What happened to Nothy Garcia is about as close to a real life fairytale as you're going to get: the heroine gets her man, they live happily ever after, and they both end up in a castle. Well, almost. Our story begins in 1990, when Nothy and her fiancé were on the verge of eloping. Before they left town, however, friends persuaded them to visit what was then the Crystal Room, and their lives were changed forever. Nothy says that seeing the ballroom was like love at first sight. And the plan to elope? It was instantly tossed aside. Not only did they get married at this historic venue, but their initial fondness for the space turned into a "calling" five years later. When the building became available in 1995, Nothy rode the wave of her emotional attachment to the Crystal Marquis straight into a gutsy, long-term lease to have her own special event business here. She has never looked back. It's easy to see why Nothy was smitten with this classic art deco ballroom on the second floor of a 1922 former bank building. The first thing that catches your eye are the five crystal chandeliers, suspended from a high ceiling entirely covered with an intricate multi-colored art deco design. Painted in geometric patterns of creams, blues, burnished golds and earthy browns and greens, the ceiling is a one-of-a kind jewel; when the chandeliers are lit, the room has a magical glow. Deep burgundy draperies frame tall multi-paned windows, and light filtering in makes the oak parquet dance floor gleam. Original art deco wall sconces grace the walls, and on either side of the drapery valances are bronze deco bas reliefs. There's a small stage for a band or DJ at one end of the room, and a mahogany marble-topped bar at the other. Behind the bar, an arched mirror reflects light from the brilliant chandeliers. Ficus trees laced with twinkle lights provide both greenery and sparkle. An arch is available for ceremonies, and several white lattice partitions can be moved anywhere to act as a backdrop for cake or gift table. If the bride or groom needs a private moment before the event, a sitting room off to one side of the ballroom is available. It's a cozy nook with a large working fireplace, a small restroom, and an art deco ceiling with chandelier similar to that of the ballroom. Nothy and her staff are completely committed to making each special event here a success. Given this level of dedication, it's no wonder the site is booked almost every weekend. "It's important that every client and guest be treated with the utmost respect," says Nothy. "Our role is to pay attention to the details, and make sure we deliver a high level of service." Nothy acts as the bride and groom's advocate, and is always there to help with wedding etiquette or the selection of wedding services. Couples often relate to her as a counselor or friend. And brides are especially grateful, because Nothy and her staff make it possible for them to really enjoy their wedding day. "It's a lot easier for a bride and groom to embark on a new life together if the wedding is a joyful, hassle-free event," explains Nothy. Bringing this ballroom back to life has been a labor of love. Nothy gets goosebumps just thinking about how she's ended up doing something that she enjoys so much. And she's still amazed that the very thing that gives her such satisfaction makes it possible for others to create their own fairytales.
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