Start Slideshow View Grid Start Slideshow 40

A Chic, Tropical Vibe and a “Hora Loca” at This Oceanfront Wedding in Miami

By Alexandra Macon | Photography by 

Merari Photography

It almost seems like destiny kept trying to bring Carolina Ernst, a special events manager for a French luxury brand, and Lisandro Muller, a hedge fund investment analyst, together. The two initially crossed paths at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a senior exchange student and she was a freshman. Even though they became Facebook friends, they quickly lost touch, but then ran into each other some years later again, when they both ended up living on the same block during one summer in New York. Fast forward to even more years later, when they bumped into each other again at a party in New York. “Things moved really quickly from there,” Carolina explains. “He met my parents two weeks later. It didn’t take long before we knew this was it.”

Two years after they started dating, Lisandro proposed to Carolina at the MoMA in front of a painting by her favorite artist. “This was after asking permission from my dad, my mom, my grandfather, my grandmother, and most importantly, my 12-year-old sister, who said it was ‘awkward,’ ” she says with a laugh.

When it came to decide where to get married, the two agreed to tie the knot in Miami, Carolina’s home town, and an easy destination for their international families and friends to travel to. “We quickly became enamored of Vizcaya, an Italian villa on the water with spectacular gardens and a very cool barge,” she says. The venue was so beautiful that it needed minimal decor. Together with Masi Events, the couple planned on highlighting the venue’s natural landscape, and decided on a “chic with a hint of tropical Latin vibe.”

After seeing a few “good options” at various wedding boutiques, Carolina ended up finding the one at Amsale. “I walked in, saw it from afar, and went straight to the dress that I knew would be my dress,” she says. She loved the gown’s hand pleated organza details, and at the last minute decided to add straps, which she felt “completed the dress.” While many brides choose to wear their something blue on their feet, Carolina took it a step farther and wore a pair of denim shoes for her big day. “They were anything but bridal and I thought they were perfectly appropriate for dancing through the night.” She finished off her look with a family heirloom necklace that her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother all wore to their own weddings.

As for the groom, he and his groomsmen wore matching J.Crew navy blue linen suits. “Because we knew it would be very hot at the end of May in Miami, we packed a few extra white shirts for Lisandro to change into at the wedding,” Carolina shares. “This was something he was definitely thankful for!” Bridesmaids wore blue Self Portrait dresses, while the bride’s 14-year-old sister wore the same dress in a white version.

Before their ceremony at a Catholic Church, the bride and groom met before at Carolina’s grandfather’s house for their first look. “Lisandro burst into tears when he saw me,” she recalls. “It was very sweet!” The same happened to Carolina’s father as he was walking her down the aisle. “My father was more emotional about the day than we expected,” she says. “This was a big tear-jerker for our guests.”

Then it was time for the reception, which had several Latin American details throughout. Empanadas and arepas were served as appetizers, while tres leches and alfajores were given out as treats. Their wedding cake was a rum cake from Edda’s, a Cuban bakery, while a Cuban band played Buena Vista Social Club songs during cocktail hour. But the best part of the night happened when guests enjoyed the traditional “hora loca,” which gives guests the chance to dance and let loose with fun props including flowers crowns, beachcomber hats, pineapple sunglasses and orange espadrilles for the girls.

As for what happened once the fun was over? The bride and groom went back to their hotel, ordered room service, and rested in preparation for their honeymoon in Europe. “We went to Paris, Florence, Capri, and Rome,” she says. “The best part were surprises that our guests planned along the way, including romantic rooftop dinners with views of Il Duomo and champagne bottles in Capri.” A perfect way to start a lifetime together.