Monday, November 30, 2009


Written by Guerdy Abraira -
Pictures by Jeff Kolodny -

I always knew where I wanted to get married. I used to live in North Miami and on my way to Aventura mall (which was practically every other week), my now husband and I used to pass by the Spanish Monastery and we would always say “one day, we will get married here”. We fell in love with this Spanish-Mediterranean architectural style venue which had such a quaint and discrete charm. Choosing this venue, which had such a specific era feel made it easy for me to choose my wedding d├ęcor theme which ended up being a Spanish theme. From the tapas, sangria and paella served at the reception to the black magic dark red roses, I was able to actualize this theme with much ease. The wedding turned out so well that it got a feature in the Knot Magazine!

For all of you who are looking for that “perfect venue” in South Florida, it is important that you let the venue “speak” to you. You should be able to walk into a venue and feel a sense of belonging there. For the modern bride, venues like the “W” Hotel chains or the Gansevoort may fit your style. For the traditional bride, the Ritz Carlton chains, Fisher Island Club or The Breakers may be a perfect fit. The bride looking for that tropical chic vibe should look at the Palms Hotel or Fairchild Tropical Garden. Art Deco lovers will appreciate the National Hotel and Raleigh. For a Zen/Asian feel, the Mandarin Oriental or Setai Hotel will work perfectly. For the eclectic/artsy bride, the only place to look at is the Viceroy Hotel!

Doing a lot of research before stepping out to look at venues will be your best bet. You should first start a “must have” list on your ideal venue and then you will be able to do a process of elimination as you find search listings of venues. You will eventually end up with a final list of venues and that will help you with your venue site visits. Lastly, pricing I am sure will play a key role in selecting the venue. Good luck with your search!!!

As a the owner of Ocean Flowers Miami, a South Florida wedding planner and florist, I always try to direct clients to venues that are appropriate for them. I try to determine their needs and desires and then go from there. Some people just step into a particular venue and know that it’s right for them. There are so many different types of South Florida wedding venues to explore that it could take some time to find the perfect spot. Speak to people in the South Florida wedding business, such as florists, photographers, etc.