This Pair Celebrated Their Colorful, Waterfront Miami Nuptials at a Historic Museum
After David Houlihan, a consultant, made several attempts to invite his future bride, Laura Beyer—director of partnerships at TED—to different social events after first meeting at a welcome barbecue at Georgetown, he decided to stop asking. Little did he know that right after making his last invitation, Laura would apologize for not responding—which prompted them to connect in real time and go on their first date.
The two bonded over unique shared interests, one of which ultimately inspired David's proposal. They love Thomas Jefferson and often visited the memorial in Washington, D.C., throughout their relationship; he decided that that would be the spot to pop the question. After guiding her to the right area of the memorial and enlisting her brother to take pictures, David asked Laura for her hand in marriage and surprised her with a party with their loved ones to celebrate. "We stayed that weekend at the Jefferson Hotel which was on theme and absolutely perfect," she says.
When brainstorming wedding venues, Laura and David knew they wanted a location with personal meaning. They found exactly that in the Vizcaya Museum, which they landed on with the help of Jennifer Buono Events. Their planner showed them the historic property and they almost immediately knew it was theirs. "We had actually been to Vizcaya on March 17, 2016—so four years almost to the day of our wedding—on a trip with David's family, so when Jennifer brought us there on a site tour it felt like fate," Laura says. Just ahead of country-wide COVID-19 shutdowns, the pair welcomed about 100 guests to the waterfront estate for a celebration in classic Miami style on March 14, 2020.
A Colorful Suite
Welcome to Miami
Laura created vintage Miami-inspired welcome bags that were both personal and sustainable. Each market bag featured welcome cards designed and printed by the bride, vintage postcards, boxed water, Florida oranges, a spicy pretzel mix (this paid homage to the bride's grandmother, who was known for her recipe), and more.
Vizcaya Museum was the ultimate venue, the duo explain. "It had a vintage Miami vibe, but also provided grandeur for a magical event," the bride shares.
Fit for a Bride
Going into her wedding-dress shopping experience, Laura knew she wanted a classic gown with stunning back detailing. After taking a group of loved ones with her to about eight different stores, she found "the one" in an Alexandra Grecco frock; she loved its lines and how it fit her frame.
Laura completed her big-day look with white Bella Belle Shoes with a bow detail.
"It was important that we accented the bride's silhouette without overpowering her look," Jennifer Buono Events says of Laura's big-day florals. "Using soft romantic flowers that kept with the romanticism of the museum itself, we worked with Kaleidoscope Floral, who created the medium-sized bouquet." The arrangement included butterfly ranunculus, drum roses, garden roses, Jasmine anemone, sweet pea, helleborus, and majolica roses wrapped together in gold fabric.
Gleeful First Glance
Since the venue was closed to the public—due to the COVID-19 pandemic—on the day of the couple's wedding, they had the whole property to themselves; that meant they could share their intimate first look wherever they liked. While they were both excited, David said he was also a little impatient. "The engagement and planning process had started about 16 months before, so I was very ready to see Laura and marry her. She looked absolutely incredible," the groom says. "I'm not a naturally smiley person, but I'm pretty sure I never stopped smiling after I saw her."
Surrounded with Love
The ceremony honored both of the couple's faiths. "We included a wooden chuppah (a nod to David's Jewish roots) adorned with florals mimicking sunset tones of corals, blushes, soft buttery yellows, ivory, and soft green," Jennifer says.
Detailed Ceremony Programs
Each ceremony program featured a flower design created within the couple's color palette.
Here Comes the Bride
"Can't Help Falling in Love" by Kina Grannis played as Laura and her father walked down the aisle during the processional.
The duo shared a traditional Christian vow and ring exchange and also honored the bride's heritage; her mother read the Irish blessing "May the Road Rise Up to Meet You."
After sharing their promises, the couple broke a glass, another nod to the groom's Jewish background. "The fragility of the glass suggests the frailty of human relationships," Laura notes. "Since even the strongest love is subject to disintegration, the glass is broken as a kind of incantation: 'As this glass shatters, our marriage is forever.'" The marriage should last as long as it would take to put the tiny, infinite pieces back together, adds David.
Event Effects provided the comfortable lounge furniture that dotted the property, encouraging guests to get comfortable during the cocktail hour and reception.
Cocktail Hour Talk
A live jazz band played classic tunes as the bride, groom, and guests mingled during the interlude.
Laura's brother—who is also a chef—created signature drinks for the bride and groom. For his sister, he made a variation of the French 75 called the "Dumbo 75," made with gin, Prosecco, coconut milk, gum syrup, citrus juice, and orange flower water. The groom's drink, called the "Cobble Hill," consisted of bourbon, brandy, dry vermouth, maraschino liqueur, grapefruit soda, and angostura bitters.
The couple lined the museum's dramatic structures with bright florals, nestling their calligraphed acrylic seating chart into a particularly stately corner, which was adorned with blooms and greens.
Guests enjoyed the property's unparalleled views of the Biscayne Bay during the seated dinner.
The warm, peach-centric colors seen throughout the tables' centerpieces highlighted the event's theme and locale: Miami.
Perfect Place Settings
Simple settings, composed of striped plates, gold flatware, and sleek crystal, marked each spot. Dinner included a taqueria bar with achiote chicken, offshore mahi, sliced churrasco, and grilled vegetables in addition to a barbecue carving station and a Mongolian beef and shrimp cake table.
"At the bottom of the staircase, overlooking the water and scenic barge, we included luxurious white draped cabanas for guests to lounge in," their planner shares.
A speakeasy bar offered up imported cigars and a specialty whiskey cocktail.
Laura and David's simple white cake by Earth & Sugar was decorated with delicate sugar flowers reminiscent of the venue's signature cherry blossom branches.
The newlyweds celebrated their new journey as husband and wife as they danced to "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" by Lauryn Hill.
Photography, Hunter Ryan Photo
Venue, Vizcaya Museum
Wedding Planning and Event Design, Jennifer Buono Events
Videography, The Richards
Flowers, Kaleidoscope Floral
Stationery Design, Emily Baird Design
Calligraphy, Jess McSweeney
Officiant, Sam Permutt
Bride's Gown, Alexandra Grecco
Veil, Stevie Veil
Jewelry, Tiffany & Co.
Shoes, Bella Belle Shoes
Hair and Makeup, Tatjana Terzic
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Adrianna Papell; Birdy Grey; Lulus
Menswear, Monetti Tailoring
Engagement Ring, M.Y. Finkelman Company
Wedding Bands, David S Diamonds
Music, New World Symphony (ceremony); Elan Artists, The District (reception)
Catering, Thierry Isambert
Cake, Earth & Sugar
Lighting, Draping, Bars, and Furniture, Event Effects
Tabletop Rentals, Pialisa Rentals; Events on the Loose
Linens, Nuage Designs
Favors, Montecristo Cigars
Transportation, Rumba Tours; AIA Limo