Alec Burks is a quiet, reserved guy. So much so that when he first saw Elyse Hart-Shelton at a friend’s birthday party in his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri, he had his friend approach her because he was too shy to say hello. Elyse was having none of that, though, and she insisted that Alec talk to her himself. Eventually he did, and the two felt a special connection right away.
Fast forward a few years to their daughter Ashtyn’s first birthday party. They were helping her open presents when Alec said he had one more gift.
“I honestly didn’t even know where he was in the room until I turned around and he was down on one knee,” Elyse says. “I almost had a heart attack. I started bawling. I was totally unprepared — I was even wearing a unicorn crown — but it was perfect.”
“…HE TOTALLY BLEW ME AWAY. HE SPOKE FROM THE HEART, AND IT WAS SO GOOD.”
For their wedding location, the couple didn’t want to choose between their Kansas hometowns so they picked a locale that they both loved — Miami.
“We wanted to give our families a chance to get away and have a reason to go on vacation,” she says.
Both the ceremony and reception were held at the Four Seasons Miami, which was decked out in classic whites with hints of gold thrown in for a little bling. Roses and orchids made a statement, with the orchids cascading down from candelabras to create a major wow factor.
The ceremony was held in a more intimate room on-site, and it was filled with emotion. Alec, again normally so quiet and reserved, first shocked Elyse when he cried upon seeing her come down the aisle in her stunning Zuhair Murad dress, and then again with his personal, heartfelt vows.
“He had everybody crying,” Elyse says of his vows. “That was the highlight. I was so prepared for him to do the repeat after me thing, and then he totally blew me away. He spoke from the heart, and it was so good.”
After the vows, two-and-a-half year-old Ashtyn joined her parents for her own special ceremony. Elyse and Alec got her a heart-shaped diamond necklace to symbolize their commitment to her, and they both put it around her neck.
“She was so excited. She wears it all the time,” Elyse says.
Alec, who had only attended one wedding before his own, wanted to start his own family wedding tradition, so he incorporated broom jumping into the ceremony. Following all of that emotion and fun, guests got a surprise as they walked across the skybridge to the ballroom for the reception. Fireworks were the perfect way to kick off the high-energy party, which had people on the dance floor all night.
Because Alec plays in the NBA and had just signed with the Golden State Warriors, the couple didn’t get a honeymoon immediately following their summer wedding. Instead, they headed to San Francisco for house-hunting, but they have even bigger plans for next year.
“We want to expand our family,” Elyse says. “Plus, we got to travel to Miami and we were with our family, so it was almost like we had a vacation/wedding all together. Next up is expanding our family.”
Location: Four Seasons Hotel Miami, Miami, FL; Photography: PS Photography, Miami, FL; Planner: Marylen Exposito Weddings & Experiences, Miami, FL; Floral and Event Design: Gilded Group Decor, Doral, FL; Wedding Dress: Zuhair Murad; Bridal Salon: Ever After, Miami, FL; Groom’s Wedding Band: Cartier; Engagement Ring and Wedding Band: Meierotto Jewelers, Kansas City, MI; Videographer: Merge Studios, Miami, FL; Lighting: PSID Group, Miami, FL; Sparklers: Maxon Productions, Doral, FL