• Stephanie Martinez and Jose Fernandez
  • Melanie Fernandez
  • Wedding Advice Series
Stephanie Martinez and Jose Fernandez

April 27, 2013

Ceremony: Gesu Catholic Church

Reception: Coral Gables Country Club

Photographer: Jose Rivera, Modern Designs Photo

How you met your husband.

At Sandbar in the Grove believe it or not. He was there after participating in an attorney charity kickball tournament with some of his teammates a Saturday during the day in December. One of his teammates was my cousin’s boyfriend at the time (now her husband). I went with my cousin to meet with her boyfriend and we stayed to have a drink. We hit it off right away but didn’t see each other again until March when we both went to Fado Pub in Mary Brickell Village with some friends. He asked for my number that night. We’ve been inseparable ever since.

Tell us about the engagement.

He proposed by the entrance of Brickell Key right by the bridge. When we first started dating I lived in Brickell Key and he worked at Holland and Knight right by Brickell Key. I would always tell him one of my favorite views in Miami was the one you see by the bridge going into Brickell Key. He proposed right there by that view and had a table ready in Trulucks with champagne which is where we had our first date. When we got home to my parents’ house our friends and family were waiting for us to celebrate the engagement.

We got engaged in May of 2012 and planned the wedding in a little less than a year. Most of the planning was done by my mother. We used a lot of vendors from my sister in law and cousin who had gotten married recently around the time so we took a lot of their advice. The whole process went very smoothly and was fun.

Venue Shopping - what made you decide on your venue?

We had looked at a few places online but only visited the Coral Gables Country Club and decided right away that it was the place! We wanted a place that could accommodate a big wedding because we had a lot of family and friends we wanted to invite and didn’t want to have to cut the list too much. We loved the old Spanish feel of the building, the big dance floor, delicious food and easy parking.

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?

The wedding was in spring so I knew I wanted a lot of bright pretty colors. The flowers were done by Vivian Gonzalez who owns Vivian Petals and is a true artist. We used a lot of corals and pinks and the whole venue was very earthy to incorporate the whole Spring look. I have zero artistic ability so I gave my vendors what I called artistic freedom. I would give them an idea of what I wanted and they would get inspired from there.

I used Eric Trelles owner of ET Events as my wedding coordinator and he was awesome!! The day went by so smoothly. One advice I would definitely give is hire a wedding coordinator from the beginning. We didn’t until the end and things would have been a lot easier if we would have from the beginning. Eric and his team make the wedding that much more special and less stressful!

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

I went to Ever After to shop for my dress since both my cousin and sister in law had gotten theirs there and the selection, staff and experience was such a beautiful one. The first time I looked I hadn’t found my dress in that specific collection. I gave Camille an idea of what I had in mind and she called me one afternoon and told me that I had to see the Oscar de la Renta Collection that had come in. I took her advice and once I tried on the dress I knew. They accessorized me with the perfect Oscar veil that went with the dress. I wore the same headpiece my cousin wore but with a different hair style to make it look different. The headpiece had one of our great great grandfather’s old cuff links which was the “something old” I wore the day of. I wore my mother’s diamond earrings and tennis bracelet. The whole look had a sort of Spanish feel to it.

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

My bridesmaid’s dresses were from Daisy Tarsi. I wanted something with a bright fun color that would go with the flower arrangements, comfortable, affordable and for different body types. I went with some of my bridesmaids and once I saw that it fit all of them nicely and came in a coral color I knew it was the perfect fit for the wedding.

Flowers: Tell us a little bit about your arrangements, types of flowers you used, how they fit with your “look”, and if and how your florist contributed to the design.  

I mentioned above all about Vivian Petals and her beautiful work and artistic vision. I believe she really is one of the best in South Florida. Words can’t really express how beautiful the arrangements look so a few pictures will definitely show her breathtaking work.

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

I’m not very good with too many options so if part of my decision involved too many options I would get easily overwhelmed. Having the vendors narrow down the options to my taste made the process much easier. Again by giving them artistic freedom, this allowed them to get inspired and help me choose exactly what I wanted.

Looking back, you would have done this differently (in general).

The only thing I would have done differently is hire a wedding coordinator from the beginning! The attention to detail and hard work make the process much easier and the day so special!

Your favorite moment all day/night.

 Seeing my husband at the altar getting all emotional as I walked down the aisle. Also, watching all the guests at the wedding having a blast and breaking it down on the dance floor.

Your advice to any bride planning a wedding is________

Enjoy every moment of it. Don’t sweat the small stuff because in the end the most important thing is that you are marrying your soulmate and partner in life. Even if things don’t go exactly the way you planned, if you have a great time during the process and the day of, the wedding will be the best day of your life. Also, good booze and good music always make a party fun.




  • Melanie Fernandez
  • Wedding Advice Series

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