Matthew Lane was a man on a mission. “I knew I wanted to propose, but I wanted to do so when both of our families could be a part of it,” he shares. Lucky for him, the family of his college sweetheart, Whitney Barnett, was already heading to Miami for a vacation. “I saw my opening: I got my family on board and the plan went into motion.” While lounging by the pool one afternoon, Whitney’s niece requested a golf lesson from her aunt. “Being an avid golfer, Matt knew I would seize the moment to teach her how to putt,” Whitney smiles. “Little did I know, she was in on the plan the whole time!” Matthew ran ahead to set up the putting green – but first, he took a quick detour to meet his sister, whom was hiding in an adjacent restaurant with the engagement ring. After handing him the ring, Matthew promptly placed the box inside the golf hole before Whitney began making her way across the green with her eager niece. “As they started to putt closer and closer to the hole, Whitney asked ‘What is that in the cup?’ That’s when I got down on one knee, grabbed the box out of the cup, and asked her to marry me,” Matthew beams. Unexpectedly, both families dashed out of the nearby restaurant to join the excited couple. “Matt is the best, most thoughtful, amazing guy in the entire world!” exclaims Whitney.
On a warm and sunny day in July – after 16 months of careful preparation – guests gathered in the outdoor, tented space on the Barnett property complete with a glass panel ceiling and cascading alabaster fabric lining the pillars. The view from their seats featured a stunning mixture of chic, modern, and natural detailing – the chuppah, adorned with numerous ivory orchids spilling over the top, was held up by transparent columns and rested on a raised white platform in full view of friends and family. Bucking tradition, the anxious sweethearts had already seized the opportunity to gaze at one another in their formal attire, as they selected to do a "first look" before their “I dos.” “The first time seeing Whitney in her wedding gown was unbelievable,” admits the groom. “Her white dress and smile were glowing.”
Bridesmaids strolled down the aisle sheathed in light grey dresses with romantic sweetheart necklines and long sheer hems atop cocktail-length skirts, and carried floral clusters brimming with the bride’s favorite bloom: ranunculus. The orchestra began to play a rendition of Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful” as revelers rose to their feet to greet the blushing bride. Whitney floated through the crowd in a striking ball gown with a deep V-neck halter in silk charmeuse and a ruched tulle skirt bedecked with Chantilly-lace appliqué accents. “Walking down the aisle was surreal,” she recalls. “I’ve never felt anything like it in my entire life.” The bride also wore her great-grandmother’s wedding ring for the vow exchange, which is a family custom. The traditional Jewish service was officiated by the same rabbi that presided over both Matthew’s bar mitzvah and his parents’ own nuptials.
After enjoying a lively cocktail hour, attendees traversed a raised walkway to another substantial, enclosed tent to continue the celebration. The couple’s initials – “M” and “W” – were strewn across the opulent space in the form of large sculptures made up of countless roses, and adorned additional surfaces as engraved calligraphy. “The wedding was inspired by our mutual love for contemporary art and design, clean lines, and of course, its location,” reveals Whitney, who works as a professional event planner with Paulette Wolf Events. “The focal point of the reception was a custom-created neon sign displaying our favorite quote, ‘I woke up wanting to kiss you.’” Two mirror-top beverage stations flanked the sprawling stage, offering a modern, stylized structure to the area.
Family and friends were met by waiters who wore aprons with embroidered numbers signifying the table they had been assigned to serve. The fête featured three contemporary tablescape motifs – each including the couple’s signature blanche hue throughout. Four spectacular illuminating ruched square shades were gracefully suspended above the first tier of dining tables. “From [every square’s] center, an array of sheer ribbons dolloped with white rose blossoms cascaded from the center to create a stunning ceiling focal,” the bride describes. The party atmosphere quickly picked up, and soon, everyone was on their feet and enjoying the top-notch entertainment which included a large and lively band, a 24-person gospel choir, and the bride’s brother, a famous DJ, who extended the merriment into the wee hours of the morning.
The air of warmth and support that encircled the exultant newlyweds was palpable. “It felt truly [exceptional] to be in a room with family and friends from all over, in one place, to celebrate [us] on that monumental day,” Matthew reflects. “The energy from every guest surrounding us on the dance floor was electric,” agrees Whitney. “It was unforgettable – looking into Matt’s eyes and seeing the huge smile on his face while we danced.”
When all was said and done, both husband and wife were overjoyed with the entire event. “What made the wedding so special was that we created it from scratch in Whitney’s backyard. We used all the different nooks and crannies and took guests on a journey [through the] property,” declares the groom. “Everyone was experiencing the venue for the first time together.” Anticipating their future, Whitney and Matthew are looking forward to the new adventures that lie ahead – both far off and close to home.