5 Quickest Ways to Save on your Big Day!

Here are Five simple tips that will help you save BIG BUCKS on your wedding. 

1. Location is key! Wedding venues in major cities, like Miami, FL  raise their prices because of their high demand location. By finding a venue that is on the outskirts of the city, you can save big. I like to look at places like Ft. Lauderdale, Homestead, or Key Largo.You can save up to 50% of the cost for a venue that’s just as nice or sometimes even nicer! Just be sure that there are hotels near the venue. You do not want to blow your savings on the transportation needed to get your guests to the venue.
Another way to save on your venue is to have your wedding on a Friday or Sunday; the fees for venues drop dramatically, and other vendors give discounts as well since they have less demand than on a Saturday.

2. Reduce your guest count! This is one of the fastest ways you can save money. Everything you purchase will be “per person” from your catering, the liquor, and even your rentals! If you limit the amount of people you invite, you will be able to achieve the look you want within your budget. If you haven’t already, watch our Budget & Guest Count video.

3. Skip the premium open bar! Rather than investing on liquor that will most likely not be consumed or appreciated, pick one or two liquors that you know guests will enjoy. My favorite combination is a vodka, white rum, white wine, and red wine. Then pick fun mixers and garnishes that your guests will enjoy. Or opt to have a specialty cocktail, a nitrogen bar, or a mixology bar! By not having to purchase all of the typical options in a bar, you will save big. And as a bonus, when there are less choices, the bartenders are able to work faster. That will reduce the wait time at the bar.

4. Save on wedding stationary! One of the easiest ways to do this is to have someone design your stationary. I love to find artists on websites like Etsy.com. You will be able to get something completely customized for you. And while they are at it, don’t stop at wedding invitations, have them design the menus, programs, even the place cards. Then have the designer send you the digital files and have the items printed at your local print shop! Nowadays print shops have more than just your ordinary card stock. From linen to kraft paper, there are many choices to get the look you want.

5. Do a little legwork when it comes to the decor! For instance, you can purchase vases at a craft store or even the dollar store and supply them to the florists. Florists will then only charge you for the flowers and their labor. I have been able to get the same vase that a florist was charging me $40.00 for for $3.00 at Walmart! Multiple that by 15 vases, that was a $555.00 saving!!
This applies to other vendors as well. Another example is a draping company. You can supply them with the fabric, or tie backs that you would like to use, for example, and they will just charge you for their labor.As a planner, I have saved my wedding and corporate clients thousands of dollars by following these tip.  They are simple, but the savings will add up fast!
Cheers! Joan Love

2015 Wedding Dress Trend: Save the lingerie for the Honeymoon, not for your walk down the aisle!

Someone make this stop!!!!

I am all about expressing yourself with your wedding dress. And a little bit of sexiness looks good. But being half naked in front of your family and friends does not! For about three seasons now I have seen wedding dresses getting more and more risqué. One designer’s dresses looked like pasties with a skirt. And exactly which church, temple, or synagogue would allow that to walk down the aisle? And even if you do not choose a church ceremony, I could see your dad and family members cringing in their seats. They came to see you get married, not to see your private parts.

Please choose a classic style, that emphasizes your beauty and will make you proud when you look back at your wedding pictures. This is one wedding mistake that is easily avoided.

Just saying…..


Priorities: Don’t be the bride that wishes she would have spent less on her big day!

There is an episode on the Real Housewives series, where this wedding planner is trying to convince the housewife to spend more, more, more!!! He convinces her that she has to compete with the rest of the town and “Keep up with the Joneses” (Yes, that is the actual expression. I didn’t get the name wrong!). Well as I am watching this planner, all I am thinking is how irresponsible he is being with her money, and how he has no regard for this woman’s hard work or her daughter’s future! Forget the fifty chandeliers, plan a gorgeous garden wedding and setup trust funds for your grandchildren, donate money to a local charity or just keep it for your future.

Now I am all about enjoying the pleasures of life. If you work hard and you want to enjoy the fruits of your labor then go for it. But there has to be a respect for money, a proper set of priorities, empathy for humanity and the 99% that are struggling.
So, I have accepted it. I will probably never be one of the luxurious wedding planners that you see on tv and book signings. I am a realist, and I suffer from yuppie guilt. I sit down with my clients and make sure they have their priorities straight. In my portfolio you will see that we produce very elaborate weddings with some luxurious details. But every single client of mine has heard my priorities talk: “Remember this is one day, there is a whole life and marriage beyond it.”  and “Do you really need that?!”
By the way, in over twelve years of planning events, I have not had ONE client come to me and wish they had spent more on their wedding day. But I have had many tell me they wish they had spent less.
Right now venues and vendors I work with are probably cringing. But I also work with many charitable organizations and foundations that hopefully are smiling.

The lesson here is, before you set the budget or write out your guest list, determine your priorities and keep each other in check. Having the money to have a grand wedding or event is a blessing. Be grateful, respect the work involved in attaining that money, and remember to give back.

Destination Luxury: Planning a personalized wedding by the sea

A destination wedding should be just as personalized, detailed, and exquisite as if you would have planned it in your hometown. Gone are the days of settling for a cookie cutter event in an all-inclusive resort. Our expertise is in combining that perfect mix of local and out of town vendors to ensure a flawless event with top-notch customer service. We spend a lot of time cutting through the cultural and language barriers to make sure our clients expectations are met and surpassed. And with all our technological services including vendor web chats, 3D floorplans, and interactive mood boards, you will feel like you are planning your wedding in person the entire time.

From travel logistics, to cuisine design, family dynamics, to weather plans, we are experts at handling all the planning and producing of your wedding festivities so that you can enjoy your weekend in paradise surrounded by those closest to you.

Our team loves finding unique and charming venues in places like Puerto Rico, Virgin Gorda, and The Bahamas to name a few. This summer we will be visiting and blogging on some exciting new places to consider for you wedding. So if you are dreaming of a romantic wedding under the twinkling stars of a dark night in the Caribbean, stay tuned…

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 during 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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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