While no two weddings are ever the same at Acqualina Resort & Spa, there’s always one constant behind the scenes: Catering Manager Jessica Roldan.
“What inspires me,” she says, “is starting from nothing and then seeing the event coming alive the day of the wedding. It’s about making a couple’s dreams come true.”
Roldan handles all aspects of wedding planning at Acqualina, from the time a couple first selects the resort to ensuring perfection on the day of the nuptials. Modest or lavish, she will help you realize your dreams on your special day – and it all starts with choosing the venues.
The most sought-after backdrop is easily the Front Lawn, where the grass actually meets the white sand of Sunny Isles Beach. Perfect for an oceanfront ceremony, the venue is the only one of its kind in South Florida. But couples also revel in chic gatherings poolside – or rather, on top of the pool with clear coverings – as well as tented events on the Great Lawn, the resort’s largest open-air event space at 3,200 square feet accommodating up to 150 guests.
“It’s perfect when they want to stay all outdoors,” says Roldan, noting that each of the venues embodies Acqualina’s signature combination of effortless luxury, pristine natural beauty, and sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean. “They can hold the ceremony on the Front Lawn, with the beautiful ocean as a backdrop, then the cocktail hour by the pool, and they can have a tent on the Great Lawn for an elegant reception.”
The Mediterranean Room, too, is a wonderful option for guests who wish to extend the celebration late into the night with its sleek Mediterranean design, vaulted ceilings, and exquisite, wraparound terrace. (There is a noise restriction outdoors after 11 pm.)
Each space allows for flexibility in setup and décor, from simple yet elegant accents to complete transformations. Ask Roldan about some of the more memorable wedding planning moments, and she may reference the couple with Brazilian heritage that covered everything in pink and white florals and ended the night with samba dancers and confetti showering the dancefloor. Or, she may choose to share the story of the aviation enthusiasts who had a seaplane made of flowers set up as if it were landing in the resort fountain.
Through seamless coordination in every aspect of design, Roldan and her team of creative talents can personalize any part of your wedding at Acqualina or assist you in choosing a signature wedding package (which requires almost no planning). Both the Elegance and the Opulence packages see venues bedecked in either silver or gold, with white hydrangeas and roses exuding sophistication and romance.
On the tables, or passed by butlers, are goat cheese and sun-dried tomato on focaccia, bite-sized Mediterranean delicacies, Chilean sea bass with truffle-whipped potatoes, porcini-crusted filet mignon with madeira jus, and more.
Set menus can be adjusted to accommodate a couple’s individual taste, including that of their background or culture. “We work together with the culinary team and the chef to make sure they have that flavor that will please [the couple] and their guests,” says Roldan, as she names kosher requests, Caribbean dishes, after-party comfort food, and retro candy bars. Once, she had a French and Indian couple that incorporated both unique cuisines into their reception.
After the planning and before your special day, there are a number of wedding experiences to choose from, including bridal and bachelorette experiences. Make your wedding day preparations at Acqualina Spa by ESPA with a radiant facial, salt and oil scrub, restorative body massage, and manicure and pedicure. (There are packages for the bride, groom, wedding party, and guests.)
“The Royal Suite was just renovated,” says Roldan, “and that’s perfect for the bride and groom prior to or after the wedding. It’s a beautiful area for them to relax and be together.”
She also recommends an intimate dinner on the beach, relaxing poolside, and exploring Miami either together or with a group of wedding guests. The close proximity of Miami Beach means that rehearsal dinners, after-parties, and group activities in the city are all a possibility, as well as shopping and chartering a boat for the day to see Miami from the water. (Just 30 minutes from Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale Airport, this also makes Acqualina convenient for guests traveling from anywhere across the globe.)
At the end of the day, a more tranquil, sophisticated setting awaits back at Acqualina. And when the time comes to say your vows, everything will be exactly as you imagined.
“I love when the event is over and [the couple is] so happy,” says Roldan. “If everything goes smoothly and their vision comes to life, that’s a great reward for me.”