An Intimate, Nautical-Themed Wedding on a Boat in Miami Bay

Planned by Tatiana Angel of CCC Event Planning.

couple

Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography

Yes, they’re on a boat. Heather Milner and Joseph “Joe” Federico IV never imagined they’d get married on a yacht. While wedding planning during the pandemic, they couldn’t quite find a venue that felt right. Many of the spaces they liked had temporarily closed or gone out of business, and others didn’t have the correct vibe for their intimate gathering with 11 guests. That’s when the couple’s planner, Tatiana Angel of CCC Event Planning, suggested a boat. Angel had never done a wedding on one, but she’d thrown plenty of parties.

“Joe and I both love being on the water, and thought it was a dream come true if it would work,” Heather says of opting for the unconventional venue. 

From there, everything came together for the November 2020 nuptials. The couple led with a nautical theme, focused on the blue ocean and the Miami skyline, and added personal touches like Heather’s favorite sparkling wine and live music from Joe’s brother, who plays the guitar. In fact, the family took a central role in the day: Heather’s grandfather served as the officiant and both sets of parents shared sweet words during the ceremony. By the end of the day, the entire party was dancing to Pitbull.

“There was an epic moment we’ll never forget,” Heather says of the day. “A boat driving by started blasting ‘Marry You’ by Bruno Mars, and all the people on their boat were singing to us. I asked Tatiana how much she paid them to do that because the timing felt like it was planned—it wasn’t.”

Read on for all the details of this intimate wedding on a boat, planned by Tatiana Angel of CCC Event Planning, and photographed by Adriana Rivera Photography.

boat
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography
covid wedding
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography

The couple’s planner, Tatiana Angel, worked with a local charter company, Water Fantaseas, to secure the 80-foot Solstice yacht for the celebration, which included the ceremony, cocktails, passed hors d'oeuvres, and, of course, dancing!

bride
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography

Heather decided to shop online for her wedding gown, given the pandemic, which worked out in her favor: she found this cowl-neck Shona Joy dress that she “fell in love” with and “felt like a bride” when she wore it. She added a flower crown that matched her bouquet, by Flowers by Totoy.

first look
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography
first look
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography
couple
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography

With all the guests watching from onboard, Heather and Joe had their first look on the dock just before stepping onto the yacht. “His reaction when he turned around was so sweet and genuine, Heather says. “It was so cool everyone got to watch the whole thing—so much excitement before we even left the dock.” 

bar
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography
bar
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography

Onboard, guests were treated to sips that included the signature drink, Heather’s go-to sparkling wine from Francois Montand.

sign
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography

Of course, the couple stuck to safety protocols, including offering a sanitization station.

bride with dad
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography

Heather’s father escorted her down the boat’s deck as Joe’s brother played an acoustic cover of “Yours” by Russell Dickerson.

ceremony
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography
boat
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography

The ceremony took place on the boat’s stern, with the groom’s brother as the musician and Heather’s grandfather as officiant. To ensure that everyone could hear the ceremony, the couple’s planner again worked her magic. She got the okay from another client to anchor the yacht in a quiet spot amid their mangroves.

couple
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography

Time seemed to slow down for just those few moments. I’ll never forget those most perfect minutes of my life.

ring exchange
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography

“Time seemed to slow down for just those few moments,” Heather says of exchanging vows with Joe as the sun set. “I’ll never forget those most perfect minutes of my life.”

first kiss
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography
first kiss
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography

“We always wanted a small wedding, even before the pandemic,” Heather says. “We are simple people, but we do enjoy the finer things in life; we wanted to share a piece of that with our family. We care deeply about spending quality time and cherishing moments with those we love.”

couple
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography
couple
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography 

The couple’s parents added a sweet touch of their own to the ceremony. They each included a few words about Heather and Joe for the officiant to share with the group. “It was so special,” the bride adds.

couple
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography
couple
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography

“We loved that our photographer and our videographers were so adamant about capturing all of our moments until the second we got off the boat,” Heather says. “We are so grateful. There are no words to describe their service and quality.”

couple
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography
couple
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography

The couple did have some wedding crashers—from other boats! As people sped by and noticed their wedding, there were plenty of honks, cheers, and even a serenade of Bruno Mars’s “Marry Me.” “We just started laughing and singing along,” Heather says of the surprise “attendees.” 

first dance
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography 
first dance
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography 

For the reception, guests nibbled on passed appetizers, like bacon-wrapped scallops and crab cakes, and danced along to a playlist that Heather and Joe put together.

zoom
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography
zoom
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography

Heather and Joe made sure to include additional guests via Zoom, who all got to toast with the newlyweds after the ceremony. 

cheers
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography

“We let loose and enjoyed every second,” Heather says.

cake
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography 
couple
Photo by Adriana Rivera Photography

Before the night’s end—and after much dancing—Heather and Joe cut into a vanilla naked cake. “We felt like celebrities on the water,” she says of the whole day.

Wedding Team

Venue Water Fantaseas

Planner Tatiana Angel of CCC Event Planning

Bridal Gown Shona Joy

Tailor Stitch by Stitch Alterations

Jewelry Eliza Page; Kendra Scott

Shoes Schutz

Hair & Makeup Natalia Fernandez

Salon Avant-Garde Salon & Spa

Groom’s Attire Hockerty

Engagement Ring Middletown Jewelry

Wedding Bands Eliza Page

Floral Design Flowers by Totoy

Invitations Paperless Post

Catering Water Fantaseas

Cake The Pink Oven

Rentals Brelex Rentals

Transportation Uber

Accommodations RIU Plaza Miami Beach

Videography Neuen Films

Photography Adriana Rivera Photography

 

Related Stories