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  • Carolina Hernandez and Julio Exposito
  • Melanie Fernandez
  • Wedding Advice Series
Carolina Hernandez and Julio Exposito

Carolina Hernandez and Julio Exposito

February 28, 2014

Ceremony: Lighthouse at El Farito, Key Biscayne, Florida

Reception: Lighthouse Cafe, El Farito Key Biscayne

PhotographerSimply Captivating 

How you met your husband.

I actually met my husband on a night that neither him nor I expected to meet our future wife/husband. I was going to eat sushi at Red Koi on a Sunday night. (which I dont EVER eat there, in fact I havent been back since). He was there with his friends to have some drinks before his week would begin. His friend was actually interested in one of my best friends and we both were doing our friends a favor. We ended up continuing the "favor" - our relationship and our friends, well they didn't work out as planned.

Tell us about the engagement.

Our engagement was a very quick one! We found out I was expecting in December, about a week before Christmas, and we decided that we wanted to get married. We announced the news to our families in January, when Julio proposed. This quick and sudden engagement only gave us 5 weeks to plan our dream wedding. We didnt want to wait until after the baby was born and my parents were going out of town the entire month of March. Our time was extremely limited. 

Venue Shopping - what made you decide on your venue?

My parents were actually the ones that thought of my venue. Honestly, at first I was EXTREMELY skeptical and was not excited with the location. But, once I visited the venue and walked the venue step by step with my mom and dad, who had a beautiful vision and wonderful ideas, Yvette from Salvage Snob, and Caroli Suarez and Angie Lopez (my wedding planners), I was excited and looking forward to my day. The venue during the day is a beach cafe and it was completely transformed at night to a beautiful wedding reception.

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?

Since I was a little girl, I always dreamed of getting married at the beach. But, due to my religious background and my family traditions I thought I would never be able to have a beach wedding and would have to get married in the church. Due to my circumstances, there was no church available in such short notice and my beach wedding dream came true! My inspiration came mainly from pinterest and from my fathers ideas. My dad is an architect/designer so his ideas and suggestions were beautiful. My mom of course also played a key role in planning. One of my favorite vendors was Salvage Snob. Yvette gave us some beautiful ideas and AMAZING pieces to decorate the place. Ive always been a fan of simplicity and my wedding definitely showed that.

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

Because I was 3 months pregnant finding a dress was going to be very difficult! Or so I thought. I had my dress custom made by Mayda Cisneros. She designed my fifteenth birthday dress, prom dresses, and many other outfits for galas and special events. Mayda to me is like family. She made the process extremely easy. She knew exactly what I loved and made the perfect wedding dress for me. My earrings and hair piece were borrowed from my sister in law's family. The pieces belonged to her grandmother who passed away. All the grand daughters in their family had worn the jewelry and headpiece when they get married, so for me it was an honor to have worn and been a part of such a beautiful tradition. My mom lent me her gorgeous antique sapphire ring (I had always been in awe of this ring). My shoes were actually flat sandals (my husband is not SUPER tall and he'll kill me if he sees this) and I figured it would be the most comfortable shoe for my beach wedding. I found the company on etsy and they make beautiful sandals. They were called Something Blue Sole Halo Sandals.

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

My wedding party was very small. I only had a maid of honor - my sister in law. At the time she was eight and a half months pregnant so I let her decide what dress she wanted to wear. She found the dress online and I of course approved - she has great taste! My flower girl was my niece Olivia and we had her dress made by Petite Amie.


FlowersTell 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. 

My Flowers were from Hirnis Wayside Florist. My great grandmothers name was Hortensia and her favorite flowers were Hydrangeas. She was a big part of my life. Since her passing I always like to incorporate hydrangeas in all of my major events. So Hydrangeas are always the flower of choice. I also used white garden roses, which looked beautiful together with the hydrangeas. My look was a backyard garden wedding look. I used burlap runners and very simple arrangements.

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

We had custom made shot glasses and flip flops. Our dance floor was on the second level of the reception venue. We pipe and draped along the walls and danced on a black and white checkered dance floor. We decorated the space with couches, high tops, a light up bar, and some shell chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. Our cake was from Todo Dulces. And finally, my make up was done by Make Up Artistry by Jessie. She did an AMAZING job!

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

Because I was so limited on time I was not very overwhelmed, believe it or not. More than probably because I didnt have time to shop around and go to every single venue to compare. I basically just chose my favorite vendors and thankfully, they were able to accommodate and give me what I wanted. There was no time to stress!

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

Nothing, really! I had so much fun and enjoyed my wedding. The only thing I wish I could have done was drink!

Your favorite moment all day/night.

My favorite moment was walking down the aisle. I had looked forward to that moment my entire life. I had been practicing since I was a little girl, and when the dream actually came true, it was SURREAL!

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

RELAX! Take it all in, enjoy, and don't stress the small stuff. Also having a wedding planner is KEY!! They take care of everything! I cant imagine not having one. They solve even the smallest of problems!

  • Melanie Fernandez
  • Wedding Advice Series

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