over the Brooklyn Bridge. AND they also got the sunset.

This was something the viewers didn’t get to see but after their ‘taxi ceremony” Gino and I then headed to another location in Brooklyn where their guests were waiting. Gino married the couple again but this time in front of family and friends.

This bride got 2 wedding ceremonies in one day. What a lucky couple!

Alison and Skip

These 2 were so into each other. Alison was married to a woman for 4 years. That ended and then Alison met Skip one random day. It was instant attraction at Home Depot! Maybe I should hit that place one of these days.

I really admire her story. She is a cancer survivor. I’m one of her biggest fans.

It was a great day at Washington Square Park. What a location to get married in! It was crowded that day in the park but the energy was lively. The ceremony went without a hitch. They read their vows to one another from their iPhones? Really?! I’m old fashioned and I would have loved to see them say their vows without the help of technology. Oh well. Thank god their iPhones didn’t go dead.

Gino put me in charge of holding a netted basket filled with butterflies. As you saw Alison and Skip released them at the end of their ceremony. They shipped these live suckers overnight FedEx in a box. Who knew you could do that?

Joy and Andre

These two were taller than the Empire State Building. Sandy and I headed to Belvedere Castle in Central Park where Gino had planned the ultimate fairy tale wedding with a twist of Hip Hop.

The guests were traveling from out of town on a bus to New York. The bus ended up breaking down so that pushed the wedding back.

While Sandy was escorting guests to the castle from the street, Gino and I were at the wedding site taking care of last minute details. While doing so there was some drama that was not caught on camera. When the castle was closing down to the public there was one BIG guy that refused to come down. We had no idea what he was capable of, so NYPD evacuated everyone off the premises until they got him down. This put the ceremony behind even further. Once the police had the situation under control, Sandy showed up with the bride along with the bridesmaids.

You never know when you are going to be thrown a curveball. Anything can happen!

Despite all that the ceremony was beautiful. She got her fairy tale wedding and Andre got a Hip Hop surprise. We had a rapper perform at the end of the ceremony.

To end this fairy tale wedding we put Andre and Joy in a horse and carriage for a romantic ride though Central Park.

Belinda and Jerry

Poor Belinda and Jerry. Mother Nature was not on their side that day.

Their wedding was at the Worlds Fair Unisphere located in Queens. The weather started out perfect. As we were setting up we got word that a storm was heading our way. The clouds started to roll in and it was getting dark fast.

Sandy was with the bride helping her get dressed while I was helping Gino with the guests. Belinda was waiting for her sisters who were her bridesmaids to arrive because they had her shoes and bra. Wouldn’t you think the bride would have these already with her?

Everything was in place minus the bridesmaids: Now we were just waiting for the girls to show up. We found out Belinda’s sisters were lost in the park nowhere to be found and thunder and lightning was setting in. At that point Gino made the executive decision that we had to start the ceremony. OK, here we go with no bridesmaids, and a shoeless and braless bride. One thing you didn’t get to see is that Gino grabbed some guests to stand in as the bridal party. Brilliant! As soon as they were pronounced husband and wife it poured and we all ran for the hills. Isn’t it good luck when it rains on your wedding day?

Meritza and Kyle

A fashion show wedding ceremony on a runway and Kotko designing Meritza’s wedding dress… All mind blowing.

Gino, Sandy and I paid a visit to Meritza’s studio where she teaches pole dancing. Yes, we showed up wearing the wrong gear. We were dressed more for a yoga class. The first thing she asked us was “where are your shorts?” It was comical to see all of us try to “climb the pole.” I think I found my new career. Then we finally got down to business as we were “rolling it out.”

Wedding day was chaotic. The scene was fast paced, filled with high energy and you could feel the adrenaline in that show room. There was a little bit of drama. The groom’s tuxedo hadn’t arrived yet. There I was running in my Manolos on the cobblestone streets of NYC trying to track it down. We finally did and after that it was show time. Mertiza and Kyle got the wedding of a lifetime. And thank you Kotko for a ‘one of a kind’ stunning dress!

Abigail and David

This couple had never been to the big apple before let alone on an airplane. So Sandy and I met the couple at the airport so we could make sure they got their luggage and see them off in a taxi.

As soon as I met them I knew they were the perfect couple. Abigail was covered with loads of tattoos on her neck and chest. She certainly took major pride of her tattoos. All of her body art had a true meaning behind it and that’s what made it beautiful.

Gino took the Bride and Groom plus the entire family on a NYC bus tour since none of them had visited the city before. Gino went back to his roots and was their personal tour guide for the day. Go Gino! The big finale of the trip was surprising them with their iconic wedding location, Grand Central Station.

It was a busy day and unfortunately I was unable to make their ceremony because I had another wedding. Having watched the episode on TV, I was so impressed and floored at how beautiful their wedding turned out to be. Gosh, I only can imagine how she felt walking through Grand Central Station knowing all eyes were on her. It’s a day they both will never forget and I’m sure NYC will be expecting many more visits from these two!

Katie and Tim

Gino called this one out. This bride was sooo focused on the performance and entertainment rather than her actual wedding ceremony itself. He finally brought her down to earth and basically told her the cathedral wouldn’t be a good venue for her wedding due to the massive space. Tooooo big.

He finally found the perfect location for them. Since Katie loves to sing and perform, he chose Time Square for the wedding location. She had the neon lights, the big crowd AND she was center stage in the middle of Time Square! This bride and groom had it all.

The day of the wedding I was at the hotel making sure the Bride had everything she needed and Sandy was with the groom. I got the call from Gino he needed us ASAP in Time Square to help him set up the island where Katie and Tim were getting married. We hopped in a cab and rushed over to help him but as soon as we arrived, it was already done. Leave it to Gino to grab some tourists to help out. Free labor!

As soon as the bride and groom arrived I actually took off for another wedding we had later that day in Central Park. So unfortunately I missed Katie and Tim’s wedding ceremony. But from what Gino and Sandy told me it was exactly what they wanted. Now that’s a performance!

Cassaundra and Joko

The bride is from Texas! My people! This couple was so in love….nothing was going to stop them from getting married in NYC. We basically walked into this wedding with some drama already brewing up. Cassaundra’s mom wasn’t too happy about the two of them getting married. She thought they weren’t ready to take the big plunge and also bumped heads with Joko. Yikes! Joko was determined to make things right with his mother-in-law to be before his big day.

We met Cassaundra one day to shop for bridesmaids’ dresses. As soon as she walked in with NO bridesmaids I was like, uh oh, something is wrong with this picture. She didn’t really tell us exactly what was going on but it was obvious she was struggling with some major family problems. Good ‘ole Sandy was trying to be nosy as hell and was asking her all these questions but she didn’t quite give us the info we were looking for.

On the wedding day and we ended up taking off past our departure time due to “missing sisters” drama, but overall it was a great ceremony. Gino did get hit with a small surprise though. Cassaundra and Joko brought an “extra’ minister of their own and failed to mention it to Gino until he was standing next to him. Gino asked ‘who are you’?? It was quite funny actually. Gino had to share the spotlight with another officiant but the ceremony all worked out smoothly.

Although they originally wanted Top of the rock for their wedding, these two still got the view! They got the skyline of Manhattan AND the Statue of Liberty-BONUS. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Kira and Damien

Gino gave this couple their dream wedding at Coney Island. They love the beach and they wanted something by the water. They’re both unemployed so I think they were relying on Gino to give them all that they wished for.

And bam! Once again Gino pulled though. He got them rings, a sunset ceremony on the beach and he incorporated the bride’s son Nicholas (who is adorable by the way) in the ceremony somehow some way. The day of the wedding Gino had Sandy and I set up the Pergola on the beach. Ok, I know we are not the tallest peeps but this set up was a little bit of a challenge! We had to hang shell decorations from the top and Sandy could barely reach it. She was even on a ladder and still struggled with it. And did I mention she was even wearing platform shoes?? It’s so nice to be a half inch taller than my sis. We got it done and at the end it came together beautifully. It was the perfect setting for a sunset beach wedding.

After the ceremony took place we all ended up taking a ride on The Cyclone. I DO NOT do roller coasters at all! I’m scared of heights and riding a rollercoaster wasn’t on my agenda. But I bit the bullet and decided to do it just for Kira, Damien, and Nicholas. Who ever was sitting in front of me I probably made them deaf with all the screaming that came out of my mouth.

Sade and Aaron

We dealt more with the groom than we did with the bride. The bride was always MIA. She was always working so tracking her down was extremely hard. So Gino had Sandy and I meet Aaron at the tuxedo shop to see if we could get some answers for their wedding day. Poor guy, he didn’t know a thing. We asked him about flowers, limousine, hair and makeup etc. and even asked about his vows but again he had no clue. We totally tagged team him and hope we didn’t bombard him with too many questions. But at the end of the day it’s our job to get as many answers as we can so we can plan the perfect wedding.

It was hard enough chasing Sade for some wedding answers so that raised the question, how often do they see each other? It was a sweet gesture for Gino to set up the suite at Hotel Giraffe for a lunch date so they could spend some quality time together. My big question is which lasagna did Aaron like the best?

Their wedding day at Hotel Giraffe was exactly what they wanted, from the location to the set up to soaking in the Manhattan view.

Cheers to Sade and Aaron!

Lisa and Ross

It was a hot day in July on a beautiful rooftop, the sun was beaming down on us…Wow was it scorching, but that wasn’t going to slow us down. For this wedding I actually came in the midst of it because I had another wedding to tend to in Central Park. It was a last minute booking for us. So I had already spent hours in the sun and by the time I got to 235 5th Avenue my makeup was down to my chin.

I knew Gino and Sandy had everything covered from decor, to flowers, to even making sure each guest had a glass of champagne in hand. So when I arrived, yep everything was set perfectly in place. Bravo to Gino and Sandy! It was time to start the wedding and Sandy was in charge of the ‘younger adults’. I think both Gino and I have it in our heads that whenever there are children involved in the wedding party, Sandy will manage that part of it. We just don’t want to deal with them, ok?

Seeing Lisa being walked down the aisle by her son Anthony was so endearing. After I had Lisa and Ross sign their marriage license to make it official, I retired in the shade. I wish you the very best, make this one stick!

Melissa and Jerry

I loved this couple. These two were so down to earth. I loved her mom, Louise, she was a hoot! I immediately had a connection with this bride because she had recently lost her father. I also lost my dad and to this day I miss him so very much. So I totally understood the emotion that was pouring out when she told Gino that she so wished her dad could be at her wedding. Gino knew at that point we had to incorporate his memory into the ceremony some how, some way.

When planning a wedding, locking down the location is the first major step. That day on the street when I was with Gino talking about Melissa and Jerry’s original wedding location I received an email from Parks and Recreation that there was a sinkhole. Ok… I never forwarded it to Gino and thought I should I tell him in person instead. Bad move. I totally shot myself in the foot. He got so upset with me that I didn’t tell him immediately. I just had so much going on that day.

Once again Sandy was in charge of the kiddies. I remember during the ceremony I kept seeing Sandy out of the corner of my eye running after this 3 year old trying to stop him from plunging into the East River. Hysterical.

After the ceremony we made a tribute to Melissa’s father by releasing a balloon in his honor. I missed the tribute because I was tending to the guests and I have to admit that really irritated me that I wasn’t a part of it. One day I will make a special tribute to my father at my wedding (don’t know when that will be) that will put a huge smile on his face. Thanks for the great memories, Melissa and Jerry! You two hit a soft spot in my heart.

Hi Everyone! I’m Marisa Pena and after shooting 12 weddings for Marry Me In NYC, I am ecstatic for the show to finally air on WE tv. This has been a crazy ride – working for an amazing wedding planner/part time officiant and perpetual perfectionist like Gino, planning over 200 weddings a year in iconic NYC locations, and tag teaming on a variety of details that take me all over the city with my twin sister Sandra…not to mention all in front of the cameras.  Phew!
 
Honestly, I never thought in my wildest dreams I would be in the business of love.  Helping couples plan for the most important day in their lives seems an incredible responsibility, but I’ve learned how rewarding and fulfilling that can be. Before joining the team at Ultimate USA Weddings, I worked for an OBGYN…clearly a very different clientele and work day. After that career path, I worked in Production Events at a major cable company for a few years. When my old boss told me Gino was looking for a wedding coordinator, I thought, what do I know about planning a lavish wedding?  I’ve never been a conventional type of a girl, so it seemed a little out of my area of expertise.  But after meeting with Gino and learning more about his style, I realized it was a great match, I mean, skip the church…Hello Central Park!  I jumped at the opportunity to do something different with my life and thankfully, it’s been one of the greatest decisions.
 
I am so excited for you to experience this amazing journey with us. It is going to be a fun and exciting ride!  Gino runs a tight ship and the three of us make a great team.  Who would have thought I would have gone from the gynecologist office to becoming an ordained minister!  I love coming to work every day and hope you love it too!  I would love to hear your thoughts after each episode.