Casa Ylang Ylang - A Styled Shoot

Anytime we are asked to participate in a styled shoot, I get giddy butterfly feelings. I love being able to think outside what a client will normally request and have some fun designing paper goods and details that will be memorable. When I was asked to join in on Whimsical, Styled Shoot at Casa Ylang Ylang, you know I was pumped with having a slightly different theme to design to. 

 Photo Credit:  Erica Melissa

Photo Credit: Erica Melissa

The names were handwritten details requested by Erica Rodriguez of Erica Melissa as I would be providing more hand lettered details throughout the shoot.

 Photo Credit:  Erica Melissa

Photo Credit: Erica Melissa

 Photo Credit:  Erica Melissa

Photo Credit: Erica Melissa

 Photo Credit:  Erica Melissa

Photo Credit: Erica Melissa

 Photo Credit:  Erica Melissa

Photo Credit: Erica Melissa

 Photo Credit:  Erica Melissa

Photo Credit: Erica Melissa

 Photo Credit:  Erica Melissa

Photo Credit: Erica Melissa

 Photo Credit: Provence Photography

Photo Credit: Provence Photography

 Photo Credit:  Erica Melissa

Photo Credit: Erica Melissa

Needless to say that this styled shoot was made of what tropical dreams are made of. Driving up to the venue alone took my breath away. It's quaint and gorgeous features make it a true gem amongst the many venues found in Miami. 

I'm excited to note that this shoot has been featured! 

Click below to see the features:

With this styled shoot, we had something a little different happen. Instead of there just being one photographer, there were over 10 photographers shooting the same imagery. This means we got to have a lot of unique aspects of the same moments. You will also notice when you go down the list that we weren't the only stationers showcased. 24th Avenue Design provided a beautiful watercolor and foil suite that gave a slightly different take on the theme for the shoot.

Keeping this in mind, I wanted to also showcase the individual point of views from each photographer. Click below to see each photographer's favorite shots from this tropical shoot.

Vendors

Photographer: Erica MelissaAurora Photography, + Gloria Francis Photography (Various other guest photographers were also present and participated in the shoot)

Event Planner & Stylist: Pink Wasabi

Venue: Casa Ylang Ylang 

Venue Coordinator: Melanie Event Design

Florist: Flower Fanatic Miami

Handwritten Invitation Suite + On-Site Calligraphy: Only One Mark, Inc. (Table number, escort cards, chalkboard writing, tropical handwritten suite with vows) 😘 💌 

Watercolor + Foiled Invitation Suite: 24th Avenue Designs

Cake: The Starfish Cottage

Furniture Rentals: Mi Vintage Rentals

Reception Table & Chair Rental: Le Fragole Catering

Bistro Lighting: Eugene Harris

Dress: The Find Bridal / Chic Parisien (Designer: Romona Keveža)

Heels: Ted Baker

Suit: My Grooms Room

Hair: J & A Makeup Artistry

Makeup: Safai Kelly

Jewelry: Pink Wasabi

Table Settings: Different Look Rentals

Linens: Over The Top Rental Linens

Favors: Sugar Fina

Ice Pops: Cielito Artisan Pops

Models: Ariana (Bride) + Khaleel (Groom)

 
as featured on the celebration society
As featured on The Wed Clique
As Featured On Strictly Weddings
 

Our Baby Moon

You would be surprised at all the things people don't tell you about once you become pregnant. However, one of the things we had been told prior to finding out about our soon to be Padawan was the growing tradition of the soon-to-be parents going on a "babymoon".  Let me explain:

ba·by·moon

[ˈbābēˌmo͞on]

NOUN informal

  1. a relaxing or romantic vacation taken by parents-to-be before their baby is born.

    "on the eve of my third trimester, we boarded a plane for a week-long babymoon among the quiet canals of Amsterdam"  (Source - Oxford Dictionaries)

Needless to say that amongst the adventures Gus and I have taken - the many Disney Trips, New York, Las Vegas, Arizona - we really didn't know where to go next. As this pregnancy has progressed, we both came to the conclusion that all we wanted to do was eat really good food, relax, and enjoy our last "hoorah" as #justustwo. Gus took the reigns on planning the vacay while I was solely responsible for finding where to stay. We stayed locally at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Midtown and stayed with the area of Wynwood, Brickell, and Downtown. Here are some of the yummy and fun things we did and ate.

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We headed over to the Wynwood Diner to have some much craved Chicken + Waffles. Let's just say they did not disappoint. Neither was their Croque Madame.

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We decided to walk off brunch and explore Wynwood. Much has change from my art school days. We even squeezed in a portrait or two.

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After checking into our home away from home for the night, we decided to go over to Bayside and then back to Wynwood for Dinner and Dessert.

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At 1-800-Lucky, we both ate from a different booths. Gus got the Kagoshima Ramen and I got the Sesame Crusted Sweet and Sour Chicken. Let's just say we are trying to find another good excuse to make it out there just to eat there again! 

Our Selections from The Salty Donut (in order, left to right) - White Chocolate Tres Leches, Guava + Cheese, Maple + Bacon, Nutella, Tart Cherry + Cream, Brown Butter + Salt

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Our last day was spent checking out Brickell City Center. We got to watch Ready Player One and had some lunch at Pubbelly Sushi.

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We took time to just relax at the hotel and even took advantage of the affordable transportation offered by Freebee Miami (meaning we didn't have to move our car from the hotel nor did we have to pay outrageous parking fees at the places we were going to visit). 

We can't wait for our little Padawan to arrive, but it was definitely a restful weekend much needed for the both of us.

Did you or will you be going on a babymoon when you are expecting? What would you like to go do or where would you like to visit?

Gonzalez Love Story 17 - A Thalatta Estate Wedding

Yailin, Michael, and I were introduced one morning at the Panera Bread near Dadeland. We, along with Cely of Cely's Events, began to discuss #alltheoptions for invitation suites. One thing that was clear was that Yailin knew exactly what she wanted. She knew the look, the colors and font styles she was envisioning from the get go. She was also very clear of what her vision was for their wedding day paper goods. Detail after detail, it became clear that their invitation was going to be memorable and timeless.

The mixture of white, cream, gold, and sage elements really made for a beautiful full suite design. And let's gush over their custom copper wax seal, shall we? 😍 #allthehearteyes But instead of me telling you more about their big day, I'll let Yailin do the talking.

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Did your stationery design reflect what your wedding looked and felt like?

"Yes it did, the stationery was beautiful, simple and elegant just like me. LoL The stationery made my wedding more romantic and elegant."

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"From the bridal shower invitations down to the wedding vows book, and the guest list mirror, wow, you really knew what I wanted and liked. You executed my thoughts so perfectly (if that makes sense), it was like you were reading my mind. The wedding invitations were stunning and every little detail was perfect."

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What did your big day feel like?

"My big day was like a fairy tale. It was more than I expected and envisioned. I wanted a Twilight kind of wedding and I got it. The place it self is beautiful and romantic, but I feel like we made it even more beautiful. My wedding felt like us. I put every effort, time and every detail and it really showed that day. I was very emotional. I have dreamt of my wedding day since I was little and I am very grateful for all the people and vendors who made my dreams come true."

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Do you have any advice for future brides in what to look for in a stationer?

"Yes, my advice to future brides is have a clear picture of what they want so that everything will come together and even if they think they don't need it, trust me you do. The Stationer is a crucial part on a wedding. A wedding invitation will tell the guest exactly how your wedding will be and every details matters. At the end, you want your wedding to be perfect."

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Note from Monique 🦄 - Because Yailin knew what she wanted her wedding day to look like, she was able to ask questions at our first appointment and prepare her budget to have each of those details. We also began working on her wedding day paper goods 6 weeks before the big day, which helped with planning and overall stress level. 😉

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Is there any additional advice you would like to share?

"My advice to all the future brides is to enjoy the process of planning a wedding and to get vendors that will go above and beyond for you, not just because you are paying them but because they love their jobs. That will reflect in their work. Also, enjoy your day and take a moment to reflect and take a mental picture of all the people together that came to celebrate love."

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VENDORS

 

Venue - Thalatta Estate

Photography - Dana Lynn Photography

Dress - Brides of Florida

Hair + Makeup - Marz Hair & Makeup

Suit - My Groom's Room

Florals - M&J Customs Events

Linens - Contempo Linen & Event Rentals

Invitations, Paper Goods, + Seating Chart - Only One Mark, Inc. (US!! 😍)

Officiant - Adri Camacho

Catering - Emilio's BBQ

Wedding Cake - Cloud 9 Bakery

Liber Music Events

Hora Loca Show - Black and Wine Events

Videographer - Dana Lynn Videography

Handwritten Welcome Signs + Globe - Salvaging Eden

 

3 Top Perks of Hiring a Stationer

Recently in consultation, something was mentioned in passing that I had not heard in a while. While explaining our process to a bride, she made the remark that some of her friends had scoffed at the idea of hiring a stationer for her wedding. In fact, they suggested to her that she should, instead, just buy some paper and take care of it herself. While I was that bride who did exactly that (see our origin story here), here are 3 Top Reasons to hire a stationer for your big day.

 Photo Credit -  Dipp Photography

Photo Credit - Dipp Photography

WE ARE A FOUNTAIN OF KNOWLEDGE

There are lots of trends, rules of etiquette, and options I can guide clients through because of my experience in providing this service to many brides. Just like everyone turns to their favorite Food Network Chef for the best stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving, you need someone in your corner who will help you make sending out your invitations easy and fun. 

 Photo Credit -  Dipp Photography

Photo Credit - Dipp Photography

EXPERIENCE. EXPERIENCE. EXPERIENCE.

It is always my hope that planning your wedding is the first and last time you will have to plan your own wedding. With this being your first time in the rodeo, it's not mine. 😉 I have a few tricks and methods up my sleeve that will make sending out your invitations much simpler. Based on your individual needs for your wedding, I can also guide you to wording, font choices, and suite pieces that will help your guests get all the information they may need to know more about your big day. 

 Photo Credit -  Dipp Photography

Photo Credit - Dipp Photography

MORE TIME FOR OTHER DETAILS

There are aspects of my business that I delegate to other people. Why? Because I know that I have no idea how to handle this task and need to trust someone who has more experience and knowledge. This gives me more time to handle other aspects of my business that I know I can handle and, quite frankly, wouldn't entrust anyone to do. The same thing goes for planning your wedding. If there is an aspect of your wedding day you need to delegate or have no idea how to do, you should entrust someone else to do it. Someone, I may add, who preferably has provided the service more than a just "few times". You want to know that they have been in business for some time and have more than 10 weddings under their belt. I've heard too many horror stories that because of a tight budget, someone hired the wrong "professional" and regretted it later.

So before you go pin crazy on Pinterest to figure out what are #allthedetails you can do yourself, sit down and plan what exactly you would like to delegate to a professional. You may find that you will want to design your invitations on your own. That's fine, however, follow this rule from Martha Stewart, "Never try to make a Thanksgiving dish for the first time on Thanksgiving Day. Make it a few days ahead to work out the kinks or pick an alternative dish to take." I learned a lot of what not to do with my own invitation experience. 

Want to know more about my process and how I can help you make designing and sending out your wedding invitations? Click the image below to get started.

 
 

The First Look Blog - The Truth About Your Wedding Invitations

If there is one thing I know to be true, there are endless blogs and websites that offer advice and tips to brides as they begin planning their big day. The First Look is a blog created by Dara Lynn Smith where she gushes over making planning a wedding easier and a lot less stressful. 

I'm excited to have joined her on her blog to give some advice of my own. 😉 Click below to read more about The Truth About Your Wedding Invitations. 💌

 Photo Credit:  Deni Dom Films

Photo Credit: Deni Dom Films

Heart + Hustle Podcast Interview #101 - Becoming a Full-Time Artist

Whether you are a full-time Entrepreneur that's been around for awhile or just starting your path to entrepreneurship, it's common to seek advice from different sources. Whether if it's from a daily newsletter, self-help book, or podcast, we tend to try to gain as much knowledge as we can. The ladies at Heart + Hustle Podcast are no different. Their motto is:

Dream Big. Work Hard. Repeat. ⚡️🖤

After meeting Charisma O'Keefe at the Your Story Workshop last year, I began listening to the podcast and got to listen to different topics discussed by herself, Angelica Yarde, and other women who talk about business and life. I was honored to be asked to join them for a recent episode discussing the evolution of my business, becoming a mom-preneur, and plans for Only One Mark's future.

Click the button below to listen to the episode.

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