Home » This Bougainvillea-Filled Brazilian Wedding Put Music and Guest Experience First

This Bougainvillea-Filled Brazilian Wedding Put Music and Guest Experience First

by Staff

If you asked Carolina Favero Braga if she would end up with Freud Milice as she began her emergency room rotation in 2015, her answer would likely be a resounding no. The twosome worked alongside each other for two weeks at Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn when she was a medical school student and he was a resident. As Carolina puts it, their courtship wasn’t exactly love at first sight. “I was skeptical of his big personality and braggadocios behavior,” Carolina admits. “On our first few days working together, he told me he loved house parties, red wine, and older women. Eye roll.”

But, in a plot twist of romantic comedy proportions, Freud managed to get Carolina’s number and would text her after every shift—and even when she traveled to Florida. “On the day I was returning to New York, he knew I was anxious about flying, and sent me Angus and Julia Stone’s ‘Big Jet Plane’ single to keep me calm throughout the flight. When I landed at JFK, he surprised me and was waiting at baggage claim. Five days later, we went on our first official date. As they say, the rest is history.”

Fast-forward to June 5, 2020, when the couple was taking a socially distanced trip to the Catskills. As physicians, both Carolina and Freud were on the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic and took a well-deserved vacation once restrictions began to loosen. “When we arrived, the hotel staff recommended a walk in the garden prior to dinner,” she shares. “We got ready and while walking the garden, Freud got down on one knee. I am sure he had more to say but all I remember is, ‘Will you marry me?’” The answer? A resounding yes.

When it came to planning their September 3, 2022, wedding, the couple wanted their special day to highlight the bride’s Brazilian background and the groom’s Haitian roots. They enlisted wedding planner Nathalie Cadet-James of Luxe Fete, who had the perfect spot in mind: Itapororoca Villa in Trancoso, Brazil. “There is the essence of West Africa in this rustic Brazilian beach town,” the bride explains. “With its scenic backdrops and rich culture, we knew this was the perfect place to share our love story with family and friends.”

With 80 of their closest friends and family members in attendance, their destination was a beautiful representation of Carolina and Freud in every way imaginable. “As an interracial couple, it was important for us to highlight our different backgrounds,” the bride shares. “Nathalie is Haitian-American, and she really understood who we were as individuals, but also as a couple. Her excitement to celebrate our love story was noticeable from before we even officially hired her.” Read on for an intimate look at Carolina and Freud’s wedding festivities, as photographed by Heather Waraksa.

Carolina and Freud didn’t have to look too far for wedding inspiration. Elements of Trancoso’s seaside beauty were woven throughout the weekend. From watercolor illustrations to magenta accents that pay tribute to the local bougainvillea flowers, the invitation suite from LetterHeads Miami gave guests the perfect glimpse of what was to come.

The couple kicked off the festivities with a beach party the night before the wedding. Carolina stunned in a white dress from Farm Rio, while Freud looked effortlessly elegant in a white button-down from Peter Millar and matching shorts.

“Our wedding [weekend] didn’t have a traditional timeline,” the bride shares. “We had our maid of honor and best man make their speeches during the welcome party so they could enjoy themselves. We know the effort it took for our guests to celebrate with us and we wanted them to enjoy themselves to the fullest.”

I don’t know how to describe it, but I knew the dress was made for me.

Come the wedding day, the bride wore a strapless gown from Valentini Spose, which beautifully fulfilled her “clean and timeless vision.” She shares, “I truly believed that this was my day and wanted to wear something that made me feel spectacular. I was also three months postpartum when I started shopping for a wedding dress, so it was important for me to feel confident in it.” Carolina adds, “I don’t know how to describe it, but I knew the dress was made for me.”

When it came to accessorizing her gown, Carolina knew she wanted to support women-owned businesses. She opted for a veil by Jennifer Leigh Couture Veils, Julia Vaughn jewelry, and a special pair of shoes from Brother Vellies. “During the beginning of the pandemic, I followed [Brother Vellies founder] Aurora James on Instagram,” Carolina explains. “It had to be fate that [she] designed a bridal shoe line for HBO’s Insecure. I texted Nathalie and the team and said, ‘I know I don’t have a dress yet, but I know this is the shoe.’ So, I actually bought my bridal shoes before I had a dress!”

Meanwhile, the groom suited up in a custom navy tuxedo from Suitsupply. Rounding out the look was a tie from Tom Ford, Hermès shoes, and his everyday accessories. “Freud wore his watch and a bracelet which was engraved with his daughter’s name,” Carolina adds.

Prior to the ceremony, the couple had an “intimate and emotional” first look. “We wanted to have a moment between us before sharing ‘us’ with everyone else,” the groom explains.

Upon arrival, guests could grab some water, local juices, or a monogrammed coconut as they listened to a soothing setlist from the string quartet group Quarteto De Cordas de Trancoso.

“Our ceremony was on the beach underneath coconut trees with a wooden altar decorated with bougainvillea,” the bride shares. “It was very simple, but elegant at the same time.” The view of the ocean was a welcomed bonus.

Carolina glided down the aisle to Felix Mendelssohn’s “Marcha Nupcial,” with her father and a bouquet of local flowers in tow.

Freud spent months writing his vows during his night shifts, promising to “be present, to be here next week, next month, next year, and the year after that.” Meanwhile, Carolina performed a song she often sings to their daughter at night. Her favorite lyrics: “I love you in the morning, and in the afternoon. I love you in the evening, and underneath the moon.”

The newlyweds slipped on their wedding bands from Boccardo Jewelers, shared a kiss, and recessed down the aisle to Bob Marley’s “Is This Love.”

Make time to enjoy special moments with each other. It goes by so fast!

After the ceremony, Carolina and Freud snuck away to take some pictures with photographer Heather Waraksa. “​​Make time to enjoy special moments with each other,” the couple recommends. “It goes by so fast!”

“Our reception decor is what [our florist] Katia Criscuolo calls ‘brasilidade sofisticada’—or ‘sophisticated Brazilianness,’” Carolina shares. “She incorporated local materials and tones in the lighting, linens, and place setting. There was one long table in the reception area with no assigned seating, which was to be decorated with magenta flowers among greenery.” The bride’s favorite area was the dessert room—a bougainvillea-adorned space that displayed “hundreds of sweets” on floating trays.

If guests were craving fresh air, they could hang out in one of the venue’s chill outdoor seating areas.

True to their love story, Carolina and Freud shared a sweet first dance to Angus and Julia Stone’s “Big Jet Plane.”

While the newlyweds opted for a buffet style of local Bahian-inspired food—courtesy of O Cacau—they tapped Confet Doceria to whip up a four-tiered cake. “We had two different flavors. One layer was white cake with brigadeiro filling, [which is a traditional Brazilian dessert],” the bride explains. “The other layers were white cake with dulce de leche filling.”

Since Carolina and Freud love music—they have a shared fondness of hip-hop—they wanted to find a DJ who understood their taste. “We worked closely with our DJ, Nath Carreiro, to play music that played significant parts in our lives both as individuals and as a couple,” the groom notes. “We shared with her Spotify playlists for both the welcome party and the wedding. DJ Nath was a smashing success!” In fact, the newlyweds even infiltrated the DJ booth during the evening with their daughter, Celine.

“We were on the dance floor for most of the wedding,” Freud explains. But, according to the couple, guests left the event with more than some new dance moves. “Because many of our friends had never been to Brazil before, we focused a high level of detail on the experience that our guests would have,” Carolina shares. “Freud created a WhatsApp group with all the guests as a way for everyone to connect a few weeks prior to the wedding. Our guests were able to get to know each other and it made it even more special on the wedding day. The group is still going strong to this day!” Whether it’s an inner circle or excellent vendors, no love story is complete without the people cheering you on along the way.

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