Monday, July 8, 2013

#ThankYouMiami How-To: Planning Your Miami Wedding

We've only been married one year and our friends and family already want us to renew our vows. I think they just want an excuse to come party with us in Miami. After all, we did host what all of our guests refer to as the "wedding weekend to remember". But a wedding party that successful is easy in Miami.

Miami is already a ready-made party mekka. You just have to know how to make it work for you. Here are a few tips to make your Miami wedding as amazing and as successful as ours:

1. Pick a holiday weekend. We chose the Fourth of July. The long holiday weekend allowed our guests from out of town to extend their stay, giving them extra time to enjoy Miami beyond our festivities. And, because most of our visitors arrived a few days early, our wedding celebrations were extended by almost a week. Hello?! Who doesn't want to be the center of attention for a whole week?!

2. Settle only for the best of the best. I have to give my mom props for finding the best person for each task (i.e. the mariachis from Sabado Gigante). You just can't go wrong when you have the best of the best and, in Miami, the best instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. The most important people to vet are your Day-Of Planner (trust me, you will need one) and your DJ/band (they can make or break your party with a wrong song selection). Here are some of the people without whom our wedding wouldn't have been as fabulous an occassion:
  • Venue: The Palms Hotel and Spa. You can't have a Florida wedding without the proper vibe, and the Palms has nailed that southern Florida vibe. It doesn't hurt that they host weddings almost every weekend of the year so they know what they're doing.
  • Cake: Cake Designs by Edda. The Queen of Miami cakes helped us carry the Florida vibe into dessert with a delicious four-tier key lime-flavored creation featuring a sugar orchid.
  • Dress: Chic Parisien. Not only did they have every dress imaginable, but they made me feel like a princess from the moment I walked in. If your bridal shop doesn't treat you amazing, walk out immediately. Dress shopping is your moment and you should enjoy every second.
  • Bridal Party Hair and Make-up: Gloria Pelo. She is a professional hair and make-up artist with an extensive portfolio. I am not big on wearing make-up, but she gave me the natural look I wanted and gave me the confidence to rock it!
  • Day-Of Coordination: Guerdy Abraira from Divine Design by Guerdy. Guerdy and her team reminded me of Jennifer Lopez in the Wedding Planner. She was involved very early in the planning process and had fantastic ideas to improve every aspect of the wedding. The day of the wedding she had a solution or an answer for everything, making the entire occasion seamless and allowing me to enjoy my day stress-free.
  • Music: AA Musicians. We were limited to choosing a DJ to accommodate our expansive guest list, but they offer bands and DJs. The DJ that was assigned to our wedding kept our guests dancing the entire night and everyone still raves about what an amazing dance party it was...even my mom, who fought for a band throughout the entire planning process.

3. Throw in a surprise element for your guests. Since I am Mexican, my parents decided to add our own special touch to the wedding: a mariachi band that walked in as my husband and I cut the cake. This surprise element made for a fantastic photo opp and was a fantastic way to end the celebration.

Happy planning!

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