Destination I Do
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Sweet Marco Island Marriage

Words by Natalie Long
Photos courtesy of Kristen Weaver

Steve and Christina enjoyed their wonderful destination wedding in Marco Island, Florida. “The beach is where I feel my best and most relaxed, [it’s] my favorite place on Earth,” says Christina. So, it was no surprise the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort was the couples dream destination wedding venue.

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“Some of my family enjoyed the idea of having a destination wedding, but a few were skeptical about not having a traditional Catholic ceremony in a church,” says Christina. “The way we got around that? Threat to elope!” But after many discussions, the family agreed to the plan since they knew it was ultimately Steve and Christina’s decision.  

“Ever since the first time we visited Marco Island, I knew it would be the place that I'd ask her to be my wife,” says Steve. “Being that Christina is a photographer herself, I wanted to do something special incorporating her photography, as well as really surprise her.” And that is just what he did.

“I used to always think, wouldn't it be funny if she took the pictures of her own proposal instead of this couple that was about to actually do it, and that is when the light came on,” says Steve.

So, he got right to work on planning the perfect proposal. “I made a Gmail account using a friend’s name and contacted Christina inquiring about a stealthy proposal shoot,” says Steve. “I remember sending the first note to her thinking, oh my God she's going to know this is from me, I probably screwed something up and my name would somehow show up in the email address. However, that was not the case.

“The best part about it all was that I pretty much turned the reins over to Christina to plan the whole thing (where and when) which was accidental, but genius at the same time,” says Steve.

The exciting day finally came and both Steve and Christina went to the site and waited for the “couple” to arrive. It was then that Steve secretly retrieved the ring and walked down the pathway towards Christina. “I think she was actually kind of ticked that I was going to ruin this gig she had been working on,” says Steve. “Then she realized what was going on, almost dropped her camera and started crying with tears of joy. When I dropped to my knee her response was *sniff* ‘Hell yes’ *sniff*.” It was the perfect day for a perfect surprise proposal.

The couple’s ocean view Florida wedding was a wonderful success with their closest family and friends.

Planning a wedding can be stressful, but taking the proper steps will lighten your responsibilities and leave you with the perfect wedding day memories. “My vendors were used to coordinating with destination weddings so that process was very simple,” says Christina. “The only concerns I had were with hair and makeup because I wasn’t able to get a trial before the wedding.”  

Destination weddings can be possible with the right planning and an open-mind. “At first, we assumed a wedding in Marco Island would be out of the question because of cost. Luckily, we still gathered package information and found that it would be as expensive as we made it, says Christina.

“Having a destination [wedding] allowed us to be hands-off in the planning and leave it up to the vendors we hired because we trusted [them],” says Christina. “Because of this, we spent a week on the beach, enjoyed our family members that were there, and soaked-in every minute of the memories made.” 

Christina’s helpful tip to our brides: 
“DO NOT STRESS THE SMALL STUFF! Seriously. A wedding is about a life-long relationship with your future spouse. That is all. If the cake, flowers, makeup or photos aren’t everything you ‘dreamed’ of, live in the moment of the wedding and have no regrets!”

Vendors: Photographer: Kristen Weaver, Wedding Planner: Alyssa Durno, Ceremony/Reception Site: Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Florist: China Rose Florist, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Ermenegildo Zegna, Bridesmaids/Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Nordstrom.

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