Morgan and Johnny's romantic destination Sarasota wedding was an outdoor oasis filled with pastel hues, natural wood elements, and organic flora. The bride and groom exchanged vows on the pristine grass of the golf green before hosting an al fresco reception beneath the twinkling lights of an impressive canvas tent.
“We chose Florida because I wanted an outdoor fall wedding, and Florida is beautiful that time of year and had the vibe I was going for: timeless, preppy, and classic,” the bride shared.
“The inspiration was a timeless and classic Old Florida feel,” Nicole Kaney, Owner and Lead Event Planner at NK Productions added. “The color palette was pastels with a touch of fall oranges and yellows.”
The St. Louis couple envisioned a beautiful November wedding surrounded by their 155 closest friends and family and knew that the Sunshine State would be an ideal choice for their nuptials. The Resort At Longboat Key Club was the bride's saving grace, stepping in during her time of need and offering their stunning beach backdrop and elegant event spaces to host the celebration when Mother Nature thwarted the previous plans.
“Thirty days before my wedding, Hurricane Ian devastated South Florida communities, including Gasparilla Island. While many lost so much more, I lost my wedding venue! It did not sustain serious damage, but the island as a whole did. I was told I could postpone the wedding, but that was never an option in my mind. Luckily, I had the most capable, prepared, and connected team of planners who got me in at the amazing Longboat Key Club within a day of finding out my other venue would be closed,” Morgan revealed.
“Hurricane relocation is never an easy change for any couple, and selecting where you spend the most important day of your life is such a personal decision. We were so honored that we were able to help them shift gears and keep the day of their dreams on such short notice. We worked closely with their planner in order to try to stay within their budget and adapt their food and beverage selections from what they had previously to try and keep that vision as close as possible to what it was originally,” Ayla Goggin, Director of Events at The Resort at Longboat Key Club, detailed. “Morgan and Johnny were unique because they actually selected a ceremony location that we haven't done events on before, but when they saw the Spike n Tees Lawn, they were so in love with the space that we decided to go for it. This area overlooks the golf course and is adjacent to our Spike n Tees Terrace, which is where they had a cocktail hour.”
The out-of-state couple worked with a skilled local wedding planner to guide them through the planning process and fine-tune their wedding vision through a cohesive color story and personal details. The reputable team sprang into action when they faced the difficult task of finding a new venue due to the recent hurricane. It helped seamlessly transition everything to the beautiful setting at The Resort at Longboat Key Club.
“We incorporated the couple's personalities through the use of their favorite colors and custom monogram touches seen throughout the wedding. Morgan had a framed photo memory wall as well for all of their loved ones,” the wedding planner articulated. “The wedding was originally supposed to take place at another venue, but after Hurricane Ian, they were closed due to damage. We had to shift the wedding completely in a few weeks, and Morgan took everything in stride, just wanting to marry the love of her life regardless of venue.”
Some of the most meaningful details included sentimental touches for Morgan, including incorporating her mother's wedding dress into the reception.
“The bride walked down the aisle solo since her father had passed away and met her mom at the end of the aisle to remove her blusher,” the planner detailed. “She changed into a second dress that was her mom's wedding dress that she altered.”
“Morgan walked down the aisle solo, and it was a very empowering moment to see her complete that walk with such grace and confidence, especially in her stunning ballgown-style dress and epic veil!” Ayla beamed.
By focusing on their friends and family instead of the snafus that arose thanks to the storm, Morgan could enjoy the celebration and the memories that unfolded.
“The most memorable moments were being surrounded by family and friends, all there to celebrate the love my husband and I share for each other. It was truly so special. I also loved our band, as did our guests. I am still hearing how incredible our band was almost a year after the event!” the bride reminisced.
My husband proposed in his parents' backyard. I did not think he would be able to trick me. He told me his family got new patio furniture they wanted to show us before we went out for dinner. I actually asked him if he was going to propose because I was debating doing my hair, and he promised me he wasn't, so I had a wet braid in my hair. He had my family all watching from inside, and we all went to dinner afterward.
Where did you host your bachelorette party?
Miami. I thought it would be a fun getaway for my bridal party, and we'd never have a shortage of restaurants or places to go!
What did you look for in a wedding venue?
Thirty days before my wedding, Hurricane Ian devastated South Florida communities, including Gasparilla Island. While many lost so much more, I lost my wedding venue! It did not sustain serious damage, but the island as a whole did. I was told I could postpone the wedding, but that was never an option in my mind.
Luckily, I had the most capable, prepared, and connected team of planners who got me in at the amazing The Resort at Longboat Key Club within a day of finding out my other venue would be closed.
Where did you spend your honeymoon?
We honeymooned at the Rosewood in Baha Mar in the Bahamas! We chose that location because I had never been to the Bahamas, and it was a short 30-minute flight from Florida! I cannot recommend the Rosewood and Baha Mar as a whole enough!
How would you describe the theme/wedding design inspiration?
We chose Florida because I wanted an outdoor fall wedding, and Florida is beautiful that time of year and had the vibe I was going for: timeless, preppy, and classic. The inspiration was a timeless and classic Old Florida feel.
What were your colors?
The color palette was pastels with a touch of fall oranges and yellows.
What advice would you give to other destination couples?
The day will be amazing no matter what because everyone is there to celebrate you, so don't sweat the small stuff (or big stuff like hurricanes).