Wedding Recap: Bohemian & Eclectic, Vol. 1

Welcome to our newest monthly newsletter: our Wedding Recap posts! With the idea originating from our marketing team, Mandale Magazine Social, we wanted to start publishing a monthly newsletter that focuses on details from weddings and events hosted in the venue.

This helps us to accomplish two goals: 1) it allows us to pay tribute to and celebrate the brides, grooms, and party hosts who have trusted us with their most special celebrations, and 2) it helps us provide inspiration to future hosts when it comes to vendors, details, design, and format for their own occasions.

We plan to publish Wedding Recaps on the second Thursday of each month, falling between our normal monthly newsletter on the first Thursday and our #ThreeTipsThursday posts where we share tips from vendors in the events and wedding industry on the third Thursday.

For this very first Wedding Recap, I am starting with none other than my own wedding, which Mike and I celebrated on New Year’s Eve of 2022 in our venue, The Gardens of Weber Manor!

I don’t know if I will adequately describe just how wonderful this celebration was, but I’ll do my best to share the most helpful tips that we learned from planning our own wedding.

Photo Credit: Michelle and Pete Photo & Film.

The Details

For our wedding, Mike and I went with a bohemian and eclectic theme. Our colors were navy, burgundy, and silver. We wanted the deeper navy and burgundy colors since we hosted our wedding in the winter, and we chose silver accents because we placed disco balls around the venue in an ode to the fact that it was New Year’s Eve.

One of the hardest parts about planning the wedding was choosing the styles and colors. I was not a bride who had been thinking about her wedding day since childhood. I didn’t have a particular vision in mind other than I just wanted it to look nice (which a multitude of colors, themes, styles, etc. fit the bill for that requirement!). I will note for anyone in the same boat: you can always hire a wedding planner and designer to help you with this if your budget allows.

We ended up going with what I would classify as a bohemian and eclectic style. The burgundy cheese cloth napkins and table runners mixed with burlap chargers made for a boho finish, while the disco balls, paper lanterns, and mixed décor around the venue gave the wedding an eclectic feel. Once everything was set up, I felt like I was walking through a dream. The soft warm glow from the bistro lights mixed with the reds in our color scheme made for a fairytale wedding ceremony and reception. It was magical.

None of this, however, would have been possible without the help of our close family and friends. I’d have to dedicate a whole other 10 pages to naming all of our people who came early and stayed late to help with everything from hauling out chairs and tables to decorating the tent to organizing our décor to running errands to watching over the kids…the real magic came from all of the love and support our people gave to us throughout the week of our wedding. They amplified the phrase, “it takes a village.”

The Vendors

Our wedding was the most perfect day in large part because of the vendors that worked with us.

Venue + Rentals: The Gardens of Weber Manor @thegardenswm

We got married in our own venue, which had both pros and cons (like any other decision). We loved getting married in our space because, expectedly, it was very personal to us. Sharing the venue that we’ve poured countless hours, energy, and resources into with our loved ones was possibly the biggest pinch-me moment I’ve ever experienced.

Coordinator + Finishing Design: Micro Miami Weddings @micromiami 

As I often read in the Wedding Connection Facebook Group, hiring a coordinator was one of the best decisions we made when it came to planning our wedding. Sofia is phenomenal. Extremely organized and proactive, she took care of every last detail that I normally would have stressed about. Even as a venue owner, I didn’t actually know how every component in the timeline should play out, but Sofia helped us finalize a timeline that made sense for what we wanted to accomplish.

On the day of the wedding, she was onsite, directing vendors where to go and putting together all of the décor we’d gathered. She took everything floating around in my scatterbrain and made it all functional and beautiful. From the reception tablescape, to the welcome table décor, to the seating chart, and beyond, Sofia brought to life and exceeded the vision I had for our fairytale wedding. I don’t know what we would have done without her.

Photo + Video: @michelleandpetephotofilm

We first met Michelle and Pete at a styled shoot in the venue in 2020, and I instantly fell in love with their work. Not only do I love their style of photography, but I also enjoyed working with them. They made Mike and me, who aren’t normally in front of the camera, feel very comfortable and empowered to take those dreamy photos I’m constantly looking at on social media. Their packages for photo and film come with a high quality, base standard, so that every moment we’d want to remember was captured.

In conjunction with Sofia, they also helped us create a timeline that allowed us to capture the photos we wanted to without having the photography own the entire wedding day (after all, we did want to spend as much time as possible enjoying our friends and family!). One of the reasons I appreciate Michelle and Pete is because over the past couple of years, I’ve seen how much they’ve invested into constantly improving their art, and I am obsessed with our sneak peek photos they sent a few days after our wedding.

Florals: Trends Floral Décor @trendsfloraldecor 

It’s hard to adequately describe just how amazing Ana and Mariel from Trends Florals are. I gave them very little direction. I basically just told them that our colors were navy, burgundy, and silver, that I wanted a more “wild” look than a very “manicured” look, and that I had a bunch of little vases for the reception tables that I’d love to fill with a fresh flowers.

Their flower arrangements went above and beyond anything I could have imagined. They were stunning, creative, unique – everything this millennial bride could have wanted for her wedding. They exceeded any expectation and vision I had, and I truly felt like I walked into a fairytale garden thanks to the gorgeous flowers throughout the entire venue.

I had originally been on the fence about spending the money to have real flowers. I am so thrilled we did. Not only were the arrangements gorgeous, but I also remember feeling a sense of overwhelming joy when I saw them. Additionally, to not have to worry about putting together the tablescape and décor the day of the wedding because Sofia and Trends were on top of it, was priceless.

Lounge Set: Mi Vintage @mivintage

This was an exciting addition to the wedding that I knew I wanted early on. We did not have a photo booth at our wedding, but I did want a fun and colorful setup for guests to take pictures. 

Working with MiVintage was flawless. When I reached out to Liz and Deb saying I wanted a lounge set for our wedding but I didn’t know specifically which pieces I’d like, they put together several options from which I could choose. It was enjoyable narrowing down my choice with Mike, and it was rewarding to see it come together in person. 

The extra seating arrangement in our Gravel Grove also offered another place for some of our guests to hang out when they wanted a break from the music and dancing.

Marquees + Dessert Shelf: @miamimarquees

I highlighted Miami Marquees in our last #ThreeTipsThursday, but the skinny of it is that we are incredibly grateful for Maria and Joel, our clients-turned-friends-turned-vendors, who gifted us the words “LOVE” and “MR&MRS” for our wedding.

The letters were gorgeous and added an easy yet beautiful and elevated décor to our wedding day. The letters are both photogenic during the day and at night, which was evident by the large number of pictures that were sent to us by our guests with the letters serving as a photo prop. 

TV Display: Boxxed Events @boxxed_events

The Boxxed Trailer is a fun addition to the venue through our partnership with Boxxed Events. This cute mobile trailer can transform into just about anything you could want at your wedding: a photo booth, a dessert station, a coffee station, a drink bar, etc.

We used Boxxed as a decorative TV stand. I’m from Ohio and many of my friends and family members went to The Ohio State University. When it was announced that OSU was playing in the Peach Bowl during our wedding, I of course received a number of cheeky and pleading text messages from said friends and family about watching the game. Lucky for them, I acquiesced, and rather than having a TV sitting on a table in the middle of our reception, we were able to convert Boxxed into a mini theater that made this activity much more elevated. This was a creative way we could really personalize our wedding.

Welcome Sign: Art by Shannon Martin Perkins @art_by_shan

Shannon is Mike’s “Key West Mom” and a very talented artist. The day before our wedding when our Key West family came over to help us set up, Mike had asked Shannon if she could make a quick run to the craft store to get wooden letters so that we could finish our “Welcome To Our Wedding” sign. I reminded him that there were just not enough hours in the day for him to finish that sign, even if Shannon could have found the letters we needed.

And with that, Shannon came to the wedding the next day with a beautiful, hand-painted sign she’d made for us overnight that also captured the details of our wedding. Just wow. I’m not sure how we got so fortunate to have such thoughtful, wonderful people in our lives, but we don’t take it for granted for one second! 

Tent + Tableware: Cache Tents & Events @cachetentsandevents

We work with a lot of couples who are on the fence about getting a tent. Like Mike, many people appreciate the openness of our venue (and for that, I’m grateful!). I, however, like the coziness that a tent creates in our space, and I absolutely did not want rain to be any sort of stressor on our wedding day.

We budgeted early on to rent a tent, and I was so happy with how it turned out. We were able to hang burgundy paper lanterns and silver disco balls from the ceiling, and it just further added to the festive feel we were going for on our NYE wedding.

Additionally, I always appreciate when one vendor can offer multiple items we need. Since we didn’t go with a traditional caterer – see below – we needed to get tableware for our reception. Fortunately, Cache was able to provide us with plates, silverware, glass water goblets, and glass champagne flutes, which was one less detail I needed to worry about on our actual wedding day. And Sofia, of course, arranged these items so beautifully on the table with her signature look that I admire greatly!

DJ & MC: Pheniks Sounds & Lighting Plus @pheniks_slp 

The DJ was unintentionally the very last vendor we booked, so by the time we went to reserve a DJ, our normal go-tos were already booked. This ended up being a blessing in disguise because working with DJ Henry from Pheniks Sound & Lighting Plus worked out very well for us. He was thorough with our music choices and timeline, and he was communicative, which is always helpful when planning a stressful event.

DJ Henry worked with our very eclectic taste. In the questionnaire I told him we like a variety of music, from country, to oldies, to today’s hits, to salsa and bachata music. He did a great job moving through the different genres and keeping the music flowing.

He also executed perfectly our specific requests. For example, Mike wanted to walk into the ceremony to the Lord of the Rings theme song, and we exited the ceremony to Star Wars (lightsabers included!). The music was another element that allowed us to really personalize our wedding day, and DJ Henry excelled at helping us do that.

Caterer: Parrilla Box @parrillabox

I don’t have enough good things to say about Chef Ulises and his team at Parilla Box. For many reasons, we wanted to go with a nontraditional catering option for our wedding, and Chef Ulises delivered a mountain of mouth-watering foods during both cocktail hour and reception.

We wanted to give our family and friends, most of whom were traveling from out-of-state, a Miami culinary experience. The grilled meats and fish mixed with international flavors fit the bill, and the execution was both beautiful and delicious. The food was cooked onsite, and the freshness stood out to us and our guests. 

Chef Ulises, a communicative businessowner, was a dream to work with, and he delivered everything I wanted from catering and more.

Dessert: Petal & Pear @petal_and_pear

Mike and I were not interested in having a wedding cake. Since we didn’t go with a traditional caterer, I did not want to have to worry about who was going to cut the cake and then how the cake would be served. It also wasn’t a priority for Mike and me to get the traditional cake-cutting photos.

We decided to go with an assortment of “finger-food” desserts, such as cupcakes of varying sizes and flavors, donuts, cake pops, and chocolate-covered Oreos. We’d had Katelyn’s desserts at an event we’d been to recently, and the deal was sealed. The assortment of desserts prepared by Katelyn were a big hit, and they were so delicious! The assortment also gave our guests who “don’t like cake” (which is still a foreign concept to me) other sweets options.

To accompany the desserts prepared by Katelyn, we also had a s’more bar by our firepit, which was another fun way to personalize our wedding since I’d grown up camping and making s’mores!  

Bartender: Stir It Up Mobile Bar @stiritupmobilebar

Yasmin with Stir It Up Mobile Bar has done a number of events in the venue with us, and we are so happy we hired her to run the bar at our wedding. Not only does she provide traditional bartending services, but she will also make signature drinks for your big day – and cute signs to accompany those drinks! For our wedding, Mike wanted a really fruity drink (he has the biggest sweet tooth), so Yasmin made him a Pineapple Rum Old-Fashioned. Wanting something different, I asked Yasmin to make me a Blackberry Margarita. I’m pretty sure these drinks were consumed more than any of the other beverage options combined.

We also shuttled our guests from nearby hotels, and the first shuttle arrived nearly an hour before the ceremony was set to start. Because of that, we wanted to offer welcome drinks to our guests. Yasmin knocked it out of the park with a Guava Prosecco Spritzer – the perfect light drink to serve before the festivities got underway. She was able to provide us with a bar for the garden space where we offered the welcome drinks since we don’t currently have a mobile bar.

Finally, I wanted to make sure guests had coffee after dinner was served. Since we didn’t have traditional catering, Yasmin was able to set up a coffee bar in our reception space.

HMUA: Jules Fleming Artistry @julesflemingartistry1

Our hair and makeup team from Jules Felming Artistry was a dream team. I’ve been told many times by the planners and coordinators we work with that hair and makeup often delays the timeline. Fortunately, in working with Jules Fleming, that was not an issue! Our two hair and makeup artists got through my bridesmaids, mom, and me in record time, and we even finished a little early, which helped us stick to our photography timeline without issue.

I also gave my hair and makeup artist very little direction. Between planning the wedding, working my full-time job, and running the venue, I didn’t have time for a trial run. I didn’t even have many ideas for what I wanted my hair or makeup to look like. I gave very loose instruction, and she nailed it. She did not make me look like I had 20 pounds of makeup caked onto my face, which was about the only direction I gave, and she executed flawlessly the more natural makeup look I wanted that would still show up in photos. Trusting your vendors to work their magic with discretion is key to having a smooth-sailing event, in my opinion.

Wedding Dress: Brides of Florida @bridesofflorida

I truly had the best experience at Brides of Florida picking out my wedding dress. I honestly did not want to go wedding dress shopping. I thought it would be an overly dramatic experience, and I wouldn’t really find anything that wowed me.

I admit I was wrong. I was fortunate enough to have one of my very best friends accompany me to Brides of Florida last March when she was visiting. I was only going to look for a dress to see what fit worked well with my stature, and then I had every intention of going home and buying something online for $200.

It all changed with Tanja, the consultant who was assigned to help me with dress shopping. As you can probably guess at this point, I didn’t give her much indication of what I wanted – more that I didn’t want something too poofy or too tight. Right off the bat she picked styles that fit me perfectly and helped me easily parse through what I liked and didn’t like. It was such a positive experience, and I found a dress I loved so much that I bought it on the spot. (I’d say it helped tremendously going with one person whom I knew would be delicately honest, and this helped eliminate the overwhelm of going with a large group and having too many opinions opinions.)

Veil: Blanca Veils @blancaveils0

For the longest time I didn’t think I wanted a veil; however, after looking through hundreds of photos as both a wedding industry professional and as a bride, I decided I really liked how photos turned out with veils as a main focus.

Blanca Veils, if I remember correctly, came to me in an Instagram ad (sometimes ad tracking comes in handy!), and as soon as I visited their website, I knew I’d be purchasing one of their products. They are beautiful, cost-effective, small business owned, and came with the option to buy a magnetic clip that attaches to the top of the veil, making it an all-around excellent choice. And they did not disappoint!

Last but certainly not least, we had some extra help that made the evening run smoothly and gave me much needed peace of mind. We had two “extra hands” to help with setup, trash consolidation, water refills during dinner, and a multitude of other details that aren’t always glamorized but are completely necessary. Rosaio with Instaservers Deluxe @insta_servers_deluxe sent us two amazing servers to help with these tasks.

Our trusted valet staff (Magnum Parking @magnumparking), whom we have at all our events, made sure cars were parked securely and efficiently, giving guests the best possible experience from start to finish.

We’d set up a hotel block and a Friday-night welcome reception for our out-of-town guests at the Courtyard by Marriott & Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton @courtyardmiamihomestead @homesteadhamptoninn, all of which was organized by the consummate professional, Ali Santana @aliviscreationsandevents. Finally, we shuttled our guests to and from the venue and hotel through CharterUP @charterup, which allowed our guests to have fun but not have to worry about driving back to their accommodations at night. 

Although I could keep going, this is already 8 pages long, so I’ll spare you any more details! But I hope future brides and party hosts find this helpful, and we again send a huge thank you to everyone involved in making our day so special.

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

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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