When their friends were dating, Alexis Cooper and Joshua Banschick often found themselves thrown together as “wing men.” They did not particularly hit it off, but crossed paths so often that eventually Josh formally asked Alexis out. “Drink dates turned into dinner dates, and one thing led to another,” she says.
They were together for four years, speaking about their future and kids, but never discussing getting engaged.
“I GOT YOU SOMETHING YOU CAN WEAR TO DINNER TONIGHT AND SOMETHING YOU CAN WEAR FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.”
Then, on her birthday, Alexis was returning home after a stressful week at work, when she spotted Josh coming from the other direction carrying a Christian Louboutin shopping bag. She thought he had waited until the last minute to buy her present. They headed inside where Josh tucked the bag away and opened their traditional Friday night wind-down bottle of wine.
Josh asked Alexis if she was ready for her gift while surreptitiously slipping the engagement ring into the bag with the shoes. Although they typically write meaningful cards to each other, this time he said that he wanted to explain to her how he felt. “I began to pour my heart out,” Josh says, concluding with, “I got you something you can wear to dinner tonight and something you can wear for the rest of your life.”
When Alexis spotted the ring, she was so overwhelmed she could not speak. Eventually, Josh jokingly asked, “So, I guess that’s a yes?”
In high school, Alexis’ grandfather had taken her to see New York City’s famed Plaza Hotel, playfully telling her that this was a place he deemed suitable for her wedding. As she searched for venues, she recalled loving that “classy,” classic room that was large enough for all their guests, and reserved The Plaza for her wedding date.
The traditional Jewish ceremony was given a modern twist and staged in the round. The chuppah, or wedding canopy, sat in the middle of the room encircled by 318 guests. Wedding party members entered from different aisles. Alexis, who felt like a princess in a lace Monique Lhuillier gown, had tears in her eyes the moment she saw Josh waiting for her.
For the bride, one of the most poignant highlights of the reception was a video from her brother who could not get leave from Army basic training to attend. “I felt like he was right there with us and it made me so happy,” says Alexis. Dipping and twirling on the dance floor in the arms of her 87-year-old grandfather is also a moment she cherishes.
Dancing, that went long into the night, included crowd surfing, traditional horas and chair lifts. “Everyone was on their feet the entire time,” says Josh. “The love in the room was palpable and we were told it was an electric crowd.”
As departing guests exited The Plaza, they were greeted curbside by Long Island favorite, Eddie’s Pizza Truck, distributing slices or whole pies to-go.
Looking for a honeymoon that would be a mix of relaxation and activity, Alexis and Josh traveled to Bali to enjoy “great food, great weather, biking, hiking and cooking classes.”
Location: The Plaza, New York, NY; Caterer: CPS Events at The Plaza, New York, NY; Cake: Ron Ben-Israel Cakes, New York, NY; Event Planner and Stationery: Alimay Events, New York, NY; Floral Design: Belle Fleur, New York, NY; Lighting: Bentley Meeker Lighting & Staging, Inc., New York, NY; Wedding Dress and Veil: Monique Lhuillier; Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo; Groom’s Tuxedo: Ralph Lauren; Groom’s Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo; Cinematography: Ira Lippke Studios, New York, NY; Photography: Nate Smith and Jason Walker for Ira Lippke Studios, New York, NY