This mega-chic Jewish wedding is so picture perfect, between the dreamy Palm Beach setting and the jaw-dropping florals (have you seen that chuppah?!) you’d never guess that it almost didn’t happen. Brett, a social worker, and Dakota, who works in real estate, had to cancel their original wedding date at the last minute when their venue closed due to a Category 5 hurricane. Luckily, they were able to reschedule – with ALL of their original vendors, no less. How fabulous is that?!
But this wedding is so much more than its dramatic origin story. We ADORE Brett’s guipure lace gown by Pnina Tornai, which she custom designed alongside Pnina herself at Kleinfeld. It’s sexy without going over the top, and could it fit Brett any more perfectly?!
We’re also pretty smitten with the florals, courtesy of Lane of Dalsimer Atlas. The couple gave him more or less free reign over the flowers, and it turns out that was an excellent call.
Their floral chuppah is just the dreamiest, lush and romantic as can be. And we love the ultra-creative multilevel tabletop décor setup Lane came up with! Check it out for yourself in Emily Harris Photography and Senderey Video Productions’s fantastic captures of the day.
How we met
Brett, the bride: We met in college at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (Go Blue!!) and have been together very, very happily ever since!
A Palm Beach Wedding
We got married at the Four Seasons Palm Beach because we fell in love with the resort’s elegance and intimacy. We knew we would get married in Florida, where I grew up, and visited dozens of locations in the greater south Florida area before deciding. It was an easy choice once we found this hotel, as it was small enough that our large wedding seemingly took over for the weekend, and it also offered so much for our guests that no one had to leave all weekend long! We loved seeing our guests in the spa, restaurants, and at the pool/beach and being able to visit with all of them in between planned wedding activities.
A Black and Gold Wedding
We did not use a wedding planner because my mom and I are both obsessed with details and wanted to have our touch on all aspects of the weekend and planning. I quickly knew that I wanted our décor to focus more on black than white, and we wove a black and gold theme throughout the décor for the weekend. I also knew that I wanted it to feel very organic in nature, and remember telling our florist that I hoped for an elegant but understated feel in the room. Lane at Dalsimer made this come to life!
A Custom Invitation
Our invitation was entirely custom—from the paper selections, lining, hand-calligraphed font, and ink hue, we chose every single part of the invitation! We were adamant that this would be the first thing our guests saw to set the tone for the wedding weekend, and our invitation was on theme, black and gold, and was so beautiful!
Hair + Makeup
I only had one makeup trial and I was absolutely convinced! Rachel was quickly becoming the go-to person in our area, but we clicked instantly when we met and besides her insane talent, I knew I wanted her amazing energy around me on my wedding day. She was so positive and really just gets it.
When our wedding was cancelled (which you will read about later!), she insisted on coming for our mini family wedding and making sure I looked and felt my best despite the circumstance. On our real wedding day in February, she took charge and handled every aspect of the day and coordinated with all other vendors PERFECTLY making things as simple and calm as possible for my mom and me. She is simply incredible!
Rachel recommended that I try Cassie for my hair. After one trial, I knew I also wanted to work with her because of her wonderful energy, and Cassie and Rachel worked flawlessly together, which was so important in terms of time management for the day and making sure everyone was ready when they needed to be and even more importantly happy with how they looked! I had my hair up for our ceremony and then had Cassie put it down for a more natural look for our reception…which ended up being a pony tail because I was dancing so much!
A Pnina Tornai Dress
My mom and I visited nearly every single bridal store in New York City. From the start, I was so fortunate to have my mom’s patience on my side, because I had ZERO clue what I wanted or was looking for, making this process extremely overwhelming. After trying on all different styles at my first appointment, I was able to eliminate a lot, but the more places we visited the more lost I felt!
I did ultimately become *obsessed* with the idea of guipure lace and knew that my dress had to be made of it! Against my will, we went to Kleinfeld where our amazing consultant and friend, Debbie, brought a Pnina Tornai dress made of this material. It was not at all what I was thinking style-wise, and much to my surprise and luck, Pnina was in the store that day and able to meet with me to create a custom design. This made for the absolute most special and incredible experience, as we truly pieced together every inch of the dress exactly how I wanted it to look on my wedding day!
A Lace Veil
I wore a long, guipure lace edged veil that extended past the length of my cathedral train but did not wear any other head pieces. I did wear a very sentimental bracelet, one that my grandma wore to my parents’ wedding, which was very special for me.
Jimmy Choos and Nikes
I had decided on and purchased metallic skyscraper/platform Jimmy Choo heels that my mom was not a fan of! She was set on me wearing white shoes and I ultimately gave in. I wore white satin medium-height Jimmy Choo heels for our pictures and ceremony, but changed to my white Nike Dunk Sky-Hi sneakers in time for our cocktail hour and party. (My mom was not so thrilled about this either, but comfort was my goal and I was not letting shoes bring me down!)
The handsome groom
My husband is very into fashion and put a lot of time and care into his look for the day. He had a custom tuxedo made at My Suit in New York, deep midnight blue with a black satin shawl collar. He wore Christian Louboutin shoes which were a fun way for him to express his fashion sense!
Bridesmaids in Black
I had my closest friends and sisters as my bridesmaids – 6 total. I loved keeping the group small so that we could really enjoy each other’s company while getting ready all day long. I wanted the girls to wear whatever they were comfortable wearing, and asked that they simply wear a long black dress of their choice! I loved that all of the styles really represented each person and everyone felt so comfortable wearing what they wanted to—and could also wear again many more times!
A Lush, Romantic Chuppah
The only direction we gave our florist was that we wanted our chuppah to be lush and feel romantic. He accomplished this with the overflowing plants and flowers, candles along the aisle, and amber lighting, which really set the mood for our beach-side ceremony.
Rescheduling the Wedding
Our wedding was originally scheduled for October 8, 2016, but was cancelled the Wednesday before because of Hurricane Matthew — the Four Seasons had to close, as did all of the airports in south Florida. My husband felt very strongly that we still get married that weekend as originally planned.
Though we had to make the call to cancel for all of our guests, his family was still able to travel on Friday because, very luckily for us, the hurricane hit north of the south Florida area. On October 8, we had a very intimate ceremony with our rabbi and parents/siblings only, which made for the most special experience. Our dads and grandfathers held 4 sticks with my husband’s tallit draped over it. There was no wedding dress, no aisle, no band or guests to celebrate with, but an incredibly special ceremony with our most important people, followed by an intimate dinner celebration.
We were again, very luckily, able to reschedule the venue and all of our vendors very soon after, and had the full wedding February 4, 2017. I had so much anxiety about making this “re-do wedding” as special as it would have been the first time, especially since now we were technically already married. It was very important to both of us that we say our own vows, so we decided to save that for wedding #2.
In February, my parents both walked me down the aisle as it had always been planned, which was an extremely emotional experience for me especially! This was by far our favorite part of the ceremony, as the anticipation to finally walk down the aisle to my husband had built in the months since our original date was cancelled. Our rabbi lead an incredible second ceremony that touched on our unexpected circumstance and allowed us the opportunity to make it a personal experience, including us saying our own vows as we always wanted to, which could not have been more special. Despite being so scared of how this day would not feel the same as we hoped, it truly could not have been more perfect.
A Very NYC Ketubah
Our ketubah was a custom design made by Hadass from The Painted Ketubah. Living in New York City, my husband had the incredible idea to design our ketubah as a subway map. We had multiple skype sessions with Hadass, who was open and amazingly creative in her depiction of our favorite city. We highlighted the neighborhood we live in, subway stops we frequent, places around the city where we love to spend time, and perhaps most special to us, the words of our ketubah are written in the area that is Central Park, our favorite place in the city.
Can’t Help Falling in Love
We were very specific when meeting with our band, ONLY CURRENT MUSIC! This made for the most fun dance party ever!! Our wedding party walked down to a live string version of I Will Wait – Mumford and Sons and I walked down to Can’t Help Falling in Love. When the ceremony was over, the musicians played a really fun, upbeat version of We Found Love – Rihanna. We entered to the room to our band playing Feel So Close – Calvin Harris which was a highlight of the night, and our first dance was to A Thousand Years. My dad and I danced to Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton, which is a really special song for us both.
Bringing the Outside Inside
We had given Lane of Dalsimer Atlas the direction of what we wanted the room to feel like, and really gave him free reign from there! He used a ton of greenery to bring an outside feel indoors, orchids, and draping flowers that were lush and incredible. We entirely trusted him to make this happen, which he did!
Our fabulous photographer and videographer
We used Emily Harris Photography and Senderey Video Productions. We could not love them more! And better, both worked seamlessly together, which made the stressful day-of process so much easier for everyone. We really felt that both Emily and Caroline Senderey caught us in our most natural element, smiling, happy to be with each other and our closest family and friends, and truly having the best day and night of our lives.
A Custom Cake Topper
Our wedding cake was designed by the chef at the Four Seasons. It was simple, vanilla with white frosting-but tasted amazing!!, and was decorated in our gold theme. I had a custom figurine cake topper made of my husband and me and our most prized possession, our minigoldendoodle puppy!
We had a photo booth because it is everyone’s favorite!
Chocolate Palm Trees
We used a palm tree in the logo designed for the weekend, which was on napkins, welcome bags, itineraries, etc., and we had custom chocolate palm trees (dusted in gold, of course!) made as favors for our guests. A little something sweet to end our perfect night!
Wedding, Take Two
As mentioned earlier, the hurricane that crashed our party and caused our first October wedding to be canceled made our second, rescheduled celebration that much more special. All of our loved ones really rallied to make it the most incredible weekend of celebration we could have ever dreamt of. My maid of honor and best friend, and husband’s best man, his brother, gave the most beautiful speeches, as did our parents. The whole weekend was overflowing with emotion and we could not have felt more loved.
To be honest, our honeymoon plans were ruined when our wedding got cancelled, as neither of us had enough days to take off from work due to another long family trip that had been planned in 2017. We had always planned to minimoon at the Four Seasons in Nevis, which also had to be cancelled in October because of the hurricane’s path, with plans to travel to the South of France and Paris the following summer for a honeymoon. We still ended up going to Nevis—the most amazing place ever!! — in February and extended our time there since we knew we wouldn’t be traveling to France.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
Simply said, just enjoy every second. It FLIES by – everyone says so but it is so, so true. All of the months of planning is over in a split second, so take time to savor it all!
Brett & Dakota’s little white book
Photography – Emily Harris
Videography – Senderey Video Productions
Venue – Four Seasons Palm Beach
Bride’s dress: Pnina Tornai purchased at Kleinfeld
Bride’s shoes – Jimmy Choo and Nike
Groom’s attire – My Suit and Christian Louboutin
Hair + Makeup – Ivy and Lace FL and Rachel’s Brides
Flowers – Dalsimer Atlas
Band – The Clique
Ketubah – The Painted Ketubah
Day of Valet – Brides and Bow Ties