Any wedding that starts with a giant bouquet of bright pink pretties is bound to be a pin-worthy day. But when that same affair includes stunning modern design from Stonehouse Events, beautiful blooms by Elegant Designs Floral Art Studio, and every inch shot through the lens of Justin DeMutiis – well, you better get ready for a wedding swoon-fest like you’ve never seen before. Get started right here, m’dears!
From the Bride… I met Ryan out one night while he was dressed up as, what looked to be like a member of Motley Crew, during a month not even remotely close to Halloween, so humor has been a large part of our relationship from the get-go. We wanted the wedding to really reflect us as a couple so we tried to get creative with a lot of custom details. We wanted a fun, yet elegant outdoor wedding on the water, which was slim pickings if we were to do it in my hometown in Ohio. We vacation in Sarasota every year, so we started to look at venues in the area. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens turned out to be the perfect spot!
We love to entertain, even in our tiny NYC apartment, and this wedding was no different. When else would we be able to throw this big of a party with all of our friends and family? For the ceremony, we went the non-traditional route and played upbeat oldies love songs to get everyone excited for the evening to come. I have no shame; Darlene Love’s “Today I Met The Boy I’m Gonna Marry” will never get old in my book. We had refreshments and fan programs to keep our guests hydrated and cool. We adored the idea of the Love Letter and Wine box ceremony as we are easily swayed to unwind at home with a bottle of wine after a stressful day.
Afterwards, guests moved to cocktail hour, which was overlooking the water so everyone could enjoy the sunset. Kitschy metallic silver lawn flamingos then lead our guests on a path through the garden to the great lawn where the reception was held. I desperately wanted mirrored tabletops, but they were not easy to come by in the area, so I opted for a mirrored escort table. We both love bubbly, so we used oversized champagne buckets instead of having a box for cards. In lieu of a guest book, we had marriage advice mad libs at each place setting on the tables.
The food from the Francis was absolutely amazing and they really went above and beyond for us in so many ways. We love dining out, so it was important to us to have a great menu, and not typical wedding food. The cake was gorgeous and all white, but we went with a fun rainbow surprise inside. A rainbow colored candy and dessert bar, complete with a favorite from home, Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake Truffles, accompanied it. Since we have a love for food, favors were little jars of rosemary sea salt to remember our garden seaside wedding (Big thanks to Martha Stewart for this tidbit!)
We wanted to go with a DJ over a band because of the wide variety of music we had in mind for the whole night. We actually found Jay when we were out one night after dinner, the first time we came down to visit the venue. One of the best moments of the wedding night was when I looked around and noticed absolutely everyone had joined us on the dance floor after the parent dances were over. Not one person was left in their seats!
I didn’t realize some of the challenges we’d face doing a destination wedding at a venue where you had to bring in literally everything, but a lot of love went into this wedding from countless friends and family members who helped out. We couldn’t have done it without them or without our awesome vendors! Though we did the majority of planning ourselves, I highly recommend anyone doing a destination wedding to hire a wedding coordinator for at least the month of service, they will keep you sane when you need it most (or at least try)!
Photography: Justin DeMutiis Photography | Coordination: Stonehouse Events | Flowers: Elegant Designs Floral Art Studio | Cake: Pastries By Design | Ceremony Venue: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens | Reception Venue: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Catering: The Francis | Makeup: Tammy Gamso With Fresh | DJ: Jay Goodley Entertainment | Transportation: Assured Transportation | Bride's Dress + Bridesmaids' Dresses: Custom Designed | Earrings: Jenny Packham | Fan Program Prining: Lolo Lincoln | Groom's Shirt: Turnbull And Asser | Invitation Letterpress: Peter Kruty Editions | Invites, Fan Programs, Napkins: The Groom | Linens: Connie Duglin | Officiant/Rabbi: Michael Raab | Rentals: US Tent Rental | Suit: Hugo Boss