Francesca & Ahmed
April 14, 2018
Francesca and Ahmed met at Ahmed’s family’s beach house in Long Beach Island, NJ in 2011, danced the night away at a local dive bar and have been inseparable ever since. After a quiet, romantic proposal at home, they began planning a destination wedding, bringing the next step in their relationship to another beach further down the coast. The couple fell in love with the Gulf Coast location of The Ritz-Carlton Naples and all it had to offer.
So, on a beautiful spring day, they were wed. Ahmed and his groomsmen added a touch of tradition to the boho-beach setting with classic black tuxedos and bow ties. Bridesmaids wore mismatched chiffon dresses, some in shades of champagne and other in watercolor prints by Jenny Yoo. Francesca chose a breathtaking French lace dress by Inbal Dror and carried a bountiful bouquet of white peonies, eucalyptus and yellow craspedia. She walked down the aisle to “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young and met her groom under a beautiful driftwood arbor, where they were then married by a close friend. The newlyweds spent a few moments together on the beach at sunset with photographer Jacqui Cole before joining their guests to celebrate.
An indoor reception awaited guests, who were greeted by a swoon-worthy sight. Cascading floral chandeliers, glowing market lights, rustic wooden farm tables and gorgeous gold chargers perfectly conveyed the couple’s “bohemian garden wedding at the beach” theme. Guests enjoyed small bites, like mini beef wellingtons and a grilled cheese station, before a delicious surf-and-turf dinner. Francesca and Ahmed cut into a naked carrot cake (a holiday staple for the bride!) before dancing the night away to the high-energy Miami band Flavor—a vendor they absolutely loved!
Venue: The Ritz-Carlton Naples – Naples, FL
Design/Décor, Floral & Catering: Vincent Faranda of The Ritz-Carlton Naples
Photography: Jacqui Cole Photography
Stationery: Rebecca Green Design
Watercolor Wedding Logo: John G. Mennella, Jr.
Entertainment: Flavor, Tropics Entertainment
Videography: Voila Cinematic
Hair: Shelby Colston of She She Coco
Makeup: Nathania Giraldo
Bridal Gown: Inbal Dror, Mark Ingram Atelier
Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo
Formalwear: The Black Tux
“We visited several different spots before settling on Naples, Florida. You can’t beat that sunset over the Gulf! After seeing the venue and meeting their wedding coordinator, we knew they were the right choice for us.” -Francesca
“We were married at the beach, a place we’ve always loved and where we met seven years ago. We were surrounded by 150 of our closest family and friends, most of whom traveled all the way from our home in NJ to celebrate with us. The overwhelming feelings of love and happiness we felt that day are hard to put into words. It was a beautiful, unusually windy, spring day in Naples, Florida. I walked down the aisle to “Harvest Moon,” by Neil Young, and we were married by our close friend in a beautiful courtyard beside the shoreline with the sound of the ocean in the distance. Before the reception, our first moments as husband and wife were spent on the beach at Sunset. Our boho beach wedding came together better than we ever dreamed it would. We spent the evening dancing the night away, on cloud 9. It was the time of my life.” -Francesca
“During our ceremony, our officiant asked that we face our guests and take a moment to let everything soak in. To take in where we were, who was there, how we felt and what we were about to do. Everyone tells you how quickly your wedding day goes by, and it really does, so this allowed us to pause for a few seconds. It was only a moment, but it is one that we will remember forever.” -Francesca
“Our design vision for our wedding was a bohemian garden at the beach – minus the shells and starfish. A canopy of dimly lit market lights set the garden theme and made the large ballroom feel intimate. Cascading floral chandeliers of eucalyptus and dusty rose blooms hung above long reclaimed wood tables. Rustic, natural elements were met with soft textures and watercolor details. My brother surprised us with a watercolor painting of our dog, Gus, made on drift wood. My bouquet was overflowing with peonies, lots of greenery and included quirky, fun yellow billy balls!”-Francesca