ELIZABETH SALAMONE & ANTHONY VENAFRO
NOVEMBER 25, 2006WASHINGTON, D.C.
BY JACK VALENTI PHOTOS BY GLENN BARNETT
It's rare that Washington feels like Hollywood - unless celebrities are testifying on Capitol Hill or it's the Kennedy Center Honors - but the wedding of Elizabeth Salamone to Anthony Venafro definitely brought star power to the Nation's capital.
Nearly 400 guests left St. Matthew's Cathedral and arrived at The Galleria at Lafayette Centre for the reception. There, they were treated to personal videos of congratulations from the likes of Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Andrea Bocelli and Frankie Valli - all on a 20- foot screen. Congratulatory notes from some 60-odd celebrities, including John Travolta, Al Pacino, Sophia Loren, Jay Leno, Jon Bon Jovi, Angelica Huston, Susan Sarandon, Susan Lucci and Celine Dion were bound in a special book, which was presented to the couple by Elizabeth's father, John Salamone, executive director of the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) and my longtime friend. You know you are at a big wedding when retired secret service agents man the gift table. The bride was beautiful in her elegant Lazaro gown, Kate Spade shoes and Vera Wang jewelry.
While the 50-foot skylight atrium and Italian marble at The Galleria were hard to improve upon, Hargroves enhanced the décor with silk drapery and special lighting to provide the atmosphere for an enchanting evening. Sidney's Orchestra kept the party going until the wee hours.
NICOLE FELD & JONATHAN STRAUSS
MAY 28, 2006 FOUR SEASONS RESORT, NEVIS
BY KATIE ROST PHOTOS BY HEINZ KLUETMEIER
When the circus is your life, a wedding might be the ultimate opportunity to do something over the top. But Nicole Feld, producer of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus - and eldest daughter of circus owner Kenneth Feld and his wife Bonnie - decided to make this a low-key event.
"As someone who produces shows for a living, I didn't want to produce a wedding," Nicole said. Instead, she chose to elope with her longtime love - casting director Jonathan Strauss - to the Four Seasons resort in Nevis, a tiny island in the Caribbean. After dating for six years, Jonathan and Nicole opted for a short engagement: just six-weeks.
Over Memorial Day weekend, the young couple wed in a sunset ceremony before 18 family members. Nicole wore a Vera Wang gown which her trusted stylist, Katie Jaggers from Saks Fifth Avenue, selected from the store's bridal department in New York.
After a two-week honeymoon in Portugal and Spain, Nicole and Jon headed back to the U.S. for an extended celebration.
JoAnn and Stanley Pearlman, Shirley Feld, Tom and Susan Gage, David and Suzanne Hillman and Rynthia Rost headed to Manhattan to party with the newlyweds at Spice Market, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's chic new restaurant in the meat-packing district.
Nicole claims that marriage hasn't changed anything. "It hasn't hit me. I hope it's always like this. We're still dating," she says.
Nicole has a glow that only a wedding, true love, or a good microdermabration facial can achieve .... And yes, Jonathan has a glow too!
FALLON HANIN & MATT ZONARICH
APRIL 8, 2006 WASHINGTON, D.C.
BY JENNIER STIEBEL PHOTOS BY RICHARD GREENHOUSE
Fashion was the theme of the day at Fallon Hanin and Matt Zonarich's extravagant wedding at the M Street Ritz Carlton. The bridal party sat facing the aisle as if the ceremony was a scene from New York Fashion Week. Antique dining tables flown in especially for the event, a cascading hand-strung bouquet of orchids for the bride and custom-changed lighting by Frost contributed to the aura of old-world elegance. The glitz of Las Vegas was represented by the Bellaggio's house band, ISIS, who played an upbeat set with only two slow songs in the mix: the couple's first dance to "Your Song" by Sir Elton John and the bride's dance with her father to Michael Buble's "Home." A captivating performance by a premier electric violinist topped off the magical evening.
KARON CULLEN & RICK MEYER
SEPTEMBER 13, 2006 SAVANNAH, GA
BY LYNN HOOFF PHOTOS BY KYLE SAMPERTON
September in Savannah is always beautiful; my sister Karon Cullen's marriage to Rick Meyer on his birthday, September 13 - at his plantation just outside of Savannah - was nothing short of magical.
A small group of 40 gathered for the family occasion, which had dreamy overtones from beginning to end. As the couple said their vows in front of the fireplace in the living room, the sun finally came out. There was an overabundance of intimate camaraderie as we drank champagne and enjoyed a seated dinner. We were often moved to happy tears throughout the evening.
A string quart e t performed tangos and Fritz Kreisler encore pieces prior to the ceremony. After the "I dos," the quartet struck up decidedly non-wedding music: "I Could Have Danced All Night." The evening ended with a jazz pianist singing some of Rick's favorite blues songs and Karon's favorite jazz standards.
Special touches included individual cupcakes instead of the traditional wedding cake, my dog dressed in a wedding tutu - not upstaging Karon in Oscar de la Renta, of course, but certainly entertaining some of the smaller guests in attendance.
But most special of all was the feeling of unabashed happiness for Karon and Rick.
RIMA KHALAF & DR. GEORGE BITAR
JULY 7, 20006 BEIRUT, LEBANON
BY ZEINA HELOU PHOTOS BY GEORGES ABI RACHED
For a couple used to traveling from coast to coast, the wedding trip to Lebanon - the native country of Rima Khalaf and George Bitar - was an easy journey. Bitar, a local plastic surgeon, met Khalaf while she was pursuing a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at UCLA.
The event was an opportunity for the two families and many friends from all over the world to reunite. After a religious ceremony St. Nicolas Cathedral in Beirut, guests enjoyed a moonlit dinner in the gardens of the "Domaine du Comte." Nested on a steep cliff overlooking the Mediterranean, the 17th century residence was an ideal romantic setting.
A saxophone player and blues singer greeted guests, followed by the couple's entrance with belly dancers, swordsmen, a fire-eater and the loud music of drum players. The newlyweds arrived at the reception in the traditional Lebanese style, "zaffi." The feisty atmosphere lasted till the early morning hours as guests danced to the live music of Arabic, English and French hits.