When Michele Jacabacci realized she might have feelings for Chris McCarthy in June 2011, the pair had already known each other for a few years through mutual friends. It wasn’t until Michele’s bridal shower, though, that the couple realized they’d actually known each other much longer. “Our moms put together a photo album of us through the years, and unbeknownst to even them, we discovered that we’d been in the same camp group when we were six!” says Michele. Whether they’d known each other for a few years or a few decades, in March 2015, during a trip to Hawaii, Chris decided to make it official. “It never occurred to me that Chris would ever travel 5,000 miles with an engagement ring,” says the bride. But during a morning walk along the beach in Oahu, Michele was absolutely shocked when Chris got down on one knee.
Chris and Michele began to plan their June 25, 2016, wedding and knew a gorgeous venue with views of New York City was their number-one priority. “The view from the Mandarin Oriental absolutely fit the bill and was the perfect backdrop for our romantic, elegant design,” Michele says. With shades of pink, gold, and cream throughout the space, they wed at a black-tie celebration with 183 guests in attendance. The photos, by Whyman Studios, will transport you to this iconic New York City hotel. Don’t forget your tux!
It all began with luxe, textured invitations by RedBliss Design. A silhouette of the city’s skyline, as well as gilded floral swirls and pockets full of all the key details, gave guests a peek into what was in store.
“I visited nine different stores before finding my dress,” says Michele. “But for me, it was much more about finding the right saleswoman who was honest and helpful and knew what would look best on my body.” The winning design was a draped tulle and lace gown by Isabelle Armstrong that had a full horsehair and tulle skirt. Michele paired her dramatic gown with simple (but shimmery!) Stuart Weitzman sandals, a soft updo, and a pair of earrings that included a stone from a piece of her mother’s jewelry. Guests made their way to the reception up a staircase decorated with lush greenery, peonies, and roses. Michele and Chris chose a variety of linens, like a gold-sequined version on the escort-card table, to add some texture to the reception space and create different experiences for each part of the celebration.
Inside the ballroom, mixed rectangular and round tables were topped with different blush linens. Gold candelabras displayed tapered candles, while low gold vases were full of peonies, roses, and stock in cream, blush, and fuchsia
At the end of the night, guests headed downstairs for fresh pizza and warm pretzels. Says Michele, “Start planning early. The best vendors will book up quickly! And make sure you’ve got some wiggle room in your budget, since you’ll probably end up spending more than you’d planned!”
Venue & Catering: Mandarin Oriental || Wedding Planner: Rebecca Shenkman of Pink Bowtie Events || Bride’s Wedding Dress: Isabelle Armstrong, purchased at Wedding Salon of Manhasset || Hair: Breno Miranda of Licari Cutler || Makeup: Donna Griffin of the Makeup Studio New York || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Melinda Eng || Groom’s Attire: Alan David Custom || Groomsmen’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse || Engagement Ring & Wedding Band: Mazza Fine Jewelry || Flowers: Blade Floral & Event Design || Invitations: RedBliss Design || Music: Erik Marshall Band of Hank Lane Music || Cake: Sylvia Weinstock Cakes || Rentals: Party Rental Ltd.; Two of a Kind Rentals; Nuage Designs || Event Painter: Martin Hardy || Lighting: Stortz Lighting || Food Trucks: Eddie’s Pizza Truck; the Pretzel Shop || Virtual Event Design: Michelle Edgemont || Videographer: Kiss the Bride Films || Photographer: Whyman Studios