Being a leader and organizer is something that always has come naturally to Monica Pardo, whose many athletic awards while attending Gulliver Preparatory School earned her a full Division I athletic scholarship in softball at Florida International University.
While at FIU she served as team captain for three years, as Student Academic Athletic Center president and was a three-time All- TAAC and All-Sunbelt Conference player.
Graduating cum laude with a degree in early childhood education, she returned to Gulliver and won the Miami-Dade County Public School Beginning Teacher Award while teaching pre-K and kindergarten, serving as head volleyball coach and assistant varsity soccer and softball coach. After the birth of her son, she decided to try her hand at another passion — event planning with a specialty in weddings. Her experience in teaching and athletics makes her uniquely suited for the job.
“When I am somebody’s planner, I am technically their leader — their captain — and I’m going to direct them toward what I believe is the best option within the confines of their budget,” Pardo said. “I have a lot of confidence in myself, my work and my team. For many girls, this is the biggest day of their lives and I’m in charge of it. It’s an honor.”
Six months ago, Pardo took her talents to Luxurious Events, an event production, designing and planning firm based in South Florida, which has won several industry accolades including a Bride’s Choice Award, The Knot Best of Wedding List and is listed as a platinum vendor in Grace Ormonde magazine.
Most recently, the company put together the Luxury Wedding Experience event at the Deering Estate, which featured touted vendors such as Maurice Jewelers, Williams Sonoma, Mont Blanc and many others.
Founded by Melissa Barbier as a high-end, $75,000 plus alternative to its sister company, Events on a Budget, Luxurious Events offers services including planning, budget analysis, contract review, negotiations, venue scouting and selection, custom vendor recommendations, event layout and logistics, guest accommodations, rehearsal dinner planning, event and floral design, bridal party transportations, and much more.
“We’ll sit down with the bride and groom and say, ‘Give me your vision,’ and we’ll work out priorities — whether it’s the venue that’s most important or food and décor, for instance — and we’ll go from there,” Pardo said.
Efficiency, accountability and a commitment to working with only the finest vendors available — all of whom are held to the same standards as the firm itself — are high priorities for Luxurious Events, which guarantees its clients a 24- to 48-hour turnaround time regarding orders and inquiries, meaning that customers won’t be left to wonder about their event’s progress for long.
“People with more investments to make for their wedding want that couture service,” said Barbier, who developed her business based on the highly efficient models under which she worked while in the corporate world. “They want more of that concierge, personalized service and industry leaders. They want people who are going to make their weddings different than everyone else’s, and we are constantly making an effort to be the best in our industry.”
Creating a midway point between expert proficiency and intimate insight is a task seldom needed as much as it is in the world of event planning. To Pardo, that is her profession’s ultimate essence.
“When everything comes together and a client walks in and sees everything’s done — the lights, flowers, candles and linens; everything they’ve worked so hard for and envisioned come to life — there are no words to describe it,” she said. “It’s amazing. It’s a lot of work, but at the end, it’s breathtaking.”
For more information, call 305-921-4366.