Real Weddings

Samantha and Raymond at Pleasantdale Chateau

Posted on February 07, 2020 by Ariana Baio

We met in middle school but we were always just friends (with the exception of kissing in a game of truth or dare in 6th grade). After college in 2011, we were out with our friends one night and the chemistry was instant. The rest is history!

It was a Monday night in February during New York Fashion Week. Ray came into the city from New Jersey to join me for a Fashion Week party. Towards the end of the event Ray mentioned he wanted to “go somewhere with a cool view”, we attempted the High Line but it was closed. We stopped at Serafina in the Meatpacking district for dinner, Ray was so nervous he could barely eat, but I thought nothing of it. I told him we could just head home to Jersey after but he insisted he wanted to “grab a drink somewhere with a cool view”, so we headed to the Gansevoort rooftop. Once we arrived up at the Plunge Rooftop Bar + Lounge, we were the only people in the space (again it was a Monday and in February). We headed out to the terrace to soak in the views, and after a few moments Ray was down on one knee! Our first date was to NYC, so everything had truly come full circle after seven years of dating.

The theme was classic romance. It was very important to me to have a beautiful, authentic, traditional wedding. I wanted to look back when I am older without feeling like my wedding was “trendy” or having to say “that was the style back then!” All of our invitations, menus, place cards, programs, and signage was black, white and gold. My dress, made by Pronovias, was a balance of traditional and modern elegance, perfect for a church ceremony and amazing for the reception. I opted for a cathedral veil, lace illusion Jimmy Choo pumps with a luscious bouquet of all white roses. The groom and groomsmen wore light gray tuxedos with satin trim, with black accents (bow tie, ties, pocket squares and shoes). The bridesmaids wore black satin Morilee off the shoulder gowns, with Vince Camuto bracelets, Nadri earrings while holding carefully crafted trimmed bouquets of baby’s breath.

I chose Pleasantdale Chateau for a variety of reasons, but they most important was because of the experience it offered. Their is truly no other venue like Pleasantdale. I was completely overwhelmed with emotion when I first visited the venue. It’s unique history and originality was important to me, and a true reflection of Ray and I. From the Scandinavian ceilings, European accents, indoor greenhouse and swimming pool, to the private guest rooms on site and exquisite ballroom, all it’s natural authenticity and beauty, I knew nothing else could compare! It had so much to offer, I wouldn’t change a thing!

Our cocktail hour was over the top, we had everything from passed hors d’oeuvres, sushi, carving stations, ice sculptures, seafood bar, pasta station, polish and german stations, infused vodka station, you name it! For dinner our appetizer was fresh mozzarella with thinly sliced red and yellow tomatoes, balsamic glaze, pesto, frisee, and aromatic basil, grilled focaccia with black olive tapenade. As a main course we offered it all, herb roasted chicken, bronzino, black angus beef tenderloin and of course a vegetarian option. We went with a plated dessert and cordials to not take away from the reception in addition to the wedding cake, both were custom created by Pleasantdale. The plated dessert was double chocolate mousse cake glazed in ganache with a crispy chocolate base dusted in white chocolate and gold leaf. Our wedding cake french vanilla cake with strawberry mousse filling.

The romanticism of my dress was visible in every seam. The flare design creates a two-piece effect, combining the crepe skirt with a large train beginning at the back. Lace appliqués travels up over the hips, to create a spectacular illusion neckline and three-quarter length sleeves.

Walking down the aisle and seeing my groom for the first time was my favorite moment. I am someone who has dreamed of being a bride since I was a little girl, always wondering what that moment would be like and who would be waiting for me at the alter. It was very overwhelming (in a good way!) and truly took my breath way, the best way to sum it up is tunnel vision. Everyone was standing looking at me, yet all I could see was Ray and I could do was smile as our eyes were locked on only each other. It was magic.

The power went out! Unfortunately there was a car accident and they crashed into a utility pole that made a transformer blow near the venue. Fortunately, it was a good excuse for everyone to take a quick break and enjoy dessert, thankfully Pleasantdale had back up generators and the staff and our DJ were true professionals, within 10-15 minutes the power came back on and it was business as usual!

“Sideways” by Citizen Cope

Plan as much as possible as early as possible so that you can enjoy your engagement and wedding bliss!

We went to French Polynesia for 12 days, with our first stop being Mo’Orea before headed to Bora Bora.

the details


Middlesex, NJ

Reception Location

Pleasantdale Chateau


Andrew Graham Todes Photography


Father Benny Prado

Bride’s Gown


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