Hot to Trot
Brittney and Kara exchange one-of-a-kind vows in a sexy Miami fall wedding
By Sarah Gleim
Brittney Hoffman McCabe and her wife Kara McCabe almost never even met. Brittney, who was just 20 years old and a sophomore in college at the time, was out with her cousin Dionne when the two dropped by a Miami dance club called J’s. “It was a bar in a strip mall,” Brittney says. “If I’d arrived there on my own, I would have turned the car around.”
But the cousins decided to stay and dance and that’s when Brittney ended up meeting Kara. And, well, you know what they say. The rest is history. Well, not exactly. It was more than 10 years later before the women took the leap and tied the knot in an elegant and exciting party in Miami on Nov. 13, 2010.
Event Space: Miami Event Space
Caterer: Eric Kern, Aaron’s Catering
Photo Booth: Capture POD
Wedding Photographer: Haidy Jensen
Wedding Planner: Melissa Barbier, Luxurious Event
Engagement Photographer: Adrienne Langford
Florist: Carlos Muina
Hair and Makeup: Hillary Bell
Videographer: Ram Hernandez, Fandango Wedding Films
They held the wedding at the Miami Event Space, because they wanted a nontraditional venue, and the Miami Event Space—with its combination of industrial, urban elegance—provided just what they were looking for. Plus, the space is predominantly white, which allowed them to use their sexy black-and-fuchsia color scheme to bring it to life.
The ceremony itself was held outside just before sunset, and Kara’s Aunt Earlene and Britney’s grandmother Phyllis were co-officiants to symbolize the importance of family in their lives. Kara’s 15-year-old niece sang during the ceremony, and her 10-year-old nephew was ring bearer. Brittney’s parents walked her down the aisle in her strapless ivory Nicole Miller gown with fuchsia toile, to a waiting Kara, who wore a custom black suit by Jose’s Custom Tailoring.
Brittney decided to write the majority of the ceremony herself to make them as unique and authentic as possible. “Kara and I have worked really hard to make our relationship work, and this wedding was the culmination of so many years of love, hardship and devotion,” she says. “Our vows were secret until the moment we read them to each other, and were excruciatingly personal and raw. The ceremony will remain one of the most precious moments of my life.”
Of course, after the ceremony is when the real party started—for all 160 guests. The two most important aspects of the reception for both women were the food and the music, and they spared no expense on either. Kara was in charge of making sure nobody would go away hungry, and they didn’t. Aaron’s Catering created a menu that reflected them as a couple: diverse, fun, unique and delicious. They didn’t want a sit-down dinner, so instead opted for several different food stations, including everything from churrasco steak and grilled salmon, to cornflake-crusted chicken fingers and a complete pasta station with three different sauces and 10 different toppings.
Photography by Haidy Jensen
They also opted to serve their guests midnight snacks. “We knew our friends would need some grub for the ride home, so the catering staff served up Philly cheese steaks and waffles and syrup on a stick,” Kara says. “Personally, I had three cheese steaks and I’m pretty sure they saved my life.” And instead of going all out on a wedding cake, they decided on cheesecake and carrot cake bites served on spoons. “The food wasn’t just food, it was décor,” Kara says. “The presentation was artistic, funky and totally beautiful.”
But the food wasn’t the only thing funky at this wedding. The DJ rocked the house and had the dance floor packed as soon as he started, exactly how Brittney and Kara wanted it. “We’re from Miami, so we had to represent with some booty music and old-school jams,” Brittney says. “But we can’t lie. The Whitney Houston and Journey songs made the evening for everyone.” The other hit of the reception was the Capture POD photo booth, which can fit up to eight people in the booth at one time. “It was a party in and of itself,” Kara says.
Now the wedding wouldn’t have even happened if Kara hadn’t proposed the year before. And she took Brittney totally by surprise at their favorite French restaurant to celebrate her 30th birthday with family and friends, and totally unbeknownst to her, to pop the question. Kara had everyone in on her plan, even the restaurant. When she got up from the table to “use the restroom,” the couple’s favorite song—Bjork’s “Unison”—began playing over the restaurant’s sound system, and then the lights went dim, all except a spotlight on Brittney. And out came Kara from the kitchen with a bouquet of white lilies and ring. They even got the proposal on video so they can watch it, now with the wedding.
So with a perfect proposal and a successful wedding under their belts, what was the best part about their journey? “It’s a toss up,” Kara says. “I can’t decide between when I heard the first notes of Bjork’s ‘Unison’ and seeing Brittney take her first steps down the aisle toward me. The other best part was listening to Brittney read me her vows. Whoa.”
“I loved that this wedding was one big celebration,” Kara says. “A massive party. A festival. It was all about love, romance and family. Everyone was down to eat good food, drink excessively, make funny faces in the photo booth, hug a lot and, to quote my eloquent wife, ‘get dirty.’”
Check out Brittney and Kara’s engagement story, also featured on Equally Wed, here.
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