OMG. We are in love with this stunning handmade wedding full of glam and details! Don't miss it!
Shea Shoemaker
Shea Shoemaker August 10, 2020

Stunning Handmade Wedding at the Ancient Spanish Monastery

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“The couple wanted the perfect mix of modern and vintage vibes with romantic aesthetics. They accomplished that and more with their dreamy wedding accommodations and first look at the brand new Four Seasons Surfside. Their stunning ceremony was held at the oldest building in the western hemisphere, the Ancient Spanish Monastery.

Designed and planned by the bride herself, every detail was extremely thought out. Vellum, velvet and acrylic were the majority of the elements featuring ivory, blush, gold, and lots of greenery for the color palette. Ghost chairs and dark textured wooden farmhouse tables were the focal point of the reception in the ancient cloisters covered in floral garland cascading over the edges with multi-height candles in votive candles. Lit with dim champagne up-lights and string lights, it was stunning. Literally!

The total guest count was 75 people, which included the bride and groom’s closest family and friends. Guests traveled from 16 different states across the country to join in and celebrate their marriage. The couple opted out of a bridal party other than the bride’s 16-month-old twin nephew (ring bearer) and niece (flower girl), which was the most adorable duo. The bride’s father had passed away, so in place of his physical presence, the bride replaced the face of a pocket-watch he used to carry with her favorite photo of him and some of his ashes. Her mother walked her down the aisle and had the first dance with her as well. Following the ceremony, a ladybug appeared magically on the bridal bouquet, which is a symbol of good fortune and prosperity.

To elevate the ceremony even to the next level, they hired an Italian opera singer to perform the bride’s favorite song live, accompanied by the string trio, for the bridal processional, “Gira Con Me” – we’re pretty positive everyone had a tear in their eye! The singer also sang their first dance live, “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, which the couple had choreographed and taken ballroom dance lessons in preparation. A live cover band performed for the reception, which certainly brought the energy and had the guests on the dance floor all night!

What is your favorite wedding day memory?

Definitely our first look! I am so glad we did one. Optimal lighting and a private moment with just me and my soon-to-be husband. We got amazing photos that I will cherish forever!

What did you DIY for your wedding?

Other than planning the entire wedding myself (huge project!), there were several projects I DIY’d. SAVE THE DATES: I handmade my save the dates! I found a company that printed photos as original Polaroids and then digitally designed a vellum overlay. I worked with an Etsy shop to hand-make paper envelopes in the custom Polaroid dimensions, then cut and inserted gold foil liners. The final touch was a personalized return address stamper (“The Future Dr. & Mrs. Mancuso”). They turned out great & I received so many compliments! BAR MENU: I digitally designed our bar menus using my wedding fonts to keep everything “branded” and had them printed professionally on card stock with gold foil. I purchased acrylic frames (that I would later use in my own home – multipurpose!) to put them in on display. TABLE RUNNERS: I sourced my own fabric in bolts for my table runners by calculating the lengths for each grouping of tables to include the ends sweeping onto the floor. It was more expensive to rent than buy the fabric myself, so I shipped the fabric directly to my florist to cut in the appropriate lengths and place beneath my floral arrangements. VELVET DINNER NAPKINS: We incorporated a lot of velvet elements, so I also wanted velvet dinner napkins. All the rentals I inquired with were over $4/napkin, but after some investigating, I found them much cheaper to purchase (less than $1/napkin). They came with an unfinished edge, so my mom hemmed all 4 sides of each napkin (thanks, Mom!) WELCOME TABLE: I printed our engagement picture from our Save The Date and placed it in a matching acrylic frame at our welcome table. Our guests loved this, recognized the photo, and it helped bring our event full circle. POCKET WATCH: My favorite DIY project was when I repurposed an old pocket watch that my late father used to carry. With the help of my fiancé, I replaced the face of the watch with my favorite photo of my dad along with some of his ashes, so he could be there with me on my big day and walk me down the aisle.

Any advice for brides currently in the planning process?

Stay true to yourself throughout the entire wedding planning process. It can be challenging not to get distracted or pressured by Pinterest, other brides, or your family and friends. Do what makes you happy! Customize your wedding to fit your needs, wish list and values. Change things up from the standard “norm”! Your wedding should ultimately be a reflection of you and your significant other as a couple. It’s your first official party! Have fun and enjoy every moment! -Paiton, the Bride

Event Credits

Photography: Evan Rich Photography // Venue: The Ancient Spanish Monastery // Videographer: Motive Cinemas // Day-of-Coordinator: Maureen C. Weddings // Invitations + Stationary: I Can Do That Design // Florist: Julia Rohde Designs // Rentals: Mi Vintage // Furniture Rentals: Elements & Accents // Tablescape Rentals: Different Look Rentals // Lighting: Event Factor // Catering: Alexander Event Catering // Cake: Earth & Sugar // Ceremony Musicians: Master Musicians // Band: Bay Kings Band // Welcome Text: The Digital Bride // Floral Wall: Miami Flower Walls // Photobooth: Dipp Photo Booth // Bride's Attire: Essense of Australia // Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin // Groom's Attire: Indochino // First Dance Choreographer: Dance Reverie Studios