15 people. $4000. How I made my dream Micro-Wedding happen!

I shot the cutest micro-wedding today & I’ll take these intimate ceremonies over big weddings any day. There. I said it.

As a creator, it takes a while to learn what serves you. For me, it’s having access to connecting with the souls I capture.

I know a number of incredible wedding photographers that truly rock the 200-people big wedding game. I’ve done those before, they’re fabulous, but it’s not for me. I salute those that survive 10+ hour ceremonies and thank them for their service. I love these small ceremonies that allow me to truly capture a stress-free bride and groom in their element.

I, too, opted for a smaller wedding of only 15 people and it was the best decision ever.

I was fortunate enough to have a circle of very understanding family and friends that knew we were saving up for more important milestones in our life, like buying a house and one day growing our family.

You probably landed on this blog post wanting to have your dream micro-wedding in Miami… on a budget! I gotchu. Below I share the breakdown of my very intimate and affordable 15-person micro-wedding.

Total Cost: $4000

Wedding Dress: $450 from David’s Bridal. Found this gem hidden in the sales rack of David’s Bridal in Coral Gables. All it needed was a quick hem adjustment which I was fortunate enough to have my mom fix for me. The wedding vail and headpiece were both from Amazon for less than $70 total.

Groom’s Tux: 8-piece Package $100 from Men’s Warehouse.

Hair & Makeup: $0 Endless YouTube tutorials later, I landed on my perfectly simple look, done at home with makeup and tools I already had on hand.

Provoke Photography

Venue / Officiant / Flowers / Cake: $1200 Redland Koi Garden. 2hrs. The elopement / micro-wedding package included an amazing officiant (shoutout to Adri), my dream bouquet, boutonnière, and cake flowers by Ponce Floral Design, and a stunning cake with the exact vision I wanted by Sweet Design!

Provoke Photography

Videographer: $200 Our good friend Jonathan is a super talented creative. He had never shot a wedding, but I trusted his talent and sure enough HE DELIVERED. These days, Jonathan is available for all things digital marketing, corporate videos, and maybe even a wedding ceremony if you reach out to him. He’s great!

Provoke Photography

Photographer: $1000 We knew we wanted pictures that truly captured the beauty and essence of our ceremony and there was only one gal we could trust with this. Our dear friend Helena of Provoke Photography truly delivered our dream photo gallery. She knew exactly how to pose us, capture our candid moments, and was comfortable giving us a photo op tour of Redland Koi Gardens, one of the many venues she has shot at in Miami. I couldn’t have asked for a better photographer and friend to capture our special day.

Provoke Photography

Dinner: $600 for 15 people at Mamey Miami. My husband, Peter, was a chef at Niven Patel’s new Mamey Miami, so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity when they offered to host our wedding party. We felt so lucky to have the support from this incredible team and everyone couldn’t stop raving about the food.

Please note that this was a special Family & Friends rate, but there’s tons of affordable ways to host a reception dinner after your ceremony. Some ideas include using a family or friend’s backyard as your intimate venue and catering from a local Miami restaurant or caterer. I know a friend that did a full Publix catering for her 100-person wedding and saved almost $3000! The possibilities are endless. Remember, your family is there for YOU… the food and drinks are just a nice plus as a thank you.

Provoke Photography

The Toast: $0 Speaking of drinks! We were fortunate to have a friend gift us our wedding day spirits. For 15 people, you’re probably looking at 6-10 bottles of bubbly for your ceremony toast and then some. My advice? Hit up Costco or BJ’s and save hundreds when you buy in bulk. Don’t believe me? Just check out this article from EatingWell.com…

Each $59.99 pack comes with six, 187-milliliter bottles (each is about ¼ of a standard wine bottle) of Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut. Considering a 750-milliliter bottle of the same Champagne goes for $39.99, it’s a pretty reasonable deal, plus it means that you can drink the whole bottle and add only about 140 calories to your daily tally.

eatingwell.com

Mr. & Mrs. Crystal Wedding Champagne Glasses: $0 These babies were gifted to us by our dear friend that explored our Amazon registry right before our wedding. You can find them here for $37!

Provoke Photography

Welcome Sign: $75 our dear friend Carlita of Fiesta in a Box is an incredible party planner and decorator, so naturally I had to hire her to give us her finishing touches. I always wanted a Pinterest-worthy wooden “welcome” sign for our wedding and she made it happen beautifully and on a time crunch! I purchased the stand on Amazon and Carlita gifted us the eucalyptus garland which we found on Amazon, too!

Provoke Photography

Miscellaneous

Hope this breakdown was helpful! With some research and little help from friends, you’ll be able to celebrate just how you’ve always dreamed.

Big or small, in the end, move forward with what serves your soul. It’s your big day. It only happens once. Do what makes YOU happy and communicate this to your loved ones so you feel at peace on your wedding day.

With love,

Ixamar & Peter

Provoke Photography

Top 10 Pinterest Tips for Bloggers

Long are the days of using Pinterest as simply a “vision board” for our dream life. Nowadays, Pinterest is highly responsible for the success of many businesses worldwide. The secret is simple. Pinterest isn’t a social media website, it’s actually a search engine. Here are some ways you can leverage your blog and social media accounts by simply pinning a few times a week!

  1. Consistency: dedicate at least an hour each day to pin all your latest blog posts to an assigned folder on Pinterest. Divide these folders by topic or simply create one for your blog. As long as they’re filled with your pins, you’re good to go. 
  2. Chrome Extensions: I love using the “Pinterest Save” chrome extension since it allows me to quickly save pins in specific folders when browsing my blog or social channels. 
  3. Pinterest Business: switching over to “business” allows you to create shoppable pins, ads, and review data analytics for each pin created to gauge traffic. 
  4. Cross-Promotions: My new favorite thing now is adding my TikTok videos on Pinterest. Just save your TikTok as a “Live Photo”, go to your Images, find the “Live Photo”, hit the “share” icon and then click “save as video”. This removes the TikTok watermarks and just leaves a tiny one on the bottom right which you can just crop out. Once saved, open Pinterest and upload your video. 
  5. Description: This is the bread and butter of Pinterest and carries a hefty amount of valuable SEO. Always add a description to every pin you create. The more, the merrier.
  6. Visuals: Canva has been my best friend when creating stunning graphics for Pinterest. There’s a free version that still has tons of awesome features. Pinterest is for visual storytellers, so make sure you grab the audience’s attention quickly.
  7. “Save to Pinterest”: Add the “Save to Pinterest” button on all blog posts! You’ll be surprised at where your blog posts land once this button is added. 
  8. Variety: create pins that are on brand by adding them to different theme folders. This gives your audience options to browse around. 
  9. Engage: stay relevant on Pinterest by engaging with other similar blogs and brands like your own. 
  10. Have Fun!: creating your online presence should never feel tasking or cumbersome. Have fun creating content that speaks to YOU. Create content that in the end makes you happy and your ideal audience will soon find you. 

I’m offering my services for free. I want you to do the same.

I want to create a space of collaboration for our community. It’s been a crazy few weeks for us all and some of us are finally feeling the financial hit. It’s time for a #SmallBizOutreach.

As of today, I’ll be making myself available to collaborate on a trade basis with other businesses.

This means that my photography, videography, marketing & business consulting, copywriting, logo designing, social media, content creation and editing services will be made available at NO COST to other businesses willing to trade their services with me.

My goal is to continue to show up and HELP business owners everyday in the best way I can.

I want you to offer your superpowers to others, as well.

What does your business focus on and what do you wish to provide others with? Will you be offering discounted rates? Are you looking to trade your services with other business owners, as well?

The most successful people I know are the ones adding an enormous value to other people’s lives.

Let’s create value for everyone.

I created a spreadsheet of businesses currently offering discounts or trade. The spreadsheet is divided by industry and can be found here.

Holidays with Drizly!

This article is sponsored by Drizly. All thoughts and ideas are my own.

Ever found yourself preparing to host for the holidays and simply wish an assistant could go out and fetch you all the pending items you’ve been too busy to pick up? Well, this hack might not help you with your other daily tasks, but I recently discovered Drizly; my very own alcohol delivery service!

Drizly has the widest selection of beer, wine and spirits online! The perfect drink for your celebration or quiet night in, delivered directly to you in under an hour. Pretty cool, huh?

2020 has already proven to be a productive year! Thanks to this new discovery, we had all our favorite spirits delivered right to our door just in time to ring in the new year last week and keep the celebrations going. Can you tell Perrier-Jouët  & Lillet wine are our household faves?

Hope you all loved this hack as much as we did! Wishing you all an abundance of love and laughter for this new decade.

What’s one goal you’re hoping to scratch off this year?

This article is sponsored by Drizly. All thoughts and ideas are my own.

Miami Spice 2018: Tanuki Miami Beach

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Miami Spice has officially begun and it brings to the table a list of over 250 participating restaurants. This year, you’ll be able to indulge in Lunch ($23), Dinner ($39), and even BRUNCH ($23) from August 1st to September 30th.

Today I’m showcasing on the blog one of my new favorite Japanese/Chinese restaurants in Miami Beach, Tanuki.
Looking for a Happy Hour spot? Tanuki’s Happy Hour runs 7 days a week starting Mon-Thu from 5PM-8PM and Fri-Sun from 5PM-7PM. Make sure to pass by on Tuesday for ‘Ninja Tuesdays’ and enjoy a full night of happy hour drinks until close. Bites range from $5-$7. Drinks include $4 beers, $6 wine/cocktails/well spirits, and $5 sake (or $12 for a whole carafe).

 

Tanuki
Monday – Thursday 5:00PM – 11:00PM
Friday – Saturday  12:00PM – 12:00AM
Sunday  12:00AM – 11:00PMTanuki will offer Miami Spice as follows:
Lunch – Friday through Sunday
Dinner – Monday through Sunday

1080 Alton Rd,
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Boulud Sud Miami Happy Hour

“What would you want your last meal on Earth to be?” A dozen oysters, extra lemons, and a Cosmo. Thanks.”

Welcome to Daniel Boulud’s new masterpiece, Boulud Sud Miami. All the gorgeous décor from the DB Bistro days but with a sexy mediterranean flair. My favorite happy hour spot in the Brickell/Downtown area is now better than ever.

Same great options as before, 5-8pm, all week! What more could you ask for?

You can’t beat the killer views either. You can even valet your car at the JW Marriott Marquis and validate at the bar inside Boulud Sud.

My drink of choice here? The White Cosmo. Simple, yet elegant. Never overly sweet and tart enough to cause the dimples in your cheeks to emerge. My favorite part? The gorgeous flower which peeks within a perfect ice sphere. Seriously, you need to try this pair. It’s a match made in foodie heaven.

The reason I became a regular when this was once DB? The east coast oysters! Every day fresh, always beyond delicious. I blame this place for my love of oysters and cosmos combined.

Just look at the way they seduce you.

Don’t forget the baby Tabasco sauces.

Fuego!

How dare you be so sexy? Meet Mezze. The kind of dish you’d want to share with that special someone, but not really, since you might fight over the last bite. Spicy Moroccan Hummus, Babaganoush, and Herb Falafel.

Don’t forget Madeleine et al! There goes the January diet. So so worth it!

It should be illegal to taste this good.

GRAND MARNIER CHOCOLATE FONDANT

Salted Caramel Sauce, Cacao Beans Crumble, Burnt Orange Ice Cream

PETITS FOURS

Baklava, Loukoum, Biscotti, Bonbon Chocolate

WARM BASKET OF MADELEINES

C’est magnifique!

See you all for happy hour!

Situated in the JW Marriott Marquis and across the street from the newly opened Silverspot Theatres, Boulud Sud is conveniently located within walking distance of American Airlines Arena, the Perez Art Museum, City Center shopping, and all that Downtown Miami has to offer.

DINING ROOM HOURS

LUNCH

Monday-Friday   /  Noon-2:30pm

SUNDAY BRUNCH (STARTING IN FEBRUARY 2018)

Sunday   /  11am-3pm

DINNER

Monday-Thursday   /  6-11pm

Friday-Saturday   /  6pm-midnight

BAR & LOUNGE HOURS

HAPPY HOUR

Monday-Friday   /  5-8pm

All The Way Up at Rooftop | Fort Lauderdale Bar

“Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey” – Ernest Hemingway

Lately, I’ve been on a quest to find the best Old Fashioned in South Florida. My travels seem to have landed me in the perfect setting; a brand new rooftop bar in Ft. Lauderdale with a curious discovery. Upon opening the bar menu, my date and I knew we’d just hit the jackpot. Smoked Old Fashioned in the front page! Say no more.

Less than a month old, Rooftop @ 1WLO greets you with stunning views of Las Olas and a modern flair. You’ll be surrounded by greenery everywhere, making you feel like you’re relaxing in a beautiful garden in the sky.

Here’s a few of our TOP selections of the night:

Short Rib Grilled Cheese with Tellegio, Brioche, & Shallot Confit 

Duck Confit Spring Rolls

Buffalo Chicken Empanadas with Frank’s Hot Sauce & Buttermilk Blue Cheese

Apple Bottom Fig

Peanut Chili Glazed Sirloin Skewers

Rooftop features eclectic lounge and bar seating throughout complemented by lush natural decor in a trendy, laid back atmosphere, with its resident mixologists stirring up an ever-evolving selection of craft cocktails that energize and inspire! Lately we’ve been getting a nice cold front in Miami, so these firepit tables were incredibly convenient.

Not only is this a great date night spot, they have your back if you ever feel like maybe this date should have ended a long time ago. The Restaurant People are here to help if you’re ever feeling unsafe or in a dangerous situation. Simply ask for an Angel Shot and they’ll make sure to get you out of an uncomfortable situation immediately.

Rooftop @ 1WLO has officially won my heart and respect.

1 W. Las Olas Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
954.523.1WLO (1956)

WANT YOUR BUSINESS OR EVENT TO BE FEATURED? SHOOT ME AN EMAIL AND LET’S MAKE SOME MAGIC!

❤️ Sips by™ Subscription Box

4 premium teas, 15+ cups, $15/month + free shipping.

That’s what’s included when you join this awesome subscription box. You can also join for free and gain access to tea lessons, recipes, and beauty hacks!

Here’s how it works: Once you join, you’re matched with 4 premium teas from different brands according to your profile. Your premium teas make 15+ fresh cups of tea, or 45+ re-steeped cups.

Sips by™ is a startup based in Austin, Texas, founded by a small group of tea lovers who want discovering tea to be fun, personalized, and affordable.

They hope to inspire you to explore the big wide world of tea  –  and hope you’re ready to be introduced to new teas, brands, and friends along the way ✨

 

Create your profile today!

Miami Spice Dinner at Paon Eatery | Bay Harbour Island

Time to share this charming little gem nestled within Bay Harbour Island. This one took us completely by surprise. Just 5 months old, Paon Eatery has already survived an unwelcomed Hurricane Irma but opened just in time for Miami Spice! Like the saying goes, there’s always a rainbow even after the darkest storm.

‘Paon’ comes from the word ‘kitchen’ in Balinese. The inspiration came after Chef Federico A. Cassino and Designer Sofia Rodriguez Kandeler visited Bali during their honeymoon adventures. Two weeks after getting married, Federico and Sofia decided to make Miami their permanent home and opened the island location; their second restaurant after opening in Buenos Aires a few years back.

Talk about power couple!

Once inside Paon, you’ll be greeted with a peaceful ambience and a calm energy. The rustic furniture is accompanied by modern touches and gorgeous greenery hanging from the ceiling. This could perfectly be a meditation room.

As many of you now know, Miami Spice has been extended through the end of October in order to help businesses recover from the hurricane and to allow us foodies to experience the many restaurant offerings in its entirety.

So that’s exactly what we did. The Menu goes from traditional Latin American dishes to Mediterranean highlights. They also have a beautiful Beer & Wine Bar with a variety of tapas, gluten-free selections, and vegetarian options.

Check out these delicious bites at Paon Eatery during Miami Spice!

Chef’s Corn Soup

WARM BRIE with tomato, brioche toast and truffle oil

GRILLED OCTOPUS with eggplant pureé, crushed potatoes, chimichurri

RED SNAPPER with grilled lettuce, kale and capers

PORK RIBS with barbecue sauce and mashed sweet potato

HUMID CHOCOLATE CAKE with ice cream and nuts

DULCE DE LECHE FLAN with cream

MIAMI SPICE MONTH DAYS: AUGUST 1 – OCTOBER 31
MON TUE WED THUR FRI SAT SUN
Dinner Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No

 

WANT YOUR BUSINESS OR EVENT TO BE FEATURED? SHOOT ME AN EMAIL AND LET’S MAKE SOME MAGIC!

The Best New Eats at Vagabond Kitchen and Bar

Many delicious changes have arrived to Vagabond Kitchen and Bar in the MiMo District! With its art deco vibe reminiscing Miami’s glory days, this spot is perfect for a fun happy hour with friends or a date night with that special foodie someone. Well beyond that, you will find the fresh new ideas created by Chef Andres. I had the chance to try these new selections and it sure exceeded my expectations. Not only is there a fresh new brunch menu, they’ve added a grand selection of dinner items to their menu and are now open for lunch as of August 1st! With a chic new patio dining too, what better way to celebrate Miami Spice than to try it for yourself.

Let’s start with the beautiful decor that brings you art deco vibes with a modern twist. The lighting was perfect for those food pics you’ll be taking during your visit. Everything just seemed to balance out perfectly. If you’re a modern-day adventurer with a penchant for global food, drink, and art, this is definitely your place.

Here’s some of our favorite selections from last night’s media dinner! All things beef and fish courtesy of Pablo from Gaucho Ranch.

2017-08-09 20.29.40

…but wait, there’s more!

 Make your way over and let us know how it goes!
MIAMI SPICE MONTH DAYS: AUGUST 1 – SEPTEMBER 30
MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Lunch No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Dinner No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
WANT YOUR BUSINESS OR EVENT TO BE FEATURED? SHOOT ME AN EMAIL AND LET’S MAKE SOME MAGIC!