The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

Friday, February 28, 2014

Seaside Splendor at The Crosley Estate

Ashley and Alan
Jan. 11, 2014
Powell Crosley Mansion
Photos from Pixel Art*

There is no place like the Powel Crosley Estate in Sarasota, for a combination of sea, gardens and historic elegance. No wonder it is booked solidly for weddings throughout the year.

Jan. 11th clients Ashley and Alan found a "guardian angel" in Ashley's mom, Debra, who spent helped to create a classy, seaside styling for the couple's special day.

Everything from shell trimmed- ribbon napkin rings to imprinted gold wine bottle favors - Debra orchestrated  every detail in the couple's colors of ivory, champagne, taupe, with a touch of gold. Additional pops of bright orange were mainly in florals and imprinted cocktail napkins. 

All planning was done from a distance . . . Ashley and Alan in Bradenton, and Debra on the East Coast of Florida.

The day of the wedding arrived. Since the client had access to the facility all day, the bridal party got ready at the mansion prior to departing for the formal church wedding.  From the smallest of details, photography firm Pixel Arts, was involved from the very start. 

DJ Otis of J. Goodley Entertainment arrived on site for a quick set up before heading to the church for audio sound requirements.


The church was simply decorated but even the smallest of details seemed to stand out. From the diminiative boutennaires with small star fish to hand-made programs, 

Debra gave careful thought to the elegant seaside theme.

Back at the Crosley, our staff along with other vendors assembled the guest tables, their decor, rental chairs and other elements.  Mom, Debra, left us with well-marked boxes of napkin elements, programs for the chairs, seating frames, display pictures, imprinted cocktail napkins and matches, etc. to place prior to guest arrival.


Guests arrived early . . . eager to find their seats. Many were  
elderly family members just wanting to feel secure with placement at their table. Others used the cocktail hour to explore the beauties of the property.


Because of the 100+ guests in attendance, dinner tables were spread out between two of the Crosley's main rooms. Some round tables seated 8, 9 or 10 people. The Crosley provides only round guest tables and long banquet tables. Chairs must be rented from a separate source. 


High top cocktail tables for the social hour also are rented. We positioned these on the back terrace with the client's small fish bowl centerpieces atop our in-house ivory linens.

One of Alan's "duties" as the groom was the acquisition of a bride and groom ice sculpture for display on the terrace. It remained lit throughout the evening hours and was created by Pro Ice in Sarasota.

Once the bridal party arrived from the ceremony, Pixel Arts kept everyone involved in photo ops throughout the property. They were definitely "on the mark" in timing. They did not keep any member, even the bride and groom, a minute longer than necessary. So we were able to proceed with timing as planned.

An Eastern Europe tradition: shot of vodka and bite of bread were Ashley and Alan's private celebration prior to their formal introductions.

The terrace at the back of the mansion served as the dance floor and lively celebration area. Overhead cafe lights from All Event Rentals and Decor provided a chandelier focal point for the party aspect of the wedding. Because guests were seated in two different sections of the mansion, if twas decided to do the introductions, all dances and champagne toast (distributed) all before dinner.


Debra prepared dark wood fames with shell accents for place cards. Small sand-filled fish bowls held bright white LED lights. The vanilla shantung napkins were slipped inside a beige ribbon adorned with more beach elements. 


Elegant Floral Design Studio arrived early at the Crosley to construct the many lovely floral pieces for the reception.. These ranged from mantle pieces in two parlor rooms to extravagant high and low centerpieces for the 13 guest tables. 



Details of Ashley and Alan's celebration were well planned. From the first meeting back last summer until four weeks prior, the couple was on target for their final design:

Special organza table overlays, bottom cloths, vanilla shantung napkins, mahogany chiavalri chairs, ivory satin chair ties, and gold beaded glass charger plates we acquired from  five different vendor sources. 

The wedding meal included hand-passed appetizers and a combination of 
plated and family style food components. 

The cooperative spirit among vendors working this event was amazing. Everyone including the Crosley staff, chipped in whenever possible especially when rain forced everyone to move inside for dancing at one point.


The wedding cake was accented with fondant flowers in blush, light green and ivory.

The guest meal was a combination of plated and family style. We plated a Wild Greens with Raspberry Viniagrette Dressing, Walnuts and Cran-raisins. A dual entree of tender sliced roast baron of beef and marsala chicken was served to each guest. Then there were family style accompaniments of rolls, butter, cheese stuffed tortellini with garlic sauce, and green bean almandine.

The front entry tables displaying family pictures and subtle reminders of Ashley and Alan's special day, also served as a later evening favor table. Gold wrapped wine bottles with custom labels were available for guests as they left.

Under the stars, cafe rope lights, a chandelier and a bit of rain, wedding guests spent a good deal of time on the terrace for "party time." Some room was made inside the main room for a small dance floor later on. The couple was surprised by a late night arrival of a fishing boat to take them back to their hotel.

Congratulations to Ashley and Alan on their 
special day!

Catering, Planning, Coordination, Rental Acquisition, and Decor Assistance from
(Plus all set up, in-house linens that included neutral bottom guest table cloths, champagne satin fabrics for gift and entry tables, cake and sweetheart table.)

Rental Fabrics from Connie Duglin Linens

Clear Gold Trimmed Charger Plates from PKS Rentals

Cafe Lighting, Chandelier, Mahogany Chiavalri chairs and high top tables from All Event Rental.

Ice Sculpture from Pro Ice

J. Goodley Entertainment for Dj and Uplighting

*Selected photos by Catering By Robert

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Celebrating Faith, Family and Friends

Frances and Paul
March 2013
The Italian Club
Photos by Brad Hall Studios

Frances and Paul's 250-person wedding this past March challenged us in many ways. The ceremony was held many miles away at Providence Baptist Church in Riverview. Because there was no live music, dancing, or alcohol, we were concerned how the couple and their families would keep everyone entertained for a four hour reception in the HEART of flamboyant Ybor City.

The bride's mom, Diana, a busy physician, and had been given the role as her daughter's major planner and decorator. Frances had an extremely busy career and continuing education. She counted on her mom to pull her dream wedding together.

I remember our initial meeting well. Right before we did the tasting, Frances' dad asked everyone to join hands and bless the food. Then family outlined a long list of traditional aspects, hand-made favors, centerpieces, and details they wanted to personally handle themselves. I listened and took a deep breath. I recall thinking God indeed would need bless this entire event.

And he did!

Both Frances and Paul were extremely involved with their church. They had a huge comfort level with being married there and then celebrating their reception in a part of Tampa that reflected Frances' Latin heritage. Diana worked diligently on every detail that ranged from handmade fan programs to large silk kissing balls used first for the church and then later for the reception. Much of the color scheme and theming was based on Spanish tile designs used throughout the celebration.

Event Designer, Ashley Allred Davis, assisted in recommending many of the in-house decor elements available for Diana to use along with her custom pieces. Ashley realized that sometimes we just need to "step back" and let the client do their thing. Often our role is that of a facilitator rather than initiator.


The day of the wedding came. The details for the couple themselves were very simple. Their focus was on celebrating with family and many friends they had made through college and beyond. They were comfortable doing a first look after getting ready. 


Diana made certain all of the little details were in place at the church including bouquets, pew decorations, signage, and programs. Elsewhere, her dad, Wildredo, along with a few relatives, were busy setting up a sound system, projection system, and other components at the reception site. The list of details was ENORMOUS!

On the third floor landing, a sign in table held a huge basket of blank tile pieces which guests would write a well-wish to the newly married couple. Inside the main room were 25 guest tables decorated in gold, eggplant, and bright pink. We placed an assortment of high and low centerpieces which ranged from our tall black wrought iron stands holding kissing ball arrangements from the church, to our small wrought iron candleholders with a single rose head in each. One of our designers, Bradley Dempsey, created some additional  matching silk flower balls from colorful buds in our inventory. 


The family purchased all of the gold overlays, purple sheer damask runners, and chair ties. We furnished the bottom cloths, chair covers, and eggplant napkins. Catering By Robert also decorated the entry, buffet, beverage, hors d'oeuvres, head and cake tables with in-house gold and eggplant fabrics.  

When Frances and Paul arrived after formal pictures at the church, they made a grand entrance from Seventh Avenue in Ybor. Once inside, they were able to spend some time for casual poses with family and each other.


One of the special details of the reception was a memory table put together by Paul's mom. It featured a quilt with pictures of deceased family members.

The colorful decor complimented the Old World features of the Italian Club ballroom. We set up a double buffet with a huge Paella station.

The cake table was adorable with a miniature bride and groom and more mosaic "tile" accents in the cake and cupcake assortment. The groom's cake featured the Paul's Ohio State signia. A sparkler was lit as the couple sliced their first piece of cake

Even with no dancing, the reception time went by quickly with multiple toasts (sparkling white grape juice), a video presentation, and individual "Las Capias" pinnings by Frances and Paul. This Puerto Rican tradition recognizes special people who have contributed to their lives.


The celebration ended on street level with a sparkler "send-off." Congratulations Frances and Paul!

 Design Assistance, Coordinating, Catering: Catering By Robert / Event Concepts . FL