Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Wonder"-ful Photography by Stacey Ilyse

                                                                                                        All images courtesy of Stacey Ilyse Photography

I heard a bit good news about my old hood Brooklyn on the news today! Coney Island’s renewed amusement park Luna Park drew more than 400,000 visitors this summer, more than any summer since Steeplechase Park closed in 1964. In May, as part of New York City’s Coney Island Revitalization Plan, the City and Central Amusement International opened Luna Park – a new 3.1 acre amusement park featuring 19 traditional and cutting-edge state-of-the-art rides. The new park drew more than 400,000 visitors, who took more than 1.7 million rides during its inaugural season, and it helped bring about Coney Island’s most active summer in decades. More than 14 million people visited Coney Island’s Beach and Boardwalk – almost four times as many as in 2009. Perhaps the dog days are over after all!

If that was not enough to make me cheer, I received these GORGEOUS images to feature from one of my favorite photographers, Stacey Ilyse of Stacey Ilyse Photography. 

What we love most about Stacey--beyond her adorable, down-to-earth, creative nature--is that her work truly goes beyond just being a documentarian.  As she told us, her clients want her to capture their moments candidly using natural elements already present at the location. With Stacey, nothing is ever too posed or contrived. According to her, whether she's shooting a couple at Coney Island or their own backyard, she looks for the “moment within the moment” to get that great shot. She thrives on the challenge of spontaneity because it forces her to think on her toes and really take that image to another level. That’s how I make what could be just a standard wedding photo into art. And Stacey pours over her images for weeks to ensure that they received just the right treatment to bring them to life. 

These drop-dead gorgeous images are from Stacey's recent clients, Michele and Dave, who  were married on their 10-year anniversary. They met at Michele's prom: Dave grew up only a few blocks away but went to a different school out in Brooklyn. He went to her prom with a friend of hers (all as friends) and after a chance encounter having something to do with his resemblance of TRL's VJ Carson Daley (and her crush!), they soon went on their first date to Coney Island. It was only natural they'd end up doing their wedding day shoot in front of the Wonder Wheel and Parachute Drop. Doesn't get more fun than that!

For more of Stacey's amazing images, visit

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Woot! for Whoopie Pies by WannaHavaCookie

In honor of #justdessertsday celebrating the premiere of Bravo's Top Chef: Just Desserts, we could not help but post about our favorite new twist on party desserts: gourmet whoopie pies! If you haven't had the pleasure to stumble upon the Limelight Marketplace in Manhattan's Chelsea district, well--you're missing out on a major treat (well, lots of them!). Once a den for clubgoers, this converted church is filled with epicurean entreprenuers from ever-adorable (and delicious) The Butterly Bakery to the fudge-mavens at Mari's New York to our new favorite dessert vendor, WannaHavaCookie, proprietors of whoopie pies redux!

Our picks for your next indulgence? Chocolate with mint filling, chocolate with peanutbutter filling, chocolate with vanilla filling (the original), and red velvet with raspberry filling! Divine.


PS: If you're picking up your dress at Kleinfeld, this little spot is a quite (brisk) walk down the block. It'll be worth the calories--and wedding research. The folks at WannaHavaCookie sell these babies as favors in duos, trios, and boxfulls!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Chuppahs We Love: Eye-candy for the Kosher-set

We've been talking a lot about chuppahs at Chandelier Events these days. Traditionally, the chuppah is the ceremonial canopy under which a Jewish couple weds.  Representing the four walls and roof of their new Jewish family home, the basic principles of a chuppah are four posts and the cover--often comprised of a ceremonial tallit (prayer shawl) or simple veil of fabric.

But chuppahs also take on new meaning at weddings as they are the often the centerpiece of the ceremony. We like to say the chuppah tells a story about what's to come at the wedding--and in the couple's married home. And it most certainly evoke emotions for the bride as she walks towards her new married life--and lifetime partner.

As such, the majority of our couples want their chuppahs to act as they are intended--while also showcasing their unique sense of style.

Our recent downtown loft-dwellers wanted a more contemporary twist on this element--so we went
sans-floral, and did a very chic chuppah of gauzy fabric and crystals. On the otherhand, our farm-wed nature-lovers envisioned lots of organic materials like grapevines and birch. And, at our upcoming nuptials of winter-wonderland romantics, we're creating a whimsical forest-like chuppah made of four trees!

So, in the season where so many Jewish couples are celebrating the sweet new year--we have selected a few of our favorite chuppah inspirations: 

Have a chuppah you love? Send them to us--and we'll post more ideas for this most-coveted wedding element. Somehow, there are never enough photos of chuppahs to browse when you're designing one for a future couple!