Mission Accomplished: Part II

(l-r) Jacquline "Decoy Model" Fini, Emily "Decoy Stylist"" Margulis, Dawn "Number Two" Cousins, Vanessa "The Ministers" Siders, Susan "The Designer" Schweizer, David Lee, Aileen "The Seamstress" Lee, Lynn "The Artist" Stolfi, Doug Stolfi

After the wonderfully romantic and sentimental ceremony officiated by the fabulous Reverend Vanessa L. Siders, everyone filed in to the ballroom of Crestwood Manor for several hours of dining and dancing. Once all of the guests found their seats, Brian, Suzette and their children made their entrance. The happiness and pride was so apparent on all of their faces, especially Brian’s. It just made your heart swell.

All of the operatives were invited to attend the wedding, and most were able to. It was a really terrific way for all of us to come together and congratulate each other on a job well done. It was very exciting for all of us to see in person the way that everything went off, since everyone was so intricately involved. Plus, everyone wanted to see whether or not Suzette was really surprised about the wedding. Incidentally, the DJ (who was not an official operative) asked Suzette whether or not she knew about anything or even had a sneaking suspicion, and she confirmed that she was 100% stunned It was such a great feeling!

Photo by Sue Mignano and Amy Pedatella

After Brian and Suzette danced their first dance, I made the toast. I couldn’t help but get choked up. It’s funny– I deal with people on a daily basis, give presentations, and tell people what to do all the time, but I am absolutely HORRIBLE when it comes to off-the-cuff speaking. I should have written something out, but I didn’t. I really wanted to thank all of the people that were involved with putting everything together, but I didn’t. And for that, I am so, so, so sorry! I would like to take this post to thank all of the operatives involved with putting our very first Stealth Wedding together:

Creative Edge Events: Juliette did the decor and bouquets while Lainie designed the favors.
Autumn Studio: Lynn created the gorgeous invitations, which readers voted on.
Sweet Beginnings Invitations & Favors: Susan created the fantastic menus (which readers voted on) and amazing fan programs.
Morgan’s Bay Confections: Nina and Trish handmade chocolate truffles that were absolutely DIVINE! They don’t have a website, but you can email them at morgansbay@optimum.net.

Photo by Sue Mignano and Amy Pedatella

Crestwood Manor:General Manager Randy Janis, Banquet Manager Samantha Albertson and the rest of the team at Crestwood were the best people to work with. Not only did Samantha pose as a model on the day of the event, Randy and his team were constantly at our disposal, following up, making sure that everything was running on or close to schedule. I can honestly say that Randy and Samantha were as excited about this event as the rest of us were, and they worked very hard to make sure that it was perfect.

Emily Margulis: Emily styled Jacquline and did Jackie’s makeup. You can email Emily at EMargulis.metyob@gmail.com, if you would like a styling consultation or to find out about the makeup she used for this wedding.
Mrs. Aileen Lee did the speedy alterations. She does not have a website or email address. However, if you would like

Photo by Sue Mignano & Amy Pedatella

her contact information, please leave a comment with your email address and I will send you her phone number. 

 Sue Mignano & Amy Pedatella were the outstanding photographers that were there all throughout the day. You can see all of the photos from this event on Sue’s site. If you need the password, leave a comment with your email address, and I will send it to you.

Piece of Cake Bakery: Dawn flew in from Wyoming to bake and decorate the stunning wedding cake, and the flavor was voted on by readers.
Duckwalk Vineyards: Duckwalk provided several cases of wine for the guests to enjoy during their dinner and cocktail hour.

Chocolate cake with chocolate ganache filling, as voted by readers.

The Traveling Vineyard: Consultants David and Emily Margulis also provided excellent wine for the guests to enjoy.

Birgitte Philippides: Birgitte came in from NYC to style Suzette and do Jackie’s (Suzette’s sister) hair.
Reverend Vanessa L. Siders: Vanessa wrote and officiated the beautiful, romantic and sentimental renewal of vows ceremony.
Adrienne’s Bridal:  The employees here worked with me to pull the wool over Suzette’s eyes while getting her to pick out her own wedding gown. They also gave Brian a very nice discount on the dress.
Serenity Limo: Fred whisked Brian and Suzette to their hotel right after the reception ended. 
And then there’s me, The Planner. I had such a great time doing this wedding and so many people told me that I should do another Stealth Wedding, I am going to keep an air of anonymity. Sure, you can click on the link and head to my website, but I don’t want to make it easy for someone to see who I am in association with the Stealth Wedding Project, in case another one happens to come up. That being said, if you would like me  to plan and execute a Stealth Wedding for someone (or another surprise event), simply leave a comment with your contact information and I will get in touch with you.
Still more recap to come!

Mission Accomplished: Part 1

She never knew what was coming...

Operation: Stealth Wedding was an astounding success. The flowers were ctunning, the ceremony was romantic, and the food was fantastic. Most importantly, Suzette (codename: Jill) had absolutely no idea what was going on. It was a wonderful event, if I do say so myself.

The day started with yours truly running late, as usual. The hairpiece never came, and we were rushing around to find a new one. Brian (codename: Jack) had a lot of errands to run, including picking up the makeup artist, Birgitte Philippides from the Babylon Train station. I arrived to pick Suzette up at her house, and told her about the hairpiece catastrophe. She ran inside and got a gorgeous crown type band that her daughter, Alexis, used for her Communion. On the way to Crestwood Manor, it dawned on me that we didn’t have any earrings for Suzette to wear in the “fashion show”. Suzette called her sister, Jackie, and asked her to bring a pair with her. She actually had a specific pair in mind, so that was great.

We arrived at Crestwood Manor and Brian was already there with Birgitte. My cousin, Jacquline, was going to be a decoy model– The Maid of Honor model that was getting ready with Suzette in the bridal suite, which was sequestered from the rest of the venue. Birgitte styled Suzette while Emily Margulis, a good friend of mine, styled Jacquline. Birgitte also slipped upstairs to do Jackie’s hair, then Emily went upstairs to do her makeup. While they were being styled, everything else was being put into place.

Stacey, one of my employees, worked really hard to fold the 100 forest green napkins that we ordered for an extra punch of color on the tables, to co-ordinate with the centerpieces made by Juliette at Creative Edge Events. The tables were dressed, the fantastic wedding cake by Dawn Cousins of Piece of Cake Bakery was set up, the dais was arranged, and the ceremony site was decorated… All while Suzette gabbed away with Jacquline, Emily and Birgitte, none the wiser to what was going on. It was a really great feeling, knowing that this woman – a woman I consider a friend – was about to walk into the surprise of her life, so deftly created by her wonderful husband. Their thirteen year old son, Brian Jr., was in on the planning, too. He was a great help when everything was being set up at Crestwood.

Photo by Sue Mignano & Amy Pedatella

While Suzette was still getting ready at 4:00, guests arrived for the cocktail party held upstairs. Food and beverages, including wine from Duckwalk Vineyards and The Traveling Vineyard (thanks to Emily!), were enjoyed by all of the guests. I brought a plate of hot hors d’ouerves into the room, and they were to die for. The mushroom puffs and the asparagus cheese wraps were unbelievable, but the mini-spring rolls and dipping sauce were absolutely AMAZING. I kept sneaking upstairs to get more. I even had a Malibu pineapple, something that I haven’t had since I was in Jamaica last year. The bartenders at Crestwood were phenomenal. As a matter of fact, the entire staff was. Even Samantha, the banquet manager, pretended to be one of the models in the fashion show, to throw Suzette further off the scent– If she had picked up a scent, that is!

Right before the ceremony, the programs that Sue Schweizer of Sweet Beginnings Invitations & Favors created were fanned out and placed on every seat set on the terrace. Reverend Vanessa L. Siders made her way to the marble gazebo to wait with Brian as the guests filed in and took their seats. The procession was led by Cassandra, Brian and Suzette’s four year old daughter. Then followed Cassandra, their nine year old daughter. Finally, Suzette’s sister Jackie walked down the aisle, looking beautiful in strapless cocktail dress.

Photo by Sue Mignano & Amy Pedatella

People seemed confused when Jacquline entered. I had her walk halfway down the aisle so Suzette thought it really was a fashion show. Once Jacquline was out of Suzette’s view, she squeezed into a seat. Then, Suzette entered. I instructed her to look straight forward as she walked down the path to the top of the aisle. I told her to drop her head and look at the ground for three steps, then look up to do a “reveal” of how she looked. As she walked her three steps, Brian Jr. slipped next to her and linked her arm. “Surprise, Mom,” he said, as Suzette started to realize what was going on.

Unfortunately, Suzette practically sprinted down the aisle, which means that we didn’t get many photos of her reaction. She was absolutely shaking during the ceremony, which you can watch by clicking here. More than half of the people watching the ceremony cried– myself included. It was just so romantic and touching.

After the ceremony, everyone applauded. The wedding was 13 years in the making. Everyone was so happy to see Suzette (and Brian, for that matter) have a dream wedding.

Please note: There will be more entries about the wedding and the people involved. I have been trying to get this recap done since the night of August 1, and I just haven’t been able to. I figured that I can do it in sections. This is just the overview. More to follow.

Sub-Mission: Choosing the Cake Flavor

It is coming down to the wire, reader. The final details are being arranged with Operation: Stealth Wedding. Once again, your help is needed. Below are the choices for three different cake flavors for the wedding cake. Please choose your favorite. This poll closes on Tuesday, July 13th. The flavor with the highest percentage of votes is what will be used as the wedding cake at the Stealth Wedding.

Thank you, reader. Good luck in choosing your favorite. May the best flavor win.


Many missions – and many weddings – have failures and problems. Unfortunately, this was the case with our first baker. A special operative, Number Two, is being flown in to handle the wedding cake. Number Two is going into business for herself, and has made a variety of specialty cakes, including wedding cakes. She will be creating this cake from an undisclosed location, and then transporting it to the staging area.

Number Two is going out of her way to be a part of Operation: Stealth Wedding. She is a wonderful woman, and is only doing this for the cost of her airline ticket. She is very excited to be a part of this operation, and knows what it means to Jack and Jill.

Sub-Mission: Choosing the Menu

The Designer has created two menu options for Operation: Stealth Wedding. Please choose your favorite menu. The menu with the most votes will be used at the wedding. Choose wisely. Pass this on to others to vote, as you can only vote once. This poll closes on Thursday, July 1, 2010.




Greetings, reader.

A new operative has joined this mission. The Designer is in charge of creating the program and menu for Operation: Stealth Wedding. The Designer will need your help to choose the design of these items. She, being the amazing designer that she is, will offer two options for you to choose from. These items will then be distributed to all of the guests at the wedding. Of course, you will be able to see the real menu and program once the wedding occurs. And, of course, The Designer will be revealed, besides the link to her website (coming soon).

SUB-MISSION: COMPLETE (We have the invitations)

Nice work, readers.  Thanks for all of your votes. The winning invitation was choice C, which The Artist will set to work on immediately. We all know that the invitations are going to be spectacular, like all of the work that The Artist does.  Keep checking back for more polls to make decisions on items that Jill can’t choose herself because, frankly, she has no idea that she is having a wedding.