What do an orthopedic surgeon from South Detroit, a lawyer from Chicago, and Beyoncé have in common? Evidently enough to encourage Jeffrey Ackerman to propose to Melissa Melshenker sooner rather than later. "I was offered a residency position back near my hometown in Michigan, and Melissa told me to put a ring on her finger and she’d come, too,” Jeffrey reminisces. “This was right after the song ‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)’ became a hit, and Melissa liked to sing it to me all the time. I wanted her to come with me to start our life together, so I followed Beyoncé’s advice."
Reflecting warmth and friendship in the details of their stunning black-and-white wedding was of utmost importance to Melissa and Jeffrey. The bride was a vision as she made her debut in an elegantly frothy A-line gown and floor-sweeping flower-trimmed veil. Rhinestones encircled the stems of her cascading bouquet and picked up on the sparkle of her crystal-embellished belt. However, Melissa’s entrance wasn’t the only one that caused a stir; her groom glided down the aisle to the song "Eye of the Tiger," raising his arms in the air like a championship fighter. "It was a huge hit!" Jeffrey happily recalls.
Guests were seated in elegant Chameleon chairs on all four sides of the chuppah for the couple’s modern Jewish ceremony. "It made everyone feel like they were an integral part of the ceremony,” Melissa asserts. Bridesmaids were attired in elegant black-and-white gowns, coordinating with the groomsmen who were clad in black as well. "I had Nike Dunks custom made in black patent leather for both of our dads and all my groomsmen,” Jeffrey laughs. “They looked like leather tuxedo shoes!”
Roving violinists filled the air with music as guests were met with Champagne immediately after the ceremony. In addition to Stoli Dolis (Jeffrey's signature drink of dangerously delicious pineapple-infused vodka), a strolling cocktail hour presented many a delectable option, from Chinese and Italian-themed nibbles to a martini and tequila bar. At the reception, guests were gathered at long communal tables so they could feel like they were seated in close proximity to each other – a factor of key importance to Melissa and Jeffrey. Tables were draped in rich ebony linens, while crystal candelabras provided a romantic glow. Abundant arrangements of white roses, orchids, and exotic flowers overflowed from gleaming crystal vases.
A summer salad of bibb lettuce, goat cheese, mango, and avocado kicked off the festive sit-down dinner. An intermezzo of sorbet was followed by a choice of chateaubriand or roasted Atlantic salmon. For dessert – in honor of one of the couple's most memorable Miami dates – servers clad in retro malt-shop uniforms marched in unison, delivering oversized martini glasses filled with ice cream-brownie sundaes.
Equally spicy touches balanced out the sweet. "Since we fell in love with (and in) Miami, we wanted to bring a little Spanish culture to our wedding,” says Jeffrey. “We turned our party into a Miami salsa club with professional dancers, mini-chocolate cigars, mojitos, and Cuban espresso drinks." Guests were also treated to a lovely crystal-accented wedding cake topped with fresh white roses and daisies.
A live band played "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey while the groom danced onstage with his bride and all of her bridesmaids. "Being from South Detroit, it’s one of my favorites," Jeffrey confides. While Jeffrey wouldn't change anything about the extraordinary day, Melissa offers a tip for future brides: "I would have liked a second dress to change into for the reception – something lighter for more freedom when dancing later in the evening." Ultimately, Melissa let nothing stop her from hitting the dance floor into the wee hours of the morning – and you can bet that Beyoncé was included in the play list.