Jennifer and Joe were in engaged in Hawaii, but knew that they wanted their Fort Myers wedding to take place close to home- and it did, as it was literally next door to their condo! Jennifer, being an event planner herself, turned to the expertise of Stacy Catena Events to assist her in planning her dream wedding day. The vintage, backyard feel of The White Orchid at Oasis was the perfect setting to create the elegant, romantic vibe that they wanted their guests to experience. From sequined linens and a candlelit outdoor reception, to a beautiful champagne and blush color palette, every single element of the day was the epitome of romance-meets-glam. And our favorite detail from the day? Champagne escort cards! Scroll on to see all of the beauty that Matt Steeves Photography captured, and to read all of Jennifer’s wedding planning advice!
What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?
I was lucky to have some prior knowledge of how intense and time consuming the planning process could be from my previous experience in the industry. That said, I was also lucky to know some of the best wedding planners in the business and decided to go with the one who taught me everything I knew, Stacy of Stacy Catena Events. Although I had a good idea of what the detail planning entailed, I found myself to be overwhelmed with many of the social planning aspects like RSVPs, seating assignments, helping with travel and accommodations, and assisting friends and family with their schedules while they were in town, so it was so great to be able to lean on a detail-oriented Wedding Planner to take over the timeline and confirmations in the weeks leading up to the big day. She also helped to make sure I didn’t overlook any of the little last minute details. Aside from the preparation, it was difficult for me to relax and let go the day of, but having a talented planner and wonderful vendors there to execute everything just the way I imagined, really put my mind at ease and allowed me to be able to enjoy the most amazing day.
What was the most important thing to you when deciding who to work with for your wedding?
I had a pretty good idea of look I was going for when it came to photography and decor, so finding vendors that fit that ideal and were within my budget wasn’t too difficult, but the vetting process didn’t stop there. It was important to me that I meet them in person and make use that they vibed with my future Husband and I. We wanted to make sure that even though we loved their quality of work, got great recommendations, and were within our budget, that their personalities would only add to the day we had planned. All of our vendors were wonderful, easy going, and fun and that made the entire day run super smooth. After booking the venue and date, we found our incredible photograph team at MSP, and everything came together from there.
What was your inspiration for your wedding details and/or design?
I’ve always loved the gold and blush combination, then during my planning process, I started to see rose gold all over fashion week and wedding inspiration sites. I figured it was a perfect pairing of my two favorite hues. Style-wise, I wanted everything to be classic, romantic, and timeless, but with a little whimsy and sparkle, so I added in touches of rose gold sequined linens on the head table, cocktail area, and cakes tables. I didn’t want anything too matchy matchy, so I gave my Bridal Party the color palette and let them run wild – luckily they all have impeccable taste! I also knew what flowers I loved and didn’t want to see at all, so I told the incredible ladies at Isn’t She Lovely a little bit of direction with the colors, blooms I loved, and an overall vision and then trusted them to do what they do best. I think it’s easy to get caught up in trying to direct every single aspect of the day, and sometimes it’s best to just let your vendors do what they do best! It was more beautiful that I could ever have imagined – I was brought to tears when ISL came into the Bridal Suite with my bouquet!
What was your favorite thing about your wedding?
Marrying the man of my dreams, obviously, and celebrating with our favorite people! (Does everyone say that, haha?) The whole day really felt like us – it wasn’t stuffy or too formal, just laid back and relaxed and loads of fun! If I had to narrow it down to one thing design wise, I’d have to say the champagne escort cards. We love champs and thought what better way to get the party started than a glass of bubbly for each guest? It paralleled the sparkle undertone in the design as well. It was also fun surprising my Massachusetts native new Husband with Cannoli’s flown down from his favorite Boston Pastry Shop – that really blew him away, and I loved his reaction when he saw them!
What is your best piece of advice for other brides?
On a broad spectrum, make sure that no matter what, you strive to have a wedding that feels like you and your future spouse. It’s so easy to get caught up in what you see in Bridal magazines or at other people’s weddings, but it’s important that your day feel special and unique to you as a couple. Other than that – get the videographer and the planner! I always hear other Brides and couples being indecisive about hiring a videographer and my fiance was the same way, but I wouldn’t trade having video of dancing with my dad or our MOH & Best Man speeches or our vows for anything. Trust me, your kids will love to see that one day. And hiring a Wedding Planner, whether you have the budget for full planning or day of, it is so worth it. They make sure you don’t forget anything and eliminate so much needed stress from you and your Bridal Party. I have so many – do the first look, get the open bar, eat, dance, breath….but I’ll stop there :)
Vendors who made it all happen…
Planner: Stacy Catena Events // Photographer: Matt Steeves Photography // Venue: White Orchid at Oasis // Catering: Jamie & Jacob Catering // Videographer: Avid Designs // Cake: Publix //Cannolis: Mike’s Pastry, Boston // Florist: Isn’t She Lovely // Invitations & Menus: Wedding Paper Divas // Corn Hole and Card Box: Custom, Father of the Bride // DJ: HPS Entertainment // Ceremony: Vanderbilt Strings // Hair & Make-up: George John Salon // Rentals: Party Time Rentals // Officiant: Father David Jackson – All Souls Episcopal Church // Dress 1: Allure Bridals // Dress 2: BHLDN // Groom’s Tux: Ike Behar