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Garnet and Gilded

A Florida couple breaks out the elegance at the Boca Raton Resort & Club.

Ashley Colyer & Anthony Houllis, March 3, 2012

“For pretty Ashley,” a note from famed shoe designer Christian Louboutin

Rings by D’Vara Jewelers

Pastel rose centerpieces

Former FSU quarterback and Anthony’s teammate, Drew Weatherford, smooches his date

Koufeta (Jordan almonds) on guests’ plates—a longstanding Greek tradition

A five-tiered, ruffled cake on a sterling stand

Florida State University grads Ashley Colyer and Anthony Houllis dated for a year before he popped the question, but it took a year and a half to plan their nuptials with help from Jamie Lipman at The Absolute Event. “He trusted my judgment,” Ashley says of her groom. “I think he knew that the big, fancy wedding was more important to me. Our biggest struggle was that he sometimes got jealous that I was paying more attention to the wedding than him!”

The Florida natives (Ashley is from Boca Raton and Anthony, Tarpon Springs) were wedded at the Boca Raton Resort & Club’s Cloister Garden, just minutes away from where the bride was raised. “Anthony and I both grew up on the water so we loved that the resort is waterfront,” says Ashley, who wore an Oscar de la Renta gown, custom veil from Ever After and a signed pair of Louboutins on their big day.

The reception was held in the resort’s Cathedral Room, an incredibly regal space with high ceilings, atmospheric gilded pillars and dramatic arched windows. “Truly one of the only ballrooms I’ve ever seen that is ‘wedding-ready’ before the decorating even begins,” Ashley gushes. With the room’s garnet and gold color story, the couple opted to keep things elegant and simple and adopted a complementary white theme that would elevate the black-tie air Ashley wanted right from the get-go. “I’ve always loved the idea of a formal, black-tie wedding, since there aren’t too many excuses to break out the tux and gown,” she says. The grand fabulousness of the occasion, with the ornate interiors made even more evocative with gorgeous flowers from Dalsimer Atlas, was so overwhelming that the bride was shocked on the day of the ballroom reveal. “I honestly couldn’t believe it,” Ashley says. “I think the first words out of my mouth were, ‘I feel like a David Tutera bride.’”

And it turns out that this impossibly posh room was not just the perfect setting for a 200-guest romantic gathering, but it also became a concert venue when world-famous motivational speaker Wayne Dyer’s daughter Skye, also a guest, sang to the couple. Rumor is a little Rick Astley action also went down: The groom and Dyer’s husband surprised the bride with an impromptu full-band performance of “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Says Ashley, “Everything was perfect.”