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Florida Archives - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning

BRIDES Florida: 5 Unique South Florida Winery Wedding Venues

 Florida, Local, South Florida, Wedding Venues  Comments Off on BRIDES Florida: 5 Unique South Florida Winery Wedding Venues
Nov 132016
 
Lakeridge Winery

Photo: Lake Ridge Winery and Vineyards via Facebook

Florida residents dreaming of having a wedding at a winery do not have to venture to the west coast of the country to find what they're looking for. For South Florida brides, there are plenty of options for sipping wine and basking in that newlywed glow on your wedding day. These wedding venue options will please both the wine curious all the way to the ultimate wine connoisseur — with just the right amount of Floridian flair. From urban wineries that specialize in sustainably grown wine to acres and acres of quiet countryside, here are five unique South Florida winery wedding venues.

Lake Ridge Winery and Vineyards (Above)
Lake Ridge is set on 127 acres of Florida countryside near Orlando, making it a lovely setting for brides interested in a wedding with a more rural feel. This vineyard is the largest winery in Florida with over 100,000 people visit the winery every year. Lake Ridge's labels have won more than 600 awards in winemaking.

Schnebly Redland's Winery and Brewery
Rated one of the top 18 wineries in the U.S., Schnebly Redland's Winery and Brewery is located in Homestead, Florida. With gorgeous surroundings amidst acres and acres of tropical gardens, Schnebly makes brides feel right at home. Brides can have three location choices for their ceremony: the courtyard with a paved runner leading up to a waterfall and two additional choices, a more intimate "Waterfall Tiki," and a larger "Grand Tiki." With new catering menus and gorgeous views, Schnebly's is perfect for weddings both big and small. Read real brides' reviews here!

Endless Summer Vineyard and Winery
Couples can enjoy a relaxing and laidback wedding vibe at Endless Summer Vineyard and Winery. With unique touches like the oldest boogie board in existence displayed and other quirky ambiance fillers, Endless Summer is perfect for the wine lush-turned-surfer. There are shaded wooden swings perfect for your wedding photos (including many one-of-a-kind wedding props and chairs), and guests can even feed turtles and fish from a covered dock,

See More Still Searching for your Dream Dress? One of These South Florida Bridal Shops May Have Just What You're Looking For!

Bunker Hill Vineyard and Winery
Bunker Hill is an environmentally-friendly winery with multiple eco-friendly options for brides. One such option is the recycled wine bottle wedding arch. Brides can choose a bottle to engrave in the wedding arch, creating a lasting memory at the wedding venue. Newlyweds can stay in the vineyard's quaint "Winter Garden Farm," a two-bedroom, two-bath home located on the premises. For brides who love a little mystery, Bunker Hill has an ongoing blog on their site with ghost stories about spirits who haunt the vineyard.

Quantum Leap Winery Quantum Leap Winery is an urban winery, which is not often found in Florida. Their wine production model is based on sustainably grown wine. Located near downtown Orlando, the winery can accommodate as little as 35 to as many as 400 guests. It's contemporary yet rustic, so brides with many different tastes can enjoy a beautiful wedding day. Tasting room hours are Thursday through Saturday, so couples looking to sample their wine before making a decision will have ample days to choose fromThat's the most fun part of a vineyard wedding, right? Read real brides' reviews here!

Not a winery bride? Browse dozens of other wedding locales to find your perfect fit on our South Florida Venues page!

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BRIDES Florida: 5 Bachelorette Party Ideas for The Foodie Bride

 Florida, Local, Miami, Showers & Parties, Showers and Parties  Comments Off on BRIDES Florida: 5 Bachelorette Party Ideas for The Foodie Bride
Nov 102016
 
Best Miami Bachelorette Party Ideas for Foodie Brides

Photo: Getty Images

Known for it's rich blend of eclectic flavors, undeniable culture, and unique Floridian style, there's no better place to explore than Miami with your best bridal squad. And for the foodie bride, this list of creative culinary adventures is a perfect From South Beach food tours, to private cooking classes, this group of Miami voyages is perfect for any culinary obsessed bride.

The Naked Bite
Focused on providing Miami with flavorful and healthy alternatives to dietary restricted cuisine, founder Amber Antonelli created the concept of offering Floridians private and public cooking classes with an emphasis in sustainable cooking. With an ultimate goal intended to empower people to eat healthier, this local company is the perfect way to celebrate and create masterful meals that will inspire a catalogue of future healthy dishes.

La Diva Cucina
Taking informative cooking techniques and making them fun and engaging is the creative concept behind this cooking class connoisseur. Founder Laura Lafata, aka "La Diva," helps combine culinary technique with entertainment in an effort to balance teaching with performance. Classes such as the "Small Bites, Big Drinks" outlines everything needed to know in order to host your next cocktail party.

See More: Getting Stuck on the Details? Let These Miami Wedding Planners Lead the Way!

Miami Food Tours
A 3-hour culinary adventure through the local cuisine of South Beach resulted in the delicious cultural concept behind this renowned Miami food tour. Founded in 2009 as Miami's first food and culinary tour company, it's no surprise that this group of culinary storytellers has been turning visitors into locals through their combined information of history, food, architecture, and culture.

Miami Culinary Tour
Blending some of Miami's boldest and influential flavors with the culinary history of some of Florida's most eclectic neighborhoods, this celebrated Miami food tour company will wow your bachelorette party. An array of food tours (including the "Little Havana Food Tour" which includes five stops filled with some of the best Cuban bites in Miami) rivals the legendary "Wynwood Food & Art Tour" that seamlessly combines Miami's eclectic art with one-of-a-kind dishes.

Browse More Cuisine Options and Culinary Services, Perfect for Catering Your Big Day!

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BRIDES Florida: Miami’s Best Boutiques for Chic Honeymoon Essentials

 Florida, Honeymoons, Honeymoons & Destination Weddings, Local, Miami  Comments Off on BRIDES Florida: Miami’s Best Boutiques for Chic Honeymoon Essentials
Oct 292016
 
Miami Honeymoon Stores

Photo: Getty Images

Honeymoon planning is just as fun as prepping for the big day itself — or even more so, since it's all about one-on-one relaxing with your other half in some dreamy destination. Touch down looking just as good as you feel whiledecked out in super stylish finds from around town. Hit these Miami boutiques stocked with the chicest bikinis, shades and sexy little numbers snagging everything you need to pack in your honeymoon suitcase (and even a gift or two for the hubby).

The Webster
The three-level flagship boutique on South Beach has a floor devoted just to designer resort wear, from Lisa Marie Fernandez bikinis to Lanvin wide-brim straw hats, for a style that would feel right at home anywhere from Saint Lucia to the South of France.

Alchemist
When it comes to best location, the Alchemist shop set on level 5 of the Herzog & de Meuron-designed parking garage wins, hands down. The glass box-encased boutique has an eagle's eye view over the Miami skyline and showcases a collection of pieces that are just as stunning. Here's where you'll find that to-die-for bag by Céline or a sexy little black dress that's made for romantic nights out strolling the streets of Paris, while the downstairs location on Lincoln Road is stocked with streetwear for him and beautiful little daytime looks for you.

Wynwood Shades
Whether you're jetting off somewhere tropical or heading on safari, you'll definitely want to snag a pair of stand-out sunnies for your trip. The Wynwood concept shop and art gallery is the perfect place to get outfitted with just the style you have in mind, from classic Ray-Ban aviators to more out-of-the-box looks by Balenciaga.

Wanderlista
Stepping inside this intimate boutique is sure to get your wanderlust flowing as you peruse the carefully curated collection of trinkets from design newcomers around the globe. Think bold beach cover-ups, neoprene bikinis, and Grecian bags sporting hand-painted cobra that are sure to make a statement. And if you want something to spice things up in the hotel room, throw in a pair of lace bondage lingerie by New York-based line Fleur du Mal.

See More: Don't Forget the Thank-You Notes! These Local Wedding Stationers Have Got You Covered

Atrium
The New York boutique brings its street style cool to Collins Avenue on Miami Beach with a collection that's perfect for his-and-hers honeymoon shopping. It wouldn't be hard to source your entire honeymoon suitcase here with Instagram-worthy Mara Hoffman one-pieces and the cutest cut-out booties by Alexandre Birman, plus clutches that can easily transition from day to night.

Agent Provocateur
The haute lingerie line has homes in two of Miami's most exclusive shopping centers: Bal Harbour and the Village of Merrick Park. Here you'll find everything you need to look and feel sexy from your wedding night on, with a collection of bridal nightwear from kimonos to corsets — and even boudoir satin heels to complete the look — that will definitely turn up the heat on your honeymoon.

Be sure to check out these other Miami boutiques for all your wedding day must-haves!

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This Couple Looked to the Sea for Inspiration for Their Sanibel Island Wedding

 Florida, Real Weddings  Comments Off on This Couple Looked to the Sea for Inspiration for Their Sanibel Island Wedding
Oct 272016
 

What's better than a mid-week lunch break with a friend? How about one that goes from lunch to an afternoon at a luxe New York City spa? The day before Halloween in 2013, Erica Kulka's coworker talked her into stopping by Columbus Circle where she claimed she needed to pick up a document from her husband. "We were passing the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, and decided to head up to the lobby to check out the view of Central Park," says Erica. She spotted her boyfriend, Peter Salanki, sitting on a couch and, in her confusion, barely noticed when her coworker disappeared. "Peter and I headed up to the 35th floor, and he lead me toward the spa. I protested about having to head back to work, but he'd already cleared my afternoon with my boss," Erica says. They spent the afternoon indulging in a luxurious bath, a couple's body scrub, and a massage. Then, as they sat down for lunch, Peter opened his eyeglass case — and out came an engagement ring.

The couple took their time planning their wedding, choosing Casa Ybel Resort on Florida's Sanibel Island for their April 16, 2016, wedding. "Peter's best man's family owns a house in Sanibel, and we've always loved visiting there. We fell in love with the white sand beaches and the tranquility!" says Erica. While planning from afar was a challenge, a fabulous team of vendors helped the couple create a colorful seascape, full of sea fans, driftwood, coral, and air plants. "We don't love an over-abundance of flowers, so instead we focused on natural elements." The result was perfect for the pair's beachfront setting, and will have you wishing you were on a Florida beach! Take a peek at all the gorgeous details, captured by Anastasiia Photography.

When Erica and her mom stopped by the Elizabeth Fillmore trunk show at Gabriella New York, she was so excited to see that the designer herself was there. The silk crepe and lace long-sleeved wedding dress Erica chose was the first one she tried on. "I was the first bride the designer had seen in the dress," says the bride. "My mom also got the first wedding gown she tried on, so I knew I'd found it!" We love how the design combines sheer French lace with architectural details — breezy enough for the beach, but covered enough for an early spring wedding.

Erica's organic orange and pink bouquet was comprised of garden roses, ranunculus, king protea, and air plants.

Peter stood out in a custom blue tuxedo with a black lapels and a black bow tie. Erica paired her look with a soft updo and her mother's pearl earrings. "My mother always said she'd wear them when her daughter got married. Turns out I wore them instead!"

Orange is the bride's favorite color, and it fit beautifully into the couple's wedding color scheme, including the bridesmaids' dresses! They wore strapless dresses by Alfred Sung, and carried air plants instead of traditional bouquets.

As guests arrived at the ceremony, a basket of parasols was on-hand to shade them from the Florida sun. Along the aisle, glass bottles were filled with beach grass and surrounded with sea fans, coral, and air plants.

The arch, made of manzanita branches, was flanked with flowing grass and offered guests an incredible view of the ocean beyond. "When we were planning our ceremony, Peter told me he didn't want to write personal vows, so we'd planned to only exchange the traditional ones," says Erica. "But when we were at the altar, Peter started sharing his personal vows with me! I was in shock and started crying — and had to come up with my own vows on the spot!"

On the resort's lawn, a mix of round and long tables were set beneath a tent draped in white fabric. Lucite chairs added an additional airy feel to the outdoor reception, with soft blue-gray napkins harkening back to the color of the sea.

Instead of lush blooms, the centerpieces combined small orange and peach arrangements with collections of coral and driftwood. An orange sea fan was placed at each guest's seat. Air plants and sprinklings of sea glass gave a soft feel to the bare wood tables, while round tables were draped with white sequin linens for a hint of sparkle.

In keeping with their beachy theme, the couple skipped traditional place cards in favor of of something a little more whimsical but still entirely elegant. Each guest's name was written in copper ink inside a mussel shell.

Other copper accents, like modern square vases and votive holders and calligraphy-style table numbers, added a touch of modern glam to the organic tablescapes.

Peter and Erica's three-tiered wedding cake, decorated with rose gold chocolate sea shells and starfish, had layers of raspberry cake with chocolate filling and chocolate cake with mocha filling. Yum!

"We had so much fun taking lessons for our first dance to Frank Sinatra's 'Fly Me to the Moon,'" says Erica. "I'd recommend it for all engaged couples!" She also recommends trying not to stress in the days leading up to the wedding. "Everything has a way of coming together, even if it's the night before!"

Venue & Catering: Casa Ybel Resort || Wedding Planner: Rosemarie Peluso || Bride's Wedding Dress: Elizabeth Fillmore Bridal || Shoes: Nina Shoes || Hair & Makeup: Makeup by Michelle Regis || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Sung || Groom's Attire: Buy4Less Tuxedo || Officiant: Beautiful Florida Weddings || Florist: Isn't She Lovely Florals || Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas || Paper Goods: Zazzle; Cultural Intrigue || Music: Vanderbilt Strings; DJ Jason & Associates || Cake: LadyCakes Bakery || Rentals: Niche Event Rentals || Photographer: Anastasiia Photography

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Can't get enough of this beautiful wedding? Then check out another couple's oceanfront bash in the video below.

BRIDES Florida: Miami’s Top Shops for Killer Wedding Shoes

 Florida, Jewelry & Accessories, Local, Miami, Wedding Shoes  Comments Off on BRIDES Florida: Miami’s Top Shops for Killer Wedding Shoes
Oct 192016
 

Saying yes to your dream wedding dress may seem like the most important shopping decision you'll ever make — until you come to the shoes. In Miami, anything goes as brides often hit the aisle barefoot (as well as in five-inch Louboutins). Just as with your dress, shoe shopping is all about style, comfort, and price point, so if you've been waiting for that right time to splurge on designer heels, now's the moment to go all out. Here are a few of the best boutiques and bridal salons known for their showstopping selection of shoes sure to complete your picture-perfect wedding day look.

TAJ by Sabrina Crippa
Boho brides going for a beach chic style can sport their "something new" wearing an original design by Miami Beach-based TAJ by Sabrina Crippa. The designer, who hails from Milan, pulls inspiration from patterns and techniques she's come across while traveling the globe. Capture a little piece of India or the Italian Riviera with these hand-designed sandals that range from simple and sophisticated strappy suede numbers to bejeweled beauties reminiscent of Eastern bazaars. Easily transitioned from day to night (and great to bring along on a beach honeymoon), these sandals can be considered a staple statement piece to add to your wardrobe post-wedding, and come at price points that fit budgets big and small.

Christian Louboutin
Shoes are one of the best ways to subtly throw in that "something blue," but if you really want to add a pop to your wedding day ensemble, go for red. Louboutin's signature soles always make a statement and will not only look good in photos, they'll also look gorgeous as you're gliding down the aisle. The French designer even has a whole collection designed with the bride in mind, with wedding white stilettos as well as more off-the-wall styles adorned with spikes and studs. Read real brides' reviews here!

Capretto
Brides who prefer boutiques to big department stores will fall head over heels for Capretto and the carefully curated collection of designer duds. Browse the shelves of shoes bearing designer names that range from Balmain and Balenciaga to Pierre Hardy and Proenza Schouler. Styles are sure to suit every type of bride, whether you want a look that's more over-the-top with tons of colors and tassels or something demure, opting for softer palettes and kitten heels.

Koko & Palenki
Three of these designer shoe-filled boutiques are scattered throughout Miami in the best of places: Dadeland Mall, Aventura Mall and the Shops at Merrick Park. From big name brands to some of the newer emerging designers, the stores are stocked with the best selections from each season so brides can rest assured their shoe pick will be perfectly on point for the big day.

See More: Put Those Shoes to Good Use By Dancing the Night Away with One of Miami's Top Wedding Bands

Boca Raton Bridal
Cross everything off your wedding day checklist in one place shopping from head to toe at South Florida's largest bridal boutique. Co-owner Jan is ready to tackle even your most bridezilla moment, with super quick solutions no matter what time of day (or night). Once you've had your Cinderella moment selecting the perfect shoe from collections by Grazia, Salon, Grace and Angela Nuran, onsite seamstresses will have your dress hemmed to match your heel height so you won't be worrying about any potential mishaps like tripping on your train. Read real brides' reviews here!

Del Toro
Going for comfort at the after party doesn't limit brides to boring flats. Wear your new initials proudly with monogrammed velvet slippers by Miami-based Del Toro. Crafted on the Adriatic Coast of Italy, these custom pieces are made from the finest Nappa leathers and fabrics and all yours to play designer dreaming up your ideal shoe.

Click here to see even more of Miami's best boutiques and bridal salons for all of your wedding accessory needs!

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Guests Soaked Up Ocean Views at This Beachside Florida Wedding

 Florida, Real Weddings  Comments Off on Guests Soaked Up Ocean Views at This Beachside Florida Wedding
Oct 142016
 

Josy Portella just knew Andrew Yoder was going to pop the question. After all, they were dining at an inn's intimate restaurant, the perfect spot for a romantic proposal. But the ring wasn't in the champagne, and it wasn't baked into the bread either. And when the hostess came to the table, asking if the couple might enjoy a tour of the inn's renovated rooms before their dessert course, Josy figured she had been wrong. The two walked from room to room until the hostess finally led them to the honeymoon suite, where roses, candles, dessert, and a diamond ring awaited. "I managed to get out, 'Is this for us?' just as I saw Andrew go down on one knee," the bride says. "I was so overwhelmed by emotion that I was speechless. Luckily, our hostess stepped back in with tissues and was the first to congratulate us."

With such a dreamy proposal, it should come as no surprise that the couple wanted their wedding to ooze romance, too. "We wanted to project the love we have for one another onto our guests and shower them with details that would create an unforgettable weekend," Josy says of their October 11, 2015, destination wedding in Sarasota, Florida. After months of planning, the pair pulled off an ethereal wedding with nautical touches that played up the beachy locale. Clover and Company directed the day, while Debra Eby and Villetto Photography were there to capture every detail. Soak up the gorgeous views from their seaside ceremony below!

Josy and Andrew invited 85 guests to join them at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota Beach Club. Their invitations hinted at what was to come using floral and starfish patterns.

Josy's Romona Keveza Legends wedding dress was made from head-to-toe lace with delicate pearl beading. She added an embellished belt for a bit of bling, while chandelier earrings and a beaded headband completed the look.

Andrew donned a three-piece tan suit for the beachside occasion, which he paired with a light green silk tie. But the groom's boutonniere was his standout accessory: A starfish was the perfect nod to the couple's love of all things nautical.

Bridesmaids purchased their dresses from J.Crew in the color dusty shale. Josy allowed her attendants to pick any floor-length style they wanted. Groomsmen wore linen pants and tan vests to complement — but not compete with — Andrew.

Josy's blush and peach bouquet featured roses, succulents, stock, and seeded eucalyptus, wrapped in an ivory satin ribbon, while her bridesmaids carried similar round bouquets.

The bride and groom held their ceremony on the beach, where a branch arch draped in white fabric and decorated in fresh flowers anchored the sandy space. The aisle was lined with white-washed lanterns, while chairs were adorned with blush satin sashes and nosegays of roses, peonies, and hydrangeas.

To ensure guests could really enjoy the ceremony, the thoughtful couple created a shoe station where friends and family could trade dress shoes for sandals until after the vows.

The couple's three flower girls wore starfish tiaras and carried nautilus shells that were fashioned with a ribbon handle, making them look like little purses. Each "purse" was filled with rose petals that the girls scattered down the aisle.

As the ceremony, which was perfectly timed with a gorgeous sunset, came to a close, the groom's cousins sang as the couple was pronounced husband and wife. "The entire crowd took a moment to listen to the beautiful and inspirational song before proceeding out to the reception," Josy says.

"We picked the Ritz-Carlton Beach Club because it was exactly what we were looking for," the bride says. "It was on the beach, offered an outdoor terrace for our use, and with the brand comes the knowledge that they can deliver top-notch customer service." They chose to hold the reception beneath an open-air tent that was draped with blush fabric. From its peaks, the pair chose to hang alternating glass and floral chandeliers. Stunning as they were, there was another design element the couple's guests couldn't quite take their eyes off of: A huge floral wall that served as the backdrop to Josy and Andrew's sweetheart table. The eight-by-eight foot installation was created from white hydrangea and blush and peach roses.

"Visually, the hanging floral chandeliers in the reception were breathtaking," Josy says. "But the biggest hit of the night was the sweetheart table with the floral boa and flower wall as its backdrop. It was the spot to be for pictures that evening."

"A mix of long feasting tables, lined with blush and gold metallic tablecloths, were offset by centerpieces of driftwood, candles, and small votives with succulents," the bride says of the reception décor. Glamorous gold chargers, bud vases packed with fresh blooms, and mercury glass accents tied the entire space together.

The couple's three-tiered yellow cake was iced with Florida-appropriate key lime mousse and topped with a white citrus ganache, edible sugar flowers cascading down its side.

"Andrew and I took dance lessons before the wedding and our routine was down pat," Josy says. "But we had failed to account for one minor issue: My dress. While we practiced between the ceremony and reception, we quickly discovered that my bustle was too long and too easy to step on. It wasn't the prettiest, but we managed to get through our routine and at the end, our wedding party held up scoring paddles with a row of 10's across the board, much akin to Dancing With the Stars! What a sweet gesture."

Guests danced the night away as the sun set on the beach. After the wedding, Josy and Andrew took their honeymoon in Italy.

The bride's best advice to other couples is to forget the favors. "Don't splurge on a trinket that will just gather dust on a shelf," she says. "Instead, think about forgoing them all together and budget in extras to the wedding reception itself. Our favors included flip flops to dance with, pashminas for the cool evening breeze, a photo booth with take-home prints, and a beignet bar for all to enjoy."

Venue, Catering & Cake: The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota Beach Club || Wedding Planner: Clover & Company Weddings and Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza || Jewelry: Nordstrom || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair & Makeup: Style Hair and Makeup || Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew || Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Men's Wearhouse || Florist & Linens: Botanica International Design Studio || Invitations: Indigo Impressions || Music: Alafia String Quartet; Grant Hemond & Associates || Rentals: U.S. Tent Rental || Transportation: Sarasota Trolley || Videographer: Viola Cinematic || Photographer: Villetto Photography and Debra Eby Photography

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Looking for more beachfront inspiration? Then you'll love the wedding below!

BRIDES Florida: 4 Unique Miami Estate Venues

 Florida, Local, Miami, Wedding Venues  Comments Off on BRIDES Florida: 4 Unique Miami Estate Venues
Oct 092016
 
The Deering Estate Miami

Photo: Courtesy of The Deering Estate via Facebook

Known for their eclectic Spanish revival style and original Mediterranean designs, this list of some of Miami's best estate venues provides brides with a unique blend of bold character and sophisticated elegance. Adding an element of intimacy amidst grand architecture, there's no better match for a seamless Miami wedding day than some of the city's most popular landmark estates.


The Deering Estate
(Above)

One of Florida's most breathtaking environmental, archaeological, and historic preserves, this lush source of Miami history is a beautiful site to celebrate your big day. Elegance and tranquility encompass this picturesque home thanks to the estate's manicured lawns and stunning view of the adjacent Biscayne Bay. The added flexibility of bringing in your own team of wedding specialists makes personalizing your big day that much easier. Read real brides' reviews here!

The Cooper Estate Homestead

Photo: Courtesy of The Cooper Estate

The Cooper Estate
Known as one of South Miami's most refined and elegant properties, this spacious premiere wedding venue has become an expert in marrying sophistication with some of Florida's most prominent couples. Resting on three acres of manicured lawns, the naturally ornate landscape comes complete with waterfalls, rare palms, mature oaks, and open skies for a stunning moonlight view. The site's bold old-world ambiance offers guests a unique look into the past thanks to the rustic versatility of the interior's formal atmosphere. This stunning Miami location is essential for any bride looking for a rustic escape filled with elegance. Read real brides' reviews here!

See More:
Check Out These Local Cakeries to Find Your Dream Wedding Cake

Thalatta Estate

Photo: Courtesy of Thalatta Estate via Facebook

Thalatta Estate
Listed as South Florida's stunning 1925 revival of Mediterranean design, this timeless setting is a tranquil getaway nestled in the Village of Palmetto Bay. Doubling as a natural conservation area, this South Dade historic landmark provides couples with the unique duality of both past and present. Whether your ceremony dreams are for an outdoor celebration on the Spanish-style terrace or you're committed to the flourishing outdoor garden, the backdrops are endless when booking this one-of-a-kind Miami venue. Read real brides' reviews here!

Villa Woodbine

Photo: Courtesy of Villa Woodbine


Villa Woodbine

For any Miami bride looking to tie the knot in a true Mediterranean-style open-air locale, look no further than Villa Woodbine. Designed by architect Walter De Garmo, the layout of this eclectic estate boasts central courtyards and elegant architectural features commemorating antique Spanish style. Known as a popular destination for local Miami brides, the balance of unique décor and unmatched Florida history is the perfect ceremony spot for any bride looking for a touch of added legacy. Read real brides' reviews here!

Looking for a different type of venue? Check out other locales and find your perfect fit on our Miami Venues page!

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This Couple’s Timeless Wedding Was Classic Miami

 Florida, Miami, Real Weddings  Comments Off on This Couple’s Timeless Wedding Was Classic Miami
Oct 062016
 

There's something irresistible about a wedding inspired by Old Miami. The landmark hotels, crisp black-and-white color schemes, and vibrant pops of green? Well, put those pieces all together and you'll be transported to another time. That's exactly what Carly and Devin wanted to do when they began planning their February 6, 2016, wedding at the Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach. The pair met at the University of Florida and got engaged on a trip to Santorini in May of 2015. Says Carly, "I made Devin repeat everything he'd said because I thought he was joking and hadn't processed a single word!"

They didn't want a traditional ballroom, but knew their 225 guests would need ample room to party. Between the sprawling outdoor space and the penthouse (perfect for an after party!), Carly and Devin knew the Raleigh was exactly what they'd been seeking. Soft, flowing fabrics, white flowers with touches of greenery, and sparkling lights set the scene, while a clear tent protected everyone from the rain. JCG Events created a timeless, romantic celebration with the perfect amount of Miami flair, and Merari Photography was there to capture every detail. Take a peek — you'll totally fall in love!

Though Carly didn't have the "Aha!" moment you see on TV, she compared every wedding dress she tried on to this silk crepe and lace Reem Acra gown. "I customized the dress a lot, changing the neckline and adding full sleeves, so there were moments where I had to have faith that it would be exactly what I wanted in the end," says the bride. "There were times when I was worried about some of the changes we made, but when it was all done, it was absolute perfection." She paired the finished product with nude Christian Louboutin pumps that ended up looking much better than they felt. "Do yourself a favor: Choose comfortable shoes!"

When Carly couldn't find the right wedding band, she turned to her bridesmaid, a gemologist in New York — and the very same person who created the bride's engagement ring. "She helped me design the perfect stack: A thin platinum and diamond band and a yellow gold rope band with our initials and a stone from my great grandmother's pin on the inside," Carly describes.

The couple's invitation suite featured modern lettering and gold-accented palm leaves, setting the scene for the Miami celebration to come.

Devin wore a classic Hugo Boss tuxedo with a white bow tie. Carly's cathedral-length veil featured lace accents that matched the bodice of her wedding dress, while her off-the-shoulder neckline was flattered by a romantic updo. The bride's all-white bouquet featured roses and a gold ribbon around the stems.

The nude-backed lace panels on the hips of Carly's fit-and-flare wedding dress added a modern, fashion-forward touch to the more traditional styling. Her bridesmaids wore two-piece sage-hued dresses from Show Me Your MuMu. "Finding something that was flattering on everyone was a challenge, but in the end they looked beautiful. It was flowy and romantic, but not too bohemian," says Carly.

The groomsmen donned classic tuxedos, while the flower girls wore white lace dresses and the ring bearers wore trousers and black suspenders. "We weren't sure if the youngest ring bearer was going to make it down the aisle," says the bride, "but they all made it and looked adorable!"

The ceremony took place on the hotel's pool deck, where a weathered wood chuppah was flanked by gold lanterns.

"Our ceremony was non-denominational, though we did incorporate Jewish traditions like the chuppah and the breaking of the glass," says Carly. The officiant was Devin's late father's best friend, who is also a well-known contemporary poet. "It made our ceremony so unique, and was a beautiful way to honor Devin's father's memory."

Cocktail hour took place around the pool, with guests lounging on comfortable furniture and sipping a decidedly Miami-inspired signature cocktail: A classic Mojito. An oversized framed mirror displayed table numbers, set up on a pathway along the beach.

While the original plan was to dine beneath a "tent" of strands of icicle lights, a rainstorm meant a clear-topped tent was totally necessary. "I was so worried about the weather leading up to the wedding, but promised myself I'd be zen on our wedding day," says Carly. "When it finally poured, it ended up being so magical! And I loved the way the tent reflected all the lights."

Round tables, surrounded by black chivari chairs, were topped with centerpieces that combined white roses, hydrangeas, and astilbe with dark calla lilies.

Texture was added to the tables with garden-style centerpieces in mismatched vases. Anemones echoed the décor's black accents, while dusty miller and eucalyptus tied into the bridesmaids' dress hue.

Dinner began with a salad that included locally-made stracciatella cheese, followed by either seared Ahi tuna or braised short ribs. Before guests tucked into slices of wedding cake, they also were treated to a plated chocolate and salted caramel confection.

"The hora was insane!" says Carly. "Every single person was on the dance floor, and there was so much energy. It set the mood for the rest of the night."

To keep the party going, Carly and Devin hired a DJ accompanied by a three-piece band. "Everyone loved the saxophonist," the bride remembers.

The four-tiered naked cake was decorated with fresh roses and ferns. The rosé champagne cake, with sweet cream frosting, was a soft pink hue on the inside!

"I completely forgot about booking a photo booth until the last second," says Carly. "My parents told me to forget about it because it was too late, and then surprised me with one at the wedding!"

The bride and groom, who honeymooned in Belize, can't stress how important it is to love your rain back-up as much as your outdoor wedding plan. "We chose the driest date possible and still had a near monsoon on our wedding night," says Carly. "Thankfully, we loved the look of the clear tent!"

Venue & Catering: The Raleigh Hotel || Wedding Planner: JCG Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Reem Acra, purchased at Ever After Miami || Shoes: Christian Louboutin || Hair & Makeup: Art of Hair by Claudia || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Show Me Your MuMu || Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: Hugo Boss || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Olivia Landau at J. Birnbach Jewelry || Florist: Ines Naftali Floral & Event Design || Invitations & Paper Goods: Sarah Hawkins Designs || Music: A Prime Event || Cake: Cloud 9 Bakery & Café || Rentals: Tents 'n' Events; NOMAD Stretch Tents || Photo Booth: Shutterbarn || Videographer: Lexoria Wedding Films || Photographer: Merari Photography

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Still on the hunt for more great wedding ideas? Then check out another couple's beautiful ceremony and reception in the video below.

BRIDES Florida: Tampa’s Best Oceanfront Wedding Venues

 Florida, Local, Planning Tips, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on BRIDES Florida: Tampa’s Best Oceanfront Wedding Venues
Oct 032016
 
loews don cesar

Photo: Courtesy of Loews Don CeSar Hotel

Just picture it now: The sound of waves gently crashing against the sand in the background as you and your love exchange vows. The wind floats through your veil as the stunning sunset sets on your celebration under the stars. If this sounds like your dream wedding, then Tampa and its surrounding areas are your best friend. Luckily for our Florida brides, we've gone through the full list and picked the best waterfront wedding venues in Tampa for your big day.

Hilton Clearwater Beach
Getting married on the Hilton's private beach is ideal for the destination couple. Not only do they assign a day-of coordinator immediately upon signing, but they are also an all-inclusive venue with two beachfront pavilions and a wide variety of indoor venue selections. Whether you'd prefer a plated or buffet dinner, a relaxed evening enjoying sunset at the on-beach Tiki-bar, or an elegant ballroom wedding with a view of the ocean, the Hilton is able to cater to your every wish. Depending on your preferences, their on-beach liquor license means that you can even allow your guests to enjoy Rum Runners while you exchange rings, making for the perfect environment for the vacation-ready bride and groom. Read real brides' reviews here!

Davis Islands Garden Club
Nestled within Davis Islands just five minutes from downtown Tampa, Davis Islands Garden Club is a beautiful locale that can be completely rented out. Located on two acres, the Davis Islands Garden Club is a completely blank canvas where you can entirely customize your wedding to fulfill your every wish. Essential for the couple that loves the outdoors, the Davis Islands Garden Club hosts a large variety of outdoor spaces. Our suggestion is to say your vows right next to the Seddon Channel, slowly cascading in the background, and follow with a reception on the lawn or inside the available 3,000-square-foot ballroom. You and your guests will feel completely away from it all, without having to travel far outside city limits. Read real brides' reviews here!

Yacht StarShip
If you're the couple that wants to enjoy time near the water, then cruising the Yacht StarShip is a perfect pick. Whether you'd prefer to be married on the beach and take a cruise for your reception or have your ceremony and reception all on the water, all three of the company's yachts can be accommodating. Ideal for the couple that loves amazing views and wants to offer something a bit more unique for family and friends, the yachts can fit up to 600 guests and can be relocated throughout the Tampa Bay area throughout the evening. With over 14 years of experience, Yacht StarShip is an all-inclusive experience that your guests will be talking about for years to come. Read real brides' reviews here!

See More: Take Some Wedding Planning Stress Off Your Plate With The Help Of One Of Our Favorite Local Wedding Planners

The Rusty Pelican
If you're looking for a captivating view, then The Rusty Pelican is the way to go. Your oceanfront ceremony will have an intimate feel complete with pristine ocean views and lush landscaping. A paved aisle outside and a magnificent indoor locale for your bad weather backup plan will also offer stunning amenities. At this venue, you will have the space completely for you and your loved ones, giving you five banquet rooms to choose from, allowing you space for 20 to 220 guests. For the destination brides, the space also has five preferred hotels to choose from whichl include transportation. Read real brides' reviews here!

Loews Don Cesar

Loews Don Cesar can instantly be recognized by its unique architecture and Pink Palace flare. Located in a private area of St. Pete Beach just outside of Tampa, the venue is a secluded beachfront paradise. The Loews Don Cesar's first-class customer service is complimented by its unique and flavorful cuisine, which can be completely customized for your wedding, which fits up to 250 guests. Should you decide to move inside for part of your special day, the architecture of the space exudes historic charm as does the classic-yet-contemporary decor. Read real brides' reviews here!

Isla Del Sol Yacht & Country Club

One of the few private beachfronts in the St. Pete Beach area, Isla Del Sol Yacht & Country Club offers a stunning beachfront location for every bride's style. Depending on your venue preferences, the event space hosts a stunning beach option as well as a classic gazebo and marina with fantastic views of Boca Ciega Bay and the St. Petersburg City skyline. The ballroom can fit up to 250 guests and offers memorable, panoramic views of the waterfront — while still leaving room for a large dance floor to close out your festive celebration. As you and your love celebrate your wedding day, you will be the only wedding of the day, ensuring nothing will be out of the question to make your wedding-day dreams a reality. Read real brides' reviews here!

Can't find the water-front venue of your dreams? We have even more to choose from on our Local Vendors page!

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BRIDES Florida: Top Spots for Sun-Kissed Spray Tans in Miami

 Florida, Hair & Beauty, Local, Miami, Wedding Beauty  Comments Off on BRIDES Florida: Top Spots for Sun-Kissed Spray Tans in Miami
Sep 202016
 

Looking around Miami, it may seem like everyone spends their days bronzing on the beach. This may be true for some, but the real secret is finding a quality spray tan for just as organic of a glow — minus all those harmful UV rays. Even with all of its natural sunlight, there are as many tanning salons as there are Starbucks on Miami's streets, but these five have been given a seal of approval by both experts and celebs. Here are our top spots for a quick, streak-free spray tan in Miami before your wedding.

Forever Tan
Tack on a tanning session during the bachelorette party, bringing the airbrush experts straight to you. Forever Tan's streak-free process starts with European Brushing to remove dead skin cells so your tan looks smooth and stays longer. You'll be left with that sun-kissed golden glow that's guaranteed to last up to 10 days. Read real brides' reviews here!

Solar Intoxication
Calling Solar Intoxication a tanning salon doesn't do it justice. The boutique is more than the run-of-the-mill variety scattered around South Beach. Equipment is all state-of-the-art, and this includes the full-body Versa Spa spray tanner. Step inside the open-air system and in just a few minutes you'll come out glowing and moisturized with the tan of your choice.

See More: Accomplish All Of Your Wedding Day Beauty Goals With Our Favorite Local Vendors

Elle Air Blow Dry + Makeup Bar
The chic blow dry bar in Surfside is also home to one of Miami's best spray tans. Pop in after hitting the shops at Bal Harbour or bring the bar to you. Hair and makeup artists can set up shop in your home or hotel, giving you and your bridesmaids the chance to try out wedding day looks while letting spray tans set in. Read real brides' reviews here!

Sobe Tan by Fabiola
Spray tanner to the stars, owner Fabiola has airbrushed everyone from Matt Damon to Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian. Pop into the original South Beach salon or try the new Coral Gables locale for a five-minute (organic and paraben-free) turbo tan that will have you looking like you've been basking on South Beach for the past few months and leave you honeymoon-ready.

Looking for more bronze-y inspiration? Check out the most popular tanning salons in town on our Local Vendors page!

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