Woodbury Country Club wedding takes top prize on TLC’s Four Weddings competition
A romantic, resort-style ceremony and reception at Woodbury Country Club was voted best wedding on the September 19 episode of Four Weddings, a TLC reality show in which four brides attend and rate one another’s nuptials, scoring them for the dress, the venue, the food, and the overall experience.
The bride, a 26-year-old business manager from Long Island, originally wanted a destination wedding but chose Woodbury Country Club because she could get the same tropical resort feel closer to home, said Anthony Calogero, Banquet Manager at Woodbury. “You get a lot of people who are thinking of going away, but can’t really afford that and are worried that their guests can’t come,” he said. “We give them everything they need to have that destination feel, right here on Long Island.”
Nestled on 18 secluded acres, the Woodbury Country Club is Long Island’s premier wedding reception venue. Guests are greeted in the country club’s elegant wood-trimmed lobby with live piano music and a glass of champagne before joining their party in one of two exquisitely decorated dining halls, each connected to elegant outdoor spaces perfect for romantic ceremonies, cocktail receptions, and dramatic photo backdrops.
The impeccably manicured gardens feature a multi-fountain reflecting pool surrounded by plenty of comfortable seating and a flower-decked lakeside gazebo perfect for exchanging vows. In addition, the professional staff offers experienced event planning, exceptional catering services, and gourmet menus by world-renowned French master chef, Guy Thomas.
In planning the prize-winning wedding, Calogero first met with the bride, Terri, to discuss her vision of destination resort style and a “Sweet Romance” theme. Then he used his experience and expertise to make that dream come true.
“Woodbury Country Club hosts 30 to 40 weddings per month – over 300 affairs per year,” said Calogero. “I’ve seen a lot of set ups. I know the space. I know where guests are going to go and how they’re going to react. And I know what we can do. That continues through the menu, the lighting, the whole theme.” In this case, he said, the bride really placed her trust in him. “She said, ‘Anthony, do what you think is right.’ So I was able to really get creative and just kind of go with it. I don’t always get that, but the results were tremendous.”
The bridal couple’s dream of a romance retreat was a great fit for Woodbury Country Club’s Garden Room, which opens onto a backyard cocktail area decorated with palm trees, lounge furniture and a tikki bar around a sparkling pool with dramatic fountains. Inside, the room pairs mirrors with a metallic faux finish on the walls to capture and reflect the light from candles, wall washing uplights, and glowing Lucite bars.
“It’s got a contemporary South Beach kind of feel, perfect for a high-energy, night club vibe,” said Calogero. Woodbury Country Club’s other ballroom, the Mills Room, is a more intimate space with a more traditional ambiance, and features access to a private courtyard called the Terrace Room for an indoor-outdoor cocktail hour experience.
After a beautiful ceremony on a spacious dock overlooking the peaceful waters of Woodbury Country Club’s private lake, guests gathered poolside for the outdoor cocktail party. “We had tremendous tents, with lots of tulle, decorative lighting and a beautiful tikki bar with a glowing effect,” said Calogero. Chef Guy created a menu that included hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, a carving station, a mashed potato bar, sliders, and a southwestern fajita bar. In addition to Terri’s signature drink – a TNT, made with peach schnapps, Ciroc peach vodka, white cranberry juice, peach juice and cranberry juice – there was an ‘Ice Luge,’ an ice sculpture with a built-in spigot that dispensed flavored vodka.
At the cocktail hour, Calogero said, the other brides from the show “were raving about the stations, the variety of food, the beautiful ice sculpture, and the amount of room people had.” Even with 220 guests, there were plenty of chairs, sofas and daybeds for everyone. “The décor was awesome, the weather was great, and everyone was outside having a great time,” he said.
Inside the ballroom, guests dined on Chef Guy’s menu of shell steak, tilapia oreganata and chicken Madeira, followed by a dessert bar that included cheesecake pops, macaroons, cupcakes, mousse shooters and an ice cream parlor. Then the party began, with music and dancing to rival the most exclusive nightclub. It was a combination that really impressed the other Four Weddings contestants.
“When they went into the ballroom, they were blown away by the vibe of the room, the lighting, and the excitement the room was giving off,” said Calogero. “The table décor was different on each table but very classically done. Then there was the food – that was a very high percentage of why we won. We got rated very high on both food and venue.”
The result was a big win for Terri and (her husband), who won Four Wedding’s top prize – a five-star fantasy honeymoon to a tropical paradise. It was also a win for Calogero and the Woodbury Country Club.
“On a personal level, I was really ecstatic,” he said. “There are a lot of great places out there, and I was really honored that Woodbury Country Club was chosen. I know I did everything possible to create a successful night – but that’s what I do for every bride.”
To view a segment on the prize-winning ‘Sweet Romance’ wedding at Woodbury Country Club, visit Four Weddings on TLC’s website at: http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/four-weddings.