Inside Weddings - - Weddings - May 28, 2016 Bal Har­bour, Florida | Pho­tographed by Suzanne Delawar Stu­dios

14 May 28, 2016 Bal Har­bour, Florida Pho­tographed by Suzanne Delawar Stu­dios

“Wait, we need to pho­to­graph this!” Amanda K. Ruisi said be­fore plac­ing the emer­ald-cut en­gage­ment ring on her fin­ger. Af­ter over 10 years of dat­ing the pub­li­cist, Robert G. Sor­rentino was fa­mil­iar with the pro­to­col and happy to oblige. The love­birds had just en­joyed a pri­vate din­ner on the beach dur­ing a week­end get­away at a fa­vorite re­sort in Florida, when their beloved Cava­lier King Charles Spaniel, Ruby, was brought out with a cer­tain sparkler at­tached to her col­lar. “It was ab­so­lutely per­fect – it all hap­pened so fast,” re­veals the bride. The stun­ning three-stone en­gage­ment ring had be­longed to her mom, who sadly passed away when Amanda was just 23 years old. The bride ad­mits that she could not fathom plan­ning a wed­ding with­out her lov­ing mother by her side, but a con­ver­sa­tion with her grand­par­ents helped her find the way. While be­com­ing nos­tal­gic about their daugh­ter’s wed­ding day and the­o­riz­ing about the fu­ture nup­tials of their grand­daugh­ter, an idea sparked in Amanda’s head, and she knew she would plan her spe­cial day along­side them.




Du­ber Osorio for Oribe Sa­lon - hair Tim Quinn for Gior­gio Ar­mani Beauty - makeup

Bri­dal Gown/Veil


Bri­dal Sa­lon

Kleinfeld Bri­dal


Ba­chour Bak­ery + Bistro Con­sult­ing/Plan­ning

Blum­berg Events

Nancy M. Brenner Events

Cus­tom Lo­gos

Stacy Rosen­thal

Tom McGovern


DJ Ruckus; Kristina Finch, harpist Ross DeBarde­laben, vi­o­lin­ist


The Na­tional LeioMy­oSar­coma Foun­da­tion

Pa­per & Lace

Flo­ral De­sign

Karla Con­cep­tual Event Ex­pe­ri­ences For­mal­wear

Tom James


The St. Regis Bora Bora Re­sort In­vi­ta­tions/Cal­lig­ra­phy

Pa­per & Lace


Henry C. Reid & Son

Light­ing De­sign

Karla Con­cep­tual Event Ex­pe­ri­ences Linens

Nüage De­signs

Maid-of-Honor Gowns

Monique Lhuil­lier Pho­tog­ra­phy/Videog­ra­phy Suzanne Delawar Stu­dios Reg­istries




Karla Con­cep­tual Event Ex­pe­ri­ences Shoes

Chanel; Jimmy Choo


The St. Regis Bal Har­bour Re­sort

In or­der for the bride’s grand­par­ents to be fully in­volved, Amanda and Robert elected to host their des­ti­na­tion nup­tials in Florida. As the ma­jor­ity of their guests would be com­ing from New York and Cal­i­for­nia, the bride and groom de­cided to hold their wed­ding over Memo­rial Day Week­end so they could have three full days of cel­e­bra­tion with their friends and fam­ily, turn­ing the event into a mini va­ca­tion. “Some peo­ple got down there as early as Wed­nes­day!” Robert ex­claims. Though the groom was ini­tially con­cerned with hav­ing an in­ti­mate gath­er­ing of 105 of their clos­est friends and fam­ily in lieu of a larger guest list, he changed his tune once the wed­ding week­end be­gan. He and his soon-to-be-wife were able to spend valu­able time with every­one, even host­ing ca­banas for guests upon their ar­rival, in ad­di­tion to a Fri­day wel­come party.

Amanda and Robert were wed un­der an elab­o­rate struc­ture cov­ered in vanilla flo­rals and crys­tal ac­cents. “We felt it was im­por­tant to use clear and white de­tails to let the nat­u­ral beauty of the ocean come through as the back­drop for the cer­e­mony,” the bride ex­plains of their dé­cor choice.

Amanda’s cus­tom Chan­tilly-lace gown paired el­e­gant long sleeves with a mod­ern skirt, although that was not the orig­i­nal plan. “Ak­ilina at Kleinfeld Bri­dal trans­formed my dress,” the bride di­vulges. “At my last fit­ting – four days be­fore I was to de­part for Florida – I de­cided to turn it into a high-low dress.” She car­ried a bou­quet of white pe­onies while her grand­mother and maids of honor clutched the same blooms in shades of blush and ivory. Even Ruby, the cou­ple’s much-loved pup, had a cus­tom col­lar made of pe­onies in or­der to match her “flower dog” dress.

“Re­mem­ber, all of the plan­ning leads up to a party that is over in about six hours, so take a breath and en­joy it.”

The cer­e­mony was heart­felt and in­cluded spe­cial touches ded­i­cated to Amanda’s mom: a memo­rial can­dle burned through­out the ser­vice, a bou­quet was placed on an empty first-row chair, and the rev­erend in­cor­po­rated a read­ing hon­or­ing moth­ers in his ser­mon. A fi­nal de­tail al­lowed the bride to keep her mom close – a patch of Amanda’s mother’s wed­ding dress was sewn onto her own, right over her heart.

Once the sweet­hearts were pro­nounced hus­band and wife, guests were led into the can­dlelit ca­bana area of the re­sort where a string quar­tet played through­out the cock­tail hour. Af­ter en­joy­ing drinks and hors d’oeu­vres, every­one flowed into the ball­room, which was bro­ken up into dif­fer­ent sec­tions, in­clud­ing a lounge area fea­tur­ing fur­ni­ture dec­o­rated with pil­lows show­cas­ing the new­ly­weds’ cus­tom logo. “I was hes­i­tant about the lounge seat­ing at first,” the bride ad­mits, “but I ended up lov­ing it!” Gilded flat­ware com­ple­mented the shades of ivory and gold that filled the space, and much like the cer­e­mony, pe­onies were the blos­som of the day. “There were thou­sands of pe­onies used through­out the en­tire wed­ding week­end,” Amanda con­firms.

The new­ly­weds swayed to “By Your Side” by Sade to start off the re­cep­tion. As guests en­joyed a sit-down din­ner with ta­ble­side se­lec­tions, both the bride and the groom’s brothers gave touch­ing toasts. “The speeches were amaz­ing,” praises Robert. De­spite it be­ing a per­sonal and emo­tional day, the new­ly­weds still got the party go­ing. One of the bride’s clients, DJ Ruckus, served as the en­ter­tainer for the night and he had rev­el­ers en­joy­ing the mu­sic so much that Amanda and Robert had to ex­tend the danc­ing from mid­night to 3AM!

As hosts of a des­ti­na­tion wed­ding, the pair feel they have plenty of new­found wis­dom to be­stow on those plan­ning their own cel­e­bra­tions. Amanda notes the im­por­tance of find­ing a team you trust, pro­claim­ing, “I was so con­fi­dent in all the ven­dors we chose that while the wed­ding week­end was hap­pen­ing, we were able to en­joy ev­ery minute of it – ev­ery­thing had been planned seam­lessly lead­ing up to the big week­end.” As he was sur­prised with how smooth the three-day event went, Robert ad­vises grooms to be pa­tient and present, es­pe­cially if their brides have been dream­ing about their wed­ding since child­hood. “Just sup­port her, help where you can, and know when to stay out of the way!” he as­serts, ad­ding: “Re­mem­ber, all of the plan­ning leads up to a party that is over in about six hours, so take a breath and en­joy it.”

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