“When you are both the bride and the floral designer, having gorgeous flowers are a must,” Makini Brereton says. With just about every option available to her, she decided to go bold with the blooms and overall color palette that filled her and Jason Martin’s celebration. The all-white venue practically required it. The groom selected the first hue used in the design – mint green – which made for a unique accent to the fuchsia, marsala, white, and gold details that ruled the day.

But before Makini and Jason could begin planning their wedding, they had to meet. Both busy, self-employed professionals with demanding careers, their respective friends recommended they try a dating app. “After swiping through a few profiles, I lost interest,” the bride admits. Meanwhile, Jason was immediately struck by one of Makini’s photos and sent her a message. He didn’t hear back, because little did he know, his future wife had not logged on in weeks. On a whim, she signed back in and was intrigued by his message and decided to answer, apologizing for her late reply. “Luckily, I was still very interested in getting to know the woman behind that beautiful smile when she responded – almost a month later,” the groom muses. It quickly became clear that they were meant to be together, and Jason made it official by proposing to Makini in Central Park in front of their parents and friends.

As a veteran in the wedding industry and with a bridesmaid who is a successful event planner, the bride expected the journey to be seamless. “However, having so much insight made the selection process a bit challenging,” Makini notes. “I found it difficult to commit to my design.” Thankfully, she had an ideal partner by her side throughout: the groom, who was involved with the bulk of the preparations, while still ceding final decisions to his bride.

The New York skyline, including the Empire State Building, looked stunning from the rooftop, but all eyes were on Makini as she walked down the aisle in a resplendent mermaid gown with an off-the-shoulder neckline. In addition to reciting their handwritten vows – a favorite moment for each of them – the couple looked to their heritage as they entered into marriage. “It was important to Jason and me to incorporate some African traditions in our ceremony,” the bride explains. Along with the more well-known custom of “jumping the broom,” they also took part in the “tying the knot” ritual. Makini’s maternal grandmother tied the bride and groom’s wrists together with an African cloth, symbolizing their unity and commitment to marriage.

After an exciting cocktail hour featuring entertainment from a hip-hop violinist, guests went inside to enjoy the delicious three-course meal the happy couple had carefully planned out. Another nod to their culture, the menu included fare from Makini’s Trinidadian background and Jason’s Southern roots. “The food was definitely one of the highlights of our wedding!” the bride exclaims. As attendees enjoyed the fusion cuisine, they also admired the centerpieces designed by Makini. “We kept all of the flowers in pink, red, and purple tones and used Dutch hydrangeas, roses, and dahlias, as well as cymbidium, dendrobium, and phalaenopsis orchids for our centerpieces,” she shares.

Neither bride nor groom would change a moment of their special day. “Hindsight is 20/20, but even from that viewpoint, I wouldn’t change a thing,” Jason reflects. “To me, the mistakes, frustration, and anxiety are parts of the experience. It helps you to cherish everything that went right that much more.”