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Posted on August 28, 2014

What a fabulous summer wedding! Tara and Scott live in the Midwest, so planning their South Florida destination wedding at the incomparable Fontainebleau Miami Beach was definitely something very special for them as well as their lucky guests. To help plan their elegant summer wedding, the couple called upon Carrie Zack Events to manage all details and create the wedding of their dreams.

The hotel itself is considered historic, having first opened its doors in 1954, attracting celebrities and filmmakers alike. The Fontainebleau is prominently featured in the classic James Bond film Goldfinger (1964). In 2008, the hotel underwent a massive renovation and was transformed into the modern marvel we see today. Just check out the incredible architecture in the photos below - there is simply nothing like it anywhere else.

For a Miami Beach wedding, there is hotel that provides more unique locales to shoot than the Fontainebleau. There is literally an endless array of magnificent spots in and around this hotel to photograph willing brides and grooms. Tara and Scott were enthusiastic about their pictures from the very beginning - before we even met - and on their wedding day they were fun and fabulous to work with. Just look at these shots that we had so much fun shooting.

For Miami Beach, the Fontainebleau is a perfect venue to host a wedding – either large or small. There are so many amazing spaces and rooms there for ceremonies and receptions that there is literally a perfect spot for everyone. Whether your ceremony is planned inside or out, the Fontainebleau can provide an incredible backdrop for your vows. Tara and Scott's ceremony was beachside - the ultimate tropical and romantic setting.

As a South Florida wedding photographer, I often photograph couples at the beach. With a Fontainebleau Miami Beach wedding, how could we NOT hit the beach?

Just some of the whimsical and festive details created by Carrie Zack Events and her team of associated vendors.

Tara and Scott's Miami Beach destination wedding was fun for all!

What a great party!

Some nice bling here too. Congratulations to Tara and Scott! We were thrilled to be a part of your special day.

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Taylor & JP’s South Florida wedding at BallenIsles Country Club

Posted on July 21, 2014

Taylor and JP came to us a long time ago! They were so enthusiastic about their upcoming wedding and no detail was overlooked. After looking around at several hotels in the Palm Beach Gardens area, they eventually found BallenIsles Country Club and instantly knew it was what they were looking for. They loved the views of the golf course and the venue itself seemed to have character that they didn’t find in any regular hotel ballroom.

From the beginning, Taylor knew she wanted a “fairytale wedding.” To achieve her desired ambiance for the wedding, she hired Benny of Daniel Events. Taylor’s dream came true as Benny draped the entire room from floor to ceiling and totally transformed the space. Another special touch was the use of a white vinyl dance floor with monogram gobo lighting. Taylor’s dream wedding included lots of crystals, candle lighting plush centerpieces which exuded a traditional elegance. The couple also had a gorgeous monogrammed ice sculpture for the shrimp cocktail display during their cocktail hour.

Although they had a formal South Florida wedding, Taylor and JP are pretty laid back, so they wanted to add personal touches that reflected their personalities. These touches included a basket of various sized flip flops for the ladies to change into for dancing – “a special treat for their dancing feet.” Also, there were monogrammed koozies at all the bars for guests who were drinking beer to use and keep as a souvenir. Lastly, they had wayfarer sunglasses that ended up being a huge hit on the dance floor! Taylor is a big believer in that all the little details come together to make one great party! To this point, she had her heart set on certain Swarovski table numbers that were very hard to find. She drove all the way to Miami during the week of the wedding to pick them up because she knew this was exactly what she wanted and nothing would look better! As a South Florida wedding photographer, I can appreciate all these little details as well – they make for great photos!

Taylor’s gown was by Allure, specifically for their couture line. Her shoes were J. Crew and her jewelry and head piece were all Swarovski crystal by Twinkle Twinkle Bridal.

Deciding whether to hire a band or a DJ was a bit of a struggle at first. Taylor wanted a DJ and JP wanted a band. They found the best compromise in hiring Mike Sipe’s DJ Live experience. This included a DJ to play the songs the way they were recorded and also a sax player and percussionist that could play along with any and every song they chose. Taylor and JP were thrilled with the result – they had the energy of a band but the versatility of a DJ. It was a perfect mix for them.

The couple met back in 2007 in Daytona. JP was 25 and just starting out in Chiropractic school. Taylor was just 18 and had just graduated from high school. They met by chance in her apartment complex parking lot and he asked Taylor out on a date to meet him later that week at a Daytona Cubs baseball game. That was their first date and the rest was history! They dated for 5 years before JP proposed to Taylor on a trip to Chicago for St. Patrick’s Day.

Everything has worked out wonderfully for this couple. They now work together at their own wellness clinic in Port St. Lucie. JP is the chiropractor and clinic director and Taylor is his office manager. They never thought they’d be working together, but as Taylor explained, it just makes them stronger and no one will work harder for their company than they will.

As if their South Florida wedding wasn’t enough excitement, JP surprised Taylor with the location of their honeymoon. All along he had not secretive about all the hard work he was putting into planning the honeymoon but wouldn’t tell her where it was. The morning of the wedding, Taylor and her bridesmaids were getting ready when they were visited by one of the groomsmen who brought in a laptop with a small, wrapped gift box. He told Taylor to watch the video and open the gift when she was told to. Taylor pressed play and up popped JP with a pre-recorded message. He told her how much he loved her and couldn’t wait to see her later. He said he was going to give her a few hints as to where they were going on their honeymoon before he FINALLY gave the location away. The camera cut to various clips of him rock climbing, surfing, hiking, and biking. Taylor explained that this was done all with very low budget visual effects to make it look like he was somewhere tropical! It was a such a funny video and the final hint was in the box that she could now open. Inside, was a Tahitian black pearl and the rarest in the world. Then he said they were going to Bora Bora! Taylor was beyond excited. She was shaking, laughing and crying all at once.

These two had such a sweet story leading up to their magnificent South Florida wedding that I thought I would share it here. Taylor was kind enough to provide me with all this wonderful information about herself and JP. As a South Florida wedding photographer, I always love hearing special details about the couples whose weddings I photograph.

Among the vendors that contributed to their wedding day success were of course the already mentioned, Daniel Events and Mike Sipe Entertainment. Also part of the day were Molly’s Trolley’s, Vivid Hair Design & Spa, Katie B. with MAC Palm Beach Gardens and of course their gorgeous Palm Beach Gardens wedding venue, BallenIsles Country Club.

Congratulations Taylor and JP – we were honored to be a part of your very special South Florida wedding.

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Lisa & Drew’'s Magical Miami Wedding

Posted on January 15, 2014

What a fabulous affair this was! I had the recent pleasure of photographing Lisa Thomson and Drew Rosenhaus’'s wedding, starting first at the fabulous Fontainebleau Miami Beach, then moving on to the wonderfully unique Miami venue of Jungle Island for the ceremony and reception. Carrie Zack Events provided expert management and coordination for this exclusive Miami wedding.

Lisa, a successful real estate agent, was an absolutely stunning bride and her choice of sparkly Christian Louboutin shoes and a super sexy Pnina Tornai gown were just perfect on her! She and her glamorous group of girls prepared for the wedding at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, where we photographed their “getting ready” process and then proceeded to take some photos in and around the lobby area of the hotel.

The historic Fontainebleau has been around since 1954 and has undergone several transformations since its early years. Known as a destination for celebrities and the elite of society, the hotel boasts 12 restaurants, a 20-acre oceanfront location, expansive pool area (prominently featured in the film “Goldfinger”), nightclubs, a 40,000 square foot Lapis spa, and state-of-the-art conference and event facilities. Aside from all these incredible features, the hotel offers fabulous backdrops for creating amazing photos. I had a great time photographing Lisa, her bridal party and family against all the amazing spaces the Fontainebleau Miami beach has to offer. Truly a piece of Miami Beach history, the Fontainebleau remains one of the most iconic places in the area and as a South Florida wedding photographer, offers an incomparable location for creating unique wedding photographs.

Drew Rosenhaus, a prominent sports agent – well known to any major sports fan – was the groom to be and we were to meet up with him and his groomsmen and family over at Jungle Island. One unusual aspect about Jungle Island is that the venue can host a large party (this one was about 300 people) and the place is totally private. It is closed to the public when events such as this are happening, so there is complete privacy for the bride, groom and their guests. Aside from their famous parrots, Jungle Island is home to many other different types of animals such as lemurs and alligators – some of which are brought out to mingle with guests during the cocktail hour. Not your average wedding feature!

The wedding of Lisa Thomson and Drew Rosenhaus definitely had a sports element incorporated into it. How could it not? The cocktail area outside of the main ballroom was decorated with pink sports lockers, and a football field table that was later decorated with sports cupcakes. This was a super festive party that included a photo booth, a Japanese candy art maker, and an unbelievable dessert spread with a never-ending candy bar, champagne infused cake balls, cookies, and a fabulous s’mores station. The selection was truly mindboggling. The party itself featured a Hora Loca hour that got people to interact with the dancers and stilt walkers and a sumptuous buffet dinner was provided for guests all evening.

As a South Florida wedding photographer, I was honored to be a party of Lisa and Drew’s special day and had a great time in the process! Many thanks to them for their graciousness and enthusiasm on their wedding day.

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I absolutely LOVE my album!

Posted on December 6, 2013

Hi Jeff,

I hope you and your family had a nice Thanksgiving. I have to tell you I absolutely LOVE my album! It is sooo nice and will forever be so special to Ryan and I. I couldn't wait to show him and our families. It was a nice surprise to bring over for the holidays for them to see. Thank you again for capturing the most important day of our lives. We will forever cherish these memories with such a beautiful book. I cannot thank you enough. Thank you again for everything. Have a nice holiday and I will talk to you soon.


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Vanita & Bryan’s South Florida Destination Wedding at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa

Posted on October 8, 2013

I recently had the pleasure of photographing Vanita and Bryan’s very colorful and festive destination wedding at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa. Here’s their wonderful story!

Vanita and Bryan met at the Eve of the Eve holiday party at Union Station in downtown Chicago on December 30, 2011. In Bryan’s words: “Vanita was walking back from the ladies’ room with some friends as I was on my way to the men’s room. She was absolutely gorgeous. I gathered up the courage to approach her and was able to convince me to give me her number. The next day we met for coffee. The day after we went to the Bulls game and the day after that I had orchids delivered to her. Later that same week, I took her out to dinner, asked her to be my girlfriend and she said yes!”

Vanita’s story: “On December 30, 2012, we decided to go back to the Eve of the Eve. While at the party, it was announced from the stage that Bryan and I were the winners of a raffle prize. Completely surprised, I ran up to the microphone with Bryan. Once on stage, he explained that a week before, he had flown to Florida to ask my father’s permission to marry me. He then got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife and I said yes!”

From this incredible proposal, their magnificent wedding was planned at the magnificent Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa. For a large Indian wedding such as Bryan and Vanita’s, the sprawling Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa was a perfect location. With its spectacular views of the Atlantic ocean and its many ballrooms to choose from, the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa is an excellent choice for a South Florida destination wedding. Vanita and Bryan’s wedding took full advantage of all this venue had to offer, with their ceremony taking place outside overlooking the ocean. What a terrific experience for their guests as well! The inside rooms offered more than adequate space to host their large wedding event.

While photographing Vanita & Bryan around the Diplomat Hotel, I couldn't help but notice the awesome blue neon walls inside the gym. I couldn't resist this opportunity, and in no time we were taking pictures in the gym. Vanita's red Indian wedding sari was the perfect contrasting color against the gym's super cool walls.

Here are some details about Vanita and Bryan’s elaborate wedding fashions. Vanita and Bryan both had custom wedding ceremony outfits purchase at Saahil Boutique in Chicago. Vanita’s custom wedding reception outfit was from Studio Elite in Chicago and Bryan’s was from Brioni. The bride’s jewelry came from Devam in Boca Raton, Florida. Hair and make-up was created by Marz of Miami and Vanita’s hair clip was from Jill Zaleski Designs in Chattanooga, TN. The bride’s shoes were by Stuart Weitzman and the couples’ rings were from Trabert and Hoefer in Chicago.

The Diplomat Hotel has an expansive lobby that is the perfect location for family bridal portraits. The hotel features glass walls and a very large skylight on the atrium ceiling. With all this soft natural light streaming in, the hotel lobby is a great spot to create portraits that feature flattering lighting.

BELOW: This beautiful photo of Vanita was taken by our staff photographer "Liz". You can see more of her photography by looking under the gallery menu at the top of our website.

Outdoor oceanfront weddings with the Atlantic ocean in the background is one of the most requested spots brides and grooms look for when having a South Florida destination wedding. The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa delivers this and more - it is the perfect place to say "I do" with a perfect oceanfront location.

A wedding photographer photographing an Indian ceremony needs to be ready for anything. With so many interesting and unique traditions happening during the ceremony, there is no shortage of photo opportunities.

There are many small details and emotional moments to capture during a traditional Indian wedding ceremony. As a South Florida wedding photographer, I love to shoot such weddings, as they are rich with colorful traditions and make for absolutely incredible photos!

Vanita poses before the Indian wedding mandap set against a gorgeous Atlantic ocean backdrop. She is displaying the intricate henna work applied to her hands the day before.

The Westin Diplomat's ballroom was amazingly decorated for this event. The large ballroom used for this wedding was transformed from a blank slate into a dreamy reception room.

Ballroom decor looks even better when set against a spectacular ocean view!

Indian weddings often feature bright and festive colors. Vanita and Bryan selected different shads of pinks, reds and white for their flowers. Purple and yellow uplighting accented the room.

The night was non-stop fun and included traditional Indian dancing (see the 3 girls in the photo below.)

Yummy appetizers served to the lucky wedding guests.

A lavish dinner of steak and prawns followed. Better leave room for dessert!

The guests had a great time!

Vanita and her sorority sisters take a photo break. Weddings are always a great opportunity to see friends whom you might not have seen in a while. What a great reunion this was!

Vanita is a little embarrassed by something Bryan said during their speeches.

Toasts to the newly married couple!

Another lovely couple - Brittany and Allen. I photographed their wedding last year at the Ocean Reef Club and they sent Vanita and Bryan to us. Here Allen attempts to adjust the elephant's trunk to no avail.

The cake cutting!

We would like to extend our thanks to Vanita and Bryan for having us be a part of their special day. It was a great experience for our team and we congratulate the bride and groom to the fullest!

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