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Looking for that perfect seaside locale? We’ve got the answer right here.

Celebrating your “I do’s” in paradise is sort of the end-all, be-all of glam weddings – and when it comes to finding that perfect locale to host your drop-dead gorgeous “party of the century”, The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel has you totally covered. Think world-class resorts, seriously stunning ocean views and wedding pros that will make all of your dreams come true. It doesn’t get better than this, loves… take a look below.

Destination weddings are all about kicking back with your toes in the sand, sippin’ those tasty libations and really, really pampering yourself AND all the ones you love. Whether that’s a day of fun-filled activities (hello, kayaking and beachside yoga), or simply spending some luxurious time in a Sanibel spa. That’s the beauty of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel… with a plethora of amazing resorts and inns to choose from, you’re guaranteed a weekend (or week!) of total fun. From your sure-to-be awesome bachelor + bachelorette parties, to those breathtaking “I do’s” with the ocean waves crashing in the distance and the goodbye brunch with your nearest and dearest, it’s a vacation of a lifetime meets a beautiful wedding celebration. Ah, yes… that’s the best way ever to tie the knot.

We can’t say it enough, you guys… contact The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel TODAY to start planning that dream destination wedding with wedding experts that know everything about celebrating your “I do’s” in paradise. Then enter for your chance to win a romantic getaway for a much-needed preview. Details are below!

the-giveaway

What: The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel is giving away a romantic getaway! See why there is no better place to say, “I do” and honeymoon.

How: Pin your “I do” and honeymoon, too! Choose your favorite wedding venue and honeymoon destination from The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel’s Pinterest board for a chance to win!

Who: One lucky person will win a three-night stay for two in a gorgeous Southwest Florida resort, plus a $1,000 travel voucher from Expedia!

To Enter and for Terms & Conditions: Click Here

Photography: Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina | Photography: DiamondHead Beach Resort | Photography: Sundial Resort


A Hurricane Threatened to Ruin Their Coastal Wedding Day!

Just 10 days before their wedding, threats of Hurricane Matthew began to hit the headlines of media outlets across the Atlantic coast. “I anxiously refreshed my weather web page a million times hoping this was all but a bad dream. I was in complete denial and refused to believe our perfect day was on the brink of being washed away,” said the Bride. But as luck would have it, Sea Island was re-opened and operating just in time for the wedding and Perry Vaile photographed the joyous occasion from start to finish.

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Seasons
Fall
Settings
ChapelGarden
Styles
Classic

From the Bride… Eddie and I live in Santa Monica, California, and when we got engaged we decided we wanted to throw a destination wedding. Our list for destinations narrowed quickly, and we decided Sea Island, Georgia would be a dream location for our wedding day. We had visited the resort for New Year’s Eve the year before and had fallen in love with the resort’s southern charm. Now, it may not sound like your typical “destination” since we weren’t leaving the country but 80% of our guests had never even been to the South, let alone coastal Georgia. So we decided to roll with a “Destination Southern Wedding” theme and quickly began selecting southern touches to wow our guests with.

The Hurricane

Fifteen months of wedding planning seemed to fly by, and before we knew it we were 10 days away from the wedding. While Eddie and I finished our last minute wedding to-do’s from sunny southern California, a hurricane was brewing in the Atlantic. His name was Matthew. Over the course of a couple days, what began to look like a small storm had now reached Category 4 strength. Weather experts were warning business owners and residents to prepare for the worst.

“Hurricane Matthew is a monster”, “Parts of Georgia will be uninhabitable for weeks” were among some of the headlines I was reading. I anxiously refreshed my weather webpage a million times hoping this was all but a bad dream. I was in complete denial and refused to believe our perfect day was on the brink of being washed away. The forecast was projecting Hurricane Matthew to reach Sea Island just 5 days before our wedding. The entire island and surrounding areas were under mandatory evacuation. Our resort was evacuated, and all of our vendors had packed up and headed inland to brace for the storm. Only thing we could do was helplessly wait, a couple thousand miles away…

The Big Clean Up

When Hurricane Matthew hit Sea Island the storm had been downgraded to a Category 3. Despite the drop in severity the island experienced record-breaking floods, thousands of downed trees, island-wide power outages, and plumbing issues that could take weeks to fix. Because the island was deemed unsafe, business owners and residents were not allowed back on the island after the storm passed. It was Tuesday morning, the day we were due to leave for Georgia, and the island was still under a mandatory evacuation. We left Los Angeles having no idea if the resort or island would open in time for our wedding. From the plane, Eddie and I sent out mass emails and texts to our 90 some odd guests letting them know there was potential for a change of plans.

When we arrived in Georgia the coast was still very much in cleanup mode. We passed 27 (I counted) tree removal trucks and about two dozen water and power vehicles, all of which were headed to clean up the mess. Sea Island was only allowing first responders onto the island at that time, which meant Eddie and I were stuck on the mainland scrambling to find accommodations and any answers we could. Talk about an anxious bride! But thankfully our luck was about to change. Wednesday morning Eddie and I received one of the best phone calls an anxious bride and groom could ask for. It was our wedding planner! She had just received word that Sea Island was due to re-open Thursday evening. The power had been restored, and the first responders were working day and night to restore the island back to its full glory.

The wedding team felt confident that the wedding could still go on as planned. Our wedding planner assured me they had everything handled and insisted we go and enjoy our wedding week. Our prayers had been answered! We quickly called our guests and let them know the good news. The wedding is HAPPENING!

The Wedding Day

The morning of our wedding we were greeted with a downpour of rain. Despite the weather I couldn’t help but smile. I was so thankful and filled with gratitude that we were at this place, “I can take a little rain, we just made it through a hurricane!” And if fate would have it, just as my bridesmaids and I were finishing up with our hair and makeup the clouds parted and the sun began to peek out. Perry Vaile, our amazing photographer, jumped at the opportunity to shoot us outside and gathered us all for portraits.

For my bouquet, we selected Dahlias, and Oxblood colored Chocolate Cosmos to adorn the white blooms, which were all draped with wispy greenery and wrapped with ivory silk ribbons. Our ceremony took place in the Cloister Chapel. The ceremony was all the more sweet because my grandfather “Papa Jackson” was our minister. Having my Papa there to marry Eddie and I was one of the highlights of our day.

Our reception was held in the resort’s Clubroom, the most glamorous and elegant ballroom I had ever seen! Crystal chandeliers hung from the ornate gilded ceiling and provided all the glitz and sparkle a bride could ask for. We selected long estate tables, topped with lush floral arrangements that included fruit elements accented with long tapered candles. Gold cross back chairs and gold-rimmed china added even more splendor to the space. One of my favorite wedding elements was our personalized place settings. Eddie and I took hexagonal marble floor tiles, and added cork to the back, to make them into coasters. We finished them by adding the guests’ names printed on top in gold vinyl. The gift was a huge hit with our friends and family, and made for a fun DIY project for Eddie and me.

To end the evening Eddie and I were lead out to the front of the hotel where our friends and family were waiting to wave goodbye! We hopped into our vintage getaway car and as we drove away, sparklers erupted from the ground, giving us quiet the perfect ending to our magical day.

Happily Ever After

Despite the hurricane and weather worry our wedding truly turned out even more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. A strong word of advice I could give to any future bride would be to remain positive! Wedding planning can be stressful, hurricane or not. But with a positive outlook you can always make the best out of any situation. You deserve a wedding day where worries don’t get in the way. Remember what this day is truly about, and you are guaranteed to have the time of your life.

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Photography: Perry Vaile Photography | Event Planning: Sea Island | Floral Design: The Vine Garden Market | Wedding Dress: Marchesa | Invitations: Crane & Co. | Ceremony Venue: Sea Island | Reception Venue: Sea Island | Bride's Shoes : Badgley Mischka | Rings: Tiffany & Co | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids | Hair and Makeup: Sea Island | Calligraphy : The Inviting Place | DJ: Island Sound | Grooms Attire: Canali | Ceremony Music: Music By Pegge | Bride's Hairpiece: Untamed Petals | Bride's Jewelry : Marchesa | Bride's Reception Shoes: Kate Spade | Cocktail Hour Venue: Sea Island | Gift Bags: Give Lovely | Groom's Tie: Burberry | Photo Booth: Studio Pixel Pop | Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Wedding Signage: The Bride

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Proof Neutral Weddings Are Beyond Gorgeous

Don’t get me wrong I love color at weddings, but there is something so incredibly romantic and tasteful about an all neutral palette and this wedding is living proof! From gorgeous nude-colored bridesmaid dresses to rich floral designs by Stylish Stems in white and soft blush, the subtle details of the day are pure perfection. With Invision Events behind the planning, this wedding was bound to be beautiful and the images captured by Hillary Lee Photography are unreal!

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Resort

From Photographer, Hillary Leah… The detail of this wedding was absolutely incredibly. First off, the bridesmaid’s dresses were Show Me Your Mumu– which are to die for. Jacqui’s florals and centerpieces were so much fun to capture. The venue itself is gorgeous, especially in Mid-November. However, the head table is what had all of my attention. The dark stain head table with mercury glass and place settings made such a statement in that reception room. The chargers and gold china made for a photographer’s dream! My favorite thing about Jacqui and Zach was that they were intentional with incorporating pieces to their relationship (they dated since high school!). They handed out Chick-Fil-A sandwiches during the send-off because that’s where they had their first date. Although they had a gorgeous and big wedding, they were both so in the moment and hired incredible vendors that you could just tell they were at ease with thoroughly not worrying about anything! Favorite moment was when Zach saw Jacqui… I mean, just look at the picture!

From the bride and groom… Jacqui and Zach said “I do” on a crisp fall day at Foxhall Resort’s Legacy Lookout, overlooking the beautiful fall foliage in Atlanta, Georgia. Their vision of simple elegance was brought to life with stunning, yet understated details like a semi-naked wedding cake, farm estate tables, soft candlelight and plenty of lush greenery. Jacqui looked beautiful in her tulle ball gown that made it look like she was floating on air as she twirled around the dance floor with her sweet groom. The bridesmaids all wore Show Me Your Mumu and the groom + groomsmen looked sharp in their classic black tuxes. Even Jacqui and Zach’s pup, Turner, dressed the part with an adorable floral and greenery necklace that complimented the maids’ floral crowns. It was a beautiful celebration of love and family, as shown though lots of sweet, candid moments, hugs and pup snuggles. 

From the bride… This may sound bad and I can’t believe I’m admitting it, but because Zach and I have been dating for seven years, its hard to remember the beginning of our relationship as it started out when I was only 15 and a sophomore in high school. I first met Zach on February 7th, 2009. I do remember that date because it was the morning of my first ACT, and my friend Brandy had to pick me up beforehand as I still wasn’t old enough to drive. We stopped by Chic-fil-A for a quick breakfast, and that’s when Zach walked in looking less than excited to be awake that early. He sat with us during the short time we had, and then we went our separate ways for the test. Later that evening, Brandy asked if I wanted to go to the movies with her, Zach, and one of their other best friends. I love the movies, so I agreed to go. Zach came straight from a baseball banquet (if that’s not a foreshadowing of our relationship, I don’t know what is), and of course the first words out of his mouth were complaints about having to dress nice (again.. The foreshadowing).

From that day forward, we spent a majority of our days rotating between each other’s tennis matches and baseball games and we became inseparable. We were able to tough it through two years of long distance while Zach was playing baseball for East Tennessee State University, and then by the grace of God, he made his way to the University of Georgia to continue his baseball career. We became even closer than we were before, which I didn’t think was possible, and were able to spend two years together in our favorite city. From homecomings and proms to high school graduations, to college graduations, to our first real world jobs, Zach and I have seen each at our worst but also at our best. I truly feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have such a selfless, supportive, encouraging, and loving best friend.

From the groom (about the proposal)… The first part of this whole process was picking out a ring. As everyone knows, Jacqui is a total perfectionist and is very specific when it comes to what she wants. This made the ring shopping process and planning the proposal intimidating to say the least. Luckily, after only about an hour of shopping, and a little help from my mom, I finally had the perfect ring that I knew Jacqui would fall in love with. Now came the part of asking Jacqui’s dad for her hand in marriage. I decided to do it at one of his favorite places- the golf course. We booked a tee time at Towne Lake Hills, and I had my fingers crossed that he would be having a good round when it came time to ask him. Thankfully he was having fun through the front nine, but I was not so fortunate. My golf game was struggling as all I could think about was what I was going to say. After 9 holes of running the scenario through my head, I finally built up the courage to ask him. Even though I caught him off guard, he gave me his permission to ask Jacqui. It had been a long time coming, and he was excited that it was finally going to happen. On a side note, my golf game drastically improved on the back nine.

Planning the proposal was the next step. My one requirement throughout the whole planning process was that it had to be a complete and total surprise. It is close to impossible to surprise Jacqui, but I was up for the task. With that being said, Jacqui and I have always done adventurous things together such as skydiving (I now hate flying), swimming with sharks, snowboarding, white water rafting, and the list continues. The only activity that we had not done together, which happened to be one of Jacqui’s favorite things to do, was zip lining. I started researching the best location to have this go down, and that’s when I decided on Historic Banning Mills, the world’s longest zip line canopy tour. I then called and got the entire staff on board with my plan for the day. Now the real work began- I had to invite families, grandparents, and siblings, all while keeping this a secret from Jacqui. After numerous secret meetings, we had all of the details worked out.

The big day was finally here, and I picked Jacqui up to go and start our zip line adventure. We arrive at Banning Mills and the life changing adventure is about to begin. We were paired with about 8 other people, and I told Jacqui we needed to let them go first. Jacqui doesn’t like waiting so she was not happy when got stuck in the back. Now we had to pick an order that we would stay in through the whole tour. Obviously I needed to go first, but again, Jacqui did not want to be the last person to go each time. I finally told her that I would be too scared to go if I went last, and she agreed to the last position. The tour was going smoothly, and Jacqui still had no idea what she was in for. Then there we were at the last zip line. Unlike the other zip lines, this last one dropped down below the trees so you couldn’t see the landing. I zipped down and our families were waiting at the landing with everything in place. I get the ring from my dad and take a deep breath. I then gave the guide a thumbs up and he radios in telling Jacqui she was good to go. She comes down the line, and after she came up from under the trees she immediately started tearing up. She stopped on the landing, and I got down on one knee. Luckily, she said yes!

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Photography: Hillary Leah Photography | Videographer : Rooted Pine Films | Event Planning: Invision Events | Floral Design: Stylish Stems | Cake: Lush Cakery | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu | Catering: LowCountry Catering & Events | Makeup: Glam By Ruthie | Hair: K. Barone Salon | DJ: Club Rett | Ceremony Music: Andrew Lombardi | Venue: Foxhall Resort And Sporting Club | Farm Tables: The Vintage Rental Company

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here