A Miami Destination Wedding: Kristi + Paul

Kristi + Paul, who live in Newport Beach, CA, originally wanted to elope in Italy. But when they couldn’t do that without their immediate family, they looked around at locations in the US. Since both Kristi + Paul are in the wedding business, they had a different perspective of the day as they see all the “behind the scenes” action. They really wanted to keep their wedding meaningful + intimate. They then found their perfect location in Miami at the Vizcaya, a 100 year old 180 acre estate, for photos and held the ceremony at the Ancient Spanish Monastery with walls over 800 years old, and the celebration lunch gathering was held at the historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. It was the closest they would get to Italy and still be able to have their families attend – and wait until you see the location, seriously breathtaking! I love that their wedding was so intimate + all about their family, with lots of eco-chic details. Thanks so much to Jerry Yoon Photographers for the photos and congrats to Kristi + Paul!

miami wedding

lace wedding dress

lace wedding invite

navy blue heels

miami wedding

miami wedding

If I had to guess, I would totally guess this was Venice! So beautiful…

lace wedding dress

lace wedding dress

wheat hairpiece

From Kristi, I did not want a fresh bouquet and have to worry about it all day in the heat! Mine was already preserved for me and the preserved flowers went with the whole antique-rustic chic design that played into the day. The bouquet was a mix of wheat, pecan pods, pampas grass, feverfew + other dried flowers that still look just as “fresh” today. I added two fresh blue thistle stems to finish of the look. 

dried wheat bouquet

dried wheat decor

vintage table set up

As an entry to the ceremony, an antique blue desk was used to welcome guests with treats. Homemade sugar + banana cookies (made by the mother of bride) were in small paper bags stamped “you’re sweet.” There were also small canvas bags stamped “nuts about you” that held a nut mix. Beside those was a crate with a choice of water and old fashioned bottles of cream soda and root beer – Kristi + Paul’s favorite treats.

The table below on the right was also on the way to the ceremony and held vintage handkerchiefs tied with organic yarn to wipe away tears of joy. Beside it was a cross to symbolize the Christian marriage and hanging on it was old lockets full of those whom could only be with them in spirit, including both sets of the bride’s grandparents and her brother, Jamie.

wishing rock

angel flower girl

vintage flower girl

Seriously the most precious flower girl ever! Just love her wings. Kristi made them using preserved pampas.

flower girl with wings

miami wedding

Kristi walked down the aisle to “Wedding Day” by Rosie Thomas. Their recessional was “Come on Get Higher” by Matt Nathanson.

miami wedding

The ceremony was set up with wooden benches formed in a circle for meaning of family, unity, protection and everlasting love. The benches were covered in lace and a handmade program or fan covered every other spot. Then a wishing stone was set by each for family/friends to give well wishes back to couple for their home.

My brother, Cory, was the officiant (he got ordained online jut a couple months before). We couldn’t imagine someone we didn’t know marrying us and he did such a great job! Paul and I put together a ceremony reading to really focus on our relationship and what the day really meant to us, along with our families. We both wrote our own vows and were so choked up we could hardly read them! One of the most emotional & happiest moments of both of our lives. We had Paul’s nieces and nephew do some readings of some of our favorite quotes. After the kiss, we went directly into our first dance as husband and wife and were able to reflect on what had just happened. The father/daughter and mother/son then followed and then a few photos. Then guests were brought to the Biltmore for a lunch and celebration.

stamp thank you cards

flower girl with wings

dried wheat centerpieces

The centerpieces were preserved arrangements (pre-arranged by Jen K Floral Design and shipped). Kristi then added a few fresh tulips, hydrangea and other flowers to add the symbolic nature of the old with the new.

dried wheat centerpieces

dried wheat centerpieces

miami wedding

miami wedding

Any advice to those planning now? Take at least 15 min, if not 30, to yourselves on the day. Reflect, re-read your vows, stop and look at what’s happening around you. It is your day, take some time to step aside and be completely alone with one another. It may be the most memorable time of the day in the end as all goes by so fast.

Everyone wouldn’t stop raving about the unique décor and the beautiful ceremony vows (both wrote them ourselves). I spent over a year designing the whole set up with my mom and Paul’s help. I’m really happy with how it all came together. As everyone flew in the week of the wedding, we were able to enjoy some relaxing time at a villa in the area with enough bedrooms to fit four families, we all enjoyed time by the pool and homemade food the days before and a relaxing brunch & pool party there the following day. This was an amazing time to spend as the wedding day still went by so fast; we were able to celebrate for four days like some cultures naturally do! The day after the wedding was our day to relax and really visit with family and on the weekend we went on deep sea fishing.

Kristi also has her own store featuring things she has made or collected, The Soil and Sea. If you love the style of this wedding (or her hairpiece!), be sure to check it out!

photographer: Jerry Yoon Photographers // venues: first look + romantics: Vizcaya (Miami, FL) // ceremony: Spanish Monastery (North Miami Beach, FL) // reception+lunch: Biltmore Hotel (Coral Gables, FL) // wedding planner + coordinator: Karla Blanco of Stylish Events // wedding dress: Custom-made Amy Michelson “Santorini” gown // jewelry + shoes: Antique Czech Jewelry, Beyond Skin blue suede (vegan) shoes with Czech decal (added by bride), blue glass Intaglio cameo antique bracelet // hair accessories: The Soil and Sea // hair + makeup: Denise Empey // suit: Hugo Boss // florist: Jen K Floral Design (Orange, CA) // rentals + linens: La Tavola // wooden benches: Bubble Miami // catering: The Biltmore // videographer: William Roman (Miami, Florida) // transportation: Millenium Limo  // invitations: (designer) Lisa Butera-Kerr, mywedding.com for evites

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  1. Holy crap, that is the most beautiful wedding I have EVER SEEN. And so unique!! Stunning stunning dress, bride, flower girl…. I’m in awe.

  2. Love the vintage, rustic and yet some how soft… AWESOME

  3. the use of color and texture are beyond gorgeous here.

    xo, chrissy

  4. Where did the officiant stand? We have been looking for ways to not have our officiant in every picture during the ceremony. Although we are also having someone close to us perform the ceremony we want some of just the two of us.

  5. Stunning! I am in love with it all. The style, the design, the venue, the flower girl. I had no idea a Miami wedding could look like this.

  6. Vizcaya is such an AWESOME location. So cool!

    x Lovely

  7. What a unique, beautiful take on the “antique” trend! Loving the blue accents mixed with the neutral pallette

  8. holy smokes! that gown is one of a kind!

  9. AMAZING wedding gown! So romantic and a little bit sexy with that back. Blows my mind! LOVE!

  10. WOW. This is STUNNING! Rustic yet romantic and that flower girl – so cute!

  11. Love that dress and the shoes. And the wings on the flower girl are adorable – never saw anything like that before. All the little vintage touches where amazing and the images are gorgeous.

  12. This is beautiful! I live in Miami and Ive never seen these locations photographed this way. These are considered very “cliche” for Miami locals but they definitely made it their own. Congratulations! thanks for sharing :)

  13. This is stunning. It looks straight out of a fairytale illustration.

  14. Bride’s gown, bouquet, jewelry, hairpiece, gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Flower girl in her wings, precious! I even love the table linens. Wow.

  15. Beautiful wedding…from the details to the couple!!! Awesome.

  16. The wedding is so beautiful! From the wedding dress to the wedding decor, all things are perfect! Congratulations!

  17. This is just so creative on so many levels. So very pretty :) Especially love the flower girl wings and the running shot. One of a kind wedding here!!

    The French Bouquet: http://www.thefrenchbouquettulsa.com/blog

  18. well dang. what a gorgeous location! glad that they could find something that fit their needs but still have everyone important there :)

  19. I fell for this wedding…. from the begging to end… love vintage things.

    what an adorable flower girl!!!!
    Her dress is splendid too!

  20. Um, wow. This is incredible. I would never have guessed this was Miami- definitely Florence or something. I love all of the old-world details, especially the cuff links. Gorgeous from beginning to end.

  21. This is hands down the most beautiful and unique wedding I have ever seen. I never leave comments but this wedding was truly stunning and deserves praise. Holy smokes…I’m in love. I had a vision for my wedding but now it’s been turned upside down. I’m loving this and I’m inspired!

  22. OhMYGosh. I would have never guessed this was Miami! The decor is so unbelievable, I just love everything about this event – gorgeous!

  23. The wedding was truly beautiful. As the mother of the groom, I was also in awe. We rented a villa for our family to live in for the week and host parties and it was truly the best money spent. Kristi is a very talented photographer and designer and was able to put all of her ideas into a gorgeous setting and beautiful memory. Her hair pieces, table decor, decorations and blue heels all came together for one of the most memorable moments in our families lives. Thank you to both Paul and Kristi.

  24. thank you all SO much! I spent over a year of my life creating all the unique details you see and found inspiration from this and many other blogs! I still have half of it decorating my home today, I love how each piece brings back a memory from our special day. If your interested in purchasing any details including wings of flower girl, hair pieces, table runner, etc please email kristi@thesoilandsea.com, I launched my new company shortly after my day, excited about it!

    Holly – I had my brother (officiant) stand across from us as ceremony was positioned in a circle. As a photographer, the officiant has ruined or taken attention away from a bride and groom at the ceremony, I didn’t want it happening at mine, so the intimate setting worked out perfectly for this positioning, hope it works for yours!

    thank you all again! Xoxo

  25. I love all the different textures and details. Stunning location too.

  26. I still can’t get over this wedding!
    the dress….so love love it!
    what a beauty! :)

  27. Her bouquet is brilliant. And I love the shot of her looking down at it.

  28. What a beautiful wedding, very unique. Love the little girl with the wings.


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