Just so you know, your Wednesday is about to get a whole lot more gorgeous.

It’s also worth noting that I may have accidentally included twice as many photos as we normally would in a real wedding feature due to all the aforementioned gorgeousness! Ooops.

Elizabeth here with the second installment of my beautiful friends’ epic wedding celebrations. If you missed Matt and Gabby’s traditional Sudanese wedding in England, I suggest you hop on over and take a look.

But for now, cue that Will Smith song because we’re off to Miami!

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Gabby has an incredible eye for art and design (check out her awesome blog Flat 15 and you’ll see what I mean!) so it was inevitable she’d bring that creativity to her wedding day. She and Matt crafted a day that was chic, classic and modern all at the same time. But above all else, it was truly personal to them.

Thoughtful details to inspire your own nuptials include: black and white stripes, an abundance of fluffy pink peonies, a chalkboard ceremony program sign with whimsical lettering, romantic candlelight, a dessert bar filled with sweets and treats representing both Matt’s Arabic culture (mint tea) and Gabby’s Italian roots (amaretti biscuits), a cigar bar and a rocking after party in the penthouse suite of the hotel!

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Oh and did I mention that Gabby also happens to be one of the most gorgeous brides I’ve ever seen? She has that whole glamorous, ‘old Hollywood’ style down to a tee with her side swept waves and sleek, Vera Wang mermaid gown. While Matt could have stepped off the pages of GQ in his classic, black tux, patent shoes and megawatt smile.

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And when you’re done swooning over the stylish bride and groom, can we please talk about how AMAZING the photos and film by Studio 1208 are too?! Oh Em Gee. They are the stuff of my Vogue laced dreams. Maria’s fashion and editorial photography background really shines through and just you wait till you see the film (coming tomorrow). It is perfection.

3 Words To Describe Our Wedding

Intimate, personal, heartfelt

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The Attire

I loved the getting ready process – dancing, preparing. I gave everyone robes as gifts, it was a wonderful memory of the day.

The girls wore floral robes when we got ready then they all wore black full length bridesmaids dresses with gold accents (jewellery and shoes).

The guys all wore black tuxes and Lanvin bow ties (that was Matt’s present to them all).

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The Photography & Videography

We chose Studio 1208 initially because I loved their style of work. Maria’s photographs are not overly posed or set up.  She has such a talent of capturing natural moments, expressions and the overall feel of the day.  I also loved their style of videography. 

Working with Studio 1208 was a DREAM.  They have such a wonderful level of energy and enthusiasm about them.  They fit right in with everyone and were able to make us all feel at ease and therefore capture such personal moments.  They also spent the next day shooting with us which was amazing. They are so hardworking and take such pride in their work.

Gabby and Matt's gorgeous Miami wedding at the iconic Raleigh Hotel

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The Colour Palette

Our color palette was all black and white with gold accents

We kept this theme throughout with the invites, decor, bridal party attire, cake, etc

The only color we wanted was the greenery of the garden backdrop and some pink pops from the peonies

We also incorporated a lot of black and white striped accents to keep with the retro and Art Deco vibe of The Raleigh Hotel.

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The Florals

The flowers were a mix of mainly pink peonies and white garden roses.

The ceremony arch was all white hydrangeas and greenery.

Centerpieces: The flowers on the long table were all at different levels and compeltely mixed up as far as various vases and florals.  I didn’t want them to look “perfect” but very mixed and scattered down the tables.

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The Ceremony

The ceremony had to be our favourite part. We wrote and read our own vows.  It was one of the most heartfelt and honest moments of my life. Completely full of love.

Instead of ceremony programs we put up a hand-drawn chalkboard sign from Etsy.

Matt’s sister read the poem “On Love” and “On Marriage”  from the poet Kahlil Gibran.

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The Venue

The Raleigh is a retro, art deco hotel in South Beach, Miami.  I wanted to keep with that deco vibe and also play on the black and white striped accents that they have throughout the hotel in their umbrellas, cushions, etc.

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The Decor & Details

I mainly did everything in black, white and used gold as an accent color.  I included striped blankets & cushions on the sofas, ribbons on each place setting, on the invitations, invitations, etc.  Gold was seen in the vases, cake, place settings, dinner seats.  We included some retro art deco cake stands which I actually bought on Portobello Road.

I added loads of café string lighting I and had tons and tons of candles all over the tables.

I brought the Fuji polaroids and all the props, guest book, extra film.

Basket of flip-flops – they were all from Old Navy and such a good call – everyone wore them!

For our favors we had a small black and white container of turkish delight from our favorite sweet shop in London called Lokum.

Initialed gold napkins – I ordered them from Paper Source.

Striped straws accent (this has been done but I loved it with the entire theme).

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The Refreshments

Cocktail Hour: Passed Horderves & food Buffet & Signature Cocktail was a Belle Meade (Vodka, Blackberry, basil)

Dinner: Sit Down (choice of filet mingon or swordfish)

Dessert: Dessert buffet table with cakes including arabic mint tea & Italian sweets (baci chocolates & amaretti cookies) for both our cultures.

Cake: Was simple chocolate and vanilla (outside was completely gold)

Late night snacks: Served at midnight at the penthouse after party: mini grilled cheese sandwiches, hamburgers and fries.

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The Wedding Music

Processional: I forget will get back to you

First dance: John Legend, All of Me

Introduction of bride and groom: Etta James, At last

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Special Details & Favourite Moments

Matt and I met in Miami and so just being there in the place we met 6 years prior was very meaningful to us.

I included old wedding photos framed of both of our grandparents (who each were not there with us) and our parents at their weddings and I loved seeing those pictures

Loved our first dance in the evening with our friends and family standing around us with the sparklers…it was magical to us.

The speeches were great.

Photo Booth guest book with polaroids – it’s absolutely hilarious and such a fun memory from the day.

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Advice For Other Couples

My main tip for the bride and groom is to be true to yourself. I felt that there were so many wedding “rules” that people kept telling us. “you HAVE to do this or you MUST do that”.  We decided at that point to plan the wedding for us and not for everyone else. This made it easier to move things along and also the wedding was a true reflection of who we are as a couple which made it really personal and meaningful.

Recommendations: Etsy (has so many great wedding items that are reasonable and on trend), wedding blogs were the best source of seeing real weddings and getting advice on all different aspects of planning a wedding and Pinterest – such a great source for inspiration!

Budget Tips: candles, candles, and more candles…the easiest and cheapest way to created amazing ambiance in my opinion.

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Wow, wow, wow.

Amazing right?! Don’t you just love all those chic black and white stripes? And, isn’t Gabby beyond beautiful?

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to watch Matt and Gabby’s beautiful wedding film!

Photographer: Studio 1208 / Bride’s Dress: Vera Wang, Lillian / Bride’s Jewelry: Jenny Packham / Venue: The Raleigh Hotel, Miami / Beaded Clutch: Bride's grandmother's / Bride's Reception Dress: Nicole Miller Dress / Short Robe: Plum Pretty Sugar / Long Robe: La Perla / Groom’s Attire: Lanvin / Bridesmaids Robes: Nicole Miller, Felicity Gown / Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Teresa Blumberg of Toca Events / Catering & Cake: Michael Swartz at The Raleigh / Flowers: Toca Events / Stationery: The Papery in Philadelphia / DJ: DJ Smiles from The Flashdance / Hand Drawn Chalkboard Sign: Laura Stewart Design from Etsy