Claire Rhodes & Bryan Beauilieu
January 13, 2018. Coral Gables, Florida
Claire and Bryan’s love story began over six years ago in Delray Beach, where sparks flew as soon as they were introduced at a party. Fast forward to October of 2014, when they reconnected chatting over life and work, as they were both in similar fields – Bryan in commercial real estate and Claire in commercial construction. Bryan asked Claire to dinner that following Friday, and their playful banter led to an instant connection.
The proposal took place one snowy December, during Bryan’s annual family ski trip in Park City, Utah. On the evening of the 20th, after Claire and Bryan’s mom had cooked a delicious Italian dinner together for the entire family, Bryan decided to give his girlfriend an early Christmas present and popped the question during his dinner toast.
The couple have always shared the same earthy and organic style, but with a luxurious spin. As such, the wedding planning process included a design scheme of dark greenery, soft pink, ivory, and touches of gold. Their vision was completed by choosing the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables as the wedding venue, which provided the perfect ambiance of old-world romance and elegance.
Even though sunshine greeted the bride on her big day, she had come down with a cold and barely slept for two hours the night before. Once she saw her groom during their first look, however, she instantly felt better and forgot she was sick at all. She even managed a graceful walk down the grand staircase and ceremony aisle while wearing a pair of five-inch Giuseppe Zanotti heels.
The ceremony and reception unfolded perfectly, allowing the newlyweds to completely relax and truly enjoy each moment of their special day. As they had envisioned, a dreamy reception space included dark greenery and garden rose runners cascading off two long wooden tables on both sides of the dance floor. Select round tables featured tree-like centerpieces with roses, while others overflowed with low floral arrangements.
Less than a week later, the newlyweds jetted off to South Africa for a two-week honeymoon adventure. They spent time exploring Cape Town on Chapman’s Peak Drive to see the Cape of Good Hope, Penguin Beach, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, and they watched the sunset on top of Table Mountain.
A couple days were spent wine tasting in Stellenbosch before finishing off the trip with an epic five nights in the African Bush at the all-inclusive Richard Branson’s Ulusaba Private Game Reserve. Claire and Bryan had their own fully stocked, exclusive tree house style River Room with a plunge pool, where elephant herds passed by daily to their watering hole. Twice a day, they would be taken on a land rover with their guide and tracker, where they had close encounters with majestic elephants, leopards, giraffes, wild dogs, hyaenas, nyalas, monkeys and more – all in their natural environment. It was the trip of a lifetime and both feel so fortunate to have been able to experience it together.
>Written By: Lauren Malamala
Planner: Marylen Exposito Weddings Coral Gables, FL; Hair: Phairis Luxury Lake Worth, FL;