Samantha and Daniel's destination Sarasota wedding, combined saturated hues of warm oranges and deep red and purple tones threaded throughout a plethora of blooms accented by spellbinding candlelight. The bride and groom exchanged vows against an ocean backdrop before dining and dancing al fresco under a canopy of bistro lights and the glowing moon.
“I would describe our inspiration as fall-meets-jewel-toned. I have always loved fall and especially Halloween, so dark and moody colors were a no-brainer for us when choosing our theme,” the bride shared. “Our colors were blackberry, wine, spiced orange, burnt orange, marigold, dark purple, and navy/dark blue.”
The Illinois bride had been vacationing in Longboat Key since she was a child and knew that the venue would be the ideal choice for hosting their 120-guest destination wedding.
“We didn't really look around for venues because the only venue I wanted to celebrate our love at was The Resort at Longboat Key Club, my home away from home. The Longboat Key Club holds a special place in my heart as I've been going there since I was eight weeks old with my Omi and Opa (grandma and grandpa) and family. Unfortunately, my Omi and Opa are no longer with us, so it was important for me to have them there, in a sense, on our wedding day. I loved how special they made our day, and Ayla was absolutely wonderful,” the bride recalled.
The pair incorporated their personalities into the wedding day festivities to create a truly unique experience for their guests. From the subtle autumnal nods in the decor to the sultry first dance in honor of the groom's background, the result was a one-of-a-kind celebration.
“My favorite holiday is Halloween, so we chose to have our wedding on Halloween weekend, and we put little ‘spooky' accents throughout, including a Halloween-themed after-party,” Samantha detailed. “My husband used to dance professionally, so for our first dance, we combined a traditional slow dance style with the bachata.”
Rich shades of oranges, purples, and greens appeared throughout the bountiful flora that graced the beachfront ceremony and the lush outdoor lawn. Spindly gold stands created the sense that the centerpieces were floating mid-air, while clear ghost chairs and iridescent napkins added a touch of fantasy to the decor.
A few key moments stood out to Samantha, while the emotion of being surrounded by such special friends and family overwhelmed her with feelings of love and gratitude.
“One of my most memorable moments was when I was reading my vows and being able to tell everyone that our love is as vast as the universe,” the bride reminisced. “My dad and brothers seeing me in my wedding dress for the first time was another memorable moment and one in which I felt so loved, and I am forever grateful to have these people who love us so much.”
Daniel took me to dinner in Chicago to celebrate our anniversary that had been the previous weekend. We had dinner and then headed to my parents' house, where he had me put on a blindfold before we got to their house. Daniel had our family and close friends present and had our parents hold a banner that said, “Samantha, will you marry me?” In the background. He had the Ed Sheeran song Thinking Out Loud playing, and he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him with a gorgeous Ruby ring set in white gold surrounded by diamonds. It was very much me and us.
Where did you host your bachelorette party?
Chicago. My maid of honor chose Chicago because it was the most central location for everyone, and it was important for me to be mindful of all the costs that my bridal party were going to have, as I didn't want anyone to feel stressed about money. I just wanted my ladies there with me; that was the most important thing.
What did you look for in a wedding venue?
We didn't really look around for venues because the only venue I wanted to celebrate our love at was The Resort at Longboat Key Club, my home away from home.
The Longboat Key Club holds a special place in my heart as I've been going there since I was eight weeks old with my Omi and Opa (grandma and grandpa) and family. Unfortunately, my Omi and Opa are no longer with us, so it was important for me to have them there, in a sense, on our wedding day.
I loved how special they made our day, and Ayla was absolutely wonderful.
Where did you spend your honeymoon?
Grenada. We chose it because we love the Caribbean, and with COVID restrictions still in place when we booked, we wanted to choose somewhere closer to home and with not as strict requirements for entry.
How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
I would describe our inspiration as fall-meets-jewel-toned. I have always loved fall and especially Halloween, so dark and moody colors were a no-brainer for us when choosing our theme.
Which vendors really exceeded your expectations?
Our florist exceeded my expectations with the flowers and arrangements. It took my breath away and their flowers were better than what I had dreamed of. They were super communicative and very accommodating throughout the entire process. Our cake baker created the most beautiful wedding cake and cupcakes, plus the cake was delicious!
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
The first year is hard, and it's a big adjustment. Knowing your partner's love language is so helpful because it helps me to be mindful of how he feels the most loved, and I make sure to show that as much as I can. Also, just go with the flow; it won't be perfect, and that's okay. Show yourselves grace and kindness.