We had the entire first floor of this Leonard’s Palazzo wedding to ourselves, with only one other wedding upstairs. Three adjacent rooms would be used, one right after the other for the Ceremony, Cocktail Hour, and finally the Reception. As with most New Years Even weddings, the ceremony would begin later in the evening so that a 5-6 hour event would ultimately include midnight. This slots dinner usually between 9:00 and 10:30, late certainly but with half of the night consisting of your ceremony and cocktail hour, there’s not much time to do it beforehand.

As with many of our itineraries, the grand entrance kicks off the couple’s first dance. Dinner orders would be taken immediately after so we’d have a little dance session before food being served. At the tail end of dinner would be Toasts. The wedding party is served first, this way they can do their toasts while the rest of the guests are at their seats finishing their meal, complete with their attention. We closed out dinner with the cake cutting and father-daughter dance, this way it would be a straight shot of dancing through midnight. There are two schools of thought in the DJ industry about when is the ideal time to cut the cake. On one hand, you can cut the cake later in the night as guests begin to leave after that is done. The drawback here is that you have to stop the dancefloor and restart it. On the other hand, you can cut the cake right after dinner so that you do not have to stop the dancefloor and carry that dancing energy straight through the night. Sometimes we play this by ear, though you need to leave enough time for the venue/caterer to distribute the cake to the guests to eat!

As most New Years Eve weddings go, it was an energetic affair. Sometimes weddings on such an iconic day of the year can draw looks from your invitees, but you know for a fact that everyone will be in party mode. This Leonard’s Palazzo wedding on New Years was no exception!

Venue: Leonard’s Palazzo (Great Neck)

Photographer: Brad Resnick of Brad Resnick Photography (Denville)

Guests: 125

Age Groups: Mixed, 60% <40

Wedding Party: Yes

Wedding Party Introduced: Yes

Dinner: Tables assigned, plated meal

Music Likes: Michael Buble, Billy Joel, Elton John, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Motown, Disco


7:30 PM – Ceremony

8:00 PM – Cocktail Hour

9:00 PM – Reception

9:15 PM – Introduction

First Dance

10:00 PM – Toasts

Father/Daughter Dance


10:30 PM – Dinner served

11:00 PM – Cake Cutting

11:55 PM – NYE Countdown

1:00 AM – Conclusion

Song Selections

  • Con Te Partiro – Andrea Bocelli
  • I Choose You (Acoustic) – Sara Bareilles
  • Feeling Good – Michael Buble
Grand Entrance:
  • Thinking – The Hippos
First Dance:
  • Dance With Me Tonight – Olly Murs
Father/Daughter Dance:
  • Hope You Dance – Lee Ann Womack
Cake Cutting:
  • Only Want To Be With You – The Bay City Rollers

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