A luxury fairy-tale wedding at a 12th-century monastery
Christopher and Jeremy’s Miami, Florida, vision for their luxury fairy-tale wedding is full of inspiration and dreamy details. The grooms are owners of The Bride Candy, a Miami wedding floral studio which, in full editorial disclosure, is a preferred platinum vendor of Equally Wed. For their wedding, they took over a 12th-century monastery complete a white horse ceremony. The picturesque display of vines and flowers appear as if to be taken straight from a storybook, which in fact is how they created their handmade invitations.
Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?
The theme was inspired by the personal stories of the grooms as well as fairy tales. Jeremy spent his childhood immersed in books about once upon a time and far off lands, and later spent much of his life traveling the world. Christopher grew up in the community garden that his father managed and learned to love flowers at a very young age. To symbolize both stories the couple had a garden ceremony with a sign that read “Christopher’s Garden” followed by a reception in 12th-century cloisters that they labeled “Jeremy’s Library.” The decor in the reception was made to look like the garden had overtaken the space, as some fairy tales feature in their storylines. They chose to incorporate their favorite colors (blue and green). Books were placed on the tables, accompanied by customized compasses at each table setting to represent the spirit of adventure. Other elements included Christopher entering the ceremony on a white horse, live violin and flamenco performances, and a late night fire dancer.
Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?
The grooms knew exactly what they wanted when it came to decor. “When you’re in the wedding industry you see a lot of wedding inspiration every day,” said Chris. “I wanted my wedding to look like it was right out of the pages of a fairy tale.” The garden ceremony area was made to look as if it’s been overtaken by florals. The reception featured a single long banquet table with a stunning garland of books and florals, as well as a wishing well taken over by flowers.
What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like boutonnieres, bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?
Christopher and Jeremy always knew that when it came to their wedding decor, flowers would be the star. The ceremony featured garden flowers such as delphinium, roses, peonies and hydrangea paired with different types of romantic greenery. Floor arrangements lined the aisle and culminated in two flowering trees and a cathedral arch filled with white flowers. The reception featured a single long banquet table in one hallway of the cloisters with crystal candelabras, antique books, and plated arrangements of ranunculus, scabiosa pods, peonies, delphinium, ivy and plumosa. Other wings of the cloisters featured vintage lounge furniture and bars by Mi Vintage. The cloister courtyard was transformed with crystal chandeliers and twinkle lights hanging from an old oak tree over the dance floor. The courtyard wishing well was covered with vines and flowers and surrounded by candles, and served as the spot where the grooms tied the knot after the garden ceremony got rained out. The grooms also opted to make their own personals (Jeremy with an anemone boutonniere and Chris with a hand-tied bouquet). Christopher’s bouquet featured black tulips that he and his father had planted together earlier that year in his father’s private garden. Groomsmen had leather-wrapped boutonnieres, bridesmaids and moms had bouquets or ring bouquets, and the officiants had a handmade floral pocket square and floral bowtie. The floral inspiration can be described as whimsical, romantic, garden, masculine, natural, and flowing.
Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
This fairy-tale wedding story started with handcrafted book invitations to guests. The grooms chose The Ancient Spanish Monastery as their venue, transforming the gardens into “Christopher’s Garden” and the 12th-century stone cloisters into “Jeremy’s Library” for this wedding. Entertainment included a live violinist preceremony, as well as a live flamenco ensemble performance in the cloisters during cocktail. A unique feature of this wedding was an on-site after party, a two hour extension in an open-air side chapel. To kick it off, a fire dancer led guests from the reception area to the after party. Other customizations included extensive florals, an opulent entrance table commemorating the grooms and their parents, a memory table, and place settings that included blue china plates from @themixdish, a thank you note to each guest, and a personalized compass and name tag. The signature drink was The Bride Candy, a vodka-based cocktail mixed with fresh squeezed lemon and an elixir of hibiscus flowers, orange peel, rose hips and passion fruit from @sandbarsauce with a rose petal garnish. This wedding took place on Jeremy’s parents 49th wedding anniversary. Their original cake topper was used on the couple’s Love Cake, the first cake they ever had together. Jeremy’s grandparents wedding song played as the cake was cut.
Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.
Christopher knew exactly the shade and style of suit that he wanted to wear for the ceremony, a light powder blue. But after visiting several tailors he couldn’t find one that could source that color. So it was time to get creative. “I found a suit on Asos that was perfect in color but plain in design, so I decided to have it tailored and customized by adding couture fabric to the lapel and custom buttons and clasps.” Jeremy used the same strategy to create a stunning green suit with a shiny lapel. Christopher’s second look featured a golden jacket by London-based mens studio Mochee Kent with pants and shirt by Suit Supply. His standout lapel piece was handcrafted by Mindy Lam @mindylamjewelry. Jeremy’s second look featured a customization by The Lapel Project, a way to temporarily upgrade any suit jacket with a new lapel.
What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
A standout moment was when Chris entered the ceremony on a stunning white horse, something that was kept top secret until the wedding day. Chris always wanted to feel like a prince on his special day and Bella the horse gave him the grand entrance he wanted. Another standout moment was right after the ceremony start, when the Florida sky opened up. Guests scrambled to the safety of the cloisters and the wedding transitioned directly into cocktail hour. Afterwards, the couple resumed their ceremony in front of the opulent courtyard wishing well.
Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?
The grooms wanted a small wedding from the beginning, something that turned into an advantage when the pandemic hit. “I wanted to be able to dance with everyone at my wedding, and keeping the list to just close family and my bridal party made that possible,” said Chris. “I had the best time dancing all night with everybody that was there.” When it comes to planning an extravagant wedding, there’s a lot of details that pop up. “One of the best decisions we made early on was to hire a wedding planner,” said Jeremy. “Even though we had a small wedding we had over twenty different vendors. That requires a lot of coordination, and we were busy running production at our floral studio for our own wedding. Monica of Mo & Co. brought a level of organization and patience that made this wedding successful.” But if there’s one thing above all else, it is to go for your dreams. “You only get one wedding,” said Chris, “so go for whatever you want. Do you want to ride in on a horse? Get your horse. Do you want a dream venue? Get it! It’s what makes your day a standout day.”
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Event Planner: Mo & Co.
Floral Designer: The Bride Candy
Photographer: Laylle Digital Media
Second Shooter: Erica J Photography
Equipment Rentals: THE MIX DISH
Equipment Rentals: An Elite Production
Equipment Rentals: Elements & Accents
Equipment Rentals: Mi Vintage Rentals
Bakery: Sweet Delights Key Lime Pies
Bakery: Sweet Guilt
Other: Fancy’s Magical Critters
Calligrapher: Tinta y Pulso
Makeup Artist: Marz Makeup and Hair
Other: Sandbar Sauce
Caterer: Bill Hansen Catering
Jewelry: Mindy Lam Couture
Videographer: Modern Love Productions
Lighting: Event Factor
Event Venue: Ancient Spanish Monastery
Maria (Mo) Palladino
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