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Sep 13, 2019

WHA Wedding Week: How Four Astoria Locals Did Their Big Day

Now that you have all the details from venues to photography to food to design, see it all come together with four local Queens-based weddings! Who: Dan McNamara and Tabitha Vidaurri (…)

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Now that you have all the details from venues to photography to food to design, see it all come together with four local Queens-based weddings!

Who: Dan McNamara and Tabitha Vidaurri

Venue: T Studio

Florals: Petals & Roots

Credit to Justin Festejo.

Photography: Justin Festejo

Catering: Zenon Taverna

Dessert: Comfortland Donuts

Advice/Insights: “We wanted a stress-free wedding as much as possible so keeping it local made planning much easier and convenient. Having the wedding all in one location and on a smaller scale, kept it intimate and gave us more time to talk to our friends and family at the wedding which was important to us. We celebrated our lives together and it felt natural to do it where we live and involve the places where we eat that we like and now we’ll always be reminded when we go to Comfortland or Zenon Taverna of our special day which is sweet.”

Credit to Oh, Karina.

Who: AJ Riccio and Joaquim Léon Rabinovitch

Venue: T Studio

Photography: Oh, Karina

Design: The Bride! AJ is a local graphic designer. Since the bride and groom both come from a long line of fine artists, they decided to gather several pieces of art from each artist in their family, and hold an art gala.

Credit to Oh, Karina.

Catering: Queens Breweries Finback and Singlecut (food by their families)

Dessert: Aloria Cakes

Hotel: Paper Factory Hotel (“The room had so many pieces of furniture that were unique and looked great in pictures. I stayed here before the wedding and the night of.”)

The couple at the Welling Court Mural Project. Credit to Oh, Karina.

Advice/Insights: “Something we discovered, as SOON as there’s mention of a wedding, people start to behave in bizarre ways – and it’s not the even people you would expect or in the ways you’d expect. Everyone wants to insert themselves into the picture somehow. Positive or negative – it becomes a legitimate PLAGUE of opinions! When we told people our wedding idea, we received a range of reactions from ‘You should do it THIS way,’ to ‘That’s SO stupid, no one will like that’ I was appalled at the speed of which I was receiving opinions I didn’t ask for. But, ultimately, I’m glad we stuck to our vision because it was perfect FOR US – which is the WHOLE DAMN POINT.

A lot of couples completely lose sight of what they want because they let external pressures dictate their choices, and that just leads to regret. Joey and I agreed that our wedding was going to be something we crafted together that was reflective of our personalities. And it really paid off because every detail personified us in some way and I think people realized that when they walked in. My main point is: tune out anyone who is not getting married to you – it’s not their day. if you make your wedding reflective of YOUR relationship you will never regret putting all that effort into the planning, and maybe you’ll even prove the haters wrong.”

The couple did karaoke as entertainment instead of dancing! Photo Credit to Joel Schwartz.

Who: Julia Cheng & George Velesko

Venue: Victory Garden Cafe

Photography: Joel Schwartz (

Catering/Dessert: Victory Garden Cafe

Photo Credit to Joel Schwartz.

Advice/Insights: “My husband and I live in Jackson Heights and we were delighted to have a very Queens wedding. We held our ceremony and reception at Victory Garden Cafe, a Greek restaurant/bakery in Astoria with a lovely semi-enclosed garden space in the back. They also made our cake. We designed our centerpieces, photo coasters, and backdrop slideshow to feature photos and descriptions of our favorite foods and locations in Queens. After the wedding, we had professional photos taken at Astoria Park!

Photo Credit to Joel Schwartz.

Our wedding invitation literally opened with the sentence: ‘We’re so excited to be getting married in Queens (the best borough)!’ We had a small wedding (about 40 guests) and we prioritized affordability and personalized touches.”

Credit to Kamila Harris.

Who: Maureen Ballin & Zachary Sharpe (getting married next month!)

Venue: Douglaston Manor, Queens

Florals: AB Florist, based in Flushing

Photography: Sunnyside-based photographer Kamila Harris

Catering: Douglaston Manor

Dessert: Floral Park-based bakery Buttercooky

Advice/Insights: “My biggest advice for couples starting the planning process is to decide what your priorities are and what you’re willing to live without. You won’t have room in your budget for everything unless you’re a child of celebrities or other great wealth. And don’t feel pressure from other people you know or social media or reality TV to have the same priorities you see there. My fiancé and I are not having a photo booth, flower wall, sparkler edit, or any of several other things you’ve probably seen on Pinterest/Instagram.

In terms of planning locally, I would say if/when browsing large databases always cross check addresses and maps with listings. It was very important to me to have as many vendors from Queens as possible since I grew up here, and sometimes I would put ‘Queens’ into a database and all the top results would be Manhattan or Brooklyn. There’s good stuff here, you just might have to search a little harder!”

Credit to Kamila Harris.

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