PHOTOGRAPHY BY SUZANNE DELAWAR STUDIOS
Bride: Amanda K. Ruisi
Groom: Robert G. Sorrentino
Wedding Date: May 28, 2016
Ceremony Venue: The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort
After more than 11 years together, AKR Public Relations founder and president Amanda K. Ruisi and executive at UBS Private Wealth Management Division Robert G. Sorrentino wed in a lavish three-day celebration over Memorial Day Weekend 2016 in Bal Harbour. The weekend’s events – which spanned from a Friday evening welcome party to a wedding reception that lasted into early Sunday morning – took place exclusively at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort.
Amanda and Bob met in 2004 through mutual friends. “I loved Bob’s smile,” Amanda says. “He caught my attention from across the room.” The two began dating shortly after meeting.
In 2015, on a weekend getaway to Acqualina Resort and Spa in Miami – one of the couple’s favorite vacation destinations – Bob proposed over a romantic private dinner on the beach at sunset. Their beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Ruby, carried in the ring.
“As soon as I saw her, I noticed the sparkly ring tied to her collar,” Amanda says. “Without hesitation, I said YES, but the publicist in me said, ‘Wait, we need to photograph this’ before I put the ring on my finger!”
But for Amanda, the actual task of planning a wedding was bittersweet – she would have to do so without her mother, Lois, who passed away in 2005 shortly after being diagnosed with a rare form of uterine cancer, leiomyosarcoma.
“There was a massive void in my heart, and the thought of getting married without my mother, my very best friend, the woman who had always wanted to wear a champagne colored dress to my wedding, felt like a total enigma to me,” Amanda says. “I just could not fathom planning our wedding without her.”
Early in the process, a conversation about weddings with her mother’s parents was a key part of Amanda’s decision to memorialize her mother through her own wedding.
“They spoke with such fondness and smiled when looking towards the future that I immediately knew I had to plan our wedding with my Nana and Pop-Pop by my side,” she says. Amanda and her grandparents worked hard to ensure that she could honor and incorporate her mother’s memory in many ways throughout the wedding weekend, including a candle that burned throughout the ceremony, a reading dedicated to mothers, and a bridal bouquet charm featuring a photo of Amanda and her mother. The bride’s grandmother also wore a champagne colored dress in honor of Lois, and when she passed Amanda to Bob, Amanda set her bouquet on a chair where her mother would have sat.
The ceremony took place at the St. Regis Bal Harbour’s Ocean Palm Court under a structure dripping with white flowers and crystal accents.
“We chose to incorporate tones that would magnify the beauty of The St. Regis outdoors,” Amanda says. “As the ceremony location overlooks the ocean, we felt it was important to use clear and white to let the natural beauty of the ocean come through as the back drop for the ceremony.”
The bridesmaids wore blush gowns to compliment the blush and white peonies in the bouquets, and Ruby served as the flower dog in a white dress.
Amanda, Bob, and their guests celebrated late into the night at their opulent gold-and-ivory themed reception in the St. Regis Astor Ballroom, where the bride’s friend and client DJ Ruckus kept the party going from a custom mirrored DJ booth. The tables were decorated in gleaming gold place settings surrounding overflowing centerpieces of peonies, Amanda’s mother’s favorite flower. Thousands of peonies were used throughout the wedding weekend, including those on the memorial table set up at the reception.
The bride’s favorite moments during the three-day celebration were seeing the look on her grandparents’ faces when they saw her in her wedding dress for the first time, seeing her husband waiting at the end of the aisle, and watching her brother, Greg, walking Ruby down the aisle, as well as the countless other memories and laughs shared – “all priceless forever moments.”
- Wedding Planners: Teresa Blumberg and Nancy Brenner
- Event Designer: Karla Dascal from KARLA: Conceptual Event Experiences
- Caterer: The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort
- Cake Designer: Antonio Bachour from Bachour Bakery/The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort
- Stationary: Michelle Espinosa from Paper & Lace
- Bridal Gown: Rivini custom gown from Kleinfeld
- Bride’s Hair: Duber Osorio from Oribe Salon
- Bride’s Makeup: Tim Quinn, Giorgio Armani Beauty Face Designer