I'm pretty sure this colorful outdoor affair captured by Brittany Anderson Photography will be the perfect way to brighten up your Monday! Although they are both from the area, Samantha and James never knew the Miami Beach Botanical Garden existed before they started looking for a wedding venue. After falling in love with the space, which perfectly fit the 'modern whimsy' style they were looking for, they quickly set a date... and now we can share it with you.
James and Samantha are both from Miami; they met through their friend Jill, who was roommates with James at the time and invited Samantha over for dinners featuring his delish cooking. James loves Samantha's beauty, intelligence, and "awesome ideas". And says Samantha, "James has many talents and the patience of a saint. I love that he is creative, caring and an optimist. In addition to the fact that we love each other, we are a great match because we balance each other. Things that I'm not great at, he is and vice versa."
Samantha shared so many helpful details and thoughts on the day with us, so I'll just let her share them with you!
I wanted a wedding dress that would go with the garden setting, and my personality. I chose a chiffon gown with beading that was not over the top. I wore my grandmother’s pearls which are very meaningful to me. I am fortunate to have amazing and talented friends in the beauty industry and they helped me get ready for the big day. Jessica did my hair and well as my mothers and Cindy did our makeup. They both rocked it! I was able to get ready at home where I felt very at ease and recommend to brides to be if the logistics work.
We chose a silver/white with pops of purple color palette to complement the lush greens of the garden. I wanted orchids because I love them and they were in bloom in our backyard the night James proposed. I wanted contrasting bouquets for myself and bridesmaids so the flowers would really pop against our dresses. The bridesmaid dresses were simple, comfy, and definitely can be worn again! James bought a light silver/grey suit and we told the groomsmen to wear grey.
The couple chose to do a first look, and I love how their portraits on the adorable red bridge turned out! They look so happy and in love.
James and I are from different religious backgrounds and incorporated both catholic and Jewish traditions into the ceremony. I also found a Native American tradition of the butterfly release and included it as well. It is said that if you want wish to come true you must whisper it to a butterfly that will carry it to the heavens. Our officiant Mitch was great, as was his wife Dale in coordinating the butterflies. He brought them and even had a little extra surprise for my Mom. She was able to release her own, which was extra special.
I selected all the music for the ceremony and highly recommend Vitamin String Quartet if you want to do strings in a contemporary manner. The wedding party walked to Red Hot Chili Peppers - Soul to Squeeze, and I walked down the aisle to Massy Star - Fade into you, which was amazing!
James handled the food through Aaron's Catering, which was delicious. We even had small slices of pizza as late night snack...yum. Our friends are still telling us how good the food was. We chose a square wedding cake in vanilla and key lime tiers from a local bakery to bring in the Floridian vibe for our guests. The owl cake topper was perfect for us. It now sits on our bookcase as a memento! We both adore sweets and cocktails, so we had a candy / ice cream bar and cotton candy station that served liquor pipettes in the adult versions.
The couple also incorporated many DIY projects into their day, including the table numbers, cake stand, chair signs and stamped favor bags for the the candy station. Says Samantha, "We were aiming for a beautiful modern whimsy and fun wedding and that is exactly what we achieved."
Congrats, you two, and thanks to Brittany Anderson Photography for sharing this pretty, pretty day with us.
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Miami Beach Botanical Garden | Photography: Brittany Anderson Photography | Catering: Aaron's Catering | Event Coordination & Floral Design: Events on a Budget | Officiant: Mitchell Cohen | DJ: Vision DJ's | Cake: Todo Dulces | Submission: Two Bright Lights