Celebrate Snug Harbor Couples Tribute: Valira and Mark

Hosting your special day at Celebrate at Snug Harbor on Staten Island, our premier wedding venue located at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens. This lush 83-acre property boasts several gardens and two grand event spaces for a reception. Wherever your wedding takes you, our event managers will create a unique celebration that reflects your vision.

Valira and Mark were married on October 17th, 2020 in a garden micro wedding celebration at Celebrate Snug Harbor. It was a very romantic, memorable day for all.

Why did you choose Celebrate Snug Harbor for your Wedding Day?

I fell in love with the Tuscan Garden the moment I saw it. I had never thought of where I wanted my wedding to be or what I wanted it to look like, but the moment I walked in the gate, I knew I wanted to have our wedding at Celebrate Snug Harbor. We loved how close to home Celebrate Snug Harbor was for us. It would be easy for us to go back and visit whenever we wanted to remember our wedding day. It made sense for us to choose Celebrate Snug Harbor as our wedding venue so that traveling was made simple for family and friends.

Where on the grounds of Snug Harbor did your wedding take place?

Our ceremony was held in the breathtaking Tuscan Garden and officiated by my older cousin Dave’s wife who is a minister at our church. The Great Hall is where we held our extended cocktail reception.

Did you have a wedding planner or any DIY elements?

A few DIY’s were sprinkled throughout our wedding, like our wedding signs, including our welcome sign, the directional sign outside the Great Hall pointing guests to the reception, and table signs for drinks, cards & gifts, and the guestbook. I had the signs printed on unfinished canvas for a delicate look and cut each one into a pennant shape for added elegance and interest. At our welcome table, we displayed escort cards that corresponded with the seating chart that was also assembled by me. It was important for me to have each of my guests have something tangible that made them feel welcome besides a wedding favor.

What was your 1st Dance Song?

We walked in to our reception to the song “Trophy” by Future feat. Kanye. That’s all it was supposed to be though…we were supposed to be announced as the newlyweds and walk to our sweetheart table to the song. Instead, all our guests gathered around us and the DJ started hyping the crowd. We were on the spot and center of attention but in the best way possible. We still slow danced to the song “Nobody” by Brian McKnight after that.

Advice for future celebrate couples?

“The most important thing for us was to stay true to who we are. I had never attended a wedding and Mark had only attended one or two before ours so we had little to go off of as far as experience. This helped us focus on what we wanted our special day to feel like and what was important to include or not.”

“We knew having a videographer and photographer were top priorities as we wanted a great photo album and wedding video to share with our children one day. Another important feature of our curated wedding were all the young, black vendors we hired, including our photographers, videographers, dj, and strings player. Having black representation on our special day was another secret ingredient to the overall vibe. Due to the pandemic, we had to switch gears and have a micro wedding of 40 guests instead of the 110 guests we initially projected, but it was a blessing in disguise. Our micro wedding was so intimate, cozy, and fun! We were truly able to celebrate with everyone there.”

We are so lucky to have delightful couples like Valira and Mark to work with at Celebrate Snug Harbor. A special thank you to ODHO Productions who was on hand to capture every moment of this special wedding.

TD

Vendors:

Wedding dress: Asos Bridal

Florist: Flowers by Bernard email: flowersbybernard@aol.com instagram: @flowersbybernard

Cake: Alfonso’s Pastry Shoppe email: alfonsosvictory@gmail.com instagram: @alfonsosvictory

Invitations: etsy.com Pipkin Paper Company

DJ: DJ Smoovem @iamdjsmoove Smoove Sound Entertainment

Violinist: Priya DeBerry email: priya.deberry95@gmail.com

Photographer: Odho Productions http://www.odhoproductions.com instagram: @odhoproductions

Videographer: Picture Paradise http://www.mypictureparadise.com

bridesmaids dresses: White by Vera Wang

Grooms tux: custom tailored

Groomsmen attire: Black by Vera Wang

Hair: Tyra’s Hair Experience email: tyrashairexperience@gmail.com instagram: @tyrashairexperience

Makeup: Bdash Artistry Email: info@bdashmakeup.com instagram: @bdash_mua

Our team of Event Designers works closely with clients to design and produce “one of a kind” events. Celebrate is the perfect location to get married or host an engagement party, birthday party, anniversary or baby shower. Snug Harbor’s expansive grounds are an ideal setting for entertaining large groups of corporate clients for summer outings, barbecues, team building activities, concerts and picnics.

Explore all this urban oasis has to offer for your wedding, corporate or social occasion. Celebrate is conveniently located on Staten Island, a quick ferry ride from lower Manhattan as well as a short drive from Brooklyn and Queens. The property has ample parking and is close to several hotels, local museums and galleries. Operated by Relish Catering + Hospitality

718-442-2700 email: events@celebrate-snug.com www.celebrate-snug.com

Couples Tribute: Masha & Kevin

Masha and Kevin were married on August 29th, 2020 in an outdoor wedding celebration at Celebrate Snug Harbor. It was a very romantic, memorable day for all.

Why did you pick Snug Harbor for your wedding, was there any special reason?

We picked Celebrate Snug Harbor for our wedding venue for many reasons. Growing up I have fond memories of going to the art lab and walking around the grounds with my mom. Furthermore, my husband and I had gone on many dates at Snug Harbor. There was one moment when we actually walked around the field over by The Tented Pavilion, and I am pretty sure that’s where I first realized he was the one. The one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. It was very special to get married there, in that exact same spot.

Where on the grounds of Snug Harbor did your wedding take place?

We had our wedding ceremony in the Tuscan Garden followed by our wedding reception in the Tented Pavilion.

Did you have a wedding planner or any DIY elements?

We did not use a wedding planner, but we were very fortunate enough to have my mom Victoria assist with all the wedding details and planning.

Did you have a certain wedding theme or color scheme?

We went with a garden theme for our wedding. Our beautiful flowers were done by InFlowers. We went with a color scheme of blush, grey and eucalyptus. Each guests recieved succulents for their favor.

What was your 1st Dance Song?

For our 1st dance we picked Dustin Kensrue’s song Of Crows and Crowns. Kevin sent me this song when we were dating and I absolutely loved it.

Advice for future celebrate couples?

“Celebrate Snug Harbor is beyond a beautiful venue and the team made all my wedding dreams come true. John was the most supportive coordinator and was an absolute pleasure to work with. My day of bridal attendant was my hero! When my dress was too long for the first and the father daughter dance she was able to fix it on the spot so I wouldn’t be tripping over my own feet. Aside from the most beautiful grounds, Snug harbor provides a unique experience for the wedding guests allowing them to explore and be inspired by the space.”

We are so lucky to have delightful couples like Masha and Kevin to work with at Celebrate Snug Harbor. A special thank you to Julian Ribinik Photography who was on hand to capture every moment of this special wedding.

Wedding Vendors

Douglas Genuard (MC and band)

Inflowers (florist)

Julian and Evgenia Ribinik (photos)

Ray Estrada and Sharrone Calafiore (video)

Lotus Bridal (wedding dress)

Bridal Styles Boutique (clip and veil)

Couples Tribute: Emily & Joe

Emily and Joe were married on August 22, 2020 in an outdoor micro wedding celebration at Celebrate Snug Harbor. This couple didn’t let the pandemic put a damper on their I Dos! With a bit of imagination, they found ways to rework their celebration to make it both safe AND sentimental. It was a very romantic, memorable day for all.

Why did you pick Snug Harbor for your wedding, was there any special reason?

Our wedding date was August 22, 2020.  We picked Snug Harbor after our original plans were cancelled due to the pandemic.  We live on the North Shore of Staten Island and were familiar with how beautiful the setting was and the excellent reputation Celebrate Snug Harbor has.  We also had been guests to weddings there and were always very pleased.

Where did you wedding take place at Celebrate Snug Harbor?

The ceremony was in Tuscan Garden and the cocktail reception was in the Tented Pavillion.

Do you have a certain wedding theme? Color scheme? Special décor, favors for guests?

We opted to donate to 3 local non-profits in lieu of traditional favors in light of everything that was going on.

Did you have a wedding planner or any DIY elements?

Though we did not have a wedding planner we have to give a special shout out to Erin O’Keefe – the Catering and Events Specialist – she went above and beyond from the moment we first met with her right up thru the end of our reception!

What was your wedding song?

Our wedding song was “You and Me” by Dave Matthews.

Advice for future couples planning their weddings?

 “If anyone is considering having a wedding, we highly recommend Celebrate Snug Harbor without any reservation!  The setting, the food, the service, and all the staff involved were outstanding and beyond our expectations.”

We are so lucky to have delightful couples like Emily and Joe to work with at Celebrate Snug Harbor. A special thank you to their photographer Rita Sykes de la Pena who was on hand to capture every moment of this special wedding.

Vendors:

Photography: Rita Sykes de la Pena

Florist: Flowers by Bernard

DJ: Josh Nieves

Wedding Cake: Moretti’s

Couples Tribute: Jackie & Steven

Photo/videographer: ytk photography

Dj: Dave Leonard productions

Florist: Erin from Rosery flower shop

Hair/makeup: samantha Carly for makeup,

hair: Samantha Setteducato

Dress: candis by millanova hair piece and veil: Bridal styles boutique

Tux: suit supply

Wedding Reception Cocktails

Creating the perfect signature cocktail should be fun and delicious.  Brit + Co offers some inspiring ideas to help make your reception fun and inviting for your guests.

Champagne and Fruit:

Champagne and fruit

It is traditional and classic to serve champagne at weddings. You can add a nice twist by adding a seasonal fruit to the top of your drink to add a bit of flavor and an adorable look to the glass!

Margaritas with a Twist:

margarita with festive straw

Everyone loves a good margarita. Have fun serving yours with a festive straw to reflect your wedding color scheme or the season of your wedding.

The Blushing Kiss:

blushingkiss

A Blushing Kiss is a grapefruit and gin martini. The beautiful blush tone makes the drink look inviting and fun for guests to try.

His & Hers/ Hers & Hers/ His & His Drinks:

hishers

The two of you may be married, but you can still express your individuality at your wedding reception by labeling each of your favorite drinks at a separate table or at the center of your table.

To get more ideas about what kind of cocktails to serve at your cocktail hour or reception, visit our Pinterest page!

Main Courses for Your Wedding Reception

It is a common misconception that all wedding venues will serve delicious and elegant meals. This is why investing in a reputable caterer is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when wedding planning. What’s unique about Celebrate at Snug Harbor is that it is operated by Relish Caterers & Event Planning. You know that quality food is a high priority to them. Their fine-dining approach to catering ensures seasonally inspired menus that utilize the freshest ingredients – prepared to perfection. So your only job is to think about what you’d like to serve to your guests for the reception main course. Some advice: vary your options. You’ll want to offer a red meat course, a chicken or pork, and a fish option so that you can cater to the dietary needs of your guests.

Red Meat Inspiration:

For your red meat options, Relish Caterers can offer you dishes that your guests will want to devour. The featured photo on the left of the collage show a beef short rib over mashed potatoes with cherry tomatoes. To the top right, you have a duck over sweat peas with sprinkled pomegranates for an extra boost in flavor. To the bottom right, you have a grilled beef tenderloin over a custom herbed butter and jus and sautéed greens.

Red Meat May Blog
Food & Photo by: Relish Caterers & Event Planning

The Chicken or Pork Option:

For your second meat option, you’ll want to offer a classic style of chicken and perhaps dare to offer something new and unique that your guests haven’t tried or had yet. Relish Caterers takes a creative spin by offering a roasted free range chicken with baby artichokes and a basil and lemon caper sauce (right side featured photo). This is a great variation in flavor to offer alongside the coveted roasted chicken dish. A different spin on chicken could also be to serve a pan seared chicken over the always satisfying seasoned roast potatoes. If you’re looking to go sans chicken, you may want to consider serving the seared pork chop with potato galette, roasted apples and poppy seed buttermilk vinaigrette in the top left of the collage. Can you say yum?

Chicken or Pork
Food & Photo by: Relish Caterers & Event Planning

Your Fish Option:

It’s important to offer options when it comes to fish. Guests may not wish to eat meat but may also be selective with their seafood preferences. Relish Caterers has you covered here. The featured collage highlights just a fraction of what you can have served at your wedding dinner. The top left photo includes a slow roasted salmon over black truffle mashed potatoes and buttered English peas for delicious flavor and texture. To the bottom left of the collage you’ll see a miso black cod over vegetable rice. If you’re looking for a more classic spin on cod, you could offer a roasted cod, featured on the bottom right, with sautéed vegetables and a puree sauce for a flavor boost. One of our favorite options is a citrus lobster on the top right of the collage. Bursting with flavor, the lobster is a dish even meat lovers will want to bite into!

Fish Options
Food & Photo by: Relish Caterers & Event Planning

The aforementioned dinner options are not your only choices. A great caterer will take into account your preferences and can customize the dinner menu to reflect what you want for yourselves and your guests. Relish Caterers takes pride in offering customers with culinary innovation and impeccable service. For your wedding day, don’t settle for less than these standards!

The Dos and Don’ts to Building Your Reception Playlist

Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight. Sounds like the perfect plan for your wedding day, right? We certainly think so. But before you can do a little dance, you’ve got to set the scene for the right wedding reception playlist. Here are some rules to live by when consulting with your DJ about the ideal playlist.

 

Bride & Groom’s First Dance inside Celebrate’s Great Hall

Playlist Harmony Remember to consider both yours and your beau’s musical tastes when compiling a wedding playlist. A variety of wedding songs are to be expected, so don’t worry about his Guns N Roses clashing with your Gangnam Style! Maybe he wouldn’t mind hearing an acoustic version of the song during dinner.

 

Photo: Bridal Guide

Spread the Love It’s important to keep your guest list handy when formulating the wedding playlist. What will Aunt Debbie and Uncle Rich enjoy dancing to? Or how about Grandma Sue’s favorite diddy, Runaround Sue? A sprinkle of some oldies may be appropriate for a portion of the crowd. Who doesn’t love a Sinatra classic?   Rock anthems and love songs ruled supreme in the 80’s and 90’s from Bon Jovi to Madonna and Mötley Crüe.  Round out your list with a nod to the Grunge and Goth movement and everyone will be on the dance floor.  

 

Photo: AppleBrides

A Little Goes a Long Way DJs have extensive databases of songs from every genre.  A talented DJ shouldn’t need more than 12-15 songs from you and your Fiancé to give them all the information they need to program music you’ll love for the reception.   The DO NOT play list is just as important the please play list.   

 

Photo: Serendipity Photography

DJ Knows Best There’s a reason why people hire a DJ. It’s not just to play music; it’s to guide the atmosphere of the party. DJs are trained to read the vibe of the crowd. From there, they choose the best song for the moment. Receptions are usually 4 hours in length, a time span that is further decreased by formalities like speeches and dinner courses.  To feel most comfortable about handing over all the music power for your reception, it’s a good idea to have at least one face to face meeting with your DJ prior to the wedding. It’s best to meet about a month in advance to discuss your expectations, as well as provide a DO NOT PLAY list. This way you’re guaranteed to not hear the songs you dislike. Now you can relax on your big day, knowing the party is in the best possible hands.

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