Flamenco Dancers and Twinkle Lights Dazzle at This Wedding at Vizcaya Gardens in Miami

Something about the back of his head—and 6-foot-6 stature—intrigued college freshman Melanie Patrich. "My friends made me go to a party at his fratern

Something about the back of his head—and 6-foot-6 stature—intrigued college freshman Melanie Patrich. "My friends made me go to a party at his fraternity house," she describes. "I wanted to leave, but then I saw his back facing me while he played foosball. Even though I hadn't seen his face yet, I instantly wanted to talk to him." Melanie introduced herself to Rob Shaw, a sophomore, and asked to join his game. "He told me no," laughs Melanie. "Later on, he walked up to me and apologized and told me to join him in a new game." They struck up a romantic relationship, and after five-and-a-half years (and two proposal delays), Rob popped the question in Key West at the end of a blissful vacation.

When planning the wedding-day decor, the couple let their venue be their guide. "My inspiration was to go along with the nature and architecture of Vizcaya," the bride says. "It's a very natural and earthy venue, so I wanted to keep things relatively neutral." The stunning, sprawling grounds of the estate-turned-museum venue provided all the old-world beauty they were after, allowing them to bring in some of their own updated style. "I included touches of modern, such as ghost chairs and gold accents, because I'm truly a modern girl at heart. I grew up in a very modern and Scandinavian home, which I then used as inspiration for my home, so I wanted to make sure I incorporated some of that as well."

Though the couple isn't necessarily known for their "craftiness," the groom elected to do some minor DIY projects. "It happened to be the coldest day of the year in Miami, so we bought about 100 blankets and Rob custom-made and cut little signs and tied them to the blankets," explains Melanie. "He also made custom bar menus with our custom drinks!" Guests snuggled up in the warm blankets after taking their seats for the ceremony: anxiously (but comfortably) awaiting the bride and groom.

Rob and Melanie exchanged vows after the sun had set—per Jewish tradition—under a minimally adorned chuppah featuring soft white draping and delicate greenery. "We used the same Kiddush cup my parents used when they got married," remembers the bride. "It was gifted to us from the temple where I had my bat mitzvah. Additionally, we used the tallit passed down from my father's great-great-grandfather. It's a special piece that means a lot to my father." In Jewish weddings, a Kiddush cup is filled with wine and blessed before both bride and groom take a sip, and a tallit is a prayer shawl wrapped around the couple at the end of the ceremony to represent their lives together.

Following the traditional ceremony, attendees flocked to the tented reception space so the party could begin. Round tables with crisp ivory linens and long, wood tables with verdant runners rested underneath string lights and suspended greenery clinging to the clear tent ceiling, which allowed an unobstructed view of the stars. "The florals were classic and neutral to fit the overall aesthetic. The same blooms were used throughout the bouquets, centerpieces and the chuppah for the ceremony," Melanie says. "I chose emerald as the main color because it's my mom's and my birthstone. It also happens to be my favorite color."

Each wedding party member was dressed in attire that reflected the formality and fun of the event. "To go along with a classic-yet-modern aesthetic, we chose black tuxes for the groom and groomsmen. The bridal dress was traditional with its silhouette and lace detail, but the deep neckline made it instantly modern." The bridal party showed off their stunning looks throughout an evening of dining, drinking and dancing, leading up to a very special party-within-a-party utilized in Latin weddings worldwide. "There was a Hora Loca for guests at midnight!" beams the bride. "Guests were lively and loved to dance, so the Hora Loca was the perfect way to keep the evening going that light at night.

Melanie is poignant when offering advice for future couples. "Use yourselves as inspiration. Use your nationality, religion, jobs, etc., to create a day customized to you two," she says. 

A fun bride in a long, white, getting-ready dress shirt popping a bottle of Champagne for her bridesmaids/wedding party in silk, black dress shirt on a high-rise balcony in Miami, Florida.
Bride and Bridesmaids Holding Bouquets of Eucalyptus and Greenery With White Flowers
A bride in a whimsical, romantic A-line gown standing with her bridesmaids/wedding party, all in emerald green, in different styles of dresses, gowns and a suit with verdant bouquets featuring greenery and accented by white flowers at a sprawling villa in Miami, Florida.
Bride Tapping Groom on Shoulder During Waterfront First Look at Waterfront Estate
Bride With Cathedral-Length Veil and Full A-Line Gown With Groom in Tux in Formal Estate Garden
Groom in Black Tuxedo and Bride in Romantic A-Line Gown Embrace in Formal, Ornate Estate Ballroom at Vizcaya
Bride, Groom, Parents and Rabbi Gather Around in Formalwear to Sign the Ketubah at Jewish Ceremony
A romantic Jewish reception after sunset under a clear tent, string lights and suspended greenery featuring round tables with white linens and long tables with greenery runners with ghost chairs, gold accents and low centerpieces.
Groom in Black Tuxedo, Kippah Twirls Bride in Tulle A-Line Gown on Dance Floor Under Tent, String Lights
Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Miami, Florida, a Waterfront Estate Villa Venue With Historic Charm
Bride and Groom Lifted by Male Wedding Guests, Jewish Dance Tradition, Tent and String Lights
Three-Tier White Wedding Cake With Minimalistic Skirt Design, Gold Accents and Gold Topper
Costumed Dancers During Tented Wedding's Hora Loca, Crazy Hour, on the Dance Floor
Flamenco Dancers Performing on Dance Floor, Tented Reception, for Hora Loca at Midnight