From: Daily News NY
Sunday, January 20th 2008
Cohen Starr Gruber
In this Jung Lee-designed wedding, the color scheme of the chuppah was tied together by a charm that commemorated the groom's late mother.
You can rifle through magazines and visit hundreds of venues, but to have the wedding of your dreams, the inspiration has to come from within.
It can't hurt, though, to have a topnotch wedding planner Jung Lee, owner of Fete, one of the most sought-after wedding planning companies in the country.
"You've got the most important people in your lives together for a few hours - it's a spectacular opportunity," says Lee, whose company has created fantasy weddings for a host of New Yorkers over the past five years.
Now Lee, who works on 15 big-budget weddings each year, is sharing her secrets with those planning their own big day in the new book "Fete: The Wedding Experience" (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $45), released this month.
"When I talk about a fantasy wedding, I'm not talking about big, puffy evening gowns," she explains.
"I mean, what do you want your guests to remember? You really want to indulge all five senses - what they see, taste, hear, touch and smell."
That's just what she did at the New York wedding of Dr. Christopher Starr and his bride Lauren. Attention was paid to every detail, especially when it came to the ceremony, where the couple were married under a chuppah.
"The chuppah signifies a new home and all the loved ones are underneath. People who aren't Jewish think it's such a lovely notion that they embrace it," says Lee of the mixed-faith couple.
For decoration, she chose a fresh garden-themed color scheme. "The wedding was in mid-May, so we used dogwood and really took advantage of all that spring blossoms had to offer."
The green theme matched the peace sign talisman that hung in the chuppah. "Christopher's mom had passed away and that peace sign was something she kept by his crib. The idea was to have his mom under [the] chuppah with him."
The personal touches carried through to the reception. "Lauren loved cocktail parties, so we took that idea further by creating lots of vignettes of seating and samplings of their favorite foods, like lobster rolls and a seafood tower.
"We had a vodka bar with lots of different infusions where people could learn more about different vodkas," recalls Lee, who added a special gift for the morning after.
"Because they knew the party was going to go on until the early hours of the morning, they didn't want to wake guests for a formal breakfast. Instead, guests felt pampered with a little sign on their door letting them know they'd get breakfast delivered to their room. The next morning, there was a bag of coffees and pastries from Balthazar, with a copy of The New York Times at their door. They didn't have to go anywhere."