Outdoor Destination Wedding at an Oceanfront Resort in Florida

Amanda and Jon-Michael
Photographed by: Wedding Photography by LiamLocation: Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, United States

One night, Amanda Gurdjian grabbed dinner and drinks with a beauty-school classmate who tried setting her up with a friend. However, Amanda was immediately smitten by someone else at their table, Jon-Michael Pizzi. “He had a girlfriend at the time, so nothing came of it,” the bride reveals. “Months later, I am sitting at a table with him with the same group, but he is now single, and the rest is history.” When he was ready to take the next step in their relationship, Jon-Michael proposed to Amanda on a boardwalk in Boston’s Seaport District. “His friend was up on the restaurant roof deck videotaping the whole thing,” she remembers. “I was so excited. I couldn’t even sit down to eat!”

While the couple resides in Boston, they couldn’t resist the charm of their elected Florida venue. “After visiting the Acqualina Resort & Spa and meeting with Jessica Roldan from the Acqualina team, [I loved] her attention to detail, their exemplary service, and trusted that she and I could accomplish my vision, even though I lived out of state,” Amanda explains. On a sunny spring day, guests witnessed an alfresco ceremony with a breathtaking oceanic view. In addition to heartfelt vows, the ceremony also featured a special surprise for the couple’s mothers. “Both my husband and I took a moment to have the pastor acknowledge our mothers and all they have done for both of us in our lives. Then [we] asked them to come stand up next to us so we could give them a rose,” Amanda tells of the memorable moment.

Following the ceremony, loved ones enjoyed dancing the night away with the newlyweds at the reception. Roses, hydrangeas, and additional white blooms, appeared in the centerpieces that were adorned with cascading crystals. “We wanted a crisp, luminous setting with uplighting on the palm trees, market lights draped over the reception area, and lots and lots of candles – all with the ocean as a backdrop in the late afternoon and moonlight in the evening,” the bride describes. In addition to boxes of chocolates, guests received Champagne flutes with a scroll indicating their table number. Another crowd-pleaser was the send-off, where everyone held sparklers as the couple danced to Michael Bublé’s version of “Save the Last Dance For Me.”

Thinking about her special day, Amanda affirms that couples should treasure the entire day before it’s a memory: “Enjoy every second of the day. It goes by so fast. Cherish every moment!”

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