One of the most exciting things that we talk about with new clients is their venue. Before a venue is selected, your wedding feels a little lost. There is no set date, there are no parameters for a “look”, and there are no capacity issues. So while it is exciting that it can be whatever they want it to be, it is usually also stressful for the same reasons.
The one thing that people are always looking for (at least the people that talk to us:) is something that will feel different. They want their guests to join in their love, but they also want to provide their guests with their experience. For this reason Xochitl and I are always on the hunt for new venues.
So how excited was I when I sat down with our friends at Outstanding Italia, who specialize in Italian venues, and they showed me Matera? Very. I mean, we’ve all seen the typical Italian venues and villas (which by the way, are amazing) but they showed me a preserved historical village, located on top of the Apennine mountains, that rocked my world! I mean, can you imagine renting an entire preserved village? Now, I promise you that none of your guests would ever forget!
The village is divided into 18 rooms, as well as a common area and church. The photos speak for themselves.
The hotel rooms are built in amongst the caves, and will certainly be a special treat for your friends and family! It’s not every day that you get to be Batman like and sleep in a cave:)Now, that is not to say that I don’t LOVE the more traditional Italian venues! I just wanted to share something that you might not find in other places. We try to bring you the new hotness:)
I woke up this morning in a cold sweat because Snooki had invaded my dreams. I would have just chalked it up to too much NyQuil and this terrible head cold I have, but I realized that it was more likely because I was in Miami last night and passed the gelato parlor that they worked in.
That said, I clearly have a lot floating in my brain. I saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s for the first time over this break, attended a couple of fabulous celebrations and, as I mentioned, got to head down to South Beach for a brief, albeit lovely stay at The Shore Club. Despite the stay of the Jersey Shore cast, I have always been a huge fan and hugely inspired by South Beach. It’s kind of the Madonna of cities to me… always reinventing itself, always in love with Latinos. Other things I love: Cafe Cubano, the fact that you have time to nap before dinner, the fact that everyone is nearly always dressed up, running on the beach. Much like with Madonna, my favorite Miami inspiration, is of the vintage era…retro glam was, of course, the rage in Miami, but it still plays so well in modern times. And so, since I’m home sick today, I put together a little Snooki-free South Beach inspiration board.
From Left to Right (they are #’d if you enlarge them): 1) “Menus” by Photo Bird on Etsy 2) the lady, the legend, Celia Cruz 3) Courtesy The Daily Mail 4) Vintage Miami Beach Postcard 5) via Esme and the Lane Way 6) Shore Club Lobby 7) Oscar de La Renta Gown via Ever After 8 ) Shore Club gardens 9) Retro Miami Engagement Session by Maloman Photographers via Elizabeth Anne Designs 10) Tres Romantic Bride and Coffee Cups via Heather Waraksa 11) Retro Synchronized Swimmers 12) A destination wedding shot by the inspirational Heather Waraksa 13) Loved this from Mrs. Lillien 14) Another shot from the retro Miami engagement session by Maloman Photographers
So, Rebecca put me on to this amazing mix by Cosmo Baker that he created for his wife when they were getting married. Cosmo Baker is, along with Joe Eleven, one of the DJs for The Rub at Southpaw (happening this coming Saturday) as well as other spots around the city. In addition to it being an absolutely awesome collection of love songs, it’s a great mix for a cocktail hour or BBQ or, as I did this weekend, cleaning the house. The mix (as well as his really lovely post about his wife and the mix and the wedding) are available for FREE download on his website/ blog here . I don’t know how long this will be up, so I’d check it out now if I were you. Any mix that involves Zapp is fantastic, but this is really just hit after hit (and mixed so nicely)
Some of the songs include:
East Of Underground “I Love You For All Seasons”
The Dramatics “Whacha See Is Whacha Get”
Detroit Emeralds “Baby Let Me Take You (In My Arms)”
Funk Factory “Rien Ne Va Plus”
Quincy Jones “Body Heat”
Bootsy Collins “I’d Rather Be With You”
Raphael Saadiq “Still Ray”
Robin Thicke “Lost Without You”
Zapp “Computer Love”
Chris Brown “Yo (Excuse Me Miss” (Black Chiney Remix)
The Gap Band “Yearning For Your Love”
Donny Hathaway “Love, Love, Love”
Shuggie Otis “Island Letter”
A Tribe Called Quest “Bonita Applebum” (Hootie Mix)
Earth, Wind & Fire “Devotion” (Live Version)
Rick James “Moon Child”
Stevie Wonder “As”
Bill Withers “Lovely Day”
Taana Gardner “Heartbeat”
De La Soul “Buddy” (Native Tongues Remix)
The Isley Brothers “For The Love Of You”
One Way “Cutie Pie”
Tom Tom Club “Genius Of Love”
James Brown “That’s My Desire”
Though June is nutty nutty around here, I hope you’ll be checking back this week as Mayra will be filling us in on the MANY amazing resorts she just checked out in Mexico (Tulum and surrounding areas) last week. We’re getting a sneak peak at the J. Crew bridal salon tonight and will be reporting back to you on that as well as some other fun stuff including how to get the most out of your caterer tasting.
When we received the invitation to come down to the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island something unusual happened- two jaded wedding planners who thought that they’d seen it all were blown away by this stunning invitation. It was not just lovely, it was completely perfect for the occassion: a hot pink raw silk invitation with lovely gold lettering in an unusual size. Unique, without being too precious, luxurious while still seeming organic and modern without seeming cold.
Anyway, when Mayra was down there she was able to meet Meredith, the designer behind Regas New York, based (obviously by the name) here in our great city! I wanted to just share with you some of the unique designs that Meredith has turned out.
I don’t know if you can tell, but I think the paper here is perforated… so perfect for a Florida wedding.
And, in addition to these lovely wedding invitations, she offers the most exquisite personal stationary through her website. Each set is backed with the most stunning printed papers and you can select from an array of fonts…. definitely worth checking out… (hint, especially for holiday gifts!)
A few months ago we received an invitation from the Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island to come down and experience their property. They have been doing a number of destination weddings, and noticed that they were attracting a number of New York brides, so the decided to invite a few planners to come and check out the property! Um, how excited was I? So while Xochitl packed sweaters for the ABC conference in Indy, I packed my summer favorites and headed to Florida!
The flight from JFK to Jacksonville was nice and short. The hotel had arranged shuttles and cars for everyone, and we were on property in what seemed like a blink of an eye. I can not begin to explain to you the service and attention to detail that I experienced when I arrived. First of all, I was met (the way a couple getting married is greeted when they arrive on property) with champagne! I had a glass before I had even set foot in the hotel! Once inside, a wonderful gift bag awaited. I loved that it had a Sunblock with a “Hoping for Sun” tag along with an umbrella labeled “Prepared for Rain”. Awesome idea for anyone having a destination event!!
The view from my room!
Anastasia, the Catering Sales Manager at the Ritz, arranged for every area of the property to be set up and for us to see how each portion could be used. It was all gorgeous. Even Tropical Storm Ida couldn’t put a damper on the evening. Below is a photo of me and Ayal from In Any Event sitting under the ceremony set-up on the beach (Love the flip flops they handed out to all of us before we hit the sand!). For those brides that want an outdoor wedding, but might now want to get on the actual beach, you can always use their lawn for a ceremony. The first photo is of the area being set up (photo taken from my room) and the other photo is of the finished product. I loved the colors!
To showcase some of the other wonderful things that your guests would be able to see and experience if you choose this as your destination, Anastasia arranged for us to go out and see some local sites and sounds. One of the highlights was lunch at the The Ribault Club. A beautiful venue for anyone interested in having their event off-site. The Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island offers off-site catering, and they provided our meal here, which was wonderful. Below is a set-up of the tent in the venue.
What stole the show? The giraffes at the White Oak Conservation Center! An awesome place where you can take your guests for a tour! When I showed Xochitl the photos, this one was what made her sad she couldn’t make the trip:)
The trip was wonderful and left me wanting to return to Amelia Island. For any bride looking for a destination where you will be met with a beautiful location and venue, fantastic service, and the most helpful staff I have ever seen, then this is a real contender ladies! It made me feel like it was a great destination, without many of the destination headaches!
Last but not least, this was the first course for one of our dinners, and now I want to have all my soups in a pumpkin!
I will post the professional photos soon so that you get a real sense of the property, but I was so excited that I couldn’t wait!