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A Realistic Look At How To Plan Your Florida Destination Wedding

A Realistic Look At How To Plan Your Florida Destination Wedding

This is a  beautiful soft pink wedding day filled with fun and tropical elements... but how on earth did it all come to fruition?! Our next bride gave us the 411 on how she and her lovely, now husband, planned their big day, right down to the nitty-gritty disagreements. That's right, real couples don't agree on everything. 

Keep scrolling to find out how this fabulous and oh-so-laid back day happened. Oh and don't miss a single stunning detail, we have a full gallery of images for you to look through thanks to the talents of Everence Photography.

a bridal party on the beach

cute and fun bridal party photo op

strappy wedding shoes elegant tropical themed wedding invitations

strappy wedding shoes

The Couple's Choice

Todd and I are both super outgoing so we knew we didn’t want your typical “cookie-cutter” wedding. We wanted to keep some traditions; father-daughter dance, cake cutting, etc. But when it came to the venue and the whole event itself, we wanted to create an experience. 

We also wanted a small wedding, 100 people max. We decided we’d get married on a Friday, so we could have a three-day celebration. Thursday being the rehearsal and welcome party, Friday the wedding, and Saturday a big party.. because let’s be honest- you don’t get to hang out with everyone on your wedding day. 

The second thing that was a must for us, was a Frosé machine.. because well, Rosé all day is so fun and chic, and being in Florida you need a very cold beverage to not sweat as much. Again- part of the “experience”. 

custom leather bride jacket

wedding dress at the beach sweet wedding puppy bride and bridesmaids custom leather jacket

bride and her bridesmaids in leather jackets

bridesmaids in soft pink cute little flower girl dress

cute wedding party wedding kiss

The Venue

We chose the venue Palma Sola Botanical Garden, in Bradenton, FL.. as I had a vision of a Rustic/Chic Wedding. Oh, and getting married in front of a tree was a MUST! Tree = Life.. so starting our new lives together.. etc.. you get it. Now, since all of our friends and family were coming from California, Florida, and even Brazil (I was born there).. we needed to find a location for all of the other events we’d be hosting. After a walk through at a Beach Resort Hotel (with a total of 12 rooms) basically on the sand… facing the big blue ocean, we knew that was it. We reserved the entire place, alongside a few other nearby locations. Strategically, we placed all of the wedding party (plus a few extra fun friends) at the hotel. 

The venue was $1,900 which was great and inexpensive, and they also allowed ANY outside vendors to come in. However, that meant we had to find everything from decorations, chairs, tables, .. pretty much everything.

Next was finding a day-of-coordinator. We booked one for $1,000, but they’d only help the day-of and give a few suggestions 30 days leading up to the wedding. 

rustic chic wedding arch

choose a seat sign

sweet wedding ceremony outside in Florida

tropical wedding greenery outdoor wedding ceremony

just married

desert wedding couple wedding couple wedding photo idea

sweet sunset wedding couple photo idea

Photographers and Videographers. 

Now THIS, caused some arguments. To me, pictures and video is an absolute MUST. That is what lives on forever! Todd, on the other hand, would’ve been ok with some Snapchats of the wedding. Well, he learned the whole “happy wife happy life” thing real quick- because there was no way I was budging. 

Again with the idea, we didn’t want the “cheesy-cookie-cutter” wedding stuff, I was VERY selective with both. I wanted to find a photographer & videographer that had the same unique visions that I had.. somebody I could bounce off ideas. After meeting with several, I instantly knew I had found my PERFECT match when I met Jessica (Everence Photography). She was fun, creative. and I felt like she was my long lost friend. 

The Videographer was a bit tougher. We did NOT want the sappy video that has a ton of talking throughout.. we wanted more of a creative “music video”. We came across D.P. Weddings and felt they matched our vision. 

wedding couple with cute wedding jacket

wedding escort cards wedding veil photo idea

outdoor wedding reception

frosé wedding bar

wedding drinks sweet candid wedding kiss

first dance

All The Details

All of the wedding furniture was rented through All Event Rental, where they also had florists. So I was able to negotiate everything; chairs, tables, lines, plates, silverware, flowers… for roughly around $4,000 (Mind you it started at $3,200 but we had several add-ons as it got close to the wedding) 

We hired a catering company for a Buffet for $3,500. Most of our alcohol was provided by Todd’s friends that work in the industry, so we saved a ton there. We hired two local bartenders that cost us $350 for 6 hours. 

I rented a local Trolley (super vintage-retro) and I was able to negotiate it at $500. 

For my Bridesmaids, I ordered them Pink Leather Jackets from Boohoo and bought letter stickers to put their names on the back. I wanted them to be able to take off their names after so they’d actually wear the jackets again. 

Our wedding day was perfect.. it was “our” perfect. We kept true to ourselves, and didn’t try and do anything because that’s “what” or “how” you’re supposed to do it.

nearly naked wedding cake

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