Real Wedding at The Highland Manor – Julianna and Gabriel

Real Wedding at The Highland Manor – Juliana
RealWedding Ortiz 2

Real Wedding at The Highland Manor – Julianna Ortiz and Gabriel Malaret 

At Events by Dubsdread we love being dedicated members of the team that makes your big day your best day. While we are masters at the planning and executing the behind-the-scenes work, we know our clients have their own unique perspective on their event. We thank recent couple Julianna Ortiz and Gabriel Malaret for graciously sharing their experience to benefit others.

BRIDE AND GROOM: Julianna Ortiz and Gabriel Malaret
WEDDING DATE: July 29, 2023
The Highland Manor
EVENT COORDINATOR: Michelle Edmiston, Event Specialist/Sales Representative


Photographer: Four Loves Photo and Film

DJ: Soundwave

Florist: Majestic Flowers & Blooms in Apopka

Cake/Dessert: Publix

Hair: Sofiajure Aesthetics

Makeup: EMC Beautie

Draping: W Drapings Florida


How/where did you get engaged?
We got engaged in Celebration, FL. It was Gabriel’s UCF graduation day and we had spent over three months planning this great graduation party for him. I graduated from UCF a couple years earlier and UCF was the place that we met so I wanted to make this celebration the best grad bash ever! We had friends and family coming over to a rented townhouse near Disney and I spent the whole night before putting up decorations. His graduation was in the early afternoon, so we got ready and made the journey to UCF. After the commencement ceremony had ended, we made our way to the townhouse and his parents called saying we needed to pick up some churros on our way to the party. I wish you could’ve seen Gabriel’s acting during that call! He made it seem like he was so upset and I 100% believed it! We made it to the Columbia restaurant in Celebration and waited for the food. He was getting increasingly fidgety so after we got the churros, he said he wanted to take a walk around the little lake to decompress before the party. As we walked around, he said “I actually have someone to surprise you with!” so he whistled…and nothing happened! He then scrambled to his phone and desperately texted someone, only to realize they were at the wrong portion of the lake. Once we walked for a few more minutes, I saw our corgi in a dress and a little backpack, waiting at a bench with some of my closest friends. They let our pup go and she ran to us, which is the moment that Gabriel opened her backpack, got down on one knee, and asked the big question! After seven years of dating, the proposal was more perfect than I could’ve imagined. While he proposed, our families and friends transformed the townhouse from a graduation party to an engagement party! It was a dream.

RealWedding Ortiz Engage 2

What are you most excited about for your wedding day?
We’re so incredibly excited to have our reception at our dream venue but we’re ultimately excited to just start this next chapter together and have all of our closest friends and family there to celebrate with us! We are so excited for the food and the cake and decorations on our wedding day, but nothing means more to us than finally being called husband and wife. I’m secretly so excited for that one moment before everyone is in the ballroom where Gabriel and I get to see it all put together for the first time!

What aspect are you excited to plan the most? (Ceremony, food & beverages, photographer, DJ)
We’re both extremely excited to plan our decorations with whichever florist and DJ that we end up with!


How do you feel the planning is going?
We feel like planning is going very well! We’re so grateful that Highland Manor and Events by Dubsdread take care of so much already so we don’t feel overwhelmed. We spent so long saying “oh yeah we have so much time to figure specifics out” but now that we’re only a handful of months out from our wedding, it’s definitely crunch time! Contracts being signed left and right, outfits getting coordinated, hotels being booked, everyone asking the same five questions over and over again, it’s enough to make your head spin! But with the support of our family and friends (and my handy wedding binder), we’re so excited every day for what we’re planning.

What have you found to be more difficult than you expected?
Gabriel and I agreed that the most difficult part of wedding planning has been the planning fatigue. We thought that we’d be so excited to plan for our wedding every single day, but we definitely forgot that we have pretty hectic lives outside of wedding planning. I get pretty easily overwhelmed by too many choices and when you have great vendors who ask a hundred questions to make sure everything is perfectly planned, it is definitely exhausting and drains your energy. We’re getting to the point that we do have all of these tasks at hand still waiting, but we’re taking it a bit slower and not overloading a planning session with too much.

What has been more fun about the process than you expected?
The thing that we’ve had the most fun with is finally being able to see our vision of our perfect day come to life! We love making decisions together and watching every little puzzle piece come together for our wedding. It’s been so fun meeting with each vendor and seeing each other’s face light up when our ideas are turned into reality. This answer may change after the Dubsdread food tasting though!


What was the best, most memorable part of your big day?
Apart from marrying each other, the best and most memorable part of our big day was definitely the room reveal right before our guests came into the main dining room. We spent so much time planning every detail and worrying whether our vision would come to life with so many vendors and moving parts, but once we saw that the room was exactly what we dreamed of, it was like the weight of the world was lifted off our shoulders and we could just enjoy the rest of the night.

If you could change one or two things about your event, what would they be?
The only thing that we would have changed would be to add that extra time at the end of our reception! We were not at all ready for the night to be over and we wish we had added that extra hour to dance the night away for just a little longer! Other than that, everything was perfect.

Is there any advice you would give other couples planning their event that you wish someone had told you?
Everyone always says that your wedding day will happen in a flash and it’s so painfully true. While you’re rushing around taking those pictures and trying to make it down the aisle in time while worrying about whether your cake will be the right color or if the napkins will be folded the right way, just let your mind stop for a second here and there. Throughout your wedding day, take that moment to soak in each second, even if that means just staring out into your cocktail hour at your guests laughing and enjoying themselves or standing at your sweetheart table for a minute, no talking, and no nitpicking. Just taking in a moment that’ll be over far too quickly. 

Photos courtesy of the bride, groom, and Four Loves Photo and Film.

When you book a wedding with Events by Dubsdread at one of our exclusive venues, we provide wedding coordination at no additional charge. Our coordinators become dedicated members of your team bringing experience and expertise to help you execute your vision. Contact them today via our Contact Us page to make our team your team in making your dreams come true. 

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