For some people, love is a puzzle. But not for Arianna and Andrew. The moment they met in 2019, the pair immediately hit it off. “Little did we know, this chance encounter would spark a beautiful love story. Ever since, every step we take feels like destiny,” Arianna said.
At the time, Arianna was working in finance, and Andrew was completing his graduate studies at Columbia University. Just one year after that, the pair had to hunker down together because of the COVID pandemic. This was a trying time with many unexpected challenges, but it also strengthened their bond and made them sure of each other. That was when they knew they wanted to be together forever.
“I envisioned a celebration that would transport our guests into a world where dreams come true”
The New York natives were well-traveled, having together explored from the cliffs of Antigua to the Wadis of Oman, but in their hearts knew that they did not want a destination wedding. “It was important to hold our wedding in our hometown, but still create an experience that reflected the best of our lives, dreams, and aspirations,” Arianna elaborated. For them, that perfect celebration was to be found at Oheka Castle.
Nestled amidst picturesque Long Island landscapes, Oheka Castle stands as a beacon of grandeur, inspired by the French-style chateaux that once graced the pages of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic novel, The Great Gatsby. This architectural masterpiece that radiated romance and sophistication from every corner has also been immortalized in numerous acclaimed productions such as HBO’s Succession or Taylor Swift’s Blank Space music video.
“The castle captured our hearts as soon as we discovered it, for our vision was a celebration that blended timeless elegance with a touch of fairytale magic.” Oheka Castle, with its rich history and stunning gardens, served as the perfect canvas to bring the couple’s vision to life.
“I would relive the joy all over again if I could”
For some people, weddings would be a blur from excitement, but Arianna and Andrew could vividly remember every single moment. The festivities lasted for three days, starting with a pre-wedding dinner and party, followed by the official wedding ceremony, and concluding with a stylish brunch. “Our wedding day was nothing short of magical, from the moment I slipped into my wedding gown to the final notes played by the band,” Arianna mused.
The bride wowed in three stunning dresses by Pronovias, La Premiere, and Carolina Herrera throughout the day. It was in that exquisite La Premiere gown, adorned with three-dimensional floral accents, lace appliques, and sparkling hand embellished beadwork, that Arianna walked down the aisle with her father.
“It was one of my most cherished memories,” Arianna recalled. The sounds of a beautiful version of Pachelbel’s Canon in D played by the string quartet filled the air, and the fountains softly splashed in the background, as the bride stepped into the garden, arm-in-arm with her father. A pristine white runner lined with rose petals led the way to Andrew, patiently waiting to his soon-to-be wife’s hand.
Though the ceremony were grand and glamorous, little details reflecting the couple’s journey together were finely woven into the celebration, making it all the more intimate. Though both are New York natives, Andrew and Arianna wanted to honor their Asian roots. “To celebrate our Asian heritage, we chose a traditional 10-course welcome banquet at Jing Fong, the renowned Chinatown institution. For this occasion, I wore a white traditional Vietnamese áo dài”, Arianna said.
Meanwhile, the cake cutting ceremony reflected Andrew’s decade of military service. “It is a long- standing tradition for newlyweds to cut the cake with a ceremonial sword, and it felt like the perfect way to honor Andrew’s service.”
As guests gathered around, a decadent 5-tiered cake adorned with a lush cascade of handcrafted sugar flowers was presented. Guided by Andrew’s steady hands, Arianna grasped the stingray skin handle of his Navy cutlass. With grace and unity, the couple cut through layers of confectionary delight, symbolizing their commitment and shared dreams.
As the night drew to a close, guests who journeyed from across the globe, together with the newlyweds, were led outside by the band along a lantern-lit pathway to be surprised by a breathtaking fireworks display illuminating the colorful night sky. “Our wedding day unfolded like a fairytale. It was perfect in every way, and I would relive the joy and happiness all over again if I could.”
Harper’s Bazaar Việt Nam