January weddings are a rarity. However, Meredyth and Michael took the plunge, scheduling their event for Saturday January 8th. Meredyth is an attorney and Michael is a physicist of Russian heritage who currently teaches at Princeton University. The challenge identified by the bride was creating a music and entertainment program that would stimulate a brainy crowd and not result in a dull party.
The wedding reception was held at the Nassau Inn at Palmer Square in Princeton. The Nassau Inn is one of my favorite venues to work at given its location, classy Ivy league charm, professional staff and great food.
The area was hit with a nice snowstorm the day of the wedding, and it continued to snow through the afternoon. Palmer Square, with its big Christmas tree, looked magical. I am sure that Meredyth and Mike's photos came out great. Kyo Morishima, an amazing photographer who is recommended by the Nassau Inn, said that he enjoyed shooting in the snow.
The reception was held in the second floor - picture dark hardwood floors, oriental rugs, poinsettias and a cozy fire. The reception party then moved into the Palmer and Witherspoon Rooms. This is a unique space, as there are two sections. The larger section is a dining room. Adjacent to the dining room is a smaller room for dancing (and the DJ booth); there is a double doorway that connects the two rooms and is left open. The challenge of this layout is that the DJ is somewhat isolated from the guests; the benefit is that the back room is an exclusive party zone where the volume can be pumped up after dinner. Ambient DJ provides uplighting in the dancefloor area (pictured below), creating an inviting space to lure in dancers!
The grand entrance came off flawlessly. Guests packed the dancefloor area, awaiting the bridal party and newlyweds. Each bridal party member had a special song. The new Mr. and Mrs. Romalis entered to the Black Eyed Peas "I Gotta Feeling," then enjoyed their first dance to Dean Martin's "Sway" complete with a ballroom routine and dip for the grand finale! To recognize the groom's Russian heritage, a traditional champagne toast was followed by a vodka toast!
The groom came up with a very creative idea for centerpiece giveaways. Each of the eight tables, in addition to having a floral centerpiece, had a Stirling Engine (pictured below). With a heat source (such as a candle), these engines fire up! To determine the winner, I worked with Meredyth on creating multiple choice questions that would stimulate a crowd of lawyers, physicists and engineers; sprinkled with some questions about Princeton and pop culture. For example - what is Princeton's most famous ice cream establishment? What year did Einstein emigrate to the U.S.? Which Supreme Court Justice hails from Trenton, NJ? A question about Lady Gaga. The game was well-received!
The dance party kicked in hard for the final 45 minutes or so, with a non-stop mix of dance music. The reception had a good party vibe throughout. The guests had a great time (as did the DJ!). Congratulations Meredyth and Michael!