Jana Posner celebrated her 30th birthday in a very big way: Her then-boyfriend, Jonathan Scher, organized a private dinner party for her family and friends at a swanky Midtown restaurant, then whisked Jana off on a weekend getaway to Chicago. There, Jonathan took her to see the infamous bean, the Navy Pier, and to the very top of a Ferris wheel, where he popped the question on bended knee. (Quite an impressive feat, we'd say, when you're 150 feet above ground!) But as epic that birthday proposal may have been, the couple's wedding pretty much blew it out of the water.
The New York City couple chose the iconic Rainbow Room as the setting for their October 10, 2015, fete, and invited 200 guests to join them for an elegant and sophisticated evening, with a modern twist. "We wanted the wedding to capture the essence of New York City," the bride says, so they poured over every bigger-than-life detail they planned themselves and asked photographer Brett Matthews to capture their creativity.
Jana admits that searching for the perfect wedding dress puts a lot of pressure on a bride-to-be. But while at a trunk show for Naeem Khan, Jana slipped on a strapless beaded gown and immediately knew it was the dress she'd walk down the aisle. "It represented everything I had always wanted and I could see myself dancing in the middle of the Rainbow Room," she says. And since she'd snagged the gorgeous find at a trunk show, she was the very first person in the entire world to purchase it. Jana let the gown's sparkling beading speak for itself, and went sans necklace or big, blingy earrings. She carried a cascading bouquet of white orchids.
Each of Jana's bridesmaids wore a strapless blush-colored Monique Lhuillier dress. But her maid-of-honor stood out in a champagne gown.
The groom and his groomsmen kept it sleek and simple in black slim-fit tuxedos, black bow ties, and champagne-colored pocket squares to match the bridesmaids' dresses and overall wedding color scheme. Jonathan gifted each man their herringbone suspenders, monogrammed with their initials in ivory thread. "The suspenders looked amazing and received great compliments," says Jana.
At their evening ceremony, Jana's parents escorted her down an aisle covered in a pale gold cloth and flanked by towering lucite columns that were decorated with cascading white dendrobium orchids. The walk to the couple's lucite chuppah — complete with orchids, peonies, and roses, and draped in sparkling gold organza — gave guests a clear view of the bride's cathedral length lace veil.
Jana and Jonathan wrote their own vows, but asked their Rabbi to review them before the big day. "He used bits and pieces from each of our vows and supplemented them with a few short anecdotes about what he learned about us during our sessions together," Jana says. "That created a wonderful Jewish ceremony with the just the right amount of personal touch."
The Rabbi was sure to include a Dr. Suess quote that both Jana and Jonathan used in their vows: "We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love."
Guests found their escort card on a mirrored table topped with arrangements of white calla lilies in rectangular vases.
Inside the reception space, the walls were washed in soft champagne light and a custom lighted monogram decorated the dance floor. Each table was covered in gold bengaline cloths and a mirrored disc. High and low arrangements of white orchids leant a glamorous vibe to the space.
Dinner included garden salads, pan branzino or filet mignon, and an apple soufflé. "We also had a large assortment of dessert pass-arounds, which included miniature red velvet cupcakes, caramel popcorn ice cream lollipops, and hazelnut macaroons with praline buttercream," Jana says.
Jana and Jonathan's stunning wedding cake stood at a whopping six-feet tall. The hazelnut, mocha, caramel, coconut, vanilla and chocolate cake was covered in confectionary cream and metallic flowers that were made to match the floral pattern of the bride's lace veil.
A 12-piece band played "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran for the couple's first choreographed dance. Then, the bride's parent's surprised the couple with a live performance from Constantine Morales. "He was one of my all-time favorites on American Idol and starred in Rock of Ages on Broadway," Jana says. "He brought down the house with an 80s medley, and it was truly an unforgettable moment and major highlight of the evening!"
Jana and Jonathan took their honeymoon in Bali and Hong Kong. "It was the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure," Jana says. "It was a great end to an amazing wedding weekend celebration!"
Venue & Catering: Rainbow Room
Bride's Wedding Dress: Naeem Khan
Veil: Carolina Herrera
Shoes: Stuart Weitzman
Hair: Yossi Igvi
Makeup: Keri Berman
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Monique Lhuillier
Groom's Attire: Alfred Dunhill
Florist: DeJuan Stroud
Invitations: Fancy That
Music: Hank Lane
Cake: Sylvia Weinstock
Videographer & Photographer: Brett Matthews