There are so many things to love about this outdoor garden wedding at Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida. Gorgeous blues and greens, gorgeous people, an incredibly cute ring bearer, and a fig tree with giant fairytale-like roots, being a few of my favorites. Kyle and Justin met when both trying to hail cabs after a night out in DC. The cabs were few and far between that night and they began chatting while they waited. They discovered they both went to the same college and both grew up in Florida. After sharing a cab home, they shared numbers and the rest is history, as they say! Read below for their engagement story and wedding details.
I was flying home from a weekend trip and Justin was planning to pick me up at the airport (Washington Reagan). I was waiting outside with my luggage when I noticed someone getting out of a limo nearby. It was Justin, walking toward me in a suit with roses! I immediately went into shock. He got down on one knee (yes, at the curb pick up lane at the airport!) and proposed right there. We then enjoyed champagne in the limo as we headed to dinner on the Potomac River. After being together for almost 6 years, I didn’t think it would be possible to be surprised by a proposal, but he did it.
Our venue, Selby Gardens (botanical gardens) was our inspiration. I wanted all the details and decorations to have a very natural feel to them so as not to take away from the natural beauty of the gardens. You could call it garden nature chic.
Moss covered letters in our initials, recycled glass bottles used for table numbers and centerpieces, wildflower packets as table seating cards and favors, hydrangeas and other blue/green/white flowers, DIY signs to direct guests around the property, a wish tree in lieu of a guest book with personalized tags, quotes about love displayed at each bar. Program, menu, wish tree tags, hotel room welcome bags all featured an image of a large tree (I actually had a custom rubber stamp made for the welcome bags). We chose not to decorate for the ceremony as we wanted the background of the beautiful fig tree to be the focal point. Colors were dark blue and lime green with pops of orange. It was truly the exact vision we had in our minds come to life. We were able to create exactly what we wanted; a casual, yet elegant, beautiful event with our closest family and friends. AND it was literally one of the coldest nights of the year, but at least it didn’t rain!
Most memorable moments:
From Justin: seeing the bride for the first time, and the first dance.
From Kyle: I’ll never forget standing in front of everyone exchanging vows, especially hearing the personal pre-vows my husband wrote for me. I had the best time just dancing with everyone during the last couple hours of the reception! I knew I wanted to be able to just enjoy the party, so I made sure to do just that!
Kyle’s Advice to Future Brides:
When planning, download a timeline and customize it to the time left until your wedding, month by month. Each month I worked on what I needed to get done that month (and posted lists all over our house!), so I didn’t have to stress about ALL the details, only what I needed to be working on at that time. It made the entire process much more manageable and much less overwhelming. Also, complete all wedding planning details at least two full days before the actual wedding. Then you can spend those last few days relaxing and spending time with family & friends that are already traveling into town.
Photography: Stephanie A. Smith Photography / 2nd Shooter: Blue Lane Studios / Venue: Selby Gardens / Catering: Sarasota Catering Company / Event Planning: Cari McDowell / Florist: Beneva Flowers/ Wedding Dress: Paloma Blanca / Hair and Makeup : Michele Renee / DJ : Jay Goodley