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A White Wonder in Islamorada

Words by Kate Darnell
Photos courtesy of Ozzy Garcia Photography

Love was in the air for Kristina and Larry the moment they met through a mutual friend. The theme of “love” continued straight through to their wedding day and beyond.

The New York couple knew they were planning to relocate to Chicago and felt a destination wedding made the most sense. Islamorada, Florida offered the convenience they craved for their 130 guests, but with the laid-back atmosphere they were after. “We fell in love with the idea of a ‘classic-wedding-meets-Havana-chic’ and found that Islamorada embodied the natural Caribbean beauty we were looking for,” says the groom.

The group rented out an entire property, creating the ultimate experience in “togetherness.” “The Caribbean Resort was just the right balance of an intimate setting and beautiful island feel,” recalls the bride. “It made the weekend even more special.”

As an event planner, Kristina knew all that goes into making a wedding perfect; sourcing good vendors and trusting your gut. It paid off. “Kelly and Leslie, our day-of event planners, were one of the best investments we made,” says the bride. “We were completely at ease on the big day and they handled everything from start-to-finish.”

As they overlooked the ocean on the edge of the property, the beautiful couple exchanged personalized vows and said their destination “I do’s.”

“It was genuinely the most romantic and loving day of my life,” says Kristina. “Larry also surprised his grandfather during the ceremony when he asked him to stand with him as his best man. No one but Larry and I knew he was going to do this, so there was not a dry eye in the house! There was just a lot of love that day – it was beautiful.”

Toasts and adoring speeches dominated the reception and brought a sense of togetherness for the group. From the bride’s little brother starting off cocktail hour with an “incredible” speech “that kept everyone laughing” to the bride’s mom culminating the evening with her own special words, the couple felt touched – as did everyone in attendance. “There was so much love in the tent that I think all of our guests really felt like family at the end of the evening – and they are!” says Kristina.

Vendors: Photographer: Ozzy Garcia Photography, Day-Of Event Planner: Kelly Fowler, Ceremony/Reception Site: Caribbean Resort, Florist: Erin Souder of House of Earnest, Stationery: Designed by bride with printing by Masterpiece Printers, Gown Designer: Watters with custom sleeves, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Armani, Videographer: Regan Elizabeth Films (Formerly known as "Regan Kramer Media"), Hair/Makeup: Blo Bridal, DJ: Reid Waters, Ceremony Music: Sasha Zhuk, Valet: Guardian Golf Carts, Rentals: Décor for a Day, AV: Keys Audio Party Rentals, Catering: Hugh’s Catering

This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Fall/Winter 2015 issue. You can order a copy here.

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