Photo Credits: Artz Photo, Jeff Kolodny Photography, Munoz Photography, Bill Peck Photography



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Monday, June 7, 2010

Come Discover Love: A Destination Wedding Gem right here in Florida!

As one of the top three destination wedding locations in the United States, Florida truly has some hidden treasures an options for those planning a destination wedding. At the beginning of May, 40 event and wedding planners were invited to attend a special three day event. The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce planned an event that was designed to introduce us to the Treasure coast. This destination locale has miles of beaches, rivers, nature preserves and citrus groves. As a native Floridian I was surprised as to how diverse Indian River County was and with it being less than two hours away, it's a great hideaway for those wanting to plan a wedding in away from home, but in your own back yard.

Three beautiful properties Costa d'Este Beach Resort, Vero Beach Hotel and Spa and Disney's Vero Beach Resort hosted our stay. I stayed at Gloria Estefan's Costa d'Este and talk about a bit of South Beach meets central Florida charm! Unfortunately, my arrival was masked by a deluge of rain. As soon as I was greeted in the lobby I could smell the incense which totally changed my mood and I 'relaxed'. Once I opened the door to my room, there was a lovely plate of Cuban pastries and a shot of Bustelo Cool...talk about a great welcome!

My itinerary was full of activities for the next three days and I was excited to get on with the program. Over the 3 days we visited several destination wedding options which can fit many personalities, travel needs and aesthetics. Whether the bride is bohemian chic, traditional, trendy our outside the box...there is a locale for you in Indian River! The best way to describe Vero is it's our version of the Hamptons. In NYC you would drive North 2 hours for the Hamptons, in Orlando...you need only go one hour south!

I can go on for days and days about the options, however, images truly show you the beauty found in Indian River. Below are a few photos from beautiful sites and options available; I have to thank Nathalie Cadet-James & PS Photography for the beautiful images. During the first full day of our tour, we visited the had a fantastic lunch experience at Costa D'Este. All of the floral designs were created by Andres Aguilar and his team at Mystique Flowers in Miami. The floral designs were truly inspiring. I love when designers look to push the envelope in their designs.

Our final night closed with a true South Beach-styled fete! The pool area of Costa d'Este was converted into a fantastic party spaces with lounge furniture and clear tables and chiavari chairs. Regretfully, there was a high chance of thunderstorms. Fé Domenech's event team (The Event Firm), the staff at Costa and a few of the the planners attending the event quickly went into B-Plan which allowed us to see the same design in two different spaces.




The same concept worked beautifully by the pool as well as in the enclosed spaces and ballroom.

As a professional event planner, I can't say how great it is to be around your colleagues and talk about the industry and its trends. Aside from visiting the locales, we were treated to great speakers that help set the pace for our industry. We had lunch with Grace Ormonde (Editor in Chief of Wedding Style Magazine) and Susan Moynihan (Editor in Chief of Destination Weddings Magazine) on the second day and brunch with Rebbecal Grinnals (one of the foremost experts on the business of Destination Weddings and Honeymoons. She is the Founder and President of wedding and honeymoon industry consulting firm Engaging Concepts).

Lunch with Grace Ormonde was ended with a great surprise! We all received her newly released book as a gift from the Chamber of Commerce (and what a gift! The book itself weighs over 10 pounds). Grace took a moment to speak with each of us and sign our books. This was a must have for my library that I had planned on picking up that week. To meet Grace and have her personally inscribe the book was priceless!

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we give you a peek inside each of the properties we visited.

Until Next Time,

© 2005 - 2009 Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. - All Rights Reserved. All photos used with permission from Nathalie Cadet-James and PS Photography.