Jillian Karlewicz and Carlos Mendes Wed

It took Carlos three months to ask his new wife out, but just one special day to make it all worthwhile.

A ritzy, winter wonderland wedding was held for Jillian Karlewicz and Carlos Mendes on Saturday, Jan. 8 at the North Ritz Club in Syosset.   

The North Ritz Club features a natural pond, a romantic gazebo and botanical gardens, and while outdoors it was chilly, inside, the color scheme-blue, white and silver-created an elegant and warm backdrop for the nuptials.  

Six bridesmaids wore silver gowns as they and 11 groomsmen preceded the bride and groom down the aisle. And the reception included stylish details such as centerpieces of varying sizes containing white-branched trees with hanging candles and white, floating orchids. Special lighting created a blue ambiance and for a fun touch, the wedding cake was topped with a soccer player groom and a bride cheering him on with a #1 flag.  

Carlos Mendes, 30, did not only score goals in his professional soccer career with the New York Red Bulls, but also when he got up the courage to ask Jillian out on their first date. That was back in May of 2006, when Jillian was working as a trainer at Gotham Fitness in New Hyde Park. Carlos frequently worked out there during his off-season. 

“It took Carlos three months to ask me out,” says Jillian, 26 and now a second grade teacher in the Valley Stream School District. 

She liked Carlos from the moment she saw him, she adds, but played hard to get, making it difficult for Carlos to land their first date.   

Three years later, on Oct. 1, 2009, Carlos popped the question at the iconic Bow Bridge, a romantic overpass that arches over the lake in Central Park, offering lovely views of Fifth Avenue and Central Park West.  (The Bridge has been featured in a number of films including Manhattan, The Way We Were and Keeping the Faith).  

“I’ve never been more surprised in my life, but it was amazing,” Jillian says of the engagement.  

While Carlos and Jillian were both raised in Mineola, now that they are husband and wife they live in a recently purchased split-level home in East Meadow.  


Ceremony:   , Mineola

Reception:   North Ritz Club, Syosset

Wedding Gown:   Bridal Reflections, Carle Place

Photographer:   White Pear Photography, Levittown

Videographer:   John Miller Videography, Northport

Florist:   Pedestals, Garden City Park


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