Whenever I see a wedding photographed by Simply Bloom Photography I know I’m about to be in for a treat and this one is no exception! The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida made for an absolutely magical venue for Renata and Nate to tie the knot. With lights strung from banyan trees, gorgeous florals, and a dessert table seemingly out of a fairytale forest, they created a feel of timeless romance and dreamlike allure to enjoy with their 70 guests. Read below for many more details. Enjoy!
From the Bride:
Nate’s from Kentucky and I’m from Transylvania. We met while I was teaching and getting my masters in Italian in Florida. We live in Los Angeles, while I’m getting my PhD, far from both of our families who live in Florida and Kentucky. Initially, we were going to have a very small wedding in Italy with immediate family only, but there are so many people that we love and wanted to be a part of our wedding day. We ultimately decided to get married in Sarasota, Florida where my family lives. We chose Marie Selby Botanical Gardens not only for its sweeping coastal views, but also for its stunning banyan trees. It’s a place where land meets water and sky to create a quiet magic at sunset.
Details of the Day:
We knew the most important thing for us was simply getting married. We wanted to make sure, however, that our family and friends would enjoy themselves. As a result, we invested in the food and soulful entertainment by Jonathan Cortez to keep our 70 guests bopping and rolling until the end. Phil Mancini, of Michael’s on East, was instrumental to helping us realize our vision, as well as Roger, of the Naked Florist. Because we were planning our wedding from the West Coast, while I was working on my PhD and Nate beginning a new job, we trusted them to bring our pictures alive into a unified vision. We focused a large portion of the budget on the photography because we believe in passing down art.
For our wedding, we combined the elements that move us most. We wanted the design to be organic, dreamlike, and classic. The core of the design inspiration came from our various travels: Florentine marbleized paper, a brass flaming heart cachette, and a silver cake cutter that my mother saved and brought with us when we fled under Communism for America. My bridesmaids (a.k.a. champs) helped me glitter walnuts and glue them to beds of moss. They served as party favors and décor. Combining our histories, Nate and I created an Italian and Hungarian influenced Southern wedding. As a result, we chose an intimate sit down dinner at two, long Italian-style tables lit by mercury glass tea lights and bistro string lights. We hoped for an Old-world feel amongst the sinewy trees.
Most Memorable Moment:
Some of the best moments of the day were the ceremony, which my former professor graciously officiated, and our first dance. Our friends came out from behind the tree and encircled us with sparklers. With all that we’ve been through, while dancing to our song under the moon and moss moving in the breeze, I cried my heart out in Nate’s arms. And I can’t stress how important it is to allow yourself to have faith that things will work out. It RAINED between the salad and entrée for a few minutes, and somehow, it brought people closer and helped them to laugh and relax. We have the rain and the people we love to thank for a breathtaking moment.
Photography: Simply Bloom Photography / Venue: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens / Floral Design: The Naked Florist Event & Floral Design Studio / Catering: Michael’s On East / DJ: Jonathan Cortez (813-476-3134) / Lighting: Affairs in the Air / Bride’s Headpiece: Jennifer Behr / Bride’s Shoes: Steve Madden / Hair: Gina Lane of Salon Excel / Makeup: Carey of Warpaint by Carey ([email protected])