Romantic Sarasota Garden Wedding

Elia and Enrique’s Sarasota wedding at Marie Selby Gardens was nothing short of a classic and elegant affair. With the beautiful serene waterfront setting and the gorgeous setting underneath the banyan trees, the setting was the perfect choice for the couple’s vision of organic elegance. Oh Darling accented the natural beauty of the locale with greenery, a sea of candles, and pops of white blooms. Bridesmaids donned glimmering Adrianna Papell frocks, while Elia selected a stunning Carolina Herrera gown. This classic couple and their romantic Florida wedding was beautifully captured by Ailyn La Torre Photography!

In their own words

How did you meet?
We met in April of 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and have been together since.We both attended a birthday party at the Hofbraeuhaus in Pittsburgh’s South Side, hosted and attended by mutual Carnegie Mellon University friends (we both attended CMU, but were in different programs. I graduated in 2012 and Enrique was still finshing up his MBA). Enrique approached me and began to talk. He claims it was it was love at first sight, confirming his feelings after dancing on the restaurant’s tables with me. Enrique asked me to dinner the following night. We went to Shadygrove, a small bar/restaurant near our apartments. We decided to meet up at The Coffee Tree Roasters beforehand (which is great because I was worried I wasn’t going to remember what he looked like from the night before) and walked to dinner. We split a bottle of wine and a spinach and artichoke dip. A few weeks later and upon his graduation from CMU, Enrique accepted a job in Santiago, Chile. Before moving, he asked me to go with him, but having known him for only a short time, I was hesitant. I visited him in Santiago two months later which confirmed many things for us. By January of 2014, we were both in Santiago where we lived for over two years. We have since lived in San Jose, CA, and are currently in Miami.

What is your proposal story?
Enrique planned a surprise trip to Las Vegas for my 31st birthday. During a romantic dinner at Costa di Mare in the Wynn, Enrique “made a big bet” and asked me to chose him as my “winning number.” Of course I said “yes!!!” and we spent an amazing weekend celebrating. We also won 250 usd in the slot machines! It was the perfect proposal, very intimate and quiet, the way I had always imagined. I could tell Enrique was nervous because he wrote a beautiful note which he read to me (he is a “talker” and always has the right words, so this was out of the ordinary). I still have the letter and it’s a constant reminder of an amazing moment and something we still look at from time to time.

What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
Our heritages are Mexican and Italian, and knowing our families and friends, we wanted our wedding to be elegant and refined, yet a lot of fun. Food and entertainment were big on our list. My sister had used Michael’s on East for her wedding and the food was amazing, so working with them was a no brainer. For the entertainment, we chose a DJ which allowed us to play our favorite songs as well as international music. A big splurge for us was our wedding photographer. It was important that our photographer could capture the joy and love that we would share with our friends and family traveling from around the world to celebrate.

What were your favorite parts of the day?
Our wedding day was exactly what we had hoped for. My brother in law officiated our ceremony which brought a personal (and emotional) touch to the day. The sun began to set behind us as we said our vows in the Wedding Pavilion which made for incredible photos. The light was amazing. Although we opted for a dessert buffet, we still wanted to have a presentation cake that we could cut. On the day of our wedding there was a mixup with our cake order, so instead of sending a real cake, the cake shop sent a styrofoam form covered in fondant. We didn’t know until we went to cut the cake, realizing quickly that the whole thing was fake. It turned out to be a really funny moment which, fortunately, Ailyn caught on camera.

Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Our biggest advice is to be flexible and enjoy every moment. People spend months, sometimes years planning their perfect wedding day which is over in a couple of hours. Make sure you take time throughout the day to stop and take it all in. Not everything may go as planned, so don’t let something minor get in the way of celebrating the happiest day of your life. In our case, our cake mishap created the best memories!

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