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Quail West Country Club Wedding by Aaron Bornfleth

There’s a whole lot of pretty, pretty details to adore in this charming Naples soiree by Aaron Bornfleth and from the the gorgeous gray and yellow color scheme to the beautiful blooms by Elaine Boucher and that fabulous feathered hair piece, I am completely smitten with each and every one.  But, what I am loving most of all is the adorable bride and groom and their beyond amazing wedding day story, which you most definitely need to/have to read below ASAP.  (Hint: The groom’s present to his lovely bride-to-be is gonna make you cry some seriously happy tears.)  And when you are done soaking in all of that lovely, there’s even more to smile about in the gallery, so be sure to join me there!

Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From Aaron Bornfleth Just before their wedding, Emily gets a present, delivered by her maid of honor, Andrea, from Josh, her very soon to be husband. His present to her (gonna be hard to imagine how he’ll ever top this one), was a journal he kept “to my future wife.”  She never knew he was writing it.  The first entry, June 2nd, 2009.  Their first date?  One month later.

Emily and Josh’s wedding was a real honor to shoot because Josh’s mother, Andrea is a photographer herself, and not a bad one at that. She helped them find me. And when I met her at the rehearsal dinner (that the family generously invited Casey and I to), she was all smiling eyes, gratitude, pride and a bubble of giddiness.

Wedding Photography: Aaron Bornfleth / Makeup: MAC / Wedding Reception Location + Catering: Quail West Country Club / Wedding Videography: Christina + James of InMotion Video Productions / Entertainment: Scott + Tina Dean of A Sound Choice Entertainment / Flowers: Elaine Boucher

The Ritz-Carlton Naples Wedding by Josh Newton

From the moment I read that these Naples nuptials were held in a beachside garden, I was a goner. Then I saw the ah-mazing images captured by Josh Newton and… WOW.  That beautiful color palette of vibrant pink and black plus those fabulous florals by The Ritz-Carlton Naples are absolutely stunning. And that gown?  Swoon.  Yes, me plus this outrageously gorgeous soiree equals one enchanted blogger.  And you can see all of the pretty here!

Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From the Bride…We met and live in Anchorage, Alaska. We had a destination wedding on February 20th, 2010 in Naples, Florida. We are an outdoorsy couple and we both love to travel.We decided to have our wedding at the Ritz Carlton Naples Resort in Florida because February in Alaska is freezing!  My parents live in Alaska but the rest of the family resides in the states- so a trip to Florida is short and sweet for the majority of our big family.

Our wedding took place in a garden setting and we had the reception in the Ritz’s beach house.  We had a total of 95 guests who made the trip to Florida, so it made for a semi intimate wedding. From what I’m told though, 95 people at a destination wedding is quite a few!  Some of the décor: We had 60’ long stretches of white tulle to run the inside length of each aisle—swagged from chair end to chair. We had a candy station for the kids, a pianist & violinist playing music during the ceremony and cocktail hour, amazing food and beverages, we had a picture table that highlighted my father who passed away, and sparklers to end the night.

Wedding Photography: Josh Newton / Wedding Ceremony Location: The Ritz-Carlton Naples (Tea Garden) / Wedding Reception Location: The Ritz-Carlton Naples (Beach House) / Wedding Dress: Lazaro via Marcella’s Boutique / Hair & Make-up: The Ritz-Carlton Naples / Catering & Wedding Cake: The Ritz-Carlton Naples / Cinematography: Mike Foster / Music: Talent and Entertainment Productions / Wedding Invitations: Party Craft / Floral Design: The Ritz-Carlton Naples (Floral Design Studio) / Honeymoon: Mexico / Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Warehouse / Bridesmaid Dresses: Nordstrom

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Boca Grande Wedding by Weddings by Socialites

Imagine whisking away to a beautiful island where you’re greeted by a heavenly spread of s’mores and ice cream.  Then parading through town with a beaming bride and groom behind the coolest accordion player to an idyllic reception where a great Italian feast ensues complete with your own personal lemoncello di testani.  The night ends against the backdrop of the the most perfect sunset and lounging under the stars.  Sound absolutely divine?  Yeah, we thought so too.  Kelly McWilliams of Weddings by Socialites made this dream destination experience come true for these two lovebirds and their lucky guests.  Click here to see even more from this Italiano celebrazione in Boca Grande!

Check out the full wedding gallery for more inspiration!

This beautiful destination wedding was located on the quaint island of Boca Grande, Florida. The welcome reception included a warm fire pit with a s’more station and ice cream treats. The ceremony was held in the newly renovated St. Andrews Episcopal Church, which had an antique flair lit by brass lanterns which created a homey feeling among all who attended. The finishing touch to the pews were hydrangea and ribbon. The red door to enter the chapel was adorned with a starfish made up of white floral blooms.

All the wedding guests paraded to the reception site led by the bride and groom and an accordion player, where they enjoyed a cocktail hour and socialized among familiar faces. The reception was held in a breathtaking white draped tent outlined by glimmering crystal chandeliers. The floral throughout was composed of  purple hydrangeas, white gladiolus, and l peonies. The dessert table was overflowing with three classic cakes and matching cupcakes. Guests were thrilled to see the Cigar roller available for their enjoyment, and they smoked under the stars in the outdoor lounge.

Event Design, Planning + Paper Goods: Kelly McWilliams of Weddings by Socialites / Wedding Photography: Impressions / Florals: Floral Artistry / Ceremony Venue: St. Andrews Episcopal Church / Reception Venue: Gasparilla Inn / Tent: Premier Tents / Talent: Paul Lawrence / Music: Buzzcats

Weddings by Socialites ~ Cambridge By The Sea ~ Florida Style!

Sometimes, I’m at a loss for words. Well, to be honest, I’m at a loss for words quite often. But this wedding, sent to us by Weddings by Socialites, really left me speechless. Kate ~ this stunning bride ~ seems almost ethereal, as though she was floating throughout the entire day!

floral design by signature florals

All of the accoutrements of the day … the bouquets, the floral centerpieces, the billowing fabric, and the most soothing colors in this seaside palette … peaceful, joyful, simple serenity …

images courtesy of Ashley Brockinton

from Kelly at Weddings by Socialites

This quaint couple met, fell in love, and brought the majority of their family & friends from England in celebration of their marriage! This beautiful destination wedding was located on the water at Villa Aloreon, a private residence, in Fort Myers, Florida. The three story villa was large enough for the entire wedding party to stay and continue their fun. Kate had her hair and make-up done on site, and then shared a romantic first glance with Tim prior to meeting their wedding party for pre-ceremony photos on the picturesque grounds of the Villa Aloreon. Their ceremony on the bay was created to be very intimate and simply romantic underneath the bamboo blessing canopy. The cocktail hour had swaying sheer aqua linens and accents of sea glass, shells, and candles. A bubble motif was carried throughout the wedding, both high and low through details such as invitations, menus, escort cards and paper lanterns. The reception also included crisp white linens topped off with cheerful centerpieces consisting of deep purple hydrangea and bright coral roses. To add a little bit of European flavor each guest received a monogrammed pillow box of English breakfast tea.

Tim & Kate

Tim and Kate met in Cambridge, England while Kate was studying there in 2007. Of all places, they met during a rowing club social event at a pub in the city!  They went out for their first date a week later and never looked back!

the proposal {from Kate}
Well, the day started out with a drive to an unknown location. This location turned out to be a beautiful beach that we never got to see. Unknown to Tim at the time, this was a government restricted area that you can only access by special permit! After a bit of panic and some tactful, ‘lets drive the scenic route home’ talk from Tim and some very interesting navigation with the GPS, we ended up at a gorgeous secluded beach at sunset.

the proposal {from Tim}
Once we got out of the car and walked along the beach I was very nervous although I don’t know why. I had the ring in my pocket and wasn’t sure when to ask Kate, although I knew she would be expecting it. We walked for a few minutes and then I asked her to marry me. I was so happy when she said yes!

change of plans
The planning of our wedding went through many different stages and eventually we settled on getting married in England. Then a job offer came through that we could not refuse and we threw all the plans out the window and moved ourselves and the wedding to America. With Kellyʼs incredible help we managed to reorganize the wedding in a little over two months!

the wedding
The best part for us was that almost all of our family and friends ~ from England and all over America ~ changed their plans and flew to Florida for the wedding. We hope they know how much it meant to us!

most memorable part
Our last dance is the moment that both of us remember more than anything else. Most of the guests had gone home and only Tim and I were left on the dance floor. During the song the whole world seemed to stop and we were the only people in the room. It was the best way to end a perfect day. (song: Boats and Birds – Gregory & The Hawk)


Event Design/Planning: Weddings by Socialites/ Kelly McWilliams
Photography: Ashley Brockinton
Flowers: Signature Florals
Cinematography: AMC Video Productions
Ceremony/Reception: Private Residence on the Gulf of Mexico
Hair: Jennifer King
Make-up: Heather Longshore
Cake: Mason’s Bakery

Traditional Jewish Wedding From Caplan Miller Events

Earlier today, we brought you Elizabeth & Kevin’s fantastic rehearsal dinner at The Ritz in Naples, Florida. Outdoor, brilliant lighting, lush and lovely florals from Petal Pushers and a few fire-eaters to boot! As wild and crazy as the rehearsal dinner was, their wedding was equally elegant and sophisticated …

Courtney Caplan definitely gave it her all when planning her brother’s wedding!

from Courtney …

Kevin and Lizzie met in the parking lot of a grocery store when she accidentally hit a bird with her car! All through their engagement, we joked about it, but when it came to their wedding, we used it as our inspiration. Originally, Lizzie wanted a “starry nights” theme. Rather than taking a literal approach, we compromised on a blue and white color scheme with huge white blooms and phalaenopsis orchids to represent the stars.

This was a traditional Jewish wedding. The chuppah was completely covered in moss – it looked like a giant topiary! Then Petal Pushers added tons of gorgeousness to it with bunches and bunches of white flowers.

We used blueberry jelly beans to hold our escort cards and kept a theme throughout with the Elum Aviary stationery used as menu cards, table number and escort cards.

We also incorporated a piece of specialty glassware to carry on the blue theme at the dinner tables.

Our congratulations to Elizabeth & Kevin and a huge thank you to Courtney for showcasing so many of our Little Black Book members at this very special occasion!

Event design and planning – Caplan Miller Events; Florals – Petal Pushers; Photography – Michelle Reed Photography; Lighting – FILO Productions; Linens: La Tavola; Rentals: Taylor Rentals; Venue and Catering: Ritz Carlton Naples; Videography – AMC Video Productions; Stationery – Elum

Spectacular Rehearsal Dinner In Naples At The Ritz

In addition to being super-spectacular, this was also a super-special rehearsal dinner, because, you see, Courtney Caplan of Caplan Miller Events was designing and planning it for her brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law! When your sister is one of the premiere wedding planners in the biz, you know it will be one amazing event!

Here’s a bit of the couples’ story from CourtneyMy brother got married this past December in Naples, Florida. I offered to plan their destination wedding weekend, but had no clue where to start to find Naples vendors, so I relied on the LBB!!! It made it so easy. I took the hotel’s referral guide and cross referenced it with the LBB members and hired everyone over email!

My brother and now sister-in-law are interesting people. They love magic and were thinking of having a Hawaiian luau. When they told me this, I stared in fright.  A magical luau? {Yikes!} Thus, my work began.  First, I brought them to the correct area of the map and instead of a Hawaiian party, convinced them to go with a Cuban-inspired theme. We had the party outdoors, poolside at the hotel. I used coral pattered linens, shells and flowers that ranged from corals to pinks and greens to line the tables. We had a Cuban band, Cuban food, mojitos, chocolate cigars and more lighting than you can possibly imagine!!

I worked with LBB photographer Michelle Reed Photography and I brought with me from Texas, LBB Member Petal Pushers to create the amazing florals.

We lit every tree, every wall, projected pattern everywhere that slowly changed color from blues to pinks throughout the night. To incorporate their love for magic, I hired a fire eater and a fire juggler for the cocktail hour. It was actually a huge hit.

One word?  WOW!

We have Elizabeth and Kevin’s wedding coming up in a few!

Event design and planning – Caplan Miller Events; Florals – Petal Pushers; Photography – Michelle Reed Photography; Lighting – FILO Productions; Cuban Band and Fire Eaters – Talent & Entertainment Productions; Linens: La Tavola; Rentals: Taylor Rentals; Venue and Catering: Ritz Carlton Naples; Videography – AMC Video Productions

Wedding Cakes From Kakes By Karen

For some reason last week, I found myself poring over our Little Black Book members blogs … looking at cakes and candy buffets and cookies … couldn’t shake my sweet tooth! Here are a few of my favorite finds …

Kakes by Karen, LLC

Kakes by Karen is located in Naples, Florida … I LOVE the chic designs and delicate work that went into these cakes!

Here’s what Karen says about her creations on her website, “We pride ourselves in making hand elaborated, custom-made cakes that are never refrigerated, providing our customers a promise of freshness. Our cakes are decorated in high quality, glycerin free, delicious rolled fondant. Each cake is designed separately, working with the client, using only fresh ingredients to ensure quality. Some of our designs have been influenced and inspired by techniques learned from international chefs, as well as various judges and Food Network Cake Challenge winners.”

There are tons more photographs of her work in her cake galleries … all sizes and styles … and her cupcakes are just too pretty! So if you’re anywhere in her area, definitely give her a call!

Next up … candy stations …

A “Grande” Florida Wedding From Michael Schuhmann

We are featuring another beautiful wedding from Michael Schuhmann. His photography talents are industry-renowned and so very well-deserved …

Photography by Michael

Sara and Jerry were married in Boca Grande, Florida. The stunning lighting effects were provided by Tony Ormonde Productions. The gorgeous floral design was done by our own Little Black Book’s Botanica International Design Studio. Event coordination by Camille S Williams.

Photography by Michael

Photography by Michael

Many of Michael’s image treatments reflect the feelings of days gone by … of past and present perfectly blended into fine contemporary compositions.

Photography by Michael

If you look carefully, you’ll see that each image has a story all it’s own…

Photography by Michael

Photography by Michael

{to see the full gallery, click here!}

Yesterday, one of Michael’s colleagues had this to say: “Michael Schuhmann is a rare talent in the wedding industry and the Florida market is very fortunate to have him in it’s backyard. Having documented weddings alongside Michael over several seasons it never ceases to amaze me the fresh ideas and passion Michael brings to every event for which he is retained. His work always puts a smile on my face and exceeds expectations. It’s a shame the general public has not yet seen the depth and breadth of Michael’s fine art work. At a time when unfortunately the term “fine art” has lost it’s currency in a world of too many “me too, fine art photographers”, these wedding images demonstrate the stunning quality of the work Michael is able to deliver to those couples fortunate enough to retain his golden eye.”

We couldn’t agree more!

A Southern Florida Wedding

Stephanie, one of my best friends and the bride from today’s previous Real Wedding, has been sweet enough to stop by and share with us some of the details that made her wedding truly special…

Stephs_wedding_2_2


All photos by Sarah Bussey, Bridal Gown by Jenny Lee Couture, Bridesmaids Dresses by J Crew, Flowers by Fifty 50 Floral Art of Naples, Wedding Planning by Jon Berry of Celebrations Unlimited

From Stephanie...

1. We made the ceremony our own. My brother was one of my “bridesmaids” and Robert’s sister was one of his “groomsmen”. Both of us have very strong relationships with our parents and we wanted to include them in the ceremony. So, after my father and I walked down the aisle, my parents and Robert’s parents all stood with us for the first part of the ceremony. After the Reverend asked my father “Who gives this bride in marriage?” he then asked, “Who blesses this marriage?” to which our parents all replied in unison “We do.” These were little touches that allowed us to make the ceremony more about us as a family and include those most important to us.

2. My family brought all of their creativity and talent into the day. My grandmother made my beautiful garter. My aunt made a lace handkerchief with our initials and wedding date hand embroidered. Most special of all was the surprise my mom pulled off. On the inside bottom hem of my dress, she cross-stitched mine and Robert’s name in blue separated by a pink heart. Next to it she sewed a tiny button that she had taken from one of my baby dresses that she had made for me. This was my “something blue and something old” and I could not think of anything more meaningful.

3. Our photographer, Sarah Bussey, was phenomenal. (www.sarahbusseyphotography.com) When we began planning the wedding, we booked a different photographer that was local to Naples, Florida. However, after taking some engagement shots, it just did not feel “right.” I made the difficult decision to change photographers. This is one of the single best decisions I made throughout the entire process. Our photographer is incredibly talented and was a true joy to be around. As a result of following my instinct and not being afraid to make a change, I have some amazing photographs that will last a lifetime.

4. I am pretty traditional in some ways and I was originally adamant that I did not want to see Robert before I walked down the aisle. For various reasons, we decided to see each other before the ceremony and I am very glad we did. Our photographer found a beautiful spot for us to meet and the photos from these moments are priceless. It also completely calmed my nerves and allowed me to be much more relaxed throughout the ceremony. We were also able to take our posed group shots before the ceremony so once the wedding was over, our family and bridal party could immediately go and enjoy the cocktail hour. I am so happy that I did not stick with what is considered “tradition” and went with what was right for us.

5. The flowers! Oh, the flowers! They were exquisite and I cannot say enough good things about our florist, Matthew Huddleston, and his team at Fifty 50 Floral Art in Naples. My vision from the beginning was to keep all of the colors of the wedding neutral with rich champagnes, golds and creams and then bring in vibrant pops of color with the florals. Matthew did that to perfection with warm shades of orange, deep coral and golden hues, accented with touches of raspberry. For the ceremony, he had all of these gorgeous flowers surrounding dozens of candle-lit lanterns that created a warm and lovely ambiance at sunset. Simply stunning.

6. As a surprise to Robert, I brought in an artist from California, Rich Flynn, who created oil paintings of both the ceremony and the reception. We now have two incredible paintings that we can hang in our home to remind us of our wedding day. (www.richflynn.com)

7. The weather was very windy during our outdoor ceremony and, about three minutes into the wedding, my veil took fight! The wind pulled it out of my hair and it sailed off into the sky. It was actually beautiful to watch! My hair was fine sans veil and I just laughed as it flew away. It was truly a special moment and all night everyone was talking about the “flying veil!”

8. Our sushi chef! I love all kinds of sushi and we had a chef at the rehearsal dinner in my parent’s home making rolls and laying out sushi all night.

9. I loved our favors! I am a huge Starbucks fan so we filled little palm leaf bags with coffee beans and a Starbucks card. On the front was a note that read “We are so grateful you could be here! As you get up tomorrow and head on your way, here’s a little something to help start your day!” (palm leaf bags from www.blissweddingsmarket.com)

10. Our welcome bags were a labor of love. Along with filling the bags with lots of goodies, we created a series of puzzles with the help of my super creative brother. Each bag had a packet of games – a word search, cryptogram, maze and sudoko puzzle – personalized with things about us and the wedding. It was a fun and whimsical way to add another personal touch to the weekend.

The best part of the weekend was simply how much fun Robert and I had. Someone had told me that as long as the bride and groom are having fun at the wedding, everyone else will too. I completely took this advice to heart, tried to not worry about a single thing and just enjoy every moment. Robert and I had a blast and I can only hope that everyone else did too!

Thanks SO much Steph! I love that so many of these details are easy to incorporate!