October 24, Yonkers, NY
Weddings are naturally a family affair, so when Cara and Michael planned their nuptials for 280 guests, Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway, the bride’s family’s business, was the ideal place for the reception (her parents and two of her four sisters also married there). “The location is very special to me,” Cara says. “Still, I wanted to make my wedding feel different.” She chose a black, white and gold theme, with dark tablecloths and gilded dinnerware. “It was elegant and understated,” Cara says. White hydrangeas and black anemones, styled by Flowers and Flowers in Darien, CT, made up the bouquets and table centerpieces. “Anemones are such an impact flower that many people don’t even know about,” Cara says. As another nod to family tradition, the bride’s engagement ring belonged to her grandmother, and Cara decked her wedding band with sapphires passed down through two generations. (Photographs by Bruce Plotkin)
The bride and groom rode in a vintage taxi from St. John the Baptist Church to the reception at Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway in Yonkers, NY.
The invitations were designed by Dabney Lee stationery in Brooklyn, NY.
Cara wore a custom Monique Lhuillier gown. “I love it so much—I wish it was acceptable to wear it on a random Tuesday,” she says.
Cara’s aunt made floral purses for the mothers of the bride and groom. “They’re all beautifully handmade with a lot of love and thought,” Cara says.
Twelve bridesmaids and groomsmen made up the wedding party, pictured on the church steps.
“I think we were both trying our best not to cry,” Cara says of walking down the aisle with her father, Robert.
Cara and Michael with their parents, Phil and Gail Buckenmeyer (left) and Margaret and Robert Galterio
Tu-Lu’s Bakery in NYC created a vegan, gluten-free chocolate cake finished with vintage cake toppers, a gift from Cara’s mother.
The walls at the reception were draped with black fabric and waterfall lights for a dramatic effect.
Flower girl Kaitlyn Koch wore a custom-made tulle dress from Etsy, accented with a navy bow.
White and gold playing cards made the perfect favors for the festive casino setting.
The couple belted out a rendition of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin,’” Cara’s favorite song.