The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Romantically Rustic in Tampa Bay

Christina and Eric
November 24, 2012
Selected Photos by K and K Photography ***

Christina and her mom, Anne, were such special clients. Hailing from South Carolina, their southern charm set the tone for a very eloquent celebration at Karnes Stables last November.

Believe me when I say the approach from a seasoned southern family is much different than from a northerner trying to capture the same sense of style.

 

From their initial engagement pictures captured locally by  photographer, Jeff Kathrein, to every spectacular detail of the wedding itself, Christina and Anne were devoted to proper southern etiquette which included attention to guest comfort and convenience.

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Nice and Easy is how I describe the planning process in working with these two lovely ladies. Both always had groom, Eric's back, when it came to things like the comfortable surroundings of the "groom's room" the day of the wedding. While not every wedding planning project is perfect, the willingness of Anne to stay in touch with us whenever a question or issue manifested itself, made the day itself perfect.
 
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Casualness is awesomeness.  It means putting those in the pictures at ease so the results truly capture the true overall feeling of the celebration. We applaud Jeff for doing this with the couple during select private moments during their wedding. His organizational skills were paramount when it came to timing. Everything stayed according to schedule. 
 
 

Our florist colleague, Pam Verschuere, provided an array of fresh florals for the wedding and reception. Anne and Christina were very pleased with her eagerness to incorporate a natural, yet polished look to our abor and aisle way lanterns under the oaks.
 
  
 
Refreshing bottled waters awaited guests as they entered the ceremony area aligned with  moss-covered initials of the bride and groom.

 
Anne also ordered initialed hand-towels for the restroom!
 
 
Guests had no problem finding the smoker's area with signage provided by the family.
 

Behind the scenes, we were busy putting the finishing touches on the bar, located in the barn area for both the social hour and main reception. Cranberry, burnt orange, chocolate brown, deep purple, and rust were the main colors incorporated into the celebration environment.


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The farm's famed "white dresser" was set in the center entry area to the social hour complete with Pam's mason jar blooms, favor bin, and sign in album.

 

 
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A classical string trio was hired to play for the ceremony as the bride and her dad made their way to the wedding setting.   
 
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Immediately following the ceremony the bridal party made their way throughout the grounds for Jeff's hand-picked locations. Guests were directed by our staff to enjoy cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in the barn area. Other staff members transferred farm benches to awaiting wood guest tables in the Stable Lawn area. 
 
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Freshly made hand-passed hors d'oeuvres were offered to guests and bridal party members no matter their location. These included a special pork slider with a favorite bottled Carolina barbecue sauce provided by the family.
 

Guests found their way to the traditional long wood tables via vintage luggage tags hung on a burlap covered board with couple/individual names. The family pinned each on clothesline rope in alphabetical order.
 


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Anne and Christina provided framed table numbers so guests could easily find their placements. Our black lanterns and mason jar glasses were all a part of our basic event package. Pam incorporated burlap runners, smaller brown lanterns and wild greens down the centers of each table.
 
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The family was all about the food. So much so they added a huge chalk board with the complete  menu at the start of buffet.
 
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Sweet Tweets Cakery provided a simple two layer cake for formal purposes and an assortment of mini cupcakes for guests to enjoy.
 
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The cake was elevated up behind the sweetheart table in front center of the Stable Lawn. Vintage chairs provided by Karnes Stables and various table elements were incorporated from our inventory and selected personalized block elements from the family.
 
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Back inside the barn after dinner, the couple enjoyed their first dance. The partying continued until "shut down time" here with music being provided by our colleague, Eladio of DeLite Entertainment.
 
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As nighttime drew near, the café lights, lanterns and sunset provided a majestic ending to a day filled with emotion and tradition.

 
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Many thanks to our event partners, mom, Anne, and bride, Christina along with  
 
Event Planning, Design, Coordination, and Catering: Catering By Robert / Event Concepts . FL:
Susan J. Stalnaker, event designer
 

 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sweet Home Lakeland!

Kristen and Will
December 2012
Selected Photos By Melissa Lauren Images**


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Kristen has been a mutual acquaintance for the past 8 years. Creative director, Kent who went to high school with Kristen, and I looked forward to  planning her wedding long before she got seriously involved with fiancĂ© Will.
 
A successful young woman with a determination to be a registered nurse, Kristen took a full time job in a major Orlando hospital leaving some her ties to hometown Lakeland behind. While the two cities were not far apart, Kristen loved the progressive, forward-thinking of her new home. So when it came time for her to consider her wedding, Lakeland was not in the initial picture.
 
Kristen went around and around with ideas on potential destination wedding sites on the West Coast of Florida . . . even as far south as Sarasota. Each time we thought she had settled on a location, some small flaw would manifest and the location was TOTALLY OUT.
 
Then finally Kristen decided to go back to her roots in Lakeland and book the Mirror Lake complex for her ceremony and reception.

It suddenly all made sense.

What she sought was a comfortable reflection of where she had grown up.
 
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We realized along the planning trail, that Kristen had a very focused vision of her wedding day that included an emphasis on fresh flowers. When we first featured her sample guest table at an open house in September of 2011, her idea for guest table centerpieces was featured by florist Carmen Gonzales.
 
 
Kristen set out to purchase large round mirror pieces, and plan her Spring 2012 wedding around a palette of apple green, purple and vibrant yellow.
 
Then came the news: Kristen was pregnant with baby Eli.

The wedding was rescheduled nine months later. Kent and I held our breaths.

Would Kristen keep her amazing original ideas or just go through the motions of a wedding for formality sake?

 
Thankfully all of  Kristen's original ideas stayed in place, modified a bit, but still there. To our knowledge no one had ever done hanging fresh floral chandeliers in the Magnolia Building. So we were estatic Carmen's creations could still come to life.
 
The day of the wedding in early December, the weather was beautiful and warm. Despite it being a winter month, the Mirror Lake grounds were well manicured and "summer perfect"
 
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We loved that Kristen and Will kept a lot of personalization alive. Apple green still was the dominant color with accents of eggplant, yellow, and chocolate brown. It was quite apparent that more family could be involved in the special touches of the wedding . . . because of it being in hometown Lakeland.
 
 It was quite a fete installing the florals from the rafters . . . making certain they were evenly spaced. These were alternated with a low tabletop flower wreath. All tables featured her round glass mirrors with our three varying height glass cylinders with floating candles. 
 

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The outdoors were kept simple. An attended gift table and directional signs led arriving guests to the ceremony lakefront at the amplitheater. Kristen rented mahogany chiavalri chairs from Premiere Party Rental which were eventually transported back into the Magnolia Building for the main reception. 


In side, we placed some important details. On the entry mantle were family wedding pictures along with a seating chart. The sign in table featured a thumbprint tree where guests could write in their remarks.


 
 
 
Outdoors Kristen and Will enjoyed a relaxing photo session with photographer Melissa Lauren. These included some with baby Eli and others with just the two of them.
 
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An hour later, guests made their way indoors after a pre-reception on the back lawn with a limited bar. 
 
 
Guests anxiously awaited their access to the main ballroom where they knew Kristen's vision for fresh florals would be amazing. And it was.
 
 
 
Coupled with lighted ficus trees and abundant ferns and low potted greens from A1 Foliage, the room had a definite garden look.
 
 

 
 
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A simple small layered cake adorned a cupcake stand surrounded by assorted pies and sweets for variety. 

 
The sweetheart table was located in the center of the stage surrounded by twinkling foliage.


 
 
Kristen and Will had several special requests for food and beverage including their favorite Roasted Root Vegetables. Because the Magnolia Building has a convection oven, we were able to accommodate this with fresh product on the buffet line. Also, the couple came up with their own signature drink, The Wilsten, a blackberry flavored Sangria that was the hit of the event. 

 


All in all, Kristen was able to relax and enjoy her day because it was close to her childhood home and close to her heart. We loved being a part of her and Will's special day.
 
 

Venue: Mirror Lake Complex - Amplitheatre and Magnolia Building.

Planning, design, coordination, catering: Catering By Robert / Event Concepts . FL
Kent A. Billiter, designer

Flowers: Carmen's Flowers

Photography and Photo Backdrop/Props by Melissa Lauren Images

DJ Services: Eladio of DeLite Entertainment

Foliage: A1 Foliage