The Art of Miami Weddings

Elastika in the Miami Design District

Elastika in the Miami Design District's Moore Building

Rubell Art Gallery

Rubell Art Gallery

Artechouse

Artechouse, Miami

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By: Riki Altman

Miami is known around the world as a place rich in culture and pulsing with color, music and flavors. Thanks in part to the annual Art Basel event, Miami is also known for being an artistic city like no other, where our local artists and museums keep the enthusiasm going year-round. So, it should come as no surprise that the latest trend with weddings in Miami is to host them inside either an art museum or gallery or outdoors in unique locations where the views make for striking, shifting artistic backdrops.

Historied Miami as Your Wedding Backdrop

Waterfront views at The Miami Circle 

HistoryMiami works with event and wedding planners on hosting momentous moments in an outdoor setting at one of the oldest and mysterious locations in Miami, the nearby Miami Circle. The Miami Circle is a National Historic Landmark and an actual archaeological site that features a 38-foot circular footprint of a prehistoric structure steeped in mystery. Imagine your wedding at a site as old and mysterious as Stonehenge.

A tent here can hold up to 500 guests and the spectacular view is of the Miami River meets with Biscayne Bay. Since this is an outdoor venue, there are no bathrooms, so you'll have to spring for a fancy porto-potty. On the positive side, since it's an outdoor venue, pets are welcome, so your best friend can be a part of the ceremony as well. 

Coral Gables Museum
Enjoy a historic backdrop when you host your wedding at the Coral Gables Museum

The Planet Friendly Coral Gables Museum

Another truly Miami-esque outdoor venue for your wedding is the classy Coral Gables Museum, the former home of the city's police and fire station. The building's unique coral stone façade features Art Deco-style profiles of firemen. A few small indoor areas are available for cocktails or intimate receptions, but most couples take the wedding party outside— which can fit up to 300 guests.

The coral stone structure was built in 1939, but recent renovations have made it bright, airy, neutral and well suited for a formal or informal event. Areas available include a rooftop terrace, courtyard deck, and loggia.

Evnironmentally conscious couples will also be happy to know this site is LEED certified, so those who want an environmentally friendly wedding will feel right at home. That's right, they can even use an organic catering company, order recyclable table settings, and decorate with findings from local gardens, if they'd like.

The Bass
Let Miami's artists set the tone for your wedding when you celebrate your day at an art gallery, like The Bass

Artistic Flair

Indoor and Outdoor at The Bass Museum

Couples searching indoor/outdoor wedding locations should check out the The Bass. Its front entrance was designed by Chad Oppenheim and there's a lovely park just outside making a perfect backdrop for wedding phtotos. Ceremonies and receptions can take place in the café or gallery, while the Arthur & Alice Adams or Reflecting Pool terraces are lovely so long as Mother Nature behaves. You can even set up your wedding so that the guests are allowed to tour the galleries before or after the ceremony.

The Contemporary Rubell Museum

The Rubell Museum’s expansion into a new space features fantastic courtyards and expansive spaces nestled among an amazing contemporary art collection. Not to mention the benefit of plenty of parking and a variety of bright and welcoming spaces available for any size wedding gathering.

Mediterranean-Revival Roots of The Wolfsonian on Miami Beach

Another place providing excellent backdrop eye candy is The Wolfsonian-Florida International University, housed in a striking Mediterranean-Revival building on Miami Beach. The Wolfsonian's roots trace back to the 1920s as a storage space for the valuables of Miami's wealthier winter residents, but today it is a museum, library and research center with approximately 120,000 objects dating from 1885 to 1945. It's also a really beautiful venue for a wedding, where guests can mingle in the entry hall amid tall vaulted ceilings, ornamental stonework and an elegant Art Deco fountain.

The Artsy Bakehouse Art Complex 

Now if you are the artsy type who wants to actually tie the knot inside a cool contemporary art gallery, The Bakehouse Art Complex (BAC) may be the perfect spot. Built in the early 1920s to house the American Bakeries Company, this multi-level building remained unoccupied until BAC took it over in early 1987. Today it houses more than 70 contemporary artists, and their work.

Up to 200 guests can fit in the Audrey Love Gallery - a fitting name to tie the knot -  with 85 seats, but up to 1,000 guests can wander around the building at one time, so they are comfortable with large events here. The BAC staff are flexible, so couples can bring their own food, alcohol and music. And, obviously, you won't have to worry about décor since the painters, sculptors, photographers and such have already displayed their best works on nearly every square inch of free space. 

The Moore Building in the Design District

Located in the heart of Miami's famed Design District, the Moore Building is a 1921 historic venue that boasts four floors of arcaded spaces totaling more than 20,000 square feet. The soaring central atrium accommodates up to 1,100 guests, but wedding parties can take all four floors if needed. Aside from being an entirely clean canvas, with light wood floors and white walls, a massive, dynamic white sculpture, Elastika, reaches diagonally across the banisters, connecting the open spaces. An adjoining garden lounge can also be used for overflow, or an intimate cocktail reception. 

Coconut Grove
Miami locals' favorite neighborhoods offer unique venues, like Coconut Grove

Local Favorites

The Newman Alumni Center at the University of Miami

A lot of locals are drawn to The Newman Alumni Center at the University of Miami, especially those who find themselves tempted to wear an orange-and-green garter under their dress. Not only is the space loaded with UM memorabilia, but it's also a very flexible venue designed to host really large groups.

Its multipurpose room can hold about 500 people for a reception, or can be broken down to accommodate up to 280 for banquet-style seating. Twenty-foot ceilings and wood floors add to its charm, along with a view of the Arellano Courtyard, which can hold up to 300 people, even when tented. There's no need to worry about finding a caterer, either, as the spot has a catering director and executive chef at the ready.

Soho Studios in the Wynwood Convention Center

The perfect place for a massive party is the Soho Studios in the Wynwood Convention Center. Nearly any facility manager in the city would shudder if you mentioned the need to accommodate 2,500 of your closest friends and family for a sit-down meal followed by dancing that may go into the wee hours. But since this versatile event space is totally raw, it offers an incredible opportunity for couples with vision and a lot of guests. Comprising more than 70,000 square feet, the building used to be a dry-cleaning facility for Miami Beach's finest hotels, but now it's an expansive area ready to be customized.

The French inspired Cruz Building in Coconut Grove

A one-of-a-kind event space located in the heart of Coconut Grove, The Cruz Building oozes New Orleans charm. Its façade is ornamented with iron-grilled balconies which welcome you into a fabulous French inspired three-story building boasting an ornate stained-glass ceiling, dark woods, antique chandeliers and multiple dining spaces.

The Cruz Building can accommodate the most detail-conscious couple. A sweeping staircase where couples can make it official? Check. Strolling musicians to serenade your guests from a balcony? Check. An outdoor terrace for cutting the cake? Check. An onyx-topped bar for pre-dinner cocktails? Check. An ornate wood-carved fireplace for after-dinner drinks and an elevator for Aunt Matilda and her walker? Check and check.

Let your creativity flow, Miami-bound couples. With a touch of inspiration and the backing of a professional event planner, you can make your wedding into a real masterpiece.

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