A MODERN AND ROMANTIC NEW YEAR’S EVE WEDDING AT EAST MIAMI
Madison Jones and Chris Williamson started out as internet friends before their relationship blossomed into a real-life romance.
“One night we talked on Facetime from midnight to sunrise and the rest is history,” Madison shares. “Our first date took place on a warm September night in 2019 at the National Mall in Washington D.C. After talking for hours, we knew we were perfect for each other and that we had found our person. Fast forward to our engagement photo shoot, we chose to take pictures in the same spot.”
“After talking for hours, we knew we were perfect for each other and that we had found our person.”
A Surprise Engagement
Chris proposed in October 2021. It was a windy Saturday afternoon in Dumbo, Brooklyn, right on the waterfront. To avoid Madison suspecting the surprise engagement, he made up a story about a photo shoot so she would come dressed with her hair, makeup, and nails done. The photographer and videographer told Madison they wanted to get a creative shot, so they gave her a handful of flower petals and had her stand facing away from Chris. On the count of three, Madison turned around to release the petals, and saw Chris down on one knee.
Married on New Year’s Eve
Madison had been planning her wedding since she was nine years old. She even had a Pinterest wedding inspiration board saved for years prior to meeting Chris. When the wedding planning process began, she knew she wanted to be hands-on while also enlisting the help of a wedding planner who would bring her vision to life.
“Working with Roxanne Bellamy & Co. was one of the best decisions we made,” says Madison. “She listened to what Chris and I had in mind and designed a beautiful wedding for us. She and her team curated an amazing group of vendors to execute our vision. It was a great experience for Chris and me as well as for our families, loved ones, and guests. We both wanted to get married on New Year’s Eve.
Chris affectionately calls me by the nickname MJ, which also happens to be the name of his favorite basketball player, Michael Jordan. Getting married on New Year's Eve was going to be our ‘Last Dance’ as two before we became together as one. The ‘Last Dance’ is the name of the documentary series profiling Michael Jordan's last championship season with the Chicago Bulls. When the clock struck midnight to ring in the New Year of 2023, that represented the #23 Michael Jordan wore. Sports are a big part of our relationship. Our favorite sport is basketball and Chris is also a sports broadcaster.”
Before the wedding ceremony, the couple decided to have a first look photo session, during which they read their own private handwritten vows to each other. Their cinematography team, KEJ Productions, and photographer, Imagery by Jules, captured the moment perfectly.
A Modern and Romantic New Year’s Eve Wedding
Madison and Chris’ New Year’s Eve wedding aesthetic was modern and romantic with a color scheme of white, silver, and chrome. The ceremony was held on the 38th Floor of the EAST Miami in the Rise Ballroom with views of the Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline as a backdrop. The wedding seating, which was arranged in a semicircle, was created to provide a more intimate setting with candles lining the inside of the curved aisle.
During cocktail hour, two signature cocktails were served that paid homage to the theme: A gin-based drink called “The Last Dance” and a rum-based drink called “2023.” The reception was held in the Crush Ballroom on the 39th floor. To keep the vibe looking sleek and modern, the décor included white draping, elegantly decorated tablescapes with personalized menus, acrylic candelabras, assorted pillars, tapers, and votive candles with an abundance of lush white florals of differing shapes and heights.
The reception also featured a table in Memoriam of Chris’ late father with pictures and candles. Finally, as an ode to Michael Jordan’s “The Last Dance,” the bride and groom chose to have one final dance after their guests left the reception.
“We left for our honeymoon in Montego Bay, Jamaica the day after our wedding,” Madison says. “The most memorable part of our honeymoon was a private romantic candle-lit dinner on the beach set up by the hotel staff. It is a moment we will always cherish.”
Location & Caterer: EAST Miami, Miami, FL; Planning & Event Design: Roxanne Bellamy & Co.; Floral Design & Production: Petal Productions, Miami, FL; Rentals: Lavish Event Rentals, Bubble Design Rentals, Decora Event Rentals; Linen: Nuage Designs Inc.; Cake: Earth and Sugar, Palm Beach, FL; Lighting: Evoga Events Productions, Miami, FL; Ceremony Dress: Martina Liana; Bridal Salon: Kleinfeld Bridal, New York, NY; Hair: S Glam Pro, Miami, FL; Makeup: Nicki Mac Brides, Tampa, FL; Invitations: Ijorere Inc., Naperville, IL; Entertainment: Curate Entertainment, Tampa, FL; Cinematography: KEJ Productions, Denver, CO; Photography: Imagery by Jules, Fort Lauderdale, FL