A Garden Wedding at an Epic Miami Venue

brette patrick wedding altar
Photo: Merari Photography

There were no winter blues at this tropical February fête.

01 of 20

Brette and Patrick

brette patrick wedding couple garden
Merari Photography

Patrick Mowrer, a lead engineer at a New York tech startup called Updater, and Brette Allen, a luxury brands lead at Google NYC, met briefly in December 2013 at a mutual friend's party in Brooklyn. Although they went their separate ways afterwards—Brette was in Costa Rica on a yoga retreat while Patrick was in Panama—they kept in touch over social media. The couple decided to make the relationship official once they both returned home and met for dinner.

Two years later, the West Village-based pair decided to celebrate Brette's birthday with a weekend trip to New York's Hudson Valley. Once there, Patrick suggested they take a hike with their dog, Buddy, and asked Brette to take a selfie with him at the top of the mountain. It was then that Patrick surprised Brette by pulling out a ring instead of a phone.

As they began planning their wedding, both Brette and Patrick were adamant about having an outdoor ceremony. They visited Vizcaya Museum & Gardens while on vacation in Florida and were sold when they heard the venue hosted weddings. For the look and feel, the pair wanted to create a refined and calm environment, keeping both a classic and modern aesthetic in mind. "This led us to our color scheme of black, white, green, and gold," Brette says. For some playfulness, they used palms as a central design theme.

On February 25, 2017, surrounded by 100 of their friends and family, the couple hosted a sophisticated and fun wedding in sunny Miami. "It was the most exciting and thrilling day of our lives that also managed to be relaxed and easy," Brette says. "A lot like our relationship!"

02 of 20

The Stationery

brette patrick wedding invites
Merari Photography

Brette designed the stationery over the course of six months. Printed by Paperless Post, it featured a palm motif and a modern typeface. "One of the most important qualities for her was the heavy card stock," Patrick says. "They weighed a ton!" The suite featured a formal invitation with a response card, an events card detailing the multi-day wedding proceedings, and a run-down of hotel accommodations.

03 of 20

Ring It In

brette patrick wedding ring
Merari Photography

Brette's engagement ring, created by David Bader of Bader & Garrin Diamond Company, featured an emerald-cut stone with a pavé diamond and matching gold band. "Patrick and I designed it together," the bride says. "We wanted something super modern with a twist."

04 of 20

In Style

brette patrick wedding couple kiss
Merari Photography

Patrick donned a Suitsupply tux with black patent Calvin Klein dress shoes and a gold bow tie and pocket square to match the wedding colors.

Brette didn't know what type of wedding dress she wanted as she began her search, just that she was looking for something different—"not the atypical bridal look," she says. She found all of that and more in this Pronovias "Vicenta" dress. The lace reminded her of the vines in Vizcaya's gardens, and the top felt different from anything she'd seen before. "It ticked off all the boxes!" she says. "Not to mention it was comfortable, a perk I never expected to have." She topped the look off with a Pronovias veil, Tiffany & Co. jewelry, and silver Gianvito Rossi sandals.

05 of 20

Fine Florals

brette patrick wedding bouquet
Merari Photography

Brette's bouquet, created by Anthology Co., featured a mix of palms, ferns, lisianthus, ranunculus, anemones, and scabiosa, all wrapped in a taupe raw-silk ribbon.

06 of 20

The Bridesmaids

brette patrick wedding bridesmaids
Merari Photography

The bridesmaids wore neutral dresses of their choosing, and sported variations of the bride's bouquet.

07 of 20

The Groomsmen

brette patrick wedding groomsmen
Merari Photography

The groomsmen looked dapper in Suitsupply tuxedos, and each wore a bow tie and pocket square that matched Patrick's.

08 of 20

All in the Family

brette patrick wedding kids
Merari Photography

Brette's nephew, Hank, was ring bearer for the ceremony, and was joined by an even younger guest. "[My sister] brought her 3-month-old baby, too!" Brette says. "It was incredible that she made it to the wedding, having given birth so recently."

09 of 20

At the Altar

The ceremony took place in an outdoor courtyard at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.

Brette and Patrick wanted to play up the palm theme and use native Florida greens, so the altar, designed by Anthology Co., was a mix of palms, botanicals in jars, ivory pillar candles, and tropical leaves, all on a farmhouse table with a bevy of votive candles.

10 of 20

The Ceremony

brette patrick wedding ceremony evening
Merari Photography

Brette and Patrick wanted guests to enjoy the sunset and take in Vizcaya's grounds in the natural light, so they decided on an evening ceremony starting at 6:30 p.m. Patrick's cousin, Morgan, officiated the event on The Mound (an open circular space with stone archways), and Brette's mother read "Ithaka" by C.P. Cavafy. Brette walked down the aisle to Pachelbel's Canon in C, and the couple shared traditional vows.

11 of 20

Time to Recess

brette patrick wedding recessional
Merari Photography

The couple shared a kiss after recessing to Stevie Wonder's "Sign, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)."

12 of 20

Drink's on Me!

brette patrick wedding moet
Merari Photography

Brette works with LVHM—a French multinational luxury goods conglomerate that owns Moët—at Google, so she wanted to include her longtime client in the day. She surprised guests with mini Moët & Chandon bottles, which were served as the party made their way to the gardens for cocktail hour.

13 of 20

The Cocktail Hour

brette patrick wedding cocktail hour
Merari Photography

Cocktail hour took place on the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens south terrace, where a Spanish guitarist provided the music. Halfway through, Patrick's mother joined in on the revelry and performed a classic Swedish wedding song on the violin.

Guests munched on a bounty of appetizers, including skewers of honey-coconut shrimp, hand-shucked oysters, and fish tacos with cilantro, Cotija cheese, and pickled onions.

14 of 20

The Escort Cards

brette patrick wedding escort cards
Merari Photography

Brette's father calligraphed the escort cards, which featured a palm motif. "He has incredible penmanship and it was fun for Brette and her father to collaborate on a project for the wedding," Patrick says.

15 of 20

Timeless Tables

brette patrick wedding table setting
Merari Photography

Each table was set with a floral arrangement of King protea, astilbe, thistle, ranunculus, veronica, ferns, snowball viburnum, and agapanthus in gold urns. Black table cloths and gold pineapple table numbers from Conteur Co. finished off the look.

16 of 20

Put in Place

brette patrick wedding place setting
Merari Photography

Gold silverware flanked the napkins and menus, which also featured the palm motif that was used on the stationery. Dinner consisted of ceviche, pan-seared lane snapper, and Cuban chili short ribs.

17 of 20

Lounging Around

brette patrick wedding lounge
Merari Photography

Brette literally jumped for joy when she saw the palm print pillows that adorned the white couches used in the lounge, both from Unearthed Vintage.

18 of 20

Dance the Night Away

brette patrick wedding first dance
Merari Photography

The groom's favorite moment of the day was right before he and and Brett shared their first dance to "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers. Patrick admits he has two left feet, so the couple practiced with a dance coach before the big day to ensure the moment went off sans stumbles.

Afterwards, since Patrick's friends and family are primarily Swedish, guests danced to songs by famous musicians from the country—like Ace of Base and Robyn—until 1 a.m.

19 of 20

The Cake

brette patrick wedding cake
Merari Photography

Brette and Patrick cut into a small gold-dusted dark chocolate-filled cake from Earth & Sugar—it was just big enough to feed the couple and their immediate families. The remaining guests were served a platter of dark chocolate ganache, flourless chocolate cake, and hazelnut chocolate mousse—the bride and groom are chocolate addicts and wanted to show their love of the dessert with the sampler.

20 of 20


brette patrick wedding couple gate
Merari Photography

Photography, Merari Photography

Location, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Catering, Bill Hansen Luxury Catering

Flowers, Anthology Co.

Videography, 5801 Productions

Cake, Earth & Sugar

Music, AAMusicians; The Hit Factory

Rentals, Unearthed Vintage

Bride's gown and veil, Pronovias

Bride's accessories, Tiffany & Co. jewelry; Gianvito Rossi shoes

Groom's and groomsmen's tuxedos, Suitsupply

Transportation, Aventura Worldwide Transportation

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