Chas Kennedy may have never crossed paths with Cali Lynch, except during their high-school days, had he not taken a business trip to Florida. Chas owned two treatment centers in Ohio, and Cali was working as a treatment-center therapist in Florida.
“I know it sounds cliché, but when I saw him, it truly was love at first sight,” remembers Cali. “I had never felt that way before; it’s like he completely took my breath away.” Chas tried to convince Cali to move back home and work for him, and a couple months later, she decided to move to Cleveland. “I asked her to meet me for an ‘interview,’ which all along I planned to be our first date,” he confesses. “We have been inseparable since.”
When Chas couldn’t imagine a life without Cali by his side, he asked for the blessings of her mother, sister, and brother before proposing to his beloved in their newly purchased home. “Chas sent me away to the spa in the morning, and when I returned, our daughter’s nursery was filled with floor-to-ceiling flowers and Chas was down on one knee,” she smiles.
Since their love story began in Florida, the couple felt it was only right to invite 265 loved ones to join them for their wedding where it all began. Selecting The Breakers in Palm Beach for its stunning setting, they enlisted Palm Beach-based luxury event planner Heather Lowenthal of Posh Parties to bring their dream wedding to life.
“I always wanted a white, but tropical, wedding theme,” notes the bride of her vision, which beautifully fit the site and the season. From the stunning invitation suite that offered the very first impression of the celebration to guests, to the luxurious décor of the wedding ceremony and reception, crisp ivory elements and lush florals were paired with touches of palm-leaf motifs to create the elegant design scheme.
On the day of the nuptials, friends and family members took their seats, which were arranged on the Ocean Lawn of The Breakers in the round – something that had never been done before. “Having the ceremony in the shape of a circle was unique to The Breakers and also meant a lot to us because we felt surrounded by all of our loved ones in every single direction we looked,” reminisces Cali.
In fact, one of her favorite moments took place as she witnessed the seating of guests from the balcony of her bridal suite: “People were starting to take their seats, the violinists were playing, and I just started tearing up at the thought of walking down the aisle to marry the man of my dreams.”
Dressed both gracefully and fittingly for the sunny winter ceremony, Cali was glowing in a chic long-sleeve gown, carrying a bouquet of cascading phalaenopsis orchids. She made her way down the aisle to a string rendition of “Latch” by Disclosure, which was selected in remembrance of her father, who passed away in 2017. “It was important for me to choose a song that reminded me of him,” shares the bride. “It really made me feel his presence.” At last, she met her beloved beneath a large acrylic structure embellished with hundreds of vanilla blossoms on a raised stage in the center of the ceremony space.
“People were starting to take their seats, the violinists were playing, and I just started tearing up at the thought of walking down the aisle to marry the man of my dreams.”
Following the sentimental vow exchange, attendees enjoyed an alfresco cocktail hour in the Mediterranean Courtyard. Guests were delighted with passed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, as well as a Champagne tower arranged opposite a mirrored seating chart enveloped with blooms. Once inside for the reception, the all-white floral theme of the ceremony was evident once again in a grand display of exquisite flowers and warm, romantic candlelight embellished nearly every area of the ballroom.
The bride and groom were seated at the head table, which featured awe-inspiring arrangements of phalaenopsis orchids, cascading overhead across the long table in a dramatic display designed to bring guests’ eyes upward. Additional tablescapes were decorated with either tall centerpieces or overhead “clouds” of alabaster-toned flowers, including delphinium blossoms, stock, peonies, and orchids. Place settings were adorned with a mirrored place card, which denoted each guest’s name in white calligraphy, and a single orchid topped a monogrammed hemstitch napkin for the perfect finishing touch.
A live band performed throughout the sit-down dinner service – “with a lot of dancing in between courses!” adds the bride. Afterward, slices of an impressive six-tier wedding cake were savored. The confection, which showcased the couple’s monogram, cascading sugar flowers, and a unique “floating” acrylic design, was displayed on a table covered with hydrangeas, roses, and phalaenopsis orchids. Similar blooms were also highlighted in a circular wreath over the dance floor that designated the spot for a night of revelry. “Our wedding was almost like a concert!” exclaims Chas of the energetic performances. “It was exactly what we wanted… Our guests were on their feet the whole night.”
Even with an after-party that lasted until 1AM and a three-day wedding weekend, the bride and groom confirm the celebration went by much too fast. They encourage other couples to cherish each part of the process. “Enjoy every single moment,” affirms the groom. “The day of your wedding, take time for you and your wife to soak it all in together.” His bride agrees wholeheartedly. “It is true; the day goes by so incredibly fast,” Cali says. “Take the time to not let any of those moments pass you by!”
This real wedding was originally published in the Fall 2022 issue of Inside Weddings magazine.
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