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Coral Gables Engagement Session by PS Photography

There’s just nothing sweeter or more joyful than a future Mr. and Mrs. celebrating their impending nuptials with an engagement session chock-full of L.O.V.E.  And this adorable Coral Gables duo?  Well, they are most certainly delivering the happy with a jaunt around The Biltmore Hotel, photo ops with a vintage car and style for miles (and miles).  All captured in beyond gorgeous images by PS Photography, there’s no doubt about it – this is e-session perfection.  See all of the lovely right here.

From the Bride-to-Be… Mike and I met about eight years ago and planned our wedding slowly after he popped the question in 2010. When we finally picked a wedding venue and secured our date, there was no doubt in our minds who we were going to call to photograph the event. Patty and Susie from PS Photography took our first set of engagement pictures about two years ago, and we fell in love with their style and fun personalities. Since our wedding package included another engagement session, we were really excited to take some updated pictures before the wedding and tried to figure out a style that was different from the normal pictures everyone takes. We knew we wanted something vintage so we decided to try an antique train museum, but because of construction, we had to change locations last minute. It worked out perfectly! We met Patty at the Biltmore, a historic hotel in Miami, Florida, and made our way down the pretty streets of Coral Gables, stopping to take pictures in front of trees and ornate doors. At the end of our session, Patty suggested driving down the street to take some shots in front of an old car parked outside a shabby-looking restaurant. At first, we thought she was crazy, but we trusted her and we are so glad we did. It was the perfecting setting to end our vintage shoot and the pictures came out amazing!

Photography: PS Photography / Location: Coral Gables, Florida + The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida

Miami Beach Wedding at Cecconi’s by Nataschia Wielink Photo + Cinema

I adore this couple.  I adore how they smile with pure delight in each and every photo, their sweet description of how they met and fell head over heels in love, their day filled with so much joy, it’s infectious and, of course, their breathtaking Miami Beach soiree captured by Nataschia Wielink Photo + Cinema.  It’s an elegant garden party meets amazing florals by Parrish Designs meets the perfect dose of whimsy and glamour… and it’s a serious privilege to be part of it all.  Click here for SO much more.

From the Bride… David and I first met in Philadelphia in the alley way by the Stage Door of The Merriam Theatre. I had just finished a performance of Hairspray, and David was in town visiting his friend in the show. This mutual friend of ours had been telling me for months that she had the perfect guy for me, but I brushed it off because I was dating someone else. David and I met for five minutes that night after the show, and I remember all five minutes. Unfortunately, I didn’t see him for another nine months until I was back living in New York City. By then, a bunch of our mutual friends were on a mission to set us up. We kept “bumping into each other” in bars after shows. 

His annual Halloween party was coming up — he’d notoriously pack a hundred people into his two bedroom apartment in the West Village — and I later found out he wouldn’t send out the evite without getting my email address first. So he got it from a friend, and I RSVP’d yes. I stopped by very late after I got out of work, dressed up as hippie since I had enough in my closet to throw together a costume. David, on other hand, was far more committed and was dressed as an ’80s gym buff in head to toe lycra. Brave man!  He called me up a few days later to ask me out on a real date on Halloween night. I agreed but then tried to cancel last minute because I had a big audition coming up. Poor guy, he was not impressed, but didn’t tell me at the time. He charmingly convinced me to loosen up and go out for the evening, and thankfully, I did. We had our first date amidst the drunken crazies and gorgeous drag queens littering the streets of Greenwich Village at the famous New York City Halloween Parade in 2006.  Five years later, again on Halloween weekend, we got married in Miami.

Wedding Photography: Nataschia Wielink Photo + Cinema / Wedding Venue: Cecconi’s at the Soho Beach House in Miami Beach, Florida / Wedding Planning: Sari of Jackie Ohh Events / Floral Design: Kathryn Parrish of Parrish Designs / Wedding Cinematography: Nataschia Wielink Photo + Cinema / Wedding Cake: Cecconi’s / Band: Libido / Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier / Bride’s Makeup: Tania Terzcik / Hair + Makeup: Allure Hair and Makeup / Groom’s Suit: Ted Baker

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Miami Beach Garden Wedding Style Shoot by Beauty in the Making + Jillian Tree Photography

A Miami Beach photo shoot boasting minty green hues, a natural, yet oh-so-chic vibe and style for miles and miles… I think I’ve died and gone to inspiration heaven.  And when I say heaven, I mean the fab stylings of Beauty in the Making, a breathtaking city view and a bundles upon bundles of take-your-breath-away florals by Flowers By Dorit.  Yep… that kind of awesome.  Jillian Tree Photography captured every last glorious detail – and your Monday?  It’s looking prettier by the minute.  See it all here.

From Beauty in the MakingA stylized wedding for a native Miami bride who loves nature, water and the beautiful downtown Miami skyline. The inspiration came from the surroundings: green, garden, organic and romantic with a touch of whimsical. The bride wore a simple, mid-length, soft and flowing mint dress. The reception took place right on the Miami Beach bay, overlooking Star Island and downtown Miami. Guests were welcomed with easy-to-make, delicious cucumber appetizers. Before sitting at the handmade, whitewashed, driftwood table, guests picked up an organic pear that served as both an escort card and wedding favor. Place settings were elegant but organic with the menus decorated by sea grapes from the garden. And the flowers — green and white hydrangeas, stars of Bethlehem, lisianthus and handpicked crape myrtle flowers gave the rustic and organic table a touch of glamor that spoke for itself. As a wedding cake, our Miamian bride opted for a delicious key lime pie topped with meringue, accompanied by delicious green tea sorbet. The best part is that the design is budget friendly!

Photography: Jillian Tree Photography / Photo Shoot Location: The Bay in Miami Beach, Florida / Event Coordination, Design + Planning: Eileen Morales of Beauty in the Making / Floral Design: Flowers By Dorit / Invitations: J Paper / Wedding Dress: Jordan Fashion via Sassy Bridal & Formal Wear

Winter Park Wedding at Casa Feliz by Andi Mans Photography

I’ve been obsessed with tulips for as long as I can remember, so to say that I get a tad bit excited when I spy a sweet, tulip-filled wedding would be a massive understatement.  Especially when that tulip-filled wedding is boasting soft pink and orange hues, one seriously cute Mr. and Mrs. and a lace gown that will take you breath away.  That’s just downright elation.  Lee Forrest Design was the master behind all of the bloomy goodness and Andi Mans Photography filled the entire gallery with some serious lovely.  You can soak in all of the pretty right here.

From Andi Mans PhotographyI first met bride Tara and her sweet mother Marlene last year for some coffee to chat about her big day. I secretly really wanted to capture this wedding because I knew it would be just gorgeous, and I loved how easily we connected! So I was thrilled when they chose me! Tara and Adam’s wedding was filled with huge smiles and adorable handmade decor located in the beautiful Winter Park historic home, Casa Feliz. It was also a night of the “Super Moon” and Cinco De Mayo! It was a fun time!

Wedding Photography: Andi Mans Photography / Wedding Venue: Casa Feliz in Winter Park, Florida / Wedding Planning: Sherri Rinker / Floral Design: Lee Forrest Design / Catering: Arthur’s Creative Events & Catering / Wedding Cake: The Cake Lady / Wedding Dress: Rivini / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew

Miami Beach Wedding at the Bass Museum of Art by Ambrosio Photography

It never fails.  The sweet combo of purple and teal blue gets me every.single.time.  Yep, it’s true.  I fall madly in love from the very SECOND I see those pretty hues bursting from my computer screen – and this Miami Beach Wedding?  Well, it’s almost too fabulous for words with my new favorite colors, an uber-adorable Mr. and Mrs. and a sophisticated Bass Museum of Art setting.  Add to that some downright amazing images captured by Ambrosio Photography and, well.  Simply breathtaking.  See it all here.

From Ambrosio PhotographyA unique venue, located in the heart Miami Beach’s Art Deco district, is what drew this NYC couple to the Bass Museum of Art. Their ceremony was held on the museum’s front steps, with strong ocean breezes kicking up off the nearby water. Cocktails were held inside the gallery, where guests were able to some of the museum’s permanent collection and then dance all night in the Lydia & Burton Harrison Cafe. 

Wedding Photography: Stacey Ambrosio of Ambrosio Photography / Wedding Venue: Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach, Florida / Wedding Planning: Marylen Exposito of Marylen Exposito Weddings / Floral Design: Flowers by Gerardo / Catering: Mena Catering / Wedding Cake: Filled & Frosted / Ceremony Musicians: Felicia Besan Strings / DJ + Uplighting: Ubi’s Music & Lighting ( / Wedding Dress: La Sposa / Bride’s Shoes: Lulu Townsend / Cinematography: Bonnelly Films

Key Largo Wedding at Ocean Reef Club by Bob Care Photography + Parrish Designs

It’s 4th of July, the sun is shining and there’s a whole lot of BBQ yumminess in our future… what a wonderful day to celebrate.  So wonderful, in fact, that we couldn’t help but spice it up even more with this breathtaking Key Largo affair by Bob Care Photography.  Filled to the very brim with gorgeous florals by Parrish Designs, clear blue skies and perfectly pretty hues, it’s just what we needed to get us in the festive, fireworks watching mood.  See sooo much more right here.

From the Bride… I wanted a laid-back, beachy wedding with colorful corals, sun, the beach and tropical drinks where guests would be able to relax and get some sun in May, away from the hustle and bustle of cold NYC. A beautiful place where the setting would take over and minimal decoration would be needed. I also wanted to have a fun dance party that would go on all night with lots of energy and party music. Our guests were able to kayak, paddle board, play soccer, swim, tan and drink plenty of planter’s punches. I love in Ocean Reef — the setting, the indescribable view during the ceremony at The Point, the gorgeous blue ocean and sky … you don’t even need decorations. I wanted to incorporate details from my Brazilian culture: I had the Brazilian wish bracelet on the escort cards, and I knew I wanted samba dancers. They were a blast and set the tone for a fun dance party. It was a surprise for the guests, and they loved it!

My best advice to future brides and grooms of destination weddings, is try to visit the location if you can to get a feel for the space. Sometimes just being there will inspire ideas and help with the planning. Have a wedding planner at the location — someone who knows local vendors and has experience throwing events at your location. Be flexible because things will go wrong or not as expected, but it’s not the end of the world, and it will still be the best night of your life! Make sure you have a plan about your wedding gown. How are you taking it? I would recommend shipping it and having the dress pressed at the location (trying to get the dress wrinkle-free to the location through airports, layovers, etc. will just stress you out)!

The best memory of the wedding was after the wedding when we walked over to the bridal suite, sad everything was over (it goes by in a flash!) and our wedding planner had set up a cheese platter, champagne on ice and little gift for us (an Ocean Reef picture frame). It was so unexpected and so sweet, not to mention so welcome since we were starving! Ocean Reef provided complimentary wedding planning, which was key to a successful event. Having someone at the location with experience planning weddings at the location was wonderful because she was able to provide advice on best vendors, day-of timeline, etc.

Wedding Photography: Bob Care Photography / Wedding Venue + Catering: Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Florida / Event Planning: Amanda Gilbo of Ocean Reef Club / Floral Design: Parrish Designs / Wedding Cake: Ocean Reef Club / Musicians: AA Musicians + Brazilian & Latin Sounds Co. by Paulo Gualano  / Wedding Dress: J.Crew / Hair + Makeup: Ocean Reef Spa / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Boca Raton Wedding at B’nai Torah Congregation by Jessica Lorren Organic Photography

It probably won’t surprise you that I’m a complete wedding photography junky. I eat it up by the heaping spoonfuls and there are a few shots that get me every time. First looks send me into an emotional tailspin. That walk back down the aisle as newly crowned husband and wife; also a tear-jerking favorite. And last but certainly not least any and all images containing long, flowing tulle veils. I DIE for those images and this wedding captured by Jessica Lorren Organic Photography has about a million of them. It’s a gorgeous Florida flavored fête crafted by Kasey D Weddings and all enveloped in a layer of gauzy veil goodness. See more right here.

Before you head off into gallery la la land, be sure to hit play on this beautiful number by Well Spun Weddings. It’s the perfect way to end this dream of a post.

From the Bride… My husband and I are still in awe over how beautiful everything turned out. All we could ask for our wedding day, in addition to sunshine and our family and friends, was to be surrounded by nature, or at least, infuse warm, natural elements into the decor and details. If we had to describe the look-and-feel we were going for, it could be casual, garden romance. But with so many great ideas out there, we were overwhelmed with how to execute our decor/theme and challenged by the formality of our venue. In a perfect world, we would have gotten married in a more natural, country setting in the North Georgia mountains where we met or somewhere in North Carolina (I’m a Tar Heel and Matt’s from Raleigh), but I’m from Florida and our parents insisted that the wedding take place in Boca Raton at my family’s synagogue — a far cry from a country barn. We wanted to stay away from the typical, tropical or sleek aesthetics that are so common in South Florida, so it was VERY important that our vendors help bring a touch of country/nature to Boca.

It was also really important that we take our wedding portraits in a natural spot, so our venue wasn’t going to work. We are grateful that our photographers, videographers, and wedding party were willing to take on the Florida heat to get some special shots at Spanish River Park prior to heading to the synagogue. Jessica Lorren’s photographs from the park turned out to be like a dream and we will cherish them forever. Kasey from Kasey D Weddings really understood the mood/decor we wanted to set for both the rehearsal dinner and wedding. She had the awesome idea to create two shared pin boards on Pinterest, one for the wedding, one for the rehearsal, and we spent the next few months consolidating and collaborating ideas to bring our special weekend to life. And with Jessica Lorren capturing our day, we had complete faith that our photos would be special, no matter where the wedding would take place. (And they were stunning.) I tried to add warm, personal touches by finding some neat props with character — we found wooden crates, trays and other items on Etsy and from an antique shop in Raleigh, North Carolina. Etsy really became a great resource, and it was nice to support artists and small business owners — we ordered everything from place cards, a custom stamp, cocktail napkins, wood table number holders, to our beautiful guest book from various vendors.

Our favorite part of the wedding, besides the flowers and photography, were the details. From the Ray Bans our wedding party wore during formal pics to match our save-the-date and the wooden entrance sign made by Kasey D, to the cake topper, cross-stitched ring pillow (both made by good friends) and the cafe lights hanging in the courtyard for cocktail hour, it was all like a dream. We also had a fun stamp made on Etsy with our faces from the save-the-date-, which we used on a lot of our wedding materials (programs, napkins, thank you notes) and thought it really put our “stamp” on the day. :) I also really ended up loving my dress (Bianca by Ulla-Maija-Anna Maier). After having a bit of buyers remorse in the beginning (I wasn’t 100% sold on one-shoulder), I realized that it had a easy, classic, and romantic feel to it — with a modern twist. Mostly, it was the perfect light and comfortable dress for a long, warm day. I wish I could wear it again.

Wedding Photography: Jessica Lorren Organic Photography / Wedding Venue: B’nai Torah Congregation in Boca Raton, Florida / Wedding Portrait Location: Spanish River Park / Wedding Planning + Decor: Kasey D Weddings / Floral Design: Daniel Events / Wedding Cinematography: Well Spun Weddings / Catering: Executive Caterers / Wedding Cake: Anna Paz Cakes / Wedding Invitations: Rifle Paper Co. / Music: South Florida’s Heatwave / Guestbook: Bleu de Toi / Wedding Dress: Anna Maier Ulla-Maija “Bianca” via Joan Pillow Bridal / Bride’s Shoes: BHLDN / Hair: Kristin Brown / Makeup: Kristin Brown + Janna Vann / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew + BCBG / Flower Girls’ Dresses: J.Crew / Groom’s Attire: Ralph Lauren / Groomsmen’s Suits: Their Own

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Destin Bay House Wedding by Christie Meresse Photography

I happen to be the biggest fan EVER of brooch bouquets, so when I saw this glorious antique creation making a sweet, sweet appearance in this Destin Bay House soiree, I knew I was done for.  And, honestly, who wouldn’t love this sparkly, draw-jopping masterpiece, especially when combined with a fresh natural color palette, uber-adorable bridesmaid frocks and a take-your-breath-away San Patrick gown? Yep, its a style-filled fête boasting beyond lovely images by Christie Meresse Photography and too much fabulous to count.  Click here for more.

From Christie Meresse PhotographyLewis Clark and Maggie Hale had a simple, but beautiful destination wedding in Destin, Florida in May. Lewis’ family flew in from England, while Maggie’s family traveled from Tennessee. They chose to host their wedding at a gorgeous new venue in Destin, the Destin Bay House. Maggie created her own bouquet using antique brooches she purchased at antique stores in her home town, and she had a relative sew two garters for her to wear during the wedding. The dress Maggie wore was absolutely stunning, and the cake she chose was made completely of cake pops in cream and taupe hues.

Maggie asked all of her bridesmaids to select a dress of their choice using the color scheme she chose for the wedding, and they came together perfectly. Several groomsmen traveled from England to participate in the celebration, and they all wore a simple white shirt with khaki pants. The wedding ceremony was held overlooking the beautiful Destin bay with the reception following on the patio of the quaint venue.

Wedding Photography: Christie Meresse Photography / Wedding Venue: Destin Bay House in Destin, Florida / Event Design + Catering: Artistic Catering / Floral Design: Destin Floral Designs / Bride’s Bouquet: DIY / Wedding Cake: Sweet Cake Ball Company / Wedding Dress: San Patrick / Bride’s Garters: DIY by a Family Member

Greenville Wedding at Honey Lake Plantation by Laura Yang Photography

It pretty much goes without saying that we love ourselves some DIY goodness here on SMP Florida – and when a sweet homegrown affair comes our way, we get all kinds of happy.  And happy we were when we first laid our eyes on this darling Greenville affair by Laura Yang Photography.  It’s filled to the brim with the loveliest of details, including a fab lounge made of hay bales, mason jars and brightly colored bridesmaid frocks.  This is definitely what we call country chic perfection and you can see every last moment in the full gallery.

From Laura Yang Photography… Amber and Daniel’s North Florida wedding at Honey Lake Plantation was not only the most uniquely personalized wedding I’ve ever been privileged to be a part of — from the location to the details to the multi-colored wedding party —  but was also, hands-down, one of the most beautiful. The weather forecasters called for it to pour on their wedding day, and the bride made the final decision to keep all the activities outdoors only two hours before the ceremony. It rained until 45 minutes before they exchanged their vows overlooking sparkling Honey Lake. Then the sun came out, and everything went off without a hitch.

From the wide variety of DIY projects the bride dreamed up or sourced on Pinterest (to name a few: handmade mason jar centerpieces with chalkboard hearts for guests to leave messages; a “love locks ceremony” inspired by the bridges of Paris; handmade doors for the bride to walk through into their ceremony in an alfalfa field, the handmade sapling ceremony arch; and cocktail hour drinks named for each bridesmaid in the color each she wore) to the stunning Maggie Sottero gown that the bride drove 12 hours round trip — twice — to have custom-redesigned in Atlanta and the heirloom family tractor that carried the bride and groom to their sunset reception in an oak grove, this wedding was all about who Amber and Daniel are and what they love: each other, their friends, family and a simple-but-chic country life.

Wedding Photography: Laura Yang Photography / Wedding Venue + Catering: Honey Lake Plantation Resort & Spa in Greenville, Florida / Floral Design: Missy Gunnels Flowers / Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero via The New Image / Custom Dress, Redesign + Alterations: TK Designs / Bride’s Boots: Ariat / Hair: Fuel A Salon / Makeup: Randi Buchanan & Co. / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: The Dessy Group / Men’s Tuxedos: Sacino’s by Vince / Men’s Ties: The Dessy Group / Wedding Cake: Tupelo’s Bakery & Cafe / DJ: North Florida’s Express DJs

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Miami Wedding at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens by KT Merry

If you are anything like us, you’ve spent every spare minute this week poring over the new Fashion & Beauty E-Mag. It’s irresistible in the best possible way. After turning the pages of pretty over and over, you probably came across this sparkly beauty captured by the beautiful KT Merry. And you probably stopped. Dead in your tracks. Because it’s perfection. Sparkly, detailed, love-filled perfection. From the Monique Lhuillier gown to the images that are so pretty I want to hang them on my walls, it all makes for a full gallery of images that is just be-yond.

From KT Merry… Aly and Raul met in January 2005 while she was studying abroad in Madrid. They caught each others’ attention at a neighborhood restaurant and quickly became inseparable. Aly’s outgoing nature and Raul’s mild mannered personalities made for a yin and yang dynammic that surprised Aly’s family back in the States as much as it did Raul’s close-knit family in Spain.

As Aly’s inevitable return to NY approached, they made what felt like a very easy decision to stay together and meet up as much as possible. As Aly finished up college and Raul began to look for job opportunities in the US, they met up in cities including NY, London, Madrid, Denver, Palm Beach and Miami. They spent the summer of 2006 together in Madrid, and by the fall, Raul had landed a great job in Toronto. Their trans-atlantic long distance relationship was compressed to a much more bearable (yet still international) seperation, until Raul ultimately moved to New York in 2007. Raul proposed to Aly on December 19, 2010 in Central Park.

Wedding Photography: KT Merry / Ceremony + Reception Venue: Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Miami, Florida / Wedding Planning: Teresa Blumberg ( / Floral Design + Decor: Karla Conceptual Event Experiences / Catering: Le Basque / Custom Wedding Invitations: Scott Peiffer of The Right Side Design / Letterpress Studio: Studio on Fire / Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier / Bride’s Veil: Rivini / Bride’s Jewelry: Provident Jewelry / Bridesmaids’ Dresses + Belts: Jenny Yoo / Groom’s Attire: Hackett


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Tampa Wedding at Avila Golf & Country Club by Stonehouse Events & More, Inc.

Seriously stunning and down.right fabulous, this Tampa soiree is all about the pure, unadulterated glamour.  I’m talking a too gorgeous for words Sottero & Midgley gown, beautiful images by Tina Sargeant Photography and hints of dazzle every which way you turn – aka, a traditional lovers dream come true.  Yep, Stonehouse Events & More, Inc. most certainly worked their magic with this one and the result is a day of non-stop sophistication.  We are in love.  See it all here.

Oh, and we’re not done yet.  We have this sweet film from RisingSky Productions to take us into the weekend.  Enjoy!

From Stonehouse Events & More, Inc.Amanda and Mike Couch’s wedding was full of gorgeous details! Amanda wanted her day to be elegant with a gorgeous color palette of purple, pinks and champagnes! With their last name as Couch, we were sure to incorporate couches into the day! As a cake topper, Amanda purchased a small antique couch and adhered “Mr & Mrs” to it! All of the table numbers were framed antique couches with the table number elegantly displayed for the guests to easily find their seats. The bride chose Ferrero Rocher chocolates to hold the name of each guest for the escort card display. As a wedding favor, the bride prepared small jars of honey for the guests to take home — she chose honey because that is the endearing name the couple calls each other. The guest tables were covered in the beautiful, ivory linen with stunning mahogany Chiavari chairs surrounding them. The deep purple napkin was in a cummerbund fold and sat atop of the gold chargers. The centerpieces were a combination of tall pedestals with gorgeous florals sitting on top, one smaller arrangement with votives and then a pillar candle with roses, hydrangea, and purple stock surrounding it. The room was just glowing! The intimate ceremony was full of floating candles lining the aisles and displayed at the altar with soft touches of roses and hydrangeas. With the sounds of a harp in the background, the ceremony was beautiful as the two exchanged their Tiffany wedding bands. A couple of guests who were not able to attend but were able to send their best wishes were the President of the United States and the First Lady Michelle Obama, as well also two other favorites, Mickey and Minnie Mouse. The guests and the bride and groom enjoyed dancing the rest of the evening. It was a magical night full of amazing details as this beautiful couple came together as one!

Wedding Photography: Tina Sargeant Photography / Wedding Venue: Avila Golf & Country Club in Tampa, Florida / Event Design + Planning: Stonehouse Events & More, Inc. / Floral Design: Artistry Designs / Wedding Cinematography: RisingSky Productions / Wedding Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas / Wedding Cake: Cakes by Nomeda / Harpist: Jessica Cardwell / DJ: Inspire Entertainment / Chair Rental: Signature Event Rentals / Linens: Connie Duglin Specialty Linen & Chair Cover Rental / Wedding Dress: Sottero & Midgley “Linda” / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff

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Ponte Vedra Beach Wedding by Gwendolyn Tundermann Photography

Today is a good day, SMPers.  A very, very good day.  And the reason?  This drop dead gorgeous, Ponte Vedra Beach soiree.  From the stunning ceremony to the fabulous details (here’s looking at you, striped straws!) to a bride and groom who will warm your hearts with some serious love, this is a wedding you will NEVER get enough of.  Thank goodness Gwendolyn Tundermann Photography was on hand to capture all the lovely, because the gallery?  It’s amazing.  See it all here.

From the Bride… I was born and raised in Manila, Philippines, and little did I know that I would meet the man of my dreams halfway around the world. Mike and I met at the town center parking lot when I almost bumped him with my car trying to get to a parking spot. I can see his red face as he stood to see who was driving. Nervous, I got out of my car to apologize. His red face turned into a smile and instead said, “The least you can do is to go to dinner with me.” I did, and the rest was history. We have been inseparable since.

We bought my gown on the first day we went shopping and in the first shop we went to – Sharon Batten Bridal Atelier at Ponte Vedra. It was by Vera Wang. The moment I laid eyes on it I knew it was the one. The details and petals at the back were gorgeous and I knew it will be perfect for our garden wedding. Mike wore a tux by Calvin Klein. The groomsmen also wore tuxes by Calvin Klein with pink and blue striped ties from Nordstrom, while the bridesmaids wore dresses from Bari Jay with matching champagne-colored shoes. I wanted an intimate wedding that had that romantic garden wedding feel to it. As soon as Mike and I saw Palm Valley Gardens, we knew we found the perfect place for us. The cocktail table centerpieces mimiced the reception decor with white drapes and huge, hanging, lighted twig balls. A friend designed the escort cards that sat atop vintage boxes filled with baby’s breath. She also designed the table names with “love” in different languages, along with the place cards that reflect the crochet lace corset that was used on all the reception centerpieces. Our family and friends helped a lot in getting all these details done. I also had help from Cassie of Flaire Weddings and Events the week of the wedding. She made sure everything was executed perfectly and coordinated all of the vendors.  

Mike and I come from very different background so we wanted to incorporate both our traditions into our wedding. Mike is of American-German-Dutch-Indonesian descent while I am of Filipino descent. With the help of our families and internet research, we were able to include traditions such as the veil, cord, candle and fabric ceremony. We also had the wish tree which is a Dutch tradition. My uncle and a dear family friend officiated the wedding ceremony. They had customized the program to highlight not just the union between Mike and I but also with his kids – Bruce,  Mikayla and Matt. Ceremony and cocktail music were provided by a string quartet and a wonderful DJ during the dinner/dancing. Our moms made the flower girl baskets and the ring bearer pillow. Among the other details we had at the wedding included Cuban cigar roller during the cocktail and reception which was a huge hit. Signature pink and blue cocktail drinks, cookie bar that includes Madeleines and French Macarons in cream and pink colors, a coffee and cocoa bar and honey favors were among the other details. Later in the evening sliders were served to our danced-out guests.  

Wedding Photography: Gwendolyn Tundermann Photography / Wedding Venue: Palm Valley Gardens in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida (Now Closed) / Wedding Coordination: Flaire Weddings and Events / Floral Design: Lori Parker / Wedding Officiants: Rev. Liberato Bautista + Rev. Patti Augustin-Smith / Wedding Cinematography: Take One Productions / Catering: Chef’s Garden / Wedding Cake: Metro Custom Cakes / Bar Service: Melissa Kilpatrick of Catered Cocktails ( / Wedding Invitations + Stationery: Craftmaster Invitations ( / Table Names, Escort Cards + Place Card Design: Madge Arafol of Her MADGEsty (A Friend of the bride) / Ring Bearer Pillows + Flower Baskets: Lucy Bautista (The Mother of the Bride) / Crochet Ribbons + Garter: Elise Van Jaarsveld (The Mother of the Groom) / Ceremony + Cocktail Hour Music: Jacksonville String Quartet ( / DJ: Bouquet Sounds / Cigar Roller: JC the Cuban Cigar Roller / Honey Favors: E&M Gold Beekeepers + Personalization by the Bride & The Mother of the Groom / Wedding Dress: Vera Wang / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bari Jay / Hair: Casey Powell / Makeup: Amanda Hopcraft / Groom’s Tuxedo: Calvin Klein / Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan / Groomsmen’s Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse / Groomsmen’s Ties: Nordstrom

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Southern Wedding Inspired Photo Shoot by J Morgan Flowers

We’ve been known to fall head over heels for some pretty inspiration here on SMP Florida – and when a talented team of vendors join forces for a downright glorious photo shoot, we literally jump at the chance to share it all with you.  So you can imagine our complete and utter joy when the amazing duo of J Morgan Flowers and Kiss the Planner sent this gorgeous little number our way.  It’s a serious dose of Southern inspiration, complete with vintage touches, yummy BBQ and beyond fab images by Jamilah Photography.  Hellooo perfect Wednesday.  Click here for more.

From J Morgan FlowersWhen I think of Southern hospitality, I always think of good, homemade comfort food and being able to relax and enjoy the company! With that in mind, Aviva, of Kiss the Planner, and I set off to design the perfect home style wedding inspiration! We chose a short informal dress for the bride with well-worn cowboy boots and a loose, natural, hand-tied bouquet of orange roses, kangaroo’s paw, alstromeria, solidago, wheat and hanging amaranthus tied with burlap and tartan ribbon details. The bridesmaids carried a similar bouquet with splashes of blue delphiniums and topped of their casual look with cowboy hats! The groom, in his best shirt, wore a mango calla lily with touches of kangaroo’s paw and ribbon accents to match his new wife! The guests escort cards were postcards placed in a copper mail box telling the guests to relax and stay a while!

Southern style is all about the food, so we set a pine table with a seersucker runner, vintage dishes I inherited from my grandmother and greeted each guest with a large succulent! The long table was then outfitted with large pitchers of blue hydrangeas with a mix of the chosen florals and cattails. The food we chose to complement this shindig was cornbread, barbeque ribs, molasses baked beans, squash and corn, all washed down with a mix of flavored ginger ale and sodas presented in wooden pails! A wedding cake would have been too formal for such a casual affair, so a bundt cake topped with hydrangeas and a collection of homemade pies was the perfect ending to this feast! As favors, we presented gift bags of bread mixes and pepper jellies! We hope our home style inspiration shoot gives our Southern brides a few good ideas on how to bring your upbringing into your big day!

Photography: Jamilah Photography / Location: A Park in Jupiter, Florida / Floral Design: J Morgan Flowers / Styling: J Morgan Flowers + Kiss the Planner / Rentals: Atlas Party & Event Rental / Wedding Dress: Vintage / Hair + Makeup: Ultimate Bridal Beauty

Miami Wedding at The Palms Hotel & Spa by Becca Borge Photography

I have a soft spot in my heart reserved solely for turquoise blue hues, so when I first laid my eyes on all of the vibrant goodness making an appearance in this stellar Miami soiree, I literally grinned from ear to ear.  And it’s not just the pretty, pretty colors making me smile.  Nope – with a breathtaking Palms Hotel & Spa setting, glorious images by Becca Borge Photography and a bride and groom, this wedding is a happy-fest from start to finish.  See every last joyful moment right here.

From the Bride… Our wedding was such a dream to plan once we found our incredible venue, The Palms Hotel & Spa. We found everything we wanted in one location: a garden ceremony setting, proximity to the ocean for photos, unique reception and cocktail spaces, and a highly experienced catering department that made it easy for me as a long-distance bride living in Massachusetts. We picked March 23 for our wedding date hoping for great weather, and we had a beautiful intimate ceremony on the gazebo lawn, followed by a cocktail hour on the Essensia restaurant terrace and our reception on the hotel’s main veranda.  Ocean Flowers did a beautiful job on all of our event’s spaces, from the gazebo entrance to the arrangements decorating our dinner buffet displays. We were also thrilled with our amazing photos taken by Becca Borge — she did an incredible job!

As the bride, I really enjoyed the personal touches we were able to incorporate into our big day. Our wedding bands were custom designed in South Dakota with Black Hills gold in honor of Jess’s many family members who live in that region. We also displayed photos from our parents’ and siblings’ weddings on our place card table. Guests signed a reprint of a vintage Miami Beach tourism poster to create a unique piece of art we love having in our home. We had an absolutely fabulous wedding, and we are so grateful to everyone who helped us put it together, as well as to all our family and friends who attended.

Wedding Photography: Becca Borge Photography / Wedding Venue: The Palms Hotel & Spa / Floral Design: Ocean Flowers / Officiant: Donna Merritt of The Simple Ceremony / Wedding Cake: Ana Paz Cakes / Wedding Cake Card Box: Oriental Trading + Embellishments via Michaels / Butterfly Place Cards: Timeless Paper / DJ: Eddie B & Company / Wedding Dress: Galina for David’s Bridal / Bride’s Jewelry: Fortunoff Fine Jewelry / Hair: The Perfect Touch Salon (305-253-6852) / Makeup: Tatjana Terzic / Bridal Party Attire: David’s Bridal / Wedding Bands: Riddle’s Jewelry

Palm Beach Gardens Wedding at Bonnette Hunt Club Lodge by Stay Forever Photography

Well, SMPers.  You’ve spent the entire morning swooning over the fabulous e-shoot of Jessica of Stay Forever Photography and her handsome groom-to-be… and since we know you can’t wait one.more.minute to see this adorable duo say “I Do,” it’s time to dive right into their AMAZING (yep, all caps style) wedding.  Its mason jars, vibrant purple hues and a gorgeous bridal party (and bride!) in boots… or as I like to call it, serious country chic.  Melissa of Stay Forever Photography snapped up all of the pretty and, trust me, you don’t want to miss a moment of this lovely.  Join me there for more.

From Melissa of Stay Forever PhotographyJess came back from visiting Michael in Japan at the end of January with a huge announcement: “We’re getting married April 7th!” “As in 3 months from now? “ I asked back. “Yes!” So began the quickest three months of our lives as we searched Etsy for all things purple, country chic and vintage. What makes this wedding even more special is so many friends and family helped with every detail. The ribbons, drink tags and napkin rings were a result from a girls’ craft night. Jess’s sister Jackie used her amazing handwriting and doodling skills to write on all of the signs on the days leading up to the wedding. And that was just a small part of the group effort to put together a dream wedding for Jess and Mike. As the sun set, it was time for them to marry underneath the trees and purple flowers at the Bonnette Hunt Club. After the ceremony, friends and family danced the night away, drinking their signature drink (the Bonnett Bullet) out of mason jars. The end of the night even had a little karaoke fun!

From the Bride (Jess of Stay Forever Photography)… Mike and I definitely got our dream wedding and more! We wanted to find a venue that would allow us to be ourselves and to enjoy our friends, family and each other to the fullest. I’ve always wanted to wear boots with my wedding dress, so when we first started thinking of a style that would fit us both, we felt country with a little bit of chic was the perfect combination! A lot of my inspiration for my girls was Miranda Lambert’s wedding — I loved the floral dresses and boots together. The look was fun, relaxed and laid-back! Some of our favorite details were the smore’s bar, mason jar favors and my incredible flowers by Beth Halpern. We wanted the decor to have personal touches, so we cant thank Mike’s sister, Lindsay, and my sister-in-law, Anna, enough for our amazing signage.

It’s really tough to just pick out one favorite moment since there were so many amazing moments shared, but I would have to say seeing Mike for the first time during our first look and being able to have that emotion captured in photos is awesome and something I will cherish forever. My second favorite is the dance party, of course! My advice to other brides out there is to make sure you have an incredible photographer to capture your day (this is the advice we always give our brides) but it’s so true! I relive my wedding any time I want through the pictures that were captured on our day, and each time they take me back to the emotions and joy I felt. I’m so lucky I got to marry my soul mate — our wedding day was simply perfect.

Wedding Photography: Stay Forever Photography / Wedding Venue: Bonnette Hunt Club Lodge in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida / Floral Design: Beth Halpern / Wedding Invitations: The Blue Envelope / Cupcakes: Jaye’s Cake Kingdom / Wedding Dress: Eden Bridals / Bride’s Necklace: BCBG / Hair: Jody of Stephanie & Co. / Makeup: Stefani Mandanici

Country Chic Engagement Session by Stay Forever Photography

We get a tad bit excited about Mondays here on SMP Florida – after two days away from the pretty, we simply can.not.wait to jump back into the week.  And today’s dazzling lineup?  Well, it has us seriously happy.  Because not only do we have one VERY gorgeous e-session to share with you, we have a breathtaking wedding, too. And they both happen to star the stunning Jessica of Stay Forever Photography and her dashing beau.  Fabulous, no?  All captured by Jessica’s talented partner, Melissa, and filled with L.O.V.E., get ready for one amazing start to the week.  Click here for more e-shoot lovely and then stay tuned for the wedding later today!

From Melissa of Stay Forever Photography I’ve known Jess since elementary school, and we’ve grown closer in the past years as we started our own photography business together. We were in the middle of our fall wedding season when Jess and Michael first met at none other than a wedding, but there was something more that seemed to draw them to each other. They became friends, and then slowly, they realized there was something more than a spark… it was more like a wild fire. After spending a few wonderful weeks together, Michael left for Japan where he is currently stationed working for the Navy as a K-9 handler. Jess visited him in March, and then a few months later Michael came home again… this time with something more on his mind. Jess and Michael went to Orlando for a few fun days of riding roller coasters, and he got down on one knee and asked her to spend the rest of his life with him because she truly had become the most important thing in his life.

One of the first funny stories I can remember about Michael: one day when Jess and I were having on of our usual “Movie Mondays,” Mike texted Jess. She replied that we were working and watching “The Notebook”… you know for “research.” And he replied back with something like “If I’m a bird, you’re a bird” — basically a quote from the movie. After we stopped laughing at the notion that a guy was able to quote this movie, we realized he might just be for real. So it was only fitting that when we were brainstorming fun ideas for their engagement shoot that they chose a “Notebook” theme to best depict their love story’s journey.

Photography: Stay Forever Photography

Tampa Wedding at Davis Islands Garden Club by Justin DeMutiis Photography

Let me just start off by saying that burlap and mason jars make my heart sing.  Like, seriously sing. So, when I saw them popping up in this gorgeous Tampa affair, I knew we were in for a day of non-stop lovely.  And – with my fave organic details and pretty purple hues joining forces with a garden party extravaganza like you’ve never seen.  It’s lush whimsy meets downright perfection meets a gallery full of breathtaking images by the ever-so-talented Justin DeMutiis Photography.  See them all here.

From Justin DeMutiis PhotographyRob and Caitlin met way back in 2003, the summer before Rob went to college. Caitlin’s childhood friend, Mandy, and invited over three friends (Rob included) from school to Caitlin’s house. It was raining, and for some reason, everyone was hanging out in Caitlin’s garage. After an hour or two, Caitlin got bored of the boys being there and went inside to have her mom come out and tell them to leave. Little did she know that a few months later she would run into Rob again. The next time the two met, Caitlin was eating a lime, which Rob thought was weird. After becoming friends over the next few months, they started dating. After years of long distance, while Rob was in college at Ohio University and Caitlin was at home in Maryland, then when Caitlin was in college at University of Florida, then Rob was in Tampa and Caitlin was in Gainesville — finally, the two were ready to be together in the same town. After Caitlin graduated from nursing school, she moved to Tampa to live with Rob.

On an ordinary Wednesday, Caitlin was on her way home from work and the gym, hands full with work bag, scrubs and yoga mat, when she was welcomed with a little surprise. She unlocked the door and saw Rob standing in the shirt he was wearing that day in the garage with flowers and candles on the table. He had recreated the first meal she had ever made for him and was playing “their song.” At that point, he told her to put down everything while he got on one knee and asked her to marry him! (And of course, she said “Yes!”)

Wedding Photography: Justin DeMutiis Photography / Wedding Venue: Davis Islands Garden Club in Tampa, Florida / Floral Design: Ian of Botanica International Design Studio / Event Design: Caitlin Williams (The Bride) / Catering: Ken Jurgenson of Chives / Music: DeLair Entertainment / Wedding Dress: Ella via Cindy of The White Closet Co. / Bride’s Shoes: Nina / Hair + Makeup: Donna Camposecco of Camposecco Artistry

Getting To Know Captured Photography by Jenny + Top 5 Photography Tips

Prepare yourselves, lovelies.  Today is one very special day here on SMP Florida.  I’m talking miles upon miles of Sunshine State lovely and a fab Q & A with one of our fave photogs, Jenny, of Captured Photography by Jenny.  Yep… that special.  And when I tell you that Jenny is downright awesome and an all-around amazing lady, that’s a serious understatement.  Her glorious images always (ALWAYS) leave us speechless – and she also happens to be one of the sweetest people you will ever virtually meet.  So, find yourselves a cozy place, put those phones on silent and wipe those calendars clean – you’ll most definitely want to dedicate your Thursday to all things Jenny, because, well… she’s amazing.

What do you do, how long have you been doing it and what makes you awesome?

I get to preserve memories through photography. It’s a pretty sweet gig.  I started Captured Photography by Jenny back in 2007. And jumped in to it full time once my oldest daughter, Ellie, was born in 2008.  Honestly, it was super scary and intimidating to be a business owner at first. One thing led to another and after 5 years, I can’t even begin to describe how happy I am to do this.

As far as being awesome? I feel more blessed than anything. We love our clients. And probably our biggest compliment is that our clients love us back.  They are constantly telling their friends about us and are still asking us to be there to capture their precious life moments, long after the wedding day. That is huge and why we love to do what we do. We get to build relationships with awesome people. We have also been blessed to be published and featured in some of the leading wedding magazines and blogs.

What sets Florida weddings apart from weddings anywhere else?

We get to travel a lot, which we love. But, I will be honest, I love my home state of Florida. I love to live here and I love to work here. Why? There is just so much diversity. Weddings can range in style to fit any couple (island vibe, old historic Florida feel, modern, chic, the list could go on). That’s really what makes Florida unique in my opinion. Not to mention, what a great destination for your guests who travel from out of town. Most people stay and make a vacation out of it!

What kind of weddings do you love most and what is your favorite trend right now?

We get to tell the story of the wedding day. It may be my journalism background, but we are always looking for what’s unique about each wedding. I always seem to fall in love with weddings that “fit” the couple. I love it when the bride and groom bring their own personality, history, and interests into the mix.  Ultimately that’s what every wedding should be…

As far as recent trends, (I hope it becomes a permanent trend) I am a big fan of First Looks. I have a ton of reasons why I think these work practically speaking, but also for selfish reasons (it’s so fun to watch the bride and groom see each other in that intimate moment. Ah. Makes my heart melt. I love it).

What is your biggest piece of advice for people planning a wedding?

When it comes to where and the details, make your wedding about you. It really should be as unique as you are. Other advice, be organized and over communicate (with vendors, wedding party, etc)! It will make it less stressful the day of.

Who are your favorite vendor friends in Florida that keep the inspiration flowing?

We have a lot of great vendors in South Florida… so really my list could be way longer than this.

I adore Helen at Modern Events. Whether she is doing the event design or day of coordination… she rocks.  We have some favorite venues too off the top of my head. I love The Bath Club in Miami, Sundy House in Delray Beach, The W on South Beach, The Four Seasons on Palm Beach, and more. Not just because they are pretty, but their staff is amazing.  DJ David Bitton always keeps the party moving. Also, Liquid DJ’s are great too.  These guys always deliver gorgeous florals… Kitanim Florals, Blooming FlowersParrish Designs, and Boca By Design.

Seriously.  Breathtaking.  Is she fabulous or what?!?  And because we know you have TONS of questions for Jenny, she graciously put together a list of photography tips that are sure to help you prepare for your big day.  Enjoy!

Top 5 Photography Tips From Captured Photography by Jenny

Photography is one of THE most important things for your wedding. Here are some tips to help you get the best photos on your day.

Tip 1: Pick the Right Photographer

There are so many great photographers in Florida. So, how do you choose?

Understand what your budget is for your wedding and then decide how much of it you feel should be put towards photography. But don’t just stop there. Understand what style of photography you like. Check out the photographer’s portfolio and recent weddings. And be sure the photographer you are interested in does quality work every time. Then, meet with them. Get to know each other. After all, they will be with you the entire wedding day. You want to be sure they are easy to work with and helpful.

Tip 2: Do a First Look

This will be a time earlier in the day where you and your fiancé can see each other for the first time, soak it up, and enjoy some quiet moments alone. Cry, laugh, do a little dance- whatever you want to do! It also gives your photographer a chance to do all of the photos before hand (which usually allows us more time to be creative and get the best shots). And once your wedding ceremony starts, you can just sit back and enjoy the rest of the day.

If you decide to go the traditional route and wait until the ceremony to see each other, be sure to plan enough time between your ceremony and reception for photos. Ask your photographer how much time they would need.

Tip 3: All About the Details

Be sure you get each special detail captured.

Talk with your photographers. Let them know about all of the personal touches you have added to your day. Anything from the handmade centerpieces at your reception to the fact you are wearing your grandmother’s ring, they need to know so they can capture that memory for you. Also, be sure to mention anything out of the ordinary going on at your wedding. For example, your cousin is singing a song at the ceremony or you have a choreographed first dance.

Tip 4: Location, Location

The right backdrop for your photos.

Think about where you want to have your formal shots taken during the wedding day. Does the venue you are using have a good spot for taking photos? If not, plan on finding a park or a location on the way you do enjoy for pictures. Also, consider timing at that location. Will it be dark outside? Will it be crowded? The more you and your photographers have planned, the better! This will help you get the beautiful photos you want.

Tip 5: Take Engagement Photos

Last words of advice, take engagement photos.

Being in front of the camera can be pretty intimidating. An engagement session can ease you into the picture-taking process. It also gives you a chance to get to know your photographer, and for them to learn about you too! Not to mention, how awesome is it for you to have some casual, personal photos to remember this stage in your life together? Make sure the session is true to YOU and who you are as a couple. Have a blast too!

Soooo much lovely.  A million thanks to Captured Photography by Jenny for brightening our Thursday! It’s been fabulous. Thank you, Jenny! xoxo

Boca Grande Wedding at The Gasparilla Inn & Club by Concept Photography

One thing I know for certain – this wedding is awesome.  The kind of awesome that can only be found in chevron linens, a vibrant color palette and one seriously gorgeous seaside location.  The kind that jumps straight from your computer screen in the form of beautiful blooms by Native Gardens Florist and fab paper goods by Nico & Lala.  The kind that instantly puts a spring in your step and a smile on your face. Yep… it’s just that good.  And when you wrap up all of that lovely with breathtaking images by Concept Photography and a too.cute.for.words bride and groom, well… it’s awesome.  See it all right here.

From the Bride… Boca Grande is a very special place to Alan and me. Alan grew up going to Little Gasparilla Island, which is a boat ride away from Boca Grande. It was also one of the first places we went together on vacation. We had always envisioned a laid-back, coastal location for our wedding weekend — a place where our friends and family could relax and spend the entire weekend on “vacation.” The Gasparilla Inn was the perfect venue – classy, gorgeous and a little slice of old Florida.

The biggest challenge was living in Orlando and having our wedding location three hours away. It did make for some long days on the road – sometimes day trips and other weekend trips to knock as much out as we could while down on the island. Luckily for us, we got to enjoy many beautiful beach days and weekends on the island while in town, so I can’t say it was that challenging!

The mix of coastal, preppy and southern charm was played out in every area of our weekend. From the starfish vases on the tables to the chevron table cloths and shrimp and grits for dinner! I had a “look” I wanted for the tables and searched everywhere for chevron style table linens. I had no luck with linen companies, so decided to order fabric off of Etsy, and my sister made the 14 table linens for the reception. They were a perfect match to our fabulous invitations! A friend designed the programs, reception table and drink cards. She took our invitation and interpreted it in the most perfect way. Instead of flower boutonnieres for the guys, we purchased starfish and had pins put on them. It was the a fun touch to a coastal wedding! For our guest book, I got a coffee table book on Boca Grande and had all our guests sign it so we can display in our new home! I purchased all the glass vases for the tables — I found buying them was the same price as renting them, and now we can reuse them in our new home for backyard parties!

There were quite a few moments that stood out for me on our wedding day. Seeing each other before the ceremony was really special for the both of us. We got a chance to spend some time together taking pictures, laughing and taking in all the moments that led up to that day. When the church doors opened and my Dad and I walked down the aisle, it was a moment I had dreamed about my whole life. To see Alan at the end of the altar with tears in his eyes was indescribable. Walking into our reception as we were introduced for the first time truly took my breath away. Seeing all our family and friends there celebrating with us in the most gorgeous setting I have ever seen in my life – with the crystal green ocean and sand in the background, it felt like a dream.

Wedding Photography: Concept Photography / Ceremony: St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Boca Grande, Florida / Reception: The Gasparilla Inn & Club in Boca Grande, Florida / Floral Design: Native Gardens Florist in Boca Grande, Florida / Wedding Cake: The Gasparilla Inn & Club / Wedding Invitations: Nico & Lala / Band: Wings of Sound / Wedding Dress: Priscilla of Boston (Now Closed) / Hair + Makeup: Vanessa Schmitz of Stella Luca

Backyard Atlantic Beach Wedding by Agnes Lopez Photography

A breathtaking backyard setting and a fabulous black and white checkered dance floor.  After spending my morning swooning over this gorgeous Atlantic Beach affair, I am thoroughly convinced these are two must-have ingredients for any Big Day soiree.  Well, that and some vibrant blooms by Cypress Creative Floral Design, a gallery filled with glorious images by Agnes Lopez Photography and an UBER-stunning bride and groom.  Together they make for one sweet, sweet day of wedded bliss – and one amazing way to spend a Tuesday.  See it all right here!

From the Bride… From the beginning of our engagement, Jeff and I knew we wanted to have a laid-back wedding reception. We considered many venues but kept going back to the location that is so near and dear to us – my parents’ home in Atlantic Beach, Florida. It’s where we have spent countless days poolside and at the beach, enjoyed outdoor dinners with family and loved ones, and eventually got engaged. It is the only place that truly felt like home. My parents’ house is also conveniently located within walking distance from a great hotel, shops, restaurants and bars. Many of our guests were coming from out of town or using our wedding as an excuse for a beach “stay-cation,” so we wanted the weekend to be “cars optional” for them. 

Throughout the planning process, I focused on the feeling I wanted to accomplish: relaxed, yet elegant. We wanted guests to feel comfortable kicking off their shoes while enjoying an evening outdoors with old and new friends. As a nod to Jeff’s and my southern roots, we served southern food with an upscale twist. The short rib sliders and shrimp and grits bar were a huge hit! A dear friend of ours owns an amazing floral and event design company (Cypress Creative Floral Design). I’ve admired her work for years, so using her was a no-brainer and one aspect of the wedding planning process I was very excited about. Ann “got” my vision from the beginning and truly made it come to life. Our photographer, Agnes Lopez, beautifully captured everything and was awesome to work with!

Having a wedding at a home (as opposed to a venue catering to such events) was definitely a labor of love. I had no idea how much planning and work would go into creating a party from scratch. My mom, dad and extended family spent days, weeks and months getting everything ready. My mom even grew succulents to incorporate throughout the décor a year in advance! Jeff and I are so thankful and blessed to have had their help and support. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. My advice: try not to sweat the small stuff, and hire vendors you trust to do that for you. Things may not (and most likely will not) go exactly as planned. For example, the rickshaw company we planned to use for our getaway canceled last minute. My bridesmaids and cousin decorated my parents’ bikes for us instead. It was so fun to ride off on them at the end of the night knowing my best girlfriends made it happen!

Wedding Photography: Agnes Lopez Photography / Ceremony: Community Presbyterian Church in Atlantic Beach, Florida / Reception: The Bride’s Parents’ Home in Atlantic Beach, Florida / Event Planning: Forever Sacred / Floral Design: Cypress Creative Floral Design ( / Wedding Cake: Cinottis Bakery / Music: KTG Musical Entertainment / Rentals: Beachview Event Rentals & Design / Invitation Design: A Friend, Co-worker of the Bride / Letterpress Invitations: 42 Pressed / Stamps: Verde Studio / Wedding Dress: Melissa Sweet for Priscilla of Boston (Now Closed) / Bride’s Reception Dress: LulaKate via Bella Bridesmaid / Bride’s Belt: Custom by Nicole Lee for Pink Underground / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale via Bella Bridesmaid

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