EVENTS: Galentine’s Day: A celebration of friendship

Hand up if you are so over Valentine’s. The pressure of getting your partner the perfect gift, the over-priced and overbooked restaurants, and the magnifier in your face if you do not have a date! So when I heard of Galentine’s day, I had to learn more. Turns out it is a fake holiday started on the show Parks and Recreation, much like Festivus began on Seinfeld. The premise is that on February 13th, you get together with your girlfriends and celebrate friendship. We are in! After all, aren’t our fellow women the ones that hold us up and keep us going. So here is a gift, from our all girl team, for all you ladies that want to take an evening and celebrate with your friends. This mood board is all about love, guilty pleasures, bonding, and laughter. And of course, all the links are below for easy online shopping. MY BIGGEST guilty pleasure!

Heart Shaped Placemat, $2.99

Heart serving Platters, $19.95

Crush soda, $4.89

HEART PLACE salad PLATES SET OF 4, $43.95

Anti-valentines cards DIY

Heart banner, $6.95

Red Chairs, $15 each rental

Custom balloon banner, $3.95

Dr. Jart shake and shot Mask, $12

Morgiana 4-Piece Stainless Steel Flatware Set, $18.99

Faux Fur Oversized Heart Throw Pillow, $19.99

DIPTYQUE Roses Scented Candle, $36

Nearly Natural Blooming Hydrangea with Vase, $28.99

Dove velvet linen, $49.00 rental from BBJ Linen

EVENTS: 7 Quick Must-Dos When Hiring a Cigar Roller for your Event

No fluff, here. These are just things that I consistently see done wrong at events with cigar roller. I always cringe and think how easily this could have been fixed and presented well, so that the guests got the best experience possible.

  1. Ask for a photo of the table the person will be rolling at. It should be wood, size appropriate, and authentic looking. Now, for some reason, most cigar rollers will ask you to provide the table. No worries. Rent a 4×30″ table with a burlap linen. A 6′ table looks way to big, and a poly linen just ruins the whole look! And remember to have a matching wooden chair. Some will bring the table, but not a chair. Plan for both things to make sure the look is on point.
  2. Make sure they bring tools and boxes to decorate the table. A wooden block and a knife do not cut it (ha, ha, I just got my pun). You want the cigar holder with the cutouts, the leaf press, and maybe some old cigar boxes. Look at the photo above for inspiration. Screenshot it and send it to them. “This is what I want the table to look like please.”
  3. Cigars dry up quickly if they are not protected, so make sure the cigar roller is bringing plastic sleeves for each cigar. This allows guests to take home this wonderful favor. Also, if you want to deter the guests from smoking at your event, you can let the roller know to give out each cigar in the wrapper with a sticker. This usually works.
  4. LIGHTING Are you tired of me saying this yet?! Lighting will make or break any element you have at your event. You can cover all the bases I went over above, but if you have an under (or over) lit cigar roller, the effect is just not there. So choose a dark, or moody area for the table, and then properly spotlight it from above. One magnetic pinspot, or well placed standing lamp, is all you need to create the perfect vignette.
  5. Now this one is funny to me. Cigar Roller, check. Cigars, check. Matches and ash trays? Did anyone get matches and ash trays? In Spanish we say “se cae de la mata” (translates to it falls from the tree) or OBVIOUS. But not so obvious as I consistently see this at many events.
  6. Cigar rings are a cute way to customize the experience for your event. They are very easy to order on places like Etsy. Here is a link to one shop that designs beautiful ones. Make sure you TELL your cigar roller that you are bringing them. They have special tools and glues to stick these on.
  7. Finally, when calculating what quantity to get, I usually suggest to get 60%-70% of your guest count for most things like cake, mints, programs, etc… But I have seen how everyone loves these. Whether they are an aficionado or not, they have a husband, grandfather, or friend that love them, and they happily take one to gift. Plan for one for each guest attending your event.

Fiesta Cubana: Complete Design and Links to plan your own Cuban-inspired party.

The Tropical trend is in full swing, and we are totally on board. We are in Miami after all; the land of Cuban coffee and croquetas. Getting inspired for this design was as easy as looking out the window. Our mood board is colorful, upscale, but still has a homey feeling. And, one of our favorite parts is that there are so many ways to recreate this on a tight budget. We included the links for all the items you need to pull off this exact look. And then, we will be adding a post with links to budget friendly swaps. We hope you enjoy. And remember to send us photos of your Cuban Fiesta. We love to see them!!

Full moodboard of a Cuban inspired party. Includes elements such as cane vases, dominos, cuban espresso maker with succulents, cigar with custom cigar band, strawberry hard candy, and more

Cuban Espresso Maker for Centerpiece, $17.99 Watch the DIY video on our Youtube channel to how easy it is to plant succulents in these.

Mini Pig Gold Statue, $18.00

Galvanized Metal Charger Plate, $6.99 Keep an eye out for 50% off deal. You can also use these as place cards by writing directly on the rim with a chalk marker.

Blue “Cuban” Tile Dinner Plate, $7.99 I love using an item for a party that can be re-purposed at home. These plates are gorgeous for everyday.

Red Acrylic Water Goblets, $30.59 for eight These are acrylic, so great for a poolside party.

Mint Green Linen Napkin, $12.99 for 12 napkins

“Pan Cubano” Printable, $6.00 (Can be used for placecards, menus, bread sleeve, etc…)

Natural Jute Macrame Hanging Planter, $26.00

Wood Bead Plant Hanger with Bubble Vase, $30.00

Cigars, prices vary

Personalized Cigar Bands, $24.99 for 16 bands

Cuban Stamp Throw Pillow Cover, $4.99

Pleated Velvet Round Throw Pillow – Opalhouse™, $26.99

Cane Cotton Throw Pillow, $40.99 Love these! Cane reminds me of the rocking chairs found in every Cuban house.

Woven Grass Vase, $24.00

Navy/White Vase, $14.99

Pink/White Vase, $14.99

Strawberry Hard Candy, $11.30 for 2 pounds. Every Cuban Granmother has these at her house, and in her purse!

Glass Candy Dish, $16.93

All furniture on moodboard by Unearthed Rentals in Miami, FL

Corporate Event Planner

My Biggest Competition: Your Pinterest Loving Secretary

It’s that magic time a year where holiday parties need to be planned and shopped for. As a corporate event planner and designer, I cheer with glee! Ok, so South Florida is not the most Christmasy place ever, but I love the opportunity to completely redo a company’s holiday party. By focusing on the actual goal of the party (to thank the employees and increase employee moral and loyalty to the company) I design every detail, song, and bite to reach this goal. But as I deliver the magical budget to the boss, here comes the Pinterest happy secretary. “I can just do it myself for less”. And unfortunately for me, many times the boss listens and goes with his free “planner” who is already on pay roll.

Now, answer this. Would you let one of your employees take on your legal issues because he diligently watched all seven seasons of The Good Wife?! No!! You value your company. You act professional and want professionals doing their best work possible for you. Shouldn’t your holiday party be the same? This is a moment of gratitude. A day where you are thanking your employees for their hardwork AND a demonstration on how you expect things done at your company.

So, do you want next year to be a throw some supermarket platters on a table year, or do you want a hand-lettered personalized charger under each plate kind of year? Every interaction between you and your employees is an opportunity to show the quality of work you expect. And your holiday party is the perfect moment to set the tone for the following year. Your secretary has enough to do, call me and my team of corporate event planners. Let’s do this right this year (305) 676-4430 or (561) 510-1614.

Don’t wait to plan! We are already planning events for 2020 for Miami Conventions

When you are deciding on when to start planning a corporate event, don’t think about how long it will take to plan it, think about whether other companies are scooping up the best venues for your event date. We are already helping some of the companies coming in for the International Bar Association’s convention with their events in November 2020. As one of the biggest conventions planned at the Miami Beach Convention center, there will be tons of companies capitalizing on having the top lawyers from around the country in Miami. Therefore, having the best venue, and the most sought after invitation is key to getting the attendees you want at your event.

Step one: plan now!  We know the earlier you can secure your venue and vendors, the better. One time we helped a company secure a venue that wasn’t even open yet. The buzz was hot and we knew the venue was going to be as well. During the event, the clients only expected 75 guests since there were so many other parties and dinners happening at the same time (including a big party by Google). The result? 225 guests !!! They were thrilled. (And luckily our team was able to think fast and be resourceful enough to host the 225 guests without a hitch). So morale of the story, if you are hosting an event in Miami and desire to get the attendees of the biggest convention venues (MBCC, Marriot Marquis, Trump Doral, Fontainebleau, or even The Diplomat) to come to your event, and your event is before 2021, the time to contact us is now!

 

 

Reception banquet table size

Your Reception Table will NOT Fit Chargers AND Flowers!!!

It is the biggest mistake we see happen on a consistent basis at weddings and corporate events alike. You think you are all set, arrive for setup, and only then realize that chargers will not fit on a standard banquet table with space for flowers in the middle. It breaks my heart every time. The solution at that point is to leave the chargers off the table. But you paid a lot of money for those. So before you run into this problem, watch our video and make sure you rent a table wide enough to fit everything and give you the look you are going for.

 

A Modern Tropical 40th Birthday Party in Downtown Miami

As event planners in Miami, we have been loving the Tropical trend.  It takes is 1 minute to pull a palm frond off the tree, spray paint it gold, and create a fab decor piece. So when this amazing husband approached us to throw his wife a 40th birthday that celebrated her Cuban heritage, we were all in. We embraced all things tropical, but wanted to stay on the modern side of things, and make sure her love for all things upscale was also on full display.

We knew that Penthouse Riverside Wharf was the perfect venue to pull all of this off. It is all white, has amazing glass walls, and has 360 degree views of Miami. The high ceiling is always a challenge in that it makes a venue look empty. So we started by designing a balloon chandelier that would help lower the ceiling and make the venue look more inviting.

As the guests entered, they had a photo opportunity in front of a custom wall where we reflected a Louis Vuitton like pattern with the birthday girl’s initials.

Louis Vuitton Step and Repeat Wall at Miami Event

After that the guests headed to a custom wrapped bar. The palm watercolor motif was the palette we used for the rest of the decor.

custom wrapped wall and balloon garland

Dark green lounges, rose gold tables, and grey accents pulled the decor together and gave the guests plenty of areas to relax after dancing the night away.

It was an amazing party. It was one of those event planner moments where a party is is so beautiful that it is hard to breakdown. At least we have the photos 🙂

Wedding ceremony at vizcaya gardens in miami

10 catastrophes to avoid while planning your wedding

So in case you haven’t heard yet, we are celebrating our 10th year anniversary 😉 I know, I have been mentioning it A LOT! What can I say, we are proud of how far we have come. We have had the pleasure of planning some spectacular events for some amazing clients, and along the way we have learned a lot! There have been many bumps along the road (especially in the early days) that have made us a strong, well-oiled company. But we know you don’t have ten years to make mistakes and then try again. You are planning this wedding and have one chance to get it right. So here are ten mistakes we made (or saw a client of ours make) that you can learn from and avoid.

 

  1. Make sure to sample everything. Have a complete decor sample. Bring the EXACT table that will be used by your venue (sizes of tables vary great), get a sample linen and napkins, chargers, dish ware, silverware, and flatware from your caterer, and of course the floral. This is time consuming but you will be able to iron out any mistakes right then and there. You might be expecting wine colored roses to match your wine-colored chargers, and your florists shows up with a blood red rose! Aren’t you glad you are fixing this now and not freaking out on your big day…
  2. While lining an aisle with candles looks like a great idea. It is sooooo not! We created this aisle in the photo above many times at the gardens in Vizcaya. And 100% of the time, someone bumped into one and sent the glass crashing to the ground. Never failed. After the first time, we had a broom ready to go, but do yourself a favor and don’t line the entire aisle with them. One idea is to do a cluster at the entrance and another cluster by the sides of the arch only. That keeps the flames and glass away from guests.
  3. And on that note, watch where you put candles in an outdoor ceremony. Veils and tulle fly easily in the wind. We once had a bride’s Oscar de la Renta gown float right above a cluster of candles as she walked down the aisle. We gasped and held our breath, ready to run for a fire extinguisher if need be. My rule now is if anything is within 8’ of where the bride, bridesmaids, or guests will be, it has to be LED, or placed on top of a table within a glass vase.
  4. For an outdoor wedding, unless your venue is in or near a desert, get a tent. You just spent way too much money on this day. More than you will ever spend on another party in your lifetime (except maybe your kids’ weddings). One rogue cloud can COMPLETELY ruin everything. After ten years we have learned this one the hard way. We no longer do weddings outdoors without a tent. I can never again look at a beautiful bride bursting into tears over her ruined day. I just won’t do it.
  5. Don’t do everything YOURSELF. You can not hold the reigns until the day before and then expect to pass them to someone that is not 100% informed on everything. You will not be able to give them control and let go to enjoy your day. So decide, will you be the planner on your wedding day, or the bride, because you can not be both. So get a day-of-coordinator, willing friend, or co-worker to go through everything with you one month before the event. And do not chose your mom or maid of honor for this please. This is their special day with you, not their day to fight with the limo company over how the driver is late.
  6. Prepare for the wind. I see a lot of people planning outdoor weddings preparing for the rain, but many do not think about the wind. The wind will easily knock over tall vases, sweep place cards across the floor, and ruin even the most coiffed hair style. So make sure to prepare for that too. Have gravel and double stick tape to anchor down light items. Make sure your tent company leaves you walls in case you need to cover one side. And be ready to place centerpieces directly on the table, instead of tall pedestals.
  7. Bring your own steamer. Many hotels claim they have steamers for the wedding party, and then on the day-of it is being used by house keeping or another guest. One time we had this happen, so this five-star hotel was nice enough to take all the clothes and have it pressed and delivered back to the rooms. Problem was, the groom’s shirt never made it back! So bring your own portable steamer, here is a link to my favorite one by Conair, and NEVER let anyone take the clothes.
  8. How long do you think setup will take? Now double that. Unless you have been doing this for 10 years, setup is going to take you double the time. If you are a DIYer, I HIGHLY recommend choosing a venue that will let you set up the day before. This will help you by leaps and bounds.
  9. Always prepare for more guests. We send the Save the Date, the invitations, ask for RSVP, text guests, and then call for one final reminder. And yet we STILL get some surprise guests at over 50% of the weddings we plan. We don’t sweat it anymore because we are always prepared. So make sure to rent one extra small table, linen, and 6 chairs. 50% chance you will need it.
  10. It is not worth it if you don’t enjoy yourself. Really, if you are going to stress that much or overspend that much, then just elope and save the money and drama for your marriage. Every step of the way, remind yourself to find the joy in the planning and in the anticipation of marrying the love of your life. If you don’t take time to enjoy, this is the biggest regret you will have when the party is all over. Above all, don’t make this mistake.
event setup video with wedding planning tips at penthouse riverside wharf in miami

YouTube Tutorial: Tips to Set Up Your Event Like a Pro

You have been planning everything for a long time. Now you want to make sure your event is pulled off flawlessly. Take 5 minutes to watch this video and avoid mistakes during your event set up. This is event planning like a pro.

Wedding Planning, Event Planning, Party Planner, Miami Wedding Planner, Miami Events, Corporate Event Planner, Art Basel Planner, Bar Mitzvah Miami, Bat Mitzvah Miami, Quince Planner, Sweet Sixteen Miami, Penthouse Riverside Wharf
justin bieber in groom tux for a wedding

No, you are not engaged to Justin Bieber and need a wedding planner!!!

Let’s talk about the crazies that us wedding planners have to deal with. No, I am not talking about the bridezillas or the groomzillas. We can easily handle those with some Patron. I am talking about the actual wedding planning inquiries we receive from people convinced they are marrying a celebrity…..

I am NOT kidding. This happens to us A LOT. We get the inquiry, set up a call, send our packages, and get ready to go to contract. And then, when we ask for the fiancees name, they are like “Justin Bieber”. Sorry, can you say that again. “My fiancée is Justin Bieber”. Ok, at this point you think we are part of a scam. We are getting punk’d. The person on the other end is laughing hysterically. NOPE, this person is dead-as-a-doorknob serious. They truly believe they need wedding planning services to marry a celebrity they are somehow engaged to in their minds!!!!

One time, this potential client set up a Skype meeting with my entire team, since he was in Texas. When the guy came up on screen we asked him all the usual questions; details, guest count, budget, etc… It was all going oh so well until twenty minutes into the call. When it came time to tell us about his fiancée, he claimed to be engaged to a FAMOUS female country singer. It was so hard to keep a straight face. I wanted to burst out laughing, but the guy was so serious and completely engaged in planning this fantasy wedding that I kept my professional demeanor so that I would not insult him. My team didn’t handle it so well though. They quickly fled off camera. One of the girls peed a little (she does that when she laughs really hard). Poor guy. Can you imagine the posters all over his wall? The scribbles in his notebook?

So now I am thinking of starting a division of fantasy weddings. You can hire me to plan your fantasy wedding to your fantasy celebrity. I will charge you in fantasy money, AKA Bitcoin, and you can get on your fantasy horse and ride until you reach the sunset.

Stop calling me

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