A bride and groom kiss in front of their floral arch during their glam, garden wedding.

The Making of a Glam Garden Wedding for Tara and Chris

Miami, Florida
BY SHIRA SAVADA / 01 18 23
Photo by Liz Fogarty

Every wedding vendor team is created a little differently. In this series we explore how and why each couple selected the right wedding vendor team for their wedding day.

Four years into their relationship, Tara and Chris headed to Paris. It was Tara’s first time in the City of Light, and the perfect setting for Chris to pop the question. The answer was an easy yes.

After returning home to Manhattan, the couple started considering where they’d want to say “I do.”. Tara, always dreaming of getting married in warmer weather, and being half Cuban, instantly thought of the time she and her family had spent in Miami.

The bride and groom wanted a longer engagement, and planned to take their time making any wedding plans. But as luck would have it, they only had to see one venue before falling in love with it. Soon after, they found their wedding planner, and everything began to take shape.


Wedding Venue & Tent

Once Tara and Chris visited Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Miami, they instantly knew they’d found the ultimate setting for their destination wedding. Over the course of their engagement, they visited a few times, and each time fell more and more in love with the location and the garden setting.

They chose a date in April 2021, but, like many couples that year, rescheduled to the following spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ultimately tying the knot on April 30, 2022. They loved springtime in Florida, and were excited for their guests to experience it too.

“We loved Vizcaya’s garden theme and wanted to keep that for the decor. It was the perfect place to bring our vision to life.” —Tara, bride

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, the setting of a glam, garden wedding in Miami.
A glam, garden wedding venue in Miami, Florida.

Multiple areas of the venue were utilized throughout the celebration. Tara and Chris did their first look and group portraits in the gardens before moving to the Casino Mound for the ceremony. Then it was on to the South Terrace for cocktail hour, and finally the East Terrace (where a tent was erected) for dinner and dancing.

Guests move from one part of Vizcaya Museum & Gardens to another for a glam, garden wedding reception.
A glam, garden wedding on the Miami waterfront.

Wedding Planner & Designer

Based on a recommendation from Vizcaya, the couple reached out to Mayrelis Febles of Elite Planning Firm. Living in New York City, it was essential that they have someone with boots on the ground near their venue, as well as someone who really understood who the couple was and create an environment that allowed that to come through. The couple dreamed of a romantic day with a pop of Miami fun, and Mayrelis made it happen.

“Mayrelis did an amazing job bringing our vision to life and allowing for a beautiful and fun vibe for us and our guests.” —Tara, bride

Mayrelis aided the bride and groom in choosing their vendors, focusing on ones who had worked at the venue many times before. As the guest count was somewhat sizable (175 people) and the load-in time was limited (three hours), working with people who knew the ropes was key.

A bride and groom kiss as they walk up the aisle of their glam, garden wedding ceremony.
A glam, garden wedding reception in a tent, with fuchsia floral centerpieces.

Wedding Photographer

Photographer Liz Fogarty had previously done a shoot with Mayrelis at Vizcaya, and Tara loved how effortlessly classic the photos were. Liz had the weekend available, and was booked for the couple’s big day shortly after.

“There is an elegance in the way Liz captures brides and grooms on their special day. She and her husband Gavin were amazing to work with and made us feel so comfortable during all the photos.” —Tara, bride

A groom and bride hold hands and walk down the steps during their glam, garden wedding.
A bride and groom walk the grounds of their wedding venue during their glam, garden wedding.

“Tara and I connected instantly over the beauty of Vizcaya and her love of fashion. I was very much looking forward to photographing all of Tara's looks, from the welcome party to the hora loca. As a photographer, it's wonderful to be part not just of the wedding, but other parts of the weekend so that I can get to know the family and the VIPs. This leads me to getting more candids of the guests too, since they already know me. And as a fellow Latina, the hora loca is always my favorite. I love the party, the vibe, and the energy. It's also when the bride and groom really let loose and forget I am even there so I really capture lots of candids on the dance floor.” —Liz Fogarty, photographer

Guests enjoy an alfresco cocktail hour during a glam, garden wedding.
Newlyweds enjoy the performers during their hora loca at their glam, garden wedding reception.

Wedding Videographer

Elite Planning Firm has worked closely with P|S Photography + Films for more than a decade, recommending them to many of their clients when it comes to wedding videography. Tara and Chris loved their editing style: how their work felt like a movie with high and low moments, along with their clean aesthetic. It was an easy choice for the couple.


Wedding Band

Tara and Chris love to dance, and having a fun band who would engage with the crowd was important to them. They loved the energy and professionalism of The Hit Factory Band and knew their guests would be dancing the entire night. Their first dance song was a slowed-down version of Kungs Vs. Cookin' On 3 Burners’ “This Girl,” and their last dance song was to “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers. In between, it was a mix of Top 40 pop songs from the past decade, making for an iconic soundtrack all night long. 

A band plays during a glam, garden wedding reception, in a clear-top tent.
Guests dance during the reception of a glam, garden wedding in Miami.

Wedding Hair & Makeup Artists

Being the oldest of four girls, Tara knew she had to find the best hair and makeup team to work with her and her sisters, plus the other bridesmaids. The moment she saw the work of Makeup by Marz, she knew she’d found the right team.

Tara asked for a hairstyle that would complement the romantic nature of her Monique Lhuillier dress, which was soft and beautiful. And for her makeup, she requested dramatic eyes and let Marz guide the rest.

“Marz and her team are so wonderful at what they do that I trusted them to work their magic and create a look that was both beautiful and felt comfortable.” —Tara, bride

A groom and bride embrace and pause for a portrait during their glam, garden wedding.
A bride, surrounded by her bridesmaids in pink gowns, hold their bouquets, which they carried down the aisle of this glam, garden wedding ceremony.

Wedding Stationer

The Card Cottage handled all things stationery, starting with the save the dates. The couple wanted to use the beauty of their wedding venue to give guests a taste of what was to come, before a more formal invitation was sent later on. For that, a crest was designed with a delicate leaf motif befitting the garden setting (which later appeared on the cocktail napkins too). On the big day, menus reflected the flowers on the reception tables.

The menus at a glam, garden wedding were adorned with illustrated flowers.

Wedding Caterer

Catering came next. The couple was given a list of approved options from the venue and narrowed it down to Constellation Culinary Group, who are one of Mayrelis’s go-tos. A menu was then carefully curated to include a variety of local favorites, such as mojo grilled shrimp skewers, glazed pork belly skewers, and tuna tartare spring rolls. Dinner began with a garden salad garnished with colorful edible flowers. The entreé incorporated some Miami flair thanks to a choice of grilled skirt steak or branzino. The late-night snacks topped off the food offerings in a deliciously fun way, with the menu including beef sliders, truffled cheddar macaroni and cheese, chicken and waffles, and Nutella milkshakes with churros.

A variety of passed appetizers were served during a glam, garden wedding at Vizcaya.
The bride's signature drink was a sparkling rosé served with an edible flower, which was fitting for her glam, garden wedding.

It wasn’t all about the food though, as cocktails were also handled by the caterer, who developed his-and-hers offerings. The bride loves bubbly rosé and wanted that as her signature beverage. To take it up a notch and tie in the glam, garden wedding theme, edible blooms were added. And the groom’s drink was a spicy margarita, with a jalapeño as the finishing touch.


Wedding Florist

To help Tara and Chris achieve their goal of an elevated garden vibe, a floral designer who understood the assignment was imperative. They met with Raffi Grosz of Petal Productions and moved forward from there.

Tara wanted white orchids for her bridal bouquet, and more playful peonies for her bridesmaids to carry. For the ceremony, peonies were combined with roses, hydrangeas, and greenery to create a lush arch for the couple to stand in front of. The color palette of the florals shifted at the reception, where fuchsia and deeper tones were introduced.

“Tara’s vision was to have a ‘vintage garden glam’ feeling. An elevated look, but not too ‘grandma,’ as if we had picked the flowers out of Vizcaya’s manicured gardens and made them look gorgeous on the tables.” —Mayrelis Febles, planner/designer

A bride holds a bouquet of white orchids, while bridesmaids hold roses and peonies befitting the glam, garden wedding theme.
For the glam, garden wedding ceremony, an arch covered in pink flowers was created.

A key component of the reception design was the floorplan. Highlighting the large tables, with their gorgeous linens and tall, airy floral arrangements was the focus. And in keeping with the glam, garden setting, the tent’s structural elements were wrapped with greenery to further bring the outdoors in.

A mix of tall and low arrangements decorate the tables at a glam, garden wedding reception.
Colorful blooms pop at a glam, garden wedding reception.

Wedding Rentals

To flush out the look of the day, rentals were secured from a trio of companies: Elements & Accents for furniture, Different Look for tabletop pieces, and Nüage Designs, Inc. for linens. The chairs and linens were more traditional, but the plates and flatware brought a bit of modernity thanks to their gold finishes and clean lines.

A round table set with wood chairs and a tall floral centerpiece fit the glam, garden wedding vibe.
Gold tabletop pieces added a modern edge to a glam, garden wedding.

Wedding Cake Maker

Earth + Sugar was then selected to make the wedding cake—a four-tier confection incorporating two flavors: marbled vanilla and chocolate with cream cheese frosting and chocolate buttercream, and vanilla cake baked with colorful sprinkles paired with more cream cheese frosting. Safe to say, both were beyond tasty.

A four-tier wedding cake decorated with a cascade of fresh blooms at a glam, garden wedding reception in Miami.
Newlyweds cut their cake during the reception of their glam, garden wedding.

Wedding String Musicians

Tara and Chris wanted their ceremony to be familiar, personal, and timely. Their best man’s younger brother served as the officiant, and the couple tapped Strings USA to provide a soundtrack that included “Can’t Help Falling In Love” for the bride’s entrance. They continued to play throughout the alfresco cocktail hour as well, shifting to more upbeat contemporary tunes.

A joyful bride and groom are all smiles after getting married at their glam, garden wedding.
Guests enjoy cocktail hour at Vizcaya, where this glam, garden wedding took place.

Wedding Hora Loca

To bring in some Cuban tradition, and being in Miami, Mayrelis suggested the addition of an hora loca. Tara loved the idea. Black & Wine Events was booked to provide the lively hour of performances that kept energy high and guests engaged.

Guests interacted with the entertainers at an hora loca during a glam, garden wedding reception.
A performer wore a light-up costume during the hora loca of a glam, garden wedding reception.
A stilt walker leads a bride and groom through their reception space during an hora loca at their glam, garden wedding.

Wedding Coffee Cart, Cigar Roller, and Photo Booth

A few fun, final vendors were booked to make the reception all the more lively: a coffee cart from Aroma Espresso for late-night fuel, a cigar roller courtesy of Cigar Stud to provide a Cuban staple, and a black-and-white Shutterbooth photo booth for guests to strike a pose.

Pink flowers and greenery adorned the ceremony space at a glam, garden wedding in Miami.
A Garden Wedding for Tara and Chris
Liz Fogarty