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