Tropical Coastal Chic Destination Sarasota Wedding | The Resort at Longboat Key Club

The perfect wedding gift is cash in your dream bank. Sign up for Honeyfund today to start your dream registry.

Stephanie and Evan love vacationing at Anna Maria Island and that affinity for Florida style translated into their champagne, gold, and ivory destination Sarasota wedding.

“Our wedding would be described as coastal chic. I wanted a classy, romantic, traditional look without losing the feel of being in a tropical setting,” the bride shared. “Some of my favorite parts of our wedding were the bridesmaids’ sparkly palm dresses and the pineapple floral centerpieces! The pops of pineapple from our wedding stationery, to the cake, to the centerpieces all tied together so perfectly.”

MORE: TROPICAL WEDDING INSPIRATION

While planning her Florida wedding from New Jersey, Stephanie relied heavily on Marry Me Tampa Bay to help her find local inspiration and advice.

“I loved reading the real brides section and browsing through the wedding planning tools. Marry Me Tampa Bay was a really great resource for me especially since I was planning a destination wedding,” the bride explained. “I was definitely inspired by other real brides during the planning process who got married in the same area with a similar look as me.”

The bride and groom were so enthralled with The Resort at Longboat Key Club upon first seeing the space that they immediately booked their wedding date and canceled all their other site visit appointments that were scheduled during their Florida visit. Stephanie and Evan immediately knew that it was the perfect fit for their big day!

“We wanted all of our friends and family to experience just how fun and beautiful the west coast of Florida is and what better way to do it than to have an outdoor tropical wedding!” the bride beamed. “Ayla immediately made us feel so special and welcomed, and we knew right then and there this was the place we would say I do! The grounds are absolutely beautiful and speak for themselves, and the option to have our ceremony in a tropical setting outside at the Marina followed by a cocktail hour in the Marina Courtyard and a reception at the Harbourside Lawn was exactly what we visioned, being at the beach without the sand in our shoes.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE RESORT AT LONGBOAT KEY CLUB | EMAIL

When selecting a wedding officiant, the couple immediately connected with Grace, from A Wedding with Grace, who shares a name with the bride’s maternal grandmother.

“Grace made a point to get to know Evan and me, and it was genuine that she wanted to learn all about our relationship. She customized our wedding ceremony, incorporated details about us as individuals and as a couple, and made our ceremony unforgettable,” the bride shared.

LEARN MORE ABOUT A WEDDING WITH GRACE | EMAIL

Deciding on a live band was one of the most important priorities for Stephanie and Evan who described their guests as “dancing machines.”

“As soon as we heard the Bay Kings Band‘s songs online we were captured by their talent and loved their energy! They have such a cool, fun vibe going on everything! The also had rave reviews which were helpful to read before making a final decision and were a pleasure to work with. They had everyone dancing all night long!” the couple gushed.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BAY KINGS BAND | EMAIL

Stephanie said one of the most unique aspects of their wedding was the fact that it was more than just a single day event; it was a week-long celebration vacation for their 180 guests, and by the end of it, no one wanted to leave!

“We were so fortunate and blessed to have had a full-blown wedding week, renting a gorgeous beachfront home in Anna Maria Island, hosting our wedding guests at our welcome party and our Sunday beach party, and the wedding at The Resort at Longboat Key Club was everything we could have ever dreamed of!” the bride beamed. “The icing on the cake was that the weather was absolutely spectacular all week long; it was truly a fairytale!”

Although their day included so many memorable moments, the bride mentioned that one of her favorites was during the couple’s first dance together as husband and wife.

“Evan sang to me, and we held each other so closely; it took every ounce of me to not cry and ruin my makeup!” Stephanie reminisced. “It was so special to have this intimate moment surrounded by all of our family and friends. We were in our own little love bubble!”

Tropical Florida Pastel Peach and Champagne Wedding Invitation Suite

Open Toed Badgley Mischka Rhinestone Wedding Shoes

Shimmery Sequined Champagne and Gold Bridesmaids Dresses | Glamorous Wedding Dress Attire

Nicole Spose A-Line Wedding Dress with Embellishments

Nicole Spose A-Line Wedding Dress with Embellishments and Low Cut Back

Shimmery Sequined Champagne and Blush Pink Bridesmaids Dresses | Nicole Spose A-Line Wedding Dress | Glamorous Wedding Dress Attire

Nicole Spose A-Line Wedding Dress with Embellishments | Pastel White and Peach Bouquet

Nicole Spose A-Line Wedding Dress with Embellishments | Tropical Sarasota Florida Wedding

Wedding Welcome Mirror and Modern Ceremony Program

Peach, Pink, and White Wedding Ceremony Arch Decor with Greenery and Draping | Tropical Waterfront Florida Lawn Wedding Ceremony | Sarasota Wedding Venue The Resort at Longboat Key Club Marina

What did you look for in a wedding venue?
A beautiful outdoor ceremony and reception space! We decided to have a destination wedding at our most favorite vacation spot, Anna Maria Island. We wanted all of our friends and family to experience just how fun and beautiful the west coast of Florida is and what better way to do it than to have an outdoor tropical wedding! We also felt it would be most convenient to pick a venue that had a ceremony and reception location on the same grounds so our guests could be swiftly transported from one location to the other. Our guests were already traveling so far!

Surprisingly we only looked at The Resort at Longboat Key Club the morning we landed in Florida and actually ended up canceling our afternoon appointments at other venues. We just knew the LBKC was the perfect venue! Ayla immediately made us feel so special and welcomed, and we knew right then and there this was the place we would say I do! The grounds are absolutely beautiful and speak for themselves and the option to have our ceremony in a tropical setting outside at the Marina followed by a cocktail hour in the Marina Courtyard, and a reception at the Harbourside Lawn was exactly what we visioned, being at “the beach” without the sand in our shoes. The palm trees and tropical flowers throughout the venue are gorgeous.

Ayla is the best of the best, always so gracious and kind, even with the smallest of questions (or craziest!) Ayla was always there and would get right back to me. Her professionalism and organization made working with her easy and enjoyable. It’s clear that she really loves what she does, and it shows. I can’t imagine having planned my fairytale wedding with anyone else!

Peach, Pink, and White Tropical Wedding Ceremony Arch Decor with Greenery

Peach, Pink, and White Wedding Ceremony Arch Decor with Greenery and Draping | Tropical Waterfront Florida Lawn Wedding Ceremony | Sarasota Wedding Venue The Resort at Longboat Key Club Marina

Bride Walking Down the Wedding Aisle

The Proposal:
Evan proposed at our favorite spot on the beach on Long Beach Island at the Jersey Shore on August 11. The proposal was exactly how I’ve always imagined, romantic, thoughtful, and personal, just the two of us at our favorite beach during sunrise on a perfect summer morning! Evan got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. I happily leaped into his arms and that’s the moment when I got a closer look at my engagement ring, and I remember being blown away with how beautiful it was, and that’s when the happy tears really started flowing!

Peach, Pink, and White Tropical Wedding Ceremony Arch Decor with Greenery | Sarasota Wedding Officiant A Wedding with Grace

Peach, Pink, and White Wedding Ceremony Arch Decor with Greenery and Draping | Tropical Waterfront Florida Lawn Wedding Ceremony | Sarasota Wedding Venue The Resort at Longboat Key Club Marina | Sarasota Wedding Officiant A Wedding with Grace

What did you look for in a wedding officiant?
Grace from A Wedding with Grace was highly recommended to us by our venue. My middle name is Grace, after my beloved Grandmother Grace (my mother’s mother), so we immediately had a connection! Grace was an absolute pleasure to work with. She made a point to get to know Evan and me, and it was genuine that she wanted to learn all about our relationship. She customized our wedding ceremony, incorporated details about us as individuals and as a couple, and made our ceremony unforgettable. She just so happens to have the best voice for a wedding ceremony too! Throughout the ceremony(and rehearsal, Grace was poised, calm, and never skipped a beat!

Destination Florida Bride and Groom Lawn Wedding Portrait | Sarasota Wedding Venue The Resort at Longboat Key Club

Destination Florida Bride and Groom Waterfront Marina Wedding Portrait with Yacht | Sarasota Wedding Venue The Resort at Longboat Key Club

Destination Florida Bride and Groom Wedding Portrait with Flying Veil

Outdoor Florida Lawn Wedding Reception with Hanging White Lanterns

Elegant Outdoor Florida Lawn Wedding Reception with Hanging White Lanterns, White Linens and Gold Chiavari Chairs | Sarasota Wedding Venue The Resort at Longboat Key Club

How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
Coastal chic. When I first met Ayla of The Resort at Longboat Key Club she asked me how I visioned my wedding day. My response was, “I love the tropical feel of Florida without getting sand on my dress!” The inspiration for our wedding came from wedding websites and magazines and other social media platforms. I’ve always had a look in mind and most of my choices were relatable, even years later. I wanted a classy, romantic, traditional look without losing the feel of being in a tropical setting. Some of my favorite parts of our wedding were the bridesmaids’ sparkly palm dresses and the pineapple floral centerpieces! The pops of pineapple from our wedding stationery, to the cake, to the centerpieces all tied together so perfectly!

What were your colors?
The color theme of our wedding was soft blush, shimmery golds and champagnes, creamy whites, and eucalyptus greenery. We chose these colors because we loved the natural, romantic, classic look! We didn’t want to take away from the venue which is so beautiful on its own! The palm trees and tropical flowers throughout the venue are gorgeous. We wanted to keep the look clean and classic with natural lighting and a soft color palette.

Elegant Outdoor Florida Lawn Wedding Reception with Hanging White Lanterns, White Linens and Gold Chiavari Chairs | Sarasota Wedding Venue The Resort at Longboat Key Club

Tropical Outdoor Florida Lawn Wedding Reception with Hanging White Lanterns, White Linens and Gold Chiavari Chairs | Sarasota Wedding Venue The Resort at Longboat Key Club

Elegant Outdoor Florida Lawn Wedding Reception with Hanging White Lanterns, White Linens and Peach, Pink and White Pineapple Centerpieces | Sarasota Wedding Venue The Resort at Longboat Key Club

Round Three Tier White Wedding Cake with Tropical Embellishment Decor

Bride and Groom Wedding First Dance | Musicians Bay Kings Band | Sarasota Wedding Venue The Resort at Longboat Key Club

What did you look for in a wedding band?
A fun, interactive, live band!

As soon as we heard the Bay Kings Band‘s songs online we were captured by their talent and loved their energy! They have such a cool, fun vibe going on everything! The also had rave reviews which were helpful to read before making a final decision and were a pleasure to work with. They had everyone dancing all night long! I would highly recommend them!

What advice would you give to other Sarasota couples?
If you have a gut feeling, go with it! While planning our wedding I was very rarely stressed because all our decisions were made either on the spot or shortly after. We toured one wedding venue and knew it was the one so we booked it. I only tried on three other dresses before I picked my wedding gown! The best advice I received during wedding planning was to not overthink every little thing, you’ll drive yourself crazy! I truly enjoyed the wedding planning process! I am a very organized person so creating spreadsheets and Pinterest boards were fun for me.

Create a strict and honest budget spreadsheet, keep an updated address book of your wedding guests, add your return address label to your wedding envelope stationery, wear comfortable shoes if you can. I wore Kate Spade platform sneakers and was so glad that I did. I was comfortable all day and danced the night away. Check out vendors’ social media pages, that’s where I did most of my research for choosing vendors. Listen to your mother and coordinators; they know best. Take a moment to soak it all in, and enjoy every moment!

Ceremony/Reception Venue and Caterer: The Resort at Longboat Key Club *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Venue
Photographer: K&K Photography
Planner/Rentals: Swanky Soiree Events
Florist: Flowers by Fudgie
Cake: Cakes by Ron
Band: Bay Kings Band *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Officiant: A Wedding with Grace *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Invitations: Cartalia Stationery Studio
Transportation: Siesta Key Trolley and All Aboard Charters
Dress Shop and Designer: I do I do, (Morristown, N.J.) – Nicole Spose
Bridesmaid Dresses: Aidan Mattox – Adrianna Papell
Makeup: Lo Mantak N.J. Artist
Hair: Salon Salon Holmes Beach
Luxury Home Rentals: Once Upon a Beach

MEET THE EDITOR

Marry Me Tampa Bay editor, Anna Coats, created Marry Me Tampa Bay in 2012 to showcase the area's best local weddings and vendors. She has been featured as a wedding expert on the national talkshow Daytime, Fox13, ABC Action News, Great Day Tampa Bay, and Bay News 9 (now Spectrum).

NOVA 535

Avila Golf & Country Club

Florida Rustic Barn Weddings

The Vault

The Godfrey Hotel

Renaissance Tampa International Plaza

Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach

Red Mesa Events

Kera Photography

Lifelong Photography Studio

Creative Bride and Groom Wedding Portrait with Veil Blowing in Wind | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Lifelong Photography Studio

Carrie Wildes Photography

dewitt for love

Modern Dramatic Unique Asymmetrical Red Wedding Bridal Bouquet with Ranunculus Tulips Protea Roses Anemone and Amaryllis | Dewitt for Love Photography

Breezin’ Weddings

Florida Bride and Groom Romantic Portrait Under Whimsical and Lush Circular Floral Arch with Pampas Grass, White and Blush Pink Roses, Hydrangeas and Greenery, Bride in Full Length Veil | Tampa Wedding Planner Breezin' Weddings | Wedding Dress Isabel O'Neil Bridal | Wedding Hair Femme Akoi | Waterfront Wedding Venue Tampa Yacht and Country Club

Coastal Coordinating

UNIQUE Weddings & Events

Parties a la Carte

Special Moments Event Planning

Modern, Garden Inspired Wedding Decor, Blush Pink Floral Wall and White Draping, Gazebo, Outdoor Dance Floor, Long Feasting Tables. Rose Gold Chiavari Chairs, Floral Curly Willow Arches | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning | Tampa Bay Wedding Florist Gabro Event Services | Tampa Bay Wedding Rentals A Chair Affair

Bruce Wayne Florals

Truly Forever Bridal

Michele Renee The Studio

Elite Events Catering

Tastes of Tampa Bay

Graingertainment

Longboat Key Club

Beso Del Sol

Isla del Sol Yacht & Country Club

The Poynter Institute

The Don CeSar Hotel

Hotel Zamora

Postcard Inn

The Mahaffey Theater

Hotel Alba

Bayou Club

Kemari Lyn Films

amber mcwhorter photography

Spaghetti Strap Casablanca Ivory Simple Slip Wedding Dress Bridal Gown | Light Blue Grey Groom Suit | Outdoor Bride and Groom Beach Portrait at Tampa St Pete Florida COVID Destination Elopement Beach Wedding Ceremony | Neutral White Ivory and Greenery Bridal Bouquet | Amber McWhorter Photography

Luxe Light Images

Gulf Beach Weddings

Elope Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay Wedding Elopement Planning | Elope Tampa Bay

eventfull weddings

Tampa Bay Wedding Planner EventFull Weddings

Monarch Events And Design

Cascade Bridal Bouquet with White and Blush Pink Roses and Ranunculus, White Astilbe, Ivory Stock, Greenery and Eucalyptus | Tampa Wedding Florist Monarch Events and Design

Lynn’s Catering

Amici’s Catered Cuisine

Sweetly Dipped Confections

Nikki’s Glitz and Glam Boutique

Tropical Boho Bride and Groom Excited After Exchanging Vows, Bride in Flowy Deep V Neck Wedding Dress, Colorful Floral Arrangements | Tampa Bay Wedding Venue The Godfrey | Wedding Planner Elope Tampa Bay | Wedding Florist Brides N Blooms | Wedding Dress Nikki's Glitz and Glam | Wedding Hair and Makeup Femme Akoi Beauty Studio | Amber McWhorter Photography

Bella Bridesmaid

A&P Designs

Bay Kings Band

Grant Hemond & Associates

breezin' entertainment

St. Petersburg Wedding DJ Breezin' Entertainment

A Chair Affair

outside the box

Tampa Bay Bride and Groom Cheers in front of Champagne Wall, Greenery Boxwood Bubbly Wall Rental, Bride Holding Vibrant Jewel Toned Floral Bouquet with Bright Pink Roses, Ivory, Purple, and Blue Flowers | Florida Wedding Planner Breezin' Weddings | South Tampa Outside The Box Event Rentals