Although Jamie Lipman and Alex Rodriguez were instantly captivated by each other, there was some time between their first meeting and when they officially started dating. “A few years passed and we continued on in our lives with limited communication. And then Alex reached out again confirming that there was something that happened and stayed with him from that one encounter we had,” Jamie tells of the moment they reconnected.

After brunch one day, Alex popped the question on the beach, where Jamie was mesmerized by the sweet words he shared. “He spoke about his promises to me as the type of husband and father he will be and how he will take care of me, who I am to him, and what we will be together,” she muses.

As a professional wedding planner, Jamie was well-equipped to coordinate the day and shares that she only spent about one month arranging her fairy-tale occasion with her sweetheart. Considering their relatives, friends, and vendors, the couple elected a grand indoor venue right at home in Miami, Florida to host their fête.

“We became obsessed with the color oxblood, and the entire wedding décor was centered around this color and complementary shades of it.”

The bride wore a whimsical lace gown down the aisle, where she was stunned by the custom runner Alex created as a surprise for his soon-to-be wife. “He created a 50-foot canvas runner where he compiled excerpts from letters or poems he had written to me through the years and handwrote them on the runner,” she describes. Honoring the bride’s Jewish roots, the ceremony featured the breaking of the glass. The rest of the ceremony was personalized around the couple's families.

In lieu of a traditional wedding color palette of white and gold, the duo pursued darker shades for the décor. “We became obsessed with the color oxblood, and the entire wedding décor was centered around this color and complementary shades of it," the bride explains. "We naturally gravitate towards things that are uncommon. We didn’t want any white in the wedding whatsoever.” Greenery, candlelight, and black velvet linens beautifully paired with the deep red hue.

The lovebirds also showcased an ebony five-tier wedding cake, designed and sketched by Alex, that featured hand-painted blooms, splatter-paint effects, and an edible replica of their beloved dog licking the confection. In addition to these personal touches, the couple held parasols that were customized by Jamie with meaningful words and symbols. “An example was the word ‘Touchstone’ hanging because that is what we call each other,” the bride recalls. Along with the delectable menu and festive entertainment, guests enjoyed Havana-themed stations, vintage Cuban cigar boxes, and late-night medianoche sandwiches that all represented Alex’s Cuban heritage.

Using her own experience and expertise, Jamie shares the best planning advice she can give to all soon-to-be newlyweds: “I like to say, ‘You are only going to do this once, so remember that as you go through the motions and enjoy it. There are a lot worse things you could be doing with your day.’”