It was a stormy April afternoon in Miami Beach when Robert Holston and Pablo Oliveira were shopping for lunch and groceries at Whole Foods. Pablo was with a friend and scanning the rotisserie chicken display when he asked, “Do you want some naked chicken?” He then turned to realize it wasn’t his friend standing next to him, but Rob. After laughing it off and going their separate ways, Pablo’s friend tracked down Rob to get his phone number; and a few text messages later, Pablo and Rob made plans to meet up that night for a beer. “He went in for chicken and left with beef,” Rob jokes.
Fast forward three years into their relationship, when the pair was vacationing in Italy for the summer. Unbeknownst to Rob, Pablo had already purchased an engagement ring, but wasn’t sure when the right moment would present itself. The last stop of their trip was the Amalfi Coast, where they stayed in a beautiful hotel overlooking the Mediterranean. Pablo decided to ask the hotel if they could locate a violinist, and later that night a musician was beneath their balcony, performing “Nessun Dorma” from Puccini’s Turandot—an opera the couple had seen together at Lincoln Center.
“IT WAS LIKE NOTHING ELSE EXISTED AND IT WAS JUST THE TWO OF US.” - PABLO OLIVEIRA
“Oh, this is nice that the hotel has a violinist playing during happy hour,” Rob commented, not realizing it was part of a plan orchestrated by his then-boyfriend. In his excitement, Pablo handed Rob the boxed engagement ring without a word. Rob eventually asked, “Is there a question associated with this?” Pablo finally popped the question and, of course, Rob accepted. Almost a year later, after Pablo repeatedly claimed he wasn’t engaged because Rob never proposed, Rob recreated that same engagement on the balcony of their new home. Thanks to iTunes, he even managed to have the same song playing in the background.
As the founder and CEO of Nüage Designs, the wedding planning process was nothing new for Pablo. “Since I’m in the industry, in my mind, I wanted to do something that didn’t look like a typical wedding,” he shares. “We wanted to make it feel personal and like we were just having friends over,” Rob adds.
To create the perfect ambiance of warmth and intimacy, Pablo and Rob hosted the wedding ceremony at their home, inviting 100 of their closet friends, colleagues and family members. The grooms were dressed in Giorgio Armani and Tom Ford suits, and Poe, their adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, fulfilled his role as “Grooms’ Best Friend” to perfection. At one point, their photographer had to ask if they could take some photos without the dog. “It went by so fast,” says Rob. “My favorite part of the day was listening to Pablo recite his vows.”
“For the reception, we chose the Faena Hotel Miami Beach because it’s very representative of the Golden Era of Miami,” Pablo explains. “That’s what we wanted our guests to experience.” The elegant décor was art deco inspired with tropical elements. Alluding to the grooms’ love of entertainment, the night was filled with multiple live performances including a band, synchronized swimmers and a singer who crooned famous hits from the 1930s.
Guests were treated to a delectable menu beginning with Hemingway daquiris served during cocktail hour. The food was chosen to represent everything the couple loves, such as dim sum. Unlike most Faena weddings, dinner was served in a spectacular setting around the pool, and wedding cake was served during the afterparty.
“Because I was heavily involved in the décor, I was very stressed up until the wedding weekend started on Friday,” Pablo states. “But after that, I just turned everything off and was able to enjoy the company of our friends and every moment of the weekend we had created. I’m a little shy, so I wasn’t thrilled about having the ceremony and everything; but once I walked in with Rob and stepped on the riser, it was like nothing else existed and it was just the two of us. Every moment we exchanged with every guest was very special.”
The newlyweds are currently planning on a March honeymoon—potentially somewhere cold, so they can go skiing.
Reception Location and Cake: Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Miami, FL; Floral and Event Design Production: Jassi & Co Creative, Miami, FL; Floral Installation at Gold Mammoth Skeleton: Tantawan Bloom, Miami, FL; Grooms' Attire: Giorgio Armani and Tom Ford; Linen: Nüage Designs, Miami, FL; Invitations: Ceci New York, New York, NY