Friday, April 20, 2007

The wedding of Lara Meiland and Claude Shaw

Lara Meiland and Claude Shaw were married in the little village of Crans-Montana in the snow-capped Swiss Alps at the stately Grand Hotel Du Golf.  The couple first met there ten years ago when it was the regular skiing haunt for both. So when Claude proposed in Paris in December 2005, they knew Crans-Montana was the perfect place for their wedding.

The gift bag
Lara’s mother Hanne Meiland, managed the complicated process by making several trips to Switzerland over the course of the year to meet with their wedding planner, Claudio Casanova.

210 international guests then jetted in for the weekend of wedding festivities. Upon arrival each guest received a gift bag filled with Swiss-themed favors such as a customized ski hat for the men and fleece headbands for the ladies, as well as a wedding CD with the couple’s favorite songs, local Swiss chocolates, and a schedule of the many events.

On Thursday evening, the bride and groom kicked off the weekend extravaganza by taking over a disco, from which the revelers staggered home at 4 a.m. The next day, Friday, the Meilands hosted a luncheon in the sunshine on the top of the mountain. After lunch there was a grand slalom ski race, and in the evening came the rehearsal dinner – fondue and dancing.
Lara getting ready in the bridal suite with a little help from with her mother and sister
Alexander Asseily and Susan Moffat
Aymeric Fraise, Mariah Chase, and Nicholas Whyatt
Charles Beyrard
Geoffrey Tudisco, Alexandra Wilkis, and Rafael Joory
Louisa Serene
James Veltri, Anne Aarfing, and Gaston Bullrich
Jon Fascitelli and Margaret Katz
Hosain Rahman and Kathryn Forest
Philip Edwards and Elizabeth Meigher
William Rukin, Lesley Gurkin, and Eric Lentini
The sister of the groom, Caroline Shaw with her daughter
Lara and her father before the ceremony
The groomsmen during the ceremony
Claude Shaw with the officant, Rolando Polli
Lisa Meiland reading at the ceremony
The Ceremony
Daniel and Hanne Meiland during the ceremony
Exchanging the rings
The parents of the groom, Charles and Gabriela Shaw
The wedding ceremony took place on Saturday, February 3, 2007 at 7 pm at the Grand Hotel Du Golf. As Lara is the president of Lara Hélène Bridal Atelier on 69th Street just off Madison, she naturally designed her own wedding gown, which was to be true haute couture from start to finish with every flowered and beaded detail hand stitched from the top of her delicate straps to the tip of her fifteen foot silk tulle train.

Mr. and Mrs. Claude Shaw
The bride wore a matching simple silk tulle veil to balance the ornate gown. Her sister, Lisa Hélène, her mother, and several of her bridesmaids and guests: Kathryn Bohannon, Dorothea Flink, and Louisa Serene also wore designs of Lara Hélène Bridal Atelier.

Lisa Meiland was maid of honor, and she along with the 10 bridesmaids (Anne Aarfing, Mariah Chase, Kathryn Forest, Lesley Gurkin, Margaret Katz, Elizabeth Meigher, Susan Moffat, Louisa Serene, Susan Shaw, Alexandra Wilkis) wore Lara Hélène Bridal Atelier white fur wraps to evoke and complement the wintry theme.

Lara also had two bridesmen, Gaston Bullrich and Eric Lentini, who escorted the bridesmaids down the aisle along with the groomsmen: Alexander Asseily, Philip Edwards, Jon Fascitelli, Aymeric Fraise, Rafael Joory, Andrew Martin, Sky Meltzer, Hosain Rahman, William Rukin, Geoffrey Tudisco, James Veltri and Nicholas Whyatt.

The bridegroom’s twin brother, Nicholas Shaw, was best man, and Claude’s niece, Victoria Beyrard, was the flower girl and his nephew, Charles Beyrard, the ring bearer.
Christian Amundsen and Kathryn Forest
Diane and Khaled Said
Emilie and Camille Glemet
Melody and Mark Salem
Alvaro Silva, Sian Goddard, Fiona Imbert, Luisa Figueroa, and Giuseppe Auricchio
Daniel Meiland with Johan and Soren Christophersen
Hosain Rahman and Alicia Engstrom
Louisa Serene and Thomas Schneider
Karima and Gaurav Burman
Claude with his mother, Gabriela Shaw
Dorothea and Hans Flink
Fiona Imbert and Luisa Figueroa
Carolina Gonzalez-Bunster and Daniele Benatoff
Nastassja Balick and Anthony Coppers
Nicolas Wyss and Karen Mayer
Gaurav Burman, Carolina Gonzalez-Bunster and Daniele Benatoff
Philip Morelle, Alison Newman, and Melody and Mark Salem
Laura Zukerman and Alexandra Wilkis
Rachel Leonard and James Karoli
Sanaz Ameri and Dimitry Dogaev
Rosi and James Stark
Sara Law and Kathryn Bohannon
Susan Shin and Laura Zukerman
Priscilla Fraser, Zubin Mehta, Marco Cipriano, and Gaurav Burman
Rafael, Melissa, Jonathan, and Simon Joory
Henri Fink, Alison Newman, and David Fink
Thomas Hermansen and Cortney Dudgeon
The bride with Ware Sykes, Sophie Thomas, and Philip Morelle
Susan Shin and Henri Fink
Cocktail hour
Tiffani Hughes and Aaron Gross
The couple with the wedding party
Ware Sykes and Sophie Thomas
Hors d'oeuvres
A wedding Portrait
Ritesh Bhavnani, Jon Fascitelli, Bandar Antabi, and Hosain Rahman
Centerpieces during the cocktail hour

Daniel Meiland proudly escorted Lara down the aisle to the song that inspired her name: “Lara's Theme” from the film Dr. Zhivago

After the touching ceremony and the cocktail hour, dinner was served in the grand ballroom of the hotel. The menu consisted of five courses: Les Raviolis au Ricotta au Parfum de Truffes d’Alba, Le Filet de Daurade à la Méditerranéenne Sur un lit d’Epinards et la Mousse de jeunes Poireaux, Le Sorbet au Citron et Gingembre, La Selle de Veau  flambée et les Pommes Duchesse avec Les petits Légumes à la Vapeur. The dessert was a 12 foot tall tiered chocolate wedding cake, a surprise from Lara’s parents that had been meticulously hand decorated to their specifications.

The most memorable part of the evening were the heartfelt toasts that were delivered by Lara’s father, Claude’s siblings (Caroline and Nicholas), and by the groom himself.
Clockwise from top left: Father of the bride making a toast; Claude making a toast; Nick Shaw; Claude's siblings giving a toast.
Carolyn Pressly
Heather McAuliffe
Jessica Adams
Karima Burman
Kathryn Forest
Kathryn Bohannon
The place cards
Sara Law
Laura Metzger
Melanie Lora
Lesley Gurkin
Melody Salem
Maurcio and Michaela Arditti
Sanaz Ameri
Andy Martin and Lisa Meiland
Priscilla Fraser, Jon Fascitelli, and Zubin Mehta
The couple danced their first dance, a Danish waltz, as Lara and her family are from Denmark, and then around 1am the party continued in a disco created by the hotel for the occasion. At 5 am crepes were served to the guests and the party continued until the early morning at which point many of the guests caught flights back to New York.

The weekend ended with an 11am brunch Sunday morning for the guests who had wisely decided to spend Sunday in sunny Crans-Montana to recover.
The First Dance among wedding cake fireworks.
Guini Suarez, Claude Shaw, and Cortney Dudgeon
Melanie Charlton and Alison Newman
The Disco

Photographs by ©Julie Skarratt 2007
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