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Authentic Colorful Cuban Wedding Inspiration

Here at SMP we get pretty excited when fresh ideas come across our desks so when The Venue Report sent over images by Jose Villa and Joel Serrato from their recent Cuban inspired shoot, well, let’s just say the rest of our day wasn’t all that productive. Taking their cue from the romance of Cuban culture, The Venue Report created a celebratory scene that I’m aching to jump right into. From Found Vintage Rentals‘ colorful pieces and the most fabulous outfits – courtesy of Grey Likes Weddings’ styling talents – these pics are basically our summer wedding daydreams come to life.

From The Venue ReportWe produced a shoot inspired by Cuba right before the travel laws shifted! Photographers Jose Villa and Joel Serrato had been a few times and it topped our list of places we also wanted to visit. Going to Cuba you feel as if you have stepped back into a bygone era. The cars parked on the streets are still from the 1950’s.

With the recent travel laws changing we are sure we will see even more gatherings and homes inspired by the Cuban culture as it opens its doors for tourists to visit.

It was incredibly hard finding interior design inspiration from Cuba so we became instead inspired by the romantic touches of Cuba. Its colors, its food, its cocktails, cigars, cars, the Cuban cement tiles and the colorful macaws in the archipelago of Cuba.

We produced this gathering at the historic Lombardi House in a palette of mint, spring greens, mustard, poppy red. It’s a fresh palette and combination that you will find across Cuba in the homes, tiles, kitchens and cafes. Guests were served handcrafted mojitos.

One of our favorite design elements of Cuba is the Cuban cement tiles. We recreated these into cut wood tile placemats at each setting, adorned by tropical bird plates, hand calligraphed place cards and mojitos with raw sugar sticks.

Photography: Jose Villa Photography | Floral Design: Flowerwild | Cakes: Lele Patisserie | Rings: Trumpet & Horn | Makeup: 10.11 Makeup | Calligraphy: Designsgirl | Venue: The Lombardi House | Cocktails & Bar: Cocktail Academy | Dinnerware: The Ark | Event Styling & Production: The Venue Report | Invitations, Menus, Hand Illustrated Mural, Placemat Tiles: Momental Designs | Models: Newark Models | Photography - Assistance: Joel Serrato | Rentals: Found Vintage Rentals | Ring Boxes: The Mrs Box | Wardrobe Styling: Grey Likes Weddings

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Romantic Old World Havana Wedding

I have an ongoing wanderlust list but all those must-visit destinations just got pushed back, with Havana taking over the lead spot thanks to Brittrenephoto’s pics from her time there capturing her stunning sister’s wedding. I’m left enchanted by the beauty of this city and this celebration sparkles even more in its warm character. Get ready for one gorgeous gallery that I guarantee you won’t leave anytime soon.


From BrittenephotoOh my goodness! Talk about a wedding of the year! My baby sister got married in a city that holds so much history for our family: Havana, Cuba! I can go on and on about our week spent in a city virtually untouched by tourism, the amazing people and the fabulous time we had celebrating Suzie and Max, but I’ll let my sister do the talking and my pictures do the walking.

From the beautiful Bride… Our wedding felt like a dream from the minute my ladies arrived at our penthouse overlooking the Atlantic for our hair and make-up session. My Dad, looking dapper in a custom made tuxedo from Hong Kong, arrived shortly after to take me to the church in a 1955, Tiffany-blue, classic American car. My something blue! The church was built at the end of the sixteenth century and was the perfect setting for our ceremony.

The aisle for the walk to my groom – who looked very “1950s Havana” in his white tuxedo jacket – was decorated with rose petals and bunches of Baby’s Breath in tall glass vases for a mystical feel. We lit our unity candle from Lourdes, France and were blessed with holy water from the region as well, both of which my Grandmother gathered from her recent pilgrimage to France. The organist, soprano and harpist created the most captivating music throughout the ceremony and the most beautiful version of Ave Maria was sung, lifting our spirits!

A wedding in Havana wouldn’t be complete without a fleet of classic American cars to take you from the church to the reception. So off we went in 27 vintage cars to the San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress, an eighteenth century fortress complex, located on the Eastern side of the harbor entrance of Havana. Chandeliers sparkled over white modern furniture on a grassy area by the water for the cocktail hour and salsa dancers started to teach the guests some dance moves. Mojitos, cava and Cuban-inspired canapés were enjoyed by our 103 guests from 39 different countries as the sun set over the dynamic city of Havana Vieja.

Skilled fire dancers then captured our attention before the guests collected their seating cards from cigar boxes filled with coffee beans. The dinner tables were decorated with candelabras of cascading white roses and glowed under strings of fairy lights brought from Hong Kong. Speeches were given, tears of joy were shed and we danced the night away to sounds from the incredibly talented Jazz Quintet, as well as Luna Manzanares, Cuba’s soul diva, and DjoydeCuba, Cuba’s best house DJ. We couldn’t have asked for more from the city that holds so much history for my family!

Photography: Brittrenephoto | Videography: Producciones Almendares | Floral Design: Aire De Fiesta Cuba | Wedding Dress: Annasuly | Cake: Kiro Cakes | Ceremony Venue: Iglesia De San Francisco De Asis El Nuevo In Old Havana | Reception Venue: La Divina Pastora, Havana, Cuba | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Jewelry: Jenny Packhman | Entertainment: Giganteria Cuba | DJ: Luna Manzanares | Getting Ready Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Hair Accessory: BHLDN | Musicians: Serenata Cubana | Tea Set: Anthropologie | Veil: Parisienne Luxe

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Elegant Argentinian Wedding Inspiration

This elegant outdoor inspiration shoot features the perfect mix of sweetness (that adorable dress!), rusticity (that yummy tablescape!), and local flair (those gorgeous tiles!) that makes for an unforgettable shoot. Photographer Amy Fanton (who’s married to an Argentinian herself!) captured the old world charm of Buenos Aires so perfectly in this gallery, that we’re ready to say adios to the office and fly South right now!


From Amy Fanton PhotographyThe inspiration for this shoot was rooted in my fascination with the enchanting and sophisticated elegance of old world Argentina and the details that define it’s capital–grand 19th century classical colonial architecture, geometric patterned tilework, gilded gold furniture, and crystal chandeliers offset by more rustic “gaucho” Argentinian details and all set among the relaxed leafy cobblestone streets and open air patios of Buenos Aires. My husband happens to be Argentinian and while we had originally planned to do two weddings–one in the States and one closer to his family in B.A. our plans were put off when we found out a baby was on the way. This shoot was a wonderful way for me to play out some of the elements I would have incorporated into my own wedding if it had taken place in the Southern Hemisphere. It was also great to work with some local wedding vendors who were able to show me another side of Buenos Aires!

We selected a dress with an intricate beaded pattern that mirrored the geometric patterns found in traditional Argentinian textiles, mosaics and tilework. We wanted something free flowing and relaxed to reflect the easy going culture while remaining relatively conservative. Amazingly we found the perfect option at ASOS. A gorgeous handmade belt from Mood Swing Couture added glamor and sophistication to the entire look and also incorporated elements of geometry from the typical patterned tilework.

For the bride’s hair and makeup, Vicky created a natural look with a touch of glamor using primarily golds and browns to highlight the features of the bride. A relaxed braided side chignon kept the look fresh, young, and pretty.

Angie and Flor of HNAS Martin Martin styled two different tables for the shoot–one more formal, appropriate for an elegant sit down dinner, and the other a bit more rustic, perfect for a rehearsal dinner or a “day after” meal. For the formal setting we used a mixture of antique silver plates, brass candelabras and a mixture of copper and crystal vases, overflowing with bunches of hand picked native Argentinian flowers including lisianthus, tuberose, and crepe myrtal, all set upon a runner reminiscent of traditional Argentinian textiles.

For the rustic table we used traditional materials that would be used for a typical Argentinian meal called an Asado (delicious grilled meats and cheeses! dieters beware! ;) ). Rustic wooden plates, seltzer bottles typical of San Telmo, ceramic, and a touch of native Argentinian ribbon added a laid back element to the shoot. The pattern found on the ribbon is typical of indigenous Argentinian tribes and said to symbolize mountains reflecting on a lake. Bunches of daisies and wildflowers were set on the table and woven through the back of the wrought iron chairs to contributed a bit of whimsy to the free-spirited look.

The relaxed bouquet was made using lisianthus, wildflowers, and a cedar rose tied together using the same indigenous patterned ribbon.

Lou from Beyond Vintage designed gorgeous stationery also mimicking the geometry of a traditional Spanish tile pattern, using fiery tones of red to pull together the theme and add a bit of color to the shoot.

For the cake we wanted to go with something simple, yet elegant while tying together the traditional Argentinian elements. It was prepared using a white fondant and wrapped with the same ribbon in the rustic table setting. To finish off the design, cedar roses were rested between tiers and on the top to add a touch of elegance.

Four traditional desserts were prepared by Copetin for the shoot including Alfajores–dulce de leche sandwiched between two shortbread-like cookies, torta de coco–a cookie consisting of layers of coconut and dolce de leche atop a shortbread crust, frola–a crust covered with a fruty paste called dulce de guayaba and a lattice pastry crust, and my absolute favorite, rogel–dulce de leche layered between a thin pastry and topped with delicious merengue.

And all the treats were as amazing tasting as they looked!

Photography: Amy Fanton Photography | Styling: Hnas. Martin Martin | Floral Design: Hnas. Martin Martin | Dress: ASOS | Cake: Hnas. Martín Martin | Stationery: Beyond Vintage | Makeup & Hair: Vicky Ray Studio | Accessories: MoodSwing Couture | Decor: Hnas. Martin Martin | Desserts: Copetin