Shannon and Kyle's waterfront Sarasota wedding was filled with the couple's charming quirks that allowed their unique personalities to shine through. Set against the enchanting backdrop of a historic mansion, the bride and groom's celebration highlighted Florida's historic charm with an outdoor courtyard ceremony followed by a romantic waterfront reception featuring live music, their dog, and a late-night Taco Bell photo shoot.
“Being in the industry, I've seen a lot of trends, and I love the flair everyone brings to their day. However, it was really important to me that our wedding would ‘age well.' I wanted to be able to look back on our days five, ten, fifteen plus years from now and not cringe at our design choices, so we kept the theme more classic and timeless with some modern touches,” the bride detailed. “Our colors were white, black, soft pinks, and some caramel. I wanted to choose colors that would age well and still be timeless years from now.”
As a professional wedding videographer, Shannon had the unique advantage of carefully curating her vendor dream team. The industry insider selected vendors with whom she had a professional relationship with, creating an ensemble of trusted professionals.
“Most, if not all, of my team were vendors that I have worked with and admired for a while! It was easy to choose our team based on the positive experiences I've had working with them as a vendor,” the bride beamed.
With an eye for visual storytelling, the bride sought a photographer with a timeless elegance and modern vibrancy that could make their wedding day not only memorable but also showcase the couple's fun-loving personalities.
“I wanted a photographer who had an editing style that would age well—one where their colors were true to life, something timeless but not vanilla. I wanted a photographer who I knew could capture some candid moments and bring out our authentic personalities. We didn't want super traditional poses but something that could incorporate some modern styles and our personalities as well,” the bride explained. “Having worked with Shannon and Brandon of Dewitt For Love Photography, it was a simple decision, really. I knew they would check all the boxes and be the best people to spend the day with. After all, you do spend the most time with your photographers and videographers on your wedding day, so we wanted to feel comfortable! They have the best personalities, and it's easy to feel like you've been friends with them for years after only knowing them for a short time. We were blown away by our gallery. Every single moment and detail seemed even better in the photos than I remember.”
Inspired by their mutual passion for live performances, the St. Pete couple envisioned an unforgettable outdoor winter wedding reception infused with live music for 96 guests. For them, music is not only a shared love but also at the root of their relationship.
“Our number one priority was ensuring a fun reception brimming with live entertainment. Music was the glue that initially bound us together, forming the foundation of our relationship 12 years ago. We are enthusiastic lovers of live music and entertainment. About five years ago, we stumbled upon the Actual Bank Robbers performing in downtown St. Pete. They played three Bruno Mars songs in a row, my favorite artist, followed by some early 2000s pop punk, one of our favorite genres. In that thrilling moment, I was compelled to tell Kyle that they were a must for our wedding,” Shannon recalled. “Over the years, we've frequently gone out to see them and were ecstatic to have our friends and family share in the experience of their energy and talent. Our aim was to dance the night away, and that's precisely what we achieved with the Actual Bank Robbers! They're not just remarkably talented musicians; they're performers who radiate palpable performance energy that only serves to augment their setlist. It's challenging to find a band that possesses both talent and performance, but they indeed have it all.”
The historic private estate echoed the timeless theme while white, black, soft pink, and caramel accents created an atmosphere of modern classic elegance. Their dog's figurine on the cake and a stop at Taco Bell for some fun, “non-traditional” photos perfectly encapsulated the couple.
“We incorporated our personalities into the wedding with Taco Bell, our dog, and a live band. Our dog is part of our family, so having him walk down the aisle and including a figurine of him on the cake was something really special to us, and I'm so glad I have photos with him on the best day of our life,” the bride beamed. “I go to Taco Bell after every wedding that I film; it's my guilty pleasure. Being a vegetarian wedding vendor that usually wraps up past 10 p.m., my choices are limited, so Taco Bell is my go-to. Kyle loves Mexican pizza, so it just made sense that we made a stop at Taco Bell after our own wedding too! It was the perfect opportunity to get some fun non-traditional photos.”
Entrusting their wedding ceremony to a cherished friend, the couple embraced their personalized celebration. From the emotional first-look moment to the exhilarating reception, every moment was thoughtfully curated, including their wedding date, which was their 12th dating anniversary.
“Having one of our closest friends officiate our ceremony was very important to us. We wanted someone who really knew us both and could make the day feel more natural and comfortable. Ian has known us since our freshman year of high school when we began dating and has remained one of our closest friends. He was an obvious choice for the job, and he was exceptional. I know that role must be very intimidating and scary, but he was a natural. It was so special to us,” Shannon reminisced. “The first look was also memorable because that was one of the few moments that we had to ourselves and to be totally present. Once the ceremony happens, all of your guests are already there and want to see you, and you naturally want to talk to them too. Cocktail hour became a blur, and things just kept flying, but being able to have our first look helped settle our pre-ceremony nerves and gave us more time to be together on a day that we'd waited so long for. Our reception was the highlight of the night. The band played non-stop, and we danced non-stop. It was everything we had dreamed of!”
I hired Ashely Izqueirdo to take some branding photos for me, and I knew I wanted some with my dog. I asked Kyle if he would join us so that he could hold the dog between photos. Little did I know he had reached out to Ashley and asked her if he could propose during our session.
He knew that I would want our proposal documented in some way and knew that if I hired her for my photos that she would be a good fit to capture the proposal, too! She did a wonderful job, and I'm so happy to have photos of that moment because I absolutely blacked out.
Where did you spend your honeymoon?
Madeira, Portugal. We wanted to go to Europe, but it can be a bit cold that time of year, so we tried finding some of the warmer regions in Europe. We love hiking and coastal towns, so it was the perfect blend of that and history.
Where did you host your bachelorette party?
Boston and Martha's Vineyard. I wanted to see fall leaves, but unfortunately, we were up there as Hurricane Ian was making his way to that part of the country, and it was mostly gray. If I could do it again, I would have just done Martha's Vineyard because it was more relaxing and absolutely beautiful!
What did you look for in a wedding photographer?
I wanted a photographer who had an editing style that would age well—one where their colors were true to life, something timeless but not vanilla. I wanted a photographer who I knew could capture some candid moments and bring out our authentic personalities. We didn't want super traditional poses but something that could incorporate some modern styles and our personalities as well.
Having worked with Shannon and Brandon of Dewitt For Love Photography, it was a simple decision, really. I knew they would check all the boxes and be the best people to spend the day with. After all, you do spend the most time with your photographers and videographers on your wedding day, so we wanted to feel comfortable! They have the best personalities, and it's easy to feel like you've been friends with them for years after only knowing them for a short time. They were wonderful with letting us be present in the moment and not rushing onto the next photo opp, but instead letting each point breathe and just letting us be us. They made our wedding party and family so comfortable, and it just felt like we were all hanging out. Our friends and family kept saying how much fun they had with them and enjoyed having them there.
We were blown away by our gallery. Every single moment and detail seemed even better in the photos than I remember.
How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
Being in the industry, I've seen a lot of trends, and I love the flair everyone brings to their day. However, it was really important to me that our wedding would “age well.” I wanted to be able to look back on our days five, ten, fifteen plus years from now and not cringe at our design choices, so we kept the theme more classic and timeless with some modern touches.
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Do the first look. Be present as much as you can! You will likely blackout at some point from all the emotions and love, so hire vendors who fit your personality to capture those moments.
Trust your vendors! They have your back. Make a wedding day that will make you happy. This day is about you and your partner and celebrating that love between you two.
Which vendors really exceeded your expectations?
2Birds was the absolute best to work with. I was a little cloudy on my exact floral vision and wasn't quite sure how to vocalize what I wanted. Our floral arch was a dream, and I am still obsessed with it! I'm so happy that it was the focal point of our ceremony and that we could include it in some fun reception photos with our neon sign as well.
Wedding Dance Lessons by Amanda was such a joy to work with. We didn't plan on doing dance lessons, but we chose a first dance song that was a bit untraditional with a challenging tempo, so I reached out to Amanda, and we were so lucky that she could squeeze in some last-minute lessons with us. She was so patient with us and created a dance that we felt comfortable and excited about doing.
Travel House Films was such a joy to have on our wedding day. Mckenzie made us feel totally comfortable, and we couldn't be happier with our films. Being able to watch our first look, ceremony, first dance, and just every moment is so invaluable. It is so “us,” and I can tell how intentional she was with everything, down to the song choices and music transitions. We couldn't be happier!
Laura Snow was so wonderful to have as a Day of Coordinator. She was there for anything that we needed at all points of the day, and our family kept saying how great she was to have as part of the team! She put us and our needs first and helped clear the background for our photos, fluff my dress, and even give us some fun candid BTS cell phone content.
I am a very minimal and simple makeup person. I don't do my makeup often and am not too good at anything other than the basics! Savannah Olivia Beauty always makes me feel beautiful without feeling unlike myself. She does a wonderful job enhancing your natural beauty, and that's what I love! I also can't get over my wedding day hair. My hair doesn't typically hold a curl well, but the glam waves they did lasted really well, even through the reception!
I can never say enough about Dewitt for Love. They are incredibly detail oriented and really left nothing uncaptured. They took their time getting to know us and what was important on our initial phone call and created a timeline that would prioritize those moments accordingly. On the day of, they were more than photographers, and they really became a friend to all of our guests. Shannon, Brandon, and Emily were there hyping us up every step of the way. They were wonderful with letting us be present in the moment and not rushing onto the next photo opp, but instead letting each point breathe and just letting us be us. They made all of our photo dreams come true, and we would choose them in a million lifetimes!