Tropical Garden Wedding in Miami, Florida

For Cristie Enriquez, the status of taking her husband's last name is complicated, but the beginning of her relationship was simple. Cristie, studio manager at House of Lilac, a flower and gifting company, met Michael Arroyave, an attorney, at a Miami party in 2010.

After five years of dating, Michael proposed during a Palm Beach getaway at The Breakers. Under the guise of a legal conference, he convinced Cristie to spend the day lounging and sipping cocktails at the hotel pool, before popping the question the next morning.

Like their union, the couple's venues had history. Epiphany Catholic Church, the Enriquez family parish, was the obvious choice for the ceremony, while the reception was held at Fairchild, a tropical botanic garden with a birth date of 1938. Transfixed by the idea of a tented party amid the lush Florida landscape, Cristie knew that Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden was the perfect pick for their 375-person affair. 

The pair went minimalist for the ceremony decor and focused their efforts on the reception, channeling garden vibes through hints of green, white and pink. With the help of her wedding dream team (Events by Elle, Vivian's Petals and SFL Productions), Cristie brought her Pinterest board to life through greenery and simple, but elegant florals. 

Anyone who knows Cristie wouldn't be surprised to hear that she found the planning process pretty stress-free, but she credits her decisive nature and all-star planner for her mellow attitude. This proved to be useful for what many brides describe as the most fear-inducing task, choosing the dress. Immediately after trying on the stunning lace Monique Lhuillier with beaded overlay, Cristie knew it was hers. She completed the get-up with her mother's diamond studs and due to a major bachelorette party fail in New Orleans, a pair of orthopedic shoes. The clodhoppers weren't exactly the Oscar de La Renta stilettos Cristie had in mind, but she didn't let a few broken toes ruin her dance party.

Michael sported a timeless look in a classic black Hugo Boss tuxedo, which he was able to snag at half price by registering at the shop first (pro tip)! The bridesmaids wore mismatching Joanna August dresses in blush, while the groomsmen donned traditional black tuxedos to complement the groom. The bridal party may have looked smart AF, but it was the flower girl and ring bearer who claimed the prize as best dressed couple in a mini Oscar de La Renta dress and pint-sized tux. So cute!

Culinary highlights included a beet salad and sous vide side steak from Starr Catering Group, followed by late night bites and shots of Patron XO Cafe tequila. Earth and Sugar sweetened the deal with a striking floral wreath cake that (even to the bride's amazement) turned out blue. "It was a surprise, but it was actually adorable." While delightful, this happy accident was not the icing on the cake. (Sorry. Couldn't resist.) Cristie says, "The best part was our own personal butler who refilled our drinks THE MOMENT the ice melted. I actually really regret not taking a picture with him."

If that's the only regret, we'd say the couple did pretty well. When asked about their goals for the day, they replied, "We just wanted a fun, beautiful wedding, where everyone had a blast and was feeling the love!"  EMG Entertainment took care of the blast portion with a DJ/live band combo that included a drum, saxophone and electronic light up violin! They also brought in a Bahamian Junkaroo brass band for the "hora loca."  Cristie says, "Someone told me they fell in love with their husband again at my wedding and it was my favorite compliment ever." 

Words of wisdom for those about to walk down the aisle from the bride? "Do not attempt to stick a landing when jumping off a pool table (in four-inch heels)." Our advice? If the aforementioned scenario sounds about right, schedule your bachelorette party two months before your wedding for ample recovery time. 

Planner: Events by Elle || Ceremony Venue: Epiphany Catholic Church || Reception Venue: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden || Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier || Bridal Shop: Chic Parisien || Bride's (Intended) Shoes: Oscar de La Renta || Hair & Makeup: Makeup by Marz || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August || Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss  ||  Florist: Vivian's Petals  || Invitations & Calligraphy: Wynwood Letterpress || Music: EMG Entertainment || Cake: Earth and Sugar || Photographer: Jessica Lorren  || Videographer: Centerpiece Cinemas || Sound & Lighting Design: SFL Productions || Tents: Sperry Tents || Rentals & Decor: Diamonette || Favors: Patty Cakes || Photo Booth: All Access Booth || Transportation: Mac Parking