With so many nightmare stories about blind dates, it's easy to see why Suzi Sabogal and Elliot Friedman were hesitant about meeting for drinks. But the duo quickly got over any first date fears and hit it off. Just 18 months later, the couple got engaged. As two longtime Manhattanites, Suzi and Elliot couldn't picture their September 19, 2015, wedding anywhere other than New York City, where they could offer their guests sweeping views of towering skyscrapers and Central Park from Le Parker Meridien's Midtown perch. "It couldn't have been more New York, and we knew the iconic setting would 'wow' our guests," says Suzi.
Beyond exposing their friends and family to the glory of New York City, Suzi says the couple had three goals for their wedding day: For it to reflect them as a couple, for it to be meaningful for their families, and for it to be a blast. "What that meant in practice was that our ceremony was very important to us," she says. "We made sure to add little touches here and there that referenced our families and backgrounds, and that we had an amazing DJ who would make sure the crowd danced the night away."
Their wedding, captured by Brian Dorsey Studios, hit all those marks, with a white color palette that let the sweeping skyline views be the star.
"The more typical wedding dress look — think: sleeveless, strapless, full skirt — never appealed to me," Suzi admits. "I thought other brides looked beautiful in that style, but it just didn't ring true to who I am." So when the bride spotted a form-fitting, flared-sleeved Inbal Dror gown with back flowerette details at Mark Ingram Atelier, she fell in love. "It was the second dress I tried on, and it felt like it had been made for me."
The bride paired her gorgeous wedding dress with rose gold Jimmy Choo pumps, a nod to her rose gold wedding ring. Elliot wore a special detail for their wedding, too: A watch given to him by his parents on the big day, a tradition in his family.
Suzi asked her bridesmaids to select their own gowns. Their only guidelines? The dresses had to be floor length, and fall within what she dubbed a muted-metallic color scheme. Each dress ended up being a different color and from multiple designers. Meanwhile, the groomsmen wore classic tuxedos, sans cummerbunds and suspenders.
The couple hosted their ceremony in a windowless conference room complete with orange walls, a space that Suzi says was a challenge to decorate. To transform the room to fit with the clean vibe the couple envisioned, they draped the back wall in white fabric, ran a white runner down the aisle, and added soft candle light to cast a warm glow throughout the space. "The final touch was a gorgeous hydrangea, garden rose, and hanging orchid chuppah," the bride says. "All of our guests commented on the beauty of the ceremony space, and I don't think anyone knew that we had started with a burnt-orange conference room."
Because personalizing their big day was so important to them, Suzi and Elliot wrote their ceremony from start-to-finish, and asked a friend to serve as their officiant. "We thought it would take days and days, and then surprisingly we sat down one Saturday afternoon and it came so easily," says Suzi. "We were done in less than two hours."
For the reception, guests moved into another room with unobstructed views of Central Park and décor carefully selected to complement the city skyline. "We settled on a white-on-white-on-white vibe done in a modern, timeless way," Suzi says. Low arrangements contained a mixture of ranunculus, roses, and tulips, while votive candles warmed up the monochromatic color palette. "Ultimately everything was done to be timeless, modern and elegant, and keep Central Park as the major 'wow' factor."
Suzi is allergic to dairy, so the couple's baker, Cake Alchemy, made a special slice in their four-tier fondant cake that was dairy-free, just for her. Layers included coconut and vanilla flavors, with passion fruit curd.
Suzi and Elliot danced to Billie Holiday's classic "It Had to be You," and then asked guests to join them on the dance floor. After the wedding, they flew to Kona and Kauai, Hawaii, for their honeymoon.
Venue & Catering: Le Parker Meridien || Wedding Planner: Vanda High Events || Bride's Wedding Dress & Veil: Inbal Dror, purchased at Mark Ingram Atelier || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair: Nancy Caroline Bridal Styling || Groom's Attire: Lanvin; Tom Ford || Wedding Bands: Tiffany & Co. || Florist: Michael George Flowers || Invitations: Bliss & Bone || Music: Artin Arts; 74 Events || Cake: Cake Alchemy || Videographer: First Day Films || Photographer: Brian Dorsey Studios
Did you love this wedding? Then check out another couple's Central Park elopement in the video below.