5 Quickest Ways to Save on your Big Day!

Here are Five simple tips that will help you save BIG BUCKS on your wedding. 


1. Location is key! Wedding venues in major cities, like Miami, FL,  raise their prices because of their high demand location. By finding a venue that is on the outskirts of the city, you can save big. I like to look at places like Ft. Lauderdale, Homestead, or Key Largo.You can save up to 50% of the cost for a venue that's just as nice or sometimes even nicer! Just be sure that there are hotels near the venue. You do not want to blow your savings on the transportation needed to get your guests to the venue.
Another way to save on your venue is to have your wedding on a Friday or Sunday; the fees for venues drop dramatically, and other vendors give discounts as well since they have less demand than on a Saturday.



2. Reduce your guest count! This is one of the fastest ways you can save money. Everything you purchase will be "per person" from your catering, the liquor, and even your rentals! If you limit the amount of people you invite, you will be able to achieve the look you want within your budget. If you haven't already, watch our Budget & Guest Count video.



3. Skip the premium open bar! Rather than investing on liquor that will most likely not be consumed or appreciated, pick one or two liquors that you know guests will enjoy. My favorite combination is a vodka, white rum, white wine, and red wine. Then pick fun mixers and garnishes that your guests will enjoy. Or opt to have a specialty cocktail, a nitrogen bar, or a mixology bar! By not having to purchase all of the typical options in a bar, you will save big. And as a bonus, when there are less choices, the bartenders are able to work faster. That will reduce the wait time at the bar.



4. Save on wedding stationary! One of the easiest ways to do this is to have someone design your stationary. I love to find artists on websites like Etsy.com. You will be able to get something completely customized for you. And while they are at it, don't stop at wedding invitations, have them design the menus, programs, even the place cards. Then have the designer send you the digital files and have the items printed at your local print shop! Nowadays print shops have more than just your ordinary card stock. From linen to kraft paper, there are many choices to get the look you want.



5. Do a little legwork when it comes to the decor! For instance, you can purchase vases at a craft store or even the dollar store and supply them to the florists. Florists will then only charge you for the flowers and their labor. I have been able to get the same vase that a florist was charging me $40.00 for for $3.00 at Walmart! Multiple that by 15 vases, that was a $555.00 saving!!
 This applies to other vendors as well. Another example is a draping company. You can supply them with the fabric, or tie backs that you would like to use, for example, and they will just charge you for their labor.

    As a planner, I have saved my wedding and corporate clients thousands of dollars by following these.  These tips are simple, but the savings will add up fast!


Cheers! 

Joan Love





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    Creating a Memorable Environment: Art Basel Edition

    Moncler 60th Anniversary Art Basel Event

    Once a year Miami is filled with out-of-towners, celebrities, and local art fanatics. Each year the exhibitions and parties getting bigger and better! What makes Art Basel such a memorable event?

    The venue, whether it’s a large warehouse or an intimate gallery, should always be transformed into something that guests will never forget. The art will always be the main showcase but lighting, food, and entertainment are some things that tie an event together. What’s great about Art Basel is that in only comes around once a year for a couple of days. The foods you eat, the art you see, the music you hear will be gone once the weekend passes… but the novelty of the festivities always remain.

    We produced an amazing event for the fashion company, Moncler, at the 1111 building. When turning the garage space into a winter wonderland, we looked at everything from the cuisine to the custom fabric on the lounges. Just like art, when you are producing an event, you need to speak to the senses.

    I can't wait to see what Art Basel 2016 will be like! Cheers!
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    Plan your Wedding like a Professional on our NEW YouTube channel!

         You may have zero experience planning your wedding, but I have 13 years of it. So follow along on my brand new YouTube channel as I help you plan your wedding from A to Z. Every week I will be posting a new video. I will follow the same planning timeline I use with our clients at Love.Style.Events. Every step of the way I will provide you with tips, tricks, and red flags to look out for. From choosing your venue, to thank you notes, I will guide you so that you can avoid pitfalls and plan your own wedding like a professional planner.

    Oh and if you have any questions about your wedding, or a corporate event, or any party; write it in the YouTube comments or send me an email. I will be happy to answer, and I might even make a video out of it. I can't wait to see you there!!!



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    Producing a concert for Michael Jackson's music was a Thrill!

    We were thrilled to be asked by the Unity team to help produce their first concert, in the United States, for their new album, "Unity: A Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson. We have known the Succar family for a while. We knew that their talent and big hearts would make this an unbelievable project. But we had no idea how much fun it was going to be to work with some of Latin Music's top artists.

    This entire concert was shot for a documentary airing on PBS, October   2015. Here if the link to the promo video.


    Production Day 1: Tony and I went over the tight schedule. From multiple days of catering for the entire cast & crew, all front of the house logistics, and the complex riders for the artists, this was a big job.


    As the backline arrived, I took a moment to go up to the balcony and take in the beauty of the Olympia Theater. Just wow!!!




     And then Sheila E's timbales came in. Bedazzled of course!


     We would take breaks from all the front of the house setups to hear these amazing artists sing during rehearsals. Listening to Judith Hill sing in an empty theater is something I will never forget.



    And after we had all our part done we got to enjoy the show...Ok, not really since we were running around doing breakdown, but we got to see some of it from backstage.


    Sheila E

    Jon Secada


    Michael Stuart


     Angel Lopez

    Kevin Ceballo

    Jean Rodriguez


     Judith Hill


     Obie Bermudez and Jennifer Peña

     And the percussion master...Tony Succar!



    All these amazing photos were taken by Chip Yacob
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    2015 Wedding Dress Trend: Save the lingerie for the Honeymoon, not for your walk down the aisle!

    Someone make this stop!!!!

    I am all about expressing yourself with your wedding dress. And a little bit of sexiness looks good. But being half naked in front of your family and friends does not! For about three seasons now I have seen wedding dresses getting more and more risqué. One designer's dresses looked like pasties with a skirt. And exactly which church, temple, or synagogue would allow that to walk down the aisle? And even if you do not choose a church ceremony, I could see your dad and family members cringing in their seats. They came to see you get married, not to see your private parts.

    Please choose a classic style, that emphasizes your beauty and will make you proud when you look back at your wedding pictures. This is one wedding mistake that is easily avoided.

    Just saying.....




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    The Three Dumbest Mistakes I Have Seen Corporations Make When Planning an Event



    Joan Love Avatar
    BY: JOAN LOVE 
    @lovestyleevents


    In all my years of experience, I have definitely seen corporate clients make more costly mistakes than brides do. It makes me cringe every time, and I believe it is time that someone slaps them with some reality. I could write a list as long as Noah’s, but here are the top three that need to stop immediately.


    1. Hire a local producer. You know what the first thing those big NYC event production companies do? They hire me. They know that to have a successful event in Miami, they need to have someone on the ground that actually knows the city and has personal relationships with the local venues and vendors. But they don’t pay me out of pocket. Somehow they add that expense into your budget. Did you hear that?! YOUR BUDGET!

    2. Value transparency.Through twelve years of planning in NYC, LA, and Miami, I have seen many planning companies gouge clients. ALWAYS ask to see the original invoices from all venues and vendors. Not only will some planning companies upcharge every item on the budget, they will then charge you their fee, which is usually based on a percentage of the total budget. But wait, your total budget includes all those upcharges, so that fee will be even higher than it should be. A planner with integrity, that has your company’s best interest at heart, is worth gold.

    3. Use local vendors.I have walked into events where clients spend a fortune on bringing in an out of town vendor. Now sometimes it might be necessary, but most of the time I could name two local vendors that would do that exact same job for ¼ of the cost. And many times these out of town vendors are brought in by out of town planners that feel more comfortable with that vendor, since they do not have local connections. This is another scenario where the client’s budget loses.


    So next time you wonder why your six figure budget does not get you the furniture, catering or A/V that you want, make sure you are not making these three, costly mistakes. Make sure your money is actually going in to your event, and in making the impact that you are looking for.
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    The Woes and Joys of Planning a Corporate Event in The 305, aka "Miami"

    Joan Love Avatar
    BY: JOAN LOVE 
    @lovestyleevents



    Provided by Oliver Hammond


    I recently sat down with an exec for a very well know television studio in Los Angeles. She is shopping around for a producer to coordinate a big annual convention in Miami Beach. The thing is, this lovely lady had the same exact complaints that I hear from all my major clients from New York, Los Angeles, or really any other metropolitan city…. “Vendors are hard to reach”, “No one emails me back”, “They were an hour late”

    I always chuckle, and say “Welcome to Miami!”

    First of all, most people here operate on “Cuban” time. They leave to a meeting 15 minutes before knowing, very well, that the traffic on the Palmetto will delay them 30 minutes.

    Second, even though Florida is a peninsula, Miamians live the “Island” life. Most are more concerned with happy hours, being in the scene, and boating plans, than with emailing you the proposal. Yes, even if you are offering a large sum of money. They don’t care. They are too busy driving to Crossfit.

    Thirdly, haven’t you heard, Spanish is the first language here. They probably didn’t understand your request in the first place. Better go get a cafecito, this is going to take a while.


    So to my future corporate clients that actually want to have a successful and stress free event in the 305, my advice is to get a proper guide (AKA, a bilingual producer, raised in Miami, but trained in NYC). We live on this island and have spent years weeding out our vendor lists. We speak your language, but speak theirs too. We can help you navigate the scene down here to make sure your event is successfully produced AND successfully received by the Miami locals and visitors (that’s a WHOLE other blog) And after we do all the work, you can do exactly what you flew down to do, hang by the pool with a mojito. Don’t worry, we won’t tell your boss ;)
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    Priorities: Don't be the bride that wishes she would have spent less on her big day!

    Joan Love Avatar
    BY: JOAN LOVE 
    @lovestyleevents







    There is an episode on the Real Housewives series, where this wedding planner is trying to convince the housewife to spend more, more, more!!! He convinces her that she has to compete with the rest of the town and “Keep up with the Joneses” (Yes, that is the actual expression. I didn’t get the name wrong!). Well as I am watching this planner, all I am thinking is how irresponsible he is being with her money, and how he has no regard for this woman's hard work or her daughter’s future! Forget the fifty chandeliers, plan a gorgeous garden wedding and setup trust funds for your grandchildren, donate money to a local charity or just keep it for your future.

    Now I am all about enjoying the pleasures of life. If you work hard and you want to enjoy the fruits of your labor then go for it. But there has to be a respect for money, a proper set of priorities, empathy for humanity and the 99% that are struggling.

    So, I have accepted it. I will probably never be one of the luxurious wedding planners that you see on tv and book signings. I am a realist, and I suffer from yuppie guilt. I sit down with my clients and make sure they have their priorities straight. In my portfolio you will see that we produce very elaborate weddings with some luxurious details. But every single client of mine has heard my priorities talk: “Remember this is one day, there is a whole life and marriage beyond it.”  and “Do you really need that?!”

    By the way, in over twelve years of planning events, I have not had ONE client come to me and wish they had spent more on their wedding day. But I have had many tell me they wish they had spent less.

    Right now venues and vendors I work with are probably cringing. But I also work with many charitable organizations and foundations that hopefully are smiling.


    The lesson here is, before you set the budget or write out your guest list, determine your priorities and keep each other in check. Having the money to have a grand wedding or event is a blessing. Be grateful, respect the work involved in attaining that money, and remember to give back.


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    Destination Luxury: Planning a personalized wedding by the sea

    Joan Love Avatar
    BY: JOAN LOVE 
    @lovestyleevents




    Destination by the sea

    A destination wedding should be just as personalized, detailed, and exquisite as if you would have planned it in your hometown. Gone are the days of settling for a cookie cutter event in an all-inclusive resort. Our expertise is in combining that perfect mix of local and out of town vendors to ensure a flawless event with top-notch customer service. We spend a lot of time cutting through the cultural and language barriers to make sure our clients expectations are met and surpassed. And with all our technological services including vendor web chats, 3D floorplans, and interactive mood boards, you will feel like you are planning your wedding in person the entire time.



    From travel logistics, to cuisine design, family dynamics, to weather plans, we are experts at handling all the planning and producing of your wedding festivities so that you can enjoy your weekend in paradise surrounded by those closest to you.



    Our team loves finding unique and charming venues in places like Puerto Rico, Virgin Gorda, and The Bahamas to name a few. This summer we will be visiting and blogging on some exciting new places to consider for you wedding. So if you are dreaming of a romantic wedding under the twinkling stars of a dark night in the Caribbean, stay tuned…
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    The Real Cost of a Wedding in Miami

    Joan Love Avatar
    BY: JOAN LOVE 
    @lovestyleevents



    Vizcaya tent

    Ever wonder how much one of those weddings in the magazines cost? Ok, not one by Preston Bailey with a rustic chapel built in the middle of a sunflower field, but one of the charming ones filled with custom details, gourmet food, entertainers, a lounge area, and/or a firework finale.


    One of the first questions we receive from our clients is, what will my wedding cost me? Our answer is always, it will cost you whatever you are willing to spend, but as a reference, to have the type of wedding we produce in Miami, you are looking at a minimum spend of $1,000 per guest. This includes specialty designed stationary sets, intricate lighting design, a suite of personalized details, custom lounges, specialty linens, gourmet caterer, mixology bar, etc... Now this is just a guideline. Of course, if your budget doesn’t allow for all these extras, there are plenty of ways to have a wonderful wedding at any budget. You just have to be realistic and put your priorities in order. Now if you must “have it all!” and you have a budget of say $50,000, then just reduce your guest count to fifty and your dream wedding becomes a realistic event.
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