5 Tips from an Aspiring Event Planner's Charming Florida Wedding

Real Weddings
Bride and groom in a boat in Gasparilla, Florida.

Photo: Glen Allsop of Christian Oth Studio

Erin and William, both 29, embraced tradition when planning their wedding on the tiny Florida resort island of Gasparilla. The island was where they'd first met, and was also the location of Erin's sister's wedding. And to make the event even more special, the couple said "I Do" on the bride's sister's five year wedding anniversary.

The bride fully immersed herself in wedding planning, from creating the logo to hand-making décor details. She had such a blast that she made a major career change and has opened her own event-planning business! Here are five tips from this newly-minted wedding planner that brought their preppy seaside wedding to life.

Do what you love
Erin and Liam love boats, so they pitched a sailcloth tent for their reception. And in honor of Erin's childhood summers in Nantucket, they used blue and white to create a vibe Erin describes as "Ralph Lauren with a Southern feel."

Take pictures before the vows
Erin and Liam made an event of their portraits, posing at all of their favorite spots on the island. Erin even surprised Liam with a romantic boat ride (above) before the ceremony.

Embrace the theme
Toile tablecloths, gingham linens, a nautilus logo, and fresh hydrangeas–not to mention bridesmaids in periwinkle–met island inspired palm trees and dark wood for a reception that was the epitome of island preppy.

Honor your loved ones
Erin used her grandmother's antique cake knife to cut the cake, and hung her late grandfather's American flag inside the reception tent.

Do props
Confetti shooters and sunglasses were handed out to guests on the dance floor, cranking up the energy for an all-night party.

Check out Erin and William's wedding in the December 2013/January 2014 issue of Brides (on newsstands now!).

—Jaimie Schoen

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A Modern Beach Wedding in the Dominican Republic

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