Photography by
The Day By Ira Lippke

Maressa Criscito & Jared Berkey

April 8, 2017. Miami Beach, Florida

Maressa Criscito and Jared Berkey  grew up around the corner from each other in New Jersey. While they attended the same elementary school, they didn’t officially meet until high school. Jared specifically remembers Maressa walking down the halls and was persistent in charming his way into her heart. Whether it be through their hourly phone conversations every night, or their weekly ice cream runs, the two teens quickly became inseparable as they developed a strong friendship and true love.
After nine years of dating, Jared proposed to Maressa while on vacation in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. On the first morning of the trip, the two ventured off to a private beach where they found themselves surrounded by red rose petals, tiki torches, and a beautiful heart in the sand with an infinity sign in the middle (which is why they ended up choosing April 8th for their wedding date). With a photographer capturing the moment, Jared asked his high school sweetheart to be his wife.
Deciding to have a destination wedding in Miami was an easy choice during the wedding planning process, as it’s a spot of frequent travel for the couple. The two had visited several incredible venues, but the romance and charm of Fisher Island won them over. Guerdy Abraira was also monumental in planning a wedding that reflected Maressa and Jared’s personalities, as well as their love for each other.
An intimate ceremony was held, during which the bride and groom shared their own personal vows. The wedding décor had a magical flair, completely encapsulating the charm and romance that Maressa had always envisioned with custom floral arches during the ceremony, and floor-to-ceiling white flowers during the reception. “During our first introduction as husband and wife, we couldn’t stop smiling as we found ourselves surrounded by family and friends holding sparklers on the dance floor,” she describes. “It was a surreal moment and the love that filled the room was palpable.”
Guests enjoyed a delicious meal and a night of nonstop dancing to the music of a live band. The newlyweds wanted to make sure the party continued after the reception and came up with the idea of “Club Cloud 9” for an afterparty. The Fisher Island ballroom was therefore transformed into a club with strobe lights, flair bartenders, cotton candy, and tons of white balloons to mimic the look of clouds. It was an incredible part of the evening that left everyone speechless.
For the newlyweds, that wedding weekend in Miami was the best of their lives. After an epic celebration with their friends and family, the two set off on their honeymoon – a Thailand adventure that started in Bangkok, and continued through Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Phuket.
>Written by: Lauren Malamala
Location: Fisher Island Club Fisher Island, FL; Floral and Event Design, Planner: Ocean Flowers Miami, FL; Linen: Nuage Designs Miami, FL; Cake: Ana Paz Cakes Miami, FL; Wedding Dress: Oscar de la Renta; Groom’s Attire: Custom-Made;