Monique and Jay’s Riverside Hotel Wedding

This gorgeous Riverside hotel wedding in Florida was well worth the wait, after Covid-19 forced them to postpone their wedding three times. But the day finally came and was absolutely perfect!


Once upon a time, I lived in South Florida. Having six furbabies meant I was often found at the vet’s office. This is where I met the beautiful Monique. She always greeted me at the front desk and helped take my rambunctious furbabies straight to the examination room.

After about year of casual conversation, it was brought up that Monique was a bride-to-be! And had yet to book a photographer. We exchanged information and social media handles, and that was that! This bride-to-be became a Sweet Memories bride and I couldn’t be more ecstatic!

Monique and Jay’s Love Story

This couple met online. After a few late night dates due to Monique’s job and long hours, the relationship bloomed.

One Christmas night, in downtown Delray Beach, Jay proposed. He knew this was Monique’s favorite holiday and a special time to finally pop the question. Without hesitation, she said “yes!” and they started planning their Riverside Hotel wedding.

Riverside Hotel Wedding

Inspired by Old Florida charm, the Riverside hotel is historical and stunning. It’s located in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale and only miles from the beach, with the most breathtaking city and river views.

You can see why Monique and Jay instantly fell in love with this venue. From its architecture and unique rooms to its views and location, it was the perfect spot for them to be married.

However, Covid-19 stepped in and ruined all of their wedding plans. This resulted in the two having to reschedule their wedding not once, not twice, but three times!

By the third time, they decided to proceed regardless of the Covid-19 status. And it was magical! Monique and Jay finally got to say their wedding vows and celebrate with their closest family and friends.

The Riverside Hotel in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Monique getting ready before her Riverside Hotel wedding.
Wedding details.
The bride had a custom robe for her big Riverside Hotel wedding.
The bride getting ready inside the Riverside Hotel.
Monique's mom getting ready.
The bride squad hard at work, steaming the dress and veil.
Monique having her makeup done.
Riverside Hotel Wedding | Destination Photographer
The girls getting ready before the Riverside Hotel wedding.
The maid of honor putting on her dress with the help of her friend.
It's time for the bride to get dressed for her Riverside Hotel wedding.
The special moment of putting on her dress with her maid of honor.
Riverside Hotel Wedding | Destination Photographer
Riverside Hotel Wedding | Destination Photographer
Putting on her rose and gold wedding heels.
That Cinderella shot!

Meanwhile, the groom begins putting on his attire and all his little wedding details:

The groom getting ready for the Riverside hotel wedding.
Almost dressed and ready to say "I do."
Love little detail shots like this one!

First Looks

Jay and Monique chose to do first looks prior to their ceremony. Their reason for this was to knock out most of their family pictures prior to the ceremony, before we lost too much light. But it also helped because they really wanted to be a part of the cocktail hour with their family and friends.

Despite the Florida heat being relentless (even with it being October), their first looks were sweet and intimate.

We made sure to stay under the palm trees’ shade and enjoy the wind coming off of the river.

On the way to see Jay for the first time.
Bridal portraits during the Riverside Hotel wedding.
How beautiful is this bridal bouquet?
Jay looking quite handsome in his blue suit.
Groom's portraits.
Monique and Jay during their first look | Riverside Hotel wedding.
Bride and groom portraits at the Riverside Hotel wedding.
Aren't they so cute?
Riverside Hotel Wedding | Destination Photographer
Riverside Hotel Wedding | Destination Photographer
The bride and groom wanted a mix of fun and playful photos and romantic and soulful photos
Riverside Hotel Wedding | Destination Photographer

Family and Formal Portraits

Family pictures.
Formal pictures at this Riverside Hotel Wedding.
Bridal party.
Floral arrangements by Art of Flowers.

Post-first looks and family pictures, the gang ran back inside. Water and A/C were necessary before heading out for the ceremony.

The wedding party and family cooling off after being out in the Florida heat.

The Long-Awaited “I Do’s”

Monique and Jay chose to have their ceremony in the round. Because the circle symbolizes eternity and oneness, it was a great option for their wedding day. They wanted their guests to feel close to one another, and to them as they said their vows.

The wedding ceremony in the round.
Guests arriving at the Riverside Hotel wedding.
The wedding party walking down the aisle.
The bride coming down the aisle.
Riverside Hotel Wedding | Destination Photographer
The couple in the middle of the circle, listening to the officiant speak of their love.
Riverside Hotel Wedding | Destination Photographer
Jay reading his wedding vows to his bride.
Exchanging sweet wedding vows during their Riverside Hotel wedding.
Monique's moms videoing the whole wedding ceremony on their phone.
The exchanging of rings.

Their first kiss as husband and wife!

The bride and groom's first kiss as husband and wife.

After their first kiss, the Star Wars theme song popped on for the recessional. Such a fun and perfect little detail for this Star Wars-loving couple!

Riverside Hotel Wedding | Destination Photographer
They chose to have bubbles to be incorporated as they walked down the aisle for the first time as husband and wife.
Riverside Hotel Wedding | Destination Photographer
A group shot with all of their family and friends who made it to their wedding, despite Covid-19
The officiant.

Bubbles are always a good idea and fun to incorporate in a wedding, whether it’s for a ceremony recessional, couples’ portraits, and/or a grand send-off!

A little bubble play time!
Bubbles are always a good idea for a wedding day!
Riverside Hotel Wedding | Destination Photographer
Riverside Hotel Wedding | Destination Photographer

Play Time!

Cocktail hour and the reception is always a great opportunity grab additional portraits of the couple, candid shots of the guests, and detail photos of all the personal touches the bride and groom incorporated in their big day.

Cocktail hour begins!
Riverside Hotel Wedding | Destination Photographer

Bridal shoes are rarely comfortable. So what did Monique do as soon as she joined cocktail hour? Well, change into comfortable (but still glamorous) shoes, of course!!!

The bride switching out her shoes.

Now that her feet were free, she was ready to dance on the rooftop of the Riverside hotel.

Bridal portraits on the rooftop.
Riverside hotel wedding details and decor.
The Big Room reveal:

The happy couple were beyond thrilled with how their room turned out. Monique couldn’t stop raving about how they created the ballroom of her dreams!

Riverside Hotel Wedding | Destination Photographer

With the Sailor Moon theme song playing, they are announced as husband and wife.

Announced as husband and wife into the reception room.

And they went straight into their first dance, surrounded by pink fog:

First dance together.
Riverside Hotel Wedding | Destination Photographer
First dance as husband and wife.


The wedding reception.


How beautiful is this cake? The baker and cake artist at the Riverside Hotel did such a gorgeous job bringing Monique’s vision to life!

Wedding cake.
Cake-cutting at the Riverside Hotel wedding.

Wedding Vendors

Wedding Coordinator: Loma with Riverside Hotel ♥ Hair and Makeup: Get Glammed Up Beauty Bar ♥ Wedding Venue: Riverside Hotel ♥ Officiant: Kimberly Abbott ♥ Wedding Photographer: (who else would it be?!) Sweet Memories Photography ♥ Caterer: Riverside Hotel ♥ Wedding Cake: Sabrina with Riverside Hotel ♥ Wedding DJ: Vision DJs ♥ Lighting Company: Vision DJs ♥ Florals: Art of Flowers