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Planning a wedding could make a bridezilla out of the zen-liest of brides. Yeah sure, Pinterest makes the whole shebang look like a walk through a rose-petaled park, but will those low-contrast, highly-filtered images tell you that the hydrangea centerpieces you demanded start to wilt after the main course? Or that the chocolate fountain you placed outside for dessert will more likely resemble chocolate milk by the time the guests get to it? Probably not.
Luckily for you though, yesterday's It's So Miami Wedding Showcase brought together the best in the biz, and we were able to squeeze out a few tips from wedding planners, florists, caterers and other wedding pros on what details to focus on while planning for your final day of singledom. From buying a consigned designer gown to planting an Easter egg in the room (don't ask), here are the answers to your burning bridal conundrums.
Melissa Barbier, Wedding Planner at Luxurious Events, on choosing the right wedding planner: So when you're planning a wedding, look for a company who's been in the business for a few years, who has good reviews online or who's been referred by someone else. The second thing is to really sit down with the event planner and see if you have a relationship, if you have a connection with the person because that's who's going to be with you from beginning to end. I think that is definitely the second most important thing.
Sofia De La Rosa, Events Consultant at Events On A Budget, on setting your budget and being honest about it: Really, the first thing is that you do have to set a budget. Most brides go in saying 'We'll see, we'll see.' The first thing you need to do is set a realistic budget and before booking any specific vendors, really review and see what your priorities are because you may end up booking a venue you can't afford and it's going to leave you in a position where everything else is going to suffer because of that one choice. So I would say have a budget and be honest with your planner about it, because a lot of girls tend to keep it a secret or they lie about extra funds.
Beatriz Marguido, Catering Manager at Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel, on the best time to book your reception venue: What I would recommend is that if you're looking to be a better negotiator, the best times to negotiate the rates are in the summer, fall. Then when the winter comes the rates start to go up because our season here in Florida is basically in the end of January, February, March, April and May. Because once Memorial Day Weekend comes, the summer, the heat comes in and it's really hard to get the best location outdoors, especially because of the weather.
Elizabeth McKinley, Destinations and Catering Sales Executive at South Beach Marriott, on contracts: I'd say that it's really important for brides to look into the fine print, because a lot of times they'll get into a contract and realize that there's a ton of hidden fees where some hotels are sneaky like that and [people] won't know to ask so the hotels will take them for what they're worth.
Bertha M. Calindo-Crucet, Director of Catering at Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay, on catering packages: Usually the best option is to buy the package that the venue is offering. The package is a bunch of items at a discounted rate. A lot of brides lately want to do things a la cart and it's not the less expensive way, so really working with a package is the best way to get the best bang for your buck.
Patrick Brochu, Director of Event Operations at Bubble Miami, on eclectic event furnishings: My advice is to plant what, in the industry, we call an Easter egg, which would be like my mannequin lamps or something like that. It becomes almost like a second focal point at an event. It becomes something that people will talk about beyond. You know, you can have your chairs and your tables, and they're gorgeous, but have that one thing that people continue to talk about.
Marsha Satuloff, salesperson at The Flower Bazaar, on your first floral meeting: The first thing I would like to know if you are the bride is if you've bought your dress already, because that tells me what the feeling of the whole event will be. Whatever you look like is the way we would design the flowers for that particular evening.
Mia Mendoza, Sales and Marketing Manager from Bayfront Floral & Event Design, on flowers that will last: Orchids are pretty tough; they can stand through any weather. Hydrangeas are known to wilt faster but they will last the day of the wedding and they're very inexpensive. So roses, hydrangeas and orchids will last the entire night, no problem. Tulips, any of those. What I don't recommend is anemones or magnolias, those wilt really fast.
Andrea Radice, Event Producer at 84 West Studios, on what makes a good wedding photographer: A good wedding photographer is someone who can capture the day in your style. There are all different styles of photography. Make sure you see samples of their work and that you get to speak with them and make sure you feel comfortable because they're going to be someone you're going to be spending a lot of time with on your wedding day.
Kathy Buccio, employee at La Vie En Blanc, on when to buy a consigned wedding dress: It just depends how early you want to start the process of looking for a dress because if you find something you absolutely love you should absolutely get it. With these dresses you never know what kind of inventory could come in and out. So if you find the one you love, get it and then if you need alterations, they offer it [at La Vie En Blanc] for you.
Stephanie Carmona, Assistant Store Manager at Wacoal, on wedding undergarments: One thing that we do see when a lot of women are shopping, especially on the big day, is specific undergarments for their dresses. So it's highly critical that that gets taken care of before the dress itself. We always want to cater to the women who are looking for specific sizes, specific accessories, the double sided tape. Things like that do make a difference in the way your dress fits.
Charles McDonald, Owner of Peterbrooke Chocolatier in Coral Gables, on chocolate at weddings: If you want to have a nice candy station you can use chocolates, but it has to be indoors or [outside] at a cool time of the year.
Got any more burning bridal Q's? Let us know in the comments below and we'll get them answered for you faster than you can throw your bouquet.
· It's So Miami Wedding Showcase [Official Site]