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!

 

 

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
Party Planner in Miami holding rose gold balloons in Little Havana Florida

#Celebrate Constantly

Being a party planner is so much fun! We constantly get to participate in celebrating others. Their life, their love, and their success. Throughout the journey, I love how our clients are surprised at how much we preach to not focus on the material items, but on this special moment in their lives. Not what you expect to hear from a party planner. But as much as we love elaborate décor and immersive experiences, we don’t like to see clients overspending on items that they can’t afford and don’t add to the true meaning of the event. Now don’t get us wrong, we love parties that are #extra.  But unfortunately, this had led to many people not wanting a party because they can’t afford the elaborate event. Erroneously, their number one goal is to impress the guests or get the right IG photos. And in that head space they are forgetting the person they are celebrating. Where is the love?

So I am going to give you the speech I give my clients at Love.Style.Events. “This is one day, one moment in your story. You will not remember the $1,000 centerpieces. You will probably regret overspending on the elaborate dessert table that gets destroyed in seconds, and so what if only half the guests show up to your company launch party. Party anyways! Because you will remember how much you laughed and danced, how your best friend got teary eyed and cheered you on, and how people showed up to celebrate YOU!”

So grab a cake, some balloons, and a playlist of your favorite songs. And party! That’s really all it takes. #celebrateconstantly

Contact Us today to plan your next party!

 

Let’s Talk Room Blocks

We do a lot of destination events here in Miami. From corporate incentive trips to destination weddings, we are constantly reaching out to local hotels to block rooms for guests. We have learned the difference between a courtesy or guaranteed block, know how to convince hesitant hotels to give you one in the first place, and know what perks and discounts to ask the sales managers for. So without further ado, here is the key info you need to know when setting up your room block.

First of all, let’s define a room block. A room block is when the hotel will reserve a certain amount of rooms for you at an agreed price for a limited amount of time. There are two types of blocks. There is a guaranteed block. That means that you are financially responsible for any rooms on your block that are not booked by guests. This type of block requires for you to sign a contract. The other type is a courtesy room block. This type of block does not require a contract. In both types of rooms, the hotel should give you the rooms at a discounted price. They also give you a code, or customized phone number for your guests to use when booking their rooms. Now, usually the hotels will place an earlier expiration date on the courtesy blocks since they are not guaranteed that the room will sell. The hotel wants more time to be able to sell any unbooked rooms.

Which brings us to hesitant hotels. We have encountered many hotels that don’t offer room blocks. Maybe because they have a limited amount of rooms, or the hotel is very in demand, or they only do guaranteed blocks. One of the quickest ways we have been able to convince hotels to give us a courtesy block is to set a very early expiration date to the block. For example, let’s say you are getting married in a year. Ask the hotel to give you the block for the first 6 months. That will still give the hotel 6 months to book rooms that were not reserved by your guests. Just make sure to add the block info to your Save The Dates, and send those out ASAP, so that the guests have the chance to book early with the discount.

And finally, you want to get the maximum wedding discount for your guests. One way to do this is to hold your event at the hotel. Whether it’s a corporate meeting, rehearsal dinner, or wedding, by promising the hotel a minimum Food & Beverage spend, you can negotiate a lower rate for your guests’ rooms. And bonus tip, ask the sales manager for a complimentary room for yourself. Ask for a complimentary room if the block gets 100% reserved. Most sales managers will agree since they have a chance to book many rooms months in advance.

As always, if you all have any questions; comment below, message me on Instagram, or even email me. I love to help and teach you DIYers :)

 

A Mammoth of a Wedding at The Faena

We were extremely excited to be planning and producing one of the first weddings at the new Faena hotel in Miami Beach. From the moment you walk in, you are bombarded with decadent paintings, grandiose furnishings, and giant gilded sculptures. You will find a leopard print couch, tasseled umbrellas, a column wrapped in giant candy-colored seashells, and a ridiculously expensive acrylic box encasing a fossil dipped in gold all within 50 steps of each other. We were so overwhelmed with inspiration that we did not know where to start designing this Faena wedding. But then we met with our bride and found out that her fun personality was even more interesting and diverse than the venue itself, we knew we had to focus on the elements that described her and her relationship with her husband to be.

For the ceremony, we wanted a statement piece that was like no other we had seen. This ring of leaves and flowers was a great anchor to the mismatched furniture on the sand.

Beach ceremony with armchairs and circular arch behind Faena hotel in Miami

 

The cocktail hour area was a mammoth of an area. LOL! Seriously, we could not ignore the elephant in the room! Ok, I will stop now. We decided to give the mammoth some friends. The cocktail tables were decorated with dinosaur plant holders painted in gold.

Gold stegosaurus cocktail hour at faena miami beach, fl gold t-rex plant holder cocktail wedding planner faena miami Wedding cocktail hour around mammoth at faena miami beach

The entrance of the reception featured a custom neon sign welcoming the guests. This probably has to be my favorite piece of the entire event. I love to design pieces that can the go home with the clients and remind them of this special day.

custom neon sign for faena forum wedding in miami beach

 

 

For the dinner tables, we wanted to feature the bride’s journalist background. The runner was made up of pages from her favorite books. We also hollowed out books and filled them with moss and small flowers. We used those as the table numbers.

reception table with book page runner anemones and gold chargers at faena

light blue and gold wedding table decor in faena forum miami beach florida

Book table numbers with moss at faena miami beach wedding

 

The Faena forum has a lot of grey and white marble. In order to incorporate that into our decor, we had custom throw pillows made for the lounge areas. The guests must of loved these areas. They spent a lot of time there lounging and dancing :)

custom marble throw pillows in wedding lounge at faena south beach

blame custom neon sign scarface faena wedding in miami beach

 

 

 

 

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