A Destination to Bliss

If I was having a destination wedding I would have two big concerns. The first one would be that my planner had great style!!! I would hate to arrive at my destination three days before my wedding and see that things are just not my style. My second concern would be finding someone that truly knows the city I am planning to wed in. What are the good spots? Where are the cheesy wedding factories to stay away from? What hotels would my crowd love? etc…

It is imperative that your aesthetic and your planners aesthetic are similar. Even though you can see pictures and video of the venue, samples of the florals, and renderings of the decor, there are always last minute decisions that will be made by your planner. One of our greatest assets at Joan Love Events is the experience we have in fashion. After years of working in the fashion industry in cities like NYC, Milan, LA, Paris, and Miami, we still follow the latest runway trends and incorporate them into our events. So for you die-hard fashionistas, this is definitely the planning company for you!

Also, our team has more than 20 years of combined experience in the Miami hospitality and events industry. Every new hotel, bar, or lounge has been scoped out by our planning team. We know where to go and more importantly, where not to go. We also know all the hidden gems that tourists don’t know about, but us locals live at. We can make sure your guests have a great time down here for your wedding weekend, while staying away from the tourist traps. Unless you actually want your guests riding around on an amphibious vehicle with a duck beak checking out the celebrity homes on Star Island, we can make that happen too.

The United Nation of Weddings

What do you do when an Italian bride finds her Peruvian prince charming?…plan a Moroccan wedding on Cinco de Mayo of course! Enter Sonia, a firecracker of a woman and our hands down favorite bride of 2011! Sonia and Alfredo met while sunbathing on South beach and fell in love. So on her 50th birthday, Sonia planned to marry Alfredo in front of 200+ of their friends and family from around the word.

For the ceremony, the couple wanted to get married in the exact location where they met. We had the towel attendants that introduced Sonia and Alfredo to drive the bride in to the ceremony on their golf cart. We built a canopy on the sand in the bride’s favorite colors, hot pink and orange. A rose petal aisle and colorful dresses added color to the ocean background.

Miami Beach wedding ceremony by Joan Love Events

Sonia’s best friend Chaya could not be excluded from the festivities. She served as the ring bearer for the day.

Bride kisses dog ring bearer at Miami Beach wedding

We turned Sonia’s godmother’s mansion on Pine tree drive into a Moroccan paradise. The tennis court was covered in maroon astroturf and then covered in a gorgeous tent by Prestige Tents. Each table was accented with a beautiful moroccan lantern surrounded by roses, orchids, and the bride’s favorite, peonies.

Wedding reception decor at Miami Beach wedding

 

This couple was very insistent about one thing, their guests needed to have fun! After traveling as far as India for this wedding, they wanted to make sure this wedding felt like a great party. We started by turning the backyard into a cool lounge. The furniture was covered in custom fabric prints and colors. We strategically placed the groupings so that the guests could enjoy the waterfront view. Add to that an amazing DJ, lights, and karaoke, and we had everyone dancing all night.

wedding lounge area in miami beach wedding

To ensure the guests continued dancing until the wee hours of the morning, we had Footzy Rolls as favors for the ladies. These great ballet flats come rolled in a small pouch that fits snuggly in a clutch. Custom gold ones made all the ladies feel like moroccan princesses.

footzy rolls at miami beach wedding

In order to represent both the bride and groom, we had two types of favors. We had “confetti” or Italian sugar covered almonds shipped in from Italy. We also had Peruvian huayruro necklaces that symbolize good luck.

Favors at moroccan wedding in miami beach

It was an amazing party for an amazing couple. Our team misses Sonia, Alfredo, and their amazing family very much. You are so very blessed to have eachother. We wish you many years of happiness!!

Thank you to Loly and Chris Acuña from Lolypix and Chris Acuña Photography for the great photos. They really portray how beautiful and colorful the day was!

“No Bridezilla Zone”

It’s bound to happen. Every wedding planner has encountered her. It’s the Bridezilla!!! Unfortunately when we first started our company we encountered a few of these creatures. They rear their ugly head and suck the life and joy out of you. Not only are we affected, but so is everyone around them, especially the poor groom.

Two years ago we had the worst Bridezilla we could have imagined. Initially it started out all right, like it always does. She seemed a little demanding and OCD but nothing we couldn’t handle. However soon she was demanding weekly phone conferences to discuss her wedding (mind you it was still about 10 months away), was having us negotiate down vendors that were above her budget, and was speaking down to our staff. And as her demand list grew, we were slowly being drained. The thing is, this one bride affected our team and hence affected our other brides. We promptly decided to let Bridezilla go.

We absolutely love what we do, that is why we are in this business. And that joy is important to us. It is what gets our creative juices flowing, it is what drives us to go all around town to find the perfect detail for a wedding, and it is what wakes us up in the early morning hours to begin a setup. So we can not have anything that takes away our joy. We decided that Joan Love Events is a “No Bridezilla Zone”. We now pre-screen all potential clients and only take on those that we feel are compatible with our drama free business. We want to make sure that we are in the position to give our best and that we produce amazing events for our deserving clients.

Are you a planner,vendor, bridesmaid, or groom (so sorry) that has encountered the Bridezilla? Tell us your story.

Traditional meets Modern

For many years I have had brides come to me debating whether they want a traditional or modern wedding. They love the idea of a fairy tale princess ballgown, the castle, and the many attendants, but they also like the sleek white lounges, the cool lighting, and the lucite furniture. Well my bride Melissa wanted it all, so of course, we gave it to her!!

We started with a ceremony at the famed Spanish Monastery. Their prayer well is a very popular place for ceremonies which books up months to years in advance. One of the challenges of this venue is that, chances are, your guests have been to another ceremony at this same spot, so you want to make sure you do something different enough to wow them. Another challenge is that….it’s old! Uneven and cracked floors do not a good stage make, but with a little creativity and lots of candles, we turned this old courtyard into the most romantic garden you have ever seen.

Candles, candles, candles! We filled the floors and the trees with candles. There was so much sparkling candlelight that it looked like the entire area was swarmed by beautiful fireflies. We also added a heavy wreath of hydrangeas to the well so that it looked like a blooming garden.

Candles on Spanish Monastery floor

After Melissa entered the gardens in her beautiful ballgown and had her traditional ceremony, she got back into her Rolls Royce and headed for her modern reception. She chose STK, the newest, and hottest restaurant on South Beach. We closed the entire second floor and transformed it into the perfect reception for Melissa’s family and friends. Because we didn’t want a disconnect from the ceremony, we softened STK’s modern lines with some feminine touches.

Wedding Reception Miami Bride Groom

For the tables we used the same white hydrangeas as in the ceremony and we added some white roses and mini callas. We used mirrors on the table as the runner to complement the mirrored walls. We also added floral candleholders, which we painted aqua, to add a punch of color to the tables.

Aqua Flower Candleholders Roses on Miami Reception TableButterfly, Hydrangeas, Roses, Calla Lillies, Table

My favorite detail were the butterfly place cards. Each one was perfectly perched atop the guest’s champagne flute.

White Butterfly Place Card at Miami Wedding Reception

And finally the cake! The bride wanted it to be whimsical yet elegant. She opted for a gorgeous creation by Elegant Temptations that combined a topsy turvy cake, cupcakes, and a beautiful acrylic box full of hydrangeas. We framed the cake table with a custom mirror decal of the bride and groom’s initials. It was the perfect combination of traditional and modern for the perfect combination of Melissa and Nicolas!

monogram, wedding cake, and cupcakes at Miami receptionThanks to Winston Delawar photography for the great pictures. You rock Amanda!

Never skip the liquor!

Cocktail party = a party with cocktails. With so many cut backs due to the down economy, we are seeing more and more events with very tight budgets. However, there are certain things that should not be skimped on. Take for example our recent annual event for Grupo Diarios de America.

Every year GDA brings together all the major editors for the most important newspapers in South America. Our welcome cocktail party is the highlight of these editors’ week. So imagine if after a twelve hour flight they arrive to find that there is a limited bar, or even worse, no cocktails!!!

With the down economy, many of our corporate clients are challenging us to coordinate their annual events with a smaller budget. And of course they expect the event to be as good if not better than the previous year’s. GDA came to us with that exact challenge. Their event needed to be worthy of very important attendees. So our first step was finding a venue that was budget friendly yet still classy. Add to that a good DJ, well placed lighting, some great hors d’oeuvres, and a very well stocked bar , and the result was a group of very happy editors.

Corporate Event in Miami

Corporate event at the rotunda at the Westin Colonnade

A LOVEly Affair

Finally, it was my turn!!!! After years of planning events and weddings for other people, it was time to turn the attention on me. But, because this is what I do for a living, I decided I wanted a small, no fuss wedding that was more about family and fun. But, it had to be pretty, of course. Our first big problem was that my fiancee wanted a huge bash and I wanted a small wedding. Now I call my fiancee “The mayor of South Beach” because he has been in the industry for so long that he knows everybody! And I did not want a 500 person wedding. So I came up with this great concept that I now suggest to my brides with the same dilemma. Have a small ceremony and dinner for your family, followed by a big party for everyone. It was a little tough working out the logistics at first, but it turned out to be a huge success!

Choosing my colors was easy. My favorite color is blue, and I think hot pink looks best for small weddings, so I combined the two and voila. I chose lamps as centerpieces because I like the height that they give the space and I knew my guests hadn’t seen anything like it. I also found these great LOVE signs. I painted them silver and had them placed on the table next to many sizes of vases with floating candles. To finish things of, my favorite florist Pistils and Petals, used blue sea glass and pink orchids to fill up the table. There is nothing I dislike more than an empty table.

Joan Love Event Firm wedding reception table in pink and blueSilver love paperweight surrounded by pink orchids and blue seaglass on wedding reception table in Miami Beach.

For the ceremony I knew the one thing I had to have was an interesting aisle runner. I love the idea of using a fabric with a fun print on it instead of the boring white runner. This instantly gives the space a focal point and looks so pretty in pictures. I think it looks way better than the outdated vases, flowers, or tulle that are used to mark the aisle.

Blue wedding aisle runner with white leaves printed on it at Miami beach wedding ceremony

I love Martha Stewart weddings. I get so many ideas from there which I then put my own twist on. I like the idea of using a box filled with candy and toys as the place card for kids. It looks very cute on the table and it keeps the child entertained during the dinner.

Kids gift box with cobalt blue grograin ribbon and round silver label.

For the place cards, I used grosgrain ribbon in pink, blue, and silver. Each color represented a different meal choice. That way the servers were able to serve the correct meal to each guest.

White place card with blue edges and cobalt blue grosgrain ribbon and blue seaglass for Miami wedding

I have three pets at home which I love very much. However, there was no way I was bringing them to my wedding. Even though we sometimes do this per our client’s request. I never recommend having a pet as part of the wedding party since they have a mind of their own and they never listen to the wedding planner! So, I came up with this idea. I took pictures of my dogs and my lovebird playing with, sitting on, eating, and tearing up the table numbers. I then placed the pictures on the tables. Everyone loved seeing their crazy personalities in the pictures!

Dog in picture with table number. Hot pink carnations and midnight blue pintuck linens at Miami wedding.

I love painted wedding cakes. It is a great way to give a modern twist to a classic wedding element without going over the top. I had my absolute favorite cake artist, Rosie from Elegant Temptations, paint some branches on a simple, white, three tiered cake. She also added strands of Swarovski crystals to the bottom edges. I love how she finished the strands with these little tassels. Such a cute detail. BTW, the cake was amazingly delicious. Red velvet marble and Godiva chocolate! Yum!

Painted three tier wedding cake with branches and white and pink orchids Branches painted on white, three-tiered wedding cake. White orchids on side.Blue swarovski strand with end tassels on white wedding cake for Miami wedding

And then it was time to party! We chose the beautiful rooftop lounge at the Gansevoort hotel. We personalized the cabanas with throw pillows that were personalized, “LOVE”. Vases were placed on the tables and bar that were then used to hold the bouquets. Finally, one of my favorite DJs on the beach, Aliyo, rocked it out as our friends arrived to dance and drink the night away with us. It was a great time for our guests and an unforgettable night for us.

Party cabana at lounge decorated with personalized throw pillows for Miami wedding receptionJoan Montanez and Chad Love, bride and groom on round couch at Miami wedding reception.

Thank You to Magda Hernandez for these fabulous photos!!

Waste Not – Using Decor for both Wedding and New Home

One of the biggest trends we are seeing in events right now is the use of elements you would find in a house.  Sofas, armchairs, side tables, and lamps add warmth to a sterile venue. Urns, lanterns, and even tiki torches turn a ceremony site into a lovely garden. This trend is not only beautiful, but very recession friendly. These decor elements can serve two functions, making your wedding gorgeous and then beginning to decorate your newlywed nest.

Lamps make great centerpieces. They are tall, beautiful, and come in different styles. But best of all, they make a big statement with minimal to no help from flowers. And that is a big help to the budget. Also, after the wedding day is over, you can use them to decorate your new place. And if you have some extra ones, give them to the moms or other guests as thank yous.

Crystal lamps

Source: Williams and Sonoma

Lamp Centerpiece

Source: The Knot

Cushions are a great way to add color to the ceremony, the cocktail hour or the reception. You can also personalize them by adding a monogram or silhouettes. After, the event, pop them on your couch as a great memento.

Paisley cushion on couch at Miami wedding ceremony

Source: Joan Love Event Firm

Turquoise blue Monogrammed cushion or throw pillow

Source: Frontgate

Urns can also serve a dual purpose. At the Ceremony site, they can hold flowers or mark the way for your guests. They can then be put around your garden at home. Tip: use faux stone urns instead of real ones. They are much lighter so you don’t have to hire extra help to move them.

Hydrangeas, roses, and ivy in urn for wedding ceremony

Source: Fleurs de France

Tiki torches and Lanterns help add light and sparkle to your event. At your new home, the tiki torches will come in handy again at your first barbecue as husband and wife. The lanterns can be placed indoors on a bookshelf, or outdoors hanging from your favorite tree. Tip: If your budget allows you to splurge a little, try using bright colored ceramic fire pots instead.

Colored torches

Source: Home Infatuation


The Bridal Trunk Miami

The Bridal Trunk Miami

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