Brian McKnight started the new year right, with a lip lock with his one and only. The “Back at One” singer exchanged vows with longtime love Leilani Malia Mendoza in an elaborate wedding at Oheka Castle on New Year’s Eve.
The 48-year-old R&B singer looked positively ecstatic in a few posts he shared to Instagram, including one particularly sweet black-and-white photo that shows the newlyweds delighting in a kiss in front of glowing lights.
“Happy new year from the McKnight’s #2018 #justmarried #priceless #iloveourlife @tmilophoto @ninthandeverett @sabrinaandmannings,” he captioned the shot. Yet another stunning photo shows the pair kissing on the steps just within the foyer of the castle, with Mendoza’s exquisite gown taking much of the frame.
“Ladies and gentlemen introducing Mr and Mrs Brian McKnight,” he captioned the shot.
The couple’s Huntington, New York-based venue is a favorite wedding spot for celebrities from years’ past. Interest in the estate especially surged in late 2014 after the release of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” music video, which was filmed on the estate grounds. Dancing With the Stars couple Peta Murgatroyd and Maksim Chmerkovskiy married at Oheka in summer 2017.
McKnight and his new wife, meanwhile, have dated since 2011. They announced their engagement via Instagram this past May, with McKnight excitedly sharing at the time: “Took me 42 years to find her and I’m never letting her go.”
Check out the details from the couple’s big day.
McKnight and Mendoza had a ceremony fit for royalty at Oheka Castle, a popular event venue located in Huntington, New York, on Long Island. The estate, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, was originally built in 1919, when financier and patron of the arts Otto Hermann Kahn commissioned two celebrated architects to design a country escape intended for lavish parties. Since then, celebrities like Kevin Jonas have held their nuptials there, and the estate even reportedly inspired Baz Lurhmann’s Great Gatsby.
Mendoza’s dress was indisputably the star of the night, and McKnight made sure to share a close-up of the jaw-dropping details. “My beautiful wife and 50,000 Swarovski crystals,” he captioned a short video clip that panned all along the length of the gown’s impressive train. The gown was designed by Sabrina & Mannings, and the company itself couldn’t help gushing over their handiwork. “Truly a masterpiece in the making and one of a kind piece,” a caption on the designer’s Instagram account read, noting that it took more than a month of hand beading to create the dress’ ethereal effect.
Our outstanding Bride wearing a one of a kind wedding gown with a total of 50 thousand Swarovski crystals and over a month of hand work beading with sequence , hand cut out fabric and folded to create a vanishing out effect. Truly a masterpiece in the making and one of a kind piece. Congratulations to our beautiful bride Gown @sabrinaandmannings Make up artist @noeliabeaute Bride : @leilani_211
The Wedding Planner
To pull off their epic wedding day, McKnight and Mendoza worked with Ninth & Everett, a luxury event planning company based in NYC. “Congrats to @brianmcknight23 & @leilani_211 on their wedding this weekend!” the caption read on one of the account’s images. “It has been such a pleasure getting to know both of them! These two ‘get it’! Their vows, his song, everything was perfect! Starting out 2018 honored and humbled!”
M r . & M r s . M c K n i g h t Congrats to @brianmcknight23 & @leilani_211 on their wedding this weekend! It has been such a pleasure getting to know both of them! These two “get it”! Their vows, his song, everything was perfect! Starting out 2018 honored and humbled! Click the link in our bio to read the People Magazine article! Venue: @ohekacastle Event Planning & Design: @ninthandeverett Cake: @dandreotticakes Florals: @beautifulflowersny Photography: @tmilophoto Videography: @klasseyproductions Lighting: @ambientevents Paper Goods: @jlf.creative Makeup: @mr_jamelking & @noeliabeaute Wedding Dress: @sabrinaandmannings Hula Dress: @nektariaworld DJ: @metrosoundsdjs Entertainment: @la.vie.quartet
The bride and groom worked with Beautiful Flowers NY to pull together a floral look fit for the pair’s regal day: white and blush blooms with a dash of wildflowers.
For the musician groom, only the best of the best. McKnight and Mendoza hired the La Vie Quartet from Nashville to serenade their guests with soft tunes.
Daniel Andreotti, the executive pastry chef at the Oheka Castle, created the couple’s delectable wedding cake.