Thursday, May 2, 2013

New York Wedding Gala On The Atlantica — More Than Just Great Cakes And Manhattan Views!

By: Anne M. Raso

I was recently invited to the New York Wedding Gala on board The Atlantica, a wonderfully large art deco inspired ship that is often booked for weddings and other special events. These events given a few times a year by Entertainment Cruises (who owns The Atlantica and Bateaux New York vessels) are always fun because both press and engaged couples are welcome and they put their best foot forward with the great food, table arrangements and entertainment on board.

The staff—which includes the wedding planners known in the industry as “Wedding Specialists”—are always helpful whether you are just visiting the ship for an event such as the New York Wedding Gala or actually planning a wedding. They do Rehearsal Dinners, Bridal Luncheons and not just the weddings. I was impressed by the very Sex & The City wedding ceremony that can be set up on the top level of the ship. Various tubes and pipes coming out of the top of the ship are cleverly turned into wedding décor with bountiful flowers, including orchids and roses. There probably is nothing that can compare to a wedding done at sea with the NY Skyline in the back (a close runner up might be the Eiffel Tower, but it would be a heck of a lot more costly for your guests to fly to Europe).
I am someone who is willing to go to a wedding just for a cake (don’t laugh) so at this event I immediately headed downstairs to check out the sample cakes on display. They were stunning and I was especially attracted to the fact that an art deco style wedding cake with faux diamonds can be put around the layers and easily removed when it is time to be cut up. Guests at the New York Wedding Gala were able to taste at least four types of cake including classic red velvet and simple devil’s food with white buttercream icing but what won my heart was a classic buttercream cake done with yellow layers and dulce de leche filling (white buttercream on the outside). I have never encountered this type of filling before and will frankly state that it’s a knockout.
The stunning extras at The New York Wedding Gala included something that I would want at my own wedding and that I see at many upscale NY events: a mashed sweet potato “sundae” bar. Guests are given martini glasses which they place the potatoes in and then garnish with over a dozen add-ons including bacon, scallions, sour cream and more. The chef’s team went out of its way to create Modern American versions of old hors d’oeuvres favorites including quiches and pigs in blankets. They also make lamb chops to die for. The hors d’oeuvre choices on the ship number in the 100s, so you can find something for any dietary restrictions and even the very health conscious. I enjoyed the carving stations that were classic fare like turkey and steak, and the bartender showed me different cocktails that can be created and named anything the bride and groom want…and yes, he can match one’s wedding colors and use any preferred spirits.
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I love the way the recent New York Wedding Gala closed with a “scoop it yourself” candy bar that included more than a dozen candy favorites (including Swedish fish and gummy bears) and adorable customized white organic paper boxes. I felt a little guilty sitting at one of the table arrangements—done in Tiffany blue with white roses and linens—and dropping a piece of red velvet wedding cake on it, but at least the frosting was white cream cheese so it sort of blended, LOL!

If you want to find out more about planning a wedding, you can call one of the Atlantica’s wedding specialists at 866-433-9283 or go to; the boats conveniently leave from a dock at the Chelsea Piers at 23rd Street and 12th Avenue. They can do everything from “soup to nuts” as they say—and that includes the ceremony set up (including wedding officiators/clergy, favors, flowers, DJ and more. You just have to bring your bride or groom and the prices are very favorable compared to booking a ceremony in a Manhattan hotel or restaurant!

Photos: Anne M. Raso

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