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?

Did I hear that right? Linda proposed to Curtis? The bride proposed to the groom? Tonight’s big question is how many brides would be OK with having to propose to their groom? Linda is a force of nature and Curtis is one of the funniest grooms I’ve ever met. They needed more help to get her mother on board with this wedding so that’s where we started. When Catherine Angel, an AMAZING jeweler at de Simone jewelers in Greenwich Village, came on board to help me with Curtis’ ring I knew this was going to be good.

To bridge the gap between Curtis and Linda’s mother I thought it would be cool for us to spend a little time in China Town, that way Curtis could really immerse himself in the Chinese culture. Hopefully Linda’s mom can come around and see what a GREAT guy Curtis is and how hard he is trying. We had a blast together that day, learning about the color red and how it’s good luck in Chinese. I never knew that!

Everything was coming together until Curtis changed wedding locations in a New York minute …but it turned out to be really cool…I can’t believe I married a couple in the back of a vintage yellow taxi going over the Brooklyn Bridge ….now that’s a strike!

Alison and Skip have quite the back story. She was married to a woman and met Skip, while he was working at home depot. Somehow that meeting changed both their lives in huge ways! My life as a wedding planner is never boring! I’m not sure they loved my “ride” but I loved theirs. They seem like a cool California couple to me even though they are from Long Island. Alison and Skip do everything together. They enjoy each other’s company so much that we all went dress shopping together. That was a first… to have the groom dress shopping. Can you believe the first dress she tried on was the winner?

Skip owns his own business; it’s a contracting company so I thought, let’s get them to do something I have never done before with a bride and groom. I got Sam who owns a metal working studio to let Alison and Skip design their rings. That was super cool! When Alison said she wasn’t nervous at all, she just wanted to be married, I just knew I needed to pick up the pace and marry these two love birds. Ok, did you see them read their vows off of their iphones! Alison and Skip I know you’re going to be very happy… SEND!

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!

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.

When I first met Meritza I had to take her “pole dancing class.” Did you notice I was the only guy there? I have a new respect for anyone who works with a pole. Even the telephone repair guy, firemen… I mean it took so much energy and all I wanted to do was talk about her wedding! The things you do for business! Kyle and Meritza have great energy; they are very down to earth but their first choice for a wedding location…you know the place by the trains and the bus depot, Five Points? It looked like a Nike factory gone wild!

I could see a photo shoot there, just not Meritza and Kyle’s wedding. I bet their parents will thank me for that.

Am I crazy thinking I could set Kyle and Meritza’s wedding in the middle of a runway show during the height of fashion week? It just seemed so right. It’s their world. And I was out of my mind to let Michael the “runway coach” talk me into a pair of heels. I will NEVER complain about a bride not moving fast enough again. That wedding on the runway blew it out of the universe for me, and was it me or did Kyle and Meritza seem completely cool and runway like? Her dress looked beautiful and so did Kyle’s $800 sneakers. I was soooo nervous, could you tell?

Suit √
Fashion show √
Runway wedding √
Happy couple √

David is so totally in love with Abigail and tells her constantly in the tape, and throughout the whole show you could see their connection. I love the fact that they are my “virgin New Yorkers.” Little did they know I used to be a NYC tour guide. I thought, OK, let’s really show them the city.

That tour was a blast! And a flash back for me: I gave them my uptown and downtown tour in 4 hours. But when I pulled up to their wedding location and showed them Grand Central Station Abigail got so emotional. It was a very sincere moment or “happy tears” as Abigail called it. I have to confess, I’m always nervous when I show brides different wedding locations. I want it to be everything they always dreamed of but couldn’t put their finger on. It’s like finding a needle in a hay stack and we found it!

For me it’s really personal because I grew up in Westchester, NY and my parents used to take me down to “the city” as we called it ever since I can remember. We usually took the train so as a little boy to see that huge amazing terminal and to walk right past the same place that Abigail and David were married was a big wow factor for me. I got chills watching tonight’s episode.

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!

Kira and Damien

Kira, Damien and I have one thing in common. We all love being by the water! I also think of it as my safe haven. They go there to connect with one another and to be able to feel close to Damien’s father, who has passed on, which I find so incredibly special.

Damien said he was nervous taking on the role of step dad to Kira’s son, Nicholas. But he said he knew it was time to step up and be the man he should be. That made me smile. You gotta love this guy. These two are all about building family together.

Coney Island was more than perfect for their wedding location. Gino had Marisa and I decorate the Pergola for their wedding. I couldn’t reach the top so Marisa was getting frustrated with me. I could only reach so far to hang the shell decorations and she was yelling ‘higher, higher!” I could if I was 2 inches taller! But we got it done and it turned out to be such a beautiful altar.

The ceremony was stunning with the ocean and sunset backdrop but The Cyclone was the icing on the cake. I LOVE and live for roller coasters! What an exciting and fun way to end the evening. Talk about the adrenaline!

I wish this family all the best.

Sade and Aaron

I have now met the busiest bride ever! So this wedding was a bit challenging in terms of planning. Never in my history of coordinating weddings did we ever have to chase down the bride. They both are very passionate about their careers, which is good to hear. But it sucks that they don’t make time for one another because they’re both way too busy. One of the secrets to making a relationship work is making time for one another. Ah, one of the great secrets to a successful relationship.

Since we were unable to schedule time with Sade we decided to meet up with Aaron hoping he could provide us with some wedding details. So Marisa and I took a trip to the tuxedo store where he was getting a fitting to get some answers. Sorry Aaron for bombarding with you with a million questions! I could tell he was a bit overwhelmed but hey he left us with no choice. So Marisa and I walked out of there with oh, maybe 3 answers. He really wasn’t any help.

They both had the same vision for their wedding: black tie, open air, rooftop, and sophistication. And they certainly got it. Gino found a penthouse at the Hotel Giraffe that provided everything they were looking for. Aaron’s love for music came into play by him writing the music for their ceremony. How romantic is that!?

Their wedding was so beautiful! When you have a location like that with only 35-40 guests, it really makes all the difference in the world. I have never seen a bride gush with so much happiness. I wish Sade and Aaron much love and happiness and please don’t forget to make more time for one another.

Ok can we talk about tonight’s show? Two VERY different wedding locations.

One minute I’m on the cyclone roller coaster in Coney Island and the next moment in a black tie fab hotel penthouse wedding. I remember thinking when I saw the tape of Kira and Damien that there was a lot of sadness around them. When I got to meet them in person I realized Damien was really coming to terms with his father’s death and at the same time entering into his manhood by becoming a father to Kira’s son, Nicholas. On top of that, neither Kira nor Damien has a job. Come on America, we have to get OUT of this recession!!!! OK, I’m venting but this is the exact couple I want to plan a wedding for and my heart aches for them… they really need a break.

I was so glad we were able to help them out with the rings, and really want to thank Karen Karch’s Studio in the Lower East Side. I loved the moment when Damien picked out his wedding band. Wow, that was a BIG leap for him. When we met up a few days later I could clearly see the difference in him, he seemed much more confident and ready to take on the role of a father. I hope a steady job is right around the corner for him!

Can I just say it was a blast doing a wedding in Coney Island on the beach? Kira and Damien had friends and family there and I’m really glad they got that beach wedding. Plus, Nicholas and I got to ride the cyclone THREE times!!

Nathan’s hot dogs rock!!!

How do you find a venue for an intimate “Black Tie” wedding in less than two weeks?? The only way that was happening was to have major communication with my B&G, Sade and Aaron. Wishful thinking!

Sade is classic New York woman — she’s gorgeous, poised, and incredibly busy…my busiest bride ever!

I knew once I found her wedding location everything else would fall into place and she would have no problem walking down that aisle. Flawless!! Loved the dress, just what I pictured… ok but let’s back up … I could NOT track this bride down, she’s EVERYWHERE but no where I needed her! You guys didn’t even see half the footage of me running around NYC trying to find Sade to ask very important questions about her wedding.

Poor Aaron getting cornered by the twins; I told them don’t come back to the office unless you have answers. We cannot “wing a wedding.” I was relived to get them to the Hotel Giraffe penthouse to do a site inspection with me and once they signed off on it I thought Sade and Aaron needed some alone time. So I thought, let’s give them a pre, pre wedding hotel suite, champagne and lasagna. I know you’re thinking, “Gino, why did you give Sade ‘carbs’ before her wedding day??” OK, comfort food ALWAYS hits the spot and by the way did you see her rocking bod?

It was a gorgeous New York day; just enough of a breeze to turn a photographer on, cue the music and here comes the bride! There’s something very magical that happens two hundred times a year for me. The groom is in place, the guests are all standing and the bride is just about ready to take that first step and from that point on everything happens in slow motion, pure emotion. It’s a life changer. So whether it’s in a penthouse or on a beach… wherever you have your wedding, savor that moment because I promise you it will last a lifetime.

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.