Nearly the second Brooklyn natives Gracia Walker and Daniel Dickson got engaged, they booked The Raleigh Hotel, a Miami landmark where they'd stayed on their very first trip together. Inspired by the property's Baroque-style pool, they created punchy black-and-white patterns, borders, and emblems for everything from the invitations to cushions for the alfresco reception.
On April 16, 2011, guests gathered in the balmy Florida air to watch the radiant couple tie the knot and celebrate with delicious fare and dancing under palm trees.
Daniel, a TV art director and graphic designer, relied on both his heart and his designer's eye for the invitations. With the flourished lettering, he aimed to capture the couple's bold style and shared sense of fun. He also included a typeface used in the work of one of their favorite artists, Lawrence Weiner. "I love how it turned out -- masculine, but romantic," says Gracia.
A great sense of fashion obviously runs in the family: The bride embraces her mother, who donned a gray dress by Suzi Chin for Maggy Boutique. Since Gracia bought her own gown on the spur of the moment, her mom wasn't with her, but "she thought the story was hilarious!" recalls Gracia.
Pillows plumped up lounge chairs near the pool and doubled as favors for guests to tote home. Daniel created the striped pattern to symbolize how the different paths he and Gracia had taken "still led up to the same moment." The "2" represented the two of them, and the "D" stood for Dickson. He and a friend silk-screened all 60 linen and cotton shams in one sitting. "We were pushing the boundaries of our skill sets," he says. "That was a great day."
In addition to Gracia's must-have raw bar, food stations offered casual-chic bites like sliders served up on pretty-paper covered trays. And for their signature drink? Daniel's all-time favorite: Miller High Life, "the Champagne of beers!" he says, enthusiastically agreeing with the company's well-known slogan.
Location and Catering: The Raleigh Hotel
Event Planning: Alexandra Kovach of Alexandra & Company
Event Design, Production, and Flowers: E Squared Concepts
Music: DJ Lindsey
Wedding Photography: Karen Kristian Photography
Gown: Bottega Veneta
Bride's Shoes: Dolce & Gabbana
Flower Girls’ and Ring Bearers' Attire: Crewcuts by J.Crew
Wedding Bands: Amanda Keidan Jewelry
Hair and Makeup: Makara Baker
Officiants: Renee Cantave and Lacey Schwartz
"Lacquer” Trays: West Elm
Handkerchiefs: Ful Studio
Pillow Inserts: United Pillow
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