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Real Wedding | Vanessa + Wilson

Tell us a little about yourselves!

Our names are Vanessa and Wilson. We’re a photographer and director duo, and together we go as Wiissa - a combination of our nicknames for each other, “Wii” for Wilson and “Ssa” for Vanessa - and the name of our company.

Wilson is French and I am American-Brazilian, but we met when we were 14 and 15 years old in our hometown — a little island off of Miami. We’ve been together since 2008, and we got married in 2018 in a civil ceremony. We knew we always wanted to have a full blown wedding, but after a family tragedy, some green card issues for Wilson, and then the pandemic, it got put on hold for a bit. Last year, we were finally able to celebrate our love and life with all of our friends and family in Miami, and it was a dream come true!

Why did you decide to get married where you did?

Our wedding took place in the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, a lush tropical oasis right in our neighborhood. We decided on Miami as our location, as it’s where we met, grew up and live, and is a good meeting point for all of our family from France, Minnesota and Brazil. We knew we wanted to celebrate entirely surrounded by nature.

How many guests did you have?


Tell us about your outfits.

I knew a corset was a must for me, so I was instantly set on Vivienne Westwood. I wore an ivory Vivienne Westwood gown with golden D’Accori heels.

Wilson, in classic French style, wore a Saint Laurent tux with his favorite black Converse high tops.

What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?

The most important aspect for us was always everyone having a good time. We wanted the food and music to be great. The next priority was making the whole experience a visual treat for guests. As visual artists, we were very involved in the entire planning process, as we felt our wedding was a visual representation of our world — our relationship, our work and our taste in music and film that we developed growing up together. It was a labor of love with us designing, screen printing and embossing our own menus, name cards, and elements of our invitations. We also photographed our entire wedding party on polaroids minutes before the ceremony. We loved being involved in every step of the process.

Were there any elements that were important for you to incorporate?

There are so many elements of our life that we wanted to feature in our wedding – our love for Miami, our French and Brazilian backgrounds, and most importantly, nature. When we were deciding the color palette for our wedding, we were inspired by a quintessentially Miami art project, Surrounded Islands by Christo and Jeanne-Claude. We decided to work with this hot pink color (seems like it was the color of the year in fashion too!) for accents in the beautiful jungle environment. We wanted something tasteful and refined, but also believe that love is colorful, natural and joyous. The result was an exciting jungle party that mixed in a bit of our French and Brazilian backgrounds.

We had a hot pink aisle runner that was inspired by two French artists — Christo’s Surrounded Islands and Jacquemus’s SS20 pink runway. Wilson and his mother rode into the ceremony on our French 70s baby blue Motobecane moped. We had Brazilian samba dancers and a live drum Batucada for the reception, and we amplified the already tropical landscape with beautiful florals by Calma Floral, featuring exotic flowers and fruits. We had an all vegetarian menu with the most delicious Jackfruit tartar starter, and hundreds of Brazilian Brigadeiros for dessert.

Any tips for couples getting married?

Don’t feel pressured to fit in any wedding traditions you don’t like! We picked and chose what we wanted to keep and what we didn’t like, and we honestly didn’t know anything about weddings while planning it.

Also, for the thousands of decisions you have to make in the wedding planning process – go with your gut. You don’t need to explore every option. Everyone will tell you to try on a ton of different dresses and get several quotes from vendors, but if you really love something, go for it! And most importantly, let go on the day of and just enjoy the beautiful experience of having everyone you love together in the same place. The details don’t matter!

Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?

Calma Floral – Booking Calma was the first decision we made once we knew we were having our wedding in Miami. She is so creative and hardworking, we loved working with her! Each one of her creations is a unique tropical explosion.

Pirate Stereo – Choosing a DJ was a bit tough for us – we wanted it to reflect our music taste but still be universal enough for all guests. We knew we had to hear our DJ live before committing to them. We heard Eyal open for Breakbot in Miami and were obsessed with his set. We knew it was a match when he was playing Phoenix remixes, and we couldn’t be happier with his music choices at our wedding. Everyone danced the whole night.

Jamie Street from St.Chelle – As photographers, choosing our wedding day photographer was even more difficult than the DJ! Jamie went above and beyond. We’re both awkward in front of the camera, but it was so easy to forget that Jamie was there taking photos. Her fly on the wall, documentary approach leads to the most beautiful candid photos. We also love her dedication to shooting all on film, which was very important to us.

Photographer : Jamie Street of St.Chelle @st.chelle | Videographer : Julian Kapadia | Ceremony + Reception Location : Miami Beach Botanical Garden @miamibeachgarden | Celebrant : Childhood Best Friend | Entertainment : DJ Pirate Stereo (Eyal Agai) @piratestereo | Panners : Makaira Events @makairaevents | Florals : Calma Floral @calma_floral | Vanessa's Dress : Vivienne Westwood @viviennewestwood | Wilson's Tux : Saint Laurent @ysl | Wedding Rings : Hernán Herdez @hernan.herdez | Vanessa's Shoes : D’Accori @daccori_ | Wilson's Shoes : Converse @converse | Wedding Party Attire : Bridesmaid's own choice of hot pink dresses


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