Google+ South Florida Wedding by Kat Braman and Desiree Dawn Events - Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings

When two creatives marry, there is a good chance their wedding is going to rock everyone’s socks off! Alix and Dodd completely exceeded expectations by making their wedding day a reflection of their heritages, cultures, and their adventurous life together, with each of them feeling equally represented throughout the process. With the help of their planner Desiree Dawn Events, the performer (Alix) and the writer (Dodd) used their talents to welcome their guests to a weekend that included completely romantic vows, perfectly orchestrated music (pun intended!), and a ton of fun. There was even an elaborately choreographed dance number in matching pink suits! With every single room in the hotel taken by guests alone, the only way Alix could describe their wedding weekend was like “a giant slumber party for all our family and friends at the most elegant yacht club in South Florida. HEAVEN!” Doesn’t that sound amazing?

We’re so thankful Kat Braman was there to capture it all!

P.S. Be sure to read the adorable story about Dodd’s “moach”–y’all will absolutely love it!

We would always joke leading up to the wedding that my engagement ring served as something borrowed (the brooch and bracelet where the stones came from), blue (the sapphires), old (all the stones are from Dodd’s family and are over 100 years old), and new (the actual setting and design). But, I also borrowed my wedding veil (it was my sister-in-law’s from when she married my brother) and my aunt’s diamond earrings. I wore my late grandmother’s diamond necklace (old) and had a crepe flower hairpiece designed for me by my friend Joey Brooks (new). The blue still remained the sapphires in my ring.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I’m a performer by trade, so every dress I tried on, I felt like I was playing a different character–a different “type” of bride. After trying on 75 dresses from eight bridal shops in three states, I finally said, “Okay. This is the one.” I really liked it, but a text from my sister-in-law (and matron of honor) kept haunting me. She asked, “When you put it on, did you get that feeling like your heart just leaped, and you couldn’t help but cry?” I said, “I think??” On my way back to the store to actually purchase it, I stopped by another store to look at bridesmaid dresses. It was just me and my mom this time, and I thought, “Well, I might as well try a couple more dresses on if we’re here?” When I came out of the fitting room in a simple, elegant, silk organza Romona Keveza gown, I burst into tears–just like my maid of honor had predicted. When I saw myself in the mirror, I realized I shouldn’t be an actress wearing a costume on my day. I needed to just be me in a beautiful dress, and that was it.

We always knew we were going to have a first look because at a traditional Jewish wedding, the bride and groom sign a Ketubah, or marriage contract, as the very first part of the ceremony before the procession. We figured we were going to see each other anyway before we walked down the aisle, and we wanted some intimate moments together before officially embarking on this journey of becoming husband and wife. Our first look and Ketubah signing was one of my favorite moments–it was a quiet, reflective time to really take in the importance of that day.

The wedding was a wonderful hybrid of so many faiths, cultures, and traditions. We tried our best to be true to who we BOTH are, and it worked. We both felt equally represented and our guests learned even more about us throughout the process. Both of us had a mix of men and women in our parties, so the terms “bridesmaids” and “groomsmen” not only felt dated, it also wasn’t really accurate for us. Instead, we drew from my “Nawlinz” roots and called them krewes. These titles appeared in the wedding program and were immediately understood by my New Orleanian family, a clear take on the Mardi Gras Krewes of parades.

Describe your wedding flowers. Traditionally, the chuppah is made from wood from each of the two families, so we took that idea and ran with it. Our chuppah contained a eucalyptus branch from a tree in our front yard in Florida (which I had actually planted as a child), and an old wood ice axe that Dodd’s grandfather used in the 1950’s to break the world record for the highest mountain climb ever (he climbed Nanda Devi, before K-2 and Everest were summitted). We also had magnolias representing New Orleans and gardenias symbolizing my late grandmother (who grew them in her garden).

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Being a singer and musician my whole life, this was my absolute favorite part of designing the ceremony. A year before Dodd had even proposed, I turned on PBS, and there was a quartet playing the most interesting and gorgeous song I’d ever heard. I knew in that moment that I was going to walk down the aisle to that song. The song is called “Franz and the Eagle.” I knew finding the sheet music or transcribing the song was going to be very costly and time-consuming, so I contacted my old friend and pianist from the University of Miami, asking him if he knew of this song. He responded by saying he DID know the song, and he has JUST finished transcribing the entire thing, which had taken him three straight weeks, because he fell in love with it and wanted to play it with his violinist wife for some sort of special occasion one day!! What were the chances?!? It was meant to be. So, Dan and Ashley played all the songs for our entire ceremony. When Dodd broke the glass, the massive yacht behind us blasted its horn, Professor Long Hair’s “Go To The Mardi Gras” boomed through the speakers, and a full New Orleans second line broke out!

We met one lovely, crisp, fall evening–October 5, 2009 to be exact, at the historic Triad Theatre in New York City. We were individually invited by a mutual friend to an industry show. Dodd noticed me there, and after the show, he approached me and asked me to join the group next door. Once in the light, I immediately noticed the small red bicycle pin Dodd was wearing on his sport coat and said, “I like your pin,” to which Dodd responded, “You mean, my MOATCH.” “Your what?” “My moatch. My man brooch!” That made me laugh, and I knew that I had to talk to this guy some more. We left the group and began our first three-hour conversation at the bar, and in those moments, we knew the other was very special. Dodd took me home in a cab, 150 blocks out of his way. At my door step, he kissed me goodnight (it was absolutely the most perfect first kiss), and then took the train home. I walked calmly through my lobby and into the elevator. When when the doors shut, I threw my purse against the wall and yelled, “I’m in love!!” Thankfully, I was the sole passenger in this elevator!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Dodd had this idea for a long time that he wanted us to surprise our guests towards the end of the night with a fully-choreographed flash mob dance with us and our wedding krewe (and any other young friends who wanted to join in). Dodd has become known (or shall I say “infamous”) for wearing a bright magenta suit to many occasions all over the world, so I decided it was high time that I had my own “pink suit.” Right after the cake cutting and the bouquet toss, Dodd and I snuck off into a side room, changed into our matching pink outfits, and once we heard our song (an edited version of Beyonce’s “Partition”), we emerged from the room and strutted our way to the dance floor. Dodd and I then performed our relatively elaborate duet dance number, were tossed our second line umbrellas, and invited all our krewe members to join in with their umbrellas. During that dance, Dodd and I looked at each other and both knew what we were thinking: “WE DID IT! IT WORKED! THIS IS SO MUCH FUN! We will never forget this moment!”

Don’t miss Alix + Dodd’s video from Indie Atlantic Films!

Tell us all about the proposal! Dodd asked me if I wanted to go on a “chocolate tour” and visit different boutique chocolatiers one beautiful Saturday afternoon in NYC. Although it sounded touristy, I would never pass up the chance to eat gourmet chocolate. As the tour finished, I got a text from my best friend Brian (who would become my future man of honor) to meet him in Chelsea, right where we happened to be. We met up on The Highline, which is our all-time favorite park in the city. Since Brian was running late, Dodd and I decided to sit and wait by the huge window overlooking 10th Avenue at 17th Street. Soon, I noticed people down below us on the street with umbrellas hiding their faces, coming from all different directions. As more and more people with umbrellas congregated, Dodd took me closer to the window so we could get a better look, and I realized the group of umbrellas below us were like painted puzzle pieces. The 12 or so umbrellas moved and shifted, twirling and changing direction. Then, all the umbrella puzzle pieces suddenly fit together and formed a huge heart! People were whispering and telling their friends (and also me) that it was a proposal! But for who?! I honestly didn’t realize it was MY proposal until I turned to Dodd, and he was down on one knee holding a ring box…I LOST IT. Of course, I said yes! Dodd then pointed down below, and all the umbrellas in the heart suddenly closed, revealing ALL our closest family and friends from as far as California, DC, Florida, Philly, Maine…it was absolutely INCREDIBLE. I felt like I was dreaming! The 20 of us headed to the nearest restaurant for a champagne toast, and when I walked in, I saw a wall of 30 or so MORE umbrellas and 50 more of our friends lifting them, yelling “CONGRATULATIONS!” My surprise proposal mob was followed by a surprise engagement party! As a hidden camera crew revealed themselves, Dodd revealed that he had been wearing a wire the whole day. The YouTube video has over 21,000 hits now. :)
When did y’all get married? May 31, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? My mom has been working at Admiral’s Cove Yacht and Country Club since 1987, when I was the ripe old age of one, and it is the place where my family has held all our biggest events, including my bat mitzvah, my cousin’s wedding, my brother’s graduation party, and countless family birthday parties. What also made it so incredible is that Admiral’s has a boutique hotel at the club, so our 100 out-of-town guests made a total vacation out of our wedding week, which is exactly what we wanted. With every single room in the hotel taken by our guests alone, we held every event at a different venue on Admiral’s grounds each night. We basically had the entire country club to ourselves for the weekend which is SO rare, and the only way I can describe it is like throwing a giant slumber party for all our family and friends at the most elegant yacht club in South Florida. HEAVEN!
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? From Alix: Dodd is actually a writer as well as a director and producer, so there was no question that we would write our own vows. (we also wrote our own Ketbuah, which is quite rare). My favorite thing about Dodd’s vows to me was that he started and ended with the concept that we have always been nice to each other and that we will continue to strive to always be nice to each other. From Dodd: One vow in particular that has stuck with me read: “I vow to love you fiercely–and embrace the fire that burns inside you and to never try to extinguish that.” To contextualize this vow, I am a hyper guy. At night, Alix is freezing bundled in all the blankets, and I lay next to her in only boxer shorts with perspiration on my brow. I went to see a doctor specializing in Eastern medicine, and after running a battery of tests on me, he said simply, “Your fire runs too hot.” This has been Alix’s mantra about me ever since. Alix and I are fundamentally different people–I run hot and she runs cold. In that moment, as she read that vow, I felt so completely understood. I was staring into the eyes of someone who KNEW ME completely.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I was committed to making oyster shell escort cards, because they felt so New Orleanian to me. Trying to locate 400 oyster shells in New York City is not easy, but after four visits to the PJ Clarke’s across from Lincoln Center, I loaded 400 nasty, rotten seafood-smelling oyster shells on my back and walked six miles home (I forgot my wallet!). I got home in the middle of the night, smelling like a dead man, and proceeded to scrub each and every shell over the next three days! Everyone took them home as a souvenir.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are back in New York City and are excited to travel the world together, hit milestones together, experience life in general together, and I have to say, I’m most excited simply to fall asleep with and wake up to my best friend every day for the rest of my life.

Photographer: Kat Braman / Videographer: Indie Atlantic Films / Planner: Desiree Oftedal / Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Club at Admiral’s Cove / Florist and Lighting: Robyn Von / Cake Baker and Catering: Chef Tod Feit at Admiral’s Cove / Band: The Headliners / Special Details: Ready Go Wedding Co., LLFarm, MisterandMrs, Confetti Design Shop, lilimandrill / Paper Products: Make Merry Events / Bride’s Gown: “L213” by Romona Keveza / Bridal Salon: Boca Raton Bridal / Bride’s Hair Accessories: Elle & Jae / Hair Stylist: Eve Verduga / Makeup Artist: Taryll Atkins / Bride’s Shoes: Nina / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Keira,” “Charlie,” and “Cori” in Luxe Chiffon and “Olivia” in Crinkle Chiffon by Jenny Yoo / Groomsmen Attire: The Dessy Group / Photo Booth: Sideshow Booth Co.

Desiree Dawn is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Desiree reply

    Thank you for sharing this sweet and sincere day with your readers! I absolutely adored working with this couple – all of their goals for their wedding day proved challenging and the result: I’m a better planner for it now. I can’t thank them enough for their trust! The team we composed to execute their day was a dream come true. I’m blown away by everyone’s professionalism and awesome personalities! Congrats A&D! xo

  2. avatar Morgan Moore reply

    Dodd and Alix’s wedding sounds like such a wonderful celebration! I love all of their personal touches.

  3. avatar Jalyn Souchek reply

    What a lovely wedding and proposal story! I’m obsessed with the pinstriped suits!

  4. avatar Maureen R. Goldman (@SheisMoments) reply

    I love the bride’s face as she walks down the aisle. Pure joy!!!!

  5. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Love it all! The colors are so pretty!

  6. avatar Kat Braman reply

    I’m so thrilled to see Alix and Dodd’s love story featured on Southern Weddings! It was such an amazing day to be a part of and I love how this feature came together. xo

  7. avatar Alix Loomis reply

    Thank you for featuring our wedding! It was obviously the best day of OUR lives but it was also incredibly special for all 200 guests and our wonderful creative team made it all happen- this whole experience including this article has been absolutely spectacular, unique, emotional, and transcendent. THANK YOU!

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