October 10th 2010
Photography by Michael Polito
Three years ago, this Westchester bride was invited by a friend to see one of their favorite local bands, Street Light Manifesto, play in the city. As the bride explained to me, the band’s music is a fusion of high-energy beats together with gypsy, Latin, and reggae genres all rolled into one. After a night of this upbeat music, the party continued and, when Lauren met band member Mike Soprano, little did she know that she’d be marrying him one day.
That night, Mike left for a seven-week European tour with his band, but before his plane took off, he sent Lauren an email asking if he could take her out on a date on the day he came home. After almost two months of long-distance chatting, Mike made good on his invitation. “Two hours after his plane landed,” Lauren recalls, “Mike arrived at my doorstep with roses for our first date. That was pretty impressive to me!”
Two years later, the couple decided that all of these airport farewells and heartbreaking hiatuses needed to stop. Mike left the band and returned to teaching, his last show being a hometown gig in New Jersey in October 2009. He proposed later that week and promised to never say goodbye to her again.
One year later, the two were married at the Tappan Hill Mansion in Tarrytown, overlooking the Hudson River. “Tappan Hill in October is just the most romantic, magical, spectacular place,” Lauren says. “We booked our wedding over a year in advance to secure the date of 10/10/10.”
The bride was a vision in her Jim Hjelm gown, a white silk-taffeta ball gown with an asymmetrical draped silhouette and an ivory contrast one-shoulder band accented with crystal/feather/flower detail, a bubble hem, a chapel train, and a cathedral veil.
The evening was autumn picture-perfect and the inside décor matched with every detail, from pumpkin place cards to monogrammed jack-o’-lanterns about the space, thanks to the artful talent of Forever in Bloom florists. As the guests arrived, they were escorted outside to the stone patio for the ceremony, with flutes of cider Champagne sparklers or mulled warm cider awaiting them.
Following the ceremony, guests were treated to a Tuscan pasta station during the cocktail hour with dishes such as mezzo rigatoni Mediterranean, gemelli à la vodka, and a stunning antipasti display. Seasonal goodies such as mushrooms were offered at another station, with wood-grilled jumbo portobello mushrooms carved at the table, seafood-stuffed mushrooms, wild mushroom and smoked-duck polenta, truffled mushroom pizzetta, and mushroom parmigiano crisps. Hor d’oeuvres of tiny sirloin patty melts, lobster shepherd’s pie, blanketed frank lollipops, truffled prosciutto popovers, baja fish tacos, mini BLTs, deconstructed duck pastrami Reuben, and Athenian salads rounded out the cocktail hour.
The first course was a lobster salad with teardrop tomatoes, fresh corn, pea shoots, and chervil along with corn pudding soufflé topped with tomato-lemon marmalade. A salad of baby greens with crumbled ricotta salata, dried cranberries, and spiced walnuts with an orange Dijon vinaigrette followed. Guests had a choice of peppercorn filet or truffled Chilean sea bass.
“For dessert, the most amazing display of mini desserts were plated with our wedding cake,” Lauren says. “The cake was red velvet with French vanilla buttercream filling. Next to the cake sat a triple-chocolate-dipped strawberry, a bite-sized chocolate caramel apple, and a pineapple rum shooter. It was the most visually amazing and delicious meal—our guests were taking pictures of their food!”
Being musicians, Mike and Lauren felt very strongly about getting an amazing band for the wedding. “Music is such a large part of our love story and our lives, both individually and as a couple,” she says. “We booked a ten-piece band from Hal Prince.”
Naturally, Mike performed, playing his trombone on “You Can Call Me Al” and “Jump Jive an’ Wail,” while Lauren sang a perfect rendition of “Me and Bobby McGee.” Says Lauren: “All 183 guests danced and cheered as if it were a concert.” The music, she says, “never stopped and no one wanted it to.”
The best man wrote a song for the couple and played it with the band. The bride surprised her father by playing a recording of her father’s band from the ’50s singing “When I Fall in Love” as she danced with him. “There was not a dry eye in the place,” she confides.
When asked about what the dealmaker was for her in ultimately choosing Mike to spend the rest of her life with, the answer was long and complicated, while the bottom-line conclusion, short and sweet. She explained that, while they were courting, and given the nature of being in a popular touring band, many months of the year were spent communicating via long-distance calls, emails, and loads of video chatting over vast time-zone differences. Rather than a period of precious moments, it was more of an exercise in stolen moments. As hard as that was for them, it didn’t seem to affect their relationship. When I asked Lauren why she thought that was, with a smile in her voice and true conviction, this happy newlywed simply replied, “When it’s right, it’s easy.”
111 Bowman Ave, Rye Brook
Forever in Bloom
431 E Main St, Mount Kisco
55 Washington St, Suite 512 Brooklyn
Tappan Hill Mansion
81 Highland Ln, Tarrytown
110 W 20th St, New York, NY
318 W 39th St, New York, NY