For Sean Bernal's Wedding, Love (Doesn't) Bite

Categories: Love Bites
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Love Bites is a regular column on Short Order. Find other installments here.

This week's column is going to focus on the nuptials of one of my favorite Miami chefs, Sean Bernal, and his lovely bride, Natalie, formerly the marketing specialist at Whole Foods in Coral Gables... and, of course, the vittles I devoured at their wedding this past weekend.

Now one may think one of our city's top seafood chefs would've had a raw bar and maybe a do-it-yourself ceviche station and that his bride may have demanded that everything be locally grown, sustainable, and organic, but I'm happy to report that they both bucked the system and went for -- wait for it -- barbecue!.

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Photo by Riki Altman
​Let's see if I can paint the picture for you. The reception was held in Sanford, Florida at a glorious two-story house with a giant yard, surrounded by oak trees dripping with Spanish moss. The bride tied navy and pink paper spheres to some branches, giving the space a festive feel. Round tables covered in blue surrounded the dance floor in the center of the yard. Servers roamed around, bringing hungry guests small bites while we awaited the barbecue crew's unveiling of the buffet.

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Photo by Riki Altman
Instead of having to line up at a bar, guests were invited to serve themselves. Those going without alcohol could fill Mason jars with lemonade or sweet tea from glass dispensers with spigots.

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Photo by Riki Altman
Once the dinner bell rang, guests lined up to fill their plates with a mixed greens salad topped with candied pecans and cranberries; buttery corn on the cob, potato salad with sour cream, bacon, cheese, and chives; bourbon baked beans with peaches; barbecued pork ribs; apple smoked chicken, and Texas-style brisket with a glorious supply of burnt ends. Each bite was better than the one before.

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Photo by Riki Altman
Oh, and I'd be remiss to neglect mentioning the dual fountains bubbling over with two types of barbecue sauce. Novelty at its finest.

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Photo by Riki Altman
The foodie couple added a touch of humor by providing guests with paper bibs and wet naps branded with "Marriage can be messy." Yes, we employed both.

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Photo by Riki Altman
Three types of cupcakes; navy, white, and pink M&Ms, and a three-tiered white fondant-covered cake were offered for dessert.

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Photo by Riki Altman
As for the favors, each guest was welcome to a keepsake photo-laden booklet of recipes, honoring Sean, Natalie, and their respective families. I was thankful for the thoughtful memento, especially since it's something I can use. No need to shelf this with the tacky mini photo frames and small boxes of chocolates I've received at ceremonies past.

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Photo by Riki Altman
Congrats, Mr. and Mrs. Bernal. I suspect your future together will be fulfilling, sweet, and occasionally spicy--just like the grub I enjoyed at your charming wedding.

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9 comments
Natalie Packer
Natalie Packer

the food are so yummy, the venue looks cool and the bride is so BEAUTIFUL. everything is well done. 

Wedding Photographer
Wedding Photographer

Nice best wishes to both of you the place is really so cute to have a wedding. :  )

John
John

;What a lovely setting, such old southern gentility ,sorry we missed the festivityies (people,FOOD,booze, dancing)but got to be there the day before to see what we really would miss .

Jack G.
Jack G.

What a beautiful day so glade you found each other many happy healthy years together!!

Peace joy and much Love

Jack G

ps your tacos are on me!!

sillygoose
sillygoose

wow, who did the lanterns? they should start a business!

Rene Valverde
Rene Valverde

Congratulations Sean and Natalie. Wishing you health, peace and tranquility.

Love,The Valverde Clan[Rene Nikki Nikko Arianna and The Madd Ox:-)

B_cartergilmartin
B_cartergilmartin

Beautiful wedding, beautiful reception, beautiful bride. Watching Natalie grow into the woman she is today has been one of the joys of my life. (And the fact that she used to think I was ten younger than my actual age does not influence this posting at all.)

Kamiott1969
Kamiott1969

Congrats to Sean and Natalie i am glad i was a part it. With you the best in the years to come. Kevin Amiott

Lalo
Lalo

Congrats to Sean & Natalie...great wedding & great grub...wish you both many years of happiness.

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