Claire and Michael met through mutual friends during their sophomore year of college. “I immediately recognized that Michael had a very friendly and easygoing way about him,” Claire recalled. The two were dating other people at the time and although they lost touch, they were reconnected again the very last week of college in May of 1999. Claire and Michael began dating and a decade later, Michael presented Claire with a solitaire engagement ring from Jay Roberts Jewelers.
Finally August 27,, 2011 arrived and brought with it a big surprise. Although Hurricane Irene was on her way, Claire remained calm and was excited to begin prepping for her wedding. Claire was on the phone with the coordinator at 3 West Club finalizing last minute seating changes as Jeanine of Jeanine Mangan Makeup Designs flawlessly applied her makeup and Handri Gunawan styled her hair into a traditional chignon. Claire and her bridesmaids then met up with Michael and his groomsmen for pre-ceremony photos, shot by Chae Kihn of Harold Hechler Photographers. Kihn shot a mix of classic portraits, candid and posed shots, and black and white photos that the couple absolutely loved.
The ceremony was held at Cathedral of Saint Patrick in New York City where Claire’s parents had been married. Claire walked down the aisle in an off-white Alencon lace gown designed by Tomasina and a cathedral-length veil. Gold peep-toe Jimmy Choo heels and Swarovski crystal drop earrings completed the bride’s look. She carried a bouquet of white and cream roses. Claire’s bridesmaids wore navy blue silk chiffon gowns and carried bouquets of lavender sterling roses. Michael sported a traditional black tuxedo, as did his best man and groomsmen.
The bridesmaids’ carried lavender sterling roses to complement their navy blue chiffon dresses, which coordinated nicely with the groomsmen attire.
The reception was held at 3 West Club, which is a private club built in 1921 on the site of Andrew Carnegie’s former home. Claire and Michael were pleased with the overall service from the staff. The bride commented, “They were so efficient and exacting that I didn’t need to focus on them at all, which is the way it should be!” During cocktail hour, guests enjoyed a variety of hors d’oeuvres in addition to passed champagne in flutes. Dinner began with a sea scallop risotto with porcini mushrooms, followed by salad and a duo intermezzo of lemon and lime sorbets, garnished with fresh fruit and mint. For their main entrées, guests had a choice of filet mignon in perigourdine sauce or sautéed halibut.
The reception décor was traditional, with intricate centerpieces of amnesia roses, pink and green hydrangea, silver brunia, lavender lisianthus, and delicate variegated ivory. The room was tastefully lit by Stortz Lighting. There were pin spots on each table composition, a color wash on the dance floor, some uplighting throughout the ballroom, and a soft spotlight on the band.
Hank Lane Music played a mixture of standards and swing with contemporary pieces mixed in. The band performed “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen” for Michael and Claire’s first dance as husband and wife. The bride commented, “Hank Lane’s reputation precedes them. They are one of the most highly recognized entertainment companies in Manhattan.”
The wedding cake was a three-tiered masterpiece of alternating layers of chocolate raspberry and vanilla with a raspberry cream designed by Madame Butterfly Cakes.
Claire and Michael thanked their guests for being a part of their special day by sending them home with a personal favorite, blueberry, lemon, vanilla, and chocolate flavored macaroons from Bouchon Bakery. Following their wedding day, the newlyweds escaped on their honeymoon to Capri and Rome.
Claire & Michael
3 West Club • New York, NY
In The Spotlight
Ceremony Location: Cathedral of Saint Patrick
Celebrant: Reverend Christopher Pliauplis
Reception Location: 3 West Club
Photographer: Hechler Photographers
Entertainment: Hank Lane Music and Productions
Florist: Chestnuts in the Tuileries
Limousine Service: Silver Star Limousine
Cake Designer: Madame Butterfly Cakes
Bridal Salon: Exquisite Bride & Designer Loft
Veil: Exquisite Bride • Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Formal Attire: Coleman’s Tuxedos
Invitations: Dempsey & Carroll
Favors: Bouchon Bakery
Hair Salon: Marie Bové Salon • Makeup Artist: Jeanine Mangan Makeup Designs
Jeweler: Jay Roberts Jewelers • Lighting: Stortz Lighting
Honeymoon Location: Rome Cavalieri, Rome & Hotel Punta Tragara, Capri― Italy