Modern Weddings/Real Weddings

Japanese-Inspired Miami Koi Gardens Wedding

Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 3

Intimate, casual & deeply personal – that’s how today’s couple would describe their relationship & proposal, and dare we say how we’d describe their gorgeous Koi Gardens wedding?

We talk often about strategies to keeping calm on your wedding day – no matter what spontaneous issue may arise – and today we’re reminded of how choosing a zen wedding space can massively aid in your wedding-day mood. Set in Miami, bride Jessica & groom Nick’s venue Redland Koi Gardens is such a cool spot to get married for the calm & collected. Gorgeous gardens, beautiful bridges creating a unique ceremony space, pagodas for portraits, Redlands is truly one of Miami’s hidden gems.

While the day oozes with understated calm (partially thanks to the zen venue one must think?) both Jessica & Nick’s wedding day looks bring runway-ready drama. Stylish & oh-so-cool, our bride & groom’s wedding attire was a surprise for each other, making their first look a ‘double first look’ (so cute!)

Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 18
Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 33

Our Love Story

We originally met in college through mutual friends but did not actually start dating until several years later when we reconnected at a coffee shop.

Our proposal story was very much in line with the theme of our relationship; it was small, intimate, casual, and deeply personal.

Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 22
Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 12
Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 13

The Venue & Planning

As Nick and I began planning our wedding, we knew we wanted to achieve something that was naturally beautiful and comfortable. We wanted the experience to feel organic. Our inspiration for everything was derived from our wedding venue at the Redland Koi Gardens. We were stunned and felt at peace as we first walked through the venue. It met all of our needs; spacious yet intimate, organically beautiful, unique, and authentic.

Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 10
Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 35

The First Look

One small detail that ended up being special for us was that we both didn’t know what the other was wearing. So our ‘First Look’ was a double first look! When I (Jessica) tried to help Nick pick out his outfit, he responded by saying “If I can’t see what you’re wearing, then you can’t see what I am wearing either.” We were both surprised and fell in love with the outfits we had picked. It was fun for me as a bride to be surprised (in a good way!) by what Nick picked out for himself.

Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 25
Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 14

The Florals & Decor

Everything else seemed to fall into place after that. Our flowers were inspired by the already naturally existing nature found in the garden while adhering to a darker, more romantic, color pallet that represented us as a couple. We rented benches and upholstered furniture for our guests to use during the ceremony to continue the casual atmosphere.

Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 24
Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 28
Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 2

Favorite Moments

Though we both come from Christian backgrounds, we decided to have a relatively non-traditional ceremony.

We group out seating in one large group so there was no aisle to walk down. We had no wedding party so instead of walking down an aisle, we walked in together while hugging and greeting all of our guests as we made our way to the front where we were going to say our vows. Our immediate family members were the last ones to be greeted before we met our officiant.

We also passed out a glass of champagne for everyone so that we could have a toast in the middle of the ceremony. It created a very welcoming and relaxed environment. Almost every single guest told us they appreciated our ceremony because they felt like they were a part of it instead of simply being an outside witness.

Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 31
Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 4
Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 30
Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 32

The Photography

Our wedding planner recommended Anton Kirindongo and after reviewing his Instagram page, we knew he would provide us with creative and unique photos.

Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 34
Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 29

The Food

Our food was inspired by the Asian influence of the venue as well as Nick’s Jamaican heritage.

Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 6

Advice to Other Couples

For a practical tip…hire a wedding planner! Our wedding planner, Stephanie, was solely the reason why our wedding day turned out as perfectly as it had. She helped us stay on track with our budget and knew the wedding world in a way that we don’t think we would have ever been able to figure out with Google alone.

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Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 40
Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 38

The Honeymoon

We had a casual honeymoon in Miami where we stayed at a very cute boutique hotel named Life House in Little Havana. If you are all about having a casual experience and want to avoid the typical flashy lifestyle of Miami, we highly recommend that hotel.

Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 39
Miami Koi Gardens Wedding – Anton Kirindongo – Events by U 18
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