Blue and green garden wedding at Living Sculpture Sanctuary
We met for the first time in Wynwood, the art district of Miami, Florida. It was the first time either of us had been there since moving to South Florida. We fell in love with the area and go back as often as we can.
The proposal was a complete surprise for me (Ryan). I had just come home from a long workweek and was greeted by a generous glass of wine on the kitchen counter. I walked out onto the back patio to find Bret and our dog, Alfie, enjoying the start of the sunset over the intercoastal water. Bret was playing a song called “Heart Beat Here” by Dashboard Confessional, which perfectly set the mood.
I sat down and relaxed with my boys, and a few minutes later, he popped the question in a very clever, sweet, and low-key way. It could not have been more perfect. I didn’t answer him for a long time because I was so caught off guard and also because it was such a perfect moment, I didn’t want it to end. —Ryan, one half of the couple
We also published Bret and Ryan’s engagement photos where the couple recreated their first date at Wynwood, which you can take a look at here.
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 of our ceremony came from one of our favorite songs called “Free to Love” by LP. She wrote the song after marriage equality passed in the United States in 2015. LP is one of our favorite artists and that song is very special to us, so we decided to make it the theme of our day. Our colors were dusty blue, grey olive, ivory and gold as an accent.
Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?
We kept the decor relatively minimal because we’re both simpler people. I was able to incorporate my love of comic books with our cake topper as well as Ryan’s love of rainbows with a few pops of rainbow throughout. Our guest table and guest book were designed by our sisters, who are way more artistic than we are. They were totally DIY and looked amazing!
What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?
Since the venue was outdoors, there was already a lot of greenery and flowers so we chose to keep our florals really minimal. Our wonderful coordinator styled some beautiful flowers with greenery for the ceremony arch in front of the lake and then we kept the table centerpieces to simple greenery.
Did you personalize the day in any way? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
We both wrote our own vows, which, in hindsight, was a lot of pressure but really worth it. Hearing the person you love the most vocalize his feelings in his own words is an indescribable feeling. We also incorporated our dog, Alfie, into the ceremony as our ring bearer. He’s way more handsome than we are so we had to highlight him!
Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.
We both chose to get suits from Indochino. My favorite color is blue and Ryan’s favorite color is green. Ryan was able to find the perfect shade of olive green for his custom suit. I had planned on getting a classic navy. Thankfully, on the day of our first appointment to get measured and select fabric, Ryan and the salesman talked me out of the navy and into the beautiful blue that I ended up getting. It was a much brighter, cheerier shade of blue that was perfect for a spring wedding.
We also did a costume change during the reception. We both wore gold dancing shoes to make the dance floor a little more exciting. And our dog, Alfie, had his own suit that matched the rest of our wedding party—complete with a matching bow tie.
What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
For me, it was having all of our friends and family there. I’m from Arizona and Ryan is from Tennessee, so almost everyone at our wedding had to travel a far distance to be there. It meant so much to us that so many people took time out of their busy lives to be here to support us for such a major milestone in our lives. We really felt the love and support from our incredible friends and family.
Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?
Find vendors (especially a photographer and coordinator) that you love. Yes, you want to see their work and know that they’re good, but you also want to meet with them and click. They’re such a huge part of the entire process that you want to enjoy working with them.
Also, rely on your friends and family. I wouldn’t have been able to plan any of our wedding without the help of my sister Alexa and my friend Gary. Even though they were across the country, we talked through every decision and made sure everything was perfect.
As far as picking a partner, make sure you make each other laugh and make sure you know how to talk through disagreements. When Bret and I have a disagreement, we listen to one another, acknowledge and validate the other’s feelings and have a productive conversation. Even when the conversation is tough, we feel better afterward and, somehow, end up loving each other a little more.
Photographer: Cortiella Photography
Reception Venue: Living Sculpture Sanctuary
Floral Designer: Ribeiro Events
Catering: Catering by Mark
Fin Leary Lavoie
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