When one of my besties from high school asked me to be one of her bridesmaids, how could I say no?! Rochelle is one of the smartest, wittiest, profound, selfless and kind-hearted women I know. When Rochelle told me she had met someone very special, the way she said it, I knew he was the one for her.

A few months ago, in Ottawa, surrounded by the gorgeous palette of autumn leaves, we celebrated their union in a greenhouse under the stars. Aside from being the most stunning wedding that I've been to, the love this happy couple radiated was felt throughout the venue.

I could go on and on and on, so rather than do so, I caught up with my dear friend to chat all things wedding and the several hiccups that materialized along the way to create a magical night to remember.

What is your favorite quote or life motto?
I have so many. But the one I say the most often is, “Be anxious for nothing,” Philippians 4:6-7

How would you describe your overall style?
Fashion came easily to me when I was in my 20s and living in Miami Beach. There, a great pair of jeans, a cute top and killer stilettos was my go-to. Now that I’m in my 30s and living in New York City, style is very much a work in progress. I’m trying to blend South Florida freshness with New York City style, a sort of approachable chicness. Like I said, it’s a work in progress.

When it came to picking out your perfect wedding dress, did you have a clear idea of what you were looking for? Would you say the dress chose you?
I knew I wanted a quality dress, something that looked great and felt great. In terms of style, I had no clue what I was looking for and that was intentional. I wanted to have a very open mind. Three stores into shopping, I found the dress. To be sure it was the one, I gave myself a day to sleep on it before making up my mind.

Planning a wedding can be stressful. How did you handle the process?
My husband and my mom were my rocks. My husband, who has amazing planning skills, helped to keep everything and everyone on track. My mom took on a good amount of work, too. She also supported and respected our vision every step along the way.

Having a great team dynamic is critical when things go wrong. And they will go wrong. For example, about two months before the wedding, the bridal shop where the bridesmaids and flower girls purchased their dresses announced bankruptcy and closed doors on the same day. We had two days to find new dresses. One month before the wedding, we were sent the wrong wedding dress. Three weeks before the wedding, the florist backed out of 75 percent of what we had agreed upon. We had to find a second florist and convince the wedding venue to allow in a third-party vendor. Four days before the wedding, the caterer terminated their contract with our wedding venue. The day before the wedding, and an hour before the wedding rehearsal, I had to teach the new chef how to cook our vegetarian dish. He had never cooked tofu before.

Luckily, everything came together in the end.

I can say from being there that the wedding day was perfect and not one guest would have known that you had gone through a myriad of issues.

What great advice did you receive prior to your wedding?
Do the marriage counseling. We both really loved how the counseling reaffirmed what we already knew, that we loved each other and were a great match. Also, the communication skills you learn during counseling will come in handy.

Your wedding shoes were designed by whom?
I ended up getting a Badgley Mischka ankle strap sandal that had about a 4-inch heel. The shoes were hand beaded with crystals that glistened all night.

And of course, you had your own pair of shoe inserts to keep your bridal shoes in shape, especially since it was a destination wedding. What is it that you like about the line of products by Protect My Shoes?
I love how beautiful and practical they are. It’s one of those items that I didn’t know I needed, and now, I can’t really go anywhere without them. I even like how they make me smile every time I see them in my shoes. In their own little way, the products bring joy to my closet and my life.

How did you pick your shoes?
One of my bridesmaids gave me great advice. She knew that I was leaning toward buying a simple, ankle strap sandal with a high heel. But she reminded me that your wedding day was not the time to be conservative. She was right. Thanks, Olivia!

That definitely sounds like advice I'd give LOL! ;-)

Was the big day exactly how you dreamt it would be?
It was better. Up until that day, I didn’t really understand why people had big weddings. But, as I walked down the aisle, I saw how important the wedding was for my family and friends. Seeing love resonate through the room was very touching. Even though the day was so challenging to put together, it was all worth it in the end.  

How did you come up with the gorgeous garden-themed wedding?
Backyard gardens have been a reoccurring theme in our relationship, from spending time in olive groves in Greece, to when we got engaged in my parent’s backyard, which is very much a tropical garden. It was only natural to recreate a romantic garden for our wedding.

Where was your honeymoon?
We actually haven’t had a romantic getaway just yet. But since Andrew and I already travel a lot,  we’re debating if we should instead dedicate a week or two of our time to help the less fortunate.

What are you most looking forward to in your marriage?
Growing into something stronger and better together than we could ever be on our own.

The wedding is just one day, but Rochelle and Andrew have a lifetime of wonderful adventures ahead of them and can't wait to see what's in store for this inspiring couple.

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