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Destination I Do

Vowing Forever In Florida

Words by Kate Darnell
Photos courtesy of VUE Photography

Brendan and Lauren hit the jackpot when they met during a summer internship nearly nine years ago. “We both attended the University of Florida, but we didn't have the good fortune to meet on campus,” recalls Lauren. 

When it came time to say “I do,” the couple’s goal was to have a party-like atmosphere, yet keep things intimate, so a wedding away was the perfect way to accomplish this. “We wanted a memorable and fun-filled event that would last an entire weekend, not just a day,” says the bride. The Gasparilla Inn & Club was the location they chose after a suggestion from the bride’s grandfather. “Our family and friends loved the idea of a destination wedding! The Inn was amazed at how many of their rooms were booked immediately!”

The wedding day was a perfect culmination of personalized details, many executed by the bride’s mom who acted as the couple’s wedding planner. “Our ceremony was absolutely perfect! The skies were blue and there was a wonderful breeze…I walked the rose petal strewn aisle on the inn's croquet lawn with the Gulf of Mexico glistening in the background,” recalls Lauren.

Their reception was a flawlessly executed party – from Irish and Italian food to celebrate the couple’s heritage and a custom-made corn hole game, to “late-night munchies” and finally, fireworks – the couple didn’t leave out a thing.

One of the bride’s favorite moments was when her brother, who is in the Army, entered the salon while she was getting ready. “We weren't even sure he could make it. He had to fly hundreds of miles and was only on the island for a few hours!” recalls the bride.

One piece of advice the couple has for others is to schedule your honeymoon for a few weeks after your destination wedding. “It was fun having something to look forward to and not having everything over in one fell swoop!”

Vendors: Location: The Gasparilla Inn & Club on Gasparilla Island; Boca Grande, Florida, Photographer: VUE Photography, Wedding Planner: Bride’s mother, Florist: Botanica International Design Studio, Videographer: Michael Wozney of Michael Alan Films, DJ: Fitz Otis with Jay Goodley Entertainment, String Quartet: Ensemble Lyrique with Jay Goodley Entertainment, Invitations/Menus/Programs: Momental Designs, Calligrapher: Barbara Lewis, Makeup and Hair: Jeams Griffith Salon, Tent: TentLogix, Lighting: Lightworks Stage Productions, Fireworks: Zambelli Fireworks, Photobooth: Vanity Photo Booths, Corn Hole Game Artwork: Melissa Nece, Bride’s Attire: Gown - Rivini, Belt - Junko Yoshioka, Short Dress - Free People, Shoes - Christian Louboutin, Bracelet - Tiffany & Co., Earrings: Swarovski Crystal, Bridesmaids: Monique Lhuillier, Grooms Attire: Suit - Hugo Boss, Accessories and Shirt - Thomas Pink of London.

This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Spring/Summer 2014 issue. You can order a copy here.

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