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Old Florida Charm

Vanessa + Dan | Oct 26, 2019

Elegant, traditional wedding with ivory hues, gold accents and pops of red at the Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Vanessa and Dan were at the same birthday party in Miami when he finally decided to walk over and introduce himself. They hit it off instantly and spent the rest of the night talking - and they haven’t stopped talking since.

“We met on a Saturday and went on our first date that following Monday,” said Vanessa, “the best Monday of my life!”

A year and a half later, Dan proposed at the University of Miami, where Vanessa was attending grad school. He had two of his closest friends hold up signs on each side of the big “U” on campus, with the words: “Will” and “Marry Me?”

Fast forward to the day of their wedding, where Old Florida charm met classic elegance for their traditional church ceremony, followed by a lively reception at a historic hotel on one of the city’s most special streets.

“Since Las Olas Blvd. was the street on which we fell in love,” said Vanessa, “there was no doubt in our minds that it was the perfect venue for our reception.”

The day began inside the bridal suite, where Vanessa left her wedding party speechless as she emerged in her gown. She wore a fit-and-flare ivory lace dress with feminine off-the-shoulder sleeves and a romantic sweetheart neckline. Her hair was pulled back into a low bun, and she wore a crystal vine hairpiece for a pop of glam.

“It had everything I wanted,” said Vanessa, “and I truly felt like it was the perfect fit for me.”

Dan looked dapper in a sleek, classic black and white tuxedo, with a deep red rose on his lapel. This simple yet elegant color palette was the theme throughout the decor at the church where the ceremony was held. At the altar, there were two all-white floral arrangements on tall acrylic stands, overflowing with fresh greenery, dahlias, hydrangeas and garden roses.

“The church where we had our ceremony was the same one I had grown up going to,” said Vanessa, “so to go back there to get married was very special for me and my family.”

Once the guests were seated in the pews, Vanessa made her way down the aisle in her lace-trimmed cathedral-length veil, carrying her bridal bouquet of silver dollar eucalyptus, deep red roses, blush roses and ivory ranunculus. Dan was speechless at the end of the aisle, with his groomsmen in classic black and white tuxes standing by his side.

Vanessa’s bridesmaids popped in satin V-neck burgundy gowns, while her maid of honor stood out in a champagne version. The traditional Catholic ceremony was absolutely beautiful. Along with their traditional vows, they even incorporated a few special readings read by their Godmothers and cousins.

After the ceremony, Sonju Photography took the newlyweds to the restaurant where they had their first date. By pure chance, the table where they sat was empty, and the staff allowed them to sit there for some memorable photo opportunities. They even brought them celebratory bubbly!

“It was so incredibly special to us,” said Vanessa. “The pictures that Sonju captured as we were walking up and down Las Olas Blvd. are our absolute favorites from that day.”

All throughout the reception decor in the hotel ballroom, gorgeous white flowers in glass vases were the focal point. There was also a “LOVE” marquee sign, which provided a unique photo moment for the newlyweds and their guests.

“I feel like the all-white flowers really played a huge part in the overall style of the wedding,” said Vanessa. “I feel like they really opened up the dining room, and also made it look very elegant.”

The tables were topped with a combination of high and low centerpieces, surrounded by floating glass candles and a dreamy tablescape including textured, gold-rimmed glass chargers. They had gold Chiavari chairs for seating, and set a special sweetheart table for the Mr. and Mrs.

Vanessa and Dan partied the night away with their loved ones, dancing and playing limbo on the glamorous white dance floor. They celebrated with champagne and other decadent sips, using personalized cocktail napkins with an image of their dog printed on the front.

“She is so special to us,” said Vanessa, “and since we couldn’t have her with us on our day, we thought that was a fun way for her to be included and for our guests to have a little laugh.”

For dessert, they had an exquisite five-tiered white wedding cake with red, blush and white floral garnishes cascading diagonally down the side. To everyone’s enjoyment, the sweet treats didn’t stop there - they also had their favorite donuts given out as wedding favors.

“We wanted our guests, especially since so many of them were from out of town, to enjoy a little late-night snack from one of our favorite donut shops in Miami,” said Vanessa. 

Just before their send-off, Vanessa and Dan hopped in the photo booth with their friends and families, striking poses with various props against a metallic silver backdrop. It was the most entertaining ending to the best night of their lives.

Congratulations, Vanessa and Dan! 

Creative Team

Sonju Photography

St. Gregory Catholic Church
Riverside Hotel

Bellisima Bridal

Marz Makeup & Hair

LJDJs Event Design & Entertainment

Dalsimer Atlas

Paper Goods + Calligraphy
The Windmill Paper Boutique

Rentals & Decor
Over the Top Linen
The Flower Wall Co. Miami

Infinity Transportation

Kevin Borge

Blue Orchid Events & Design

The Salty Donut

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