Arielle Poteau, a journalist and co-owner of a boutique PR and branding agency, and Steve Poteau, an electrical engineer, met while both attending the University of Miami. However, after graduation, they dated for 10 years on and off and never lived in the same city until two-and-a-half weeks before they tied the knot! To propose, Steve asked for help from one of Arielle’s best friends, but she accidentally included the bride-to-be in a planning group chat the day of the proposal. “I was SHOCKED. I totally didn’t expect it, but since I had the heads up, I took advantage of it. I ditched the plain, old black dress I was planning to wear and went out to buy a sparkly, special gown for that night,” Arielle says.
The engaged couple looked at wedding venues in Miami, even though neither of them was living there at the time. Pinecrest Gardens initially didn’t check off the right boxes for the bride, as it wasn’t available on their first choice of date and only allowed day-time affairs, but the lush setting won her over. “I loved how green and mysterious the grounds felt. The setting really played into the elevated tropical theme I was going after,” Arielle says. To bring her vision to life, they hired Luxurious Events.
When shopping for her dress, the bride wanted something timeless and elegant. “I had to be careful because sometimes I have a flair for the overdramatic which threatens to be outdated a decade later,” she says. She found her Monique Lhuillier dress with a lace overlay and massive tulle underskirt at Ivory & White in Birmingham, Alabama. To complete the look, she sourced a pearlescent headpiece on Etsy that pulled everything together.
The groom wore a custom-made, linen-blend cream double breasted suit by Suit Supply and woven loafers from Magnanni by Neiman Marcus. As they chose not to have attendants, Arielle simply asked her closest girlfriends to wear shades of blush for pre-ceremony pics.
During the ceremony, Arielle was a lot more emotional than she ever expected. “There were moments when I got so overwhelmed that I felt like I was losing control. As a very analytical, and some may say, bossy Virgo, that is not common for me. But it was the groom’s raw emotion that got me.”
The couple made sure to honor the groom’s Haitian culture, with the speaking of Creole during the ceremony and Haitian food at the cocktail hour—griot filled plantain cups, soup joumou shooters, and beef patties.
After lunch, Arielle says that the dance floor turned into one of the wildest weddings she’s ever been to. She and Steve completely curated their reception playlist with DJ Dro and had their first dance to “My One and Only Love,” by John Coltrane. And then, since it was a day wedding, the party continued at a hotel on South Beach, where guests joined them for a few more drinks before the newlyweds took off for their honeymoon in the Maldives.