Letter From The Editor
Very recently, I had come face to face with a full circle moment. As my husband would be the first to tell anyone, I’m a sentimental person who mentally organizes notable moments by their dates, location, and all the particulars. Given my personal tendencies, it should come as no surprise that the 2023 Edition of Sophisticated Weddings, which marks 10 years since we unveiled our very first issue, would be a monumental milestone for the magazine, evoking joyful recollections of this wondrous journey. What I hadn’t anticipated is how the formation of our anniversary edition would be a divine rekindling of our 2013 Edition. As our readers have been so generously open and candid with us over the last decade, I believe it is time that I returned the gesture with a little backstory of my own.
In the spring of 2012, I had come to my then-boyfriend with an idea for a wedding magazine. Steve had been publishing food and lifestyle magazines for the last decade, and I’d been freelancing as a fashion writer for several years. Having completed my graduate schoolwork the year prior, I was eager for my next passion project. I found myself enamored by the world of weddings but identified a hole in the editorial sector. What if wedding magazines were more than just material fluff? What if they could blend the best of everything, serving as a true companion that matches couples with their ideal venues and vendors, while serving inspiration for their wedding planning needs? Steve had time on his hands, having recently sold his restaurant guide he’d been publishing in Westchester County and Fairfield County (CT) since 2001. It took about a month to convince him to join me, but once I got him on
board, there was no looking back. We were both passionately committed to fulfilling this vision, which incorporated elements of his former publication.
The seven months that followed were a test of our wills and strength. We needed to learn this industry inside and out. It was absolutely crucial that we remained focused, understanding the inherent interests of our readers. We decided that a national wedding magazine simply did not make sense. What value could an article about a Kansas City florist carry for an engaged reader in Tacoma? For this reason, we targeted NYC and the surrounding areas, with one exception, of course, being the destinations section. It wasn’t a hard decision to come by… I may be biased, but it could easily be argued that New York is one of the greatest cities in the world to host a wedding.
By December 2012, it was crunch time and we were eager to get on press with our debut issue. We had envisioned two separate covers to grace the front of our magazine; half of the run would feature a dreamy portrait of a beautiful bride beside the iconic brass doors of Gotham Hall, and the other… yours truly, posing along Park Avenue, trying my hardest not to give any indication that I was freezing my tail off in 30ºF weather (because I was). Frosty weather aside, it was one of the best days of my life.
Flash forward three months. The first edition of Sophisticated Weddings had hit newsstands and the response from our readers was incredible. It was truly moving, and we were far from slowing down. Except for one thing… I came down with a miserable stomach virus in March 2013. One never forgets a tummy bug of this severity. In the tail end of that episode, I had asked Steve to ship out a copy of the magazine to my college roommate, to which he said he would straight away. So when we’d gotten into the car together a few days later, I was surprised to see the packaged magazine with her address resting on the backseat. Without giving it much thought, I casually asked him about it. That’s when Steve got really nervous. I’d never seen him fumble over his words this way. He’d already told me he shipped it, so he wasn’t sure how to explain why it was still there. It all made sense a moment later, when Steve pulled out an engagement ring. Not just any engagement ring - the engagement ring I wore on the cover of the magazine. Everyone on the set, myself included, were fawning over this engagement ring. A stunning cushion cut diamond, surrounded by micropavé diamonds around the stone and band. It was, and continues to be, perfection. It seems that while I was unwell and asked Steve to make a post office run for me, he was in fact collecting the engagement ring he’d been plotting to buy since the day we shot the cover.
In the ten years that followed, we had ourselves a beautiful wedding, an even more precious daughter, and put out 20 more (and counting!) magazine volumes
Honored to be present for your once upon a times and happily ever afters,
together. In the course of this journey, we’ve produced countless editorial shoots (many of which we’ll cover in ”Coming Up On 150 Years”), but I hadn’t envisioned myself a cover model again – certainly not ten years later! But life unfolds in funny ways, and that’s just what happened with this issue. That’s me on the cover of our 2023 Edition, and this being our 10th anniversary issue isn’t the only celebratory milestone to be found within.
In the making of this edition, we realized many incredible achievements all around us. As the setting of our cover and feature article, ”Coming Up On 150 Years”, the Garden City Hotel finds itself on the cusp of a major time marker. In “A Golden Legacy” we embrace 50 years of family tradition with Bridal Reflections, and we even explore the evolution of experiences at Atlantis in the Bahamas in “25 Years Young”. We gain words of wisdom from Real Housewives of New Jersey star Danielle Cabral and her husband Nate in the exclusive editorial feature, “Ten Years Looks Good On Us”, and we have a look back on highlights from the last decade that stole our hearts in “Looking Back”. To say there’s a lot to celebrate in 2023 would be an understatement.
Whether you’re dreaming of a wedding that’s near or far, as always, we have you covered. We explore the inspo-worthy destinations to capture your wanderlust in Aruba, Florida’s Paradise Coast, and beyond. If you’re setting your sights beyond the concrete jungle but would like to get there in 90 minutes or less, don’t miss “Just Outside the City” for a full detail on the best venues within reach. And just in case you’re feeling a little indecisive about where to say “I do,” you can always turn to “Written in the Stars” for the answers, where your astrological sign will do the heavy lifting.
Ten years may seem like a long time, but for us at Sophisticated Weddings, time truly does fly when you’re having fun. We are humbled and inspired by your love stories today as much as we were with the very first issue – thank you for allowing us to take part in your anniversary in the making.