Over four decades ago, two couples met in Milan and got to talking, saying how nice it would be if one of their children married a child from the other family. It turned out that was not meant to be; however, the two households did come together through their grandchildren.
Alexa Hakim and Nico Moinian grew up as family friends, even having a photo of each other in a hammock together as children. Though it wasn’t until after college, where they reconnected at a real estate event, that a romantic relationship began to blossom.
As time went on, Nico knew he was ready to propose. A close friend in the jewelry business helped to design the stunning emerald-cut diamond ring framed by elegant side stones. Receiving the blessing of her parents was simple, although the father of the bride tried to make the hopeful groom sweat it out at first. “My father-in-law played a joke on me and said, ‘Let me think about it…’ and then started laughing,” Nico shares.
Though the New Yorkers decided to host a destination wedding in Florida, the wedding was truly a family affair. The bridesmaids and groomsmen were all cousins of the couple, and both sets of parents and siblings were involved in the planning process.
“Everyone in the family has a passion and a skill for throwing incredible parties,” Alexa affirms. The lovebirds were touched by how many people were able to make the destination event in Palm Beach – 690 guests out of 720 invitees. “Do you know what kind of turn out that is!” exclaims Nico. “We definitely have supportive family and friends.”
After an elaborate Shabbat dinner the previous day, the ceremony began after sunset in accordance to the Jewish faith. A cousin of the bride, who is a violinist, played Persian music to honor their heritage while the bridesmaids and groomsmen processed. Forgoing traditional bouquets, the bridesmaids instead wore golden lace cuffs with ivory ranunculus blossoms.
Alexa was resplendent in a custom gown with a scoop neckline and three-dimensional appliqués as she walked down the elevated, white acrylic aisle to meet Nico – donning a midnight blue tuxedo – under the lush chuppah. The structure was formed with an abundance of greenery accented by cream roses, hydrangeas, and orchids. An oversized crystal-and-floral chandelier completed the arbor.
Their many loving guests were seated in the round, allowing everyone to feel included with a clear view of the nuptials. A rabbi and cantor flew in from Israel to preside over the service as well as perform several songs.
“We got showered with more flowers than I could imagine and more love than I can remember.”
“We went with a ‘Gatsby Garden’ theme,” says Alexa of the reception. The space was filled with verdure, from hedges along the perimeter to trees used as centerpieces. Much of the décor was a nod to the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which celebrates the harvest and occurred a week before the wedding.
“Mirrored tables were set with jewel-toned flowers including peonies, roses, celosias, ranunculuses, and hydrangeas arranged with fruits such as pomegranates, grapes, and blackberries,” explains the bride. “Some focal tables featured trees with purple flowers, and the tables along the perimeter of the room were elevated.” The back of the ballroom was similarly raised and had two oversized bars and lounge areas on either side of the band.
Despite consecutive celebrations the two days before, revelers kept the party going until 4AM. “We had lots of different types of genres, from house to Latin to Persian to Israeli to jazz to Frank Sinatra… I think all ages really had a blast and connected with the music,” Nico muses.
Towards the end of the festivities, they took part in a Persian custom where newlyweds stand beside the cake and guests start throwing blooms at the happy couple while singing traditional Iranian wedding songs. “We got showered with more flowers than I could imagine and more love than I can remember,” reminisces the groom. “It was incredible.”