This beautiful, tropical wedding day is one for the books! We love how joyful Phoebe and Mike made their wedding day, filled with family and friends and those they love the most!
How did you meet?
Mike and I met in college! We both went to University of Maine, Orono and I met him when me and a group of girlfriends went to a formal at his fraternity. We didn’t start dating until the following year but stayed in touch and the rest is history!
What is your proposal story?
I am a sucker for some Van Morrison, a picnic and a beautiful sunset. Living in Florida, you would think we get to enjoy a lot of them but with busy lives and schedules, they are hard to fit in! January 17th 2020, my parents were coming into town for the weekend and flying in to an airport about 2 hours away. I was so excited to drive down and pick them up Friday after work as we are really close and we love having them visit. About mid-week, Mike called me and threw a great idea out there – let’s get them a car service so we could spend some time together before my parents arrived. That allowed us to finally do our sunset picnic. Perfecto!
As the sun was setting down, Mike got on one knee and asked. I couldn’t help but cry, scream, yell “WE’RE ENGAGED!” all while hugging and kissing the love of my life (about 100 times it seems in that moment). The beauty of my unawareness of how loud I was truly being, is that we had so many strangers take pictures of the moment and ask for our numbers and emails to send them to us! Cherished memories we will have (and laugh at) forever. Soaking in the moment, I asked Mike if my parents knew – maybe they were coming down to celebrate? He quickly smiled and said no, he wanted us to share the news with them together as he knew how close I am with them and how much that would mean to me. Unknowingly, Mike had asked my Dad’s permission about a year prior. Que my parents arriving and a casual flick of my wrist for them to see the news. Champagne toasts and a beautiful weekend to celebrate. The best!
Tell us a little bit about your wedding!
Like many COVID couples, we made the tough decision in December 2020 to postpone our February 2021 wedding and reception to 2022 and we promptly let all of our guests know. After some discussing, Mike and I were both in agreement that we didn’t want to wait an entire year to get married; the party/reception can happen any time but we wanted to honor our special date and still get married – however that was going to look like. I quickly started planning a small, intimate beach wedding on Siesta Key which is about 20 minutes from where we live and to keep it small and simple, we invited our parents, siblings and bridal party. Our vision was simplicity, tropical and beachy. To be honest, I am not a colors person so it was hard for me to find a palate that I loved. Our florist who is absolutely incredible really drove the inspiration with recommendations of lush tropical greens, pink ginger and white flowers all while not making it too colorful. It fit so beautifully with our beach venue and vision for this intimate wedding.
Tell us about your attire choices.
For our original wedding plans, I had purchased a beautiful gown with an elegant long train and knew that for our newly-planned intimate wedding which was a beach ceremony then dinner at our favorite restaurant, it just wouldn’t make sense. I had heard about a local designer, Camilyn Beth in Sarasota who made custom gowns including wedding gowns and had to see what it was all about as her style was very simple, elegant and exactly what I was looking for. Camilyn Beth was everything and more! The moment I stepped in her studio and saw her designs, I knew I wanted her to make my wedding gown. We worked together to bring my vision to life and it came out exactly as I had dreamed it would and fit so perfectly. Simple and classic which is exactly what I was looking for. Mike was easy; he actually had his attire already in his closet! A nice light-colored blazer paired with a dark blue pair of pants and his blue suede shoes that he loves. It matched with the beachy vibe/aesthetic perfectly.
What was the most important things to you while planning your wedding?
After uprooting our original plans, the two most important things for us while planning this smaller, intimate wedding was simplicity and good food. Mike and I love to cook; it’s one of our favorite things to do together (He actually also just opened up a restaurant in downtown Sarasota called Reef Cakes) so it was very important to us. Keeping with the simplicity aspect, we wanted to just have a beautiful dinner after the ceremony with good food and drinks, surrounded with our closest family and friends. We chose Café Gabbiano on Siesta Key which not only was walking distance from our ceremony venue but one of our favorite restaurants to eat at so it was perfect. It was the best service we had ever received and the food was outstanding, as always. They made us feel so welcome and special- It could not have been a more incredible meal and the most special one of our lives.
Favorite parts of the day?
Seeing each other for the first time as I walked down the aisle. Also, getting ready with our bridal parties and the excitement that lead up to the big moment! The day was so relaxing as it wasn’t a huge wedding production to be nervous about. It made the day much more exciting and special. Additionally, our server at the restaurant surprised us with a portable Bluetooth speaker and we were able to have our first dance, my father-daughter dance and Mikes’ mother-son dance in the restaurant! Completely unexpected and memories we will never forget.
Tell us about your flowers and cake!
I am still not over our florals. Yelena at Lily Bella is an absolute dream to work with and offers such a unique approach and design style to her floral concepts. We knew for the beach ceremony we wanted something non-traditional and did not want a typical arch and she quickly provided an array of unique ideas. We fell in love with the semi-circle design which was actually 8 separate arrangements we were able to bring home. The flowers were simple, tropical and absolute perfection. As mentioned previously, I didn’t want too much vibrancy and color so the tropical greens highlighted with a few pops of color was so beautifully done.
We actually did not have cake- we had cannoli’s! Café Gabbiano provided options for the guests in delicious dessert platters and gave Mike and I a tray of cannoli’s with a sweet message to us congratulating us.
What did you do for favors?
What made our intimate beach wedding so special, were the personal touches we were able to do for our loved ones. We purchased engraved champagne flutes for each guest (An engraved sippy cup for my niece/flower girl) with their name and the date. We had a champagne toast when we walked in and Mike and I were able to say just how thankful we were for each and every one of them and toast with our custom glasses. We also presented a hand-written note to each guest which was at each seat for when they arrived and made it just that much more special.
Any special details?
Mike had a custom suit he was planning on wearing to our original wedding however when we downsized and decided to postpone our reception to 2022, he decided to wait until I was wearing my original dress to wear his suit. He had a color swatch of his suit at home which was blue, so I asked Camilyn if she could make a heart out of it and put it in my dress on my heart as my “something blue.” It came out perfect and was such as special touch!
Did you have any special family traditions?
Mike and I wrote our own vows and I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to say them or get them out as I cry about everything (even sad commercials….literally everything.) If any bride is worried about crying too much or not being able to get them out, trust me when you are up there it is almost as if you feel a calmness and the worry goes away. I had custom vow books made and we were both so glad we decided to write our own as they had a personal touch to the ceremony and meant so much to us both.
What advice do you have for couples planning now?
Just go with the flow and everything will work out the way it should. It was devastating and so stressful having to uproot, postpone and re-plan but it was the most perfect, beautiful day and we wouldn’t change a thing. Always come back to the reason behind it all; you two and your commitment to one-another. At the end of the day, nothing else matters. It is easy to get caught-up in the small details but just bring yourself back to the bigger-picture and it will help to keep calm while planning.
Photography: Justin DeMutiis Photography | Ceremony Venue: Sunset Beach Resort | Reception Venue: Sunset Beach Resort | Event Planning: Swanky Soiree Events | Floral: Lily Bella | Videography: DS Films | Hair: Avory June | Makeup: Vanessa Silvava | Officiant: ForeverTwoGether | Wedding Dress: Camilyn Beth | Bride’s Shoes: Soludos | Submitted via: Matchology