The Wedding of…
Carla Neil & Steven Theophile
Ceremony & Reception: Château Grande Hotel
East Brunswick, NJ, 732.724.4600, www.chateaugrande.com
Gown: Allure Bridal at Kleinfeld Bridal, NYC
Flowers: Pedestals Floral Decorators
Photographer: Mario Reynoso Photography
Makeup: Yaheida Tait
Hair: Hos Hounkpatin
Tux: SRG Fashion
Cake: Palermo’s Bakery
“Perfect in Every Way”
All it took was five seconds for our lives to change forever. I was hurrying along 56th Street in Midtown Manhattan when a handsome man in a navy blue suit walking the opposite direction across the street caught my attention. For five amazing seconds our eyes locked. I blushed. Late for work, I rushed on, determined to get to my favorite café for one of their fantastic pastries. I grabbed the pastry from a lower shelf and when I stood up, there he was, with a dab of powdered sugar on his nose.
Steven told me I was beautiful and that he’d like to take me out to dinner and asked for my number. I said no, but asked for his. Our moment was so intense, I texted him as soon as I was in my office. Steven proposed while we were on vacation in St. Lucia and the next thing we knew we had booked a popular catering hall in Long Island.
Like many others during Covid, our original plans were upended. We considered a small dinner in one of our favorite restaurants, but that didn’t feel right. I had purchased this amazing wedding gown that I couldn’t return. I just had to wear it! So we were searching again. We checked out a new luxury hotel under construction in central New Jersey and we literally had to pick our way over bags of cement and nails!
The plans for Château Grande Hotel were amazing. It was located on a gorgeous 15-acre campus with a stunning catering hall, Park Château Estates and Gardens. The owners have a super reputation and also own top-rated Nanina’s in the Park and The Park Savoy. I was confident that the new hotel would be equally beautiful. Château Grande had partnered with celebrity chef David Burke to run the hotel’s restaurant, Orchard Park. I had always wanted great food at my wedding, now it looked like my dream was coming true!
We worked with Sam Calello, general manager, and as the Château’s first wedding, they were willing to work within our budget. I love to cook and host, so our menu was critically important to me and to Steven. After the first bite at our tasting, I knew everything would be perfect! The lobster dumplings, crab cakes, and filet mignon were so delicious with a very creative presentation.
The tasting allowed us to suggest some changes for the executive chef, Pedro Avila, to adjust to suit our tastes. The chicken, which I swore I’d never serve at my wedding, was so delicious I put it on our wedding menu! After the tasting they showed me the bridal dressing room. It was so beautiful I cried.
We chose passed hors d’oeuvres for our cocktail hour with a signature tequila cocktail. For our dinner, the appetizers were organic mixed greens salad, grilled shrimp atop polenta cake, and broccoli rabe with tomato jam and hoisin. Entrée choices were grilled Atlantic salmon in a champagne cream sauce, grilled filet mignon with a red wine reduction, and garlic-roasted breast of chicken with roasted garlic jus. Our wedding cake was made by Palermo’s Bakery.
Many of our guests traveled long distances to attend our wedding, so the fact they could book rooms at our wedding site was a huge bonus. The professional and kind service elevated our experience to a whole new level! The accommodations, the service, and the food all exceeded our expectations. Our guests continue to rave about our wedding to this day. I wouldn’t have done anything differently. Our wedding, Château Grande’s first large event, was perfect in every way!
We definitely will go back to Château Grande and dine at Orchard Park! We are over the moon with the dining experience and thank Chef David Burke so much for making our day truly special. Thank you to Sam Calello, who helped throughout our planning process. Our bridal attendants Pat and Nora, made sure everything was taken care of. The personalized attention truly warmed our hearts. We cannot thank everyone enough for their care and attention to the littlest details, and want to express our heartfelt gratitude!
Château Grande Hotel, East Brunswick, NJ, 732.724.4600, www.chateaugrande.com