Adriana Zavala & JC Griffin
With Strength and Faith
Sep 23, 2022
Coral Gables , Florida
Simply Captivating Photography
JC surprised Adriana with a one-year anniversary trip to Miami, where they would meet his daughter, Isabella, but little did Adriana know that an even bigger surprise was in the works: JC had just placed an order to overnight an engagement ring to Miami. After spending their first night under the palm trees, Adriana and JC visited the Ancient Spanish Monastery in North Miami Beach. After telling them about the historic venue, the head priest and monastery staff greeted the couple and suggested that they take a walk, knowing full well what was about to come.
Once they began their walk, JC asked Adriana to walk ahead of him so he could take candid photos of her in the lush gardens. JC knew how much Adriana loves plants and their environment, so he hoped she wouldn’t suspect anything. JC guided Adriana to a Spanish fountain in the gardens before pulling out the ring, which had arrived that morning. When Adriana turned around to approve her candid shots, she found JC down on one knee. “I couldn’t believe it was really happening. It was the most surreal moment. It was like the world stopped for us and our love,” Adriana remembers. After their engagement, JC had another surprise for Adriana. JC and Adriana’s moms and Adriana’s sisters flew to Miami from Chicago and California to celebrate their love.
Soon after their engagement, Adriana and JC began the wedding planning process. Even though the couple loves their home city, Chicago, Miami held a special place in their hearts because it was the city where Adriana said yes. After a few scouting trips, the couple chose the First United Methodist Church of Coral Gables as their wedding ceremony venue and the Biltmore Miami-Coral Gables hotel and the Club of Knights as their pre and post-wedding reception venues. The couple also planned an intimate brunch for their immediate family members at the iconic Bath Club in Mid-Beach for the day after their wedding.
It was a priority for Adriana and JC to incorporate both of their cultural identities into the ceremony, so the couple asked their wedding officiant, Pastor Lucas Bonates, to speak both English and Spanish throughout the ceremony. To pay homage to the African American ritual of “jumping the broom,” both JC and Adriana’s mothers decorated the broom, over which the couple would jump in unison to ratify their marriage and demonstrate their strength, faith, and commitment to each other.
The Big Day
On the morning of her wedding, Adriana met her sisters and maids of honor, Lety and Mari, to host her bridal party at the Biltmore Hotel Miami-Coral Gables for lunch and champagne. Meanwhile, JC met with his brother and best man, Daniel, to run some last-minute errands for yet another surprise he had planned for his bride. JC met with their wedding coordinator at their reception venue to do a dry run of the surprise serenade he had planned for Adriana. In the afternoon before the wedding, guests were chauffeured to First United Methodist Church of Coral Gables by a white trolley service. Upon arrival, they were ushered into the sanctuary of the breathtaking 1920s Spanish Colonial church. After saying “I do,” Adriana and JC administered communion to their guests — their first official act as husband and wife.
After the ceremony, guests were chauffeured to the Club of Knights for Adriana and JC’s reception. They enjoyed Adriana’s signature cocktail, a cucumber margarita, and music from a lively mariachi band. Meanwhile, the newlyweds spent a brief private moment to connect and celebrate before taking photos with family and friends in the charming, bistro-light-lined outdoor garden. When Adriana and JC made their grand entrance, the groom pulled off his surprise serenade of “You and I” by John Legend, and the couple celebrated with their guests throughout the entire evening, closing out the night’s extravaganza with a confetti blast in each other’s arms in the middle of the dance floor.
As self-proclaimed amateur wine connoisseurs, it’s no surprise that Adriana and JC chose Italy as their honeymoon destination. The newlyweds decided to postpone their romantic escape to avoid Italy’s winter season and experience the country during the spring of 2023. They can’t wait to take in Italy’s art and architecture and indulge in Italian food and wine, celebrating their love every step of the way.
Events with Estela by Maria Salas
Simply Captivating Photography
Futura Studio Inc.
The Biltmore Miami-Coral Gables
First United Methodist Church of Coral Gables
The Club of Knights
The Flower Wall Co. Miami
The Club of Knights
Edda’s Cake Designs
Jennifer Postorino, Minted
GOWN & VEIL
Eva’s Bridal Boutique
ENGAGEMENT RING & WEDDING BANDS
Donna Jewelry Co.
HAIRSTYLIST & MAKEUP ARTIST
Gia Despo Hair and Makeup
RENTALS & DECOR
Contempo Linen & Event Rentals
Mariachi Mi Mexico Miami
Miami White Trolley by Rumba Tours