There's something irresistible about a wedding inspired by Old Miami. The landmark hotels, crisp black-and-white color schemes, and vibrant pops of green? Well, put those pieces all together and you'll be transported to another time. That's exactly what Carly and Devin wanted to do when they began planning their February 6, 2016, wedding at the Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach. The pair met at the University of Florida and got engaged on a trip to Santorini in May of 2015. Says Carly, "I made Devin repeat everything he'd said because I thought he was joking and hadn't processed a single word!"
They didn't want a traditional ballroom, but knew their 225 guests would need ample room to party. Between the sprawling outdoor space and the penthouse (perfect for an after party!), Carly and Devin knew the Raleigh was exactly what they'd been seeking. Soft, flowing fabrics, white flowers with touches of greenery, and sparkling lights set the scene, while a clear tent protected everyone from the rain. JCG Events created a timeless, romantic celebration with the perfect amount of Miami flair, and Merari Photography was there to capture every detail. Take a peek — you'll totally fall in love!
Though Carly didn't have the "Aha!" moment you see on TV, she compared every wedding dress she tried on to this silk crepe and lace Reem Acra gown. "I customized the dress a lot, changing the neckline and adding full sleeves, so there were moments where I had to have faith that it would be exactly what I wanted in the end," says the bride. "There were times when I was worried about some of the changes we made, but when it was all done, it was absolute perfection." She paired the finished product with nude Christian Louboutin pumps that ended up looking much better than they felt. "Do yourself a favor: Choose comfortable shoes!"
When Carly couldn't find the right wedding band, she turned to her bridesmaid, a gemologist in New York — and the very same person who created the bride's engagement ring. "She helped me design the perfect stack: A thin platinum and diamond band and a yellow gold rope band with our initials and a stone from my great grandmother's pin on the inside," Carly describes.
The couple's invitation suite featured modern lettering and gold-accented palm leaves, setting the scene for the Miami celebration to come.
Devin wore a classic Hugo Boss tuxedo with a white bow tie. Carly's cathedral-length veil featured lace accents that matched the bodice of her wedding dress, while her off-the-shoulder neckline was flattered by a romantic updo. The bride's all-white bouquet featured roses and a gold ribbon around the stems.
The nude-backed lace panels on the hips of Carly's fit-and-flare wedding dress added a modern, fashion-forward touch to the more traditional styling. Her bridesmaids wore two-piece sage-hued dresses from Show Me Your MuMu. "Finding something that was flattering on everyone was a challenge, but in the end they looked beautiful. It was flowy and romantic, but not too bohemian," says Carly.
The groomsmen donned classic tuxedos, while the flower girls wore white lace dresses and the ring bearers wore trousers and black suspenders. "We weren't sure if the youngest ring bearer was going to make it down the aisle," says the bride, "but they all made it and looked adorable!"
The ceremony took place on the hotel's pool deck, where a weathered wood chuppah was flanked by gold lanterns.
"Our ceremony was non-denominational, though we did incorporate Jewish traditions like the chuppah and the breaking of the glass," says Carly. The officiant was Devin's late father's best friend, who is also a well-known contemporary poet. "It made our ceremony so unique, and was a beautiful way to honor Devin's father's memory."
Cocktail hour took place around the pool, with guests lounging on comfortable furniture and sipping a decidedly Miami-inspired signature cocktail: A classic Mojito. An oversized framed mirror displayed table numbers, set up on a pathway along the beach.
While the original plan was to dine beneath a "tent" of strands of icicle lights, a rainstorm meant a clear-topped tent was totally necessary. "I was so worried about the weather leading up to the wedding, but promised myself I'd be zen on our wedding day," says Carly. "When it finally poured, it ended up being so magical! And I loved the way the tent reflected all the lights."
Round tables, surrounded by black chivari chairs, were topped with centerpieces that combined white roses, hydrangeas, and astilbe with dark calla lilies.
Texture was added to the tables with garden-style centerpieces in mismatched vases. Anemones echoed the décor's black accents, while dusty miller and eucalyptus tied into the bridesmaids' dress hue.
Dinner began with a salad that included locally-made stracciatella cheese, followed by either seared Ahi tuna or braised short ribs. Before guests tucked into slices of wedding cake, they also were treated to a plated chocolate and salted caramel confection.
"The hora was insane!" says Carly. "Every single person was on the dance floor, and there was so much energy. It set the mood for the rest of the night."
To keep the party going, Carly and Devin hired a DJ accompanied by a three-piece band. "Everyone loved the saxophonist," the bride remembers.
The four-tiered naked cake was decorated with fresh roses and ferns. The rosé champagne cake, with sweet cream frosting, was a soft pink hue on the inside!
"I completely forgot about booking a photo booth until the last second," says Carly. "My parents told me to forget about it because it was too late, and then surprised me with one at the wedding!"
The bride and groom, who honeymooned in Belize, can't stress how important it is to love your rain back-up as much as your outdoor wedding plan. "We chose the driest date possible and still had a near monsoon on our wedding night," says Carly. "Thankfully, we loved the look of the clear tent!"
Venue & Catering: The Raleigh Hotel || Wedding Planner: JCG Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Reem Acra, purchased at Ever After Miami || Shoes: Christian Louboutin || Hair & Makeup: Art of Hair by Claudia || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Show Me Your MuMu || Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: Hugo Boss || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Olivia Landau at J. Birnbach Jewelry || Florist: Ines Naftali Floral & Event Design || Invitations & Paper Goods: Sarah Hawkins Designs || Music: A Prime Event || Cake: Cloud 9 Bakery & Café || Rentals: Tents 'n' Events; NOMAD Stretch Tents || Photo Booth: Shutterbarn || Videographer: Lexoria Wedding Films || Photographer: Merari Photography
Still on the hunt for more great wedding ideas? Then check out another couple's beautiful ceremony and reception in the video below.