The Wedding of ...
Jocelyn Burns & Donovan Furtado
Ceremony & Reception: Castle Hotel and Spa,
Gown: Maggie Sottero & Allure Bridals
Bridesmaids: Hayley Paige
Tux: Calvin Klein
Photographer: Fantasy Flash Studios
Makeup & Hair: Jocelyn Furtado
Florist: The Flower Basket
Cake: Just Desserts by Jess
DJ: DeeJ Tommy D, Evolution Entertainment
Officiant: Rabbi Linda Portnoy Goldberg, 914.479.9716, www.rabbilinda.com
Donovan and I both grew up in the same town outside of Boston. As kids, we had mutual friends but weren’t close. Eventually, I moved to Florida. Years later, I drove back to Massachusetts for a visit. Donovan saw a photo I posted on social media at the end of my visit and reached out to say he couldn’t believe he missed seeing me. Our conversation never ended and a couple weeks later Donovan booked a flight to Florida! We stayed in a beautiful hotel, explored Miami’s hotspots and beaches, and knew by the end of the week we’d never want to be without each other!
We decided we wanted to get married and design my engagement ring together. Donny drew up sketches and I chose the stones. Months after ordering the ring, I came home from work one day to find candles all over our home. On the table, beautiful flowers sat in my grandmother’s vase by my favorite ice cream cake, which read, “Will you marry me?” Donovan walked out of our bedroom with the ring box, went down on one knee, whispered the most sincere, thoughtful vows, and asked me to spend the rest of our lives together.
Of all the venues we saw, nothing compared to Castle Hotel & Spa. Perched on a secluded mountain, the medieval castle has opulent entertainment spaces that feel grand but cozy. We expected a wedding of about 75 guests, and sought something luxurious in structure, but small enough to feel like home. Shannon Connolly, the sales and catering manager, was outstanding. She was our point person throughout and was there for everything we ever needed. She is one of the most caring, attentive, and detail-oriented individuals I have had the pleasure to work with. Donovan and I constantly evolved our ideas, but no matter the question or desire, she put our minds at ease and made our vision a reality.
Our ceremony was personal and humbling. We involved our parents and our bridal party in sentimental ways. Our mothers placed custom prayer shawls on our shoulders, our fathers recited the blessings upon us, and our bridal party held up the Chuppah and took turns reading the seven blessings for our marriage. Afterward, Donovan and I took photos while cocktail hour was in full swing.
Our DJ played deep house music, and our open bar with custom cocktails was a total hit! Our guests could roam as they pleased between the Castle library and the area beside the Caramai ballroom. We had passed hors d’oeuvres; a cold station of imported cheeses, fruits, and nuts; a hot station with artisan grilled cheeses; and salads. The staff was very accommodating in my requests to have as much of the cocktail hour within my vegan dietary restrictions.
The day of the wedding, Shannon ensured everything was placed exactly how we envisioned it. Our theme was rustic vintage glamour. Everything was gold, black, burgundy, and blush. We had over-the-top gold centerpieces, a wishes table, a Polaroid photo booth, and a 12-foot forest green boxwood grass wall. It doubled as a backdrop for our ceremony and our photo booth during the reception.
Dinner was extraordinary and delicious. Our appetizer was a caramelized onion and apple tart, followed by coconut and carrot soup. Entrée choices were pan-seared halibut, roasted French chicken breast, black truffle mushroom and leek risotto, and penne a la vodka. You couldn’t go wrong with any of the options! For dessert we had our wedding cake, assorted mini desserts and pastries, petit fours, and a fan favorite, chocolate-dipped strawberries. Dinner ended with a spectacular sparkler kickoff to officially start the party!
Donovan and I have so much to be thankful for. Our photographers and videographers gave us results better than we ever imagined. Our florist spent hours creating the exact feel I was going for and I will forever be a customer at her local shop! Our rabbi ensured everything was perfect for our religious upbringings, customizing our ceremony. For all the hours of planning we put in, Castle Hotel & Spa put in even more. We had a budget for our wedding and they worked with us and showed us understanding and compromise. Our family and friends made our wedding complete, and for that we are blessed and forever grateful!
Castle Hotel & Spa
Tarrytown, NY,914.524.6366, www.castlehotelandspa.com