Today’s Florida affair perfectly reflected the styles of the bride and groom – a mix of classic and romantic with modern and minimalistic, complete with a delicate dusty rose color palette. They chose the stunning Historic Walton House as their venue because it reminded the bride of a typical home you’d see back on her island of Guadeloupe. The team at Maison Francis truly blew us away with their lush, tropical floral arrangements that brought everything together so beautifully. Head on over to the full gallery to see all the pretty – taken by Masson Liang Photography with design by Soco Alicea!
From Masson Liang Photography… Melissa and Lindsey met back in September 2016 at a mixed martial arts gym in Miami Shores, FL. Lindsey was already a member of the school before Melissa joined and didn’t actually speak to each other until a month later. They bonded after a tough four hour training session after Lindsey forgot his snacks, giving them the perfect opportunity to share a bite together! Their official first date followed shortly after that day :)
Lindsey proposed to Melissa on May 11, 2019 after Lindsey asked Melissa’s father for her hand one day when her parents were in town. It was especially emotional for Lindsey and memorable because she had to translate everything to her parents! Melissa is from Guadeloupe (a French caribbean island) and Melissa’s parents are not fluent in English. May 11 is also the 2. 5 year anniversary of theirs (Melissa and Lindsey always liked to do something every six months) and Lindsey suggested that they go for dessert in the evening to “celebrate” the day. Melissa didn’t feel too well and they ended up changing the location to Melissa’s favorite beach, Hollywood Beach. Lindsey offered Melissa a rose and they went for a walk on the beach. During the date Lindsey picked up the rose and popped the question! The decision to have their wedding at the Historic Walton House was a no brainer for Melissa and Lindsey. They always knew that they wanted an outdoor/tropical wedding with Melissa being from the Caribbean and Lindsey being a lover of the outdoors. Upon visiting the venue, it was love at first sight for them! Melissa is an island girl and it was imperative for them to find a venue that had a taste of home. As for the decor of the wedding, the most important elements for the bride and groom was to showcase simplicity, elegance, and romanticism. They wanted to make sure to capture this in everything involved with the day: from the stationery, venue, the clothing, the flowers, food and music.
From Maison Francis… Melissa & Lindsey knew they wanted a day that reflected both their styles, blending in Melissa’s more classic romantic style with Lindsey’s slightly more modern and minimalistic style. It was also very important to the both of them that the end result not overpower the beauty of the venue itself. They chose the venue for its unique elements, it’s cozy feeling, and the fact that it reminded Melissa of a typical home back on her island of Guadeloupe. The color palette for their day was dusty rose. Melissa selected this color because she loved the color pink, but also because it really pared well with her bridesmaids’ skin tones. She also felt that the color has a romantic and timeless feel to it, which was right in line with her vision. As for the groom, Lindsey went with the navy blue because it was a bold color with his skin tone and helped bring gravitas to the softness and elegance of the dusty rose.
More about the ceremony decor and reception decor from the florist/designer… Ceremony: At first, we were sure the ceremony would be taking place in a sort of hidden courtyard, with a preexisting arch, which already features climbing vines, and is surrounded by plenty of tropical greenery. With that, we assumed we would keep ceremony pretty minimal so as to not compete with their surroundings, and keep most floral decor for the cocktail and reception areas. But as the guest list grew, it became apparent that their numbers could not fit in that little ceremony nook, and they were moved to what was essentially the driveway of the venue. With an oddly shaped space (with a huge roundabout smack in the middle of their ceremony seating space and tons of gravel), we were faced with the challenge of making this space feel intimate, inviting, and gorgeous, again while keeping in mind the natural vegetation found throughout. When Cristi (their planner) told us they would use the space and essentially get married standing in front of a majestic tree, we decided to go low with the flowers, creating a pathway for the eye that wouldn’t take away the surrounding greenery, but look natural and guide everyone’s look towards the bride and groom standing in front of that tree. Because of the shape of the space, we had to oddly distribute the chairs for the guests which meant the aisle would be both curved and long. In order to maximize the use of these flowers (let’s face it ceremony only being 30 minutes we wanted them to enjoy their flowers for much longer), we designed the ceremony to perfectly complement the reception (which we will address in the next section). With the color palette in mind, the surrounding tropical greenery, and the actual location, we designed a pathway mimicking a floral garden, which led to a semi circle altar, directly pointing to the tree which the couple loved and wanted to accentuate, as well as place the couple in the center of it all, which had a very symbolic meaning. We knew we wanted to showcase different design elements throughout the entire wedding, that would translate the vision of a modern yet classically romantic wedding, which had both feminine and more masculine elements to it. This is how we came up with the use of acrylic and wood within an overall more feminine pink and highly floral theme. Guests were greeted upon their arrival with a bilingual welcome sign handwritten on Acrylic with a wooden easel. This combination of wood and acrylic was found throughout the wedding with all the signage featuring acrylics on wood stands. Wood was also a very important element to Melissa and Lindsey, who love its look and feel, but did not necessarily want to overwhelm the entire wedding with it. The acrylic served to modernize the feel of the day. Their wedding featured double the amount of acrylic signs, as they were translated into both english and french, to accommodate the guests helming from both cultures that were attending this union.
Reception: Reception design started immediately with cocktail hour. This is where we decided to have a little fun and forgo flowers all together! The Historic Walton House is a very interesting space, not only in how it is designed and how lush the surrounding gardens are but they also feature animals, which serve as entertainment for the guests (think baboons, flamingos and all sorts of other exotic animals!). On top of the animals serving as a sort of distraction for guests, there was also an interactive guest book created by the bride, where guests were invited to take polaroids, sign them, and hang them on a manzanita tree that the bride prepped for them, so she could take home and keep those memories alive as part of their new home decor! We were also tasked with introducing navy blue into the mix of decor elements to represent the grooms desire for a slightly more masculine feel within a much more romantic overall design. All of this resulted in a cocktail hour devout of flowers but with the most amazing Shelby Navy blue and white linen from the Ceci New York x Nuage Design collection. It was the most perfect complement. Mixed with a wooden bar covered in fresh smilax for a natural look that fit in with the environment, we added wooden and crystal etched votives to soften the look, but left the tables bare for the bold print to truly shine! Onto reception, guests were greeted with a seating chart display featuring a bold modern design of varied sized acrylic cubes with handwritten names serving as the escort card display. Again, as a way of mixing both Melissa and Lindsey’s styles, we included the use of flowers, and a striking veluto linen by Nuage Design in an eggplant color, which served as an accent color for the flowers. We decided to use it on this table to truly make a statement so the table could stand on its own rather than blend in with the reception linen. We introduced flowers within the acrylic to serve both as a backdrop to make it easier for the guests to read on acrylic, as well as to introduce softer elements that tied in with the entire wedding design. We also kept the design minimal and more modern by using traditional japanese pin frogs as opposed to bowls or vases as the vessels for the flowers. This allowed us to have a more linear design, mixed in with romantic blooms, again blending the two styles as they represented the bride and groom, with wooden votives throughout as that was an important design element for the couple. Guests then walked into a bungalow that served as the dancing area for first dance, the father of the bride’s speech and the father of the groom blessing, which all took place under a grand wooden chandelier dripping in fresh smilax greenery to sort of bring the outdoors in and keep the flow of the design. In the back of the room, directly facing the main entrance for all to see, was the beautiful cake, which was made to mimic a plaster wall of sorts, recreating the details of the wedding invitation, adorned with delicate flowers, namely sweet pea, a favorite of the bride and groom for its striking line yet whimsical feel. We used the same eggplant veluto linen as the place card table for the cake table, to tie everything together and also serve as a statement piece, on a low cocktail table so the cake could be put on full display, surrounded by repurposed aisle flowers to recreate the garden feel of ceremony indoors and shine a spotlight onto the cake! Because the room wasn’t very large and would only serve for dancing and cake/desserts, we loved that we were able to create a true focal point on the cake and the first dances through the use of florals and hanging greenery, creating a wow factor for guests as they walked in. On the dessert table, we used acrylic risers as well as dessert display cards in acrylic, to keep the theme going, and serve as a seamless way to present the dessert. Finally, when it came to the reception, that was the most fun yet the most challenging to design. The bride and groom wanted to fuse both their styles, as mentioned above, and we were tasked with coming up with centerpiece designs that had both a modern yet classic, lush yet minimal, masculine yet feminine design to it. And that’s how we came up with the use of shallow dishes, or very low bowls, with striking and modern japenese pin frogs in black, to attempt our version at romantic ikebana centerpieces. It was important all elements be equally beautiful, including our mechanics since they would be exposed, and it became our mission to find black pin frogs to keep the entire design seamless and beautiful. We then decided on varied sized bowls which would go down the length of the table, with some having more lush designs than others. Some larger pieces had plenty of flowers, while other featured only one stem. It would allow the eye to travel down the entire table following the flow of flowers, but yet not be so overwhelming that it became too romantic and Lindsey wouldn’t be adequately represented. We also made sure, in the choice of the flowers themselves, to go both romantic and more modern, through the use of textures and colors as well as line flowers. We also took into account that it was important for Melissa to keep the tropical aspect alive, as it was an intricate part of the venue itself, but also represented her Guadeloupean roots. That is how we came to choose two-toned light pink anthuriums, as they were tropical, colorful without being overwhelming, and also have a very straight stem which gave it a slightly more modern feel amongst the use of fluffy carnations, garden roses, mums, dahlias and spray roses. We also added the use of mini orchids for the same reason. We allowed them to shine by adding them to the single stem centerpiece portion of the entire design, and since they are tropical, have very interesting colors and shades, as well as a curved stem, which makes for a great shape.
The centerpieces were separated by the use of etched glass votive holders and smaller wooden votive holders, for tons of ambient light in a way that mixed the modern and the classic. We then added an explosion of flowers to the entire space, by repurposing the aisle and altar flowers at the ends of each royal table as well as the front of the Bride & Groom table, to mimic a growing garden and make the most use of the wedding flowers. With blush veluto linen by Nuage Design serving as a backdrop, the flowers popped and created an oasis, and with the slightly more minimal table top design, every piece shone on its own, which was important to the couple. They did not want it to just have a ton of flowers because flowers are inherently beautiful, but for each piece to be unique on it’s own yet be a part of a greater overall design. Together with Soco Alicea of Dragonfly Rentals, the couple chose the André Ceramic Charger, a more modern natural stone plate, her April gold flatware, and her gorgeous Alexa glassware (named after her daughter might I add), onto which we placed each guest’s hand calligraphed name on a small piece of acrylic, set next to the Shelby Navy floral Ceci New York x Nuage Design napkin, in the same print as the cocktail hour linen, which allowed us to bring in the groom’s desire for navy as well as tie in the entire event together. The napkin was tucked into wooden napkin rings, lovingly done by the bride and groom, which once again brought in the wood element, representing so much of the couple’s background and personalities into one final design. Placed next to the chargers to the top was the couple’s wedding favor, a wooden fridge magnet, which the couple placed themselves onto green moss, and tied with hand dyed ribbon in a gorgeous tone of dusty rose, which mimicked the Bridesmaids dress color. Every element was carefully selected to truly create the most cohesive end result.
Some other unique elements of the wedding include:
They had a bilingual ceremony in French and in English. This was very important to the bride since over a third of their guests were French speakers. And French being her mother’s primary language, it was very important for her to enter marriage with my native language as well. Lindsey had a “best woman” and two out of four members of his groom’s party were women. On the bride’s side, she had her younger brother as a groomsmaid. They offered two signature cocktails to represent our place of origin: a passionfruit mojito for Miami and the traditional “ti-punch” from Guadeloupe. The groom actually sang a part of his vows to Melissa during the ceremony and it instantly brought everyone to tears! All in all, they wanted the wedding not only to be the celebration of their union, but also the celebration of their cultures.
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Photography: Masson Liang | Videography: Alex Martinez Films | Videography: Alex Martinez Films | Event Design: Soco Alicea | Event Planning: Cristi G Events | Floral Design: Maison Francis | Cake: Edible Creations | Invitations: Minted | Shoes: Steve Madden | Rings: Jared | Bridesmaids' dresses: Aline Bridal | Catering: Dade County Food Group | Hair & Makeup: bellelite | DJ: DJ Dro Entertainment | Bow Tie: Cuffed Design | Officiant: Aurora Abad from Sunshine Wedding Officiants | Transportation: One Limo Alliance | Venue: Historic Walton House | Acrylic Sheets (menus, signs, etc.): Raminimal Studio | Cristi G Events: Cristi G | Groom' Shoes: Ted Baker | Grooms women tux: Little Black Tux | Hairpiece: Dareth Colburn Bridal | House: Historic Walton House | Jewlery: Swarovski | Linens & Napkins: Nuage Designs | Ribbons: Tono Co | Tabletops: Dragonfly Rentals