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Susana & Gus

A Miami couple has some surprises in store for their guests with a wedding at one of the city’s most epic venues.

Susana and Gus share a special moment.

After meeting while Susana was an intern at his mother’s insurance agency, she and Gus became friends, then parted and went on their merry ways. It wasn’t until they ran into each other two years later at an Irish pub in Miami that he got her number. “The rest is history,” Susana says. “We dated for seven months, got engaged, and married seven months later.”

For the wedding, the Miami-based couple looked to wedding planner Eric Trelles of ET Events to help them orchestrate an event that blended tradition with the unexpected.

The evening before the wedding, the groom’s family hosted the rehearsal dinner at the Riviera Country Club in Coral Gables—a nod to Gus’ love for golf. The next day, 225 guests gathered for an early-evening ceremony at the Church of the Little Flower in Coral Gables. The bride made her entrance in an Amsale strapless A-line gown with a Swarovski-crystal embellishment, which matched the sparkle of the Maria Elena hairpiece worn in her loose updo. She accented the look with a traditional “something old”: the very same vintage mother-of-pearl necklace and earring set that her father had given her mother on their own wedding day.

After the Catholic ceremony, the party moved on to the “unexpected” part of the night: the cocktail hour and reception at The Historic Alfred I. Dupont Building in downtown Miami. This art deco gem (originally built in 1939 as a bank) has been impeccably restored, and comes loaded with ambience in the form of marble floors and columns, shiny brass scrollwork and hand-painted scenes depicting historical events in Florida. But the bride’s favorite part was the bar.

“We had our cocktail hour in the North Ballroom, where old bank-teller windows make up the bar, and there is still an original bank vault,” she says. “It was fun to see everyone’s reaction to bank-teller bars!”

The reception was held in the South Ballroom, marked by soaring 30-foot walls. They upped the glamour with a period color palette of neutral pinks, whites and antique gold, and filled the tables with luxe displays of white hydrangeas, pink roses and whimsical ostrich feathers that gave a nod to the building’s art deco beginnings.

Following a dinner of short ribs and salmon, the couple cut their cake: a five-tiered beauty with a surprise ingredient of vanilla rum. There was a second surprise as well, for Gus: a golf-themed groom’s cake, presented by his new bride. Then the party hit the dance floor for a high-spirited celebration led by a DJ from Entertainment Management Group, and the live grooves of Continental Brass Band, who turned the heat up with some salsa and Cuban music. Come night’s end, the couple sent their guests off in style with a final surprise: a late-night visit from the Ms. Cheezious grilled-cheese food truck. “It’s one of our favorite snacks,” says the bride. “And it was a hit!”