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A Fort Myers Wedding With French Country Style

“Utterly romantic” doesn’t even begin to describe this Florida lovefest. Designed by Elleson Events with a French Country feel, it infuses a sea of neutrals with effortless elegance and too many beautiful moments to count. Hunter Ryan Photo captured behind the lens and you can start pinning your favorite details right over here.

From the event planner… On a beautiful November afternoon, officiated by the groom’s grandfather, Marlene and John said their vows surrounded by copious greenery.

Although a large wedding (160 guests), Johna and Marlene hosted what felt like an intimate European inspired affair beneath a canopy of trees in the semi-secluded Horse Creek community park.

John and Marlene love spending time outdoors, and their wedding reflected that. Organic, timeless details – from the soft green and creamy white invitations to the garden style peony bouquets, every detail had a romantic, soft, ethereal quality that also exuded effortless elegance.

Above the family-style tables hung greenery garland and glass globes that offered the perfect late night romantic twinkle.

The menu included meat and cheese boards, fruits, nuts, dips, and wine, as well as delectable dessert delights. Perfect for nibbling and grazing, while enjoying the canopy of shade offered by the park’s trees.

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Photography: Hunter Ryan Photo | Event Planning : Elleson Events | Floral Design: Elleson Events | Wedding Dress: JLM Couture | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu | Catering : Family Friend | Entertainment: DJ Dayve | Men's Attire: Michael Kors | Officiant: Family Member | Venue: Horse Creek Park | Beauty : Kristin At Scene826 Hair Studio | Stationery + Signage: On Three | Sweets: : Show Me Love Confections

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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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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!

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

Sweet + Organic Florida Beach wedding

I’m calling it like I see it, this gallery is wedding day perfection. With Jody Savage Photography behind the lens snapping up each and every adorable moment, this beachside wedding is bound to steal a few hearts. For starters? How adorbs is this flower girl who foraged her own bouquet!? I mean, it’s SO cute that I’m not sure I can even handle it!! See all that and more unfold via The Vault!

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Whimsical

From Jody Savage PhotographyThis lovely destination wedding took place in their parents vacation home where they had been going as a family for many years. It was intimate, filled with gorgeous florals and and the flower girls and ring bearers couldn’t’ have been more adorable. It is just what us in the cold Midwest needed to escape too during these winter months. And the ceremony arch and florals were to die for.

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See even more head-turning trends here!

Photography: Jody Savage Photography | Floral Design: Floral Artistry | Wedding Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Invitations: Jill Elaine Designs | Wedding Venue: DiamondHead Beach Resort | Dress Boutique: Flutter Boutique | Ribbon: Silk & Willow | Ring Box: The Mrs Box

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Rustic Outdoor Wedding in Fort Myers

Every now and then I come across a wedding that is so dreamy, my lovely coworker has to nudge me from my distant gaze. From the seeded eucalyptus bridesmaid bouquet through the last kiss, this wedding from Sweet Souther Charm looks like a scene ripped right out from the Brother’s Grimm. But don’t take my word for it, there’s a whole gallery of whimsy from Brianna Forster Photography to revel in.


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From Brianna Forster Photography One thing I love about my couples is that I genuinely click with all of them and I hope you do as well! When Jennifer and David first contacted me and described to me their wedding day plans, I was super excited and knew we were meant to be! With Jennifer and David I could just see there was more to just love in their relationship. They have a special story that I had the privilege enough to hear about on their wedding day. Jenn and David had heard about each other through mutual friends but when Jennifer was 14 she was in a car accident and as a result 9 years later found out she had to have brain surgery. Because of this Jenn and David were only able to talk on the phone for two months before finally getting to meet and as Jennifer said “the rest is history.” Falling in love with each other came so naturally for the two of them and everyone can see they are meant for each other without a doubt! Now, I am usually pretty strong about not getting emotional during weddings but every once and a while its a good thing my camera has auto-focus. One of their requests on their wedding day was that I would catch their romantic moments in a beautiful way and help them relax in front of the camera but most of all enjoy they day with them! Well, I can truly say I enjoyed everything about their day from start to finish and I hope you do too.

Photography: Brianna Forster Photography | Coordinator: Sweet Southern Charm | Floral Designer: Isn't She Lovely Florals | Wedding Shoes: Brianna Leigh | Catering: October Catering | Hair And Makeup: Cre8 Hair Salon & Spa | Entertainment: Black Velvet | Wedding Venue: Southern Waters | Bridal Boutique: Loretta Bridal Boutique | Cake Designer: Publix Bakery | Grooms Tux: Black Tie Tuxedos

Romantic Southern Affair + Signature Cocktail Recipe!

There is not one single detail of this romantic Southern affair that I’m not completely head over heels for. It is literally packed full of pretty. Sweet Southern Charm brought vintage gorgeousness to the table, Minted set the tone with a bit of sparkle and Libby’s Flowers added a softness to the day with stunning blooms. I could talk it up all afternoon but I’m sure you’d rather swoon over this goodness from Hunter Ryan Photo.

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Tipsy Palmer
prep time
3 Minute/s
cook time
total time
3 Minute/s
Serves 1Ingredients
  • 3 parts Arnold Palmer drink (half lemonade, half iced tea)
  • 1 part vodka
Instructions
  1. Combine ingredients in glass, stir, garnish with a lemon wheel and get tipsy!

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From the beautiful Bride… For our wedding I had envisioned a soft and romantic southern wedding with a blush, mint and navy palette that was equally as beautiful as it was comfortable for all our guests. I was very drawn to vintage and garden wedding styles and when we found are venue; an old historic home directly located on the water with a sprawling lawn, everything just came together.

I was really fond of our menu that was centered around comfort foods. During the cocktail hour the guests were served macaroni and cheese with crab martinis, shrimp and grits in old champagne glasses, southern pot roast for dinner and of course our dessert bar featuring mini pies and cookies and milk.

In regards to other special details of the day, the presenting of a necklace and a family vow to my daughter, Isabella, our flower girl, signifying the important date of us becoming a family was very touching and special.

Apart from saying “I Do” being our favorite part of the day, we thoroughly enjoyed having so many of our family and friends together to celebrate and to watch and enjoy everyone’s joy and excitement of all the details and little touches that had been planned. Everything we had hoped for that evening had far surpassed any of our expectations and that is largely in part to our wonderful vendor team and our wedding planner moving everything along without a hitch.

Photography: Hunter Ryan Photo | Videography: IheART Films | Florals: Libbys Flowers | Cake: Yum Yum Cakes | Invitations: Minted | Bride's Shoes: Betsey Johnson | Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew | Catering: Reuben's Catering | Suits: J.Crew | Bride's Dress: Essense of Australia | Bride's Second Dress: Jovani | Ceremony And Reception: White Orchid At Oasis | Ceremony Musician & DJ: Wiley Entertainment | Desserts: Show Me Love Cake Pops | Flower Girl Dress: Kids Dream | Hair Artist: Christine Rosa | Linens: Urquid Linen | Make Up Artist: Esthetics By Tracey Castiano | Menu Design: Dana Marino Design | Photo Booth: Bash Booths | Planning & Design: Fabulously Chic Weddings | Rentals: Caloosa Tent & Rental | Vintage Rentals: Sweet Southern Charm

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Fort Myers Wedding at The White Orchid from Riversedge Lifestyle Photography

What do you get when you combine a stunning bride + lover of all things New Orleans and a handsome groom with a passion for his home state of Florida?  Well, lovelies, you get one downright gorgeous Fort Meyers shindig infused with New Orleans style from start to finish.  A shindig, mind you, that boasts lush florals from Fort Myers Floral Express, fab DIY stylings and an entire gallery of lovely captured by Riversedge Lifestyle Photography.  Join me there for all of the pretty.  It’s a must-see.

From the Bride… I fell in love with New Orleans after attending law school there pre and post Katrina. There’s something about NOLA that just gets under your skin and into your blood- the food, the music and vibrancy of the city are things I miss now that I have moved back to my home state of Florida. In fact, New Orleans is where Ryan asked me to marry him. Right in front of Saint Louis Cathedral, in the middle of a crowded Mardi Gras street. By the time we were on the plane headed home, I had the whole wedding planned- a destination wedding in my favorite city! But when I asked my soon-to-be groom if he was on board he responded, “Honey, I want you to have the wedding of your dreams but I just have one request- I want to get married in Florida. It’s where we both grew up and where we’ve both come back to start our lives. It’s important to me.” Well who can argue with that? Not a problem- I would just bring my New Orleans vision to Florida.

My mom and I discovered the White Orchid at Oasis very late in our venue hunt. Someone mentioned to me in passing “an old house on the river” that they heard was now being used for parties. My fiancé Ryan grew up in Fort Myers, so being near the river was something I knew he would love and I was hoping to find. When I finally located this beautiful, old house and stood on its wrap around back porch looking across the long lawn and into the water, I knew this was it. The house is like a blank canvas and I was armed with a list of DIY’s to fill the rooms with. I got so much inspiration from sites like Style Me Pretty. I devoured the photos of real weddings that had been in New Orleans or had that old world, antique feel that I so badly wanted my guests to experience. My DIY projects turned out to be a family affair, with loved ones from both sides pitching in. My mom found the black, wrought iron centerpieces in a clearance sale and my mother-in-law’s best friend helped design and decorate our “New Orleans dessert room”- even crafting the “Café du Monde” cart that served chicory coffee and hot, powered beignets as our specialty dessert. And what a pleasant surprise to find my groom get inspired as well when he saw how dedicated I was to detail. He researched and then made a delicious homemade blood orange vodka that we used in our signature cocktails.

On the morning of the wedding, I walked into the house to find the loveliest gift. Ryan’s two Uncles, who lived in New Orleans for 10 years before Katrina forced them to move, had stayed up all night making us each an authentic, elaborate 2nd line umbrella. I was truly touched and these are two incredible pieces of art I will forever cherish. I must say that Jamie & Jacob Catering were wonderful also at embracing my vision and making it a reality. Their chef even made a crawfish tasso cheesecake recipe from my favorite New Orleans restaurant as an appetizer! Of course we had to finish the night with my favorite memory and a New Orleans essential made a reality by Mark Zauss and the Z Street Band- the 2nd line parade around the property including all the guests.

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Wedding Photography: Troy Wells, Riversedge Lifestyle Photography | Ceremony Venue: Blessed Pope John XXIII Catholic Church | Reception Venue: The White Orchid at Oasis  | Event Design + Planning: Bride | Floral Design: Fort Myers Floral Express | Catering: Jamie and Jacob Catering, |Wedding Coordinator: Leslie DiPlacido | Makeup: Shannon Van Horn with Lasting Luxe  | Wedding Dress: Sottero and MidgleyClarice” | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaid’s Dresses: J.Crew | Cake: Publix Bakery | Hair: Ben Thigpen | Band: Mark Zauss and the Z Street Band

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Fort Myers Wedding Photo Redo from Hunter Ryan Photo

This romantic couple proves that it’s never too late to get amazing images of you and your hubby. Nearly three years after their wedding this couple hit the road and met up with Hunter Ryan Photo for a styled e-session and wedding photo re-do and the results are a fabulous. Think Ivy league meets Southwest Florida with a traditional color palette of red, white and blue. See it all right here!

Click here for the FULL photo session!

From Hunter Ryan PhotoWhen Joel and Kristen contacted us about shooting and styling their engagement photos, as well as shooting an inspired wedding — we were so excited! They have actually been married for three years and never had swoon-worthy photos taken of them, so they were ready for an amazing “do-over.” They came all the way down from North Carolina to sunny Fort Myers, Florida, for the shoots, and we wanted to make sure they were blown away by their “new” wedding photos. We enlisted the help of Kehrin Hassan of JetSetWed to style every last detail. From the minute Kehrin saw Joel’s red hair, she envisioned a Tommy Hilfiger-esque shoot. So it all started with Joel’s red hair and developed into an Ivy League meets Southwest Florida styled shoot combo.

We wanted to keep the color palette the same for both the engagement and wedding photos. To keep with the Hilfiger theme, we chose rich red, navy and earth tones with some pops of silver glitz and fun for the bridal shoot. The engagement shoot started at sunrise with a theme of traveling together through the beautiful Florida woods for a lazy day by the Orange River. The setting was gorgeous — oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, paths of tall grass and an old dock to snuggle up along. Vintage suitcases, a collection of vintage books, an old hunting rifle, a few canoes and their dog, Sadie, rounded out their sweet riverside engagement.

Their sunset-inspired bridal shoot was nothing short of magical. We love how they even did a “first look” with one another. It was just really sweet to see how blown away Joel was by his beautiful bride of three years. She’d gotten dolled up all afternoon, and when he first saw her, his smile said a thousand words. What really warmed our hearts the most was just how happy they were with all the doting over them that they really “got into” the shoot and it totally showed in their images. The inspiration for their shoot piggybacked off of their engagement theme. We took the Ivy League theme and gave it a socialite wedding twist. The setup was simple — a backdrop of beautiful mossy oaks. A chic sweetheart table featured cream-colored, vintage highback chairs and an elegant tablescape with vintage goblets and a silver deer’s head adorned with florals and tiny red berries. Their cake was elegant and simple in white with a small pop of color and a little whimsy from an antler. It was such a blessing to work with Joel and Kristen. To give a couple new, beautiful images where they just shine from the inside out makes us smile.

Photography: Hunter Ryan Photo / Engagement Location: Along the Orange River in Horse Creek Estates in Fort Myers, Florida / Reception Location: A Lakeside Field in Horse Creek Estates in Fort Myers, Florida / Event Design, Styling + Planning: Kehrin Hassan of Jet Set Wed / Floral Design: Sue Bain of Signature Florals / Rentals: Sweet Southern Charm / Wedding Dress + Shoes: Vintage / Hair + Makeup: Carol Heitz of Salon International

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Sanibel Island Wedding from Set Free Photography

My favorite kind of wedding is one deeply rooted in tradition. Where the details are not only stop-in-your-tracks gorgeous, but they also have a story behind them. And this Sanibel Island wedding at Traders Cafe & Store from Set Free Photography did just that. From the “roots & wings” theme and the quilt guest book to bride’s veil which incorporated pieces of fabric from both her aunt and sister’s veils, this beautiful celebration just may pull a bit at your heartstrings. See the rest right here.

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From Set Free PhotographyMelissa and Andrew are a Tampa-based couple who were married on Sanibel Island in Florida. They chose the theme “Roots & Wings,” symbolized by birds and family trees throughout their decor, letter press invitations, save-the-dates and cake topper. Deep family relationships were highlighted throughout the wedding by family trees and portraits displayed throughout the reception, and guests were asked to write a note to the bride and groom on fabric strips that will be made into a quilt. The church in which Andrew and Melissa were married was long attended by Melissa’s grandmother, who passed away only months before the wedding. It gave her great joy to know that Melissa and Andrew would stand on a familiar altar and pledge their lives to one another. Andrew and Melissa opted to donate to the American Cancer Society in lieu of party favors, and they also kept their wedding as “green” as possible with attention and care to not waste or misuse local resources. The “M” on Melissa’s bouquet was from her grandmother, and Melissa’s veil was fashioned using lace from her aunt’s wedding veil, as well as tulle from her sister’s veil. Melissa’s wedding band belonged to Orlaida Salce, mother of the groom, and Andrew’s wedding band belonged to John Ariss, father of the bride.

Wedding Photography: Set Free Photography / Ceremony: St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church in Sanibel, Florida / Reception: Traders Cafe & Store in Sanibel, Florida / Wedding Planning: Along Came Stephanie / Floral Design: Bonita Blooms Floral Shop / Wedding Invitations: Lucky Luxe Couture Correspondence / Calligraphy: Kirby Wilson / Wedding Cake: The Bubble Room / Band: The Derek Trenholm Band / Linens: Connie Duglin Specialty Linen & Chair Cover Rental / Trolley Service: Adventures in Paradise / Wedding Dress: J.Crew / Hair + Makeup: The Michele Renee Hair & Makeup Artist Group / Bridesmaid’s Gifts: BCBG / Men’s Tuxedos: Tommy Hilfiger

Sanibel Wedding from Austin Trenholm Photography

Oh, how we love a DIY bride.  Especially when that DIY bride happens to throw a stop-you-in-your-tracks affair like this stunning Sanibel soiree.  Then we LOVE her in an all caps kind of way.  Because this is the kind of affair that leaves you grinning from ear to ear with its laid back meets elegant vibe, seriously sweet details and beyond stunning natural hues.  And the gallery chock-full of heartwarming images captured by Austin Trenholm Photography?  Sooo good.  See them all right here.

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the Bride… After dating for 10 years, it was time to finally get married. We decided on Sanibel, Florida as our wedding location because that is where I grew up and we both love the beach. I knew I wanted a simple yet elegant wedding. In addition, I knew that I wanted to do as much as I could myself. I followed some wedding traditional things but also chose to disregard some traditions as well — we emailed out our save-the-date, which was a cute little love story of our life together and introduced our 10 years of dating to our guests.

We wanted the venue and reception to be at the same place to make it easier on our guests. That way the party never stopped, which was important to the both of us! We wanted everyone to always be having a good time! Our wedding celebration was a four-day party, starting with my 29th birthday two days before the wedding ceremony. On the day of the rehearsal, we got to hang out with our dearest friends, who traveled to come celebrate with us, followed by a buffet-style rehearsal dinner and slide show of us that was made by my twin sister.

On the wedding day, I got ready with my six closest girlfriends as we all giggled about life and how I was getting married! The ceremony was done by a dear family friend, and our wedding planners were also family friends. I was a very lucky bride to have so many wonderful people helping me. We got really lucky with the weather as it rained about 30 minutes right before the ceremony was to start.  We were about to move it indoors. But fate was on our side the rain stopped right before the ceremony began, leaving us with a beautiful sky that I will never forget! Our reception was buffet-style as well with a huge dessert table of cupcakes, as well as cheesecakes and truffles made myself and twin sister. All the decorations on the tables were also done by me and my family. Everything turned out perfectly.  It truly was the happiest day of our lives. We danced the night away, and the next day, we had a brunch at my parents house to continue the celebration. I was able to share how I made my centerpieces, the desserts and much more on my blog. The whole time we were surrounded by family and our closest friends.

Wedding Photography: Austin of Austin Trenholm Photography / Wedding Location: Sundial Beach & Golf Resort in Sanibel, Florida / Wedding Planning: Happily Ever After Wedding and Party Planners / Floral Design: Libby’s Flower Shop / Decorations: DIY by the Bride, Family & Friends / DJ: Sean Corey Productions / Cupcakes: Chef Brooke’s Natural Cafe / Cheesecakes + Chocolate Truffles: DIY by the Bride + Her Twin Sister / Wedding Dress: Galina

Fort Myers Wedding from K and K Photography

From the moment I laid my eyes on this gorgeous bride’s stunning Christina Wu masterpiece, I knew I was done for.  The sparkly bodice, dreamy vintage vibe and layers upon layers of flowing chiffon are like a sweet touch of wedding heaven… and when you add in one seriously amazing shindig under the stars, well.  That’s a combo that can’t be beat.  The ever-fabulous K and K Photography snapped up all of the lovely, including those gorgeous blooms by Fort Myers Express Floral and some of the coolest DIY projects you will ever see.  Click here for more.

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the Bride… From the day Brian and I got engaged, we knew we wanted to keep our wedding simple, yet personal and unique. It was most important to us to share this incredible day with our closest family and friends and make the day relaxed and extremely fun for everyone. We started planning the wedding about a year in advance, which was perfect for us because we had so many ideas we wanted to implement. Because Brian and I are very detail-oriented, we knew we needed to get some organization into our planning. So we created a “To Do” list that included everything down to the last-minute details. Our first item on the list was finding a venue and once we had that checked off, everything just fell into place.

The ceremony and reception took place outdoors at the Burroughs Home & Garden, a gorgeous southern-style home about two hours from our house. The idea was to have a shabby chic garden wedding with a slight vintage twist. Given we were on a tight budget, we did all of the decorations, favors, invitations, escort cards, table numbers, and even my jewelry, ourselves, which gave us a great opportunity to let our personalities shine. The last few weeks leading up to the wedding, we cleared out the stock of numerous items at Michaels to complete our projects. My absolute favorite pieces were the favors. To incorporate my heritage, my mom had brought 100 bars of my favorite chocolate from Germany, which we wrapped with postal paper and a lace ribbon the day before the wedding. It was very cute and incredibly delicious.

The one thing we definitely did not want to cut back on was the photography. Getting Jeff from K&K Photography was a no brainer for us. He was super fun to work with, and we are very honored to have had such an amazingly talented person capture our special day. The day ended with everyone dancing the night away under sparkling tree lights, including my parents who, in fact, I had never seen dance before! Our wedding couldn’t have been more beautiful and perfect, and we are extremely grateful for everyone who took part in it. The love and laughter that surrounded us that day will be remembered forever.

Wedding Photography: K and K Photography / Wedding Venue: Burroughs Home & Garden in Fort Myers, Florida / Floral Design: Fort Myers Express Floral / Catering: Centerplate / Wedding DJ: Chill Will DJs / Decor, Favors, Escort Cards, Table Numbers + Bride’s Jewelry: DIY / Wedding Dress: Christina Wu

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Sanibel Wedding at The Sanctuary Golf Club by Justin DeMutiis Photography

An explosion of vibrant colors, an adorable Mr. and Mrs. and a gown that will rock.your.world – if you ask me, this darling Sanibel affair is the perfect way to bid adieu to the month of May.  And with a sweet ceremony held in the cutest chapel ever and pure sunniness radiating through every last magical moment captured by Justin DeMutiis Photography, it also happens to be a sure-fire combo for some uber-smiley, uber-happy faces.  Smiley, happy faces plus gorgeous wedding inspiration?!?  Count me in.  See it all here.

From the Bride & Groom… It was a happy coincidence that both we ended up starting our freshman year at Boston College in the fall of 2009. As a Boston College High School graduate, Kevin was excited to become a “double eagle,” and Lauren was excited to move to the “big city” of Boston from her small hometown in Minnesota. Another coincidence landed us in the same dorm on the freshman Newton Campus, where Lauren was on the third floor of Cushing Hall, and Kevin was in the basement. Being the only floor of girls, it didn’t take long for the basement guys to befriend some of the third floor girls. After nights of group activities such as sledding down hills on cafeteria trays, going to a Harry Potter movie, innocent confrontations with the RA’s and such, in December of 2009 we started dating.

Over the next five and a half years we shared many wonderful adventures and memories. We traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland, for our junior semester abroad and took a couple weeks to travel around Europe. After graduating from BC in 2009, we moved down to Nashville, Tennessee. Kevin is in his third year of Vanderbilt University’s medical physics program. Lauren is a registered nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital and started grad school this fall in Vanderbilt’s acute care pediatric nurse practitioner program. We will both be graduating in the fall of 2013, so we will see where our futures lead us! Even though neither of us can specifically remember when we met for the first time, it has always been clear that our relationship was meant to last. A few happy coincidences, many fun memories and the support from friends and family bring us to April 14, 2012, when we began the rest of our forever together!

For our engagement, Lauren can truly say that even after five and a half years together, Kevin still managed to surprise her! We were spending a week down in Sanibel, Florida, with Lauren’s parents. Kevin wanted Lauren to plan her perfect Sanibel day, and they followed it exactly (slept in, walked on the beach with a cup of coffee, ate a big breakfast, read out on the beach, went for a bike ride, had cocktails on the beach at sunset, and ate a homemade grilled dinner). Lauren never imagined that her day could get any better. After dinner, we took a walk out on the beach to look at the stars, prepared with “miner’s lights” to see the shells. Before Lauren knew it, Kevin was down on one knee asking her to marry him, and Lauren’s light shown on the most beautiful ring she could imagine! There was no doubt in her mind she would say “YES!”

Wedding Photography: Justin DeMutiis Photography / Ceremony: Chapel by the Sea in Captiva, Florida / Reception: The Sanctuary Golf Club in Sanibel, Florida / Floral Design: Beth Traucht of Floral Artistry / Catering: Mark Brown of The Sanctuary Golf Club / Wedding Cake: Mason’s Bakery / Music: Juan Nealon of Sekond Nature / Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero via The White Room Too / Bride’s Shoes: Enzo Angiolini / Hair + Makeup: Sanibel Day Spa / Men’s Suits: Black Tie Tuxedos

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
The Heitman House Wedding by Joshua and Tarah Ihrie

There are a few things that I am absolutely obsessed with wedding-wise.  Okay… there are a million things.  But one of those million obsessions just so happens to send me in to a wedding loving tailspin every.single.time.  Yes, vintage-inspired nuptials.  I adore them with a passion and, regardless of the era, if it’s vintage, I can’t get enough.  So, of course, I am head-over-heels in love with this Fort Myers stunner by Joshua and Tarah Ihrie, completely designed by the bride and groom with so many stunning details, I just might copy every single one of them for my big day, including that gorgeous broach bouquet.  Yes.  Please.  Now this is what I call vintage chic and I am in heaven.  Join me in the gallery for even more inspiration!

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From the Bride… My husband and I decided to have our wedding earlier than we had in mind because my mother was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease two years ago. I wanted her to have this moment with me even though she wasn’t fully there at least she could enjoy it with us. My husband and I are old souls and knew we would have a glamour vintage themed wedding. We wanted the 1950s and before. We also  had roses and peacock feathers in our theme. Chris and I did this for our grandparents. His grandfather had peacocks on his catfish farm when he was growing up and my grandparents were in the rose society. I grew up around Roses. We found the perfect location in downtown Ft. Myers FL. just a few minutes away from us. We had our wedding at the historic Heitman House on the river.

The ceremony and reception was held in the backyard. We had a beautiful tribute to my grandmother who we lost this year to Alzheimer’s. We put a single rose on each chair for the ceremony for the guests. After the ceremony the wedding party went out to the dock and tossed the roses into the river for her. The guests followed after. The song used for her dedication was Hymn to the Sea by James Horner. I always said I was the young Rose and my grandmother was the old Rose in Titanic. Chris and I put together a playlist starting from the 1920s to the 1950s to fit our vintage themed wedding. All the decorations were made by Chris and I. We bought our birdcages and chandeliers on this wonderful site called Save On Crafts. We found some birdcages also at the flea market and antique stores. Chris made all the signs and one hilarious one where he found pictures of our wedding party making funny faces and cut them out and pasted them on vintage wedding photos. I put together the card boxes using my mother’s childhood suitcases. I decorated them with things that were meaningful to Chris and I. I bought a 1920s autograph book on Etsy for very cheap and we were lucky that the pages were blank. Because Chris and I love antiques we were able to use a lot of items from our home for decorations as well. We used our two early 1900s chairs for us to sit on for our reception table.

We had a very special event for our wedding. Chris and I met through the music of OURS, a band we adored for so many years. Chris and I have been very dedicated fans and even have a tattoo of their symbol which is how Chris found me. Chris talked to Jimmy Gnecco the lead singer and told our story and he wanted to be a part of our wedding which we still can’t believe he actually played at our wedding. He does not do weddings so we felt pretty special. His music made soulmates find each other and we will forever be thankful to him.

Wedding Photography: Joshua and Tarah Ihrie / Flowers: Costco / Event Design: The Bride and Groom / Event Planning: Malynne Wall (family friend) + The Bride and Groom / Location: The Heitman House / Wedding Invitations: The Groom / Bride’s Shoes: Lace and Roses Bridal / Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero via Lace and Roses Bridal / Jewelry: Antique + Etsy + Mark Loren’s / Make-up + Hair: Cherry Dame / Fascinator: Kristen Kuehn Designs

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The Club at Renaissance Wedding by Michelle Reed Photography

OK, so I’ve been married for awhile now but I am dying to step my tootsies into another gorgeous gown these days. I blame it 100% on all of the SMP gorgeousness I stare at daily. For instance, when I see a bride in a gown like this one shoulder wonder that is just so perfectly elegant, I have a craving to stick my noggin’ through that show-stopper neckline. Are you with me on this? The entire affair, captured by Michelle Reed Photography, is equally as lovely and completely worthy of an afternoon spent in the full of gallery images, promise.

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Mr. and Mrs. James and Lauren Colantoni were married in a quiet outdoor ceremony at The Club at Renaissance in Fort Myers, Florida on April 30th, 2011. Among the 140 guests who attended were the couple’s closest friends and family, all excited to be there to celebrate this very special day.

Lauren donned a luxury wedding gown designed by Romona Keveza, with a simple bun, diamond earrings that were passed down from her mother as her “something borrowed,” and a diamond statement bracelet. Jimmy and Lauren both decided they wanted a wedding that was “classic with a flare” and reflected their personalities and style.

Before the ceremony, there was worry that it would rain, as the clouds were ominous and dark. However, right before the chairs were about to be moved indoors, the sun peaked through the clouds, and the threat of rain disappeared. Lauren was told later than night that the sun came up over the hill behind them as the couple said their vows, painting a picture-esque backdrop for the perfect fairytale moment.

After the ceremony, guests were invited to enjoy cocktails and butler-passed hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour while overlooking the gorgeous golf course and peaceful sunset. A string trio, The Vanderbilt Strings, set the mood by playing some of the couple’s favorite songs by The Beatles, Stevie Wonder and Frank Sinatra.

The reception began as the 21-person wedding party was introduced as guests looked on, laughed and danced along to music provided by DJ Adam Epistein of 84 West Studios. Tables were dressed in ivory tablecloths with ivory hydrangeas in tall, cyclindrical vases, each surrounded by small round candles that set the romanic mood.

The night turned out to be absolutely perfect, and Lauren and Jimmy could not have had a more meaningful event.

Wedding Photography: Michelle Reed Photography / Floral Design: JH Designs / Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza / Hair & Makeup: Studio RK / Wedding Venue: The Club at Renaissance / Wedding Cake: The Club at Renaissance / Wedding Ceremony Music: The Vanderbilt Strings / Wedding Reception Music: Adam Epstein of 84 West Studios / Ceremony Chairs: Creative Events & Rentals

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