I’m so excited to write this Oheka Castle wedding guide, as Oheka has been one of my favorite venues since I moved to New York years ago!
About Oheka Castle
Oheka Castle, a magnificent French-style chateau on Long Island, was built a century ago by financier and philanthropist Otto Hermann Kahn. Costing an estimated $11 million at the time, it is the second-largest private residence ever built in America. Kahn used this 109,000-square-foot, 127-room estate as a summer home during the 1920s, hosting lavish parties for royalty, heads of state, and Hollywood stars.
After Kahn’s death in 1934, the estate changed hands several times, serving diverse purposes, including as a retreat and a training school. The Eastern Military Academy occupied it in 1948, leading to significant alterations and damage. Left abandoned for years, it suffered from vandalism and decay until 1984, when developer Gary Melius purchased and began restoring Oheka Castle, investing $40 million to return it to its original grandeur. Today, Oheka is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is renowned as a prestigious wedding venue and a backdrop for films and TV series
Oheka Castle in pop culture
Oheka Castle has a prominent place in popular culture, particularly in film and television. It served as the inspiration for Gatsby’s mansion in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.”
In cinema, the castle has appeared in movies like “Citizen Kane,” where it represented the opulent lifestyle of Charles Foster Kane. Television series such as “Royal Pains” and “Succession” have also featured the castle, showcasing its grandeur and historical significance.
As far as music videos go, could there be a more iconic appearance than Oheka in Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space?”
These appearances have cemented Oheka Castle’s status as not just a historic landmark, but also a symbol of luxury and extravagance in popular media.
Oheka Castle Weddings
Each part of the castle offers a unique experience, ensuring that every moment of the wedding day is steeped in elegance and grandeur. What would this Oheka Castle wedding guide be if we didn’t talk about each one??
The Grand Ballroom: The heart of Oheka Castle, the Grand Ballroom is an epitome of classic luxury. With hardwood floors, high ceilings, and space for up to 450 guests in a cocktail setting, it’s perfect for a majestic wedding reception.
Formal Dining Room: For a more intimate gathering, the Formal Dining Room, accommodating up to 200 guests for a cocktail reception, offers a sophisticated ambiance. It’s ideal for rehearsal dinners or a small wedding ceremony.
Terrace Room: Overlooking the estate’s gardens, the Terrace Room can host up to 700 guests for a cocktail reception. This space is excellent for larger weddings, offering a blend of indoor comfort and scenic views.
Upper Lawn and Formal Gardens: The Upper Lawn and Formal Gardens are spectacular for outdoor ceremonies. With the castle as the backdrop, these areas provide a romantic setting for saying “I do” and can host a large number of guests.
Upper Great Lawn and Great Lawn: These expansive outdoor spaces are perfect for grand ceremonies or open-air receptions. They offer flexibility in decor and arrangement, accommodating anything from a large banquet to a serene garden party.
Photo locations at Oheka Castle
Oheka Castle, with its storied past and architectural splendor, offers a myriad of breathtaking locations for wedding day photography. Each spot within its grounds and interiors is imbued with unique charm and elegance, providing couples with a diverse array of backdrops for their special day. Here’s a detailed guide to the most picturesque locations at Oheka Castle:
- The Grand Ballroom: An epitome of luxury and grandeur, the Grand Ballroom’s high ceilings, crystal chandeliers, and hardwood floors create an atmosphere of opulence. It’s perfect for capturing the elegance of your reception, with its sophisticated décor and expansive windows overlooking the gardens.
- The Formal Dining Room: This space exudes an intimate and regal ambiance. The richly decorated interiors, coupled with its historical significance, make for stunning photographs that capture the essence of a refined celebration.
- The Terrace Room: Overlooking the estate’s pristine gardens, the Terrace Room combines the charm of indoor comfort with the beauty of the outdoors. Its large windows provide natural lighting, ideal for vibrant and lively photographs.
- The Upper Lawn and Formal Gardens: These outdoor areas offer a natural backdrop, with manicured lawns and beautifully arranged flowers. The gardens, in particular, are perfect for romantic, fairy-tale-like pictures.
- The Upper Great Lawn and Great Lawn: The expansive lawns provide a versatile space for large group photos. The open sky and the castle in the background add a majestic touch to any photograph.
- The Library: For a touch of sophistication and history, the library’s classic wood interiors and book-lined walls offer a unique setting. It’s ideal for intimate and thoughtful shots.
- The Castle’s Facade and Entry Staircase: The grandeur of Oheka Castle’s exterior and its imposing staircase make for a dramatic and memorable photographic setting. Capturing the couple against the backdrop of the castle’s architecture can create powerful and enduring images.
- The Gazebo and Reflecting Pools: Located within the gardens, these elements add a whimsical and serene ambiance. They are perfect for capturing quiet, reflective moments amidst the celebrations.
- The Bridal Suite: For capturing the anticipation and intimate moments before the ceremony, the Bridal Suite offers elegance and privacy, with beautiful lighting and décor.
Each of these locations within Oheka Castle has its own story and character, offering couples a diverse palette of settings for their wedding photographs. From the grand ballrooms to the serene gardens, and from the historical interiors to the majestic exterior, Oheka Castle provides a multitude of picturesque backdrops, ensuring that every moment of your wedding day is captured with beauty and elegance.