The Wedding of ...
Elena Melius & Vincent Daempfle
Ceremony: St. Edward the Confessor
Reception: OHEKA CASTLE, 631.659.1400, www.oheka.com
Photographer: Camelot Studios
Makeup: Ylenia Mazzei
Hair: Gizay Michaels Salon
Florist: Feriani Floral Decorators
Cake: OHEKA CASTLE, Daniel Andreotti
DJ: Hart to Hart
Event Planner: Karyn Michael Events
Linens: The Finishing Touch
Electric Violinist: Music by Gigi
Gelato Cart: Dolce & Gelato
Vincent and I met on match.com. We talked for about a week or so before going out for drinks on our first date. I am now a CPA and he is a software engineer. It turned out I knew one of his best friends and after a great night we planned a second date to have dinner. We dated for almost two years, often talking about getting married. Still, he surprised me! We went to dinner at the same restaurant we went to on our second date, but this time the menu held a crossword puzzle. He knows I love puzzles, so I completed it and realized he was asking me to be his wife!
My family owns OHEKA CASTLE and I’d seen how magnificent weddings there can be. We wanted a small, intimate wedding, which may sound unlikely at the opulent castle, but with a multitude of spaces and romantic coves, the versatility is endless. The elaborately grand OHEKA can be transformed into a quiet, romantic place filled with a sense of warmth. No detail is too small to be admired, which allows OHEKA to be anything a couple could ask for. It was important to us that our wedding have a relaxed atmosphere. We chose to have our wedding outside, knowing that in the event of inclement weather, we would have a plethora of indoor options that would sacrifice nothing.
The director of sales, Kelly Melius, assists with every event at OHEKA, and Samantha Bellando, the bridal coordinator, is an expert at harmonizing the various moving parts. They both combine capability with enthusiasm and created a fun, easy planning process. We wanted a mini drink paired with each passed hors d’oeuvre and ate ourselves silly at the tasting to make sure we got it right!
Our ceremony was at a Catholic church just 10 minutes away. After a small, intimate ceremony with our family, we headed to OHEKA. We used string lights to create a European, Tuscan feel to the courtyard. Long wooden barn tables accentuated by a round table in each corner were covered in gold linen and purple water goblets and chair cushions for a pop of color. Each table had minimalist flowers with an Italian vine traveling up a candelabra. With the pebbled ground, the beautiful fountain, all the greenery, and a sweeping view, OHEKA created a magical atmosphere.
We aren’t huge dancers, so we emphasized entertainment and food. Cocktail hour began with an electric violinist playing while our paired hors d’oeuvres were passed around. We chose fun finger foods, like pigs in a blanket with beers in mini pilsner glasses; chips filled with guacamole and mini patron margaritas; and skewers of watermelon, cucumber, and feta with cucumber spa cocktails.Vincent’s favorite was the mini baskets of fried chicken with syrup droppers.
We transitioned to a DJ for the reception and had assorted meats and cheese on the tables. The first course was baby arugula salad, the second course was ravioli in a lemon brown butter sauce, followed by an intermezzo of lemon sorbet topped with a limoncello shot. Dinner was served French-style, where waiters brought each item to each table for guests to select from. They could have filet mignon, lobster tails, almond-crusted chicken, Chilean sea bass, lemon risotto, and more. Dessert was our wedding cake, plated finger food, and a gelato cart with a dozen flavors. Our guests could enjoy it while smoking a cigar or watching the magician do magic tricks!
Our DJ was wonderful in working with the style of wedding we wanted. Our guests danced to their heart’s content and seamlessly enjoyed additional amusement. When we sat down to eat, an opera singer came onto the balcony overlooking the courtyard. It was so unexpected and unique to have a place for everyone to look up and watch her. People were enthralled during her two songs.
Thank you to Karyn LoCicero of Karyn Michael Events, my event planner, who helped visualize what I imagined and created a phenomenal wedding. Thank you to everyone at OHEKA CASTLE who worked to make our wedding everything we wanted it to be. We wouldn’t have changed a thing!
OHEKA CASTLE, Huntington, NY