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While it may be starting to feel like fall around many parts of the South, I can assure you, it still feels like summer in Florida! For their end-of-May wedding, Kristina and Kyle worked with the talented Anthology Co. Floristry to create a “tropical romance” feel and welcome their out-of-town guests to the beauty of Miami. From the floral structure over The Bath Club‘s fireplace to the tiny pineapples incorporated into the decor, I’m pretty sure guests were in awe…however, I’m sure that’s not the only thing they were admiring! Judging by the sweet snippet of their personal vows, I can only imagine how inspired Kristina and Kyle’s guests were by this adorable couple and their love for each other!

Gracious we’re so happy Blue Ribbon Vendor Elaine Palladino was on hand to snap all the sweet moments and gorgeous blooms!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. From Kyle: Kristina and I met on a cold Saturday night in Tallahassee. It was fall semester at Florida State University and, like any good college kids on a cold night, we were gathering for a bonfire behind my friend Todd’s house. Although I was rarely on time for school, I was never late for non-affiliated after school activities. I was there early to help set up the tables, chairs, music and, of course, the beverage station. Kristina and her friends were among the first to arrive. I introduced myself when she walked into the backyard, but we didn’t really meet until later that night when I was offered a seat near Kristina and her friends by the bonfire. Kristina and I ended up in immediate conversation, and before I knew it, our chairs were next to one another, where they remained for the rest of the evening. Conversation was easy because we had so much in common, including, we learned, an Intro to Film class. We ended up being the last people to leave that night, but before Kristina left, I said, “I’d ask for your number, but I’ll just get it from you in class.” I still think that was pretty smooth.

Veronica of Anthology Co. Floristry is not just a florist–she is a flower artist. Her arrangements are sculptural, interesting, and, above all, beautiful. She translated my vision of tropical romance perfectly. I wanted bold, saturated blooms with lots of greenery and texture, and she delivered just that. The structure she built around the fireplace was breathtaking! I could not be happier with how the flowers turned out.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Since most of our family and friends were coming from out of town, we wanted a venue that was within walking distance to a hotel on the beach where everyone could stay. We didn’t want a traditional hotel ballroom, which made our search tricky! The Bath Club was the perfect choice for us. It was built in 1926 and has served as a private cabana venue for celebrities and presidents throughout the years. I loved the beautiful Spanish architecture and dark wood.

My uncle graciously agreed to marry us and it made it so much more beautiful and personal to have someone we love guiding such an important moment. We also chose to do a wine box ceremony, where you seal a bottle of wine along with notes written to each other to open on your fifth anniversary, or if you should ever need a reason to remember why you got married. We love good wine and it gave us a reason to buy a great bottle that we look forward to drinking on our fifth anniversary.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We wrote our own vows, which was a very important detail for me. I wanted to share our own words of love with all of our friends and family on that day. Kyle is an amazing writer and every line of his vows was so special. I loved when he said, “Even though you are so easy to love, I promise to never take it for granted. I never want to get comfortable and forget that our time here is short.”

It was important for us to have a table with pictures of our parents and grandparents showing the love that brought us to this point. Most of our grandparents were unable to be with us at the wedding, but having the table with their pictures helped us feel their presence.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I have a knack for calligraphy and design, so I designed all of the paper products and did the calligraphy for our envelopes (which took forever!). I also designed the booklet for our welcome bag that contained all of our favorite things to do in Miami. On the day of the wedding, I chose to do my own makeup, which was such a good decision for me. It came out exactly the way I wanted it and I still looked like me. I am so glad I could put my personal stamp on all of these things, but it was a huge undertaking!

I have so many favorite details! Our wedding was hands down the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Above all, the flowers by Anthology Co. were absolutely show-stopping, especially the structure over the fireplace and all of the palms and tiny pineapples! I also loved both sets of cake toppers: our mice “cheese cake” toppers that have been passed down to me from my mother, and our vintage kitty salt and pepper shakers on our wedding cake that were gifted to me by Kyle’s cousin.

We chose Earth and Sugar to make our wedding cakes because we wanted a really delicious vegan cake. Janderyn made three delicious flavor combinations for us: chocolate cake with fresh raspberry filling, vanilla cake with fresh pineapple filling, and vanilla cake with fresh passion fruit filling. They were absolutely delicious and beautiful! Our caterer, Stephen Starr Events, provided tiny dessert bites like key lime ice cream sandwiches, salted caramel bars, brownie bites, and tropical meringues.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Brides, do yourself a huge favor and buy beautiful, amazing, flat shoes. Maybe even make flats (or tiny heels) your main shoe choice. Heels are absolutely beautiful, but with the amount of time I was standing for pictures and walking, my feet were killing me before I even walked down the aisle. And my back-up shoes were a “more comfortable” pair of heels! Terrible! Thankfully, my photographer, Elaine, convinced me to bring a pair of sandals with me, which I ended up wearing for most of the night. But they were not cute. Another piece of advice is to think beforehand about what you want to spend your time doing during the reception, whether that’s being able to talk to everyone, really eat and enjoy the meal, take a lot of pictures in the photo booth, or dance all night, because you will not be able to do it all! Make sure you don’t regret not doing something you really wanted to do.

Tell us all about the proposal! It was May 23, and I knew something was afoot because a week earlier, Kyle had told me about a new meteor shower called Camelopardalis that he wanted to see. We planned to drive to Anne’s Beach in Islamorada, known for its low pollution, making it perfect for stargazing! He also made a reservation for us to eat dinner at a French restaurant on the way. After hearing about this reservation, I knew I had to do my nails, because this was it! We had a long dinner with my favorite, escargot, and Kyle’s favorite, fresh fish, along with delicious French wine and bread. We then made the drive to Islamorada with the windows down while we listened to old jazz. To my surprise, Kyle had filled the trunk of the car with the works: sheets, pillows, wine, cookies, cheese, and crackers. We set up camp at the beach and laid under the stars. It was truly amazing. We watched the stars for hours–we got there at probably around 11 P.M., and by 2 A.M., I was sure he wouldn’t propose that night after all. I was even getting ready to tell him on the drive back that he missed the perfect opportunity! Then, all of a sudden, he told me he needed to get something from the car, and he came back with the ring! Of course, I said yes, and he brought out champagne to celebrate as I was using the flashlights to try and see my new ring. We stayed for several more hours and didn’t get home until the sun was already rising. It was an unforgettable night.
When did y’all get married? May 30, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 180
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Walking down the aisle, The Wynwoods played an acoustic version of “La Vie en Rose.” I fell in love with the song on a trip to Paris with my mom. It is just the most beautiful love song and I knew I would one day walk down the aisle to it. It was also my Abuela’s favorite song, and because of her Alzheimer’s, she was unable to be at our wedding, so it was a small way to honor her as well. Our recessional song was “Wouldn’t it be Nice” by The Beach Boys. Kyle and I love The Beach Boys (who doesn’t!) and it is such a fun and happy song. Our first dance song was “Harvest Moon.” Neil Young has been a constant in our relationship–I didn’t have a car when we first started dating, so Kyle drove me around most of the time. He was having a big Neil Young kick at the time, so hearing Neil Young now always brings me back to our first months together!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Definitely walking down the aisle. All of the months of planning are leading up to that exact moment: walking down the aisle to meet the person you want to build your life with. There was so much commotion and excitement on the day of our wedding, and it was all very overwhelming. But hearing The Wynwoods play their acoustic version of “La Vie en Rose” and seeing Kyle at the end of the aisle, with my parents right beside me, was the best part. There is a picture of my parents and I at the end of the aisle, where my mom and I on the verge of tears (I had been crying happy tears pretty much all day, I was SO emotional!) and that it immediately brings me back to what I was feeling in that moment. It was the happiest moment of my life.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? I feel incredibly lucky to call Kyle my husband now. We are continuing to weave our lives together and look forward to growing our family!
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? The best thing I didn’t know I wanted: Stephen Starr Events provided amazing food, but what surprised us the most was our personal waiter who took care of us the whole night! He always had a glass of water (or champagne!) at the ready for us on the sidelines. It was amazing!

Photographer: Elaine Palladino / Videographer: Pabelona Studio / Planner: Miranda Estes / Venue: The Bath Club / Florist: Anthology Co. Floristry / Cake Baker: Earth and Sugar / Caterer: Stephen Starr Events / Rentals: Unearthed Vintage / Lighting: Illumene / Band: The Wynwoods Band / DJ: DJ Mike Kruz / Invitations: Bella Figura / Other Paper Goods: Moo / Bride’s Gown: “Juliet” by Reem Acra / Bride’s Hair Comb: “English Violet” by Halo & Co. / Bride’s Earrings: “Disco Pansy” by Kate Spade / Bride’s Engagement Ring: Trumpet & Horn / Wedding Bands: Catbird NY / Hair and Makeup: Carolyn Jones Makeup / Bride’s Shoes: “Hollie” by Badgely Mischka and “Opalize” by Anne Klein / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy, White by Vera Wang, and Assali / Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss and Ryan Seacrest / Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux / Vintage Stamps: TreasureFox / Linens: Over the Top Linens / Photo Booth: Capture Pod / Cigar Roller: On-Site Cigars / Getting Ready Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar

Elaine Palladino is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
5 Comments
  1. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #211 – Floridian Social reply

    […] not surprising that a batch of our Faves came up with something so perfect for Kristina and Kyle's tropi-chic wedding at The Bath Club! Elaine Palladino captured all the beautiful moments of the day, including a ceremony around the […]

  2. avatar Denice Lachapelle reply

    So good! Lovely wedding!

  3. avatar Emily Lurie reply

    Any idea where the bride got the mini pineapples to decorate the tables?

  4. avatar Green and Gold Forest Wedding Theme Ideas | Wedding Paper Divas reply

    […] Photo Source: Leaf | Green Door | Candles | Bridesmaids | Succulents | Cake […]

  5. avatar Blog reply

    […] Sources: blues, greenery and mixed metalis : Kristin La Voie Photography greenery & candle : http://southernweddings.com/2015/09/23/tropical-chic-miami-wedding-by-elaine-palladino/ metallic […]

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Yes, I am a full grown adult, and yes I still truly believe in fairytales! (That’s why I about died when a childhood friend of mine married the Little Mermaid — or, at least the girl who plays her at Disney World! True story, y’all!) So, when I started reading Caroline + Ben’s interview, you shouldn’t be surprised to hear that I was absolutely taken by their modern day Cinderella story. That might be a bit of a stretch, but our bride did lose a shoe and her groom did (kind of) find it! Either way, I love that Caroline described Ben as her “knight in shining armor.” Swoon!

I also love the gorgeous classic details and family traditions C + B weaved throughout their wedding, especially the gardenias inspired by the ones surrounding her childhood home. What a lovely sentiment (and scent!).

Y’all are going to love the second line photos captured by Meg Baisden — they make me want to join in!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. This was a very difficult process. I tried on over 70 dresses and was even invited to Randy Fenoli’s new show, “Randy to the Rescue” in New Orleans. I thought I had found the right dress and even said yes to a dress on the show. However, after one last dress shopping excursion in Boston, I finally found the dress. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and on the way home from trying it on, I got the omen of a lifetime. My sister and I were driving down Beacon Street when I happened to notice that there was an Omni Hotel, which was where we were having our wedding reception. As we were driving by I caught a glimpse of one their window displays. I did a double take and quickly told my sister to pull the car over! I got out of the car and ran to the window, and sure enough, my dress was on display in the Omni window! We couldn’t believe it.

I’d have to say that Caroline made the right decision with this gorgeous dress. Those ruffles all the way down her gown are absolutely amazing!

Yes, we did a first look and I absolutely loved it. It might have been my favorite part of the whole day. I loved that it was just he and I—no one else. We were able to talk and reflect privately about how it was finally here and actually happening. The whole weekend was so surreal and it was nice to have some alone time with my best friend. It was very comforting, and I was very grateful for it.

I love the subtle, but super sweet way Caroline is holding her dad’s hand instead of linking arms.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The second line! The second line walk from the wedding ceremony to the reception was extraordinary. Everything was perfect—the weather, the streets, the crowd, and of course, the music! It was truly an amazing experience and a very special memory that I will never forget!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Oyster shells nameplates, Pimm’s Cup signature drinks for the second line walk (after the ceremony), cake pulls, and our welcome gift bags full of local goodies such as Zapps chips, saltwater taffy from Roman Candy guy, pralines, and a variety of other New Orleans items.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We picked out a beautiful all-white wedding cake decorated with our new initials, CJB, and fresh gardenias that were placed around and on top of the cake. I also had 8 “cake pulls” for by bridesmaids, which was a fun surprise for them. I personally picked out the charms for each of my bridesmaids, which offered a nice personal touch. They loved them!

Such a fun groom’s cake!

Ben and I danced to Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love.” We are both big fans of Van Morrison and felt that this song was a great classic that fit our relationship and the occasion perfectly. I danced with my father to Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” This has always been one of my parents’ favorite songs, as well as mine. The fact that it was by Louis Armstrong was like the cherry on top; it fit into the New Orleans theme perfectly!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in college (we both went to UGA) at a party that Ben and his roommates threw. Ben really caught my attention after handling a rather annoying situation by someone who had had far too much to drink. This girl, whom I had never met, thought it would be funny to throw my shoe out the window (I had taken them off while playing pool with Ben). She threw it down onto the busy and very popular Clayton Street. This would not have been that big of a deal had my shoe been found, but it wasn’t! Ben ended up having to lend me a pair of his flip-flops for the rest of the night while we hit the bars and it ended up being quite comical.. It turned out to be one of the best nights of my life, other than losing my favorite pair of shoes. The next day, Ben called to let me know that he had gotten a check from the girl to cover the cost of my shoes! I had not asked for or expected this gesture, so you can only imagine my excitement upon finding out that Ben had acted as my knight in shinning armor and I was going to get a brand new pair of shoes! This was in the fall of 2003 (yes—a very long time ago!). Ben and I hit it off pretty quickly after that, and after eight years of dating, Ben popped the question in New Orleans, Louisiana!
Tell us all about the proposal! Ben surprised me at one of my favorite New Orleans locations, The Columns Hotel. After he popped the question in a private room filled with candles and and rose petals, the surprise continued as we walked downstairs for dinner to find some of our closest friends and family shouting congrats and popping champagne! Ben even made sure my mother, who was living in Italy at the time, was there. I couldn’t believe it!
When did y’all get married? 12/22/12
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 160
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Proverbs 3:1-6: “My child, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life, and abundant welfare they will give you. Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them round your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and of people. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:13-18: “Happy are those who find wisdom, and those who get understanding, for her income is better than silver, and her revenue better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called happy.” These Old Testament scriptures make good wedding readings because a wedding is a transition between stages of life. It’s a time when our parents give us advice about what lies before us. Though a couple getting married aren’t children, it’s a good time to be reminded of the need to trust in the Lord
Describe your wedding flowers. Gardenias. I have loved the smell of gardenias for as long as I can remember. My mom had gardenias planted all around my childhood home and the smell has always triggered a sense of security and well-being for me. When Ben and I moved into our first home together (2009), the first things I planted were gardenia bushes. With all this being said, it is no surprise that my choice of flower was the gardenia. The groom and the groomsmen all wore gardenia boutonnieres, and everything else was accented with gardenias in some way or another. I even wore two fresh gardenias in my hair. They smelled amazing!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? My wedding planner, Michelle Adams, was phenomenal all around. We could not have done it without her.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our first look and the second line were my two most memorable moments. Hands down.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Take it one day at a time and when things get really tough, just remember what it’s really all about: marrying your best friend and getting to spend the rest of your life with them. No one is going to care which way the napkins are folded or the fonts picked for the menu, so just step back and try to look at the bigger picture. Be grateful for the wonderful new chapter in your life that you are about to begin.

Planner: Michelle Adams | Ceremony Venue: Louisiana State Museum Cabildo | Reception Venue: The Omni Royal Orleans Ballroom | Florist: Meade Wenzel | Wedding Cake: The Royal Cakery | Groom’s Cake: Gambinos | Caterer: Rib Room | Band: ELS | Bride’s Gown: Addison Gown by Coren Moore found at Flaire on Newbury Street of Boston Paper Products: Tupelo Honey Design, Oyster Shells by Maria | Bride’s Veil: Bird Cage Veil from Wedding Belles | Hair Stylist: Heather Mahony from H2O Salon & Spa | Makeup Artist: Christine Lombardo | Bride’s Shoes: Isabel by Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy Collection in Midnight Blue | Groom’s & Groomsmen Attire: Rentals from Perlis

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Nicole reply

    Oh goodness! That is the CUTEST meeting story ever!

  2. avatar Meg Baisden reply

    What a lovely feature for a wonderful couple! Thanks so much, y’all!

  3. avatar Lisa reply

    The story of how they met is precious, and I LOVE her advice! Not to mention, her dress is stunning and the gardenias are beautiful! I just love this wedding. :)

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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