These New L.I. Wedding Pros Are Spinning Gold In 2020 And Beyond! LIWG Celebrates 2 years!
From florist who used to race motorcycles, husband and wife teams, to a photographer that was once 15 feet from Beyonce, and vendors that are Covid-Brides/Grooms themselves...
You will have blast getting to know some fun facts about some really cool humans we call wedding vendors! Long Island Wedding Guide has compiled an exciting write-up for our couples this week as we asked our vendors questions from fun facts, to positive things that they have learned in their business during Covid-19! So have fun and read how these vendors are contributing to the new way of weddings on Long Island!
Long Island Wedding Guide officially turned 2 July 26,2020, and in celebration we are introducing 21 new wedding businesses here on LI. It's 2020, it's been tough, so let's do something fun to put a smile on everyone's faces despite the pause we have all faced, and were forced to deal with.
Jordan Matlock + Jordan Michelle Events | Long Island Wedding And Event Planner
When did you start your business? I officially launched Jordan Michelle Events December 18th, 2018 & I can vividly remember the day like it was yesterday - such a special moment!
What led you into the wedding industry? I have always had a passion for the wedding industry and decided to take the time to learn from some of the best before making the overall decision to launch my own company. The knowledge & expertise they shared with me during those years is priceless & I'm forever grateful for them and those opportunities. #communityovercompetition
What was your prior occupation? Before I started JME I had spent the last 3 years freelancing under several high-end wedding planners in NYC as their design + planning assistant.
What is your specialized/unique approach when working with couples? From the moment I meet with my couples, I set the tone that their wedding is just as important to me as if it were my own or I was helping my best friend plan. I listen to how they met, how the proposal happened, some of the memories they have shared together thus far because that tells me their story, who they are, and how they want their wedding to portray their love. Now that's the good stuff!
Do you have any unique service or products that you'd like couples to know about? Although we actively promote our core 5 packages (Day Of, Month Of, Partial, Full & Elopement/Micro) we know that nothing about a wedding is one size fits all. So at JME we are very open to customizing a package that fits our couple's needs + wants for their wedding. Who doesn't love a la carte?
How has Covid-19 changed your business practices for the better? I'm a silver lining kind of girl so Covid-19 has actually helped my business in several ways. First, it gave me some much needed downtime to organize + streamline some of our processes such as onboarding new clients, training new planners, styled shoot workflows, etc. I also used some of that free time to gain more knowledge about my industry by listening to podcasts, attending trend forecasting webinars/Zoom meetings, reading books/magazines that I would've never had time to do during a normal wedding season. And most importantly, Covid19 has brought me even closer to my couples (didn't think that could be possible!) by going through this together. The rollercoaster of emotions with my couples choosing to postpone to next year and with my couples that decided to still have a wedding but a quarter of the size. Now with the remaining weddings I do have this year all being micro/elopement weddings, it has allowed me the opportunity to be much more apart of their small, intimate celebration. As a planner, during larger weddings you have a lot more going on the day of but with smaller weddings I get to hear every vow exchanged, see every first dance, first look, tears cried and witness more moments of the love they share for each other while celebrating with their closest family + friends. It has been a perfect (yet not ideal) reminder of what weddings are supposed to be all about & what truly matters most.
Tell us one fun fact about yourself! hmmm....I drink ice coffee year round regardless of location, season, temperature, etc. It can be the negative degrees, in the middle of winter in NYC and I'll still need to start my day with an ice coffee.
Danielle Zarrilli Petry + Beautifully Bronzed and Bare | Long Island Spray Tanning
When did you start your business? I opened Beautifully Bronzed and Bare in September of 2018!
What led you into the wedding industry? Spray tanning is such a popular service for brides, bridesmaids and mother of the bride/groom... and sometimes even the groom!
What was your prior occupation? I have been in the beauty industry for waxing and spray tanning for 12 years but ventured off from a corporate location to go off on my own!
What is your specialized/unique approach when working with couples? I love to get to know their story, how they met, how long they have known each other for, when did they get engaged, how long was their engagement. I think it’s so important to know the history of their relationship!
Do you have any unique service or products that you'd like couples to know about? We offer a package for “Bridal Party Spray Tan Parties” - You come to the studio, there’s champagne and snacks for the girls and everyone gets a spray tan for the big day!
How has Covid-19 changed your business practices for the better? Over the time I was closed I took a few courses online to make sure I was on top of educating myself of all the new procedures and also was able to take some classes for a couple new services! If I didn’t have that time off I’m not sure I would’ve been able to fit a class or two in between the busy schedule!
Tell us one fun fact about yourself! I’m a huge Disney nerd! I go at least 2 times a year (unfortunately not this year :( ) but hopefully I’ll be back soon!
Nebu Anthrayose of Nebu Photography LLC | Long Island Wedding Photographer
When did you start your business? I began shooting professionally in 2017, where I shot smaller events and family sessions.
What led you into the wedding industry? I started shooting weddings in 2018 and I really loved working with people and documenting their big day. It was so amazing and awesome when someone picked me to shoot such a big moment in their lives.
What was your prior occupation? I have been a graphic designer and creative for 10+ years, and photography was just another way for me to to expand my creative experience.
What is your specialized/unique approach when working with couples? I try and treat each client as I would like to be treated. I work with them as much as I can so I can deliver exactly what they were looking and hoping for, and there's no better feeling than getting that message that everything came out perfect.
Do you have any unique service or products that you'd like couples to know about? Right now I offer photo and video services. I also offer consultations and meetings with couples and their families to go
over everything, and to make sure everyone is comfortable and on the same page. I have an open communication policy, so people can contact me whenever they want with any questions, and I will be more than happy to answer and help.
How has Covid-19 changed your business practices for the better? Covid has just pushed me to work harder and to be more creative when I'm out shooting and working with couples. I have found that being more understanding and helpful during this difficult time is what couples are looking and hoping for.
Tell us one fun fact about yourself! I was once on stage during a performance at the Grammys with Logic (the rapper) 15 feet from Beyonce, Blue, Ivy, Jay Z and P Diddy. My wife works for an agency that administers different crisis and support mental health hotlines, and we were given the chance to be on stage during Logic's 2018 Grammy performance, and it was an incredible moment and unforgettable.
Samantha Mastronardi - Violet and Iris Cinematography | Long Island Cinematographer
When did you start your business? My brother Andrew and I, along with our friend James, started Violet and Iris Cinematography in July of this year!
What led you into the wedding industry? Frequent requests for wedding videos inspired us to create a business solely dedicated to beautifully telling couples’ stories through both the moving and still image.
What was your prior occupation? Andrew is an audio engineer, James is a public servant, and I am a graduate student pursuing my Master’s in Health Informatics. However, we have been in the cinematography/photography business since 2013.
What is your specialized/unique approach when working with couples? We don't view couples as just "clients". At Violet and Iris, we know each couple is unique and has a special story to tell. So we craft each video and photo session to match the needs of the couple! We believe in creating genuine content that couples will look back on for years to come, and that all starts with creating a relaxed and fun environment!
Do you have any unique service or products that you'd like couples to know about? Violet and Iris Cinematography is completely transparent with our prices (something that can be hard to come by!) and we offer an a la carte menu so couples can choose exactly what they want for their special day- nothing more, nothing less! We offer video and photography packages, photo albums, custom USB bridal boxes, and so much more!
How has Covid-19 changed your business practices for the better? COVID-19 has brought about loss and complications for everyone, so we understand how important it is to be accommodating for our couples. The team at Violet and Iris is flexible with scheduling, responsive to inquiries, and of course, we follow health and safety guidelines! Couples have enough to worry about what with cancelling venues and changing dates, so we want to make the wedding planning process easier in any way we can.
Tell us one fun fact about yourself! I love music, whether it’s playing the violin or going to a concert! I try to make it a goal to attend a concert every year (besides this year of course)!
Lauren Rodriguez, Copper and Confetti Co.
When did you start your business? I started Copper and Confetti Co. in February 2019.
What led you into the wedding industry? I decided to start my business since I enjoyed planning and creating so much for my own wedding in fall 2018. I often found myself making exactly what I wanted since I couldn't find it online, and I want to be able to offer this level of customization to others.
What was your prior occupation? Prior to this, I was a full-time handbag designer for 10 years.
What is your specialized/unique approach when working with couples? One thing I'm proud to offer my couples is an unlimited number of proofs. I want to be sure we get their vision JUST right and I will work with them until they are 100% happy.
Do you have any unique service or products that you'd like couples to know about? Yes! I love working on custom orders with my couples. I can design anything- not just what you see in my Etsy shop. I've had a lot of couples reach out to me with an idea and I make it come to life for them! If a couple doesn't see exactly what they are looking for in my shop but like my artwork style, I encourage them to send me a message. I will work with them one-on-one to make a custom listing and create exactly what they are envisioning.
How has Covid-19 changed your business practices for the better? Unfortunately, I was laid-off from my full-time job as a handbag designer due to COVID-19. The bright side is that I can now dedicate more time and energy into Copper and Confetti Co.! I have been able to design so many new things that I've already put up in my shop, including specific items for weddings affected by Covid-19 (mask signs, changes the dates etc.) In addition, I've also had time to start developing some physical items! I'm very excited to be able to offer this since I started out as a purely digital art shop- stay tuned!
Tell us one fun fact about yourself! I am obsessed with buffalo sauce! I put it on everything :)
Ann Marie Breyer & Lisa Reichenberger- nectar&bloom | Long Island Florist
When did you start your business? nectar&bloom was officially established as a NYS partnership llc in summer 2017.
What led you into the wedding industry? When it comes to the wedding industry in particular, we saw a hole in the local market for seasonal blooms designed with a sustainable mindset. Our couples are looking for something unusual and gorgeous, yes. They are also like-minded to n&b- aware of the impact their big day makes in terms of the environment, the local economy, and small business as a whole. Our very first wedding couple are about to celebrate their 2nd anniversary. Congrats to Caitlin & Josh from September 2018!
What was your prior occupation? Prior to that, Ann Marie and I met working as horticulturists and gardeners at the famed Old Westbury Gardens right here on Long Island. Self-proclaimed plant nerds, fast friends and eventual neighbors living on-site at OWG, our love of all things “flower” made our decision to start a floral design business a no-brainer.
What is your specialized/unique approach when working with couples? With a combined 30 years of expert horticultural experience, we know the ins and outs of seasonality, structure & design. We use our knowledge to create artfully crafted garden based florals that are one-of-a-kind while staying within budget. Whether couples have an exact vision or let our imaginations run wild, we are there for them every step of the way. A two woman design team with the creative process at the heart of all we do, hands-on service is an understatement. We at nectar&bloom value the opportunity to deliver the best in concierge service, the best in flower forward design, and the best in unique blooms. Our success in the wedding industry over the past 2 years proves, you truly do reap what you sow.
Do you have any unique service or products that you'd like couples to know about? When it comes to the designs on a couple’s big day, the goal is always the same. We want them to be fleur’d! Show Stopping arbors, like our custom Signature Circle Arbor, ground installations, and arches are some of our favorite pieces to create. They truly set the scene for those picture perfect ceremony photos. But bridal bouquets are our most special pieces. There is something about the moment when a bride sees her bouquet for the first time… Many happy tears have been shed on the part of n&b when we witness the appreciation for the hard work that goes into each of our custom designs.
How has Covid-19 changed your business practices for the better? COVID-19 has definitely been a game changer in the industry. However, our design process has always led us to develop close relationships with couples. We are fully invested in their celebrations- their big day is our big day. We stand by our #changethedate couples and have been able to realign all postponements to new dates. We’ve also been able to flex and pivot resources and deposits, allowing couples the breathing room to make necessary changes to quantity needs in coordination with new guest counts, venues, and seasonal palettes. Repurposing florals to fit budgets is important now more than ever with ceremony florals transitioning to sweetheart table arrangements and bridesmaid bouquets becoming perfect reception pieces. Despite shorter time frames, we can easily accommodate the trend of smaller, more intimate occasions. And of course now it’s all air hugs
Tell us one fun fact about yourself! As avid backyard gardeners, Ann Marie and I plan and fill our annual flower beds with unique varieties not always available via your average wholesaler. Current summer blooms gracing our gardens include Gomphrena, Strawfl
owers, Dahlias, & Zinnias. We are always thinking of special homegrown additions to surprise our couples. You can’t get more Long Island local than that!
Breanna Piazza, Vintage Roots | Long Island Vintage-Style Wedding Decor
When did you start your business? Vintage Roots Was Launched in 2020
What led you into the wedding industry? Vintage Roots began as a personal hobby. I was always interested in discovering hand-me-down items, antique or thrift shopping, finding old/worn items and repurposing them into something new, distinctive and beautiful. I'm inspired by bohemian and industrial decor and love to use everyday materials in a creative way to achieve the look I'm going for. When I custom made decor for my sister's wedding, I created her pieces from the heart using items I love from our style, such as mixed metals, copper plumbing pipe, a personalized neon sign draped with greenery and neutral florals that blend textures and blooms. This styled arrangement quickly took off and has become one of my staple pieces that led me into the wedding industry. This inspired me to take my passion and creativity to the next level in designing more pieces for weddings, events, businesses and home decor.
What was your prior occupation? In addition to Vintage Roots, I am an aspiring elementary school teacher..
What is your specialized/unique approach when working with couples? My specialized approach is striving to make every couple and individual's vision come to life. I love taking on creative challenges where people will show me a picture and ask if I can make a version of it to fit their style and look. My approach is unique because all of my decor items are personally designed, hand-crafted, or sourced to fit your exact needs.
Do you have any unique service or products that you'd like couples to know about? My unique service is that I design and create all pieces to fit the couple's needs and style. Any item you see featured on my page, can be personalized and adjusted to meet the unique look you're going for. My rental pieces are made for weddings and events, with availability for personal add-on purchases, as well as custom home and business decor. We offer complete packages that include design, decor delivery setup and breakdown. Our collection's most popular items include copper pipe arbors, custom floral arrangements, neon signs, event signs and bar carts/decor. I am always looking to expand my inventory and take on more pieces!
How has Covid-19 changed your business practices for the better? As the start of my business evolved, so did Covid-19. Quarantine allowed me to tune into my creative side and use this time to design, practice and produce some of my favorite pieces you see featured today. Covid-19 was adapted into our emerging business, encouraging safe practices and a reminder to be imaginative, patient, understanding and flexible.
Tell us one fun fact about yourself! One fun fact about myself was that I lived in Chicago for several years. After graduating high school, I moved away from New York and 10 years later, I am happy to have returned back home to Long Island!
Ann Lamore/Brendan Dwyer + Long Beach Photo Bus | Long Island Photobooth
When did you start your business? We first started our business venture in March of 2020 after purchasing a 1971 VW bus in February 2020.
What led you into the wedding industry? The concept came to me while planning my own wedding (which is now postponed). Photo booths bring people joy, happiness and lasting memories! I wanted to spread the love and jump into a new industry. Because of Covid/quarantine my dream quickly turned into a realty. Sammie was, and is our quarantine baby. We worked on this business nonstop for four months straight.
What was your prior occupation? Ann VP, Digital Marketing ViacomCBS. Brendan, Owner of Continental Advisors.
What is your specialized/unique approach when working with couples? Listening! I want couples to tell us what they need and how we can help them happen. We are here to make lasting memories and accommodate every wish to make their day truly special.
Do you have any unique service or products that you'd like couples to know about? We’re the most unique and fun photo booth on Long Island. Sammie is a high quality mobile photobooth that we have custom installed in the back of a vintage VW Bus. We bring the laughs, entertainment, keepsakes, and unique character to your event. Also, available to rent for photo shoots! Clients will be able to choose aesthetically pleasing backdrops. We’ll curate prints to coincide with any event. Customize themes, colors, hashtag, website, or brand logo. Options of 2x6 or 4x6 available. Every rental will be fully equipped with entertaining and unique props.
How has Covid-19 changed your business practices for the better? Being a Covid bride (new business owner) and breaking into the industry has taught us to be patient and kind. Working with my wedding vendors was such a pleasant experience and we want to provide our clients with the same stature. Covid has changed how we view the world and how we deal with people. I believe it also allowed us to have time to educate ourselves of our clients wants and needs.
Tell us one fun fact about yourself! Brendan and I were engaged after 4 months of dating. He spotted me on the Long Island Railroad one morning (or maybe a few). Five months later he saw me at a local bar in town and asked if I took the 8:08 train, wore a camo jacket and drank a medium size coffee!! I said yes, gave him my number and we quickly fell in love!
Marissa Goll / Alpha-Lit Long Island | Long Island Letter Lighting
When did you start your business? Alpha-Lit Long Island has officially began taking bookings for October 2020 and beyond! The company was founded in Dallas, TX in early 2019 by Mackenzie Skipper. In little over a year, Alpha-Lit has over 40 locations and counting nationwide! .
What led you into the wedding industry? I absolutely LOVED planning my wedding, down to every last detail. I wanted to make sure that not only was it a memorable night for my husband and I, but for our guests too! I saw these letters from other locations and said I wish I had them here. I think Long Island couples will be very excited to WOW their guests as well!
What is your specialized/unique approach when working with couples? Being a recent bride, I know from experience how stressful wedding planning can be. The one thing that put me at ease was working with trustworthy wedding vendors. At Alpha-Lit, we will work closely with our clients to ensure a seamless experience leading up to their special day. We look forward to making your vision a rea-LIT-y!
Do you have any unique service or products that you'd like couples to know about? Alpha-Lit specializes in providing couples with the highest quality marquee letter rentals to customize their event. We offer 3 ft letter and 4 ft number options, as well as a variety of other symbols such as hashtags or hearts, that can be stacked on top of each other to create that ultimate “WOW” factor. Our couples will have the ability to customize their name, date, initials, and more. You name it, we can do it! Whether it be a photo opportunity for guests or the backdrop of the dancefloor, we can assure our display will be a memorable addition to your big night!
How has Covid-19 changed your business practices for the better? As more people are hosting parties and weddings at their homes in the current Covid-19 environment, Alpha-Lit can come to any location on Long Island to enhance your event! As wedding venues seek to open back up this Fall and beyond, we hope our lights will provide couples and their guests with a new reason to get back out on that dance floor!
Tell us one fun fact about yourself! I played D1 Soccer at Towson University for all four years of undergraduate education. Go Tigers!
Cindy Shelley Cold Spring Harbor Flowers | Long Island Wedding Florist
When did you start your business? Fall 2019, I opened a home studio in Bayville and business doubled nearly overnight.
What led you into the wedding/floral industry? Everyone in my family loves animals and gardens. My mother was a wedding gown designer and it was my job to style the shop window. Later in life, I bought a house with a three acre woodland garden and I wanted to learn how to design them in a professional way. I enrolled in a floral design class at FlowerSchool New York and then went to their study abroad program in Amsterdam and Paris and as they say…..the rest is history!
What was your prior occupation? My prior occupation in Investment Banking helps me with running the backend of my business. I would come home from a long day and go right to the garden....my first clue!
What is your specialized/unique approach when working with couples? I like to know about their life, where they came from, their hobbies, talents, do they love cats, do they like to hunt, what brought them together. I need to know all of this BEFORE the Pinterest pictures. This is part of the story. I am an artist and I need to know who they are first.
Do you have any unique service or products that you'd like couples to know about? I offer floral workshops and have a transportable "flower bar" for bridal showers. Many brides are opting for outdoor venues to celebrate their journey and creating something beautiful brings us together, provides a social distance activity, and gives us a hint of things to come.
How has Covid-19 changed your business practices for the better? I have found that people are gardening more and looking for ways to renovate their patios and home offices. Many brides are opting for window boxes to line the aisle and create "garden rooms" for social distancing practices to separate guests.
Tell us one fun fact about yourself! Many people find it surprising to learn that I used to race motorcycles. It's true!!
Ilyssa wallach + LimitLyss Designs | Long Island Personalized Wedding Bags
When did you start your business? I started this business at the beginning of Covid, after my job officially moved to work from indefinitely.
What led you into the wedding industry? I have always loved painting and drawing and saw this as the perfect opportunity to finally pursue this passion project! I previously (and still do) work in eCommerce marketing and have been planning my own wedding for last year +. Like so many other brides, my fiance and I made the difficult decision to postpone our December 2020 wedding to August 2021 and I wanted to design pieces that brides could purchase for themselves, their bridesmaids or for their friends for their future bachelorette parties!
What was your prior occupation? I previously (and still do) work in eCommerce marketing.
What is your specialized/unique approach when working with couples? Since I mostly work with brides, MOB, MOG and/or bridal parties, it is important for me to take the time to understand their design aesthetic, any trends they would like to focus on or avoid. This means going over all color options, font options and bags/sneakers/jackets to ensure they are choosing the item(s) that they will love for years to come!
Do you have any unique service or products that you'd like couples to know about? While I provide a custom made-to-order service along with providing various style bags, denim jackets and sneakers to choose from, clients can also provide their own items to be monogrammed.
How has Covid-19 changed your business practices for the better? As mentioned before, Covid-19 has really given me the push that I need to finally start the business I have always wanted to pursue. Working from home has allowed me the opportunity to focus on fulfilling personalized, made-to-order orders quickly, while also honing in on my marketing to get the word out!
Tell us one fun fact about yourself! One fun fact about myself is I chose the first wedding dress that I tried on! I dreamt about dress shopping for years and was positive of the silhouette that I would end up choosing. The dress that I picked was completely different than anything I had ever thought I would even try on! As they say... mom's always know best (my mom picked it)!
Michelle Rosenhouse Wedding Officiant House of Love Weddings | Long Island Wedding Officiant
When did you start your business? I started my business in 2018
What led you into the wedding industry? It really happened organically! Friends asked me to perform their wedding and then a friend of a friend and so on. This past year I decided to concentrate fully on wedding officiating.
What was your prior occupation? In my past life I was an Advertising VP for a well known agency in NYC. I worked with Fortune 500 companies to bring their product to market. I worked on pitches around the country and poured my soul into creating well known brands. I now love taking that excitement and passion to create intimate and memorable wedding ceremonies. I custom write each ceremony and make sure each couple's personality and love story is told and celebrated!
What is your specialized/unique approach when working with couples? My specialized approach to helping a couple plan their ceremony is to start from scratch! Each wedding script is as unique as the couple. I want to create a brief moment in time where my couple can take in the gravity of the vows they are committing to and feel pride in the love they have created and are sharing with the world. Each ceremony script is custom written, guided by their love story!
Do you have any unique service or products that you'd like couples to know about? The most unique part of how I officiate a wedding starts from the very first meeting. I work closely with each couple, getting to know them and crafting a ceremony that expresses who they are as a couple.
How has Covid-19 changed your business practices for the better? Covid-19 has changed so much. The most obvious change is the type of weddings I perform, many are elopements or extremely intimate minimonies, with the parties planned for future dates. The less obvious change, but the larger and I feel more important, is the change in the role I play. I am counseling discouraged brides, helping couples find outdoor free venues for ceremonies, keeping couples up to date in changes in obtaining wedding licenses, etc. The world right now feels so chaotic and uncertain and feel truly fortunate to be working in an industry that is able to shine a little bit of love into a world much in need of it.
Tell us one fun fact about yourself! My first date with my now husband was driving from Manhattan to eastern Long Island at 5am in the morning to go skydiving...We day that was the first of many leaps we’ve taken together!
Curinne Infantolino - Ivory & Main | Long Island's Exclusive Plus Size Bridal Shop
When did you start your business? I opened Ivory & Main in May 2018
What led you into the wedding industry? To be completely transparent I had no intentions of opening a bridal shop, I’ve always been entrepreneurial but owning a dress shop was not in my grand plan. Until...I began the search for my own gown. When I started shopping for my wedding gown, I assumed I would go to a plus size shop, I shopped at Lane Bryant and Torrid and I just thought plus bridal shops were a thing. It never occurred to me that we didn’t have a shop that catered to plus brides in NY. I was really shocked when I found out there were none. So I went to my fiancé and I said we need to open a Bridal shop for plus woman, he was apprehensive at first, but after doing some homework he agreed this was something that was needed. So we put our own wedding on hold, took all the money we saved and our savings and opened Ivory & Main. After that things began to snowball and we were open in about 5 months! Many people have asked and yes Paul and I did wind up getting married and it was even more special because I got both my gowns from my shop!
What was your prior occupation? Prior to having the Bridal shop I worked as a photographer, I had my own photo studio for a few years, I mainly shot beauty and branding photography. I don’t photograph as much as I did anymore, the shop keeps me pretty occupied these days.
What is your specialized/unique approach when working with couples? I think all of our brides are unique, sometimes it can be super easy and a bride comes in and knows what she wants and she finds the gowns 1,2,3. Other times we have women who have anxiety over this shopping experience, they aren’t really sure if the gowns will fit or what to expect coming into our store. Shopping for plus size clothes isn’t always easy and options are sometimes limited. It my job to make sure our brides have a fun experience with tons of options just for them in sizes they can try on and not feel self conscious in. We also pride ourselves on Customer service, it’s always our number one priority, I want to make sure all of our brides feel like they are a part of our I&M family and even if they leave and buy a gown or not we gave them a great experience that was anxiety free.
Do you have any unique service or products that you'd like couples to know about? I think just our shop alone is unique for the simple reason that we cater to plus size brides only. We mainly work with women sizes 12-32. I think we are exactly what brides in NY and surrounding states needed, An intimate boutique setting where you come in as a customer but leave as family. I think that's what sets us apart from some of our competitors.
How has Covid-19 changed your business practices for the better? Since covid we have had to adapt to different business practices. I think the biggest and most important one is the amount of guests brides can bring in. Before a bride could bring in 5 sometimes more people. Now we are limiting that number to two. I’m noticing women being more mindful of who will join them. It may not be the big crowd they were hoping for, but these more intimate appointments are really allowing the bride to make her own decisions based on her own thoughts about the gowns, as opposed to 5+ different opinions being thrown at her. Brides will always want the opinions of her family and friends, but these small groups are in a way forcing us to take a closer look into who are the most supportive people we can have with us. I don’t think this is a bad thing, I actually think it’s fantastic! We see more brides saying yes than ever and less brides being indecisive simply because of the opinions of others. Wedding gown shopping can be overwhelming, this kind of in a way simplified it a bit.
Tell us one fun fact about yourself! LOVE interior design and I constantly take on reno’s in my home, or anyone’s home really. I love design shows and anything design related. Each year we take on a huge project in my home, which ultimately causes me stress I don’t need, but I continually go back and do it again year after year. It’s a true love of mine.
Mike + Amanda Levy | NY Mobile Bar | Long Island Vintage Mobile Bar | Photo Booth
When did you start your business? Upcoming launch!
What led you into the wedding industry? Years of personal party planning but then diving into our own wedding planning and desire to be business owners inspired us to start!
What was your prior occupation? Corporate planning (amanda) and advertising (Mike)
What is your specialized/unique approach when working with couples? I think it’s really important to understand who they are as people. How’d they meet, what was the proposal like, and what their style is! Our goal is to be more than a vendor. And for the most part, with every side gig we’ve had so far, we’ve developed a relationship which has lasted far after the event!
Do you have any unique service or products that you'd like couples to know about? We offer essentially a mobile venue! With alcoholic or non alcoholic self serve tap options, photo booth built into a vintage camper, AND extra options which are currently on the hush hush. One thing I’m really happy about is we are offering one package so there are no upcharges for add-ons. We want everyone to get the full experience.
How has Covid-19 changed your business practices for the better? Covid hasn’t changed our model at all, we were targeting backyard events because we noticed there was a lack of that in the market. Due to Covid and other businesses pivoting it has made so many other vendors focused in the same area as us which almost makes it easier now for hosts to plan awesome events!
Tell us one fun fact about yourself! I taught myself how to play the guitar and my first experience at a bar was underage playing at an open mic! I love putting myself in really uncomfortable situations and naturally overcoming that feeling of fear.
Another Fun Fact is that when I (Amanda) was in high school, a few friends and I would get dressed up on a Friday or Saturday and crash weddings! (Again tying into the ‘enjoying the feeling of being uncomfortable’!) We’d get there when everyone else was walking into the cocktail hour so that no one asked us whose wedding we were there for. We’d eat some food (skip the alcohol of course) and bounce out! Once there was music so we also danced and may have gotten on video for a hot minute... clearly I’ve always loved weddings so much. And yes, I was the one dragging my friends into it!
A fun fact about us (both Mike and Amanda) is that we grew up our entire lives in the same town, 10 minutes away from each other. We met for the first time 400 miles away in Maryland at college but never hung out. Then he saw me walking in the Walt Whitman Mall, back around home during a college break and messaged me on Facebook. Unfortunately, I was on a date with another guy that night but man, was he persistent. I let him know we were meeting up with college friends who were also his friends but that I was also on a date. Some may think it’s weird but he actually showed up at the bar we were at and brought me, my date and himself each a shot of whiskey. The perfect start.
Noelia DiBlasi - The Endiy Shop
When did you start your business? I started my business in March of 2019!
What led you into the wedding industry? I got started in the wedding styling business i guess you could say by accident almost! I always loved making DIY gifts and decorating for all my friends and family- it was just my “strange addiction” Everyone always told me to pursue full time and I just never thought I had the “It” factor! One day I created my Instagram just because I didn’t want to keep posting on my personal page & all of a sudden I started getting messages and calls & the rest has been history!
What was your prior/current occupation? I am the marketing director at a mortgage bank! Still now full time!
What is your specialized/unique approach when working with couples? I love learning more than the event. I want to get to know you before we start planning. Facts and little things about you help me steer you into a design direction like no other!
Do you have any unique service or products that you'd like couples to know about? Yes! We have the all white wedding bouncy castle that is SO magical and so much fun. We have a bunch of other beautiful rentals as well.
How has Covid-19 changed your business practices for the better? SO MUCH. We were actually on the news!! My business blew up- which I’m so grateful for even though it was a blessing in such an ugly disguise. Parties and birthday became so much more important and personal to others that we didn’t let anything (not even zoom) be an excuse to NOT party big!
Tell us one fun fact about yourself! One fun fact about me is that i can’t go anywhere in the morning with a messy room. I’ll wake up a little bit earlier if i know that i need to tidy up before leaving!
Nidhi Joshi + Scribble Monkey Studios | Long Island Calligrapher
When did you start your business? I began my business in late 2018, around September I guess!
What led you into the wedding industry? It was after one of accidents that I gave me enough leisure time to sit at home and invest into my creative self, I saw calligraphy works on IG and I instantly knew this was my “meant to be”! After practising and learning calligraphy for more than 6mo, I bade goodbye to science forever, never to look back! I have found my calling and I am absolutely sure this time!
What was your prior/current occupation? I was at the cusp of being a Scientist with Ph.D. in Biochemistry and a novice calligraphy artist.
What is your specialized/unique approach when working with couples? I won’t say that my approach is unique or specialized for that matter. I do what I feel should be done normally. I hear their requests, I clarify any confusion if I see that as a possibility, I am quick to respond to their concerns, I never leave them high and dry in between, I never go missing after the first conversation, I am communicating all the way throughout the project. I never talk back, even if some clients do, because only politeness can make the other person realize that there’s absolutely no need for anger or bad words! It can also be conveyed peacefully and I will still get the point. We talk about money with clarity, there are no hidden charges and everything is spelled loud and clear ! It’s as simple as that!
Do you have any unique service or products that you'd like couples to know about? I have recently ventured into glass (& metal) engraving! I am enjoying it thoroughly, you can take a look at some of my work on my other account called @300daysoflearning. I have confidence that engraved personalisation of gifts is becoming the new favourite of many and I don’t want to miss the chance of making my future customers happy with my work!
How has Covid-19 changed your business practices for the better? When I started lending my professional services as a calligraphy artist, there was not enough time to sit back work on my future career. Of course, I have enjoyed every bit of it, but every business needs a pause followed by a concrete (okay, a little pliable) vision. COVID not only pushed me to think more seriously, it revealed how fragile our business, our world is! It showed that how ill prepared we are to face a crisis like this! COVID steered me in the right direction, I am now working on couple of ideas, which will be revealed hopefully by the end of this year!
Tell us one fun fact about yourself! When I am in public, I like to look at people and think what’s going on in their head! Or if two people are talking, I come up with a funny conversation for them! I am sharing this for the first time here! :) ;)
Julia Sisco - JKS Event Designs, LLC | Long Island Wedding Invitations And Personalized Decor
When did you start your business? April 2019
What led you into the wedding industry? All three of us work together at a printing company, and decided to bring our love for helping couples have a beautiful wedding day to life! Our two graphic designers had been designing for friends and families weddings for years so this was the perfect avenue to continue doing so!
What was your prior/current occupation? All three of us work together at a printing company.
What is your specialized/unique approach when working with couples? Every client of ours gets a 100% custom package - from the designs to the build of the package itself, everything is crafted specifically for them. No couple ever has to settle for something they're not 100% happy with and we love being able to provide that to local couples!
Do you have any unique service or products that you'd like couples to know about? Having 2 designers allows us to offer a range of different design styles, which are all totally custom! Working at a printing company gives us access to tons of high tech machinery which allows us to do some really fun things with invites, signage and more
How has Covid-19 changed your business practices for the better? Yes! We have developed several new practices to aid in postponement and cancellations (which hopefully we'll only need this year!)
Tell us one fun fact about yourself! Running is one of my favorite past times
Patrick Yim (Yim Creations) | Hand Poured Soy Based Candles | 16 Scents And Counting
When did you start your business? May 10th 2020.
What led you into the wedding industry? I was actually opened to the wedding industry through this page. Being a new business owner, this outlet is still very new to me.
What was your prior/current occupation? Before starting with candles I was a student/delivery driver.
What is your specialized/unique approach when working with couples? My time in previous customer service Have taught me that there is always a solution. So, my thought on most products is if I don’t have it where can I get it. Candles are very specific, and different ones can represent different things for people and their relationship. So while I might not have it then, I’ll do my best to help find it or at least options.
Do you have any unique service or products that you'd like couples to know about? At the current moment I have 20 different candle scents, but I am in the process of putting together unique wedding designs and customizable designs, as well package candle options for couples looking to purchase at a little bit larger quantities.
How has Covid-19 changed your business practices for the better? Well, it was scary because I went from 15 in person festivals, cons and special events to one. However, while I did lose a little, it did cause me to look longer and harder at my online presence and setup. I also had the opportunity to work with a local shop to sell my product. It has. Done wonderful in that avenue for me.
Tell us one fun fact about yourself! One fun fact I guess would be that I love books. I worked a library for a time, and stories have always given me comfort. That love caused me to start playing on Instagram with the entertaining Bookstagram world. I have a ton of fun with it, and have actually been able to talk to publishing companies and authors about so many different works.
Jaclyn Rutigliano + Hometown Flower Co. | Long Island Mobile Florist + Wedding Florist
When did you start your business? May 2019
What led you into the wedding industry? As Long Island's first mobile flower truck and digital florist, we actually didn't intend to enter into the wedding industry as we weren't sure if brides would be receptive to the lack of control that comes with planning your wedding flowers when you exclusively source locally, but we have been so humbled by the support and interest we have received that it has now become a larger part of our business.
What was your prior/current occupation? My background is in marketing and PR and I started doing floral design as a form of stress relief. I became fascinated by the journey of flowers and wanted to support the slow flower movement which embraces locally-grown flowers.
What is your specialized/unique approach when working with couples? We exclusively work with seasonal, locally-grown flowers!
Do you have any unique service or products that you'd like couples to know about? In addition to our unique design style and commitment to local sourcing, we are also unique in that we are a mobile flower truck. Some of the unique offerings we provide with our truck include popping up at weddings for a #spotbabyblue photo opp, or having our team on site designing flowers on demand for guests to take home as favors. We also do pop-up flower bars, workshops, and much more for bridal showers and bachelorette parties which make for a very fun and interactive activity that is a bit unexpected.
How has Covid-19 changed your business practices for the better? With the shift to micro and backyard weddings we have received a lot more inquiries from couples who are looking for something non-traditional and unexpected. Brides are more receptive to seasonal and local flowers, and are taking a much more creative approach to how they envision their day. We thrive in breaking outside of the box so this has been a real delight for us. We've also seen a big increase in demand for backyard workshops for bridal showers.
Tell us one fun fact about yourself! My husband and business partner, Marc, and I are both Leos and share the exact same birthday, down to the year :). Our first daughter is named August after our birthday month, which is also when we got married.
Sena Danquah, Photography by SENA | Long Island Photographer For Lifes Moments
When did you start your business? Two years ago.
What led you into the wedding industry? I wanted to get out of the studio more often to capture and tell stories of couples in love.
What was your prior/current occupation? I am currently still a graphic artist and baby photographer.
What is your specialized/unique approach when working with couples? Allowing them to be themselves, feel comfortable and guide them on how to pose naturally, if need be. I also make sure no wedding portraits are the same. I try to produce uniqueness in every couples photos.
Do you have any unique service or products that you'd like couples to know about? I do provide large format prints and and high end quality albums.
How has Covid-19 changed your business practices for the better? Though we might not be booking large weddings, intimate weddings are becoming a popular request. This has taught me to be extra creative to use this current situation to focus more on the couple, tell the story of the day and that love is not cancelled, regardless of the number of guests present.
Tell us one fun fact about yourself! I love roller coasters but terrified to get on a ladder! lol
Jennifer Augustine & Michele Amadeo + Forget me knots | Long Island Wedding And Event Planners
When did you start your business? We started our business in 2018.
What led you into the wedding industry? We both have a strong background in the Creative & Design industry, and very strongly believe in the power of small details and big moments. Event planning and design magically combines our passion for beautiful spaces, unique visual elements, and pulling together all of the details!
What was your prior/current occupation? Michele and I worked together in the home decor business and soon realized we were not only good friends but a great team.
What is your specialized/unique approach when working with couples? We are unique because we can work with brides from concept to full execution!
Do you have any unique service or products that you'd like couples to know about? What makes us unique is that in addition to being full service event planner, we are also floral designers that specialize in bespoke displays and installations. Being able to both plan and execute is critical to best accomplish our brides vision. We take care of all the special design details, including event branding, unique decor and paper goods, and working with creative vendors to insure continuity across the entire event.
How has Covid-19 changed your business practices for the better? As a young breast cancer survivor I know how important it is to cherish the exciting and happy moments in life! We have always made sure we make the wedding planning and floral design process as easy and enjoyable as possible. After Covid-19 it is that much more important to make the process memorable and happy. These couples had to give up a lot but a beautiful experience doesn't have to be one of them!
Tell us one fun fact about yourself! Many of our clients think we are related because we both have the exact same hair color and cut!