Real Weddings

Rebecca and Mike at Pleasantdale Chateau

Posted on December 06, 2019 by Ariana Baio

Mike and I met in paradise- the US Virgin Islands. At the time we had both just graduated from law school and we were clerking for judges on the island of St. Thomas. We met through mutual friends on island, it’s a small place. We were friends for a year before we started dating. We played in co-ed athletic leagues, went boating, hiking, and enjoying island life together. A lot of our VI friends came to our wedding and we all took a picture with the VI flag.

Mike proposed by surprising me in Riverside Park. He proposed at the 91st Street Garden, where a famous seen from “You’ve Got Mail” was filmed. The whole thing was captured by a photographer, who he hired to memorialize the event.

Our theme was fairy tale come to life. We also wanted to make sure that everything like our personalities. I love bright colors, but wanted to make sure all my bridesmaids were not unhappy with a neon dress. I kept the dress color simple and then got bright and fun with my floral arrangements! The colors of the bouquets and centerpieces really popped. Mike and I have unique cultures and we wanted that to be incorporated. I’m Chinese and Puerto Rican. To incorporate my Chinese heritage I wore jade jewelry that was passed down from my father’s side. We made sure to have roast pig, Puerto Rican food as well as dumplings and peking duck at our happy hour. Everyone commented on how diverse the food was. My husband is Syrian, we danced a traditional Arabic Debke with his Syrian family members leading the dance. Instead of a traditional guest book we got a personalized Jenga set that guests got to sign.

Beauty and the Beast was my favorite Disney Movie as a girl and as soon as I saw the Pleasantdale I knew that it was a dream come true! We had guests coming from the Virgin Islands, Alaska, Ohio, California, Texas, etc. and we wanted a venue that would make everyone feel like they were getting a real experience. The Pleasantdale Chateau (PDC) is the fairy tale venue with all of the WOW factor. You feel like you’ve been transported to Europe, it has a destination wedding feel to it. Our save the date and seating charts were entitled “be our guest” as a subtle nod to the movie.

Our cocktail menu was outrageous. We had dozens of hor d’oeuvres, carving stations, and a Moscow mule bar with three different types of mules. Our raw bar had a marlin ice sculpture. We had a person pulling mozzarella. The seated dinner was seasonal with foods grown by the Pleasantdale. There were dozens of passed desserts and the cake was french vanilla with raspberry mousse.

I absolutely loved my dress, it was unique and special. The illusion neckline and flowy skirt sold me on the style. I only tried on a few dresses before I found this one.

My favorite moment was being on the dance floor with everyone. It was such a celebration of love.

It’s hard to pick, I tried to focus on the big picture. My favorite part was the venue though!

Of course, things went wrong. We ended up getting behind schedule and being about 15 minutes late to the church.

“Stand by Me” by Prince Royce.

Don’t get overwhelmed, it all comes together!

We went on a mini moon to Mohonk Mountain House. We went to South Africa and Zimbabwe in October 2019.

the details


Madera, CA

Reception Location

Pleasantdale Chateau


Gabelli Studios


Reverend Bowie Snodgrass, Christ Church

Bride’s Gown

Made With Love

+ more