Al Fresco Affair Inspired by Great Gatsby
April 29, 2014
Outdoor WeddingsFall Weddings
Great Gatsby just might be the most influential piece of literature to ever grace the wedding world - and with good reason. The elegance of the gilded age is shining through in this affair captured by Pezz Photo, with planning by Events By Anna Pohl and florals by Elegant Designs Floral Art Studio . Have a look here for so much more as well as in the film by RisingSky Productions below.
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From the Bride... After getting engaged, Jeffrey and I talked about what was most important to each of us on our wedding day.  One thing we easily agreed upon is that we wanted to get married (and have the reception) outdoors.  Since we live in Brooklyn but were looking for a wedding venue in Florida, where I grew up, we worked closely with an amazing planner, Anna Pohl, to help bring our vision to life.  We fell in love with our venue as soon as we arrived on the grounds; we wanted our wedding to feel like an upscale picnic--whimsical Great Gatsby, meets old Florida, meets modern, understated elegance.  The Bay Preserve hit every note.

We got married the weekend that Hurricane Sandy was headed up the eastern seaboard, so although it was a very windy morning, as the ceremony began, the winds died down and the weather was balmy and serene for the rest of the night.  The whole day was incredibly special but not without some tough moments.  My mom passed away in 2010 so something that was very important to me was finding little ways to honor her and feel her presence throughout the day.  She left me beautiful diamond earrings specifically for my "wedding day" and as luck (or fate) would have it, they matched my wedding dress perfectly.  I also had a layer of her huge 1970's style veil refashioned into a modern floor length veil that I wore down the aisle and my "something blue" was a teal ribbon, honoring ovarian cancer awareness, pinned into the inner lining of my dress.

The ceremony took place right before sunset and even with almost 200 guests, it retained an intimate feeling because the venue was so private and removed.  I had requested gardenias be placed in my bouquet as they had always grown outside the front door of my house growing up; with my dad walking me down the aisle, surrounded by Jeffrey, family, friends, and the smell of gardenias, I felt as though I was home.  It was a beautiful ceremony despite the appearance of an unwelcome guest: a rather large poisonous snake slithered up as the best man and maid of honor walked down the aisle.  Luckily I didn't know a thing about it until long after!

Once we were officially hitched, our guests were greeted with spiked strawberry basil lemonade, bacon wrapped dates, and miniature lobster rolls.  1920's style jazz played on the back porch of the house while guests ate, drank, and wandered onto the dock and down by the water for a stunning sunset.  The rest of the party took place al fresco on the sprawling lawn of the Bay Preserve.  We put up a tent frame strung with cafe lights so our guests could enjoy an unobstructed view of the water, the stars, and the almost full moon.

We are both particular with our food and music and, thus, spent a lot of time curating these two aspects of the evening.  For dinner, we carefully put together a menu that recreated dishes from some of our favorite restaurants in NYC and Brooklyn.  We tried to keep everything as fresh, seasonal, and local as possible down to the fact that the fish we served at the wedding was caught by my father and his friends on a fishing trip to the Florida Keys!  For music, we decided on a prohibition style jazz trio to play the ceremony and cocktail hour.  For the party, we were super fortunate that a close friend connected us with one of the resident dj's from the Delano Hotel on South Beach.  We "imported" him to Sarasota for the evening and he honored our many musical requests while still making sure our guests danced all night!