Oh, Happy Day

Five couples create the Sarasota weddings of their dreams.

By Megan McDonald August 1, 2012

Vicky Warren and Rob Jones





The location: Powel Crosley Estate

The details: Vicky and Rob’s glamorous Powel Crosley wedding was a destination event—the couple lives in England, but decided to marry in Sarasota because their family has a home here and they were already familiar with the city. “American weddings are different from English ones,” explains Rob, “so a U.S./U.K. fusion wedding was on the cards!” And with the help of wedding planner Maria Brady, the couple got the small—just 40 people—“stylish, elegant, celebrity-style” wedding they’d hoped for.

Photography by Binary Flips, wedding planning by Maria Brady/Choreographed Events

 Jessica Furst and Todd Johnson


The location:The Field Club

The details: Jessica and Todd, who live in Washington, D.C., decided to get married at the Field Club because of its Old Florida feel. “So much of what I love about Sarasota is captured there,” Jessica explains. And she got the “classic but romantic and feminine” wedding of her dreams, complete with a white confection of a Vera Wang dress and sparkling Christian Louboutin heels. “Everyone says, it, but it’s so true: I know that I’ll never again have everyone I love and care about in one place,” she says.

Photography by Liga Photography, wedding planning by Sara Muchnik

Jackie Ryan and Duane Smith


The location: Rolling Waves Beach Cottages

The details: Jackie and Duane dated for 16 years before getting engaged. They choose Rolling Waves Beach Cottages as their wedding venue and had the run of the place the entire weekend, with Harry’s Continental Kitchen, Nancy’s Bar-B-Q and the Lollicake Queen providing food. And they got the party of their dreams: Several members of the band ended up playing until 3 a.m. “The one thing I wanted was to celebrate with my friends and family, and we did,” Jackie says.

Photography by Barbara Banks

Yara and David Shoemaker

The location: Cà d’Zan at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

The details:After a private wedding ceremony, David and Yara Shoemaker decided to celebrate their marriage with a lavish reception at Cà d’Zan. Details included crystal decorations, place settings and invitations designed by Yara herself; catering by Michael’s On East and cake by Sylvia Weinstock; flowers by Suncoast Florist; and music by 12-year-old singing sensation Jackie Evancho, the Venice Symphony and Ensemble Lyrique. “We wanted to celebrate our love with family and friends in the place we met—Sarasota,” says Yara.

Photography by Rebecca Baxter, wedding planning by Mary Kenealy Events

Caitlin Parry and James Contestable


The location: Ringling Courtyard at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

The details: “I wanted everything to be unique and romantic,” Caitlin says of her Great Gatsby-esque wedding. So she and James crafted a vintage-inspired wedding, with help from artifacts from Sarasota Architectural Salvage. “I’ve never been more proud of something James and I have done together,” Caitlin says.

Photography by Binary Flips, wedding planning by Maria Brady/Choreographed Events 

Want more weddings? Click here to read our new Your Sarasota Weddings blog--and stay tuned for much more Sarasota wedding related content!

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