Destination I Do
Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Flattering Florida Wedding

Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Hunter Ryan Photo

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so when Amanda’s older brother said “I do” in Dunedin, Florida, she knew it was what she also ultimately wanted. “We loved the idea of getting married on the beach and also wanted a small, intimate ceremony which is easier to do away from home,” says the bride. “After enjoying [my brother’s] wedding so much, we decided to have our wedding in the same place!”

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While everything came together for the big day, the bride does have some regrets in terms of the destination wedding planning process. “If I could go back, I probably would have hired a wedding planner or at least a day-of coordinator. We made a couple trips down to research and have some meetings, but the weekend we arrived was stressful having a short amount of time to prep everything. The things which made [the process] easiest were having a wonderful photographer, a wonderful florist and wonderful friends and family who helped quite a bit. That did wonders for my stress level.”

Amanda and Victor had a number of personalized details on the big day including custom invitations thanks to the bride’s brother and a ceremony they wrote themselves since their good friend was officiating the wedding. Unfortunately, one bridesmaid wasn’t able to make the trip since she was eight months pregnant, but the couple arranged to have the wedding streamed live so she could watch from afar.

Ultimately, the couple got the intimate wedding they wanted with a total of 35 guests. Amanda and Victor feel that hosting a destination wedding had its pros and cons, but definitely don’t regret their decision. “The wedding day was overall more relaxing without the added anxiety of a bigger event. [However,] in the long run we spent more because we had a reception back at home as well, but had we not done that then [the cost] would have been less overall – mostly because of a reduced guest list.”

These newlyweds have some final advice for other couples considering or planning a destination wedding: “It’s important to consider those closets and most important to you, but the benefit of a destination wedding is that it is easier to make it about you – the ones getting married. If the idea of planning from afar is stressful, definitely work with a local wedding planner.”

Vendors: Photographer: Hunter Ryan Photo, Ceremony/Reception Site: Honeymoon Island, Dunedin, Florida, Gown Designer: Wtoo, Florist: Bride’s Bouquet, Bridesmaids’ Clothing Designer: Donna Morgan, Guitarist and Steel Drums: Joe Braccio, Catering: Bon Appetit, Cake: Chef Nelson

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