• Jennifer Rodriguez and Fernando Anzoategui
  • Melanie Fernandez
  • Wedding Advice Series
Jennifer Rodriguez and Fernando Anzoategui

Bride: Jennifer Rodriguez

Groom: Fernando Anzoategui

Date of wedding: February 22, 2014

CeremonySt. Jude Melkite Catholic Church

Reception: The Historic Alfred I. DuPont Building 


Stephan Maloman & Stella Hernandez

Maloman Studios



How you met your husband.

We met through our mutual friends. I was down in Miami during Spring Break in 2004 from University of Florida. We met at Monty’s happy hour in Coconut Grove. Fernando then told me that he was transferring to UF in the summer and that we should exchange numbers to get together. He called me every day after we met. Our relationship really took off once he transferred to UF, however. After the first year together, I moved to Philadelphia for two years for my Master’s program. Fernando would come and visit at least once a month. After the two years of long distance, I moved back to Miami. We have now been together for 10 years (yes he waited a long time to propose ;) )

Tell us about the engagement.

He proposed at the W Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale the day after Valentine’s Day (Feb.15). He told me his job had given him a free weekend stay and, of course, I believed it. We went to eat dinner at our favorite restaurant “Steak 954” and then he took me upstairs to our bedroom where he had the hotel staff write 2-15 on the bed in rose petals. When I asked him why the bed said today’s date, he told me "Because I want you to remember this day for the rest of your life" as he got down on one knee.

Engaged Step One – What you did first.

The first thing we did was pick a wedding date. We knew we wanted a year engagement so we quickly decided on February. Once we had a wedding date, it was easy to pick a venue and church.

Venue Shopping - what made you decide on your venue?

 Our venue was an old historic building in Downtown Miami, Florida. It is an old historic bank with beautiful gold bank-teller gates, gilded elevator doors, old original bank vaults with art deco touches, and an old Hollywood glamour vibe. I truly wanted a romantic-warm feeling to the wedding that really complemented the beauty of the venue so the wedding theme became “Old Hollywood Glamour/ Great Gatsby.” I also wanted my guests to experience a unique venue and this building did exactly that. It was truly magical and timeless. At that point, we had attended so many weddings and still had not been to one at this venue. We wanted our big day to be different and unique.

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?

As mentioned above, I really wanted to go for a theme that matched our unique venue, the Alfred I. DuPont Building, in Downtown Miami, Florida. Therefore, I decided on gold, ivory, and blush tones. I knew I also wanted old gold baroque lounge furniture and mirrored bars to tie everything in. I quickly started a “mood board” with the help of my wedding planner Eric Trelles and created a pinterest board as well.

Your dress and accessories: describe the dress shopping process a little and the accessories you wore. What made you say yes to the dress?

Once I got engaged, I quickly began a Pinterest wedding board to start gathering all my ideas. I always knew I wanted a lace strapless dress. I found this dress on pinterest and pinned it on my board and in my head I always said “that is my ideal dress!” My wedding planner told me to go dress shopping with an open mind and heart and not get stuck on just one dress. I attended a Monique Lhuillier trunk show in Miami at the Chic Parisien boutique. I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a fitting with the Vice president of Monique Llhuillier herself, as well as another Chic Parisien associate. They told me to describe what I wanted and I quickly told them “lace and strapless.” She then said “say nothing more!” They brought in three dresses. The first dress was a very traditional ivory strapless lace with a trumpet bottom. It was gorgeous, however, I did not feel a “wow” factor. I also felt the dress would get lost in my venue. The second dress was very fashion forward and also beautiful (I mean what Monique dress isn’t?) but again, wasn’t for me. The third dress was my pinterest find! (however I kept that from them and did not say a word!). The VP gave a beautiful description of the dress and even told me how she wanted her daughter to wear the dress one day. Once I tried it on I knew this was the one - my face lit up and my disposition changed. I then showed them my phone and all the pictures I had saved of the dress. I told them how the dress was a dream and they told me the dress was actually called “Dream.” Headpiece, earrings and bracelet are from Maria Elena Headpieces and Accessories were also purchased at Chic Parisien in Miami.

Your bridesmaid dresses. Where were they from? What inspired you to choose the certain style(s)?

I wanted their dresses to match the “Old Hollywood Glamour” feel and vibe so I went with long beaded dresses - Adrianna Papell in ivory gold Mesh Blouson Gown- purchased at Nordstrom.


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.

Brides bouquet: Peonies with handmade brooch attached with late grandmother’s picture

Centerpieces in wedding: Semiloose with white hydrangeas, ivory and blush roses, gold candelabras. Many candles all over the reception and staircase (very old Hollywood/Gatsby and romantic).

Details: Talk about any special details you incorporated throughout the wedding.

  1. I really wanted to experience the theme upon arriving at the reception. Thus, we hired Jon Saxx to play the saxophone during our cocktail hour. Our guests loved him as he walked around and interacted with them.
  2. I made sure all my wedding signage matched the theme and used these details throughout the wedding.
  3. We had Arepas from Toc Toc Arepas as a midnight snack and the guests loved it! They were able to choose between chicken, beef or pork arepas. We even saw guests take some home for the next morning!
  4. During our "Hora Loca" (crazy hour), stilt walkers handed out LED foam sticks to create a “club environment” alongside the light show the production company created. LED glasses and printed Gold wayfarers were also given to our guests. At this point, Fernando and i also shot CO2 guns into the crowd from the stage.
  5. Frames were given at the photo booth station so that guests were able to take their pictures home.
  6. Finally, we also had a Florida Gator Ice sculpture and a customized ice “shot” bar in which some of our favorite liquors were encased with shot glasses on ice so our guests could enjoy cold shots during the party.

What you found most overwhelming and difficult about the wedding planning process.

I am a control freak that has a hard time asking people for help. It is easier for me to just take things on myself. It was hard to let things go and let people take care of you and see out your vision. If it was up to me I would’ve been at the venue on the wedding day assisting and helping! 

Your favorite moment all day/night.

I loved when we arrived at our reception and our wedding planner took us first to the ball room with all the lights shut off. He then had everything turned on so we can see how it turned out. It was amazing to see everything come together at once. It was so special.

Your advice to any bride planning a wedding is...

Take a step back and enjoy the moment. It is very easy to get overwhelmed and caught up in the small details such as “what table linens to order”, but at the end of the day, one must remember why the party is even taking place…ultimately, for that beautiful sacrament of marriage. It is very hard to please everyone so stay true to yourself and go with what will ultimately make you both happy. Make sure you love your vendors and that they understand your vision. Remember, that day you will have no control, so make sure you trust all of them to carry out your vision. Fernando and I basically attended all vendor meetings together and worked very closely with our wonderful wedding coordinator, Eric Trelles, so we truly got to enjoy the process and take it all in. Don’t let anyone rain on your parade! Marriage is a truly beautiful blessing and the party was just an added bonus.

  • Melanie Fernandez
  • Wedding Advice Series

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