A fairy tale romance deserves a fairy tale wedding, and that’s exactly what Craig Taddonio and Jennifer Caballero hoped for when selecting a historical French château replete with topiary gardens and a storied past, as the venue for their Big Day. “We based our decision on convenience, customer service, property management, and landscape,” explains Jennifer of their location choice. A bit of nostalgia also factored into the equation. “When I was a little boy, my friend’s parents took us up to the wall of Oheka Castle just to see it from afar,” reveals the groom, “and I remember looking at it and wondering who could possibly live in that magical place.” He continues, “I remember thinking of Bruce Wayne and Batman and said to myself that one day I would get married there!”
Both bride and groom desired to take their guests on a day-long journey with distinct colors and themes in each area of the celebration space. “Our ceremony was meant to have an angelic feel,” explains the bride. As such, a chuppah was crafted entirely of white flowers, evoking a heavenly feel for the nuptials, which were set in the impeccably manicured gardens of the estate. The bride was radiant in a one-shouldered alabaster gown that had been completely customized for her by the designer. The groom stood handsome in a flawlessly tailored black tuxedo.
The wedding took place just days before Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, therefore vows were exchanged beneath a modern, architectural tent that evoked an airplane hangar, even though the groom says he wasn’t too worried about rain. “I know it sounds crazy, but I was so confident that it would not rain the day of our wedding because I truly felt that Jenny is such an amazing and goodhearted person, that it would not rain on her wedding day.”
It rained for three days leading up to the wedding and was overcast on the day of, but just as the ceremony began, the skies parted and the sun streamed in. Jennifer’s father escorted her down the aisle, which had been festooned with the couple’s monogram complemented by white petals. An orchestra played while a vocalist sang “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. “I have never felt so many different emotions at the same time,” remembers Jennifer of the special moment.
The couple’s pastor, whom they have known since childhood and who also is the father-in-law of the bride’s sister, conducted the ceremony. The service was so touching that guests complimented the couple on how poignant the officiant’s words were.
A cocktail hour followed, which boasted colorful centerpieces that included a mix of real fruit such as grapes and limes and citrus-hued flowers brimming from frosty vases. A white baby grand piano provided the perfect dash of throwback elegance. Place cards in elegant lettering were placed atop round tables decorated with overflowing arrangements of sky-reaching florals in tropical hues: oranges, pinks, and yellow punctuated with greenery.
The reception channeled a contemporary, elegant theme with black, white, and silver as the colors of choice. Tabletops were decorated with ebony candelabras, while centerpieces featured white orchids, calla lilies, and hydrangeas languidly brimming from towering milky vases; slender white candlesticks flickered atop. Crystals and beads in the color of midnight were suspended from the arrangements, lending an air of moody sophistication. Silver beaded chargers, platinum-rimmed glasses, and black and ivory goblets bedecked tables.
The celebration featured endless details that were extraordinarily thought-out. The couple’s monogram was embroidered onto dinner napkins, as well as the drapes and valances throughout the main ballroom. Linens alternated between a silver and black rose pattern which matched the floral pattern that was projected onto the ceiling. “Everything tied in together [perfectly],” affirms the groom.
Even the top tier of the couple’s wedding cake was designed to match the bride’s dress. Swathed in white icing with a touch of ebony embellishment, layers alternated between quilted patterns and rosettes.
Towards the end of the reception, servers passed out bright pink and tangerine scarves which had been silkscreened with an invitation to join the couple at a Latin dance extravaganza, an ode to the bride’s Puerto Rican heritage. “We wanted a fun way to announce the after-party,” says the groom. Whimsical dancers in vibrant orange and magenta costumes performed on small stages, inviting guests to enter the newly revealed room.
“We truly tried to think about the guests throughout the entire process and tried to give them an amazing journey and experience throughout the night,” explains Craig.
Just as the newly married couple departed the castle the following morning, the skies opened and rain began to fall. The groom remembers turning on his windshield wipers as they wound down the driveway. He marvels,” I could not have written our story any more perfectly.”