Although I have been to the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables hotel in the past, this was the first wedding where I got to see their stunning presidential suite! I can understand why so many Miami Wedding Photographers love this venue, and it’s no wonder that Jacqueline and Christian selected this gorgous place to celebrate their wedding day.
They say that the best marriages start off as friends, so I am willing to bet that Jacqueline and Christian will truly live “happily ever after” as they have been best friends for over eight years before they got engaged! Back in 2005, is when their paths first crossed at work. They started to form a genuine friendship and could tell each other anything. As the years went by, they grew closer and closer as friends and then one day they were sitting at lunch together and something just “clicked” and they both knew something more existed.
In March of 2013 shortly after they started dating, Christian had a business trip planed to Las Vegas and Jacqueline went with him for the weekend. Up until this point, no one knew that they were “together”, and dating as a couple. When they arrived back home in Miami, they had lunch at the “Big Chill” in Key Largo, FL with Jacqueline’s Brother Chris, and his wife Layda (whom I also shot their wedding back in 2011). This lunch marked the first time Christian was introduced to any of Jacqueline’s family, and by the time the check came Jacqueline knew in her heart that Christian was “the one” and it was time to take him to meet mom & dad.
The big life turning moment came in October of 2014, when Christian was in the process of closing on a pre construction house. He had told Jacqueline to meet him at the house one day after work while he was wrapping up the closing process. When she pulled up to the house, he met her at the front door and handed her the key and said “I want you to be the first person to open the door to the house”, she thought it was a sweet gesture and started to turn the key… just as the door unlocks, and she starts to open it up… Christian turns and says “I was hoping that we could call this —our— home”, and without delay reached into his pocket and pulled out the ring (now down on one knee). Jacqueline was shocked, and frozen for a few moments thinking she was caught in a dream… and in many ways she was, as life as she knew it would be changing forever.
She had found her soulmate, her best friend and after all of the years that they have grown so close to each other, could never imagine spending the rest of her life with anyone else.
She said “YES”! This was the perfect dream, one that will contiune each day of their lives.
Jacqueline, Christian… It was such an honor to not only be apart of your wedding day, but to also be able to learn and share your beautiful story. Jacqueline, when I met you for the first time I was shooting your brothers wedding and I truly remember thinking “one day.. one day she is going to get married, and I hope she remembers me.” When Layda told me that you were engaged, I got butterflies inside and was so excited! It was such a special day not only for you, Christian and your families… but for me too, as I really felt like family there and I am honored to have you both as friends. I can’t wait to see your family grow in the future, and I wish you all the love, luck and happiness in the world.
When I walked into the presidential suite at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables, I knew I was in business and had what I needed to make some great images. Above, (left) I used the massive living room to my advantage and moved the glass table top in front of my camera to create this beautiful reflection in camera. I also used the grand piano (right) as a unique contrasting backdrop for the shoes.A very elegant floral arrangement by “W&W Events“.I should have taken a “behind the scenes” shot of how I captured this ring image… so, among many beautiful things in this suite, I found a statue of a dog sitting in one of the corners of the room. I look down at it, and decided to use the top of it’s head to place the rings. The tonality worked very well, and provided the contrast I was looking for. My assistant, and I got a good laugh!A little getting ready shot here of the girls!Rosa with “I do makeup” always does an excellent job! I have worked with her at countless weddings, and even remember her at Layda’s wedding in 2011.Mom, finializing the back of the dress.So, another feature of the presidential suite at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables is that the room has two levels, and it is a “loft” style. It’s so wonderful. Here (above) I was able to go upstairs, and get a creative shot looking down. I shut down all the curtains in the room (except one) to create some drama, and posed Jacqueline in that direction.Now, if the presidential suite was not enough… the next door down contains a HUGE conference room. This was perfect, as all the girls got ready in that room vs. the “nice” room and provided enough breathing space for us to work, and actually get creative shots (above). If you have not read my “5 getting ready tips” article yet.. please check that out to understand how important having two rooms can be.Just look at Jacqueline in that stunning Allure dress.More “eye candy” shots of Jacqueline in her Allure wedding dress.…and.. then.. dad walks in 🙂 Such a beautiful moment seeing Jacqueline all dressed up on the wedding day. Of course, I invited mom in for some love too.I can’t think of many other hotels / venues other then the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables in Miami, FL that is going to offer any bride anything more in terms of photo opportunities. Just look at the stunning imagery that is possible!Here I am leaning out of the church main door, waiting for her car to pull up…I love this shot (above).. it’s both dad helping daughter (he is lifting the back of her dress over the stairs), but it is also daughter (Jacqueline), helping dad up the stairs at the same time. Somehow, when I look at this shot it tells me the whole story about the relationship Jacqueline must have with her dad.Christian making his way down the main isle with mom.A very excited groom waiting for his beautiful bride!The ceremony was held at the beautiful First United Methodist Church of Coral Gables. This church offers a truly great backdrop.
Once we got back to the hotel, and walked into the reception room.. we just had to get a creative shot of the two of them on the dace floor before anyone came in! Check out the uplighting provided by DJ UBIS!Another beautiful, and chic cake from Grace at Edda’s Cakes.A candid shot of Chris and Layda, my friends and clients from 2011!So, after the formalities were all wrapped up.. I asked them if they wanted to sneak away for a few min (literally, about 5min) and take some shots now that it was night time. We went, and captured some styled shots with the main staircase at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables.Then… just as we are walking back to the reception, I pass by this mirror near the main entrance and position them so that I can get a double reflection in the bevel.
Many thanks to all of the amazing vendors who made this wedding come to life…
Venue: Hyatt Regency Coral Gables / Marcela Vargas & Laura Tromp
Floral: W&W Events
DJ: DJ UBIS / Music & Lighting
Hair / MUA: “Idomakeup” Rosa Alba
Cake: Edda’s Cakes / Grace
Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals
Photography: Travis Harris