Photo Friday

Today officially marks the start of my last weekend in South Florida. (spoiler alert! I’m moving!) While there are a lot of things I will miss about Miami, this view is at the top of the list. This is an image I took at Matheson Hammock quite a few years ago and it is still one of my favorites. (side note – this print is one of a number of prints I have for purchase, if you’re interested it comes single, matted or stretched on canvas. Email me!)

matheson1

Goodbye Miami! You’ve been a great home!

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It’s Gonna Be A Good Life

Last month I had the pleasure of coordinating a wedding at Villa Woodbine for the fantastic Amanda and Joseph Sabina. The ceremony was at Plymouth Congregational Church in Coconut Grove and the reception held at Villa Woodbine. Despite a downpour of rain the day before (which caused some wicked humidity) the event went off without a hitch. Check out the teaser video below from the videographer duo Artistic Film Productions below (they also did another wedding in April with me, hopefully that clip will be coming soon).

The evening was fantastic, even with a few hiccups including a last minute exterminator being called in and an ambulance visit during the reception! These events, fortunately, did not damper the party and the night went on with a surprise performance by Fat Joe even! This was my first time working with a “celebrity” and it was a really enjoyable time. The couple made their grand exit under a showering of sparklers into their beautiful supped up Lincoln Town Car.

I really had a great time working with all of the vendors and staff, the couple was so wonderful to work with! I wish every client could be like that! Congratulations to Amanda and Joe!

Videography: http://www.ArtisticFilmProductions.com/blog

Photography: Michelle Turner

Event Coordinator: Leah Michelle

DJ: Mark Leventhal

Make-up & Hair Artists: Hot Pink

Venue: Mayfair Hotel, Plymouth Congregational & Villa Woodbine

Florist: Parrish Designs

Cake: Filled & Frosted

Caterer: Bill Hansen Catering

Every penny counts

I found this link on one of my regular blog reads today (shocker!), and I was really excited I’m not going to lie.

“Cost of Wedding”: here has used industry surveys, bride surveys, and just general regional information to calculate the average cost of a wedding based on your regional zip code.

Cool right? According to Cost of Wedding – on average, US couples spend $19,581 for their wedding. However, the majority of couples spend between $14,686 and $24,476. This does not include cost for a honeymoon or engagement ring.

Interested to see what the site had to say about Miami I hopped right on. I then proceeded to laugh. I know everybody has different budgets and circumstances when it comes to their wedding. I’ve worked with a lot of brides who have very low budgets, and I have seen brides come through my office with astronomical budgets – the kind that make you ask where they came from. I suppose these two extremes could balance each other out, but I was anticipating a pretty high average. I was shocked to see that the average cost for Miami was….

between $14,906 and $24,843

I’m sorry come again? They do caution that if you select well-experienced professionals, designer labels, popular venues, etc etc. you can expect to pay anywhere from 50-100% higher (uh yea).

Despite the flaws in calculation for Miami, (I tested it out with other areas, including my hometown, friend’s hometowns, etc and they were all a bit more on par) the site is pretty cool. It will break down the average costs for each area: accessories, florals, entertainment, invites, what have you – and I thought it was pretty helpful to see a comparison of the average per item.

Killing Two Birds With One Stone

This past weekend I had the opportunity to cross two things off of my “list of things to do in Miami before I leave (whenever that is)” list.

The first was to FINALLY attend Miami Spice. I have been dying to go since I moved down here (5 years) and practically begging Dan to go since we got together. For those of you not in the Miami area, Miami Spice is pretty much the equivalent of Restaurant Week in NY. For a short period of time (usually August – September) a very lengthy list of some of the best (read EXPENSIVE) restaurants in the area offer a “spice” menu. Essentially, for $22 lunch or $35 dinner, they offer the customer a three course meal which they can select from a short list of options. For someone like myself, this is a fantastic way to have the opportunity to eat at restaurants that I would never be able to afford otherwise.

Sunday, the fella and I, accompanied by one of our “date night” couples, went to Gibraltar, a fine dining restaurant on Grove Isle, the private island in Coconut Grove. The restaurant has 3 glass walls with a beautiful view of Downtown/Key Biscayne/South Beach.

Gibraltar

It. was. amazing. There are really no other words for it. We had a very late dinner so it was pretty quiet, with only a few other tables in the restaurant. The food was awesome. I had a delicious pear and walnut salad for an appetizer, a steak and potato entree that was so tender it literally melted in my mouth, and the yummiest personal sized key lime pie I have had in quite some time. Unfortunately, being the upscale restaurant that it was I didn’t feel quite comfortable taking photos of said food, but take my word for it – it looks superb. I would certainly go back in a heartbeat.

Gibraltar actually brings me to checkmark number 2:

Visit Grove Isle. So slight backstory – Grove Isle as I mentioned, is a private island situated in the bay with awesome views. It also happens to be one of the more notable wedding locations in the area (and top location for me personally, but that’s besides the point:-)) Last fall a few ladies I knew from my certification and I had planned to meet with the on-site event coordinator and tour the facilities for vendor references. Unfortunately, weather and schedules prohibited the trip so I have been chomping at the bit to get on site ever since. Grove Isle has a large hotel (of the same name) on the island which is where most of the events are located. Not only do they offer the typical hotel ballroom events, but since it is situated on the bay they have BEAUTIFUL outdoor spaces, including open air patios and pavilions. I fell in love just from the website:

As per usual, the weather was less than stellar (again – it’s my curse) so I was not able to wander through the grounds and satiate my venue appetite. I did poke my head into some ballrooms and see the main building, and everything I was able to view was stunning. Hopefully, I will get to return some time in the very near future and view Grove Isle in the daytime, with a camera, so I can share my findings. In the meantime – I will have to continue to drool and daydream.

I have a few more list checkmarks up my sleeves for the upcoming weeks so we’ll see if I can scratch any of those, stay tuned!

* All photos from the Grove Isle website