Lianne and Tom escaped winter in London for a weekend in Miami that was truly a destination celebration! Eighty guests made the trip with them, and were treated graciously from start to finish: a welcome party at the Delano, a dinner for the wedding party the night before, and a brunch on Sunday. And every moment was planned and pulled off flawlessly by their planner, Jessica of JCG Events, and captured gorgeously by Katie Lopez.
Lianne and Tom were engaged at Christmas (Lianne's favorite time of year) and quickly decided that a traditional English wedding wasn't for them. With a love of travel and sunshine, and a desire for their day to reflect the two of them as closely as possible, they jetted to Miami and met the planner that would make it all happen: "Once we visited Miami and met Jessica (our superstar planner and all round hero!), everything fell into place. Lots of people asked us, 'why Miami'? Once they were there, it all made sense!"
How brilliant are the CD wedding invitations? Tom had the idea to put together some Miami-inspired tracks to get their guests in the 'holiday' (that's Brit-speak for vacation) mood.
Lianne and Tom's story begins a bit like a rom-com: summer in London, chance meeting through good friends at a bar, a rough start with a truly sweet finish. Says Lianne, "We fell for each other pretty much immediately, with Tom telling me he had fallen in love within just a few days! I had never felt anything like it. I remember calling my Mum and telling her that I had met the guy I was going to marry... and seven years later I did."
They fell in love with the Betsy on their first visit; says Lianne, "The roof deck is just spectacular and private, the rooms and restaurant first rate and the staff absolutely first class – they made us and all of our guests feel right at home, exactly how we wanted it to be."
The bride did sunrise yoga on the same roof deck that she later walked down to meet her groom, and the moment they first saw each other was their favorite of the day. They also cherish the time they spent writing and speaking their own vows to each other, which Lianne tells us is an uncommon practice in the UK.
I can't get over how amazing every one looked that day! Their guests really brought the British style with a Miami twist.
It was important to Lianne and Tom to show their gratitude towards their guests for making the trip, and to make them feel as loved and welcome as possible. They painted their thank you message on the sky, with an aerial banner just after the ceremony.
“Tom makes me smile every day and everything is better when he is around. I am so proud of him as a person – it is great to have your best friend as your husband. We approach everything in life as a team, something I am very proud of, and that of course applied to the wedding.”
Another thoughtful touch for their guests: frames in the lounge area were filled with wedding photos of all the married couples in attendance. (I did this for my own wedding too, so I'm a little biased; but fab idea, guys!) Guests sipped cocktails and watched the sun set over the horizon before heading inside for dinner.
After cocktail hour, dinner was served at the BLT restaurant, which is on the first floor of the Betsy and adjacent to the lobby. Although it was Halloween, you wouldn't know it from the gorgeously romantic decor. Says the bride, "I struggled to explain what sort of look we wanted in any kind of succinct way until I met our florist (Ines Naftali – a true genius with flowers!) who said that it should look like something from a Ralph Lauren spread, which sums up the aim pretty nicely!" Jessica and her team kept the room private, intimate and romantic with draping at the entrance, custom linens, and oh-my-amazing baby's breath runner centerpieces. Beautiful blue vintage bottles held the escort cards.
The two were blown away by how it all turned out: "The wedding day was everything we wished for and so much more. We didn't stop smiling the whole day! Katie really did such a fabulous day of catching the upbeat and happy mood of the day; she is truly beyond talented."
Overall the day reflected the sort of people we are and our love for each other. We could not have been more delighted and will cherish memories of the day forever!