Photography by Elaine Palladino.
This glamorous wedding is 1950s Italian Riviera meets modern-day Miami! Ashley & Michael tied the knot in front of 180 guests at the stunning Vizcaya Museum & Gardens. After their candlelit ceremony the party moved to a clear tent covered in twinkle lights for dinner, some serious dance moves, and even karaoke performed by the bride and groom! Also, this fun couple have shared their ceremony readings, benediction and vows with us – be sure to check them out.
Why did you choose this location for your wedding? We pretty much fell in love with Vizcaya the moment we saw it. We were looking for a location that had a nice outdoor area because we wanted our ceremony to be outside, and the gardens there are just so romantic and dramatic. We also liked that it has an old world feel but is settled in a very cosmopolitan city. That juxtaposition is unusual and gives the location a lot of character.
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? I chose just to follow “something old”, and wore my grandmother’s opal and diamond earrings.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Relax, have fun, take a breath.
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? No, the day was magical exactly as it was.
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? We ordered our ceremony programs from Minted and had a typical ceremony run of show on the front, but then our favorite quote from The Princess Bride on the back: “Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today. Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam.”
Your ceremony in three words. Intimate, playful, thoughtful.
Who officiated your ceremony? How did you choose him/her? Reverend Eddie Rodriguez. He was recommended by a trusted friend. We’re not particularly religious so there wasn’t an obvious denomination for us to draw from. However we did want to choose someone from a spiritual tradition who had a lot of experience working with couples and officiating weddings. We could have chosen a friend, but decided we really wanted the vast majority of our friends to just enjoy the celebration and not have to worry about formal roles (i.e. have as much to drink as they wanted!)
How did you go about planning your ceremony? We had the advantage of being two of our last friends to get married, so we kind of cherry-picked our favorite pieces of other people’s ceremonies. We also had a lot of help from our officiant, Eddie Rodriguez.
In addition to these readings, we also had an opening benediction.
What were your vows like? We had fairly traditional vows, but prior to saying our vows we both wrote some personal words for one another.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? The whole thing! We liked that it was hodgepodge of the things we love – funky jazz, personal words with some humor, religious and non-religious readings, and of course all the people we love and cherish in one place.
What was your ceremony music? Our processional song was La Vie En Rose, performed by the French Horn Collective. We wanted our recessional to be a bit unexpected and fun, so we played Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Stevie Wonder.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? We were inspired by every party, wedding and ritual we’ve attended that was really fun and personal. We tried to figure out why those events felt so special to us, and then made sure we incorporated those elements into our wedding.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? Don’t be afraid to tell a vendor their quote is too high and you would prefer to spend x amount instead. A lot of vendors, particularly florists, will get creative to get their prices down. And trust me, no one will notice or care if you choose sunflowers instead of tulips!
Ashley & Michael served a naked carrot cake for dessert from Cloud 9 Bakery, decorated with fresh flowers.
What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance?
Bride/Groom: Nothing Can Change This Love by Sam Cooke
Father/Daughter: My Girl by The Temptations
Mother/Son: Mother Child Reunion by Paul Simon
How would you describe your reception? Dance-tastic!
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? We sang Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ at the end of the reception, which sounds pretty cheesy – and it probably was – but everyone joined in and it felt like a big karaoke party.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Soak up every minute, because it goes fast. Oh – and don’t get separated from your husband during the reception – you might never see each other again!