Three Tips Thursday, Vol. 3: Ad Astra Co. Wedding Planning

One of the biggest, possibly most understated challenges I see brides have – and have experienced personally – is figuring out the theme and design of their wedding.

In the age of Pinterest boards and Instagram photos, there are almost too many options when it comes to choosing a wedding style; for better or for worse, the inspiration seems endless, and it can lead to overwhelm in the decision-making process.

Thoughts I’ve heard from some of the brides who have come through our venue include:

“Should I go with a rustic look or a modern vibe? Both can look nice in a garden venue.”

“Do I want bright colors even though it’s wintertime, or should I stick with the more traditional dark hues?”

“What kind of lighting do I want? Chandeliers? Rope lights? Pendants? Or should I eliminate this from the budget altogether?”

Pinterest drives our hopes sky-high, and oftentimes our budgets (sadly) bring us back down to earth.

Fortunately, for this week’s #3TipsThursday, I was able to chat with Alianne, Lead Event Planner and Founder of Ad Astra Co. here in Miami, who was able to share helpful suggestions when designing your wedding.

Three Tips

Alianne was one of the first “friendors” I connected with when Mike and I decided to embark on the wedding venue venture, and her partnership and friendship have been invaluable to us ever since.

One thing I love about Alianne is her keen eye for design. She can put together a beautifully classic wedding as well as pull off an uniquely artistic aesthetic. If you want something extraordinary, she can bring that vision to life.

Photo Credit: Gardens of Weber Manor.

Below are Alianne’s three tips for narrowing down your wedding style:

1.     Pull inspiration from your life.

Perhaps this seems obvious on paper, but so many brides get caught up in the pressure of having a huge and glamorous wedding.

When feeling overwhelmed, find inspiration from your life you share with your fiancé.

“Pick something, whether it’s a favorite song, favorite movie, favorite city, a trip that you guys went on, even if it’s something as simple as Netflix, you know, you guys are the Netflix couple, or you guys are known as, like, the Chinese-takeout-on-Fridays couple…There are ways to incorporate things about a couple’s love story into their wedding.

“So, for example, if you are known for always choosing to do Chinese takeout every Friday, and that’s your, like, tradition, it’s been your tradition since you started dating, a very cute thing that maybe you can incorporate into your wedding is your late-night bite can be little Chinese takeout boxes. If you and your fiancé are major travelers, a cute way that you can incorporate that is maybe, like, naming your tables different city names. Instead of doing table numbers, you do different city names.”

Find inspiration from different facets of your life: art, architecture, travel, other designers, etc. Pick something and incorporate it into your wedding.

2.     Remember, there are no rules in wedding planning.

Some couples want more traditional. Some want more out-of-the-ordinary. Remember it’s your wedding; you need to appease yourself.

“Another thing…is the reminder that there are no rules in wedding planning. Obviously, every couple is different. Some couples are definitely gonna lean towards more traditional, some couples are going to lean further and further away from traditional – as far as they possibly can. But I always like to remind my clients, there are no rules and nobody else needs to be appeased as much as the couple.”

It’s so easy for a couple to find itself trying to appeal to 12 different opinions from close family members and friends. And while there are varying perspectives on this, at the end of the day, it’s the couple’s big day and their wishes should be honored (within reason).

Instead of worrying what someone else might think, incorporate that “nerdy” element or those “off-season” colors into your wedding if that’s what makes you happy. There are no defined rules when it comes to incorporating YOU into YOUR wedding.

3.     Find your happiness within the levels.

When it comes to wedding design, there are different levels at which you can incorporate a theme or an element.

“There are levels to it; it doesn’t need to be black or white. You don’t need to do an all-disco ball, 70’s-themed wedding. You don’t need to do a Star Wars-themed wedding if you don’t want to go into that route where you feel like it’s too tacky. But maybe you can incorporate your love of Star Wars into, like, I don’t know, maybe the signature drink. Make the signature drink look like blue milk if you want because you love Star Wars, and you love the fact that in Hollywood Studios (Disney World), they have the blue milk.”

This is such a great tip. When it comes to your wedding, you don’t have to operate in extremes. You can build small or subtle elements of something you love into your big day. Or go all out. Your choice!

Bonus tip: Alianne was generous enough to share a final tip.

It’s incredibly important to screen your vendors or have your wedding planner screen your vendors.

Your wedding day is often one of the most special, and perhaps most expensive celebrations of your life, so being able to trust the people you hire to carry out such an important task is paramount.

After all, “If you’re going to celebrate your day, you’re going to celebrate your love. And it’s going to be a testament to your love story.” – Alianne

To connect with Alianne, follow her on Instagram or connect with her via her website.

Thanks for tuning in!

-Emily, Co-Founder, The Gardens of Weber Manor

Blog News: We love to connect with our clients and friends, and we publish a special newsletter every 1st Thursday of the month. We also provide a lot of wedding tips from our preferred vendors.

“You will find that most times you have a vision of what it is that you want to accomplish and that’s most important. It allows you to work backwards and make cuts and changes that will still reflect the overall outcome you wish to achieve. What good is splurging on one particular item if it doesn’t result in the overall outcome you were trying to create?

-Emily, Co-Founder, The Gardens of Weber Manor

Follow Us to See All the Magic

  • facebook
  • instagram
  • Google business


When I say that pictures and videos do not do this space justice, that is an understatement!! The Gardens of Weber Manor, in all of its whimsy and magic, is truly a perfect little nook in the heart of the Redlands. No matter what the vision or mood board, this venue and its versatility will allow you to transform it to match your wildest dreams. Add to that the fact that Mike & Emily are the absolute sweetest owners & venue managers, and there should be NOTHING holding you back from booking a tour and picking your wedding date that same day. It is clear that they have put their heart and souls into building up The Gardens from the ground up. So whether you’re planning a wedding, anniversary, birthday or corporate event, you need not look further. 

– Alianne Valladares-Prieto

The Gardens of Weber Manor is a hidden gem. This venue is magical. I can’t express how amazing it was working with Emily and Mike. They answered every question I had and made me feel that they had everything under control at all times. The staff was awesome!!! The rooms looked beautiful!!! I want to give a special thanks to Emily it was an absolute pleasure working with you. Everything went smoothly, easily and successfully thanks to Emily and Mike and the rest of the team. We felt like family from the time we started to plan the wedding and especially on our wedding day. Thanks to the Gardens of Weber Manor for the wedding of our dreams!

– Fernanda Rodriguez

We cannot say enough good things about this venue and the owners, Emily & Mike! It is truly a hidden gem. The garden is absolutely gorgeous – you really don’t even need to decorate because the scenery has so much beauty all itself. There are so many spots throughout the venue that could be used for different parts of an event, and no matter where you turned it was a perfect photo backdrop. Our friends and family kept telling us how beautiful the venue was and wondering how we found it.

– Kyla Hill