AND THE SUN ONLY SETS ON THE NEW WEST COAST (of Florida, of course!)
Kathryn and Michael are a new breed of couple who decided to hold their destination wedding close to home. Even though they only lived a few blocks from the vacation rental mansion used for their wedding weekend, practically everyone else on their guest list was from out-of-town.
With so many transplanted couples now making their homes here on the West Coast of Florida, the tide has shifted from retired parents holding children's weddings here to the actual children themselves hosting destination celebrations close to their new home here.
It started with a kiss.
It's inevitable as a planner of weddings, we get emotionally charged with the energy of a bride and groom injects into their celebration. This was so true for Kathryn and Michael.
Kathryn was always bubbly and excited in discussing her plans and made certain that her fiancé was always in the loop. Truth of the matter was, most of their decisions were based solely on emotion. This translated into a free-flowing, stress-free day despite, "less than cooperative" Florida weather.
We all are aware of Hurricane Sandy's ultimate wrath on the Northeast. For this couple's day, she left the Pinellas County coast with gusting winds that prevented our planned beachfront ceremony.
Instead we opted to utilize the pool deck area for the nuptials with the Gulf of Mexico in the background.
Guests were seated across the pool with a clear view of the ceremony. While there was no "sand in their feet" as they walked down the aisle, they at least kept everyone from getting sand in their hair and clothes by being away from the shore. Quick thinking from coordinator, Bradley Dempsey (on our team) transformed the area into functioning ceremony area.
The privacy of an exquisite vacation home, offered many areas to explore both before and after the ceremony. Private terraces and a lovely pathway to the warm Gulf waters are always enticing ways to naturally entertain guests.
There is absolutely no privacy like a bride getting ready in her own villa master bedroom the morning of her wedding. Kathryn was no exception. She relished the time she had with her close family members who were also a part of her bridal party.
Kathryn took advantage of the terrace overlooking the beach outside her third floor "getting ready area." She could also sneak some peeks at the set up for the ceremony and reception. When it was time to be escorted to her wedding, she joined her dad on the second level staircase to make their entrance on to the pool deck.
The weather decided to cooperate with a period of calmness as Kathryn and Michael recited their vows. Her event designer, Bradley customized her Chuppah with flowing fabrics and a crystal chandelier that would later hover over her sweetheart table.
Kathryn filled her celebration with personalization from paint brushes for tossing away beach sand, to thoughtful twine-tied notes on favors thanking guests for joining in their wedding. Kathryn's organizational skills in marking all items with a timeline, played a major role in guest experiences such as chalkboards, and guests finding their seats.
An impromptu receiving line right after the ceremony gave the couple the opportunity to give kisses and hugs to family and friends.
With guests involved in the social hour and bridal party swept away for pictures, our efficient staff went to work moving ceremony chairs around pre-set guest tables.
As the sunset on the Gulf, the main party began with everything in place for the reception. From white carriage lanterns to embellishments of baby's breath and scented candles, Kathryn and Michael were ready to relax and enjoy the somber October evening with those around them.
Utilizing the garage area for food staging, we provided a first class sit down plated meal that included Salmon in a Lemon Caper Sauce or Lemon Tarragon Chicken with colorful, fresh green beans and roasted new potatoes.
Even though Kathryn and Michael were conservative in their wishes for a formal wedding, they opted for a traditional wedding cake with a fun groom's cake that reflected their beach lifestyle. Also, instead of a typical sign-in book, they provided a long board for guests to write on.
We spent many months working the "perfect table look." The resulting design included a gold sheer overlay with our standard included tablecloth, glassware, cutlery and lanterns with votive holders. Kathryn embellished with framed table names of islands and a shabby chic rose colored vase with assorted flowers. She chose an textured eggplant napkin to complete her setting.
As the sunset westward the focus was on the couple for their special dance and shared dances with others on the designated dance floor across the pool. The magnificent evening sky faded into a half-dozen different hues before settling into calm darkness after sunset. This was a backdrop that could be not be viewed anywhere but on the beach.
The couple did their short getaway from the beach back to the house with a sparkler send off. An appropriate end to a sparkling day of wedding celebration on the West Coast of Florida.
Photos by Kaplan Photography and Catering By Robert
Event Planning, Design, Coordinating and Catering; Catering By Robert / Event Concepts . FL
Bradley Dempsey, Designer
Entertainment by DeLite Entertainment
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