Call me crazy - but I wanted to donate a wedding. Not just my services, but an entire wedding to a deserving couple who without assistance, could not have gotten married. The proposal happened on stage at a charity concert, as a surprise to the bride - who had no idea how much her life was about to change! He popped the question, she said yes and I walked onto the stage (very nervous to be in front of thousands) and announced that not only was her engagement ring a gift from Diamond Vault Jewelers, but her entire wedding was being gifted to her as a “thank you” for her military service and service to the community. Tears followed, and so did many planning meetings!
Their vision was elegant country, I found them the perfect venue - Rafter J Ranch Barn, which was so kind to donate their rural farm venue as the location for their big day. Every detail of the wedding was generously donated by a local vendor (please see complete list), and donations for the affair nearly reached $40,000. I was in awe of the generosity of our community in Sarasota - everyone was happy to be a part of the wedding and bring their creativity and services.
As a homage to her military service, Karrie adorned dog tags in remembrance on her bridal bouquet- a detail that touched the heart of all the guests. The groom’s wedding band was a custom made piece by Diamond Vault and was forged out of metal from his fathers wedding band - another detail in memory of loved ones.
It is not every day that I get to “give” someone a wedding - plan them, style them, yes - but the feeling of giving two amazingly sweet people the gift of a life together is something that I will always cherish. Without the unwavering support of the local wedding community this simply would not have been possible. Sarasota is a small town, but with the biggest heart!
A Very Special Thank you to the vendors who donated their time and talents:
Photography: Katelyn Prisco Photography
Bakery: Cakes by Ron, Wonder Cakes
Rentals: US Tent
Lighting & Draping: Palacios Events
Furniture & Decor: So Staged
Florals: Victoria Blooms
Favors: Just a Basket Case
Venue: Rafter J Ranch Barn
Stationary: Write on Sarasota
Ceremony Music: Marc Manino
Entertainment: Harry Wright
Event Planning & Styling: Jennifer Matteo Event Planning
Jewelry: Diamond Valut
Catering: Morton’s Market
Photo Booth: Be Glam Photo Booth
Officiant: Grace Felice
Beverages: Gold Coast Eagle
Paper Artist: CC’s Paper Florals
Garter: Mandaleno's tickle YOUR fancy
This was a once in a lifetime, so fun to plan, creative explosion of ideas! When Kati told me she wanted a Boho Tractor Wedding at her fiance's father's property, I was not sure what to think - then I saw the property. It was literally COVERED in beautifully restored tractors complete with the perfect location under the trees for their ceremony.
The bride and groom wanted good vibes, great music and food to reflect all their favorites - the team of vendors did not let them down!
From the custom food stations (Got Meat?, Mac & Cheese and Oyster Shucking on site) to the soul filled sounds of Tasa + Rob they ate and danced the night away!
The are not fans of cake - so my creative team (aka my husband) custom built the donut wall to act both as their back drop and to serve the oh so sweet treats from La Dona Donuts!
I surprised them with a Donut bride and groom - just as a little extra, that was just super cute (Thanks Chelsea!)
From start to finish - this was one of my all time favorites. I am pretty sure that I will never again get the opportunity to style and work with such a great venue, amazing couple and such a unique vision!
Thank you to these amazing wedding pros:
Planning / Styling: Jennifer Matteo Event Planning
Catering: Mortons Gourmet
Rentals: U.S Tent, So Staged Event Rentals
Donuts: La Dona Donuts
Entertainment: Tasa + Rob
Photography: Alisia Thompson
Lighting: Palacios Events
Florals: Oh Darling Events / Elegant Design Florals
Paper Art: CCs Paper Florals