We had the opportunity to travel to the barrier island located between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, also known as South Beach or SoBe. All year round the weather never drops below the 50s, the low in the coldest month is 59 degrees. The dream ideal location for a winter wedding for those who live in colder climates and want their wedding somewhere warm.
I arrived in Miami on Thursday morning at about 11 am. No luggage checked so it was a smooth transition from the plane. It was a perfectly hot day in Miami and a relief from the moody NYC weather. From the airport, I took a 20 min LYFT to my hotel on South Beach. Driving over the bridge from the inner city to the beach is always my favorite thing about traveling to Miami. Finally, on the famous Collins Ave, we pulled up to the beautiful retro all-white Shelborne Hotel. Valet greeted me with bright eyes and a large smile, behind their masks of course. I checked into the classic art deco hotel with the lovely Delisa. She was a fireball of energy. I was nervous about checking in extra early but she made me feel right at home. After a swift check-in, she instructed me on how to get to my room on the 14th floor. When I arrived, I was taken aback by the bright room and vintage glamour. It was a very spacious king bedroom with views of the ocean and pool. I stepped out on the balcony and the only thing I could hear were the waves crashing & subtle laughter from the pedestrians down below. Sun beaming on my skin, a very aww moment, I freshened up and headed down to the lobby to get the feel of the atmosphere. There was a beautiful library downstairs where I sat to plan my afternoon. Dimly lit and the perfect amount of air on my skin to combat the heat going on outside. After seeing what was in the neighborhood to explore, I decided to head to the pool.
Uncertain about what was going on and why, but the pool had a nice amount of guests in it and its surroundings. No big deal, I saw the perfect remedy to ease my mind, there were 2 bars nearby where I grabbed a froze garnished with a huge pineapple slice. Either it was scorching outside and/or was super refreshing but I blinked and was on round 2. After soaking in the sun up by the pool I returned to my room, upon entering my room I was greeted by an assorted tray of chilled refreshing fruit, compliments of Shelborne. I sat on my balcony and enjoyed my fresh treat. As the evening passed on, I contemplated what was for dinner. With so many options nearby I was a little overwhelmed with making a decision. I ultimately ended up getting dressed up to head down to the Oasis Garden at the Shelborne. As I walked down towards the Garden, I heard a live DJ and knew I made the right decision to stay local. The music was so good, it was perfect with the sunset and the DJ understood the assignment. I couldn’t help but notice this very cool pink situation happening in the backyard with a huge unicorn hanging out. Turns out to be a pop-up bar/restaurant called Sweet Beach. The space had such a cool vibe, with a “Pretty in Pink” colorway. I see lots of instagrammable content moments happening here which would include this beautiful St. Germain Liqueur swing covered in flowers. With that being said, I sat at one of the socially distant tables and ordered a glass of prosecco and St. Germain with the fish tacos. I am so glad that I did, the fish was fresh and crispy, the portion size of the dish was perfect. From the garden, you get a view of the Miami Beach boardwalk, so I totally enjoyed my people-watching moment while I enjoyed my dinner. I already knew this was going to be a great quick trip.
The Shelborne Experience
Awaken by the sunrise over the Atlantic ocean, I walked out to the balcony. The scene was so calm and quiet. I remembered the concierge gifted me with a complimentary breakfast card for the Shelborne caffe. The cafe was not your typical cafe, modernly designed with open glass walls to feel the breeze and it truly made me feel like I was eating outside. I ordered steel cut oats with fruit and some tea. The oats were so satisfying and very rich, with fruit on the side it was the perfect morning pick. After finishing my breakfast I met up with Mariana Hauri from the wedding team at Shelborne. Mariana and I went on tour of some of the venue spaces they utilize for ceremonies and receptions. The Grand Eldorado Ballroom was such an amazing space that can seat well over 200 guests. However, if you are getting married in Miami, I am assuming you are a fan of the weather, ocean, and scenery that comes with it. The Sky Terrace was absolutely mind-blowing, it can easily seat 150 guests. There is a spiral staircase located near the pool where the bride graciously walks up. While the guest awaits her arrival, they have the most astonishing view of the pool and ocean. The vision Mariana explained to me was so surreal. The Shelborne has a plethora of venus to choose from with vendors on hand to make sure your special day is well taken care of. After my meeting with Mariana, I went to the lobby to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee from David’s cafe. It’s only right to enjoy Cuban coffee while on South Beach.
Eat Live and Love
My next meeting was with Lillian Rojas with Constellation Culinary Group. A major catering company in South Florida. I met with Lillian at the Perez Art Museum on Biscayne Blvd. Sweeping views of Biscayne Bay and a very intricate hanging garden. Before my tour, I had lunch at the Verde on the spacious terrace. My Verde spicy margarita and branzino did not miss a beat, the flavors complement each other so well. I met with Lillian for a tour of the museum. The venue holds up to 700 people in the highest part of the museum outdoors. I can not express enough how beautiful the hanging gardens are. Down to the bridal ready room, every inch was immaculate. Raining on your special day? Nothing to worry about. They have a lovely indoor venue that can accommodate you, in theater-style seating. The Cocktail hour in an exhibit? The ultimate encounter! Lastly, dinner dancing in the grass along the water. With the architecture and picturesque views, Perez Art Museum will provide you with the most unforgettable wedding experience. I find the relationship between the venues and vendors very convenient and the venue spaces are so involved with the vendors. I believe them to be able to answer the most basic questions that you may have during the initial meet with Constellation Culinary Group. I couldn’t wait to use my free museum passes Lillian gifted me on my next visit to Miami.
After my meeting at Perez, I took a scenic route back to South Beach. The weather was perfect and the ride was smooth with little to no traffic. Back on the beach, I decided to walk “the strip” also known as Collins Ave. The culture and atmosphere was extremely booming. I was blocks away from The Shelborne and there were so many activities to do nearby. Instead of going back to my room, I went to the beach to enjoy the weather. Thankfully it wasn’t too crowded, I met a few locals along the walk in the sand. They inquired about where I was staying and recommended a cocktail bar (my favorite) nearby that I should dabble in before I leave. I entered the Shelborne through the convenient private entrance from the beach. I noticed this beautiful bar called The Drawing Room, there was a nice small crowd hovering around, and decided I would have dinner there. Went up to the room to change and headed back down. In The Drawing Room there was a Sushi & Sake lounge. Erica took good care of me, I ordered the south beach and rainbow roll, for my cocktail I had the Hemingway. Everything was extremely delicious and filling. I don’t know about you but a lot of people I know don’t fill up on sushi but I did and it was a generous portion. There were so many things that I longed to explore. A plethora of amenities for your guest and you as a couple to enjoy.
Just around the corner, conveniently within walking distance, I found the cocktail bar. Turns out Sweet Liberty is the big sister to Sweet Beach. The pop-up bar that I mentioned earlier, located in the backyard of the Shelborne. I arrived at Sweet Liberty on the later side of the evening which is a perk when staying on South Beach. They closed at 5 AM! The menu was filled with proper cocktails for all to enjoy. Another amazing DJ in the spot and a fun intimate crowd grooving to the tunes. The bartender was so kind and I told her I was staying at the Shelborne, her eyes widened and she asked if I had been to Sweet Beach. I felt delighted to share that I did indeed get to experience it. After exploring the menu and finally spending some time on a dance floor I decided to call it a night. I walked back to my room on the late breezy night. The next morning I enjoyed brunch at David’s cafe. I can’t get over how all of my desires were so close in proximity if not at the actual hotel. The Shelborne at South Beach is the perfect hotel for your special day, from planning to the time you say I Do. The staff was extremely welcoming and accommodating. I felt super important and I can’t imagine the Shelborne not being able to meet any request you may have, no matter what your vision is. The professionalism and staff at the Shelborne are stellar and I highly recommend it. I valued my time there and I feel like I gained an incredible bond with the staff there. Much obliged to the Shelborne and the entire team. My time there is truly life-changing and unforgettable.
So if you are looking to book your next trip and are looking to escape to Miami reach out to us at WBM Travels and one of our booking agents would be happy to assist you with that and help you with your wedding production.
Alisha D. May, is an artist and actress who resides in Brooklyn. Her background in theater began early in elementary school productions, and as an adult, she completed her degree in theater at BMCC.
Her love for public engagement has been fostered by many exceptional opportunities across all levels of service and theatrical productions. Everything from hosting at restaurants to taking tickets at event, and all the way up to the stage, Ms. May has done it all!
In addition to her professional proclivities, Ms. May is the mother of a fourteen year old young gentleman who attends SSCH in Brooklyn. When not shepherding her son to and from sports practices, school, and other extracurriculars, they spend time together shuffling between museums and couch days; a necessary break from the drive of the city.
Alisha is coming up on a decade in New York, and while this city is an intoxicating urban paradise, something that Alisha has attempted to impart to her son is the need to get away, and to experience cultures and realities that differ from the day to day of the city. That is always a project at the back of her mind, and always a desire to bring to the forefront.