Stefenie Sasson & Marc Berger
November 18, 2018. Miami, Florida
With Marc Berger being from South Africa and Stefenie Sasson working in Tel Aviv, it’s a small miracle that the two ended up meeting through mutual friends. At first, Stefenie and Marc were overseas “text pals” – but as time went on, they decided to meet in Paris for their first official date. “I thought he was really handsome, funny, and kind,” Stefenie recalls.
Fast forward to the couple’s wedding planning process, when Fisher Island was chosen as the perfect destination. “There is the most beautiful, magical, Indian Banyan tree that grows at the end of Fisher Island,” Stefenie describes. “The tree sits in a courtyard that also serves as an aviary, home to peacocks and flamingos. Marc let me do most of the planning and he had very few requests, so I really wanted to make sure I did my best to make those things happen.”
Aside from Marc’s request to have an outdoor wedding ceremony, the couple drew most of their ideas and inspiration from the location itself. “I loved the idea of the aviary being the central theme of the wedding,” says Stefenie. “I worked closely with my good friends Christopher Patros and Ana Cruz, who both really helped me design the whole scope of the night and create really special details that would make the evening memorable
for everyone. We also took inspiration from de Gournay and their silk chinoiserie fabrics.
For our invitations and custom painted dinner plates, I worked with artist Reena from Paris who did such a beautiful job capturing our theme.”
For the ceremony, ladies were offered custom embroidered shawls from India and were later invited to swap out their party shoes for a unique pair of pom pom sandals that were brought over from Cartagena. The décor consisted of natural elements, such as centerpieces that were designed to mimic the trees one would find in a Spanish garden. Gold Napoleon chairs and sky blue velvet linen added a sumptuous touch.
“Christopher used an eclectic combination of flowers like lisianthus, lilacs, dahlias, garden and spray roses, viburnum, and hybrid delphiniums for the aisle,” Stefenie adds. “He designed the first part of our aisle as an orange grove and hung chandeliers off the Banyan tree to illuminate the enchanted forest he designed for us. He used tree trunks to make the chuppah seem as if it were simply an extension of the tree.”
The ceremony was an unforgettable moment for the bride and groom, as a boys’ choir – dressed in Stella McCartney’s velvet blue military vests – sang the Hebrew song, “Boi Kala,” and a live orchestra performed Andrea Bocelli’s “Con Te Partiro.” Peacocks were also perched in the Banyan tree, high above the guests. “They must have really liked the music,” the bride muses, “because by the end of the ceremony, it seemed as though everyone had their heads covered with our scarves! Let’s hope this meant good luck for
After dinner, the band had a welcome interruption by Demond Melancon, who paid tribute to the groom’s South African roots by leading the newlyweds and their guests to the afterparty in a New Orleans style second line. The party continued into the night with St. Ambroeus gelato, colorful petit fours, and a croquembouche wedding cake – a nod to Stefenie and Marc’s first date in Paris. It was a perfect evening of celebrations, and everyone enjoyed eating shawarmas and drinking Casamigos until the sun came up.
For their honeymoon, the newlyweds traveled to Aspen.
>Written By: Lauren Malamala