We get really excited when we come across a new (to us) venue in South Florida... and even more excited when we get to share it with you through a gorgeous real wedding. Jonathan of JSPStudio captured Luis and Serafina's big day this past December, and their R.F. Orchid Gardens reception was over-the-top lovely... just wait until you see the stunning floral arrangements by Terra Flowers!
Serafina and Luis met five years ago at work - Serafina is a nurse practitioner in the ICU of Baptist Health of Miami and Luis is a Surgical Assistant in the operating room. Serafina jokes that of the two, Luis was the more eager to get married while she preferred to wait a little while; after three years of dating, Luis asked Serafina to be his wife and she happily accepted.
Serafina's favorite movie is Under the Tuscan Sun with Diane Lane. When she graduated from school, as a gift, Luis took her to Cortona, Italy (where the movies was filmed) for three weeks. They stayed in town and took day long excursions to Rome, Florence and other Italian cities, but always returned to Cortona at night. Luis took Serafina to the La Celle Monestary of St. Francis of Assisi (La Celle was St. Francis' first monastery and St. Francis is Serafina's favorite saint) and proposed to her there.
Jonathan took Serafina's bridal portraits at Vizcaya - and could they be any lovelier? He was really able to capture that Tuscan feel. And I adore the simple bouquet of sunflowers... perfect!
How about those oh-my-amazing floral arrangements? Classic red roses, hydrangea and tall gold containers with the hanging amaranthus and ivy trailing down... so romantic and lovely.
The couple originally wanted to be married in Coconut Grove, but found that it was too expensive. They had a modest budget and wanted to make sure that their wedding day was special for their families, friends and each other. They finally chose to be married in a quaint church in the Redlands near their parent's house and chose the R.F. Orchid Gardens in Homestead for their reception.
All of the vendors were close family friends of the bride. Her caterer knew her parents from when he first arrived in America. Only the florist, Terra Flowers, was not close, personal friends (but they are now).
The reception dinner was the most important aspect of the wedding for Serafina and Luis. Serafina's family is Italian and they have never believed in eating separately; growing up Serafina and her family always ate at one table, no matter how big it had to be. At the reception they honored this family tradition and all of the wedding guests dined together at one large table. "No matter what, we always sat together at dinner," explained Serafina.
When we asked her what advice she had for other couples, Serafina told us that she believes the most important thing is to be true to yourself, maintain a simple vision of your day... and stick to it. "Keep it simple! You don't need jugglers and fire breathers or crazy entertainment. It's a wedding. There is nothing more beautiful on your wedding day than simplicity and being with family and friends."
Great advice, Serafina! Thanks so much for sharing your story and wedding day with us. And many thanks to JSPStudio for the gorgeous images!
Ceremony Venue: Redland Community Methodist Church | Reception Venue: R.F. Orchid Gardens | Bridal Portrait Session Location: Vizcaya Museum & Gardens | Photography: JSPStudio | Floral Design: Terra Flowers