Publication: THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING
Couples from New York, Germany, Israel, Texas, New Jersey; Connecticut, Florida, Georgia and Great Britain
Brides.com Added Glamour and Panache to Annual Event Held in Romantic-Chic Chapel
(Wednesday, February 14th-New York, NY)– Cupid came in for a spectacular landing at the Empire State Building in a floral paradise as 14 couples celebrate Valentine’s Day by marrying or renewing their vows today.
The ceremonies took place every 30 minutes beginning at 7AM on the 75th floor of New York’s most famous office building. This year, the couples came to the building from as far away as Israel, Germany and Great Britain. The United States was represented by couples from New York, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Connecticut and New Jersey.
This year, for the first time, the Empire State Building collaborated with Brides.com and to mark this year’s special event, Mayor Bloomberg has officially proclaimed this Valentine’s Day as “Empires State Building and Brides.com Day” in NYC.
Brides.com and a team of experts transformed the vacant space into a romantic-chic styled “wedding chapel,” which was draped in lavish white fabric and decorated with beautiful white flowers and crystals to provide all 14 couples with a truly romantic New York City wedding experience. To correspond with this look, all 14 brides were given the option to choose from one of four bouquet options: Winter Chic, Opulent Glamour, Simple Elegance and Classic Romance. Each bride-to-be was individually styled and pampered to look their absolute best to walk down the aisle in the Brides.com glamorous boudoir, a lounge room decorated to make every woman feel like a princess.
Brides.com editor in chief Theresa DiMasi said, “From ‘An Affair to Remember’ to ‘Sleepless in Seattle,’ and even ‘King Kong,’ the iconic Empire State Building exudes romance and love, making it the perfect place to accept a marriage proposal or say ‘I do.’ Combining that with the fact that Valentine’s Day is one of the most romantic days of the entire year makes this event completely spectacular. Each of the 14 couples has such a heartwarming story; we were thrilled to give them the Brides.com treatment on their wedding day.”
To be selected, the prospective brides and grooms submitted their personal love stories and reasons for wanting their special day to be held at the Empire State Building. Winners were selected based upon the originality and distinctiveness of their submissions. All of the couples expressed a special connection to New York City and its most recognizable symbol.
Weddings on Valentine’s Day have been a tradition at the Empire State Building since 1994. Almost 200 weddings have been held on this most romantic day of the year.
Rev. Paula Posman, a non-denominational minister, officiated at the ceremonies, surrounded by flowers and spectacular panoramic views of New York City. After each ceremony, couples shared a special champagne toast, with many hearty couples braving the cold to visit the world famous 86th Floor Observatory.
The blissful couples were:
# 7AM: Virginia Holder and Gordon Cagle (Lubbock, Texas)
Virginia and Garon (a jazz musician) of Lubbock Texas, were scheduled to get married at the ESB last year, but family illness and resulting financial reversal put their wedding plans on hold. They came back to the ESB this year to see if their dream to be married at the building could come true-it did. This is a first marriage for Garon and second for Virginia, who had all but given up trying to find her soul mate.
# 7:30AM: Einat Wilf and Richard Gutjahr (Israel and Germany)
Einat from Tel Aviv and Richard, from Munich met at a special program designed to build bridges between third generation Germans and Israelis, the grandchildren of Germans and Jews who had been through World War 11. It was love at first sight, with an airplane courtship between Tel Aviv and Munich helping to seal the bond. Richard, a newsman in Germany, is struggling to learn Hebrew and Einat, a budding Israeli politician, is working on her German. Their mutual language is English and they both share a great love for America, and particularly, the Empire State Building.
# 8AM: Beverly Dawn Shaw and Clayton Hudson (United Kingdom)
For Clayton, a reserve officer in Her Majesty’s Royal Air Force, who has been involved in major operations with the United States Air Force in Iraq and Afghanistan and B.D. for whom he purchased an engagement ring in New York in 2004,the perfect wedding was atop the Empire State Building. Clayton wore his No. 1 dress uniform and B.D. a stunning wedding dress. For them, the day demonstrated their connection and affinity with New York City and the United States.
# 8:30AM: Pamela Warshay and Rey Santos (New York, NY)
The number 14 is a biggie for this happy Big Apple couple- they’re got married after 14 years together on the 14th of February at the iconic building that took 14 months to build (almost). Having met while working in lower Manhattan, they consider New York City the third partner in their relationship and what better symbolizes New York City than the Empire State Building?
# 9:30AM: Emily B. Schuster and Kenneth A. Evans (Florida)
Emily and Kenneth will be returning to the scene of their engagement on Valentine’s Day. They were both literally “on top of the world” on the ESB’s 102nd floor when Kenneth popped the question. They both see the Empire State Building as a symbol of their love and the perfect place for friends, children and even grandchildren, to visit and remember the biggest day of their lives.
# 10AM: Elaine Magallon and Christian Jorda (New Jersey)
When they were in college, childhood sweethearts Elaine and Christian used to gaze at what they called their “night light,” the iconic Empire State Building. They also played a guessing game about the tower lights and why they were illuminated each evening. When it came time to get hitched, Elaine thought of the Empire State Building. Their college “night light” has evolved into so much more for this happy couple.
# 10:30AM: Birgit Ragusch and Marcus Brock (Germany)
For Marcus, there is no better sight in the world than the Empire State Building. His love of the building started when he was a child and on vacation to New York. He was most impressed with the skyscrapers-and one in particular. Where else would he and his “honey” Birgit get married?
# 11:00AM: Rebekah Robbins and David Stanley (England)
For Rebekah Robbins, true love came when she least expected it – after fighting breast cancer. When her knight in shining armor asked where they should get married, she didn’t hesitate – “The Empire State Building as it’s the closest thing to being on top of the world”- the feeling they both share.
# 11:30AM: Arthur and Michelle C. Brown (Connecticut)
For this couple renewing their vows, the day holds special meaning. Having been diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer, it is particularly poignant for Michelle to renew her vows with Arthur at the building where her father took her as a child and where she has many happy memories.
# 12 NOON: Kathryn Blake and Benjamin Dow (New Jersey)
A Snapple fact about the Empire State Building and a Rutgers football game big screen showing the ESB lit in Rutgers red gave New Jersey bride Kathryn the idea of a wedding at the “Big Building,” She knew she didn’t want a traditional wedding, so what’s the most the most nontraditional place to have a wedding on the most traditional of days?
# 12:30PM: Melinda Andra and Leon Myerson (New York and New Jersey)
Online daters Melinda and Leon knew it was love at first gigabyte when they discovered they both loved the Empire State Building classic “An Affair to Remember.” Where else to meet for their first date than in front of the ESB? Leon’s 90 year old dad was there to see his only child and new daughter tie the knot today.
# 2PM: Cynthia Lovell and Richard Williams (Texas)
For Cynthia, she’s waited 15 and 1/2 years to marry Richard, the man of her dreams. Their first trip to New York included a stop at the Observatory where he asked his sweetheart to marry him. Getting hitched at the Empire State Building was a special surprise that Cynthia had for her groom.
# 2:30PM: Rosie Franklin and Bob Paterson (United Kingdom)
The loss of Bob’s son, who was great fan of dad’s relationship with Rosie, only strengthened the love and devotion of this couple. A romantic proposal on the ESB Observatory led right to the wedding of their dreams at New York’s most famous office building.
Brides.com and other partnerships were brokered by The Erlick Group (www.erlickgroup.com) a distinctive New York based entertainment sponsorship agency that represents leading properties in theatre, music, film and venues.
Brides.com online coverage is available at www.Brides.com/esb and includes:
* “A Sky-High Affair: On February 14, 14 couples say “I do” atop NYC’s Empire State Building” with profiles of all 14 couples.
* Behind -the-scenes information from Brides.com editor in chief Theresa DiMasi.
* Interviews with a team of wedding experts we’ve contracted to transform the ceremony space as well as the Brides.com editor in chief Theresa DiMasi.
* Before and after footage of our “wedding chapel transformation.”
* Details on how other brides can get the looks that our experts provided to these 14 women.
After the ceremony, each couple had a champagne toast with special Waterford Crystal Love/Romance Champagne Toasting Flutes and was invited to visit the 86th floor Observatory. As a special gift from the Heartland Brewery at the Empire State Building, each couple received a gift certificate for a free dinner at the restaurant. A Brides.com gift bag was also given to each of the 14 couples. Gift bag included:
* $100 JCPenney gift card (www.jcpenney.com)
* $100 Marriott gift card for Marriott(r) Honeymoon Gift Registry (www.marriott.com)
* $100 CHEFS Catalog gift card (www.CHEFScatalog.com)
* Bobbi Brown Limited-Edition Bridal Face Palette(www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com)
* Jean M personalized stationary and luxury soaps (www.myjeanm.com)
* “The Dressmaker” by Elizabeth Birkelund Oberbeck
* Fannie Mae Chocolates available at 1-800-Flowers.com
The happy couples also received:
* A special reduced rate from Magic Limousine (www.magiclimo.com) is offering and a complementary bottle of champagne during their limo ride.
* Complementary admission for two, with preferred seating, for Oleta Adams special Valentine’s Day show at B. B. King Blues Club & Grill (www.bbkingblues.com), 237 West 42nd Street (between Broadway and Eighth Ave.).
* A bottle of Gran Centenario Tequila , courtesy of Skyy Spirits (www.grancentenario.com)
* A complimentary cd from Canada’s Chantal Chamandy, “The Jewel of the Nile”- for their guests, too!
* An album of their wedding photographs taken by the building’s photographer before March, 2007.
And for the couple traveling the most distance (Einat Wilf and Richard Gutjahr), they received a 2 night-stay at Sofitel New York (www.sofitel.com), conveniently located just steps from Fifth Avenue. The happy couple was so delighted that they booked their entire wedding party there.
Soaring 1454 feet above the streets of Manhattan, the Empire State Building is a global icon and a “city within a city.” Almost 4 million visitors from every corner of the world see the breathtaking views from its 86th and 102nd floor observatories. Businesses representing the world’s most vibrant economic community have their offices in the Art Deco landmark. Always a center of technological innovation, the Empire State Building is the heart of New York City’s broadcasting and telecommunications operations and is home to all New York City television and FM radio stations.
CondeNast Bridal Media’s Brides.com is “Your #1 Source for Wedding Ideas,” the online home to Brides, Modern Bride and Elegant Bride, and boasts a multitude of online tools to help brides-to-be shop, plan and communicate for their big day. Tools include a budget planner, “My Wedding Website,” “Custom Fit” virtual dressing room and “Vow to Wow” Body Makeover diet and fitness tool.