Good thing that Earl Robinson wasn't above telling a fib for the sake of love. During a stint at JP Morgan Chase in 2003, he became intrigued by human resources director Margarita Ramos. Pretending to seek advice about a difficult colleague, he asked Margarita to meet him for coffee to discuss the matter privately. His ruse worked, and they became an instant couple.
Two years later, the native New Yorkers married at the century-old Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a stunning 52-acre pastoral spread of flowers, plants and trees, with a glass Victorian-style conservatory that makes it reception-ready.
Margarita selected a food lover's menu that included Peking duck crepes and "the best baby lamb chops I've ever had." The couple envisioned a high-energy vibe and a packed dance floor, so they kept speeches to a minimum: After two short toasts, guests were ready to party. Earl's mom started a Soul Train line and, later, Margarita's brother-in-law showed off his robot moves. Margarita's the rare bride who says her wedding didn't buzz by in a blur. "We received so many calls from people wanting to relive their favorite moments, it took a long time before I felt like the day ended." Lexi Dwyer
Our Favorite Things
Following Suit: When Earl, who has trouble finding formalwear for his lean, 6'4" frame, told his groomsmen he'd hired a tailor to make his outfit, they decided to order custom threads from the same shop.
Found Him in Da Club: After hearing him spin about town, Earl handpicked DJ Herbert (a veteran of Manhattan hot spots like Lotus) to man the music.
Extra Credit: The back of the wedding program had a playful list of thank-you's. The couple gave shout-outs to their new in-laws, who welcomed each of them like family from the start, "armchair psychologist" friends, and even their favorite restaurant, for always squeezing them in.
Tiara Not Included: Margarita asked Eddie Loaiza of Salon Fodera, who has worked on Ms. Universe contestants, to craft her elegant updo. "He was so good my hair was finished in half an hour."
Richard Tyler, 626-799-9961
Guillermo Molina, guillermocouture.com
Salon Fodera, salonfedora.com
Kris Ramani, krisramani.com
Ceremony and Reception Site
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, bbg.org
Charles, Sally & Charles Catering Inc., palmhouse.com
Superior Florist, superiorflorist.com
DJ Herbert, email@example.com
Tanya Tribble, tanyatribbleweddings.com