Asra Chatham and John Lee


In 2008, Asra Chatham sat behind John Lee in a class during her first year of law school at the University of Miami. Yet even when class was out of session, she kept running into him.

“We lived in the same neighborhood, so I starting seeing him everywhere,” Asra says.

Their chance run-ins soon turned into planned occasions, as Asra and John’s relationship transformed from classmates to a couple.

After two and a half years of dating, the couple visited friends in Puerto Rico, a trip John had planned with hidden intentions. Despite a knee injury that kept him on crutches most of the time, he surprised Asra by proposing on the beach one night after dinner.

For their wedding, Asra decided to put her skills to the test and forgo a planner. After graduating from law school and taking the bar exam, she thought, how hard could planning a wedding be?

With the help of a close friend who had recently married, Asra set out to create a timeless, romantic wedding that incorporated her favorite South Florida elements. Her colors, based on a Florida sunset, ranged from gold to guava, mixed with cream and peach.

“We knew we wanted to have the wedding in fall of 2012,” Asra says. “The weather is so beautiful then.”

The couple also knew they wanted an intimate celebration with only family and close friends, and they searched for a location that was small but had the amenities of a grand venue. They found everything they wanted at Villa Woodbine, a private mansion in Coconut Grove that offered seclusion and the beautiful outdoor backdrop Asra had envisioned.

Photography: Lara Rios Fine Art Photography / Venue: Villa Woodbine / Decor: Bill Hansen Catering / Flowers: Andres Aguilar Designs & Events / Cake: Filled and Frosted / Invitations: The Aerialist Press / Programs and name cards: Calligraphy by E / Menus: Bill Hansen Catering / Reception entertainment: Party Time DJs / Gown: Monique Lhuillier / Hair and makeup: Art of Hair by Claudia; Julien Farel Salon and Spa

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