This Couple Celebrated Their Love with a Stylish Destination Wedding in Miami
Choosing a locale for their wedding was an easy task for Erika Hale and Zack Smith, who always knew they wanted to get married in Florida. "Zack is from California, I'm from New York, and we live in Boston, so we figured we might as well make it a fun destination since most people would be traveling no matter what," Erika explains. Since the pair love Miami for both its location and style, the city became the site for an affair filled with whites, golds, greenery, and subtle pops of black—a palette deemed "Miami-chic" by the bride.
"I am in the events industry in Boston, so I knew I wanted to try and do as much as I could without a wedding planner," says Erika, who put together an amazing team of professionals, including a day-of coordinator. "I did a ton of research and set up calls with multiple vendors to make sure we were choosing the best fit for us."
While scouting venues, the pair fell in love with the Miami Beach Edition as soon as they stepped foot in the lobby. "The Edition was actually the only place we looked!" says Erika. "We knew we wanted an outdoor ceremony, followed by an indoor reception, and they were able to accommodate both. We also knew we were going to have over 200 people, which not many venues can house. They have the most iconic, Miami-centric lobby with pops of gold and greenery everywhere, and we went for the same theme throughout the wedding."
Loved ones ultimately made the day exceptionally special. The ceremony was officiated by a close friend, and both the bride and groom were attended by their nearest and dearest. "I have to shout out my amazing man of honor, Albert, who gave the best speech I've ever heard at a wedding!" says Erika. "It was humorous, emotional, heartfelt, and witty. We've been best friends since high school, so I knew he would not disappoint. He nailed every detail, including wearing a shirt he had made with a photo of us at prom."
The couple will also never forget the energy they felt from friends and family when they were first introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Smith. "We walked into the reception to TI's 'Bring Em Out,' and immediately felt an overpowering sense of positivity, fun, and love," says the bride. "I don't think we'll ever feel that amount of energy again! It truly was an out-of-body experience."
Erika said it best when asked to give advice to other brides and grooms: "At the end of the day, this will be one of the only times in your life where all of your friends and family are gathered in one place to celebrate your love," she says. "Enjoy every minute of it!"
The couple's save-the-dates, invitations, and programs were completely customized with a bespoke design printed on white linen paper. "I worked with Amy from Hobart & Haven to make sure our suite reflected our theme and Zack and me as a couple," says Erika. Strong lines, gold accents, and tropical leaves all came together to create a simple Miami vibe.
A Bubbly Welcome
Each guest was delighted to find a bottle of Rondel Gold Brut Cava in their room as a welcome gift from the couple. Custom message tags incorporated the leaf design from the invitation suite.
A Touch of Blush
Erika's Netta BenShabu wedding dress featured a classic sweetheart neckline with beautiful moonstone beading and just a touch of color. "I knew I did not want traditional white," says the bride, "so I went with a blush underlay to give my dress a softer, more romantic look that still held true to the sexy Miami vibe I was looking for." Her beaded clutch displayed the couple's wedding date in gold Roman numerals.
A Sentimental Bouquet
Calla lillies—the signature flower at the bride's parents' wedding—were the only bloom used in the bridal bouquet, which also featured a special detail nodding at a beloved family member. "I recently lost my grandma, so we incorporated her handkerchief around my bouquet to honor her and have a piece of her with me walking down the aisle," shares Erika.
Erika's mother's bouquet memorialized her son, Erika's brother. "My dad got my mom a beautiful pin with his photo to honor him," she says. "We pinned it to her bouquet. It was a beautiful way to honor him and have him with her."
A Father-Daughter Moment
Erika's dad shed a few tears when he got his first look at his daughter as a bride.
An Intimate First Look
The bride and groom shared a memorable first look at a special spot in the hotel that their photographer scoped out in advance. "I was nervous, but so excited to see Zack and for him to see my dress!" says Erika.
A Stunning Ceremony Site
Petal Productions created a beautiful frame for the ceremony with a rounded arch composed of fronds and flowers. "It had a classy, tropical feel with green foliage and soft accents of phalaenopsis orchids," says Erika. Gatherings of gold, black, and mercury-glass lanterns lined the aisle.
Fantastic Floral Details
The stark contrast between the snowy-white orchids and the deep-green tropical foliage created a striking look that spoke to the Miami locale.
A Sweet Member of the Wedding
Luca, the couple's flower girl, wore a dress that echoed the color and design of Erika's gown, and donned a crown of baby's breath. "It was so cute!" Erika exclaims. "She did such a great job, especially for a two year old." When she first got to the aisle, she actually walked the wrong way. "This did not even faze Luca, as she quickly turned around and walked towards Zack, who greeted her with a high-five they had practiced," says the bride.
A Moment for Family
Zack, who wore a custom blue linen tuxedo from Suit Supply, was proudly walked down the aisle by his parents.
A Beautiful Memory
Erika and her father were all smiles as they processed towards the altar to "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perry.
A Lovely Ceremony
Upon arrival, guests were greeted with glasses of Prosecco, fruit-infused water, and a mirrored sign that read, "Pick a seat, either side, you are loved by both the groom and bride." During the service, the couple exchanged vows they wrote themselves, and sealed the start of their marriage with a romantic kiss.
Mirrored pillars alternated with creamy white stands and displayed the escort cards for the reception. Lush green leaves provided a chic backdrop for clean arrangements of white flowers, including classic lilies, calla lilies, orchids, and hydrangeas.
The couple's indoor reception featured a mix of round and rectangle tables. "For the round tables, we featured arrangements of assorted greenery and white florals with candles surrounding the bases," Erika describes. "The rectangular tables featured runners topped with clear skyline vases filled with phalaenopsis orchids, green monstera leaves, and small bouquets of white roses in brushed-gold and brass vases."
Zack and Erika sat at a sweetheart table that featured a lower flowers that complemented the rest of the centerpieces. Black votives and floating candles added a dramatic touch to all the stations.
Elegant Table Settings
Gold chargers, gilded flatware, and black hemstitch napkins topped mini monstera leaves at each place setting.
Even the ceiling was adorned with flowers. "The 'wow' moment of our wedding was definitely the wisteria hanging over the dance floor," Erika recalls. "It was so gorgeous. We also had a green living wall with a neon sign that said 'The Smiths' placed behind the band."
A Sure Thing
The couple's first dance song was carefully chosen to reflect their tastes. "For years, Miguel has been one of our favorite artists," shares the bride, "so it was a pretty easy choice that 'Sure Thing' would be our song."
A Decadent Dessert
Three gold-covered layers crowned a tier iced in white for a striking wedding cake adorned with a cascade of white orchids.
Photography, Matt Rice Photography
Venue, Catering, and Cake, The Miami Beach EDITION
Day-of Coordinator, Katie Hernandez of K Events
Videography, Illuminate Productions
Flowers, Petal Productions
Invitations and Stationery, Hobart & Haven
Officiant, Kevin Suffredini
Bride's Gown, Netta BenShabu
Bridal Salon, Boca Raton Bridal
Veil, Toni Federici
Shoes, Christian Louboutin (ceremony); Valentino (reception)
Hair, Lauren Campabasso
Makeup: A Touch of Beauty by Lily
Menswear, Suit Supply
Music, Fusion for Rock With U
Rentals, Petal Productions
Lighting, Petal Productions; Rock With U