Here it is! Finally, just as I promised, my guide to everything you ever needed to know about planning a wedding in Jupiter, Florida. Let’s face it: you want your big day to be just as special and magical as it is in your dreams. You’ve had an idea of the perfect wedding since age five and now it’s time to make that vision a reality. Unfortunately, five-year-old you didn’t have a budget, location restraints, and extended family and friends scattered all over the country. So what’s a gal to do?
Look no further than your sweet little seaside hometown! P and I were able to have the perfect wedding nestled along the Intracoastal Waterway for under $20,000. Yep, it can be done in South Florida! You have to be crafty, you have to give up some of your fantasies, and you have to have a JUP Mama with the patience of a saint and the creativity of Joanna Gaines.
For anyone looking to get married in Jupiter, here is how we did it – me, P, and my talented mother. I selected each of our vendors because I wanted them to be connected to my home, I wanted to support local businesses, and I wanted to give back to my community. Excluding Vistaprint, http://www.ties.com, and Berres Brothers Coffee, I used businesses based in South Florida, including our local Macy’s, Lilly Pulitzer, and Vineyard Vines stores.
This is not a sponsored post. When I was searching for South Florida wedding ideas, I wished that someone would have shared this advice with me – that’s why I’m passing on this information to other brides out there, no strings attached.
Out of the Blue • 3238 Casseekey Island Road, Jupiter, FL 33477 • Phone: (561) 741-2282
I think the most difficult part of planning a wedding is choosing your venue. Especially here in South Florida, there are not many options unless your looking to get married in a hotel or willing to execute your entire wedding on your own. I was adamant against having a reception in a ballroom (I’m instantly reminded of sorority and fraternity formals!) and I had my heart set on a Southern wedding with moss in the trees, a stately Antebellum mansion, and church pews set up in a field of wildflowers. Nope, not possible anywhere south of Fort Pierce. And no matter how much we wanted a church wedding, P and I felt that you always lose someone between the church and the reception (and it gives guests a chance – and the excuse – to drink a little more than they should). Our best option was to get married and have our reception at the same location. After checking out two other venues, we stumbled upon the jackpot: Out of the Blue. For an all-inclusive amount, you can have your ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception in one gorgeous location. The Key West-style building is located in a marina overlooking the Intracoastal (with its own private beach), has a full restaurant kitchen and bar, and comes with a wedding planner (the extremely organized and magnificent Elisa Sciallo). It was the perfect combination of everything we wanted: a unique building and location for me, no set-up or break-down for JUP Mama and Daddy, and an open bar for P. The chef even sat down with us and crafted a special shellfish free menu just for our wedding. Out of the Blue manifested our style as a couple: fun, vintage, and nautical all rolled into one. We couldn’t have asked for anything more ideal.
Bacio Bacio Bridal • 9160 Forest Hill Boulevard, Wellington, FL • Phone: (561) 792-6111
These ladies were amazing. Granted, I didn’t really look for a dress anywhere else, unless you count an overwhelming and panicky appointment at David’s Bridal. Lenyce and Haley made me feel comfortable from the moment I stepped into their bridal shop. They let me try on as many dresses as I needed, to come back and look all over again, and to hold my hand and assure me that, yes, my dress would fit me after the alterations. Come to think of it, Bacio Bacio was the vendor I had the most contact with throughout the wedding planning process. They were always friendly, always helpful, and made me feel like a part of the family. When I finally picked up my dress the Thursday before our wedding, I hugged one of the ladies goodbye and she said “Come back and visit with pictures! This place is practically your home now!”
Lilly Pulitzer • The Gardens Mall, 3101 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410 • Phone: (561) 799-9400
This one was a no-brainer for me. I’ve been in love with Lilly since college and wear it every chance I get. When P chose our wedding colors of sea foam and navy, I knew that I would find the perfect bridesmaids dresses at the Lilly Pulitzer store. And, VOILA, I did! They are beachy, comfortable, and wearable for nearly every occasion under the sun – which is a big plus for a bridesmaid’s dress. My only regret is that I didn’t pick up one for myself because I adore them so much!
Groom and Groomsmen Attire
Macy’s • The Gardens Mall, 3101 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410 • Phone: (561) 775-2231
Macy’s was instrumental in finding the perfect suits for P, his groomsmen, the Man of Honor, and my Daddy. We looked everywhere for navy formal wear, including two popular menswear stores, but were disappointed with the selection and the service. Enter our fabulous wedding register coordinator at Macy’s, Ruth Dinzik, who was set on finding a solution for us! She introduced us to Macy’s Stylist Vivien McLean-Bunce, who assisted P in selecting these navy Michael Kors suits. Vivien coordinated everything from purchasing and shipping out of state to arranging fittings and alterations. She also helped me find accessories for my gown (some I ended up returning) but was an overall stress-reliever while preparing for our big day.
Vineyard Vines • The Gardens Mall, 3101 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410 • Phone: (561) 626-0056
P has always wanted a Vineyard Vines bow tie. I think he was born with that Southern gentleman urge to don a seersucker suit, straw boater hat, and white bucks (Seriously, he would be right at home sipping lemonade on the veranda with Scarlet O’Hara). What better occasion to treat yourself to a tie than your own wedding? He made a trip to our local Vineyard Vines and even though the tie he wanted wasn’t in stock, the salesman helped him select and order it online.
www.Ties.com • Phone: (800) 289-2843
P gets all the credit for groomsmen’s ties. After months of listening to me nag him to “just pick something already,” he found ties that were a perfect match to the bridesmaids’ dresses on Ties.com. I married a fashion genius.
Hair & Makeup
Lulu’s Hair and Makeup Studio • Phone: (561) 827-4369
Lulu Gomez, of Lulu’s Hair and Makeup Studio, created the most glamorous yet natural look for my wedding day. I was SO impressed with her work at my friend’s wedding last May (the new Mrs. Smith!) that I knew I had to book her for my own. The best part of working with Lulu is that she listens to you. She can doll you up like a pageant queen or she can make you look as if you have no makeup on at all. I expressed my concerns over eye shadow (I can’t stand it!), my hair (it’s super fine and doesn’t hold even the teeniest of curls), and that I wanted to look like myself, just better. I have to admit, I was overwhelmed after my trial and not sure that I was going to like how I looked at my wedding. After emailing back and forth, Lulu made some minor changes to our beauty plan and I was more than pleased with the final product on March 18th. I have never felt as beautiful as I did getting ready to walk down the aisle. Honestly, I didn’t know my hair could have so much volume!
Music and DJ
DJ Donny Events • Phone: (561) 632-7323
We all know that the music can make or break a wedding reception. A DJ or band has to bridge the gap between multiple generations, cater to the musical tastes of the bride and groom, and keep the party going from cocktail hour until the big exit. P and I were so lucky and thankful to have DJ Donny at our wedding. He came highly recommended by Out of the Blue and once we met with him at his office we knew immediately that he was the right DJ for us. He listened to our concerns about having music that both our friends and grandparents would appreciate. He mapped out the entire ceremony and reception for us, including all of the music for the processional, recessional, first dance, and even the cake cutting! It was so important for me and P to have a classy wedding and DJ Donny made it happen.
Jose and Teresa Photography • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Without Jose and Teresa Gonzalez, this blog post would not have been possible! Funny enough, Teresa took the very first photo of P and me together when we first started dating – and now she and her husband, Jose, have beautifully documented our wedding! For me, it is so important to feel comfortable with your wedding vendors, especially the photographer who is capturing intimate moments of your day. Teresa and Jose immediately make you feel at ease, know just how to make you smile or laugh to get the perfect candid photos, and can take beautiful personal shots of your ceremony and reception without you evening knowing they are there. They are kind, fun, and experts at their craft. They also offer family and newborn photo sessions (not just weddings), so book them now for your Christmas cards!
Polished Petals • Phone: (561) 935-1924 • Email: Julie@polishedpetals.florist
Our florist, Julie Gyoerkoe of Polished Petals, was the vendor that most impressed me. P and I were on a serious budget when it came to flowers and Julie was able to create beautiful arrangements while staying in the price range we set for our wedding. Her work is classic and crisp. I showed her pictures of wedding flowers that I liked on Pinterest and she magically suited each arrangement to our wedding, including matching the carnations to the exact shades of pink in the bridesmaids dresses. Julie even let us bring our own Mason jars to use as vases and put on the navy ribbons herself. I am in love with my bouquet and wished that it lasted forever. The snapdragons she used were so fresh (and from Florida!) that they bloomed on my parents’ porch for over two weeks after the wedding! I’ve officially become a lifetime fan of Polished Petals!
The Diva-Licious Cake House • 601 Heritage Drive, Suite 146, Jupiter, FL • Phone: (561) 308-8599
Yum, cake! I love sweets so much that I actually suggested we have a wedding where, instead of serving dinner, we had a dessert and coffee bar (As you can see, no one liked that idea but me). Therefore, when it came to selecting a bakery and cake for our wedding, I was pretty excited! Once again, I didn’t do a great deal of searching for the perfect baker – you could say that practically our entire wedding was planned by going with our guts. JUP Mama found The Diva-Licious Cake House online and liked that they use all natural ingredients to bake their cakes from scratch. A tasting was free of charge, so we visited their little office in Abacoa. P and I fell head over heels for their orange cake with Nutella buttercream and immediately chose the combination for our wedding cake. Simple, sweet, and oh so tasty, we finally finished the last hunk that was hanging out in JUP Mama’s freezer this past weekend. And the best part is that, for our first anniversary, The Diva-Licious Cake House will bake us a fresh cake top for free!
The single thing I did to save the most money while planning our wedding was to use the online marketing material company Vistaprint to create our invitation suite. I was able to buy save the dates, return address labels, wedding website cards, seating place cards, invitations, RSVP cards, venue direction cards, and rehearsal dinner invitations for around $265. The envelopes were free and I earned discount codes each time I placed an order to use on my next purchase. I’m also fortunate enough to have pretty decent penmanship and addressed each of the save the dates and invitations by hand instead of hiring a calligrapher (nothing like a personal touch!). I couldn’t justify spending tons of cash on something that most people are going to throw away after the wedding. So maybe they weren’t the most beautiful wedding invitations in the world but they served their purpose and I loved them anyway. Vistaprint, not just for business cards!
Here’s my secret to keeping your wedding within your budget: be creative and take advantage of the items included in the price of your venue. For instance, would you ever guess that our seating place card board was from the Goodwill? JUP Mama was lucky enough to find the large, plain cork-board hiding among the shelves at the Goodwill on Indiantown Road. With a little spray paint, some burlap, rope cording, tacks, twine, and miniature clothespins, VOILA, she made the perfect display for our place cards! We also found a lot of goodies at Michael’s, including the lantern, table chalkboard, and sticker letters. Things that were available to use at Out of the Blue were table numbers and the wooden “Mr. & Mrs.” letters for our sweetheart table. In this day and age, Pinterest and television shows like Say Yes to the Dress make brides feel as though they have to splurge to personalize each little aspect of their wedding. Just remember, in the end no one is really going to care what your table numbers looked like or the color of your linens – heck, I don’t even think I remember what the floral centerpieces looked like at half the weddings I’ve been too! What matters is your marriage and your guests will remember having fun and celebrating you.
Phew! Ok, I know this was a long post but I promise you won’t have to hear anymore about our wedding. It was magical and perfect and I would do it all over again (minus all of my worrying, crying, and stressing… life’s too short for that!). To all the future Jupiter brides out there, best of luck in the planning process – I hope this post encourages you be creative, to shop local, and to have the best day ever! Questions? Email me at NativeJUP@gmail.com.