A Vibrant Beach Destination Wedding in Florida
Coraline and Sebastien
The relationship of Coraline, a jewelry designer, and Sebastien, a businessman, has weathered many storms. Though they dated successfully for three years long-distance, an earthquake devastated their hometown of Port au Prince, Haiti, less than a year before their October 30, 2010, nuptials in Islamorada, Florida, proving they can last through anything.
Coraline's mother, Sabrina, designed the invitation. It was rolled up and placed inside a glass bottle filled with seashells and sand, then packaged in burlap and tied with twine that also linked a name tag and small starfish charm.
For their Florida Keys wedding, the couple selected Pierre's Restaurant because of its sandy shore, unique aesthetic, and cozy vibe.
The couple met before the ceremony for pictures on the venue's lawn.
Sebastien donned Ermengildo Zegna from head to toe, and Coraline wore a dress she altered and paired with a headpiece her mother had given her. Her rings were also gifts from her mother and grandmother (the engagement ring was a Tacori design). A pair of dangling sapphire earrings was her "something blue."
The bride carried a bouquet of calla lilies (her father's favorite), elephant ear leaves, and papier-mache blooms.
A Special Touch
A locket housing photographs of her mother and late father, engraved with her initials, hung from Coraline's bouquet.
A small starfish and bit of grass decorated Sebastien's lapel.
The Flower Crowns
Touch of Paradise Events created floral crowns for the flower girls to wear by sewing a mix of colorful Mokara orchids together.
The Bridal Party
Coraline's bridal party -- friends from all over the world -- picked out their own dresses in a mix of pastel and saturated hues.
Silver tussy-mussy bouquet holders were specially made for the mothers of the bride and groom. Accented with peonies, the silver cones also served as mementos of the occasion.
Sebastien's six nieces served as the flower girls.
The Ceremony Seating
Lounge furniture and side tables kept guests comfortable during the beachside ceremony.
The Bride's Entrance
To make a grand entrance, Coraline arrived on horseback.
Just more than 100 guests gathered for the sunset ceremony.
The Flower Girls
The flower girls scattered fresh petals down the sandy aisle before the bride arrived.
The handcrafted ceremony arch was made of natural bamboo and draped with sheer white fabric. Golden 'Mokara' orchids, starfish, and lush tropical leaves beautifully accented it, while white dendrobium orchid garlands added major drama.
During their ceremony, Coraline and Sebastien lit a unity candle, were given a large Haitian coin by the bride's mother, and released butterflies. "I believe that to every new start, you need to set something free," Coraline said.
An orchid garland was placed around the couple during the ceremony. They paused for a moment together directly following the ceremony.
Portraits on the Porch
The pair's families gathered for a large portrait on the porch.
Following the outdoor cocktail hour, where guests drank Haitian rum punch and enjoyed crab cakes and shrimp bisque, the celebration moved inside Pierre's Restaurant.
The old colonial-style house facing the Florida Bay proved to be the perfect place to eat and dance the night away.
Each element of the table decor was chosen carefully for its significance. The burlap linens reminded the couple of coffee bean bags, and served as a reminder of Coraline's father, who worked in the coffee business. The mini calla lilies -- her father's favorite bloom -- also decked the table. For a final touch, goldfish in glass vases provided a bit of good luck.
Following dinner, everyone went downstairs to dance. Sebastien surprised his bride with an impromptu French rap. The fun continued with Haitian "kompa" music and a dance performance from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video -- it was the day before Halloween, after all.
A vanilla-rum and red velvet cake was inspired by the aquatic life just beyond the wedding venue. It was created by the same cake designer who made Coraline's communion cake.