Imagine saying your vows in a place that speaks so deeply to your heart you could call it home. That’s exactly what Angela and Jonathan did. Their unforgettable ceremony was held at the base of a gorgeous tree Angela and her mother had planted together years before on family property in Sarasota Bay. Adorned in twinkle lights, hanging lanterns, and satin that billowed in the wind, the setting couldn’t have been more beautiful. A crystal chandelier hung from Angela’s Banyon tree as she and Jonathan said their vows beneath its branches. The bride wore a gorgeous, flowing silk gown, hand stitched by her mother. Fresh succulents of peaches and pinks, candlelit mason jars, antique frames, and homemade wedding cake lent an intimacy that Angela had dreamt of for her big day. Dishes of beef Carpaccio, candied walnuts, butternut squash, and apple cinnamon creme fraiche are just a few of the foods guests enjoyed after the ceremony. And while the melodies of a Spanish guitar serenaded the couple and guests during the ceremony, the sounds of Chris Grumley got the party started for the reception. This wonderfully whimsical wedding was captured by Tampa wedding photographers Your Story By Us!
Tell us how you met. Was it love at first sight, blind date, friends forever?
From wedding website: Angela met Jonathan one fateful night at Shore Club in San Diego. They locked eyes across the room, and the chase began. The two were enamored with one another right away. However, many obstacles stood in the way of their courtship. Dun dun dun! Jonathan was called on a grand quest to defend the freedom and liberty of this great nation. Reluctantly leaving Angela behind, he set forth on the high seas for 7 long months. Could their unripened relationship withstand the long separation? The answer is YES! Upon Jonathan’s return, the two were thick as thieves. They quickly learned that life was spicier when they were together. They wanted to shout it from the rooftops! Thus, the two have set aside a special day to celebrate their love, and life together, from now on. Forever…
Please give us an overview of the event.
If there was one thing that I knew I wanted for our wedding, it was to be married underneath a big gorgeous tree. After searching venue after venue, I realized that exactly what I had been looking for was at my mothers home all along. It was the one my mother and I had planted when I was a child. Once I had my tree, everything else fell into place. The property sits on Sarasota Bay, and my mother and sister worked diligently to fully decorate an indoor/outdoor space with twinkle lights, hanging lanterns, a billowing satin ceiling above the patio. A gathering of our closest friends and families in an intimate setting, we took our vows on a bridge over the a koi pond that sat directly below my beloved banyon from which we hung a crystal chandelier.
If there was one thing you could change, what would it be?
I wouldn’t change a thing. Well…possibly the weather. The guests were cold during the ceremony and cocktail hour, but the wind and overcast made for beautiful photos, so I can’t complain.
Was there a specific theme or style?
The theme was whimsical- romantic, simple yet elegant with rustic elements such as burlap runners, driftwood boxes with succulents, and the colors were fresh & sweet peaches and pinks. Jonathan and I live and met in San Diego where succulents are everywhere. We wanted to bring a little bit of Southern California style to our Sarasota wedding.
What were your playful twists that made the event unique?
We fully personalized the entire wedding. I made a birdhouse in high school that my mother used as a “welcome sign” at the front of the house that led the guests through a mason jar candle lit pathway to the back of the house. They were greeted by a wall of my engagement photos backed with matching stationary mounted to Irish moss, imbedded on antique frames. That theme was carried throughout the table numbers, name cards, menus, invitations, and favor labels. My sister did the all the graphics for any and all stationery, my mother planted and nourished the succulents until the day they were needed. They both constructed and painted all the centerpiece wooden planters. We hand wrapped twine around all the vases and mason jars, and my mother even hand laced ribbons on the edges on the burlap runners and sewed all the table cloths and the billowing satin on the ceilings. My mother also made the wedding cake and decorated it with fresh flowers & succulents to match the centerpieces.
Tell us about the food and desserts.
First Course: Beef Carpaccio w/ EVOO, Basil, Shaved Reggiano, Horseradish Crema and Garlic Crouton; Second Course: Watercress and Arugula w/ Grapefruit and Orange Sections, Candied Walnuts, Shaved Fennel w/ Lemon Basil Vinaigrette; Third Course: Butternut Squash w/ Apple Cinnamon Cream Fraiche; Entrée: Dijon and Goat Cheese Encrusted Lamb Chop and Porcini Crusted Chilean Sea bass w/ Sweet Pea Coulis; Dessert: a fancy spinoff of strawberry shortcake (Jonathan’s favorite dessert)
What kind of energy did your entertainment give the event?
Spanish guitar for the ceremony was perfect and we opted for a DJ for the reception. It was perfect. he provided a great atmosphere with good music without the overbearing DJ banter. Everyone was dancing and that was my end goal.
What was the most memorable moment?
Our first dance as husband and wife, and then the amazing dance party that ensued afterward… seeing all my closest friends and family having a blast, and dancing their faces off. And the best man’s toast will bring tears to my eyes for years to come.
Catering: Gordon’s Gourmet | Floral: Tasha Johnson | Photography: Your Story By Us | Videography: Trinity Wedding Cinema | Entertainment: DJ Chris Grumley | Ceremony Music: Juan Valentin