An Intimate Wedding at an Historic Monastery in Miami
Teresa D'Angelo first met Douglas Allison when she was in preschool, but it took 15 years for sparks to fly. "I had a meeting at Doug's office in May of 2013, and when we locked eyes, I immediately knew I'd marry him," Teresa admits. "It turns out Doug actually got 'best eyes' as his senior superlative in high school!" When it came time for Doug to propose, he knew Teresa would want a say in the ring he chose so they went to her family's jeweler to shop together. "I had no idea whether he'd purchased it or when something would happen, until one day I got a voicemail from the jeweler telling Doug that my ring was ready!" Teresa says with a laugh. "Doug always gives people my email and phone number instead of his own... I could have killed him if I wasn't so happy!" But the bride-to-be still had to wait: The call came in May, and Doug didn't pop the question until in October! "I got manicures every other week for six months, just in case," she admits with a laugh.
The couple set a date for just over a year later, inviting 100 guests to join them on November 24, 2018. "We wanted something really intimate," says Teresa. The chose to marry at St. Bernard de Clairvaux, an ancient Spanish monastery in North Miami Beach. "William Randolph Hearst bought this 12th-century monastery in 1924, and had it shipped to America and rebuilt piece-by-piece in a botanical garden," says Teresa. "It feels like something out of a Disney movie!" While they didn't have a set theme, Teresa knew she wanted her guests to feel the warm and welcome all evening, so they used glowing candlelight and a champagne and blush palette to soften the historic stone structure.
Take a peek at the photos by Todd Good Photography to see for yourself!
"We wanted a venue that had a chapel or church on the property, but where we wouldn't have to change venues between the ceremony and the reception," says the bride. While they already liked the venue in the daytime, a visit after Wednesday evening church service sealed the deal for Doug and Teresa. "It feels like a castle," Teresa explains. "At night it's just glowing with torches and candles."
During her first dress-shopping trip, Teresa felt like she'd been bombarded with choices. "I couldn't get my own opinion out because I was so focused on what everyone else thought," she says. So the next time, she went with just one friend. "I'd made an appointment to try on a different dress (which wound up looking horrible on me!) and my friend persuaded me to try on this lace sheath dress from KittyChen Couture," she says. "I could immediately picture myself in it as my dad gave me away to Doug, and knew it would be perfect."
The bride's other favorite accessory was her bouquet, a combination of off-white and blush orchids from Thailand with ranunculus, vendella and majolica roses, and dusty miller. "I literally had a first look with my bouquet, and was absolutely speechless when I saw it," she says.
Doug thought a black tuxedo would feel too stuffy, so he opted instead for a navy blue Ike Behar tux with black lapels. "We were going to rent the tux, but wound up finding an Ike Behar store in Miami right near our stationer," Teresa says. "We bought it so it would be a perfect fit!"
The bridesmaids wore navy Morilee dresses to match Doug's suit, while the groomsmen wore black tuxes to offset the deep blue color. Even the couple's youngest guests dressed up for the occasion!
"The 800-year-old church really spoke for itself, so we kept the dĂ©cor really minimal," says Teresa of the ceremony design. A few nosegays decorated the pews, but otherwise the soft beige of the stone and the dark wood of the altar spoke for themselves.
Teresa's father walked her down the aisle, and it was exactly as she'd imagined when she found her wedding dress. "Some of my favorite pictures are from that moment," says Teresa.
Doug and Teresa were married by Doug's childhood minister. "Doug always speaks so fondly of him, but was sure he'd moved away from Miami when he left the congregation," says Teresa. "But by chance, just a few months before the wedding, Doug's mom ran into him at church and he happily agreed to officiate our wedding!"
At the end of the ceremony Teresa surprised Doug with a bagpiper who played "Scotland the Brave" as the couple shared their first kiss and made their way out of the church.
Guests were seated at long tables set around the monastery's interior courtyard. Garlands of hydrangeas, roses, lisianthus, and pale pink phalaenopsis orchids were woven between mercury glass candle holders.
Teresa's father offered a toast during dinner, and accidentally called the bride by her sister's name. "He calls us by one another's names all the time, so when he called me Elisa I was sure he was joking," says Teresa. "It wasn't until he apologized during our father-daughter dance that I realized it was a genuine slip-up, just like always!"
Doug and Teresa love the tropical carrot cake at CafĂ© Maxx in Pompano Beach, and asked the restaurant's pastry chef to bake it as their wedding cake. "She'd never made it as a wedding cake before, and was so excited to bake it for us. It looked and tasted! incredible," says the bride.
The reception went off seemingly without a hitchâ€”a testament to Teresa's wedding planner. "An hour before the ceremony, someone broke into our planner's car and stole all of our top-shelf liquor," says the bride. "She was able to hire more security, replenish the liquor, and report the theft to the police before we walked down the aisle and without anyone realizing what had happened!"