Modern Weddings/Real Weddings

Modern South Beach Miami Rooftop Wedding

Modern Luxury Rooftop Wedding in Miami Beach – Erica Melissa Photography 6

Tropical palms, warm vibes, sleek lines & a swanky hotel – we must be in Miami!

I love South Beach. When living in New York, I considered weekend jaunts to Miami “my East Coast Palm Springs”. Warm ocean water, palm trees galore, tropical flavors & a beach lined with the coolest array of vintage hotels, I often wonder why we don’t get more Miami weddings sent our way.

Bride Kat & Groom Shay, living in Toronto, knew they wanted to whisk away their guests to someplace warm – so Shay’s roots in South Florida beckoned the two lovebirds (or snowbirds?) and half of their guests to the beautiful Betsy Hotel.

The couple – with help from talented planners, stylists, florists & venue – went modern & tropical which suited the venue which leans Art-Deco quite well. You’ll see striking monstera leaves, leafy palms & fun details like a custom beer bar!

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Our Love Story

We met in Sydney, Australia while we were both doing a semester abroad through our respective universities. Shay is from South Florida and I am from Toronto. We actually met at a bar but were both studying at the same university in Sydney. We spent six months living in Sydney and traveling to surrounding areas & countries. We then did long-distance for a couple of years before Shay moved to Toronto!

For Shay’s 28th birthday we planned a trip to Pelee, a wine region in southwestern Ontario. It was going to be a weekend full of our favourite things – road-tripping with our dog, visiting countless wineries, and eating the local grub. At the end of our day, we grabbed a bottle of wine and drove to Point Pelee National Park, the southernmost tip of Canada. You can see Michigan and Ohio just across the lake.

We were walking down the beach and Shay presented Kat with tickets to fly to Sydney for the holidays – back to where it all began. While I was focused solely on going back to Sydney, Shay got down on one knee! We spent the rest of the weekend enjoying the beach and wineries in Pelee!

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The Destination & Venue

We did not have a particular vision in mind when we started the planning process. We just wanted a really fun and memorable party for our guests in a warm and somewhat intimate environment. Half of our guests were from out of town so we wanted something located centrally in Miami and to have a tasteful, modern tropical vibe to fit the landscape.

The Betsy Hotel was exactly the backdrop that we pictured. It’s a very unique boutique hotel in the heart of South Beach and has tasteful Miami-esque accents and cool attributes like a library, photography and art, live jazz music, etc. It really suited our personality. From there, we completed the vision based on what suited The Betsy best!

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The Dress & Attire

I always wanted something simple without any additional frills like lace or beading. I really prioritized finding a nice silhouette and good quality fabric. The dress I wore is actually the first one I tried one. Since it was so simple, I kept looking thinking I should get something just a little bit more playful. But, after countless appointments, I went back to the very first one which I guess is what I wanted to begin with (funny how that happens).

Since the dress was simple, I went with a more elaborate veil. My shoes were Jimmy Choo and very “bridal” with the diamond accent. Shockingly, I wore them all night! They were so comfortable.

We bought Shay’s tuxedo at Hugo Boss…it was a fairly straight forward process! Our only real criteria were that we wanted a shawl lapel and navy or black.

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Favorite Moments

The whole day is a bit of a blur. We can’t pick just one moment that stands out but we loved our speeches; our parents and BM and MOH really killed it. And really just dancing and mingling the night away with all of our loved ones.

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The Stationery

There wasn’t anything that we really skipped but we did not focus too much on fancy stationery and invitations (for example, we had Shay’s sister paint and design our Save the Date and we printed it ourselves at a local print house). They were really unique and beautiful but saved a bit of money here.

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The Details

Our very first priority was having a band. So we splurged on an amazing 9-piece band for the reception and then had a DJ at the afterparty.

We also splurged on details that were unique to us and our wedding. For example, we love craft beer! So, we rented a custom beer bar and The Betsy Hotel sourced three local craft beers that we tasted and selected. We named the three custom beers so you could tell which one was mine, which was Shay’s, and one for our dog (kind of like his and her drinks but beer). For example, my beer was a jalapeno lager so we called it Spice Up Your Life (Spice Girls reference).

This also served as our favor and table seatings. We printed our custom logo on beer glasses and worked with our calligrapher to print on the back of each glass names and table numbers. So when people were looking for their seats, they grabbed a glass and also filled up their glass with one of our beers! Two in one…wo, we really splurged and focused on things that we haven’t seen at any other wedding.

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Traditions

We had traditional Russian appetizers for the appetizer course as a nod to my Russian side and perogies for the late night table

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The Honeymoon

We live in Toronto so on the drive home after the wedding from Miami to Toronto we enjoyed a four-night mini-moon in Asheville, North Carolina with our dog. It was amazing!!

Since our wedding was right before COVID restrictions were put in place globally, we haven’t really been able to plan our honeymoon given all the uncertainty. But, the original plan was South Africa and the Serengeti in December 2020 (fingers crossed).

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