The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

Monday, February 25, 2013

East Coast Meets on the West Coast

Our beautiful sunsets, "car-less" beaches, and variety of sporting activities seem to draw many East Coasters over to our side of the state for destination weddings. This was the case for Danielle and David's November wedding.

Like many of our clients Danielle, was a busy bride juggling her law school studies in Jacksonville with her wedding planning. Even her biggest helper, mom, Vickie, was a distance away in South Georgia. Thankfully, Danielle had attended school at USF here and David was a native. Their local ties to family and friends gave them a true sense of where they wanted to celebrate their wedding.

They chose Palm Tree Villas in Anna Maria Island for their week's stay and beach wedding. The South Florida Museum was the site for the outdoor reception several miles away in Bradenton.

Mom, Vickie was intensely involved in her daughter's planning and was our major contact throughout the process. She knew just when to step in with the details and when to allow Danielle to make some important decisions. This balance made the wedding a huge success.

 Most of the family members arrived by car at the resort early in the week.  It was an enormous undertaking for both the bride and her mom to bring all of the special wedding items they planned to incorporate into the reception. These included boxes and boxes of etched wine glasses they wanted to utilize as candle holders the guest tables.


We made special arrangements to meet in St. Pete two days before the wedding to pick up the 30+ boxes of glassware, alcohol, picture frames, and candles. Since the timeline for setup at the Museum was very short, it was virtually impossible for any family to make it over and back in time to attend the sunset ceremony.
Our staff did an amazing job putting everything in its place from the boxes carefully marked by Vickie. Still it was a challenge to get everything done on time. We were swamped with stacks of empty boxes back in our prep area (awaiting the breakdown time).

The wedding was simply decorated on the sand. We were thankful the family had that aspect completely covered. With traffic from the beach an uncertainty, we had a family member call us when the first guests were on their way.

When they arrived at the Main Gate to the reception area, they were greeted with a sign-in book and Danielle's surprise groom's cake for David.

Hand-passed hors d'oeuvres and open bar were served in the colonnade areas over-looking the courtyard area.
Danielle and Vickie provided a variety of displays and memorabilia to keep guests' interests during the social hour. This included a "Meet the Maids" and "Meet the Men" table with bridal party member pictures and "words of wisdom" from each. The setting itself with the manatee tank created a buzz.

Danielle was very adamant about not letting guests find their seats until she arrived and could see the guest tables first hand.

Danielle at first wanted open seating, but changed her mind in favor of reserved tables with escort cards in a specific order on each. Her head table was a half moon shape decorated with some new damask runners we purchased for several events during the fall. We also used the same runners on the buffets, cake, dessert and other display tables.

The casual menu included displayed salads and fruit with two carved meats, whipped potatoes with toppings, and a custom pasta station which we positioned in the entryway for those willing to be patient for their selections.
 Highlight of the evening was a huge sweets station that included the wedding cake, Chef Bob's popular Pecan Diamonds, chocolate dipped strawberries, eclairs, cannoli, brownies, and cream puffs . .. under the watchful eyes of the manatees.



Custom imprinted lollipops were another sweet ending. Sometimes it's these small things that make a big splash for a couple's celebration.
 After dinner it was party time with lots of special dances and congratulations.
Congratulations, Danielle and David!
Many thanks to photographer, Lisa Foreman-Fine, for allowing us to include many of the pictures in this blog entry.
Planning, Coordinating, Catering: Catering By Robert / Event Concepts . FL
Cakes: Mr. Cheesecake of Bradenton
DJ: First Class Events
Venue: South Florida Museum, Bradenton













Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wedding Dreams DO Come True

Dru and JR

In her response to our Design Questionnaire, our November 3rd bride, Dru, was very specific when it came to her response to one of our major questions:

"What did you envision your wedding day to be like when growing up?"


Simply stated, for this Central Florida bride. She had high expectations for her wedding and reception. So much so, she enlisted the talents of her own mom, Donna, early in her planning to help create a vintage backdrop that was "uniquely Dru."

The significance of the event site (Hollis Gardens and adjoining Magnolia Building) for Dru was JR's proposal to her at that location one year prior.
 Dru had her heart set on holding her ceremony and reception here.
Alas, the popular wedding venue was booked!
 Alternate plans were made to hold an all outdoor celebration near the family's primary residence in Winter Haven. Dru's mom, Donna, had everything planned from the venue to the rented tent, tables, and chairs.
That was until I posted a Craigslist ad with a Nov. 3, 2012, available location at the Mirror Lake complex due to the postponement of a wedding from one of our current clients. The bride's dad happened to be perusing CL late one night when he noted his daughter's original wedding date was NOW AVAILBLE one year later.

*A giddy, very excited mom, Donna, contacted us wishing to book the date. She shared her daughter's dream of holding her wedding with a vintage chic feel. As you will see below, the reception was filled with special touches happily provided by the bride and her mom. This ranged from gilded white bird cages to stacks of worn hard-backed books.
They had already enlisted the expertise of A Heavenly Scent to add fresh floral accents to each of the guest tables. Our creative direction, Kent, was assigned to feature Dru's concept table for one of our open houses. As with all of our open house featured tables, we ask that clients to supply sample centerpieces and components that we are not providing from our resources.
Kent made recommendations that simplified the original design. This included alternating some fresh floral elements. The results, shared with their chosen florist, were on target with Dru's expectations. This involved a high to low placement of  tall round cylinder flower stems, medium square vases with the original lusters of purple and blush pink flowers, and finally the book stack with lace and small white orchid stems.


A second table look featured a gilded birdcage with fresh flowers. Kent and fellow designer, Ashley, worked with the florist on site to adapt the arrangements also to two major feasting tables for both families. These included our in-house glass cylinder trios with the client's amazing floating water pearls connected together with fresh rose petals. Donna decided to purchase all of the guest table runners for the tables.
These wide tables demanded a great deal of texture. The sweetheart table reflected the guest table looks with our in-house platinum and eggplan fabrics, pearl strands and bird cage with florist embellishments. We loved the etched champagne stemware for the bride and groom!

We continued the theming of the event with embellishments reflecting Dru and Donna's vision of pearl, fresh greenery elements, and of course the bird cages (which we had in-house for buffet).

Donna and her devoted husband, made good on their promise to deliver and set up some awesome turn-of-century furnishing vignettes showcasing couches, chairs and attire that were distinctly VINTAGE.  

Sweets were also a part of Dru's vision for a fun-filled celebration. She provided us with pre-filled containers and signage with a local candy store's custom red lips and black moustaches. It was a big hit with everyone.

The couple settled on a specialty Sangria as part of their open bar. We provide dispensers for these signature drinks.

The Cake. Simple yet Significant. We utilized our in-house satins to accentuate the round cake table right in front of the main room fire place. Above were "Mr. and Mrs." block letters that personalized more of Dru's vintage vision.

* Photos by Benjamin Romeo Peacock Photography

Planning, Design, Coordination, and Catering: Catering By Robert / Event Concepts . FL
Kent A. Billiter, designer (and Mom Donna Nixon)

Flowers: A Heavenly Scent

Venue: Magnolia Building / Hollis Gardens in Lakeland

Chiavalri Chairs: First Class Rentals 

DJ: Clark Del Costillo

Video: Alvin Renz

Wedding Cake: