Halee and Josh had a destination wedding in Marco Island, Florida. They picked the most beautiful wedding venue in Marco Island called the JW Marriott Marco Island. The fine white sand, wide expansive beach, and the incredible sunsets - how could this not be the perfect wedding venue in Marco Island.
They had an incredible weekend full of activities. Kicking off first with the rehearsal and a beach side welcome reception. The next morning all the ladies were getting ready in one of the gorgeous Lanai Suites. The JW Marco went under construction a few years ago and everything has been renovated! The ladies at Naples Makeup Artistry did an amazing job glamming up the girls.
Of course we had to stop in and check on the boys who were up on the 5th floor enjoying a bloody mary bar and snacks provided by the resort.
Then it was time for the first look - The Marriott has so many beautiful potential locations for a first look. The photographer chose this spot for its luscious greenery and also the lighting was perfect.
The beauty of a first look is you can get all your pictures out of the way and get to enjoy cocktail hour - like all these wonderful bridal portraits.
We ordered extra petals from the florist to get these amazing photos!!
Now it was time to be tucked away for the ceremony. We tuck everyone away about 30 minutes to ceremony time because that is when the guests start to show up - so we don't want to delay the timeline by having them stop and chat with you and also keep the surprise of seeing the Bride! They had a lovely beach ceremony at one of the chickee huts at the JW Marriott Marco Island.
Halee's family is Greek and they incorporated a part of Greek Tradition into her ceremony. Wedding Wire had a great article talking about all the Greek wedding traditions - this is how they explained the one that Halee and Josh did. Stefana crowns -The tradition of placing a delicate, white crown on top of the bride and groom’s head was said to originate in the 11th century and is still one of the most important Greek wedding traditions. Greek Wedding Ceremonies feature an elaborate ritual with the crowns. First, the priest places a crown on both the bride and groom’s head. Then, the Koumbaros, or wedding sponsor, intertwines the crowns three times to symbolize the couple’s union. Finally, the crowns are tied together with a ribbon. The bride and groom are crowned as King and Queen of their home, which they will rule with wisdom, justice, and integrity. The ribbon joining the stefana symbolises unity.
Yay! They are now husband and wife. Time to join cocktail hour.
When cocktail hour ended, we moved all the guests up to the Calusa Terrace. The views from there are amazing! We kept the bridal party & dates, immediate family and the couple down on the beach. Because we were going to do sparkler photos. This was a great suggestion by their photographer Ashtyn Brooke. They wanted to do a grand exit but didn't want to stop the party to organize everyone. So doing this between cocktail and dinner was the perfect time. People were still sober enough to not wave these fiery sticks around - let me tell you do we have sparkler night mare stories!
Now it was up to the terrace for the traditional dances, toasts, and dinner. They also included one more Greek Tradition here. From that wonderful Wedding Wire article - For many Greek wedding guests, the tradition of handing out candy-coated almonds as a wedding favor is one of the many memorable aspects of a Greek wedding. This enduring wedding tradition is called bombonieria and has been associated with Eastern Orthodox weddings for more than three millennia. The salty-sweet combination symbolizes life’s ups and downs and the hope that there will be more sweet than bitter. Couples typically give an odd number of almonds in each favor to note the indivisible power of their marriage with five being the most traditional number. Each almond symbolizes their hopes for their life: health, happiness, fertility, wealth and a long life. Here are some photos of the dinner set up:
After dinner on the Terrace it was time to move into the ballroom for the dancing portion of the evening. The noise ordinance in Marco Island is all noise outside stops by 10 PM - so moving into the ballroom for dancing allowed them to dance as late as they wanted! They rented comfortable couches and created a lounge inside as well. They partied hard! You know its a good one when the sleeves get ripped off!
For dessert - not your typical wedding cake, they had family members bake pies. The JW Marco set all of this up and served out to guests. It was a really homemade touch.
That's a wrap on this beautiful wedding at the JW Marco Island.
It's hard to write out everything we did that day to ensure the success of the day, but I will list a few bullet points of things that we took care of so you can get the idea how busy a wedding day truly is and how beneficial it can be to hire a day of - especially when your ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and reception are all in difference places.
- picked up sandwiches at the brides favorite place and delivered them to bridal suite
- pinned all boutonnieres and folded all pocket squares so the guys would match
- coordinated bringing the groom down and positioning the bride for first look
- gathered bridal party to make sure they were ready for photos
- sewed/glued brides shoe back together when the ornamental piece fell off
- organized family members during family photos to make it go quicker
- organized sparkler photos - got the sparklers, lit them and took care of clean up
- moved all decor from ceremony to reception and set it up
- get sand from the beach to fill place card holder that was up on the 3rd story of the building
- set up all party favors on tables - table numbers, place cards, etc.
- moved custom PVC photo frame for Photo Booth to the 3rd story - we also had to replace all the greenery on the frame as it had died from being out in the sun
- Unwrapped and turned on all foam glow sticks
- Cleaned up the bridal suite and delivered all gifts up there
This and SO much more. We coordinate every aspect of the day so you never have to wonder when do we need to leave the room or what's next.
As with every wedding, you have to have an incredible team of vendors to pull off these events:
Day of Planner: Hakuna Matata Weddings & Events
Photo/PhotoBooth: Ashtyn Brooke Photography
Venue: JW Marriott Marco Island
Furniture Rental: Weddings by Wizard Connection
DJ/Lighting: MSE Pro DJ
Florals: Marco Island Florist
Beauty: Naples Makeup Artistry
Steel Pan: Steely Pan