Merissa Cohen and David Simon have known each other since they were kids, but it took a major New York City weather event to finally bring together. After college, David moved into the same building as Merissa, and on the eve of Hurricane Sandy in October of 2012, Merissa’s best friend invited Dave over to her apartment. “We made dinner, and David almost flooded my kitchen defrosting chicken in the sink," she recalls, with a laugh. Four years later, Merissa came home to the couple’s apartment (in the same building!) to the sound of water running in the sink. “I went to check, and saw rose petals everywhere," she says. "David came into the kitchen and got on one knee, but I had to turn the water off before I said yes!”
The couple spent exactly a year planning their September 9, 2017 wedding. “My grandparents got married at The Plaza in 1956, and I’ve dreamed of doing the same since I was a little girl,” says the bride. “When David asked my parents for my hand in marriage, my mom immediately called The Plaza to reserve the date!” The pair worked with David Beahm Experiences and Imagine Party and Events to transform the iconic ballroom, using a black-and-white palette and creative lighting to give the space a modern edge. “We wanted it to feel very cool and contemporary,” says Merissa. Christian Oth was on hand to photograph every striking detail, so keep reading to see The Plaza like you've never seen it before!
Merissa got ready in a suite at the hotel, where her mother helped her into her fitted lace Vera Wang gown. She paired the dress with her Art Deco-inspired engagement ring and a matching bracelet.
The bride topped her lace trumpet dress with a trailing black bow, which perfectly matched David’s Armani tuxedo.
The only flowers at the ceremony were in the bride's rose and anemone bouquet. “The chuppah was made of acrylic pillars, filled with thousands of tiny lights. We put mirrors above and below the lights to reflect the glow,” Merissa describes. The aisle runner was motion-activated, so sparkling light followed the bride as she and her parents walked down the aisle—and when she and David made their way back as husband and wife!
Cocktail hour took place in the hotel’s Palm Court, where guests found their table assignments on clear screens lit with LED lights.
Dinner took place in the ballroom, where an industrial-style chandelier (made of Edison bulbs!) was installed in the middle of the space, alongside the hotel's existing chandeliers.
The space was further transformed with black carpet, which created a sleek backdrop for wooden tables and silver chairs. Instead of lush blooms, rose stems were placed in individual test tube-like vases that stood high above the tables. Nearby rounds were decorated in spiraling arrangements of white roses.
The Hudson Project from Élan Artists kept the striped dance floor packed all night. “We danced the night away,” says Merissa. But the bride's favorite moment happened when the party was all over. She says, “When I got into bed, I kept looking at David and couldn’t believe he was my husband and that I get to spend the rest of my life with him!”
Wedding Planner: Imagine Party and Events
Event Design: David Beahm Experiences
Venue & Catering: The Plaza
Bride's Dress: Vera Wang
Bride's Veil: Vera Wang
Bride's Shoes: Prada
Hair: Jessica Gillin
Maid of Honor’s Dress: Stella McCartney
Groom's Attire: Armani
Engagement Ring: Goldtinker
Wedding Bands: Goldtinker
Floral Design: David Beahm Experiences
Paper Products: Tiffany & Co., Invitations and More by Bonnie
Cake: Ron Ben Israel
Music: Hudson Project
Sound & Lighting: Bentley Meeker
Videography: Jake Baumer Videography
Photography: Christian Oth Studio