Today we’re going across the pond to the sunny skies of Florida to show you the mos gorgeous ceremony of Eileen and Giovanny. They decided to tie the knot in an intimate ceremony with twenty of their nearest and dearest family and friends surrounding them at The Flamingo Gardens in Miami 16 years after their first date! The day was photographed by Andrea Helfer Photography. Read on to see more of their beautiful day…
Tell us briefly how you both met as a couple…
My husband and are high school sweet hearts. We met in 10th/11th grade and we became best friends. It was not until our senior year where we started to explore the possibility of our friendship being more than “just friends” and after graduation (6/15/2002) we decided to take our friendship to the next step and never looked back. Here we are 16 and a half years later, two beautiful children and a lifetime of memories left to go.
What about the proposal?
Tell us a little bit about the proposal: My husband proposed to me on valentines day 2007, just 4 months after giving birth to our first child together. It was a romantic outdoor beach side dinner, he took me for a walk along side this beautiful garden facing the ocean, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. We went back and forth on whether we wanted a large or small wedding and kept pushing it back, next thing you know, life happens, years pass and 9 years later… here we are… like everyone themed our wedding…. FINALLY.
Tell us a little bit about your dress and its details…
My wedding dress was a David Tutera laced, sleeveless, off-white wedding gown bought from Leggenda Bridal. It was a bohemian meets elegance combination and it had just enough glam yet simple and not “over the top” for the outdoor garden ceremony I had envisioned. I am a very simple girl and this dress was everything I had every wanted and it was the 3rd dress I tried on. I just knew!
I wore navy blue peep-toe heels with a subtle broach (Something blue) to accent the grooms navy blue suite, simple tennis bracelet with pendant earnings and a simple pearled hairpiece adorned my up-do.
Who did your make-up and hair?
My hair and make-up was done by my my amazing friend Evette Jorge from EnvMakeup Her husband and my husband have known each other since they were children and she did me the honor of making me look and feel like the most beautiful bride ever on my special day (Without a makeup/hair trial lol)
Could you describe your ceremony and details?
Our ceremony was an intimate outdoor ceremony in front of 20 of our closest friends and family. That day was just perfect. There was not a cloud in the sky (after 7 straight days in Miami) and the natural beauty of nature made the simple, yet spectacular floral that adorned the area perfection. The wedding was officiated by my amazing brother-in-law/wedding planner who was also the master mind behind every single detail I could have never remembered to think off. Without him I don’t think this day would have been possible. Not to mention he managed to get everything planned and organized in 3 short months and was able to secure our venue for 6/15/2016, exactly 16 years since we started this journey that day after graduation. Our 16th dating anniversary became our wedding day. As we exchanged our vows with the soft sounds of the violinist playing in the background, I just couldn’t have imagined it any other way.
Our wedding was a very intimate ceremony in where our children were our best man and maid of honor. We did not have anyone else as the “wedding party”. Our daughter (age 9) and son (age 12) stood beside us as we exchanged or vows.
We did not have a reception after our ceremony. We were married, had our toast, cut our cake with our family and friends and then they saw us off, as we headed home to change and head to the airport for our honeymoon in Europe.
Can you tell us about any other details and personal touches?
Just two months before our wedding, my mother in law lost her fight with ovarian cancer and did not make it to see her oldest son get married. My best friend made a beautiful frame with writing in her memory and Maria from petals and stems surprised us with a beautiful memorial floral arrangement that was placed on an empty chair with the frame in her honor. I also had a small picture of her in a locket my cousin gave me attached to my bouquet. She meant the world to us and having her close to me and honoring her on our day was the least I could do after everything she gave to us. It was her dream to see us finally get married and we followed through with her wishes. As hard as that day was for us, I know she was there with us and wouldn’t have wanted us to have done anything any different.
Flowers and Florist details:
My flowers were done by my amazing friend and former co-worker Maria Artigas from Petals and Stems in Davie, FL. They were a combination of different white and blush pink summer flowers with accents of greens. It was just beautiful. She truly brought my vision to life and exceeded my expectations.
What was your cake like?
I had a two tiered naked carrot cake, which was made by childhood friend from Gia’s Bake shoppe, which was adorned by Maria with some natural flowers from Petals and Stems.
Where did you save money and how did you splurge?
I saved money by not having a reception and keeping our guest list under 20. Keeping it simple and what best fit us. Everyone has their own ideals and dreams for their big day.
What are your top tips for other couples getting married outdoors?
Make sure you have a backup plan in case it rains. We had the option to put a tent or use the gazebo near by in the event it rained. Since it was only a 2 hour event we were able to play it by ear.
Thank you so much to Eileen and Giovanny for sharing their special day with us and to Andrea for documenting their occasion.
Photographer Andrea Helfer Photography
Dress Leggenda Bridal
Venue The Flamingo Gardens
Hair and MUA Envmakeup
Grooms attire Michael Kors
Florist Petals and Stems
Cake Gia’s Bake Shoppe