Beauty takes many forms, and today’s Strictly Weddings luxury Miami destination wedding feature offers best in design, location, and inspiration. Reflecting the couple’s elegant and chic sense of style, the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne offered a ravishing retreat for guests on glimmering shores of the Atlantic. Erin and Josh, the bride and groom, created a stunning showcase of simple pleasures and ultimate luxuries for their guests. Yet extravagances aside, it is the couple’s undeniable love that is at the heart of this beautiful wedding. (The proof is in the kiss!)
Ten years of close friendship blossomed into a passionate relationship for Josh and Erin. With such a solid bond between the best friends, they knew the dream of a “happily ever after” was more than attainable. At sunset on November 4, 2013 while vacationing in Aruba, Josh had secretly arranged for a private beach dinner. After convincing Erin to accompany him to enjoy the sunset, Josh led her towards the beach where they were greeted with champagne. Within a few minutes of sitting at the private oceanfront table with feet in the sand and a perfect pink sunset backdrop, Josh got down on one knee and asked Erin to marry him. She, of course, said, “YES!”
Read on to learn how their wedding story unfolded and be inspired by Adagion Studio‘s spectacular imagery.
What was the inspiration behind your navy and pink wedding color scheme?
Bride: I was never much of a girly girl but when it came to our wedding, I had dreamed up a fairytale beachside wedding with flowers galore! When first deciding on a color scheme, we discussed several options in detail together. For a guy, Josh has a great eye for aesthetics and style! He insisted on wearing a bespoke midnight blue tuxedo, with a classic shawl collar, from French tailor 323 Lafayette / Louis Purple and I was totally into the idea. I love blue and chose to dress the bridesmaids in navy Bill Levkoff dresses to match the groom.
We decided that blush and pink flowers would complement these colors spectacularly! Not only was the chuppah full of blush and pink roses, but the aisle was lined with ombre style rose petals along each side ranging from white to pink. Additionally, placed every few feet along with the flower petals were candles housed within New Orleans-style lanterns. I chose a form-fitting Sophia Moncelli dress with a sparkle overlay and sweetheart neckline. My sister and Maid of Honor, Jennifer, wore a blush Monique Lhuillier dress, and stood out amongst the rest of the bridal party.
Living in New York, why did you choose a Miami destination wedding?
Groom: We have attended more weddings than we can count in the past 2 years. We have found that our favorites have been the ones where the guests are relaxed and feel as if they are on a mini vacation. The whole weekend is full of wedding events, and by the end of the celebrations, guests have not only met more people than before they initially arrived, but have actually forged new, genuine friendships in the process. Additionally, we wanted to spend time away with our closest friends and family with no distractions from our daily lives.
We love warm weather and being near the beach is a bonus! Erin went to school at the University of Miami, just down the road from The Ritz-Carlton in Key Biscayne. In fact, she stayed there when she visited the school back in 2004. She never forgot the grand ambiance of the resort and the beautiful picturesque view of the Atlantic Ocean. When making our decision, we took into account the convenience of traveling within the country from New York to Florida for the majority of our guests. The Ritz in Key Biscayne could accommodate all of our friends and family for multiple gatherings throughout the wedding weekend, all in one site.
Planning a wedding from 1000 miles away is not easy! Give yourself time and find local vendors you can communicate with in order to feel more comfortable. We made quite a few trips down to Florida from NYC throughout the year-and-a-half we were engaged. This was another reason South Florida was a great option for us. There are many flights to and from NYC and Miami everyday.
What will remain your most cherished memories of the day?
Bride: My most cherished memory was standing under that beautiful chuppah. All eyes were on us; there were even hotel guests standing on the balconies of their rooms overlooking the ceremony! Yet, I felt very calm and in the moment. I was there with Josh, and we were becoming one. I could feel his eyes upon me and they were glowing with love and excitement while I was feeling the same butterflies I had felt on our first official date. As we said our vows, we truly meant the words we cited. We had an amazing Rabbi (Rabbi Judith Siegel of Temple Judea in Coral Gables, FL), whom we had quickly taken a liking to. She understood our love and helped us show this to our friends and family.
As we stood there on the east coast of Florida, overlooking the water, an amazing thing happened…We love sunsets and originally discussed a west coast wedding in order to create a sunset backdrop, but the distance discouraged us from making that decision. Yet, on this day, it felt as if we were given a sign! The sunset was so powerful that it reflected upon the ocean water and gave the effect of an east coast sunset directly behind the chuppah! This was truly a powerful moment worth taking in and holding onto. The cherry on top was officially becoming man and wife — where Josh, in Jewish tradition, was supposed to break a glass and kiss his bride. He was so excited, he went in for an epic kiss that took me by surprise yet blew me away! In the moment, there is a lot of adrenaline pumping through you! We had practiced a more reserved kiss, but when it came down to it, we were so excited to finally be a married couple, I guess we just went for it! I think the key is true love and passion. When you kiss someone and you really mean it, it shows. It still can’t hurt to practice. 😉
Groom: My most cherished memories of the day will surely involve the special people in my life who made the journey down to Key Biscayne to be there in-person to celebrate alongside us. Specifically, the presence of my father was incredibly meaningful. In July 2012, my father was diagnosed with ALS, which is a horrific and debilitating disease which generally holds a 3-5 year survival prognosis. When we first got engaged, it was unclear if my father would even be alive, let alone able to make a 1,000 mile trip. But he gave us his blessing to have the wedding in Florida, even with the knowledge that he might not be physically able to attend. By some miracle (and the support of his aides and my brother Seth), not only was my father able to make the journey down, but he was able to have a perfect view of the ceremony from his spot inside the enormous chuppah (which was purposely sized to accommodate his wheelchair) and enjoy seeing so many old friends and family members throughout the events of the weekend.
Tell us the about the design choices for your gorgeous ceremony decor!
Bride: For the décor and centerpieces, we knew we wanted to make a statement. We’ve been to many weddings in recent years and while everything was beautiful, this got our creative juices flowing – and we couldn’t help but feel competitive. We wanted to wow everyone and not only create a lively atmosphere with amazing music and fun, but a grand ambiance in which everyone felt like royalty. We had come up with the attire “Black Tie Couture” to ensure not only that our guests put on their formal wear, but that everyone was dressed in their absolute finest! The white vinyl 32 x 32 foot dance floor was created with our wedding monogram in navy in the middle of the floor. We insisted on the perfect amount of slipperiness for everyone to whip out their best dance moves (everyone is a better dancer on a slick dance floor)! The ambiance was elegant while still allowing for the wild party we had hoped for!
Bride: The most special part of my wedding day was the moment I surprised Josh by singing to him. I had been practicing a special song, “When the Right One Comes Along” from the show Nashville. In the privacy of our own home, I often sing this song to Josh as the words have great meaning and apply so well to our love. We get emotional and I feel as if Josh is the best audience, putting me on a pedestal and making me feel as if I am a famous singer. On our wedding night, he had no idea this was coming and the look on his face was priceless. He held in the tears but showed me his appreciation by joining me on stage to help me finish the song together. We got a loud applause, brought a few people to tears (especially my father!) and it was a validating moment for us!
Groom: The most memorable part of our wedding was the moment Erin surprised everyone by singing to me at the reception in front of all of our guests! I was stunned and touched by the moment. I could tell Erin was so nervous, but hope I helped put her more at ease when I joined her on the stage, mid-song. It felt like a private moment and we did not even notice the other 200 people in the room whose eyes were all on us. To my surprise, I even helped Erin finish out the song “When the Right One Comes Along”, which is one of our favorites from the television show, Nashville. I love when she sings it to me. I feel as though I am getting my own private concert and the way she sings the song to me is very romantic.
Head-turning imagery is Adagion Studio’s specialty. Striving to offer the most comprehensive and spectacular selection of photos for your wedding, Adagion Studio works diligently with every couple to ensure their unique vision is captured. Explore a new kind of photographic glamour by perusing their work via Strictly Weddings partner page.