Fairy-Tale Manhattan Wedding

Candace Van Ness & Adriel Gonzalez
Saint Bartholomew’s Church and The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
November 14, 2009

Candace and Adriel met in Englewood, New Jersey, 23 years ago. “We were in kindergarten together,” says Adriel. “And I remember cheating off her during a test on ancient Greece in sixth grade. Ironic, since I now run a tutoring business.” The two dated in junior high—“I saved all the notes he wrote me,” Candace admits; “Lots of talking on the phone,” Adriel jokes—but went to different high schools and didn’t commit until they both moved to the city after college. A few years later, Adriel proposed at her family’s Key Largo vacation home, but the couple wanted to get married in New York. Once Candace fell in love with Saint Bartholomew’s Church, across the street from the Waldorf, there was nothing left to decide. The venue was filled with their favorite flower, orchids: Ron Ben-Israel covered a tier of the vanilla-and-passion-fruit cake with them, and vases of the blooms adorned tables where guests ate butter-poached lobster and parsley risotto. The couple did break tradition with the music, hiring a samba group to perform as a surprise. “It was like indoor fireworks!” Candace recalls.

As told to Thessaly La Force.

The Details

Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Groom’s Suit: Dolce & Gabbana
Bride’s Gown: Oscar de la Renta
Flowers: Floralia Decorators
Invitations: East Six
Cake: Ron Ben-Israel
Hair: Oscar Blandi Salon

Candace Van Ness & Adriel Gonzalez, November 14Photographs by Christian Oth

“The Waldorf can be pretty conservative, and we wanted it to feel a little younger. We kept it modern, clean, and all white.”

“I found Saint Bartholomew’s while hunting for an Episcopalian church with my stepmother. I thought it was so beautiful.”

Fairy-Tale Manhattan Wedding