Not an ounce of angst marred the planning of the wedding of Ashleigh Wolff and Robert Rotunno. The idea of a destination wedding greatly appealed to both the bride and groom, and Robert generously offered to host the entire wedding weekend with a single goal in mind: for his bride to have everything she wanted. “I had been planning my wedding in my head my whole life,” offers Ashleigh, “and I was excited to finally see my ideas brought to life.” Finding a suitable location to serve as their venue wasn’t difficult at all. “I grew up going to Florida every year, so Palm Beach feels like a second home to me,” explains the bride. “We fell in love with the beauty of The Breakers, and I knew it would be the perfect place for [our wedding].” Robert was equally delighted with the historic beachside resort: “I really loved The Breakers in general… I also love Palm Beach and I wanted our family and friends to experience the locale we visit each year.”
The vision Ashleigh had in mind was Southern sophistication with romantic details, such as Save the Dates printed on lace-edged handkerchiefs, and textured invitation suites edged gracefully in gold and genuine Swarovski crystals. The scene of the ceremony was the breathtaking Ocean Lawn, where a floral partition complete with windowpanes and a fabric-lined entrance was assembled and displayed. Creamy roses were arranged to create a lovely lattice effect on a towering backdrop that separated the ceremony from the rest of the hotel grounds. “I wanted guests to feel something special as they entered the area,” shares Ashleigh. A fairy-tale floral arch draped with luxurious fabric and set on a custom platform served as the couple’s chuppah. Thousands of white roses paved the gracefully curving lines and bubbled roof of the structure, while borders of baby breath lined the sides and steps of the platform.
The voluminous skirt of the bride’s corseted gown featured layer upon layer of tulle, tastefully evoking the charm of her favorite film, Gone with the Wind. The bridal party was attired in white and carried floral varieties that were carefully selected by Ashleigh. Bridesmaids held snowy baby’s breath, while one maid of honor carried a white rose glamelia, and a second held petite stephanotis blossoms accented with rhinestones. Since Robert is Catholic and Ashleigh is Jewish, both a rabbi and a priest officiated the nuptials. A ketubah was signed and a glass broken per Jewish tradition, and a sand ceremony was performed to represent the joining of the couple. “I feel our families were happy that we included both of our religious beliefs,” confides the groom.
The Gold Room of The Breakers was transformed to reflect a rose garden for the elegant reception that followed. Garden and spray roses were displayed in profusion, from lantern-shaped centerpieces on alternating tables, to an elaborate floral frame surrounding an etched-glass seating chart. Blossoms were suspended from crystal chandeliers, and roses gave the illusion of blooming from the ballroom’s massive fireplace. “I wanted everyone to constantly have something new to look at throughout the evening,” says the bride.
Gorgeous linens with a rose motif ornamented tables and guest seating, while monogrammed dinner napkins and ornate menu cards added a touch of gold. Throughout the dinner service a jazz band crooned classic tunes from the1940s in French and English. An elaborate cake with hundreds of sugar roses was sliced and served on the scene, while mini peach and apple pies in custom boxes were distributed to guests as deliciously unique favors. Guests were then ushered into the Mediterranean Ballroom for dancing and additional celebrating.
Ashleigh’s most memorable moment of the day was the couple’s first dance: “It was the first time it was just the two of us all day,” she shares. For Robert, his favorite part of the evening was having his new bride sing to him during dinner. The groom admits that he is old fashioned and takes pride in everything he does. “I wanted the wedding to reflect that,” he says. “I also wanted [it] to be extremely beautiful and tasteful.” And it certainly was.