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Old World Wedding Inspiration at Miami’s Ancient Spanish Monastery

I’m headed to Miami next month and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that as soon as I saw these pics from Simply Sarah’s workshop, I added the Ancient Spanish Monastery to my list of must-see sights right away. It’s the backdrop for this real life couple and all the beauty that Elleson Events created, with the help of Love in Vintage, Bubble Miami, Sweet Southern Charm and more. Seductive and sweet, romantic and fun, this shoot has it all and all the proof is in these pics in our Vault right here!

From Simply SarahInspired by the rich history held within the walls of The Old Spanish Monastery in Miami, Florida, Hollie with Elleson Events took our vision along with our sweet couple Gabrielle and Brian and turned it into something exquisite. Gabrielle and Brian grew up in Miami and they have visited the monastery in the past celebrating three years of dating. We chose a neutral color palette and heirloom details that paired perfectly with the detailed architecture of the Monastery and allowed the sweet love shared between these two to really shine!

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Peruse more Florida fetes here!

Photography: Simply Sarah Photography | Event Design: Elleson Events | Floral Design: Elleson Events | Wedding Dress: Chaviano Couture | Invitations: Fig And Flourish | Shoes: Bella Belle | Ring: Trumpet & Horn | Hair + Makeup: A Touch Of Beauty | Tux: Tuxxman | Venue: Ancient Spanish Monastery | Hair Comb: Twigs & Honey | Hair Comb Source: Ivory and Beau | Model: Gabrielle Montes de Oca | Photography Workshop Host: Simply Sarah Photography | Rentals: Love in Vintage | Rentals: Sweet Southern Charm | Rentals: Bubble | Veil: Adele Amelia

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Elegant + Preppy Miami Wedding

Take two fun-loving cuties from Brazil, toss in some elegance and a dash of pretty prep, plop it all into modern Miami, and well, the results are pretty stellar. Sambajoy captured every bit of the beauty created by Ines Naftali Floral & Event Design for this fabulous fete – see it all in our Vault right this way!


From the Bride… We met on New Year’s Eve of 2006 in Bahia, Brazil, and we’ve been together since then! Every year during the holidays we like to take a break and travel to relaxing places. It was in 2012 when we decided to visit Miami, and during that trip where Daniel proposed to me in a very romantic dinner.

It was in 2011 when a very close cousin moved to Miami. And of course we decided to visit her later that year. During this trip Daniel bought, without telling anyone, my engagement ring. During the last day he had planned a surprise, inviting me to a romantic dinner. Since nobody was aware about the proposal, my cousin and I invited some Brazilian friends to join us for the night. So neither the romantic dinner nor the proposal happened there!!

Back in Brazil (and already engaged during a different trip) he told me how he had planned every detail, made a reservation at a very nice restaurant, and how at a very specific time he would take me to the beach and make the proposal under the moonlight…What a shame, I spoiled my own proposal!

Since then we went to visit my cousin every year. We got to know the city, exciting and cool places, and a lot of nice people. We loved the lifestyle of those who live in Miami. And we also love the beach. So we loved it all! It was our perfect location!

After the proposal, in Brazil, Daniel read some newspaper report about “Destination Weddings.” We thought it could be interesting for us. But at that time the idea didn’t move forward. In 2014, when we finally set the date, the whole story of the proposal came to my mind! And also the idea of having a different kind of celebration where we could have our friends and family all together for more than one day in a beautiful place, with nice weather, at the beach, and that was also part of our story in some way. That’s when we chose Miami!

We love the Miami art deco style, we love all things preppy and we wanted the wedding venue to have some historical relationship with the city. So after visiting many different hotels and venues, we chose The Raleigh Hotel for the wedding.

And my research began. I wanted my party to be as local as possible, so we ended up doing almost everything from Miami, except for the DJ, dress and groom attire and invitations. Why did we bring our DJ from Brazil? We needed a DJ who could really understand our culture, the music style that we like and that could keep the party up until very late at night! Brazilians if they know something… is how to party!

We had the most amazing and special night we could think of, and the experience of having our celebration in another country is something we will never forget!

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Peruse more Miami weddings here!

Photography: Sambajoy | Wedding Dress: Isabella Narchi | Cake: Todo Dulces | Rings: Tiffany | Hair + Makeup: Studio-D | DJ: Henrique Secchi (Brazil) | Groom's Attire: Ricardo Almeida | Venue: The Raleigh Hotel | Bride's Earrings + Hair Accessories: Rosana Chinche (Brazil) | Chairs: Elements & Accents | Cinemetography: Sambajoy | Floral Design + Event Decor: Ines Naftali Floral & Event Design | Linen Rentals: Over the Top Linens | Sound + Lighting: Sunset Event Productions | Sweet Table: Les Petites Sucres | Tent Rentals: Tents & Events | Wood Tables: Ines Naftali Floral & Event Design

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Moody Secret Garden Wedding Inspiration

Call it the peak foliage, or the crisp cool smells of autumn, but I’m fully embracing this cozy, moody season. Rich hues and edgy color combos are calling my name. The pretty at hand? It fits all that criteria and more. Snug vintage rentals from The Salvage Snob, check. Black taper candles and green and gold accents, check. Delightful treats from Cloud 9 Bakery, check. Loads of greenery and florals from Julia Rohde Designs, check. Gianny Campos made my fall dream a reality with this gallery in THE VAULT.


From Cloud 9 Bakery“I love you as the plant that never blooms, but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers…” -Pablo Neruda

This quote, along with the rest of this poem, has been a long favorite of mine and my husband’s since we met in sophomore english when we were 15. Poetry and art about love mimicking nature and its beauty has always been so romantic and beautiful to me. It’s this constant inspiration that has propelled me in the design style I’ve always been fond of; landing me somewhere in the romantic, natural and ethereal style with a little dash of gold.

When we got married (back in January of 2007), we absolutely knew for sure that we didn’t want a ballroom wedding. It wasn’t us at all, but that’s all there was! We wanted the lushness of South Florida’s botanicals and nature to be the romantic back drop. This was long before pinterest, and all the weddings I saw in magazines just seemed to be blinged out, stiff and tight, and just not who we were as a couple. Despite that, we did what we could to bring our vision to life, and while everyone has always told us that our wedding was one of the most beautiful they had been to, there were still aspects of it that years later, I still wish had been different. I wish I had used my favorite color of green for the bridesmaids instead of listening to my crazy aunt telling me “it would look too much like christmas” with the deep red and cream florals we were using. I wish I chose the lace dress I really wanted but was forced into buying the dupioni silk one that I liked but didn’t LOVE because of eager sales women making me think I had run out of time (in July). So I always knew I would keep the botanical outdoors, and incorporate the greens, the natural white florals of varying varieties, natural materials and accents of gold. So you could say that the initial concept of this shoot was our wedding do-over, if you will.

I had also been inspired by a location I do a lot of work at that’s a highly sought-after wedding venue down here in Miami, Villa Woodbine, Bill Hansen Catering’s headquarters and exclusive venue. After doing my fair share of weddings there this year, it became obvious to me that this would be the perfect setting for what I was envisioning. Between the coral rock walls and steps that looked as though they were carved out by nature, the lawn filled with various shades of abundant greenery, the wrought-iron gates, the pergola patio surrounded by tropical plants, and peaceful wall fountain that seemed to almost be forgotten about other than the vines that were growing over it, it truly was the perfect setting.

Since I’m the baker, I started building a cake design in my head. I love the look of frilly florals, and I’m a real big fan of flower walls so I knew I wanted to do something that emulated that style, but wasn’t as excessive. I’ve never been into flashy things, and I strongly believe a design should evoke a feeling more than being so literal, which isn’t always easy to accomplish. I finally came up with a bottom tier that was filled with white sugar flowers, and kept the top tiers lightly textured buttercream to complement the other natural elements that would be present. I also did a two tier “barely naked” cake which I think looks so organic and natural, along with a dessert spread of mini key lime pies and bundt cakes, meringues, and rum balls.

Who did I choose for this shoot and why? Well, lucky for me, I work with some pretty amazing people here in South Florida. Gianny Campos Photography is still one of the few photographers that still uses film, and her work is just gorgeous. Her and I very much see things from the same page, and the ideas we bring to each other always enhances the other’s. I knew she’d not only be on board but bring ideas to the table that otherwise would not have been thought of. You would never know there was a giant tent set up for summer rain showers at the site where this shoot took place. Her ability to play with different angles to get the shot and dodge background pollution is unmatched.

Julia Rohde Designs’ florals are like poetry to me. Her “garden-picked” style I knew was perfect for this concept, and she had come up with an amazing idea for a hanging piece of vines, peonies and garden roses that I was so excited to see come to fruition. Needless to say, I was blown away the day of the shoot when I arrived on site and saw all the blooms (peonies that were literally the size of our heads!) and arrangements she had put together. Julia also wanted to debut her new line of calligraphy products, which were absolutely gorgeous. We decided on a black paper with gold lettering to give this shoot, while wild and natural, an accessible classic and elegant style as well. Her invitations and ribbon place cards could not have turned out more lovely.

Yvette of The Salvage Snob has quite an array of vintage pieces that I knew would be perfect for this shoot. After perusing through her showroom, our brains starting churning and that’s when Julia pointed out Yvette’s green couch. We all knew immediately it would be the perfect statement piece and green became a more leading star in the color scheme. Yvette was also incredible with her styling for the day of the shoot. Sometimes something in theory just doesn’t quite work out how you imagined it to, but Yvette had a bag full of tricks (and extra pieces!) to achieve a scene that was even more becoming than our initial intention.

Make Up by Hiara was our first thought for make up. She does absolutely incredible work, making the faces she touches look as if they’re simply just glowing. We wanted an au naturale make up look for our model, and she did her hair in almost a wild style, wanting to bring a little edge to balance out the other soft details. Her work was flawless on our model, Marisol, who was our saving grace at the last minute when our other models bailed out 2 days before the shoot! Our beautiful dress was lent to us by BHLDN. A gorgeous ivory lace and tulle dress with a nude underlay, and a floral motif bodice. We could not have been more thrilled with how it looked set against our garden scenes at the Villa.

Photography: Gianny Campos Photography | Floral Design: Julia Rhode Designs | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Cake: Cloud 9 Bakery | Catering: Bill Hansen Catering | Makeup: Makeup By Hiara | Calligraphy: Julia Rhode Designs | Venue: Villa Woodbine | Rentals: The Salvage Snob "unique salvage & vintage rentals"

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