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 (also featured in our Top 26 Coolest Places to Get Married), 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!
If I had to guess, I would totally guess this was Venice! So beautiful…
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.
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.
Seriously the most precious flower girl ever! Just love her wings. Kristi made them using preserved pampas.
Kristi walked down the aisle to “Wedding Day” by Rosie Thomas. Their recessional was “Come on Get Higher” by Matt Nathanson.
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.
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.
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!
photography: Jerry Yoon Photographers // wedding dress: Custom-made Amy Michelson "Santorini" gown // bride's shoes: Antique Czech Jewelry, Beyond Skin blue suede (vegan) shoes with Czech decal (added by bride), blue glass Intaglio cameo antique bracelet // hair stylist: Denise Empey // makeup artist: Denise Empey // catering: The Biltmore // linen rentals: La Tavola // venues: first look + romantics: Vizcaya // ceremony: Spanish Monastery // reception: Biltmore Hotel // lunch: Biltmore Hotel // wedding planner: Karla Blanco of Stylish Events // coordinator: Karla Blanco of Stylish Events // jewelry: 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 // suit: Hugo Boss // florist: Jen K Floral Design // rentals: La Tavola // wooden benches: Bubble Miami // videographer: William Roman // transportation: Millenium Limo // invitations: (designer) Lisa Butera-Kerr, mywedding.com