Luxurious Old Florida Inspired Sarasota Wedding | Concession Golf Club - Marry Me Tampa Bay | Most Trusted Wedding Vendor Search and Real Wedding Inspiration Site
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Luxurious Old Florida Inspired Sarasota Wedding | Concession Golf Club

Abby and Brad's luxurious Sarasota wedding combined a neutral palette accented with cascading greenery and classic white flora set against a lakefront ceremony backdrop and al fresco tented lawn reception.

“The theme of the wedding was ‘Old Florida' meets formal elegance. As an 8th-generation Floridian, my husband and I wanted to celebrate the one-of-a-kind landscape and nature that Florida has to offer. The backyard where we were married offers the privacy that we wanted and overlooks a lake and nature preserve (think saw palmettos, Oak and Magnolia trees, and Florida wildlife like alligators, herons, and bald eagles),” the bride shared. “The décor was simple yet elegant and enhanced the already present surrounding nature. We did not designate specific colors for the wedding but instead stuck with a basic color palette that included different greens to mimic the natural greenery and shades of white. The bridesmaids’ dresses were a nude/champagne color.”

The local Lakewood Ranch couple exchanged vows in the groom's parents' backyard garden, where they were previously engaged. Since the home is located in the Concession Golf Club community, and given the sentimental nature of the ceremony space, the pair hosted the reception at the nearby clubhouse.

“The immaculate grounds of The Concession Golf Club had an ambiance and landscape that matched the ‘Old Florida' theme and allowed space for an outdoor tented reception. Additionally, it was a three-minute trolley ride from the ceremony site to the reception site, and they serve amazing food. We hosted the cocktail hour on the back patio prior to having guests enter the tent for the dinner and reception,” the bride detailed. “Concession Golf Club has experience hosting high volume yet elegant events. We have received rave reviews on the food; the Chef did a wonderful job with the dinner service.”

To set the tone for the wedding, Abby envisioned an elegant invitation suite that embodied the Old Florida theme through special details and embellishments.

“I wanted a wax seal, letter-pressed cotton rag paper, and a hand-drawn sketch of the ceremony site. From my research, I also knew that I wanted Florida-themed vintage stamps. I was fortunate enough to have an artist in the family who created the hand-drawn art that was included on the invite. We had a beautiful invitation suite that included a hand-drawn heron and a hand-drawn view of the house and backyard garden where we held the ceremony. The art was provided by the mother of the groom and really captured the essence of the day. This made it extra special,” the bride revealed. “Alicia of A&P Design Co. is very knowledgeable about paper goods and paper quality. She made the invitation of my dreams. While assembling the invitations into their envelopes, I spritzed each with the perfume that I planned to wear on my wedding day. I had people tell me they could smell it when they opened it. This was totally extra, but it was fun!”

Adding a whimsical element to the reception, the 140 guests were welcomed by two special attendees.

“We wanted to keep the wedding formal but still festive and welcoming. To help accomplish this, we had two wedding llamas on the front lawn that greeted guests as they walked in. We dressed one up in a top hat and one in a white fascinator. This was a hit for guests and got everyone in the party mood, which was important to us,” Abby beamed. “I think the wedding llamas and having the ceremony at a private residence also made our wedding unique.”

The bridesmaids donned assorted floor-length gowns in a champagne hue for a neutral, re-wearable option that flattered each girl's figure and personality.

“I wanted a simple color and the dresses to be the same material and color but in different styles; that way, everyone could pick the style that they liked best and would feel most comfortable in,” Abby explained. “Ordering through Bella Bridesmaids Tampa was actually very organized and easy once everyone had made their dress selection. They have locations throughout Florida and even Denver to accommodate all of my bridesmaids. Bella Bridesmaids measured everyone and sent all the information to the Tampa location so that all six dresses were ordered from the Tampa store. Once delivered to the Tampa store, the dresses were shipped out directly to each bridesmaid.

Not only was the pair's first dance unforgettable, but the process of preparing for it created other fond memories.

“One of the most memorable moments was our first dance. Neither of us are dancers, so we took a few lessons. Not only was this fun to practice, but it also allowed us to spend time together in the busy weeks before the wedding!” the bride reminisced. “We also felt accomplished after learning the routine. This was something that we were hesitant about prior to starting but grateful that we did after!”

Old Florida Elegant Wedding, Oval Diamond Engagement Ring, Groom White Gold Wedding Ring in Oval Gray Ring Box, White and Gray Wedding Invitation Suite | Tampa Bay Wedding Stationery A&P Design Co
Old Florida Elegant Wedding, White and Gray Wedding Invitation Suite | Tampa Bay Wedding Stationery A&P Design Co

What was your wedding stationery inspiration?

I wanted a wax seal, letter-pressed cotton rag paper, and a hand-drawn sketch of the ceremony site. From my research, I also knew that I wanted Florida-themed vintage stamps. I was fortunate enough to have an artist in the family who created the hand-drawn art that was included on the invite. We had a beautiful invitation suite that included a hand-drawn heron and a hand-drawn view of the house and backyard garden where we held the ceremony. The art was provided by the mother of the groom and really captured the essence of the day. This made it extra special.

Alicia of A&P Design Co. is very knowledgeable about paper goods and paper quality. She made the invitation of my dreams. While assembling the invitations into their envelopes, I spritzed each with the perfume that I planned to wear on my wedding day. I had people tell me they could smell it when they opened it. This was totally extra, but it was fun!

Bridal Wedding Accessories, Bella Belle Florence Wedding Shoes, Crystal Embellished Heel with Mesh, Oval Diamond Engagement Ring, Groom White Gold Wedding Ring in Oval Ring Box, Diamond Teardrop Earrings, Jo Malone Perfume Bottle
Classic Elegant Wedding Dress Hanging in Courtyard of Bradenton Wedding Venue Concession Golf Club
Old Florida Elegant Bride Getting Wedding Ready with Bridesmaids in Matching Taupe Robes | Tampa Wedding Venue Concession Golf Club
Old Florida Elegant Bride Wearing Classic Wedding Dress Holding Yorkie Dog and Greenery Leaf Leash
Old Florida Elegant Bride Wearing Classic White Wedding Dress with Open Back and Full Length Veil
Old Florida Elegant Classic Bride with Bridesmaids in Mix and Match Nude Champagne Dresses | Tampa Bay Wedding Bridesmaid Dresses Bella Bridesmaids

What was your bridesmaid dress inspiration?

I wanted a simple color and something along the champagne/nude color scheme. I wanted to avoid any prints or patterns as I thought this would photograph better and a little cleaner. As this was a formal event, that meant floor-length dresses. I wanted the dresses to be the same material and color but in different styles; that way, everyone could pick the style that they liked best and would feel most comfortable in. I selected eight styles of the same color and material and let the bridesmaids choose their favorite. I made sure to include halters, strapless, straps, etc. so there was an option for everyone. 

Ordering through Bella Bridesmaids Tampa was actually very organized and easy once everyone had made their dress selection. They have locations throughout Florida and even Denver to accommodate all of my bridesmaids. Bella Bridesmaids measured everyone and sent all the information to the Tampa location so that all six dresses were ordered from the Tampa store. Once delivered to the Tampa store, the dresses were shipped out directly to each bridesmaid.

Old Florida Elegant Classic Bride with Bridesmaids in Mix and Match Nude Champagne Dresses | Tampa Bay Wedding Bridesmaid Dresses Bella Bridesmaids
Old Florida Elegant Wedding LLamas, Alpacas with Greenery Wreaths and Top Hat
Tropical Outdoor Garden | Tampa Bay Wedding Venue Concession Golf Club
Old Florida Elegant Wedding Decor, Greenery Champagne Welcome Wall

What made your wedding unique?
Starting about a year before the wedding, my mother-in-law grew a wall made of ivy. This was stationed at the entrance of the house and was used as a live greenery champagne wall for guests to take a glass of champagne prior to finding their seats at the ceremony.

Old Florida Elegant Outdoor Waterfront Wedding Ceremony | Tampa Bay Wedding Venue Concession Golf Club
Old Florida Elegant Outdoor Waterfront Wedding Ceremony, Greenery and White Roses Floral Arrangements | Tampa Bay Wedding Venue Concession Golf Club
Old Florida Elegant Outdoor Waterfront Wedding Ceremony, Greenery and White Roses Floral Arrangements | Tampa Bay Wedding Venue Concession Golf Club

How did you incorporate your personalities into the wedding?
I found a specific candle scent from a small candle company in South Carolina that my husband and I both loved. We lit several in the front courtyard and throughout the home a few hours prior to the start of the ceremony. When guests arrived and walked through the home to the backyard where the ceremony would take place, they were able to smell the signature scent (a mix of gardenia and musk to echo the “Old Florida in spring” vibe). Now every time we light that candle, we are reminded of our wedding day.

Old Florida Elegant Bride and Groom Exchanging Wedding Vows During Outdoor Wedding Ceremony | Tampa Bay Wedding Venue Concession Golf Club

The Proposal:
After three years of dating, Brad proposed in the garden outside of his parents' home. It was just the two of us. He tricked me into thinking that we were going to a nice dinner to celebrate his father’s retirement, so we got all dressed up. When we got to the house to pick his parents up, they weren’t home. He then put on a song that is special to both of us, said a little speech, and proposed on one knee. Short and sweet!

Old Florida Elegant Bride and Groom Exchanging Wedding Vows During Outdoor Wedding Ceremony | Tampa Bay Wedding Venue Concession Golf Club
Old Florida Elegant Bride and Groom Portrait Under Greenery Arch
Old Florida Elegant Bride and Groom Portrait Under Greenery Arch
Old Florida Elegant Bride and Groom Sunset Wedding Portrait

What did you look for in a wedding venue?

It was important to us to create a one-of-a-kind experience that also held sentimental value for us. We also wanted an outdoor, but private ceremony that showcased the ‘Old Florida' charming landscape. My husband is from Ohio, so we had lots of guests coming in from out of town. We wanted to show them that Florida has more than beaches! We wanted the ceremony site and reception site to ideally be in the same place, or at least close together to eliminate extraneous travel.

“The immaculate grounds of The Concession Golf Club had an ambiance and landscape that matched the ‘Old Florida' theme and allowed space for an outdoor tented reception. Additionally, it was a three-minute trolley ride from the ceremony site to the reception site, and they serve amazing food. We hosted the cocktail hour on the back patio prior to having guests enter the tent for the dinner and reception.

Concession Golf Club has experience hosting high volume yet elegant events. We wanted a vendor that could serve food and drinks in a timely manner to that number of guests, which they did. We have received rave reviews on the food; the Chef did a wonderful job with the dinner service. We wanted a sit-down dinner that offered hearty comfort food. We jazzed up the appetizers served at cocktail hour to include some of our favorite foods. We offered late-night snacks that were served toward the end of the reception. My husband is from the Midwest and loves giant pretzels (like the ones you get from Auntie Anne’s), so we served those for the late-night snacks. Carbs never hurt anybody!

Old Florida Elegant Wedding Party Outdoor Portrait | Tampa Bridesmaids Dresses Bella Bridesmaids

Where did you host your bachelorette party?
I had a wonderful maid of honor who planned my bachelorette! We stayed in St. Pete, FL (because who doesn’t love St. Pete) at an AirBnB and took a private boat tour to see dolphins, spent time in downtown, went to various eateries, and had a wine tasting/dinner at Sea Salt. We followed it up the next day with brunch at The Library. Relaxed and fun!

Old Florida Elegant Outdoor White Tent Wedding with Greenery Entrance
Old Florida Elegant White Tent Wedding Reception Decor, Long Tables with Wooden Cross Back Chairs, Candles, Low White Roses and Greenery Floral Centerpieces

How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
The theme of the wedding was ‘Old Florida' meets formal elegance. As an 8th-generation Floridian, my husband and I wanted to celebrate the one-of-a-kind landscape and nature that Florida has to offer. The backyard where we were married offers the privacy that we wanted and overlooks a lake and nature preserve (think saw palmettos, Oak and Magnolia trees, and Florida wildlife like alligators, herons, and bald eagles).

What were your colors? 
The décor was simple yet elegant and enhanced the already present surrounding nature. We did not designate specific colors for the wedding but instead stuck with a basic color palette that included different greens to mimic the natural greenery and shades of white. The bridesmaids’ dresses were a nude/champagne color.

Old Florida Elegant White Tent Wedding Reception Decor, Hanging Greenery Garlands, Crystal Chandeliers, Long Tables with Wooden Cross Back Chairs, Candles, Low White Roses and Greenery Floral Centerpieces
Old Florida Elegant Wedding Reception Decor, Gold Rimmed Charger Plates, Gold Silverware, White Linen Napkins, Low White Roses and Greenery Floral Centerpiece
Old Florida Elegant Outdoor Tent Wedding Reception Decor, Sweetheart Table with White Linen, Cream Dining Chairs, Lush Greenery and White Roses Florals
Old Florida Elegant Wedding Reception Decor, Candlesticks in Hurricane Glass Tumblers, Low Greenery and White Floral Centerpiece
Four Tier White Wedding Cake with Cascading Greenery Leaves and White Flowers

Which vendors really exceeded your expectations?
Our photographers are the sweetest husband and wife team you ever did meet. They care immensely about their clients and work hand in hand with them throughout the entire wedding process. They were, without a doubt, the best team that I hired for the wedding.

My bridal shop went above and beyond just helping me find my dress. When I say they do bridal “style,” I mean it. Tali styled my bridal day look, and she is such a gem. She is humble, kind, and incredibly hardworking with an unmatched eye for bridal style.

My husband and I are incredibly happy with our highlight reel/video. It feels so personal, and we have had so much fun reliving the day (via the video) with our friends and family. The day goes by in such a blur for the bride and groom. There are so many things that I missed on the day of (special details), and Scott knew exactly what to capture so that we could have that experience too.

Our baker recommended using sugar flowers in place of real flowers on the cakes so that they wouldn't look wilted by the end of the night. Her attention to detail was unmatched. We had zero leftovers, and the cake was huge.

Our DJ was simply amazing at our wedding reception. My biggest compliment for Jay is regarding our first dance. We were not able to get an edited version of our first dance song from our dance instructor. So, last minute (and via email, no less) I had to explain the dance move we were doing and the approximate time that the song needed to fade out. He nailed the timing, without ever having seen us or our dance.

Old Florida Elegant Bride and Groom First Dance Tent Wedding Reception Portrait
Old Florida Elegant Bride and Groom Wedding Reception Sparkler Exit

What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Choose your vendors wisely. Make sure they are willing to communicate with you, genuinely care about you, and are capable and willing to help bring your vision to life. A bad vendor can really make things difficult. It is such a stressful time, and you want to select vendors who help with the process, not add to the stress level.

Ask questions and ask to interview people, even if you get pushback. I found the mark of a good vendor to be one that was happy to discuss things with you and answer questions. In fact, they should encourage it. Do your own research. Most of the vendors that I liked the best were the ones that I found on my own. Don’t feel pressured to hire someone just because they were recommended to you. After that, relax, have fun, and enjoy the day. There’s nothing like it!

Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.

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