This month’s blog is especially close to the heart of the Casa. Executive Director Berenika and her husband Kevin recently held their wedding day at the historic Casa Romantica estate. We truly enjoyed sharing in their special day, and we hope you will too.
“Believe it or not, we met at a wedding,” says Kevin.
Both were part of the wedding party. As the relationship between the two blossomed, Berenika invited Kevin to attend the Casa’s black tie events with her. He shares in the love that she has for the Casa’s old-world charm, and quickly became a part of the family here.
One quiet afternoon, after the doors of the Casa had been closed for the day, Kevin asked Berenika to meet him in the Casa’s Story Circle overlooking the pier. He surprised her by dropping to one knee and proposing.
As the pair began the planning process, every detail and decision was made to reflect their relationship and journey together. Berenika and Kevin chose March 20th, the first day of spring and Palm Sunday, as their wedding date.
The day began with a formal ceremony at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Dana Point. The church is special to them both because The Dana Point Symphony, which Berenika founded and which Kevin has led projects for, performs at St. Edward.
“Our wedding was centered around our creative collaborations, in a way,” says Berenika, “and our focus was about family and being together.”
After the ceremony at St. Edward, guests were invited to Casa Romantica to enjoy champagne and appetizers on the Ocean Terrace while listening to a quartet of musicians from the Dana Point Symphony. They couldn’t imagine celebrating anywhere else. Casa Romantica is a huge part of their lives, and has played a role in many of their creative collaborations.
“Casa Romantica is the perfect place for us because it is private and luxurious,” says Berenika. “We love historic places, and it truly feels like you are transported. The ocean is so important to the both of us, and so the majesty of the surrounding ocean for as far as the eye can see is unbelievable.”
Kevin adds: “I love the strong sense of discovery on the premises: winding pathways shrouded by flora, narrow corridors warmly lit in low light, a labyrinthine architecture full of intrigue and possibility. It is alive, untouched and perched on a bluff at the end of the world. I mean, isn’t the Casa where everyone wants to be – and where everyone wants to end up?”
Berenika and Kevin exchanged private vows in the beautiful Story Circle. Guests gathered around them and shared a special sunset toast.
Following the cocktail reception, all 32 guests were seated for dinner at a “King’s Table” in front of the beautiful indoor fireplace. The mantle was covered in lush flowers, greenery, and a gorgeous tree that was hand-picked by the bride herself. Candles covered the table, adding extra lighting and ambiance. The party favors consisted of real ceramic Casa tile coasters that are replicas of the tiles in the estate’s courtyard. The guests were serenaded by the beautiful strumming of a solo harpist. Berenika and Kevin wanted a small, intimate reception that focused on their family and friends being together.
“Our wedding at the Casa was a family affair and reflected something deeply personal that we felt would last through the ages,” says Berenika.
Guests dined on manhattan steak with a red wine reduction and pan-seared sea bass with passion fruit sauce prepared by Iva Lee’s. After dinner, guests danced on the tiled floors under the chandelier. True to Kevin’s playful personality and humor, guests laughed as he wiped a handful of cake across Berenika’s cheek during the cutting of a beautifully crafted strawberry, vanilla and moscato cake from Plumeria Cake Studio. The evening included an impromptu performance by Berenika’s niece and nephew and a very special father-daughter dance.
The intimate evening was full of fun and laughter. The couple left the evening with this recollection:
“We loved the personal feeling of the entire wedding. Without exaggeration, it was as if we were returning home in many ways…to celebrate with the people closest to us.”
Ceremony location: St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church, Dana Point / Reception: Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens / Flowers and design: Events By Rola / Bride’s bouquet: Katie Doyle, Doily Design Haus
Catering: Iva Lee’s / Dessert: Plumeria Cake Studio / Limo: Best Chauffeured / Musicians: Dana Point Symphony
Rentals: Signature Party Rentals / Photographer: Terrence Cuff / Party favors: Casa Tile, available in Gift Shop
Bride’s dress and shoes: Demetrios Bride, Kate Spade / Bride’s hair and makeup: Makeup by Mercedes