An Intimate New Year's Eve-Themed Wedding in Florida
Madelyn and Cam went to high school together— though there were a couple of years between them— and their parents had already been friends for years when they first met. After college, Madelyn was living in Richmond, Virginia, when Cam decided to travel from Chicago to visit a friend at the University of Virginia School of Law. A mutual pal invited Madelyn to join them for the UVA football game that weekend, and the pair quickly hit it off.
In August 2019, Madelyn's family hosted Cam and his parents at their family's lake house in Northern Michigan, where they enjoyed their first evening out on the boat. Cam began taking photos of everyone together, then handed his dad the camera and got down on one knee to propose to his future wife. In the days prior, Cam told both sets of parents that he'd pop the question on the last day of the trip, so they, too, were completely shocked. "I'm so grateful he chose to share it with both of our parents in a setting that is so special to my family and me," Madelyn says.
The couple's original celebration was planned for New Year's Eve in Detroit with over 200 guests. "I remember how difficult it was for both of our families to make a guest list under 250 people," Madelyn says. But with COVID-19 restrictions continually changing, Madelyn and Cam needed to narrow down the guest list to 43. In the end, they also entirely changed their locale, deciding to host a smaller ceremony and dinner reception at the Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club in Miromar Lakes, Florida, on January 2, 2021. The couple plans to invite more guests to a larger New Year's Eve reception in Detroit later this year.
The duo's invitations were letterpressed onto handmade paper with a natural edge; they incorporated a custom oval crest with a small bird silhouette and formal monograms that were later seen on the menu books, embroidered hemstitch napkins, custom restroom hand towels, and the groom's velvet loafers. The avian motif was also incorporated into the big-day design landscape, as a play on the couple's married last name, Burdette. The envelopes were digitally addressed with a watercolor painting of the couple's original venue, the Detroit Athletic Club, inside; a wax seal pressed with a bird was the finishing touch.
A Warm Welcome
Each guest received a leather tote upon arrival, labelled with their name on a custom luggage tag. Inside, they found a bottle of Champagne, a pair of flutes, and the couple's favorite snacks (Cheetos for her, dark chocolate for him, and beef jerky for their pup). Attendees also found small cards addressed back to the duo's home in Michigan; they asked loved ones to write them personal notes during their first month of marriage and put them in the mail, in place of a guest book."It was really wonderful to receive and spend time reading personal notes from our guests after our wedding," Madelyn says.
The One Constant
"The hardest part of the planning process was when Plan A had evolved into Plan E—and the most certain part of the plan was that it would need to be changed," Madelyn shares. But when she found her dream wedding dress, she knew that there was at least one element that would not be altered. The ivory silk Martina Liana gown featured a full skirt and silk wrapped buttons along the back and train. She donned an ivory veil with star embellishments by Sara Gabriel, as well.
She held a bouquet of white blooms, including garden roses, spray roses, sweet peas, gardenias, and lush dark greenery. Her arrangement was wrapped in her Grandma Betty's embroidered handkerchief, something she wore on her own big day.
A Handsome (and Happy!) Groom
For the ceremony, Cam chose a classic black tuxedo with a peak lapel jacket, a black bow tie, and suspenders. Later, slipped into a white jacket for dinner. He accessorized with gold monogrammed cuff links, suede loafers with a custom monogram detail, and a silver Gucci watch—a gift from his father.
The groom was the only one to pin a boutonnière onto his lapel; it matched the bride's bouquet with a simple white spray rose and greenery.
Madelyn's bridesmaids were given a color palette of pale gold and champagne; each wore a different dress paired with small gold huggie hoop earrings from Kate Spade, a gift from the bride. Their gowns were sourced from BHLDN, Rachel Zoe, Show Me Your Mumu, Joanna August, Jenny Yoo, and Vera Wang.
Unfortunately, Madelyn's older sister and maid of honor, Sam, and her husband, one of Cam's groomsmen, Matt, experienced flight issues ahead of the wedding. "I had just gotten my hair and makeup done and I was in the car with my mom on the way to the venue when my sister told me she wasn't going to make it," Madelyn says. Sam and Matt were able to FaceTime the bride's aunt during the ceremony, and later sent the newlyweds pictures of them dressed up with their daughter, as if they were attending.
Cam's groomsmen matched him in classic black tuxedos, bow ties, and loafers; he also gifted them monogrammed cuff links.
A Moment with Dad
After posing for some portraits with her mom and younger sister, Madelyn shared a first look with her father. Although her dad was at the condo where they were getting ready, he hadn't seen her gown before this moment. "I'll never forget hugging my dad for the first time in my wedding dress," Madelyn says. "My sisters and I have always been Dad's girls, so it was extra special to have this time together."
Madelyn and Cam later shared their first look on the landing outside the bridal suite, facing the water. "It was emotional seeing him for the first time that day, and I was just so excited to hug him tightly," Madelyn shares. "After all the planning and changes and uncertainties, we were finally there, and it was happening."
The pair's ceremony took place in the courtyard, where cream-colored upholstered chairs were placed on either side of the two fountains in the center, leaving an aisle in the center. As guests arrived, they were greeted with a glass of brut rosé, Madelyn's favorite. Drinks were served on personalized cocktail napkins featuring the couple's favorite quote from Top Gun: "Take me to bed, or lose me forever."
Get with the Program
A program booklet, wrapped in handmade marbled paper and bound with gold thread, was placed on each seat; celebrants also found a small muslin bag of white rose petals—to toss when the bride and groom recessed back down the aisle—at their spots, as well.
The aisle was embellished with hundreds of candles in glass hurricanes and votives, which lined the edges of each fountain. Grounded arrangements of white florals and greenery led to a matching ceremony arch at the altar.
Twist on Tradition
A violin duet play "Landslide" as their families and bridal party processed into the space, followed by a string cover of "Sweet Creature" as Madelyn made her big-day debut with her father. The ceremony was officiated by Madelyn's uncle, who asked the couple to write a few lines about what made them fall in love with each other a few weeks before the nuptials. "We heard them for the first time during the ceremony," Madelyn says. "That was a special moment to share with our family and friends." The couple put their own twist on traditional vows during the service, and Madelyn's best friend, Taylor, read lyrics from one of the couple's favorite songs, Ben Platt's "Grow As We Go."
The couple's wedding planner, Ashley Lynch from Festoons and Flourishes, had gifted the duo vow books ahead of the event; inside, they wrote personal vows for their soon-to-be spouse to read on the morning of the event. "We chose to do this because we wanted the intimacy of sharing our personal vows to stay just between the two of us—and now, we have them as a special keepsake that we can revisit for the rest of our lives," Madelyn says.
Sealed with a Kiss
After they were pronounced husband and wife, the newlyweds sealed their union with a kiss.
A Jaunt on the Beach
Post-nuptials, the couple posed for several joyful photos on the beach while their guests enjoyed an open bar and live acoustic guitarist.
Taking It All In
Before guests were taken into the dinner area, Ashley pulled the bride and groom aside with their parents to give them an exclusive glimpse of the reception. "She had us close our eyes as we approached the dinner courtyard. We could hear the live music and when we opened our eyes, it truly made me weak in the knees," Madelyn reflects.
Madelyn and Cam poured out a Champagne tower shortly after guests arrived for dinner; coupes were then served to guests for toasts. "This brut rosé had also been used during a toast for my older sister's wedding—it's from one of the vineyards we've visited in Napa as a family—and we loved the idea of making this a tradition," the bride says.
Their party took place on a brick patio courtyard where a sprawling tree wrapped in fairy lights took center stage. The wedding décor was inspired by the pair's original New Year's Eve date and theme, complete with a cream-and-neutral palette with accents of gold, champagne, rich leathers, and wood tones.
On the Table
The candles and flower arrangements seen during the ceremony were placed onto two large marble dinner tables; the florals cascaded off the edges, blending with the blooms on the ground. Place settings included crystal glassware, ornate silver flatware, white dishware with a variety of silver-and-gold patterns, crystal knife rests, and monogrammed 'B' hemstitch napkins. White boxes held five sugared almonds signifying health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and longevity for the newlyweds.
Hand-bound leather menu books—lined with marble paper that matched the sheets found in the programs and tied with gold tassels studded with pearls—rested on top of the chargers; each attendee's name was written on the covers in gold calligraphy.
The Madeleines for Madelyn
Madeleine cookie towers on small silver trays were placed throughout the tablescape as a nod to the bride's name.
Musicians played saxophone and acoustic guitar throughout dinner, and a DJ took over when guests hit the dance floor afterwards. During the meal, the pair offered a plated dinner starting with a spinach and arugula salad with feta cheese, toasted pine nuts, roma tomatoes, and a honey raspberry vinaigrette. Guests then a choice of crab-encrusted Florida grouper or a grilled filet mignonette and Maine lobster tail for their main course. They also served Margherita, roasted vegetable, and buffalo chicken flatbreads as a late-night snack.
The couple's three-tiered vanilla wedding cake was composed of white chocolate mousse and vanilla buttercream frosting and was plated with fresh raspberries. An heirloom ceramic cake topper stood sentry on the top tier; hand-painted by her mother, it was used during Madelyn's parents' wedding.
What a Night
The couple chose a cover of Anderson East's "Always Be My Baby" for their first dance. " We've always loved Anderson East's version of the song—and thought it was fitting for us to have something upbeat," Madelyn says. "And we love the saxophone!" To end the night, guests linked arms to circle around the couple as "Landslide" by The Chicks played (the very same tune that kicked off the service!).
Photography, Niki Marie Photography
Videography, 97 Films
Venue and Catering, Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club
Wedding Planning, Event Design, and Favors, Festoons and Flourishes
Flowers, Signature Florals
Invitations and Paper Products, Sincerely, Enza
Bride's Gown, Martina Liana; Beloved Bridal
Bride's Veil, Sarah Gabriel
Bride's Jewelry, Untamed Petals
Bride's Shoes, Valentino
Hair & Makeup, Ashlee Ann on Location
Groom's and Groomsmen's Attire, The Tux Shop on Woodward; Etsy
Groom's Accessories, Gucci
Bridesmaids' Attire, Kate Spade; BHLDN; Jenny Yoo; Rachel Zoe; Show Me Your Mumu; Joanna August; Vera Wang
Music, The Vanderbilt Strings; Wiley Entertainment
Rentals, Atlas Event Rentals