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Romantic Havana Wedding Inspiration

Stepping into Matthew Ree’s and CLY BY MATTHEW’s pics from a recent trip to Havana is like going back in time, from the vintage cars that rule the road to the old world romance radiating from every single image captured. With the styling expertise of Designs by Hemingway on full display, we’re whisked away to this magical space and I don’t want to leave anytime soon. See it all in our Vault right this way!

From Matthew ReeThe trip felt like we were in a time warp traveling back to the 1940’s and stepping onto a movie set that someone forgot to tear down. Within an hour of arriving, we were wandering and exploring on foot through the streets of Havana. Drawn to the weathered patina colors, amazing textures, patterned tiles, narrow lanes and mysterious dilapidated stairwells inside of old but beautiful faded buildings. The layers of distressed colorful and chipping paint everywhere makes Havana an intoxicating backdrop to style a photo shoot.

Our styled shoot began at the famous Cuban parador, La Guarida in Central Havana. This crumbling yet grandeur building was the inspiration for our couple shoot. The grand and ornate staircases go up to three separate levels with a rooftop bar that has a splendid view of Havana. Our model, Carla, wore a Claire Pettibone dress “Raphaella” so beautiful with winged sleeves and a blue silk lining. Everything came to life after designing vintage brass candlesticks leading up the grand staircase. Flowers were in short supply and you can not ship them in so Debbie had to forge everything from locals which was fun in itself. With a dress change to a Claire Pettibone “Alma” dress, we took the shoot onto the streets of Havana. Old vintage cars are roaming around on every corner, the cobble stone streets and amazing colors and textures are everywhere! This place is seriously magical!!

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Photography: MATTHEW REE PHOTOGRAPHY | Photography: CLY BY MATTHEW | Event Styling: Designs by Hemingway | Floral Design: Designs by Hemingway | Wedding Dress: Claire Pettibone | Invitations: Written Word | Shoes: Monolo Blahnik | Men's Attire: Hugo Boss Red Label | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Groom's Shoes: Antonio Maurizi | Makeup Consultant: Lauren

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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's Patisserie | Rings: Trumpet & Horn | Makeup: 10.11 Makeup | Calligraphy: designsgirl | Venue: The Lombardi House | Cocktails & Bar: Cocktail Academy | Dinnerware: Flowerwild | Event Styling & Production: The Venue Report | Invitations, Menus, Hand Illustrated Mural, Placemat Tiles: Momental Designs | Models: Becca Lane | Photography - Assistance: Joel Serrato Films + Photographs | Rentals: Found Vintage Rentals | Ring Boxes: The Mrs Box | Wardrobe Styling: Summer Watkins Ball

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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.

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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: Brittrene Photo | Videography: Producciones Almendares | Floral Design: Aire De Fiesta Cuba | Wedding Dress: Annasul Y | Cake: Kiro Cakes | Ceremony Venue: Iglesia De San Francisco De Asis El Nuevo In Old Havana | Reception Venue: La Divina Pastora, Havana, Cuba | Shoes: Louboutin | Jewelry: Jenny Packham | 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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