“I already knew he was going to propose someday,” says Ana Carolina Zago of anticipating her engagement to Alois Rupp. “I just had no idea it was going to be so soon!” The Brazilian former model (who goes by her middle name) had already been quizzed on her favorite diamond shapes when Alois proposed while on a trip to Las Vegas. “I said yes with all my heart!” she recalls. The real surprise came about three months later. “We found out we had a little baby coming our way,” Carolina confides. “So, we decided to do a very small and private wedding for just our families before our son was born, and postpone the big wedding.”

When the time came for planning the formal event, the couple incorporated lavish flowers, a stunning venue, a beautiful color scheme, and other key components into their dazzling event design. “We didn’t have a theme,” says the bride of the timeless décor. “We just wanted the wedding to reflect our personalities.”

The ornate beauty of a renowned Roman Catholic church in Manhattan set the stage for a nuptial mass that was as lovely as it was traditional. Marble columns, colorful frescos, and gilded accents created an arresting backdrop for sumptuous floral arrangements of calla lilies, dendrobium orchids, and peonies in shades of white and pink. A cascade of white orchids beautifully accentuated the bride’s intricately draped and ruffled gown by Brazilian designer Samuel Cirnansck, while blushing peonies were gathered into lush bouquets for bridesmaids. Two flower girls dressed in white carried beribboned baskets of petals, while a third held a pocketbook of pink and white roses and hydrangea blossoms. The couple’s son, Caio Josef, was also formally attired for the occasion: “He wore a little tuxedo,” Carolina reveals.

The reception that followed was a fantasy of mood lighting and sparkling embellishments. Seating cards hung from a massive tree festooned with crystals and roses just outside the ballroom where the celebration took place. The ballroom itself featured striking gilded moldings, and individual blooms were strung overhead from thousands of beaded crystals. Rouched overlays topped pink table linens and coordinated with the cushions on handsome chiavari chairs, while candlelight added a romantic glow to professional lighting that washed the entire room in rose. Bunches of frothy peonies composed opulent centerpieces, and a single orchid flower highlighted napkin-tucked menus at each place setting. A children’s table decorated with bowls of sugared candy offered kid-friendly foods such as sliders, chicken fingers, and fries to young guests in attendance.

Much thought went into the father-daughter dance, which was one of Carolina’s favorite wedding memories. “It was very important to me to dance with Father to a Brazilian song,” she acknowledges. “My father and I really like the composer Tom Jobim, so we danced to two of his songs, including one that was half in Portuguese and half in English featuring Frank Sinatra.” After cutting the wedding cake swagged with fondant ribbon and accented with flowers, the bride changed out of her couture gown and crystal-encrusted shoes into a lovely bridal mini dress and classic silk pumps. Dancing was enjoyed, and each guest received a silky bag containing a Swarovski crystal figurine as well as a miniature wedding cake made of white chocolate by Godiva. Everything from the monogrammed menus to the golden sheath covering the cake table was meticulously coordinated to create a breathtaking affair that was truly and beautifully detailed. “During the whole planning [I felt] so worried that something was going to go wrong, and then I was the wrong one,” admits the bride. “Everything was perfect!”