Classic Glamour Abounded During This Beach-to-Ballroom Wedding Weekend in Palm Beach
The first thing Brittany Spiller noticed about Brian Lenihan when they began working at the same advertising agency was his feet. "He was always walking around the office in outrageous socks!" she says. "We were co-workers who hardly interacted, and I just thought he was the weird digital guy who didn't like shoes." But a few work happy hours allowed the pair to see how much they enjoyed spending time together, and eventually led to a long-term relationship—and a very cool engagement: "Brian pulled some strings," says Brittany, "and got access to the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida—the Florida Panthers NHL arena—and proposed while ice skating."
Brittany and Brian chose the iconic Palm Beach hotel The Breakers for their March 2, 2019, wedding weekend, which included a rehearsal dinner, welcome party, and Sunday brunch. "From day one, I knew I wanted a green-and-white, modern, yet classically refined wedding," says Brittany. "The easiest part of the planning process was my overall vision." And the hardest? "Budget, budget, budget," she says. "I think most brides go into the process with a million ideas of what they want, but then you're quickly brought down to reality." Still, with a little creativity, Brittany and Brian were able to create the garden atmosphere she wanted, with imposing ceremony arches, towering floral trees at the reception, and a photo booth focused around a gold porch swing in front of a wall of flowers.
And although the end result brought tears to her eyes and plenty of compliments from the couple's 184 guests, it couldn't top the magic of celebrating with their loved ones. "It is a very rare occasion that you can have all your friends and family from both sides in one place, and we treasured every second we had making memories with our combined families," says Brittany. "It was truly special to share this special moment with them all."
All That Glimmers
Champagne-colored foil printing on the couple's invitation suite from Letterheads Miami previewed the shimmering accents throughout the day-of décor, while the floral print offered a glimpse of the garden-themed reception. Custom calligraphy and thoughtful stamp arrangements added a personal element.
A Sunset Stroll
The night before the wedding, Brittany and Brian joined their guests for a rehearsal dinner and welcome party—taking a private walk around the property, and then on the beach, first.
"We had just been to Southern Italy during the planning process and I had a vision of a Positano-themed rehearsal dinner featuring lemons and a beachfront, family-style dinner," says Brittany. This vision was realized on the oversized seating chart, which featured illustrated lemons—and real-life citrus trees, too, on either side.
By the Water
The rehearsal dinner menu included a short rib station, flaming carbonara pasta, and a selection of Mediterranean seafood as a nod to Positano. Bowls of lemons defined the tablescape.
When Brittany found her strapless, fit-and-flare Marchesa wedding dress on her first shopping trip, she was charmed by its 3D feather and floral embroidery, lace underlay, and diamond-shaped train. "The moment I put it on, I had happy tears," she says. "After this, I went on two more shopping excursions to see what else was out there, but ultimately I tried on the dress again at my final stop and knew it was the one!"
She further committed to the event's neutral color palette by asking her bridesmaids to wear a silvery Jenny Yoo gown in a shade called latte.
Brittany's white-and-green bouquet from Renny & Reed included sweet peas, garden roses, and ranunculus—a perfect complement to the garden theme she requested. "I had numerous vision boards all saved with the same color scheme and large, lush florals," says the bride.
Men in Black
Brian accessorized his Tom Ford tuxedo with several sentimental pieces, including a pocket watch from his sister with a photo of Brian and his late father. The groomsmen wore black ensembles from local menswear spot Tux Shop. "The team came to the venue for fittings the day before the ceremony and provided overnight tailoring and first thing in the morning delivery on the wedding day," says Brittany. "Our groomsmen looked like a million dollars."
Their First Look
Brittany and Brian met for a first look outside the venue before their ceremony—each of them felt a range of emotions. "I was a bit nervous but excited heading to our first look," says the bride. "I was giddy approaching, and then immediately relaxed after."
The iconic architecture and décor of The Breakers—plus its ability to accommodate the couple's out-of-town guests, welcome party, and morning-after brunch—made it an easy choice for Brittany and Brian. "We visited multiple South Florida venues, but I knew the moment we walked into The Breakers that we were going to be married there," says Brittany. "It was the perfect mix of Palm Beach chic and classic elegance on the ocean."
One of Brian's childhood friends officiated the couple's ceremony, which included vows they wrote themselves. The stage where they exchanged vows showcased three floral arches—a 12-foot center arch and two 10-foot structures on the sides—all draped in white blooms that included hydrangea, roses, elaegnus vines, and cascading spirea.
Just as the couple was pronounced husband and wife, confetti rained down from up above.
The newlyweds took advantage of the golden Palm Beach sunset for their post-ceremony portraits, while guests continued on to the cocktail hour. Along with a full bar, says Brittany, "my husband and father both wanted a custom, high-end Scotch bar, which was hosted by my father and featured a selection from his private collection."
Small bites at the cocktail hour included caviar potato tacos served with a shot of vodka; mini lobster rolls, crab cakes, and chicken pot pie; and stations where guests could create their own poké bowl or pick up a just-made grilled cheese. "The highlight of the cocktail hour was Oysters XO," says Brittany. "Servers moved amongst the cocktail party to shuck and serve oysters in front of guests."
Table for Two
A six-foot-long gold table with a mirrored top acted as the newlyweds' sweetheart table, while a runner of white blooms and bright foliage cascaded down either side. "I love the mix of modern and classic and you can see that throughout the reception," says Brittany.
Brittany and Brian opted for a variety of table sizes and layouts, including two 10-foot open rounds with sky-high floral arrangements. The tree-inspired displays rose from the center to create an overhead canopy, from which the couple suspended delicate votive candles.
Longer tables were decorated with 16-foot-long flower arrangements resting on slim gold stands, with globe candles hanging below. Floating candles and mercury glass votives accented loose bunches of flowers in low vessels.
Brittany and Brian also had the entire room draped in white fabric, and, she says, "We put in 10,000 square feet of custom white carpet to pull the room together." The effort paid off: "Every single one of our guests walked in and had that moment where they put their hand to their mouth or chest and said, 'Oh my God!'" says Brittany. "It was truly breathtaking. I was so overwhelmed and shed a few tears—it was above and beyond everything I had dreamed of."
The couple's timeless tented place cards included their monogram—just one of many personal stamps they added throughout the day. "A small detail that was a hit with our guests was our custom-monogrammed wedding toilet paper," says Brittany. "Something simple, yet unique, that guests still mention and joke about."
Glass chargers with gold borders allowed the mirrored tabletops to shine, while foil-printed menus sat on top of linen dinner napkins. The meal included beef tenderloin or panko-crusted sea bass, but the most unforgettable part, says Brittany, was the appetizer: A seafood combination that included lobster tail, abalone salad, caviar, and shrimp, served on individual ice carvings of the couple's monogram.
Brittany left the design of the couple's seven-tiered wedding cake up to the chefs at The Breakers. "The only direction I provided was a photo of one of our centerpieces and asked they they incorporate florals," she says. The couple kept the flavors classic, too, choosing a yellow chocolate chip cake with German chocolate filling and buttercream icing.
Sparkle and Shine
Brian and Brittany chose "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perry for their first dance—which incorporated several surprise moments. "After months of dance lessons, it was very exciting to show off our routine and share the joy of nailing it!" says Brittany. "I also surprised Brian with fireworks sparklers at the end of the dance as he lifted and spun me around. I loved seeing the look on his face, as he loves fireworks!"
The newlyweds continued the celebration with a lavish after-party, where the menu included a White Castle burger bar, espresso shots with mini donuts, and buffalo chicken sliders with mini mugs of beer. "The after-party was a nod to Brian's past history on the New York City nightlife scene and was decorated like a nightclub," says Brittany, "featuring a balloon tornado in the middle of a circular bar, laser light shows, and a more electronic and hip-hop-themed music selection." Just before the party, the bride swapped her floor-length gown for a strapless, beaded Marchesa mini dress.
Photography, KT Merry
Venue, Catering, and Cake, The Breakers Palm Beach
Event Planning, Guerdy Abraira
Flowers, Renny & Reed
Videography, Ray Roman Films
Stationery, Letterheads Miami
Music, Elan Artists
Bride's Gown, Marchesa
Bride's Accessories, Jennifer Leigh veil; Jimmy Choo shoes
Hair and Makeup, Tatjana Terzic, Looking Like a Star
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Jenny Yoo
Groom's Attire, Giorgio Armani; Tom Ford
Menswear, Tux Shop
Lighting, Evoga Event Productions
Draping, Swag Décor
Laser Show, Liquid Sky
Photo Booth, Miami Event Photo Booth
Sparklers, Sparktacular Fireworks & Pyrotechnics