The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Vineyard Vintage at the South Florida Museum

Shannon and Fritz
April 2013
Pictures by Alex of Melissa Lauren Images

Few venues along the West Coast of Florida are as unique as the South Florida Museum in Bradenton. Its historical charm is what lured Shannon and fiance, Fritz, through its huge wrought iron gates into the magic of 16th century Spanish architecture.

Our journey with the couple began less than six months prior to their wedding via the amazing help of Shannon's mom, Kathy. Mom shared a huge amount of her daughter's tastes and "must-haves." Through emails, a design questionnaire, sample table viewings, mom and daughter collaborated with us to create beautifully-orchestrated wine-themed wedding and reception.

With a color scheme of black, platinum, eggplant and touch of bright pink, our design team headed by Bradley Dempsey, went to work to assemble many of our in-house components within Shannon's vision. These included lots of wrought iron, pillar candle stands, and clear square vases that revealed just a pop of bright color in sunken orchid heads.

As always, we love SHARING decor we already own at no charge so every client has a chance to spend more of their wedding budget on more personalized aspects.


Shannon and Fritz's day began at the nearby Courtyard by Marriott. It was their decision to do first look pictures both at the hotel with the entire wedding party in tow. As with many of our couples that choose to do this, it enables them to be a bit more relaxed prior to the duties of getting married.

Their photographer Alex of Melissa Lauren Images, had a bit of fun with this as well.

Although the museum is not waterfront, the Marriott has plenty of scenic settings for pictures along the Manatee River.

The ceremony itself was held under a covered area off the main courtyard of the South Florida Museum. Pre-set guest tables (minus chairs) were scattered on the main plaza facing the iconic fountain featuring at statue of explorer, Hernando De Soto.

Our in-house black wrought iron candlelabras lined the main aisle with scattered purple petals along the side. The bride and her mom chose to rent black wood garden chairs that were transferred to around the guest tables during social hour.

Guests were welcomed into the main gate area with a signable set of wine bottles - each with a number depicting anniversary dates on which Shannon and Fritz would open and share.

Mom, Kathy, also furnished many vintage pieces including a suitcase card box for the gift table.

Follow the ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in an adjoining corridor as our staff re-positioned the chairs. Kathy and Shannon were mindful of this 45-minute time period and sought to keep guests' interests as formal family/bridal party pictures were being taken. A table introducing the bridal party members ("Meet the Maids / Meet the Men"), a wedding trivia game, and photo booth created the perfect diversions. 

The side corridor where the social hour was held, has retractable shades to keep out the sun.

A bridal party feasting table was lined with our glass cylinders to hold bridal bouquets. Our black damask runners created texture to tie all related tables together including the buffet, guest, and entry tables.

Guest table centerpieces alternated between our black cafe lamps with two black pillar candle stands with LEDs, and our hanging wrought iron candle holders set between two glass cubes of cut crystals with orchid heads. 


Additional stems of white hydrangea were interspersed among votive holders around the fountain area.

Our colleague, Chuck Armstrong from Solid Gold Entertainment, provided both dj and photo booth services for the reception.


The wedding and groom's cakes were fashioned by the groom's aunt. 

Details, details, details . . . . in small embellishments like the bride and groom  Pez toasting glasses and paper straws at the bar.


One of special features of the South Florida Museum is that it has built-in string lighting over the courtyard. 

The spaciousness of the courtyard area provides many options for seating and buffet-station locations. We found the area behind the fountain with his "old fortress" details, to be the perfect location to serve the 140 guests in attendance.

Thanks for allowing us to share in the excitement of your special celebration, Shannon and Fritz!

Catering By Robert / Event Concepts: Event Planning, Design, Coordinating and Catering

South Florida Museum, Bradenton: Venue

Melissa Lauren Images: Photography

Solid Gold Entertainment and Memory Makers: DJ and Photo Booth

Rental Chairs and Tables: U.S. Tent

Personal Wedding Flowers: Josie's Poseys, Bradenton