Though Alexandra Cohen and Greg Maiatico felt an instant connection at a Halloween party, their romance didn’t blossom until they crossed paths again two years later. “We recognized each other and hit it off again that weekend,” Alex muses. Four years later, Greg proposed to his sweetheart while they were celebrating his birthday in New York City, where they first met.

The lovebirds invited nearly 150 loved ones to celebrate their nuptials in Southern California. “We felt like we could create a beautiful weekend experience for our guests in our neighborhood of Santa Monica,” the bride tells. One of their most important decisions was electing the perfect locale for the alfresco ceremony. “[It] could not have felt more perfect. We loved being married outdoors, nestled beneath the shade of the historic 100-year-old fig tree on the front drive… with our loved ones there as witnesses,” Alex smiles. In addition to scripture and poetry readings at the outdoor service, a string trio performed modern tunes throughout the ceremony and cocktail hour.

As a South Florida native, Alex envisioned a “Miami glam” theme for the wedding. “We used vintage brass trays and pineapples mixed with white lacquer elements [and] some bold tropical greens,” she illustrates of the décor. She also requested pink bougainvilleas in her floral arrangements to enhance the ambience. “My parents’ home in South Florida is covered with pink bougainvilleas, and it's been my favorite flower since childhood,” the bride remembers. Though honored prominently, Miami was not the only location highlighted in the wedding. As a nod to their love story, the couple wanted guests to experience a little bit of New York City as well. “The Shake Shack feast, the Montauk-inspired mini lobster rolls, and motel key tags [all] brought a piece of New York to our big day in Los Angeles,” smiles the bride.

The newlyweds are thrilled that their wedding was a true reflection of their personalities. “We had so many people tell us that they felt the wedding was ‘so us,’ which was amazing to hear,” she says. “It was very important for us to be thoughtful and true to ourselves when deciding every detail for our big day.”