When Debra Richman and Jeffrey Selden of New York City set out to plan their Valentine’s Day wedding, they knew they wanted it to be like no other gathering their friends and family had ever attended. The nuptials kicked off with red silk boxes that contained calligraphed invitations on handmade paper. This alone added nearly $2,000 to their bill. "We wanted to make a dramatic first impression, and we have no regrets about the cost," says Jeffrey, executive assistant manager at the New York Palace hotel, where the couple’s wedding was held. "In the process of planning, we realized that everything presented to us added so much excitement to the wedding that we couldn’t stop!"
Stop they didn’t. On the wedding day, their 325 guests swayed in their seats to Donna Summer’s "Love To Love You Baby," sung by a 10-piece gospel choir, before the ceremony even began. Instead of walking down a fabric runner, the couple—who planned the wedding in all of five months—walked together down a Plexiglas runway of fluorescent colored squares with flowers, which was lit from below, much like in a fashion show. And, when Jeffrey broke the glass—the traditional conclusion to a Jewish ceremony—the choir belted out "Ain’t No Mountain High Enough."
These days, elaborate, high-style weddings are hot. Couples are going to great lengths to create a unique ambience at their weddings, and their highest aspiration is to make the day unforgettable for their guests. Like Jeffrey and Debra, a magazine publicist, many brides and grooms are doing everything they can to create a mega event.
For the rest of this article, check out Modern Bride’s August/September issue, on newsstands now.