Featured Wedding: Alana & John @ Tappan Hill Mansion

alana & john
may 14, 2016 @ tappan hill mansion



Photography by Todd Shapera

the story

The day before Alana’s birthday, John told her he was paged into the hospital where he was on call and that he would be home late. Little did Alana know, John drove two hours to pick up a puppy that Alana wanted. At around 11:00 pm, John returned to their home in New Orleans and called Alana downstairs. After taking her time, Alana was surprised to see John standing in their living room holding a 9-week-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy with a note tied around his neck. “I walked over and saw the note which read, ‘Will you marry me?'” says Alana. “Of course, my answer was yes and I grabbed the puppy — who was later named Winston — out of John’s hands.” Alana didn’t see the ring that was sandwiched between the note because of the way Winston was holding his head. He proceeded to show the ring to Alana and slipped it on her finger. The rest is history.

“We looked at a ton of venues, but only Tappan Hill had a special something. Its breathtaking views of the Hudson combined with Abigail Kirsch’s reputation for having outstanding food helped to seal the deal,” says Alana.

wedding style

“We would describe our wedding style as romantic. We wanted something that would be timeless and complement the beauty of the venue. We had a very neutral color scheme of pale pinks, and shades of white with peonies and roses. Our chuppah was a soft white, draped fabric with flowers wrapped around the pillars to give it a soft elegant touch. Our aisle was marked with soft pink rose petals and lanterns with candles burning,” says Alana. “The string quartet added the perfect balance of romance and elegance that we were looking for. To help keep our style flowing, our centerpieces ranged from high to low candelabras with crystals dangling. We again had soft whites and pale pink flowers with a little bit of greenery to add depth. And we had lights on the ceiling to add a romantic glow to our dance floor. The entire evening was magical!”

favorite menu item

Bride: Curry Chicken Tacos (hor d’oeuvres) & Basil Pan-Seared Branzino (entree)
Groom: Baby Lamb Chops (hor d’oeuvres) & Artisan Steakhouse Beef (entree)

memorable moments

“One of the highlights had to be our ‘first look.’ We have been together for 6 years and neither one of us expected that moment to be so emotional. It was just truly a beautiful moment with our bridal party and family to witness. John even got a little teary-eyed,” says Alana. “Another favorite would probably be our entrance and first dance. We took private lessons while in New Orleans and they really paid off. It was also really special that Winston got to be part of our special day. He was with me while getting ready and he even walked down the aisle. It was adorable! We loved that he joined us for the last dance which was Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” – a great way to end the night.”

what guests are saying

“Our guests could not stop raving about the wedding! From the beautiful venue with amazing views of the Hudson River, to our ceremony where Dr. Mel Hawthorne did an amazing job mixing and respecting our different religions,” says Alana. “People are still talking about the food and how cocktail hour felt like a meal on its own. We have even heard from some friends that they were so stuffed after cocktail hour but could not help but eat the main course. Our guests also keep mentioning our amazing band. We had an 8 piece band which was out of this world. Even our guests who were not dancing were enjoying the music and enjoyed watching our painting develop. Everyone was amazed that she was able to finish the painting at the end of the night. I think we provided our guests with a night that will be hard to forget!”


floral/event design: Forever in Bloom | photography: Todd Shapera | videographer: Eric Strang | entertainment: Kenny Ford Band (reception) Highline String Quartet (ceremony/cocktails) | bride’s wedding attire: Romona Keveza | groom’s attire: Brooks Brothers | bridesmaids’ attire: Amsale | groomsmen’s attire: Vera Wang  | groom’s cake (gluten free Mardi Gras cake): By the Way Bakery | make-up: Camille @makeup_by_mille | hair: Indulgence Salon | live event painter: Vesna Longton