On a gorgeous sunny Saturday at the end of August, Cool Cat owners Tina and Vinny Liotta prepared to celebrate a very special wedding. Their daughter, Hannah Liotta, was about to marry her high-school sweetheart and become Mrs. Paul Kowalczyk. Not only was Hannah the owners' daughter, but she and Paul were Cool Cat Family. It was August 29th, 2015, the day everyone had been waiting for. We couldn't have been more excited and enthused to celebrate with them!
The day started at the Albany Hilton Hotel where longtime family friend, Molly Tremante of Plush Hair Studio, arrived to do Hannah's hair. The transformation into a Alice-In-Wonderland fairytale princess had begun!
How cool is it that Molly's sister Doria and professional makeup artist was able to join the occasion and do Hannah's makeup? They did an absolutely phenomenal job...and there was really only one step left until Hannah's transformation into a princess was complete.
Gorgeous! This gown came from Angela's Bridal as part of the Hailey Paige collection. Hannah discovered it was the perfect gown for lots of twirling, and she took full advantage. At any given time that day you might catch a swirl of white as Hannah spun just once more in her amazing dress.
How beautiful is this bouquet? With tiny blue flowers and jeweled accents peeking out between pinks, purples, and creams, this bouquet from PoppyTree Floral was so pretty and absolutely perfect.
The little Alice-In-Wonderland jeweled accents were such a great touch. Every detail seemed perfectly in place and fitting with the themes of the day. Hannah used her grandmother's handkerchief to wrap the base of her bouquet, and the lock goes with a key that Paul carries. Her grandmother's "boost" bag comes from a cute Italian wedding tradition where guests give the newlyweds a "boost" in their lives together, slipping monetary gifts into the bag. Now, it helped complete Hannah's fairytale outfit.
Meanwhile, the guys were doing their own version of the getting-ready at Paul and Hannah's new apartment. Paul will play just about any instrument he can get his hands on, with the ukulele being one of Paul's favorite instruments. So before getting dressed Paul spent some time playing his trusty ukulele to calm the nerves.
Following the Alice-In-Wonderland fairytale theme, Paul had a few interesting accents of his own. The guy's attire wouldn't be complete without some funky socks, obviously. Paul's unique suit was from Mr. Formal Wear in Clifton Park, NY.
The fact that Paul's Best Man was also Vincent Liotta, Hannah's brother, speaks volumes about how close this whole family is. Paul and Vince have been friends for years, so it was awesome for the two guys to celebrate Paul's big day together.
Remember the lock on Hannah's bouquet? This little key on Paul's boutonniere actually matches the lock Hannah carries. How cute is it that?
So many of these awesome guys are part of the Cool Cat family. You could really tell how much they all cared about each other as they expressed it in their own goofy, fun way. It was wonderful having so many of them be involved in Paul and Hannah's special day, DJ Eric, DJ Justin, DJ Vince, along with Paul's step brothers Ryan & Justin.
After leaving the hotel, the bridal party arrived at the gorgeous Pat's Barn right on schedule. The bridal party traveled in style in an unmistakable pink limo from Today's Limo service, driver and friend, Dominick, who came out to drive the limo in person. Today's Limo donates 10% of rental prices for their pink limos to support breast cancer research. This held a special significance for the Liotta family, as Hannah's grandmother is a two-time survivor of breast cancer. It was another tiny detail that made the day all the more special.
Arriving at Pat's Barn, which had been set up with the appearance of an amazing indoor garden and additional Alice-In-Wonderland themed accents, the bridal party hit the grounds for some pre-ceremony formals. With so many friends and family involved and all that energy bouncing around, these formals couldn't be anything but awesome!
Candid shots like this show you just how much fun everyone had. How could you not, with family and friends like these!
Finally, the bride and groom snuck away for a few photos of their own. With all the stress that can go into planning a wedding, the weeks and months of details and patiently (or rather, impatiently) waiting, it's the moments like this that make it all worthwhile. You can really see the genuine love these two share for each other.
Guests were arriving, so, finally, it was time for the ceremony to begin. As friends and loved ones of both families arrived at Pat's barn, they were greeted by an intricate array of colors and wonderland-themed accents guiding them to their seats. The details were stunning.
As the ceremony began and Hannah descended the stairs in her fairytale dress, into a room filled with family and friends, it was impossible for her loved ones not to get emotional. This was Hannah's fairytale, complete with hundreds of wonderland accents and sparkling lights, and her groom was awaiting her in a garden of rose petals. Their moment had finally arrived.
Officiating was Sue Koehler-Arsenault, who used to work for Cool Cat before moving out of state. She traveled all the way from Massachusetts to officiate for Hannah and Paul. As Hannah and Paul spoke their vows, they were being guided by someone who had watched them grow together as a couple.
With "I-Do's" said, the newly-married couple led the way to out onto the dance floor for their next big moment of the night--their first dance! Let the twirling begin!
A little later, Hannah had a very special dance with her father. It was a beautiful moment as father and daughter danced together, remembering Hannah's transition from a little girl into a beautiful woman, and now, a wife.
Vinny's pride and joy for his daughter was written all over his face. Hannah was truly stunning, and her parents couldn't have been more proud.
Then it was time for the Cool Cat family to do what they do best--party! This crowd knows how to seriously rock it out and make the night one to remember forever. With Big Daddy Sean McKee emceeing and DJ Jack mixing the music, dancing was definitely a high priority.
As Hannah and Paul celebrated their new marriage, the proud parents looked on. After years of watching their daughter and new son-in-law grow closer and closer together, it was a wonderful moment to see the culmination of so much love. And what could be better than partying it out with so many of their close friends?
Following with the wonderland theme, Piece of Cake Bakery & Cafe designed Hannah and Paul a lovely cake with tributes to Alice-In-Wonderland and all sorts of cute details, from little mushrooms to the iconic stopwatch, to a half-hidden "just married" sign. Piece of Cake did a wonderful job, and everyone couldn't have been happier.
The whole cake table was so pretty. Just look at all these details!
Part of what was so amazing about the reception space at Pat's Barn was how creative we could get with capturing every special moment. While Hannah and Paul cut into their cake, one of our Cool Cat photographers snuck a photo from a higher angle, really capturing the moment in a unique way.
As the night went on, Hannah and Paul snuck around behind the DJ booth to beatmix some of their favorite tunes. Even on his own wedding night, DJ Paul couldn't help himself!
And Hannah, a Cool Cat photographer in her own right, just couldn't resist taking out her own camera to capture some of the fun moments going on throughout the night. Even with camera in hand, she made a stunning bride.
It was such a special night. You could really tell Hannah and Paul were happy, and their love for each other was so evident. They made such a sweet, caring couple.
So many details went into making this day special, from the color of the limo (pink) to the magical indoor-garden at Pat's barn, to the friendships cultivated from years of the Liotta family working in the wedding industry. A Big THANKS to all of our special industry friends and especially our dear friends, Joe Rossi Sr of FotoMagic who provided the photo magnet entertainment, Big Daddy who travelled from CT to emcee the formalities, and Gerri of Longfellow's who directed the catering and all the festivities.
It was amazing to see how so many of these friends came together to make this day an incredible one for the Liotta and Kowalczyk family. Through the tears at touching moments, to the laughter of those celebrating with Hannah and Paul, it was an absolutely amazing day and one none of us are going to forget. Every wedding is special in it's own unique way, and it was a blessing to come together as a company and celebrate the wedding of this special couple.