Candice Miller, the founder of Mama & Tata, a lifestyle resource for mothers living in NYC and L.A. and the co-founder of Black Iris, a womenswear collection launching this spring, and real estate developer Brandon Miller grew up close friends. “We actually lived across the street from each other in the Hamptons,” says Candice. “However, we didn’t start really dating until our mid-20s when the timing was right. We always loved one another, but it was actually so nice that we waited all of those years because we had no secrets, we knew everything about each other.”
Once they became official, they dated for one year before Brandon proposed. “We both knew immediately that this was forever,” Candice explains. It was Super Bowl Sunday, which “up until then was probably one of my least favorite days of the year!” Candice jokes. “I was sick, and in bed, but Brandon clearly had a plan, and my cold was stopping him.”
Her sister was “out of town” in Miami that weekend so never in a million years did Candice suspect a proposal might be coming. “Brandon called me into our living room and had a box of Louboutins out on the coffee table. He said he wanted to give me something to make me feel better, and those typically did the trick. I opened up the box to find a beautiful lilac suede pump that had been stuffed with paper and a blue thing, that I tossed out of the box so that I could immediately put the shoes on.”
She proceeded to prance around the apartment in her new heels, while Brandon picked up the “blue garbage” up off the floor, saying there was something that she’d missed. “He proceeded to get down on one knee with the little blue box, and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him!” Candice remembers. “I immediately ran to call my sister, a.k.a. Tata, who didn’t pick up the phone because she was ‘in Miami.’ Brandon said he wanted to walk over to The Palm for an early dinner and to watch the game, and I followed along, forgetting I was sick and smiling from ear to ear. As we walked into the restaurant, my sister and entire family popped out screaming ‘Congratulations!’ and from there, it was a total cry fest. We were overwhelmed with happiness and excitement. He really went above and beyond!”
Once they started planning, they quickly landed on The Metropolitan Club for their wedding location. “All of our friends were having destination weddings, so we decided that fall in New York City was perfect!” Candice laughs. “It seemed like the quintessential New York City venue.”
And, for a big city wedding, what could be more fitting than an Oscar de la Renta dress? “I’ve always loved Oscar de la Renta, since childhood,” Candice explains. “So I knew that when it was time, he was the designer it had to be. My sister, mom, and I went to try a few on, and everyone cried when they saw me in the dress I ultimately ended up wearing, so the decision was made.”
There was also a vintage Alexander McQueen white chiffon dress Candice had saved from a magazine, years before. It was ethereal and dreamy, and she knew that once the party started, it would be the perfect dress to change into. She completed both looks with beautiful vintage diamond and pearl flower earrings gifted to her by her mother. “My shoes were a special bridal edition of Christian Louboutin that I still look at in my closet today,” Candice admits. “Although for dancing I changed into my gold Manolo Blahniks for comfort!” Brandon wore a very simple, elegant Calvin Klein tuxedo.
“It rained the night of our wedding, but I believe that is actually great luck,” Candice reflects, 9 years later to the day. Now that she’s almost a decade into marriage, it’s safe to say the lifestyle blogger with the doting husband and two adorable little girls just might be onto something.
Back in 2009, she worked with event planner Elizabeth Allen to come up with decor ideas that felt fall-like in terms of the color scheme and used florals and fruits throughout the tablescapes with tons of candles in various sizes. “The room was glowing and all of our best friends and family walked down the aisle together to all of our favorite songs,” Candice says. “We have a large very close group of friends so it was a long ceremony. Brandon and I were the only two standing together, and the ceremony was seated in rows of circles surrounding us, so the moment felt very private and intimate. I could hardly say my vows because I was so emotional looking at the man I loved most in the world, and surrounded by a circle of family, I couldn’t contain my overwhelming excitement.” After they said their vows, the newlyweds exited, just married, to Hans Zimmer’s “You’re So Cool.” “It was pure bliss, and I was madly in love,” Candice gushes, obviously still smitten.
At the reception, the couple danced to Ray LaMontagne’s “Hold You in My Arms”—“and then, my husband’s speech, was the best part of the night, hands down! He had the entire room in tears. Thinking about it still gives me butterflies!” The party went until 4:00 A.M. with DJ Ruckus spinning, late night snacks, and even a candy wall. “We danced and danced and danced, and then everyone went home with our favorite breakfast from growing up on the Upper East Side together: H&H Bagels.”