I Thee Wed

Five Gorgeous Sarasota Weddings

These love stories ended in "I do."

By Stephanie Hagan July 26, 2017 Published in the August 2017 issue of Sarasota Magazine

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Cecilia Narcio and Kevin Masrejian

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Cecilia Narcio & Kevin Masrejian

Wedding Planner: The Perfect Settings
Photography: Binaryflips

Cecilia and Kevin were on separate Florida vacations when they locked eyes in a reggae bar near Destin. They spoke briefly but didn’t exchange phone numbers. Then, three months later, they ran into each other in Nashville, where they both lived. They’ve been together ever since and moved to Sarasota a few years ago. She’s a registered nurse for a plastic surgeon and he’s a senior account executive for Vaco Talent Solutions.

The two wanted a wedding that was romantic—“very Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Cecilia says—and that also reflected their backgrounds. “My husband is half Armenian and half Russian, and I’m Spanish, so I wanted to bring in our different cultures,” Cecilia says. They chose the Ringling Museum courtyard for their venue. “It’s intimate and private, and it felt comfortable but elegant, magical and European,” she says. Cecilia says she’ll never forget dancing under the stars—including joining in an Armenian group dance—in the courtyard with family and friends.

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Amy Nance and Nick Dow

Image: Cat Pennenga

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Image: Cat Pennenga 

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Image: Cat Pennenga 

Amy Nance & Nick Dow

Photography: Cat Pennenga

Amy, a writer, and Nick, a carpenter and jazz musician, knew they wanted a very personal wedding that would complement the beauty of Selby Gardens. “We thought of our wedding as a story we were telling about ourselves and our family,” Amy says.

They included a sand ceremony for Amy’s two children, symbolizing the families coming together, and a wishing tree hung with guests’ hand-written notes. The couple handcrafted some items, including personalized tarot place cards. Amy, who says she wanted to make a bold statement, donned a dress inspired by singer Stevie Nicks, along with dark-colored nail polish and blue booties as her “something blue.” “In the end, [our wedding] was everything we wanted it to be,” she says.

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Jamie Murdick and Mark Coppens

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Jamie Murdick & Mark Coppens

Wedding Planner: SRQTees Events
Photography: Binaryflips

Jamie and Mark were working in the defense industry when they met in a smoky bar in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Two years later, Mark proposed to Jamie in Tel Aviv, Israel, on a jetty on the Mediterranean Sea. “We were watching sailboats and people running about, and when I turned to him he was on one knee,” Jamie says.

The couple, now a husband-and-wife real estate team living in Sarasota, had a Great Gatsby-inspired wedding at The Ringling featuring pearls, ostrich feathers, framed F. Scott Fitzgerald quotes and lots of champagne. They also nodded to Sarasota’s circus heritage by featuring two circus performers at the reception. The two love the Ringling’s rose garden, so they had the ceremony there. And instead of stressing out, says Jamie, throughout the process, “We were two best friends planning the party of a lifetime.”

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Alicia King and Brian Robinson

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Alicia King & Brian Robinson

Photography: Tara Tomlinson

Alicia and Brian grew up in Venice and went to the same middle school, high school and college. But they didn’t meet until they’d both graduated from the University of Florida and returned to the area. Eventually, Brian, an engineer, asked his friend Lee, who’s Alicia’s brother-in-law, to introduce him to her. Brian proposed to Alicia on the couple’s boat’s maiden voyage, then surprised her by inviting her family and friends to a celebration at Pop’s in Venice—he even flew in her best friend from Houston. “He did a good job,” Alicia says. Public relations executive Alicia (who’s also this magazine’s shopping columnist) planned the couple’s Phillippi Estate ceremony and reception herself. “We wanted an elegant, vintage Florida feel,” she says, “and you get that with the 1920s mansion.” Her favorite moment? “Having all my family and friends there. You could feel the love radiating from the room.” —Megan McDonald

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Kalynne Cuza and Gabriel Galan

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Kalynne Cuza & Gabriel Galan

Wedding Planner: Maria Brady
Photography: Gabriele Noziglia

Kalynne and Gabriel have been together since they met as teenagers at Cardinal Mooney High School. Both went to Florida State University, then completed their postgraduate education in Miami. (She attended University of Miami and he went to Barry University.)  Kalynne, a CPA, and Gabriel, a physician, selected The Oaks Country Club for their venue and embraced a Great Gatsby theme. “My vision was to fill the room with 1920s glam,” Kalynne says. That included plenty of sparkles and gold, from antique gold mirror tables to gold flower vases and gold-sequined bridesmaids’ dresses. Their wedding began with a speakeasy-inspired cocktail hour with 1920s piano music and ended with a twist: Kalynne and Gabriel are both Cuban and decided to have a “La Hora Loca,” an hour where guests donned crazy masks, hats, noisemakers and glow sticks while dancing to high-energy music.

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Kati Angel and Cory Bell

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Kati Angel & Cory Bell

Wedding Planner: Jennifer Matteo
Photography: Alicia Thompson

Trucks don’t come to mind as wedding decor, but hair stylist Kati Angel and construction foreman Cory Bell made them a sentimental part of their “Southern Bohemian” celebration. Cory’s father collects and restores trucks, and their wedding, at the father’s home east of I-75, included restored tractors and two vintage trucks.

“I told [wedding planner] Jennifer I love wild flowers and color, especially mustard,” says Kati. They even draped the trucks with bouquets of wildflowers. During the ceremony, Kati stood in front of her father’s 1955 Ford truck and Cory was in front of his father’s 1950 GMC truck.

“After we said ‘I do,’ we rode off on his father’s rare two-seater tractor, a 1953 IH Farmall International Harvester Model B,” Kati says. During the reception, guests enjoyed a pickle bar, an oyster shucking station, a mac and cheese bar and a La Dona Donuts doughnut wall.

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