Modern Love

Six Gorgeous Local Weddings

These couples decided to celebrate their love in our beautiful city.

By Ashley Cooper July 26, 2018 Published in the August 2018 issue of Sarasota Magazine

Drs. Sheevani and Shivang’s wedding was a two-day affair at The Westin Sarasota. The couple headed to Lido Beach for their “first look” photo shoot, where the bride and groom see each other just before the ceremony. Then came Raas Garba, a traditional Indian evening of dancing with their 200 wedding guests.

The second-day ceremony blended their Indian and American roots. “Both of us were born and raised in the U.S., but we wanted to maintain our Indian culture,” says Sheevani, a hospitalist. To that end, Sheevani wore a traditional red outfit for the ceremony, and Shivang, a cardiologist and electrophysiologist, arrived on a traditional white horse with a dholak (drum) beating in the background. “Our priest performed a Vedic ceremony from ancient Hindu scriptures,” Sheevani says, “and our reception was a modern American reception with dinner, dancing and cake cutting.” 

Wedding Coordinator: Alexandra Settlemyer  |  Photographer: Amita S Photography

Kristy Landers Niedenfuer, Miss Tennessee USA in 2014, met her husband Brandon Violette, a physician assistant at Burnett Dermatology, through mutual friends. Once engaged, the couple knew they wanted a fairytale wedding at The Ringling—which also felt like a family tradition, since Kristy’s sister had been married there. Kristy, a model and philanthropist, and Brandon spent months focusing on every romantic detail. “From the favors to the personalized wine bottles to the red rose napkin rings that I made myself, it was important to me to include a personal touch,” says Kristy. And their 200 guests got a big surprise at the end—the couple’s friend, musician Lee Greenwood, performed his hit song “God Bless the USA.” 

Day-of Coordinator: SRQtees  |  Photographer: Binary Flips

Roger Capote and Tony Pinho had been friends for nearly a decade, started a romantic relationship about four years ago, and said, “I do” last December. They wanted an outdoor wedding and—since Roger used to be Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ director of special projects—chose the gardens as the perfect venue for their big day. The pair went for an elegant, black-and-gold themed aesthetic that was “sexy and masculine,” says Roger. Two hundred and twenty-five of their closest family and friends joined them, some of whom traveled thousands of miles to share the love.

In addition to writing their own vows, the couple wanted an “unplugged” day, so they asked guests to disconnect from their devices. “We all live busy lives and we understand that, but we wanted a few minutes of solidarity and unity among our family and friends,” Roger says.

WEDDING Planner: Nicole Kaney  |  Photographer: Tara Tomlinson

Image: Katelyn Prisco 

After childhood vacations in Sarasota, Dallas residents Cassie and Sebastian were married to the idea of a beach wedding. The couple—she’s a biologist and he’s a website architect—went online and booked the charming, laid-back Sunset Beach Resort on Siesta Key after viewing the photos. Their Siesta Key Beach ceremony picked up the natural beauty of the setting, using a neutral, coastal-inspired color palette of natural greens, whites and creams.

Turns out, the pair loved Sarasota so much they ended up relocating here. “During the planning process, we fell in love with the Sarasota area, so we found jobs and moved,” Cassie says. “My parents now live on Siesta Key, so we see ourselves being Floridians for quite some time.” 

Wedding Planner: Jennifer Matteo  |  Photographer: Katelyn Prisco

Bob’s marriage proposal left Corina speechless before he even popped the question. He conspired with one of Corina’s friends—Britney Spears’ personal assistant—to get them backstage at a Spears performance in Las Vegas. Corina walked backstage to find Britney, her dancers and crew ready to celebrate the announcement. “Now is the time when you say yes!” Bob told Corina.

For their Selby Gardens wedding, Corina surprised Bob. Because she sent him a poem by writer and photographer Tyler Knott Gregson every day of their courtship, Corina asked Gregson to photograph the wedding and flew him in for the weekend. Other details included $110,000 in flowers, plus farewell fireworks as the couple—he’s a neurosurgeon and she manages his wellness center—left in a vintage Rolls-Royce. “I wanted the wedding to be warm, romantic and whimsical, flooded with more flowers than you could imagine,” Corina says. “We wanted our guests to feel the love embedded into everything we did.”  

Wedding Planner: Nicole Kaney  |  Photographer: Tyler Knott Gregson

Sarasotans Andrea and Jeff wanted a Tuscan-themed wedding that would channel Italy’s natural beauty, olive groves and vineyards. Baker’s Ranch in Parrish, with its rustic beauty and old oak trees, was a perfect fit.

The wedding was traditional but the pair added a few of their own Italian-inspired twists. “We had a wine box ceremony,” Andrea says. “We placed a bottle of wine in a box, along with letters that Jeff and I wrote to each other. On our fifth anniversary, we’ll open the box, read the letters and enjoy the wine.” At the reception, they incorporated a “longest married couples dance” (Jeff’s parents were married longest) and asked each of the dancing couples to give a speech about creating a long and happy marriage.

WEDDING Planner: Jennifer Matteo  |  Photographer: Katelyn Prisco

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