Joy and Andrea
This was a long day for everyone. From the bus full of guests breaking down, bridesmaids emotions running high, to trying to get Joy’s mother there in time. Like I said it was a long day.
It was so brilliant how Gino merged each of their visions together for their wedding theme- fairy tale and hip hop. My role was to get all the guests from curbside and take them to the Belvedere Castle in Central Park where the wedding was taking place. I made numerous trips back and forth. It’s no short walk people and I had over a dozen blisters to prove it.
But the ceremony went beautifully with the violinist and then surprising them with the rapper. At the end of the ceremony Marisa and I put them in a horse and carriage ride for one last element. We had a graffiti artist create a “Just Married” sign to put on back of the carriage as a small wedding gift to Joy and Andrea. Like I said it was such a long day that our nerves were also shot. So when it came down to who was putting the sign on the back of the carriage Marisa and I had a spat. It was silly. At that point we just had enough of each other. (Uh hum, I ended up putting the sign on the carriage.)
Belinda & Jerry
All we needed were chairs for this location, that’s it. The World’s Fair – The Unisphere had such a strong presence that nothing else was needed. On the day of the wedding I was assigned to help Belinda get in her dress and to help her with any last minute touches.
I’ll admit this is not the easiest location to get to so needless to say her sisters that were her bridesmaids got lost. They were not only late, but had Belinda’s shoes, bra and “something blue”. Meanwhile the heavens above were about to open any minute and give us the thunderstorm of the century. The dark clouds were rolling in and the wind was picking up rapidly. At that point we had to start but she refused to come out of the trailer without her shoes, bra and something blue. I tried so hard to persuade her, which then led to begging. I finally said if you want to get married then you need to boogie now or there’s not going to be a wedding! She finally gave up and married Jerry shoeless, braless, and blueless. But I think she was more upset that her sisters weren’t present at the ceremony than she was about her missing shoes and bra.
Bridal Tip 101: If you put your family or friends in charge of any of the personal belongings that you’re going to need on the day of your wedding, make sure they travel with you!
Meritza and Kyle
These two fashionistas know what they want. I like that! They originally wanted their wedding at 5 points in Queens being surrounded by amazing graffiti. I have to admit it was pretty unique but I knew Gino would come up with an even better location…a runway wedding. Hello! I couldn’t wait to start coordinating this one. I knew this wedding was going to be non-stop for all of us and was looking forward to seeing everything come together.
Meritza teaches pole dancing and Gino wanted us to set up a meeting with her at her studio. But then he decided to drag us with him in work out attire, which meant only one thing. Oy! E for effort Marisa and Gino! In all it was a good meeting, we got all the answers we needed.
Gino made some calls and was able talk Korto in making Meritza’s wedding dress. We were all beyond thrilled! How cool is that? On the day of revealing Korto’s wedding dress to Mertiza both Marisa and I were sweating it out. She was either going to love it or hate it. And she LOVED IT as you all saw!
Lights! Camera! Action! Wedding is on, and she walked the walk. You go Meritza! She looked like a model bride as she strutted her stuff down the aisle. I’ve never felt so much high energy all under one roof. I hope Meritza and Kyle keep their relationship this exciting. You two keep doing what you are doing.
Abigail & David
These two people are beautiful on the inside and out. I have never met a couple so much in love. Yes they’re young but when you know it, you know it.
Gino had Marisa and I meet Abigail and David at the airport. Since it was their first time in NYC and her first time on a plane, he wanted us to make sure they felt right at home. I’m glad we met them because she was shaking like a leaf when I shook her hand. But I reassured her she was now on land and that she could breathe.
I was really amazed by Abigail’s beauty and gorgeous body art. Since both of them had never been to NYC before, I knew in the back of my mind, they had to be married at a major iconic landmark. So when Gino suggested Grand Central Station, I was so excited for them. This building is truly my favorite landmark in all of Manhattan.
Gino decided to have their wedding at Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse in GCS that overlooked the concourse. Ok truly one of the most beautiful brides I have ever seen walk through those doors. When she made her grand entrance, everyone just stopped to look at her- even the people who were running to catch their trains.
They both showed so much emotion while they were getting married. This wedding will go down in my book of favorites.
Melissa & Jerry
When I first met Melissa and Jerry I could sense right away they had a strong bond and connection. But when I learned that Melissa lost her father a year ago just 2 weeks before their wedding my heart melted. I, too, lost my dad 16 years ago and to this day I miss my “shorty” to pieces, but I know he’s with me every moment. So Gino and I (Gino having lost his father too) both felt we had to pay some sort of special tribute to her father during the ceremony.
When Gino landed the perfect location for Melissa and Jerry’s wedding, the Brooklyn Bridge Park, I thought “historical, vintage, outdoors” can’t get any better than this. Then Marisa got an email from Parks and Recreation that there was a sink hole there due to weather. She told me right after she received the news; after all, I was sitting right across from her. But she didn’t forward the email to Gino right away because she wanted to tell him in person that afternoon when we all met up. OOPS! Not a good idea. Next time Mother Nature decides to rain on our parade, alert Gino ASAP. But thank the wedding gods above for Pebble Beach!
In the scene where the balloon escaped from my hands and flew away, I really was mortified, I wanted to vomit. You didn’t see it on camera but I looked at Marisa and gave her look like I “God I wish I were you right now!” We did manage to get another balloon – yeah! When it was time for the ceremony to begin, I was in charge of the “munchkin” wedding party. It’s funny because whenever there are kids involved in a wedding party, Gino and Marisa always say, “Sandy will handle.” When the moment came of letting go of the balloon dedicated to Melissa’s father, we gathered her mom and sisters around. It was such a touching moment for all of us. They have a great story to tell…and will continue to add on to their story (hopefully having little munchkins of their own).
Lisa and Ross
Lisa is a serial marry-er with 3 marriages already under her belt and the 4th counting. One thing Ross said about Lisa is that she changes her mind often. Really!? Lisa has such a magnetic personality, so full of life, so beautiful, what man wouldn’t fall in love with her? I hope it stops here with Ross because he’s such a sweet and down-to-earth guy. Gino put me in charge of decorating the wedding venue, which I so love to do. I didn’t want to go overboard with the decorations because the rooftop’s backdrop already provided such a beautiful setting.
On the day of their wedding Gino and I had a quick pow-wow on how he envisioned the layout of the space. He was literally climbing over every piece of furniture trying to convey his “vision.” Meanwhile I was chuckling to myself thinking, “Wow, you are like King Kong the Wedding Planner right now!” But I stayed focused. Marisa wasn’t present because she was working another wedding. But I certainly had everything under control. In moments like this it’s good to have Marisa there because Gino is sometimes like the Tasmanian Devil. He throws out idea after idea, so if I happen to miss something, Marisa will catch it and vice versa. Once again, Mama Sandy took control of the ‘tween wedding party. I love that part!
Overall, Lisa and Ross’s wedding was so magical from her dress, to her walk down the isle with her son Anthony and even to their “special” dance. It certainly was their “New York wedding moment.”
Katie & Tim
Katie knows what she wants at her wedding and that’s music. Tim seems to be letting her take the reigns in planning their wedding. She’s a singer and a performer and you can tell Tim is so supportive and her biggest fan. So when Gino suggested Times Square as their wedding location, I was like, “Come on! You can’t get better than this!” You have the energy, the theatre, and the built in guest list, it’s all there for Katie and Tim.
Hmm, if I knew I had to be in the city in 5 hours to get my marriage license and it dawned on me that I forgot a few things at the house, I would have said screw it! My wedding versus the pair of shoes I left in the closet? It’s NYC – you can get whatever you left behind there! As long as you have your husband to be and marriage license, you’re golden.
This is a good wedding tip to all you brides to be (if weather permits): If you’re on a tight budget, secure a venue or location that requires little or no decorating. TS provided everything for us from the backdrop, to the neon lights. So if you are considering wedding locations, wherever you may be, think of places like the park, a famous landmark, or by the water.
In all, Katie and Tim’s wedding was so incredibly exciting. Her voice coach surprising her with her choir was the perfect ending to a perfect wedding. She got her music! I felt like I was watching a Broadway Show in the heart of TS. Well, it sort of was… “Tim and Katie’s Wedding” Bravo, Bravo!
Cassaundra & Joko
Love that Cassaundra is a fellow Texan! It was so endearing to hear Joko say he has chased her from city to city. NOW that’s love. I made a comment saying I wish someone would chase me from city to city and I meant it! I mean who wouldn’t? Ok, Ok… so I’m a hopeless romantic.
You could tell Cassaundra and Joko were so heartbroken when Gino told them that they couldn’t have their wedding ceremony at Top Of The Rock due to the number of guests. They made a comment saying, “We have so many memories there.” I know they do but it’s also about creating new memories.
I was so happy to hear that Joko had spoken to Sandra, Cassaundra’s mom. It was really important to me that those two started out on the right foot on his wedding day because he was about to become her son-in-law.
The wedding day has arrived and everything is in place. We’re about to sail and we’re missing 2 sisters of the bride. Are you kidding me? There goes me, Marisa and Gino running the 100 yard dash to the dock to get them. They FINALLY arrived with literally minutes to spare. I remembered not saying hello just “GET ON THE BOAT!!!” At that point, my stress meter was in the red.
At the very end, it was so special to see everyone come together and celebrate Cassaundra and Joko’s wedding with no drama.
Hi All! I’m Sandra Pena and I’m so thrilled to be part of Marry Me In NYC on WE tv. At first, I was a little timid about having the cameras follow me around while trying to do my best at my job in a demanding environment. I mean, this is the most important day in a couple’s life we’re planning! But as time went on, I tried to just be myself and to have fun with it. I hope you can get a sense of who each of us really are and what kind of weddings we put on at Ultimate USA Weddings. From the outside, I’m sure it looks chaotic and very stressful… and it is! But on the inside, it’s also a truly gratifying and fulfilling experience.
I’m not going to lie, when Gino first brought me onto the team, I had some reservations. I told myself that I would never work with my twin sister Marisa again. Been there done that. We do grind on each other’s nerves from time to time just like any other siblings, but here we are again, two peas in an office pod! We actually have an incredible relationship, which makes working together very organic. The truth is we make a great team. We just needed to help Gino tell us apart. He mentioned highlights to me, and luckily for him it was summer. So highlighting my hair became the simple solution.
We run all over the city… literally… putting together every detail for the perfect wedding ceremony. I always hope that each event goes smoothly, but sometimes it doesn’t always go as planned. Those are the times we pull together as a team and pull off some amazing solutions. Go wedding team! I learn so much from working for Gino, an amazing wedding planner and native New Yorker who knows the city in and out. Including where to get the best facials!
I hope you join us as we plan our couples’ ultimate wedding…a “New York moment” for each bride and groom! I’d love for you to share your thoughts, ideas and even questions after every episode.