Because it's Monday, I had to start the week off with an advice series true stunner - candles, orchids, and silver elegance. This week's wedding features our resident Event Planner, Alexa Pineiro. Not because we've been friends for over a decade or because she has fabulous taste, but the flowers at this wedding will knock your socks off (peonies were in season!!!). Take a look and get inspired.
Wedding Advice Series
Alexandra and Michael Pineiro
Wedding Date: August 24, 2013
Ceremony: Saint Francis de Sales Catholic Church
Reception: The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove
Photographer: Simply Captivating
How you met your husband.
I met my husband through mutual friends. He was living with the boyfriend of a friend of mine so we’d see one another around every now and then. We all went out one night, he asked me for my number and we never stopped dating since.
Tell us about the engagement.
Ok, so- I’d like to say that it was this HUGE surprise but to be quite frank, I knew it was coming. After a year of dating we had already started discussing marriage so it’s not like it came out of left field. After two years of dating he took me to a beautiful restaurant on the water. We ordered very fancy bottles of champagne that he quickly chugged because he was nervous. We then went and sat outside by a fire to have dessert and finish the second bottle. The waiter brought the dessert and it read “Will you Marry Me?” in chocolate. When I went to look at Mike he was already on one knee, said some amazing words and put the ring on my finger. I’ve never cried so hard in my life. We then drove over to my sisters so I could show her the ring and little did I know that both our families were gathered and waiting for us to celebrate the big news. One of the top best days of my life.
Engaged Step One – What you did first.
First, we insured the ring (haha). We then started to discuss the month we’d like to be married in. We (as in my mom and I) quickly began to look at venues. Once we chose the Ritz-Carlton, Coconut Grove, we looked for a church that wasn’t terribly far and would be available the dates the venue was. Oh, and while this was all happening we were planning our engagement party too. My step one was quite the juggling act!
Venue Shopping - what made you decide on your venue?
I wanted a venue that was timeless and elegant. I wasn’t willing to have my wedding anywhere “Cool” and club-like. That seemed to have been the trend at the time. Both my mom and I loved the staff at the Ritz. They were so incredible to us during the process as well as the day of. Once we decided, I took my husband to see and he agreed that it was very “us”.
Describe your wedding look and how you came to the “look” decision. How did you pull it off? (venue, inspirations, items, etc.). What sources or people helped you, including wedding planners, pinterest, etc., and what was their advice?
I am lucky enough to have a mom who had pulled off two other gorgeous weddings for my older sisters just a couple of years prior. Nobody gets me better than my mom so she knew the type of elegance I wanted for the big day. I wanted a soft look, amber up-lights and lots of candles. Pinterest was a great help when it came to flower arrangements. I printed some photos and brought them to my florist Silvia Rodriguez. She really brought it all to life. We also hired Pete Diaz Productions to set up the entire ballroom. They really brought it to the level that I envisioned.
Your dress and accessories: describe the dress shopping process a little and the accessories you wore. What made you say yes to the dress?
I didn’t really search the planet for the dress I wore. I knew I wanted something extremely simple that I’d be comfortable in. I always pictured an amazing lace dress but the second I tried it on I thought I looked like an awkward overstuffed burrito. The dress I decided on was plain and timeless. The veil really made it more modern because the lace wasn’t a classic design. The second I saw my grandmother and mom cry when I walked out in the dress I said “This is it.” I wasn’t really that picky. I always made a decision and just pushed forward.
I also knew that I wanted to incorporate a beautiful piece my sister wore at her wedding. She used the jewel as an accent on a sash she wore around her dress but I decided to make a head piece instead. It was my something borrowed and beautiful.
Your bridesmaid dresses. Where were they from? What inspired you to choose the certain style(s)?
Being that my wedding was in the summer and the look was very classic and somewhat plain, I knew that the one bright POP I wanted would come from my bridesmaids. I wanted everyone to feel comfortable and make it very easy on them to order the dresses. One of my bridesmaids lived in Los Angeles so I chose a simple dress from JCrew. The ladies went ahead and ordered it themselves online. I wasn’t picky on their hair, jewelry or shoes. I wanted them to feel like themselves that day and not die of heat! They were beautiful.
Flowers: Tell us a little bit about your arrangements, types of flowers you used, how they fit with your “look”, and how much you loved them.
I wanted for every single one of my tables to be different. I love, love, love, love incorporating tables of all different shapes and sizes in any venue. Did I mention love? We played with all sorts of different arrangements per table. Some tables only consisted of candles while others had elevated and elaborate centerpieces surrounded by candles or votives. The pictures below will do it better justice but certainly set the entire tone for my “look”. I didn’t want my husband and I to be drowning in flowers at our personal table so I made sure the surrounding tables were filled. We used a mix of hydrangeas, white peonies and orchids.
Details: Talk about any special details you incorporated throughout the wedding.
There are only two special details that come to mind: the coffee cart and sign in book. People REALLY lined up for the coffee cart when it was reeled in at the end of the night. After a night of drinking, it was great for our guests to be able to sober up before getting behind the wheel. Plus, coffee is just SO delicious. Our sign in book was one of the best ideas. It was a professional picture book filled with photos of our then three year relationship. It took you from our first date all the way to our “I do’s.” Now, it sits in our living room where we not only see pictures of the evolution of our relationship but we also get to see the beautiful words our guests left us.
What you found most overwhelming and difficult about the wedding planning process.
Two words for you. Guest list, guest list and guest list!
Looking back, you would have done this differently (in general).
The only thing that didn’t go right at my wedding were the bridesmaids' bouquets. I think that the color of the dresses got lost in translation. The idea was to match the bouquets to the dresses but the flowers were WAY too bright. I laughed it off because I was the furthest thing from “Bridezilla” but I would certainly have edited that one aspect.
Your favorite moment all day/night.
By far, when the doors opened and I saw my husband at the end of the altar. My heart sank. There was also a photograph taken with my grandmother at the church, who I am incredibly close to, when the Ave Maria was playing. I will cherish it the rest of my life.
Your advice to any bride planning a wedding is________________.
My advice to any bride is to never lose sight of the REASON you are going through all this planning in the first place. The wedding should be beautiful and it should reflect you and your fiancé, but most important is that you are marrying the man standing at the end of that altar for the rest of your life. I always advise brides to not let go of their husband's hand that night. The room is filled with people that will pull you apart. Hours will pass and you will realize you haven’t really spoken to your new hubby for hours. Stick together and let people come to the both of you. Also, remember to not obsess over details. Something almost always goes wrong but I promise you that nobody will notice or care.
Lastly, before I met up with my bridesmaids to get ready for the day- I had a massage at the hotel spa. Completely and 100% on my own. I woke up that morning in the hotel, went to the spa and laid on that massage table thinking about what was about to occur that day. It also gave me time to think about my soon to be hubby and how far we have come.
Remember to enjoy, loosen up, smile and take in every moment of your big day. You’ll relive it in your mind for the rest of your days and I promise, you will be beautiful.