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Claudia & Chris...A Wedding from an Era of Elegance

“AN enchantING evening...”

Congratulations on your wedding! What made you decide on having your wedding with us at Fairmont?

The preserved Art Deco style/glamour of the hotel, the opulence of the freshly painted Grand Ballroom, the praiseworthy staff, and the Fairmont’s reputation in accommodating all, including furry companions.

Where did you have your ceremony?

Our ceremony was held at the historic Arlington Street Church, located at 351 Boylston St. Boston, MA 02116. Although we were both raised Catholic, we found many of the religion’s conservative beliefs to differ from our own personal convictions. As a couple, we wanted to strengthen our faith before marriage, and were pleased to find the Unitarian Universalist congregation. The promotion of individual experience, the respect and compassion for all persons (and animals), and the values of justice and equality met our needs. We also fell in love with the church’s divine architecture, the white and airy Basilica inspired interior design with ornamental plaster moldings, Corinthian columns and tall arch ways complete with Art-Nouveau Tiffany stained-glass windows. Furthermore the close proximity to the lush botanicals of the Boston Public Garden, and the ringing of the steeple bells made our exit as newlyweds dreamy.

Tell us about the flowers you chose. Did you go traditional or contemporary?

For the round guest tables we wanted tall, gold candelabras centered to create balance of height and draw attention to the details of the Grand Ballroom’s chandeliers and ceiling, without disrupting conversation space. String of pearls were draped over them, and centered atop lay a neatly manicured mix of roses and hydrangeas in shades of cream, blush pink and lavender tones. The rectangular wedding party tables and sweetheart table had similar palettes of florals, but on a smaller scale. Along the center of the tables were hedges of gold and mercury glass vases of varying heights, surrounded by strings of pearls. Equally as important as the florals, we made sure there were lots of candles everywhere and chose very dim uplighting light to evoke a serene and romantic ambience.

Tell us about the meal you served your guests. What type and flavor cake did you have at your reception?

The formal plated dinner began with a savory appetizer of Bay of Fundi seared salmon in white truffle oil, with celery root puree and lemon dill yogurt dressing. This was followed by a frisee and baby arugula salad with caramelized pearl onions, Berkshire blue cheese, North Country bacon, parmesan crips and balsamic vinaigrette. Guests were then offered a choice of the three following entrees: butter poached Maine lobster on roasted butternut squash risotto with chervil lemon beurre blanc and preserved lemons; vegan herb risotto with baby spinach, roasted garlic, mushrooms, asparagus and herb garden puree; or honey pistachio mustard encrusted lamb chops with harissa lamb jus. For dessert guests were each served a chocolate covered strawberry with a sea salt caramel chocolate tart, as well as a slice of wedding cake. Every course was impeccably presented and tasted heavenly.
We spent a great deal of time designing our cake at Cakes to Remember in Brookline, MA. We chose cream and gold coloring, accented by hexagonal shaped tiers, each very specifically designed with lots of references to Art Deco jewelry and architecture. We also made sure a monogram was included, as well as a dramatic but simple topper. The cake was roasted hazelnut flavored, filled with creamy mocha buttercream, and frosted with Frangelico buttercream icing.

What element(s) did you add to make the wedding uniquely 'yours'?

As a couple, we both have always felt as though we were born in the wrong era; so of course, we wanted our wedding to reflect a time gone by. We decided on a very formal black tie affair. Not all guests adhered to our recommendations regarding attire, but it didn’t seem to matter. Everyone told us, we successfully created a night back in time. Our groomsmen were dressed in classic tuxedos, with black satin cummerbunds and bow ties, white pocket squares, matching patent leather shoes, cuff-links and studs, as well as white rose boutonniè€res with feathers. The bridesmaids wore long silver sequined gowns, with their hair side swept and held in place by vintage-like hair combs. They also wore matching silver shoes, pearl and crystal clustered earrings, and held feather fans instead of floral bouquets when walking down the aisle. One of our very talented bridesmaids made each fan by hand, and also assisted in making the bridal bouquet of crystal and pearl brooches. The extraordinary Beantown Swing orchestra bewitched and bewildered everyone. We had been worried our nostalgic repertoire of music might not engage all of our guests, but that was far from the case. The live band invigorated all, every age from 6 to 86, and many found a new appreciation for Cole Porter and our colorful taste in music. There were so many particular details we incorporated to make our wedding anything but cliche from our ride in Desi Arnaz’s 1959 Rolls Royce to an engrave-able silver guest book tray to customized champagne flutes to mini wedding cake pop favors, etc. Every detail was polished, charming and exquisite without being ostentatious. One relative referred to our wedding as THE wedding of the century. We could not agree more.

Another integral part of the day is the wedding dress! Tell us about what you chose to wear. Did you follow the old English saying "something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue"?

I ended up choosing two wedding gowns—one for the ceremony and one for the reception. My ceremonial wedding gown was named Gisele designed by Liv Harris. The dress was majestic, a rich champagne fabric, fully covered in hand- beaded, French Chantilly lace, dripping in pearls and Swarovski crystals. The dress dazzled; it was timeless, tasteful and anything but gaudy. I had an amazing seamstress customize the gown for me by adding matching beaded-lace straps, and a petticoat to add fullness to the trumpet, fit and flare shape. I wore a matching Cathedral length veil with beaded embroidered trim, accented by dainty Swarovski crystals. For shoes, I wore Christian Louboutin’s silver and gold Confusalta sky-high peep-toes.
After our first dance, I switched into David Tutera shorter-heeled stilettos, which had a sapphire gem in the sole to represent something blue. At this point, I also changed into the alluring Janalyn dress by Maggie Sottero. This simple ivory, satin, sheath gown could not be more different from my ceremony dress. It was extremely understated, yet glamorous and seductive. The fabric was slinky and conformed against my body, resulting in a voluptuous silhouette. Sparkling beaded shoulder embellishments led to a plunging cowl drape neckline. The back of the gown was very open and low, eventually falling into a luxurious chapel length skirt. My favorite part of the dress was a simple wristlet in which to carry the train while walking and dancing. Channeling Mae West and other old Hollywood icons, I wore a short feathered caplet over my shoulders and changed my lip color to red.

What was the first song you danced to as newlyweds?

“When I Fall In Love” by Nat King Cole

Now that you are married and have had time to reflect on your wedding day, what was your favorite moment?

We treasured every second of it.

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