My favorite holiday of all time is Cinco de Mayo. So much so, that my husband and I host our own fiesta each and every year that includes more salsa and guac than could ever possibly be consumed, a killer playlist and ever flowing margaritas. It’s pure heaven and I’m kicking myself for not turning that love of fiestas into our own wedding day celebration. Now fastforward to this inspiration shoot, which technically is no where near Mexico being Spanish inspired, but it still holds that vibrancy and beautiful cultural tradition with an undeniable elegance. And I’m guessing it would pair beautifully with margaritas so we’re running with it. Crafted by Persnickety Events, with florals by Julia Rohde Designs and images by To Love Photographie, this is one gallery full of inspiration not to be missed!

From To Love Photographie + Persnickety Events…It was a rare night in Miami where the weather was actually pleasant.  Roxanne of Persnickety Events and I met for a brainstorming session over green tea and warm cinnamon-spiced soy milk.  A photograph she showed me during the course of our conversation of delicate hand-painted Spanish tiles was the spark that led to us planning a Spanish-style intimate wedding shoot.  We both love bespoke weddings, intimate celebrations, and culture and wanted those to be the ties that bound all of our ideas together.  We envisioned a destination wedding in Valencia, Spain with beautiful details and the warmth of only the bride and groom’s closest friends and family.  

When looking for a venue we wanted a place that was true to the region and that would be a canvas for our decorative elements.  After scouting many locations we chose the Ancient Spanish Monastery in Miami, Florida.  It was originally constructed in Northern Spain in 1141 AD and 100s of years later brought over to the United States piece by piece and reconstructed.  Its rich history and authenticity made it the perfect backdrop.  We then began to pinpoint what visual aspects we wanted to incorporate and between collectively pinning our ideas and conversing with one another we decided on a modern and simplistic approach to the décor.  We focused on reds and burnt orange, greys and blues to pay homage to the coast, and greens picked up in our floral and herbal elements. Julia Rohde of Julia Rohde Designs flawlessly added to the ambience with her bright bouquet of garden roses, dahlias, and clementis bound together with lace that played off of the bride’s stunning Monique Lhuillier “Arielle” gown from Chic Parisien.  The soft white lace, corset top, and formfitting silhouette coupled with her knotted veil appealed to our design aesthetic and was a modern take on a Spanish wedding look for an unconventional and forward-thinking bride; the crystal headpiece she adorned during the reception added a touch of sparkle befitting a glowing bride on her wedding day. 

As for the reception, we wanted it to be simple and beautiful.  Julia’s garland centerpiece lay delicately across the table as a runner with such lovely points of visual interest like the grapes, ranunculus, and magnolia and olive tree foliage tying in with the florals in the bride’s bouquet. These elements complimented the arrangement of light grey silk linens, gold flatware, bone white etched plates from Spain, and carved wooden chairs that Roxanne conceptualized.  Bottles of wine meant for sharing were scattered throughout the table to encourage interaction and family style dining. Chef Lubin of Semaj’s One Way Catering created a spread of fresh seafood and tapas with the show stopper being his Paella de Mariscos with whole lobster held in a beautifully patinaed silver vessel.  All of these visual elements were tied together with the invitation suite and menu cards from KT Smail.  Her work is so pretty and whimsical and she was able to incorporate the soft and simple design of our shoot in the stationary by creating a hand-drawn floral motif which complimented Julia’s centerpiece and bouquet.  Denise of The Cake Collection created a simple and clean two layer honey almond cake with candied kumquats which melded the flavors indigenous to Spain.  The Prayer Well of the Monastery gracefully encased our beautiful cake.

In Spanish weddings, during the banquete de bodas, or wedding reception, often times the bride and groom offer their guests favors that usually incorporate something edible.  Roxanne prepared a station of cigars as favors for the “Senors” while The Cake Collection created mini versions of the wedding cake as favors for the “Senoras”.  Another tradition we wanted to incorporate was the use of the wedding lasso during the ceremony.  The lasso is made in the form of a figure eight, or the infinity symbol, and is placed over the couples’ heads after their vows have been exchanged.  It is a symbolic declaration of intention that the bride and groom voluntarily bind themselves together before family, friends, and God.  We loved the meaning of this ritual and felt it was a beautiful element to include.  The wedding lasso we chose from Chic Parisien was a crystal double rosary with intricate beadwork in the cross; a true statement piece.  

We ended the day with a flamenco dance number by Celia Fonte of Siempre Flamenco accompanied by her acoustic guitarist and husband, Paco.  It really made for a celebratory atmosphere as our guests, in their rococo colored attire and scarves, formed a semi-circle to watch them perform.  The bride and groom were invited to take center stage and end the day with a final dance and sweet kiss as husband and wife.

Photography: To Love Photographie | Wedding Styling: Persnickety Events | Venue: The Ancient Spanish Monastery | Floral Design: Julia Rohde Designs | Catering: Semaj’s One Way Catering | Cake: The Cake Collection | Bridal Gown and Accessories: Chic Parisien | Invitations: KT Smail | Printing: Ariel Mendoza of Pixelwarps | Rentals: Panache Party Rentals | Flamenco Dancer: Celia Fonte of Siempre Flamenco