Erika and Stephen wanted an intimate wedding full of personal touches and, thanks to the generosity of the bride’s family, all of their wedding dreams came true! Erika’s aunt and uncle offered their vacation home in Jupiter, Florida for both the ceremony and the reception, while her Aunt Dottie helped design the classy affair to perfection. Every last detail was planned beautifully, including hiring Molly’s Trolleys to transport all of the out-of-town guests to and from their hotels.
Read on to hear so much more from Erika about their special day, especially what she wishes they had done differently and their full budget breakdown. Don’t forget, you can always view more of this intimate classy destination wedding in the full gallery here, all beautifully photographed by Jennifer Schartner of Captured Photography.
From the Bride:
My wedding dress is from Tara Keely‘s Spring 2013 line and my ceremony shoes were Sam Edelman. I had my belt was custom made by jewelry designer, Kathleen Murphy of Murphy Jewelry, in Charlotte, NC. She’s custom designed bridal jewelry for a couple of friends of mine over the years so I was excited to use her. My reception dress, which I am obsessed with, is from All Saints in Chicago. They make some really fun to wear cocktail dresses. My reception shoes were BCBG.
Stephen and I knew we wanted to celebrate our wedding day in an intimate setting where we could truly spend time with each of our precious guests. My aunt and uncle gave us the wonderful gift of allowing us to host our ceremony and reception at their vacation home in Jupiter, Florida. It was a home already filled with happy family memories and it made for the perfect location for our destination wedding.
Molly’s Trolleys of West Palm was the perfect solution for our transportation needs. The trolleys were as charming as the owner, Molly. All of our guests traveled for the wedding and stayed at two local hotels. We were able to use 2 trolleys to transport our 50 guests to my aunts home and then back to the hotels.
I’m a sucker for special touches so I knew I wanted our wedding to be filled with them. Prior to the guests arriving, I was able to take a moment to sneak down to the reception area as it was being completed. Seeing our vision and everyone’s hard work come together truly took my breath away. I was most excited to see the reception tables set with the mismatched vintage china which we used for place settings. The collection meant a lot to me as it was made up of different patterns my mother and I found shopping together at antique stores, as well as pieces from her own wedding china.
Our florist [Vince from Heaven & Earth Floral] created a work of art with the table flower arrangements (as well as with my bridal bouquet!). Each centerpiece was different and filled with charm. We hung rustic wedding bells with name cards for our seating chart. Guests rang the bells throughout the evening indicating for Stephen and I to kiss.
We used Atlas Party Rentals for the linens, stemware, flatware and chairs. And my Aunt Dottie Lofquist, who is a decorator and owner of Atelier Home in Chagrin Falls, OH, staged the decor, most of which was purchased from Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn or borrowed from Aunt Dottie.
I love all things sugar so there was no way I could pick just one cake – Jennifer at The Sugar Monkey made it hard to even narrow it down to five desserts. Following dinner, we kept the the party going with Salty Chihuahua margaritas, dance-offs and cigars on the dock. The entire evening felt like a relaxed back-yard party with all of our favorite people.
Check out the recipe below to make a Salty Chihuahua at home!
Coarse salt, (optional)
1 ounce tequila
1/2 ounce orange-flavored liqueur
6 ounces grapefruit juice
1 grapefruit slice, for garnish
Wet the rims your glass and coat with coarse salt (if desired). Fill the glass with ice then pour in tequila and liqueur. Top with grapefruit juice and stir. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit.
A treasured moment from the wedding was being able to sit down with both sets of our parents to enjoy our first delicious meal as a united family. Doreen from Christafaro’s Catering of West Palm was a dream to work with. Before the wedding was complete, it felt like she had served as our event planner, therapist, friend and rock star caterer. Doreen planned a casual, yet elegant, menu perfectly suited for relaxed outdoor Florida dining. Hors d’oeuvres and dinner were later followed by a buffet of sweets.
Cake: The Sugar Monkey
Caterer: Christafaro's Catering
DJ: MB Entertainment
Dress Designer: Tara Keely
Dress Shop & Veil or Hair Accessories: Katherine's Bridal Boutique
Belt: Murphy Jewelry
Reception Dress: All Saints
Flowers: Heaven & Earth Floral
Groom's Attire: Armani Collezioni
Prop or Furniture Rentals: Atlas Party Rentals
Transportation: Molly's Trolleys
Ceremony Strings Trio: Master Musicians Inc.
Bridesmaids Dresses: ASOS, BCBG, Bebe & Nordstrom
Invitations: Tag and Company
Event Designer: Erika, Diane & Dottie | Coordinator: Jane Hutton | Venue: Private Residence | Hair & Makeup: Bridesmaids | Shoe Designer: Sam Edelman
Read on to hear what the bride would have done differently as well as how much this classy destination wedding cost. Please note that costs change as the years go by, and prices are subject to change. This is just one couple’s breakdown to give you a rough estimate on how much a wedding like this may cost you.
Prior to our wedding, we had not realized the importance of proper lighting. By having the reception at a private home, we we thought stringing lights and using candles would be sufficient. What we didn't plan for was the maze of lights we hung above the dance floor to blow a fuse and burn out the bulbs! We were lucky enough to have an amazing DJ who provided some up-lighting which saved us from being left in the dark. If I could do it again, I would have left the lighting to the professionals and staged the lights in advance for a trial run.
Our original budget was $25k, we ended up spending over $31k.
Day-of Wedding Coordinator: $1,500
Food: $50 x 60 guests
Groom's Attire: $2,310
Groomsmen Ties: $30 each
Dress (including alterations): $2,789
Reception Dress (including alterations): $350
Cake & Desserts: $467
Invitations & Paper: $935
Guest B0ok: $48