Kendall and Austen Gray were both students at a small Minnesota college when they first met. While Kendall was a sophomore at the time, Austen was in his senior year and taking the same class as Kendall for a “filler credit” – that is, he had mostly completed his degree by that point.

“He showed up to class in a basketball jersey and a mustache that had been dyed black as part of a dare between him and his friends,” Kendall recalls. “Despite this, I thought he was incredibly handsome. It could have been the summer tan and Disney-prince-level-charming smile that did it.”

The instant attraction was mutual – the moment he spotted Kendall, Austen felt compelled to get to know her.

“To know her, is to completely be in love with her,” he says.

“To know her, is to completely be in love with her.”

A Destination Engagement in Costa Rica

Austen decided to propose with a destination engagement in Costa Rica. After an all-day snorkeling trip, the couple was enjoying a private sunset dinner in their villa with rose petals and champagne. It made for a beautifully romantic, yet relaxed setting.

“The proposal was complete with sea salt still in our hair, our skin sun kissed from the day and in a total vacation daze,” Kendall describes. “It was the best, most unforgettable day.”

Old World Romance at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

Having worked in the bridal and wedding industry for about seven years, Kendall had a relatively solid vision of what she wanted as a bride. The wedding planning process was a seamless one – thanks to wedding planner Lourdes Milian and her team – and the couple chose to celebrate their nuptials at the iconic Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Miami.

“We wanted the wedding to be an overall extension of the beauty that Vizcaya naturally offers,” explains Kendall. “Old world, grand and incredibly, effortlessly romantic. We wanted it to feel like our 75 guests had been whisked to an Italian seaside garden.”

With Vizcaya having so many hidden nooks nestled within the estate, the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception were each hosted in different areas. This allowed guests to move through each space, adding a nice flow and a fresh ambiance to each portion of the wedding celebration.

“Austen and I have traveled to Europe several times,” Kendall adds, “our favorites being Tuscany and the South of France. We wanted to bring elements of our experiences abroad into the wedding – al fresco dining with long tables, tapered candlelight paired with grand French chandeliers and endless wine. We kept our guest list small for an intimate dinner party feel. I wanted the florals to feel as an extension of the Vizcaya garden itself, organically lush, vast and idyllic.”

Custom Wedding Looks from Chic Parisien and an Italian Atelier

By the time they were planning their wedding, Kendall and Austen had been together for a decade and already felt like a married couple. However, they were thrilled to use their wedding day as an “excuse to put on a fabulous dress and tux” while partying with loved ones.

“I’ve worked in the bridal industry at Chic Parisien in Miami for several years now,” Kendall shares, “so my wardrobe was a very important part of the wedding planning and one of the most special experiences for me, as it was something I looked forward to for many years! My main dress was a custom, one-of-a-kind Monique Lhuillier ballgown with a silk organza layered skirt, Alencon French lace corset bodice and a tulle halter that tied into a bow at the back of my neck with cathedral veil length tails. I tried many different styles throughout the years (work perk!) but this custom combination felt the most me – a little drama, a little fashion, and a lot romance.”

The second of her custom wedding looks was an Ines Di Santo pearl-embroidered feather mermaid gown. Kendall worked closely with Ines’ team to choose the silhouette, neckline, and embroidery, creating a bespoke dress that was fun and fashion-forward. Her wedding wardrobe was rounded out with a third bridal look that consisted of a sparkly beaded mini dress by Yolancris – a flirty number she spotted while in NYC for a buying trip during New York Bridal Fashion Week.

The groom also wore a custom wedding look with an off-white tuxedo, black bowtie, and black pants.

“I saw the Spring ’23 Ralph Lauren collection, which inspired Austen’s ensemble,” says Kendall. “We worked closely with the team at House of Suits and their Italian atelier to create this look, and they did phenomenally!”

Celebrating Love from the Midwest to Miami

Kendall and Austen’s wedding date was a meaningful one. Their relationship officially began on March 20th, 2013, and they said “I do” exactly ten years later on March 20th, 2023.

“We are both midwestern to our cores,” says the bride, “Austen from a small town (of 100 people!) and me about three hours away closer to the cities. We believe where we are from and our families helped shape who we we today and as a couple. We cherish our midwestern values and we feel so lucky to call Minnesota our home (Miami a very close second!) We feel so incredibly lucky our friends and families came all the way from Minnesota, as well as Oregon, Alaska, the Dakotas, and Colorado to celebrate our love.”

The entire celebration incorporated special moments with family, starting with the ceremony which was officiated by the bride’s brother. Five flower girls joined the bridal party wearing silk satin dresses with statement bows, floral headpieces, and carrying petal-filled baskets. The bride notes that they all “took their jobs very seriously,” and were perfectly complemented by an adorable ring bearing duo.

“Our day would not have been complete without Arlo, our Cavalier King Charles spaniel,” says Kendall. “He was a co-ring bearer and accompanied Austen’s nephew down the aisle wearing a floral wreath to match the garden theme.”

To celebrate Austen’s grandparents and their 50+ year marriage, the newlyweds gave them the dance floor during the reception.

“’This Magic Moment’ by the Drifters came on, and Austen’s grandpa threw his cane to the side and danced with grandma like we’d never seen before,” says the bride. “It was an unforgettable moment and we still go back and watch the clip of them and it steals our hearts every time.”

“I have a sweet tooth that I take very seriously,” she continues, “so the cake was a big decision for me. It was an almond flavored cake paired with vanilla buttercream and dulce de leche filling, of which we cut during a favorite song of ours – ‘Real Love Baby’ by Father John Misty.”

Honeymooning in the Maldives

After the wedding, Kendall and Austen had the time of their lives honeymooning in the Maldives. Arriving via seaplane, the resort staff of Fairmont Maldives greeted them upon arrival, and the newlyweds soon had coconut drinks in hand as they settled into a luxurious over-water villa.

“One of the parts we loved was putting on snorkel gear and jumping straight from our villa’s deck into the water and exploring the depths,” Kendall reflects. “It was truly post-wedding heaven! We went on a dolphin cruise and saw dozens of dolphins play at the boats’ bow just a few feet from us. It was so special.” 


Location: Vizcaya Museum & Gardens; Planner: Lourdes Milian ; Floral & Event Design: Sage Design and Co; Caterer: Thierry Isambert Culinary and Event; Cake: Earth & Sugar; Lighting: Event Factor; Engagement Ring: The Diamond Family; Ceremony Dress: Monique Lhuillier; Reception Dress: Ines Di Santo; Bridal Salon: Chic Parisien; Hair & Makeup: Marz Makeup & Hair; Groom’s Attire: House of Suits; Groom’s Watch: Cartier; Invitations: Card Cottage; Photography: Liz Andolina