A Romantic, Garden Wedding at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Miami, Florida

"I had promised myself to make our wedding very personal, with pieces of both of us throughout each moment,” says Marya Khalil (28 and a CEO and busin

"I had promised myself to make our wedding very personal, with pieces of both of us throughout each moment,” says Marya Khalil (28 and a CEO and business owner). "I wanted to intertwine our cultures into the weekend as well, with a Cuban-themed rehearsal dinner in Little Havana for my mom’s heritage, fancy deli food with a twist for our appetizers to honor his Jewish roots and family-style Lebanese food to honor my late father’s heritage." And that’s exactly what she delivered at her wedding to Dylan Otto’s (39 and a writer and producer) at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Miami, Florida. 

Inside the beautiful garden, which boasts a stunning mansion and museum, cultures came together as guests supped on a trio of cultural flavors and watched the couple dance to not one but three songs representing their backgrounds. “The first dance at weddings always seems so boring, so we wanted to do three things: Show our love, honor our families and make it fun for everyone,” Marya says. After four months of practice with a celebrity instructor, Marya and Dylan broke out into a trifecta of dances to a mash-up of family favorites, the first being a basic one-two step to Bill Withers's “Lovely Day,” followed by salsa to Mark Anthony’s “Vivir Mi Vida” and its original Arabic version by Cheb Khaled, for which the couple called everyone to the floor to join them. “We didn't want to be the couple who spend the entire night thanking everyone for attending—we wanted to have fun,” she says.—Ginger Harris

Neutral and natural tones, reflective of the gardens, set the tone, starting with the couple's beautiful invitation.
Garden roses, ranunculus and peonies in shades of creamy white and nudes with light peach and rose accents abound in Marya's bouquet. "We kept it natural yet romantic to keep with the style of Vizcaya," she says.
"The most important accessory was from my best friend, Chanell: a ribbon to tie around my bouquet that had a locket with my favorite photo of my dad and me. I'm still a baby, and I'm smiling from ear to ear with my dad holding me and making me giggle. I lost my dad three years ago, so being able to walk down the aisle with him was incredible."
"My dress was Mark Zunino with a custom overskirt. I wore a beautiful creamy-white silk overskirt with a four-foot train that was buttoned on for the ceremony. When it was removed, I had floral appliques to button into the holes so they were camouflaged. The overskirt changed the silhouette into a princess gown. After the ceremony, I removed it to reveal the rest of my dress."
Dylan warded off cold feet with Stubbs & Wooten black velvet slippers that said "I do." "He told me he wore them so that if he got too nervous to talk, he could always just point to his feet. They were amazing." Marya says.
Dylan's blue Gucci tuxedo was accented with a Panama hat to welcome Marya's Cuban heritage into his life.
"Marriage is a commitment. Weddings are fun, but marrying someone is promising yourself to be committed for the rest of your life. Make sure you found the right person," Marya says.
Guests arrived at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Miami, Florida, complete with a maze of hedges, then were led up an old set of coral stairs surrounded by a canopy of trees bathed in a soft purple light. "It was the perfect place for the ceremony, because it was not only breathtaking, but also overlooked the entire property, the gardens below, the main house and the bay," Marya says.
Maids on honor donned floor-length Vera Wang gowns in a creamy neutral beige color, while the bridesmaids wore baby rose, floor-length tulle dresses, all wearing a matching rhinestone belt from Etsy. "My BFF and 'bridesman' wore a classic black tux with a beautiful panama hat," Marya says.
"All his groomsmen wore Montecristi Panama Hats with their own classic black tuxes," Marya says.
"We had twinkle lights lining the inside of the clear tent. When it got dark, it gave off a beautiful starry-night feel," Marya says. Romantic flowers blooming from textured pots sat atop round and long tables accented with round wooden chairs.
Dylan and Marya gave guests cocktail stirrers with their individual names on them. "Once the guest got their glass, the caterer filled it with champagne, so they had it to bring to their table. It was also fun to see guests carry their custom cocktail stirrer around with them and then home that night," Marya says.
Laser-cut numbers let guests know which table they would be sitting at. Atop the tables, large blooms like peonies and garden roses, mixed with eucalyptus and buttonwood greenery rested in stone and cut-crystal vessels.
"We had a photo booth with a giant flower wall and a GIF booth. We gave out glow sticks to people on the dance floor. And for those who wanted to chill by the water and smoke a cigar, we had authentic Cuban cigars being rolled at the reception right by the ocean," Marya says.