Now that the year is coming to a close, we thought it would be fun to share our top fifteen weddings of the year with you! We’re so grateful for our sweet brides & grooms who shared their stories with us. Our BEST OF 2016…
Photography by Kallima Photography.
If you’ve ever stayed up all night dreading rain on your wedding day, this a must-see wedding for you. Stunning bride Gabi planned her entire celebration outdoors, for what turned out to be the third-wettest day in Miami’s history! Instead of letting that ruin the day for Gabi and her handsome groom Cameron, the couple and their guests completely let loose – first with their emotions in their heartfelt ceremony, and then by partying all night! Gabi explains how they felt about the rain so beautifully in her own words we just have to include it here for you:
“Rain is symbolic—it cultivates growth in all things. Rain has always been a blessing in scripture, so I held on to that leading up to my (80% chance of rain) wedding day. Plus, what is that saying? ‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain’. And let me just say, we certainly danced in the rain (and mud) later that evening! I think so often us brides get so wrapped up in the details of our wedding day, and we quickly forget the true meaning of the day. It is a gift, the union with the one that you love. We make that commitment to one another so that we can share life together—through the good times, but even more, through the storms.”
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? Something Old: I wore my grandmother’s cross that was given to her by her mother for her wedding day, which had touches of something blue too. We also used my late uncle’s silver was used for our communion cup. Plus, my great-grandmother’s rosary was wrapped around my bouquet. Something borrowed: My veil, which had been worn by two of my cousins. Something new: Wedding dress and shoes. Something blue: my garter belt. We also used my late uncle’s silver, which was used for our communion cup
(Read on for more about the mantilla tradition they included in their ceremony, below!)
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Your wedding is just a day, but your marriage is a lifetime—prepare, plan and invest in your marriage during your engagement.
Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? Cameron and I feel most connected in the outdoors so we knew we wanted something outside. When we came across pictures of Estancia Culinaria, I fell in love. We had booked the space even before I visited in person. My mom and Maid of Honor, Mallory, went to see it for me—they told me that the family that owns the property are the most wonderful people I’ll ever meet (which they were right about!), and when I saw the pictures of that little, intimate chapel in the middle of an avocado grove—I said YES!
Your ceremony in three words. Joyful, magical, spiritual.
How did you go about planning your ceremony? I used a template from a friend. I made my own draft and then sent it off to our officiant, who edited it.
Who officiated your ceremony? How did you choose him/her? Brett Wingo, who has been one of my spiritual mentors for over six years. He and his wife hosted us in their home in Colorado for what I like to call “marriage boot camp” before the wedding.
You can read all about the mantilla Gabi and Cameron made part of their ceremony right here!
What were your vows like? Since the beginning of our relationship, we have always enjoyed writing notes to each other. So writing our own vows to each other was always something we knew we wanted to do for our ceremony. We made sure our vows were not only promises that we made to each other on December 5th, but vows that will last forever.
Read the full text of Gabi & Cameron’s ceremony right here!
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? I loved hearing Cameron’s vows for the very first time, how intimate and serene the ceremony felt, how each detail had meaning and purpose, how joyful everyone was, how the skies opened up just enough so that I can have the wedding ceremony outside, how personal it was for the both of us. And I loved that it rained—it made the ceremony so cinematic!
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? My all-outdoor wedding day ended up being the “third wettest day in Miami’s history”, according to The Miami Herald. Miraculously, it stopped raining for 15-20 minutes before the ceremony, which allowed us to have the ceremony outside, but in the first few minutes of the ceremony, it began to sprinkle again. We were given an umbrella which we held during the entire ceremony. At the very end of the ceremony, right before our kiss and announcing us as husband and wife, our officiant loudly said, “May His blessings over you RAIN!” Something came over me and I grabbed the umbrella out of Cameron’s hands, launched it to the side and threw my hands in the air. Everyone laughed and cheered—and I think that set the tone for the rest of the evening.
What was your recessional music? Cowboy Take Me Away by Dixie Chicks. We chose this song because Cameron is a Southerner from Georgia, and I am a city girl from Miami, so we thought it was an appropriate way to end our ceremony.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Our families, our faith, our adventures, and our story.
Why did you choose this location for your reception? This venue was a blank canvas and gave us the opportunity to design the space we envisioned.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? Pick two or three things that are really important for you and your groom and splurge on that, then try and not worry too much on everything else.
How would you describe your reception? From the Groom: At the exact moment the last person retreated under the tent for the cocktail hour, the bottom dropped out of the sky. The rain was so steady and so hard that we kept staring at the tent to make sure it was going to hold up. With the bottom third of Gabi’s dress wet and muddy, people losing shoes, and expensive hair-do’s coming undone, everyone just let loose the minute the music started.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? The party—everyone was forced to stay under the tent because of the torrential down pour, so everyone just danced all night! It was the most fun we have ever had in our lives.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding? Here is a link to my personal blog where I shared a little bit more about my wedding day. Also, you can see our wedding trailer right here (it is the second video down.)
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Breath and enjoy the night with your groom. Don’t leave each other’s side. Also, be sure and take mental pictures of sweet and special moments cause the night will be a blur and all you will have left are those mental pictures you took.
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? Not a thing—rain and all!