Settling on a wedding style is sometimes as simple as imagining the emotions you wish your event to invoke. "I knew from the beginning that I wanted the look and feel of our ceremony and reception to be magical and deeply romantic," says Erika Sussman of her winter wedding to Romain Cohen. Given carte blanche by her fiance to create the day of her dreams, Erika immediately selected The Breakers as their wedding site, and drew design inspiration from the remarkable venue itself. "The Breakers is such a beautiful, historical location with the most amazing architecture," she enthuses. "I wanted the decor to highlight the hotel's incredible details."
The resort's storied Gold Room was the site of the couple's ceremony, selected not only for its gilded beauty, but also for the sense of intimacy it would provide. "The ceremony is such a personal part of the wedding," explains the bride, "that it's nice when your closest family and friends can surround you and really be a part of the experience." Candlelight filled the room with an ambient glow, and flowering branches strung with beaded glass votives added height and drama to an elaborate wooden chuppah. The impact of the visual elements combined with the allure of the intimate space created an atmosphere that was affective and moving. "I can honestly say that the energy in the room was intense and unforgettable," Erika recalls. "Very dramatic but very romantic as well." Contributing to the otherworldly vibe was the bride herself, an absolute vision in tiers of embellished chiffon by Monique Lhuillier, and holding a bouquet of creamy tulips tinged lightly with pale pink.
A grand reception in The Breakers' Mediterranean Ballroom followed the couple's vow exchange, and took full advantage of the room's extravagant beauty. The delicate shades of the ceiling's graceful, painted details were reflected in towering centerpieces of roses, hydrangeas, and tulips set atop golden cages and strung with glittering votives. Rich, blue table linens overlaid with delicate Battenberg lace were accented with exquisite place settings of gilded crystal and china. Massive windows overlooking The Breakers' famously breathtaking courtyard evoked memories of Versailles, and completed the bride's vision of a fairy-tale setting. "I always dreamed as a little girl of getting married in a castle," she says, "and this was my Palm Beach interpretation."
Throughout the event, Erika stayed focused on creating a timeless affair. "I think weddings by nature are very traditional, so that idea played a big role in the entire process," she asserts. "From the actual ceremony and formalities, to the reception and decor, tradition and an old-world aesthetic were embedded in the design." The bride did, however, modify the ritual of signing the Jewish marriage contract before the ceremony. "We arranged to sign the Ketubah in separate rooms so that we would see each other for the first time when I walked down the aisle," Erika confides. "The moment [our eyes met] was unforgettable, and I'm so glad we planned it that way." After enjoying slices of their astonishing "czarina chic" blue-and-gold wedding cake, the couple looked back on their romantic evening without a single regret. "Weddings are about love, emotions, and traditions," concludes the bride, "and I think we were successful in creating an atmosphere that embodied all of that."