A Garden Wedding at an Epic Miami Venue
Brette and Patrick
Patrick Mowrer, a lead engineer at a New York tech startup called Updater, and Brette Allen, a luxury brands lead at Google NYC, met briefly in December 2013 at a mutual friend's party in Brooklyn. Although they went their separate ways afterwards—Brette was in Costa Rica on a yoga retreat while Patrick was in Panama—they kept in touch over social media. The couple decided to make the relationship official once they both returned home and met for dinner.
Two years later, the West Village-based pair decided to celebrate Brette's birthday with a weekend trip to New York's Hudson Valley. Once there, Patrick suggested they take a hike with their dog, Buddy, and asked Brette to take a selfie with him at the top of the mountain. It was then that Patrick surprised Brette by pulling out a ring instead of a phone.
As they began planning their wedding, both Brette and Patrick were adamant about having an outdoor ceremony. They visited Vizcaya Museum & Gardens while on vacation in Florida and were sold when they heard the venue hosted weddings. For the look and feel, the pair wanted to create a refined and calm environment, keeping both a classic and modern aesthetic in mind. "This led us to our color scheme of black, white, green, and gold," Brette says. For some playfulness, they used palms as a central design theme.
On February 25, 2017, surrounded by 100 of their friends and family, the couple hosted a sophisticated and fun wedding in sunny Miami. "It was the most exciting and thrilling day of our lives that also managed to be relaxed and easy," Brette says. "A lot like our relationship!"
Brette designed the stationery over the course of six months. Printed by Paperless Post, it featured a palm motif and a modern typeface. "One of the most important qualities for her was the heavy card stock," Patrick says. "They weighed a ton!" The suite featured a formal invitation with a response card, an events card detailing the multi-day wedding proceedings, and a run-down of hotel accommodations.
Ring It In
Brette's engagement ring, created by David Bader of Bader & Garrin Diamond Company, featured an emerald-cut stone with a pavé diamond and matching gold band. "Patrick and I designed it together," the bride says. "We wanted something super modern with a twist."
Brette didn't know what type of wedding dress she wanted as she began her search, just that she was looking for something different—"not the atypical bridal look," she says. She found all of that and more in this Pronovias "Vicenta" dress. The lace reminded her of the vines in Vizcaya's gardens, and the top felt different from anything she'd seen before. "It ticked off all the boxes!" she says. "Not to mention it was comfortable, a perk I never expected to have." She topped the look off with a Pronovias veil, Tiffany & Co. jewelry, and silver Gianvito Rossi sandals.
The bridesmaids wore neutral dresses of their choosing, and sported variations of the bride's bouquet.
The groomsmen looked dapper in Suitsupply tuxedos, and each wore a bow tie and pocket square that matched Patrick's.
All in the Family
Brette's nephew, Hank, was ring bearer for the ceremony, and was joined by an even younger guest. "[My sister] brought her 3-month-old baby, too!" Brette says. "It was incredible that she made it to the wedding, having given birth so recently."
At the Altar
The ceremony took place in an outdoor courtyard at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.
Brette and Patrick wanted to play up the palm theme and use native Florida greens, so the altar, designed by Anthology Co., was a mix of palms, botanicals in jars, ivory pillar candles, and tropical leaves, all on a farmhouse table with a bevy of votive candles.
Brette and Patrick wanted guests to enjoy the sunset and take in Vizcaya's grounds in the natural light, so they decided on an evening ceremony starting at 6:30 p.m. Patrick's cousin, Morgan, officiated the event on The Mound (an open circular space with stone archways), and Brette’s mother read "Ithaka" by C.P. Cavafy. Brette walked down the aisle to Pachelbel's Canon in C, and the couple shared traditional vows.
Time to Recess
The couple shared a kiss after recessing to Stevie Wonder's "Sign, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)."
Drink's on Me!
Brette works with LVHM—a French multinational luxury goods conglomerate that owns Moët—at Google, so she wanted to include her longtime client in the day. She surprised guests with mini Moët & Chandon bottles, which were served as the party made their way to the gardens for cocktail hour.
The Cocktail Hour
Cocktail hour took place on the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens south terrace, where a Spanish guitarist provided the music. Halfway through, Patrick's mother joined in on the revelry and performed a classic Swedish wedding song on the violin.
Guests munched on a bounty of appetizers, including skewers of honey-coconut shrimp, hand-shucked oysters, and fish tacos with cilantro, Cotija cheese, and pickled onions.
The Escort Cards
Brette's father calligraphed the escort cards, which featured a palm motif. "He has incredible penmanship and it was fun for Brette and her father to collaborate on a project for the wedding," Patrick says.
Each table was set with a floral arrangement of King protea, astilbe, thistle, ranunculus, veronica, ferns, snowball viburnum, and agapanthus in gold urns. Black table cloths and gold pineapple table numbers from Conteur Co. finished off the look.
Put in Place
Gold silverware flanked the napkins and menus, which also featured the palm motif that was used on the stationery. Dinner consisted of ceviche, pan-seared lane snapper, and Cuban chili short ribs.
Dance the Night Away
The groom's favorite moment of the day was right before he and and Brett shared their first dance to "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers. Patrick admits he has two left feet, so the couple practiced with a dance coach before the big day to ensure the moment went off sans stumbles.
Afterwards, since Patrick's friends and family are primarily Swedish, guests danced to songs by famous musicians from the country—like Ace of Base and Robyn—until 1 a.m.
Brette and Patrick cut into a small gold-dusted dark chocolate-filled cake from Earth & Sugar—it was just big enough to feed the couple and their immediate families. The remaining guests were served a platter of dark chocolate ganache, flourless chocolate cake, and hazelnut chocolate mousse—the bride and groom are chocolate addicts and wanted to show their love of the dessert with the sampler.
Photography, Merari Photography
Location, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Catering, Bill Hansen Luxury Catering
Flowers, Anthology Co.
Videography, 5801 Productions
Cake, Earth & Sugar
Rentals, Unearthed Vintage
Bride's gown and veil, Pronovias
Groom's and groomsmen's tuxedos, Suitsupply
Transportation, Aventura Worldwide Transportation