Adriana Lima knew she was taking a risk when she revealed to her friend, Sean Mederos, that she was falling for him in February 2012. They had reconnected from their old high school days just a few years before and Adriana was worried her revelation would scare Sean away. He quickly professed that he felt the same way. “It could have easily been the end of a great friendship,” she says. “But instead, it turned into more.”
In January 2014, Sean took her by surprise with his proposal, a short and simple inquiry that took place during their morning routine before he left on a business trip.“It was very sweet,” she recalls. “If he had attempted anything on a grand scale, I would have known.”
Months would pass before any intense wedding planning would take place, though her dress did catch her eye early on in the process. Intrigued by the work of Israeli designer Inbal Dror, Adriana visited a trunk show just weeks into her engagement. “I was adamant about not making a purchase that day,” she laughs. “But, I put it on and knew it was exactly what I wanted." The Mandarin Oriental Miami—known for its magnificent views—was later selected as the venue for the wedding. “Our vision was dark and romantic,” says the bride. “I love the mix of black and gold.”
The ceremony took place just after sunset overlooking Biscayne Bay as the palm trees swayed with the breeze. Adriana admits asking her father to make her laugh before they made their way down the aisle. “I was so nervous,” she says, “I knew he would keep me from crying.” Led by an interfaith minister, their service was a mix of traditional and contemporary elements including a Celtic handfasting, a ritual that entails using ribbons to tie the couple’s hands together as a symbol of commitment.
“Each ribbon represented a quality—trust, respect, love—and was tied by one of our family members,” Adriana says. “We felt it was a special way to include them in our event.” After the ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktails in the foyer before entering the ballroom for dinner and dancing.
Bathed in variations of dark and light, the space exuded elegance without the constraints of an ultra-formal event: seating was open, hors d’oeuvres were passed, action stations and lounge areas kept the crowd moving throughout the room. “It was our opportunity to just be ourselves and make our reception a great place to hang out together,” says Adriana.
Later, the party vibe continued with modern dance and hip-hop music mixed by the couple’s favorite club DJ. “We didn’t want it to end,” recalls Adriana. “We were having so much fun.” Though a home renovation kept the couple from taking a honeymoon following their wedding, they are planning an excursion to Italy and the south of France at the end of the year.
Location, Caterer and Cake: Mandarin Oriental, Miami, Miami, FL; Planner: ET Events, Miami, FL
Floral and Event Design, Linen and Stationery: Karla Conceptual Event Experiences, Miami, FL; Wedding Dress: Inbal Dror; Veil: Monique Lhuillier; Bride’s Shoes: Saint Laurent; Groom’s Attire and Shoes: Dolce & Gabbana