Lorna and Paul hold Miami South Beach in Florida very close to their hearts. For one, they love the architecture of the place, the Art Deco vibe and Old Hollywood influences but it’s also where they first holidayed together as a couple.
It’s also where they chose to get married too – at the beautiful Spanish Monastery with the most wonderful gardens. Apparently it was love at first sight.
And that’s not all…they partied on down at The Tides, South Beach – an iconic 1930’s building that screams Hollywood glamour. Beginning with a Cocktail hour complete with signature pink concoctions and a gorgeous meal they then danced the night away on the rooftop of The Tides until the early hours.
Lorna The Bride: I always knew I wanted a shorter styled, vintage dress. After visiting a couple of bridal shops I realised they weren’t quite what I’d had in mind. I thought about having a dress made for me but didn’t know where to start. Then I went to a vintage wedding fayre with a friend and stumbled upon two lovely designers from Timeless Couture. I actually began to feel excited while talking to them about my ideas. Like it was meant to be.
I loved the idea of having a dress that was the 1950’s full skirt that I loved, but with something extra. The idea of being able to have a train which I could then put up later on really appealed to me. We went a tad mad with the details!
I also decided on a lace jacket, which again, would be taken off later on in the day – it all had the feel of old Hollywood Glamour. I took some inspiration for the jacket from Marilyn Monroe’s Wedding dress top. The cut out at the front, down to a really flattering sweet heart neck. I LOVED my wedding dress. We even managed to add in a huge over the top sized bow – which again I fell in love with, for another look later on in the evening.
The plan was, train down, lace jacket on and no jewellery for the service – very demure and glam. Then afterwards once back in the hotel, the jacket would come off making it a strapless gown. The train would also be pinned up so it was bustled at the back and accessorised with the oversized bow and my gorgeous 3 strand pearl necklace, which I’d had my heart set on since Paul asked me to get married.
After the design process with the dress, a veil was just too much, and I knew the kind of vintage hair up I wanted, so went for a vintage style hair comb from Glitzy Secrets.
I really wanted a three strand pearl necklace, the style with an off centred old brooch on the side. I looked and looked, but struggled to find one that was just right. Then Rachael and Astra from Timeless Couture offered to make one for me, it was perfect. Once I took the jacket off, with the strapless dress and hair up look, the statement necklace worked brilliantly. As a wedding gift, Paul brought me some beautiful small pearl earrings, which again, just set everything off.
I opted for Rachel Simpson shoes in the ‘Carmen’ style; it was like they had been designed just for ME! Art Deco inspired and shaped at the front, T-bar, peep toe, and to make it all the more perfect, dusky pink colour side panels on the front design!
I knew I wanted to go for a statement up-do, with lots of height, but something a bit different to a classic chignon. The hairdressing salon in Miami I used was Van Michael; this was for me, and the four bridesmaids. The make-up artist who understood completely the style I was striving for was Lee Murray.
The Flower Bazaar
I wanted the flowers to really reflect the theme. All along, I wanted Hydrangeas, massive open tea Roses in colours of dusky pink and antique buff pinks. I did some research and found The Flower Bazaar; Leo helped make the whole process wonderfully creative. It was great to have such freedom to choose, and we went to meet him the day before the wedding and actually picked the blooms ourselves.
I wanted all the women to have wrist corsages, again evoking an vintage glamorous theme. The men wore buttonholes of roses and the bridesmaids had Rose pomanders for that 50’s kind of feel which were beautiful.
A Slim-Suited Groom
Paul looked SO handsome standing waiting for me at the Monastery. He knew he wanted to go for a slim Italian 1960’s style suit and after having looked around, fell for a Ben Sherman vintage cut slim fit suit in grey. He wore the same tie as all the other men and his dad’s pocket watch.
I also brought him silver mother of pearl cufflinks for the wedding present. He brought shoes from Dune, which had a grey panelling in the front in a Brogue kind of style.
The Perfect Fit
Photographs are SO important to Paul and I; we are ALWAYS snapping away. We knew we wouldn’t be able to have our camera going and taking our own snaps on our wedding day, so we wanted someone who could take the kinds of pictures we’d want to see (if that makes sense).
Sassy of Assassynation – what can I say- if ever there were a photographer that was just the ‘perfect fit’ this would have been it. Her images were brilliant, and she just ‘got it’. We met Sassy a few months before the wedding for a mini photoshoot with Tegan our 2 year daughter and we all clicked. Then when it came to the actual day in Miami, she made us feel so confident, and the whole process was fun. (Even walking onto the beach, in my beautiful, clean dress, which I really wasn’t sure I wanted to do – now I’m so pleased we did!)
The Cheesecake Factory
Paul is a huge chocolate fan… and cake fan! Over in America they have The Cheesecake Factory! Literally Paul’s favourite place, ever! We knew we’d be having a traditional wedding cake here at the UK party. So for the Miami wedding we opted for two cheesecakes from The Cheesecake Factory. We placed the cakes on a two tiered wedding stand we got from Ebay which we took out there with us. It was huge, and packing it was a mission, but I’m glad we did. The cheesecakes went down really well too!
Get On Your Dancing Shoes
We knew we were having a band at the UK wedding party, but we LOVE to dance; it’s not a party until you have your dancing shoes on. For the Miami rooftop terrace, Paul and I collated all of our favourite songs on his iPod which we played to our guest. It worked brilliantly, and we were still up with a few of our friends dancing until 4am – which is always a good sign of a party!
We booked a Harpist to play at the Monastery, for when the guests arrived, and for the service. We sourced the brillant harpist – Nam Wam from The Master Musicians. We chose ‘Here comes the Sun’ for the walk down the aisle, and this brought tears to my eyes. Our two year old daughter walked me down the aisle and it really felt like Paul was at the bottom of the aisle waiting for his two girls to come to meet him to complete our family and become ‘The Websters’.
American Inspired Favours
We got all of the men the slim ties as favours, but these were to wear on the day. So we also brought them fat cigars, to have on the roof top terrace with after dinner cocktails. The ladies received a really cute mirror from Not On The High Street and a champagne flavoured lip balm tin. The kids all got New Era American Baseball caps – which seemed appropriate given the destination USA wedding. On top of this we also bought Marvel comics for the boys and Disney Princess Wedding colouring books for the girls.
The Final Touch
We had Mason jars with pink Hydrangeas in for the pew ends in the Monastery and the same style for the table top in the restaurant. We also took china tea cups with candles in with us from the UK, and placed them along the table. There were also large glass hurricane lanterns with candles all around the restaurant and up on the roof top terrace. I also hired pink up lighters to be dotted around the roof top, as it was dark when we went up there, I need some atmospheric lighting. The soft hues of the pink worked really well.
Our wedding theme was ‘Old glamour / Old vintage in all shades of pink, blush, dusky rose, deepest dark pink, raspberry. We didn’t have a set decade really as we took inspiration from a few decades including the 30’s, 40’s & 50’s. I really wanted the theme of the wedding to be carried through into the guests, and due to it being such a small group of really close friends and family; it seemed like a great idea to include everyone in the wedding party. I asked, in a nice way, for all the women to wear shades of blush, dusky pink, wine, raspberry, etc – any style they wanted and in any way, but these kinds of tonal colours.
It was such an intimate wedding, with only twenty-seven guests. I really wanted the bridesmaids to wear the same colour as me leaving the wedding guests to create the ‘colour’ for the day. I wanted the bridesmaids to wear mini versions of my dress really, minus the train, but they didn’t exist. Finally I visited a bridal shop called Wedding House Walsall, looking for the younger girls dresses. Once I’d explained what I was looking for, the assistant disappeared out the back and brought me an original 1950’s dress pattern. She said she had had it for ages, and was planning on making it at some point, but that she had nothing for me to see, just the pattern, which she’d make for my two eleven year old bridesmaids if I wanted her too. We went for it, altering the neck line slightly to be more ‘Audrey Hepburn slash neck’ and adding in some piping under the bust. They worked amazingly well.
We involved all the children in wedding roles, as pageboys, ushers and ring bearers and brought them all grey fitted suit trousers and waistcoats. It was important for there to be a real family feel to the ceremony, so children being able to move and partake was important.
Ceremony: Spanish Monastery
Reception: The Tides, Miami
Dress: Timeless Couture
Shoes: Rachel Simpson
Hair: Van Michael
Florist: The Flower Bazaar
Groom: Ben Sherman
Isn’t the light in Miami delicious. I just love the idea of dancing the night away on the top of a rooftop looking over a dazzling city.
I think what I love most though is the way that Lorna really involved her nearest and dearest in her big day. From designating each kid their very own special role in the running of the day to creating her colour theme through her guest’s outfits, this is a bride that wants to include everybody.
If that isn’t love then I don’t know what is.
Lorna and Paul, I salute you.
All my love Lolly xxx