San Marco Church & Marco Island Marriott Wedding

Marco Island, Florida


Photographer’s Note:

David and Sara’s Marco Island wedding ¬†was absolutely fabulous! We had great weather, a beautiful and bold sunset, and an amazing couple! We started off with some getting ready coverage of Sara inside of her Marco Island Marriott suite and my first “To Do” for that day was to photograph her dress and all of her accessories. When I walked in and saw her dress hanging, I was absolutely in awe, which was not expected as I usually favor the intricately detailed and “over the top” style wedding dresses. This dress did not have anything additional sewn on or incorporated into the design. It was plain jane but yet it was SO gorgeous!! I kept repeating myself throughout the getting ready on how gorgeous the style and design of the dress was. It gave off a fine art feel and I completely understood where the designer was coming from. In my “non-expert” opinion, I think the designer was showing others how beautiful a dress can be with just great fabric and skilled ruching, nothing else. ūüôā

The ceremony was held at San Marco Church, near the Marco Island Marriott and the cocktail hour was outdoors on the terrace, overlooking the beach with a sunset view. Guitar could be heard in the background, thanks to Stereophonic DJ’s. After cocktail hour was done, guests entered into a ballroom flooded with purple uplighting, a white dance floor, and a beautiful hanging crystal chandelier. Paige Simpson from “No Worries Weddings” was amazing as usual and actually designed a lot of the reception room decor along with the yummy candy bar. Overall it was a successful and beautiful destination Florida wedding and I couldn’t of wished for anything better for David and Sara. Congratulations to the both of you and I wish you nothing but a life full of happiness and success!

Warm thoughts and wishes from sunny Southwest Florida!

– Maria

Interview with the Bride:


Maria: How did David pop the question?
Sara:¬†Dave was anxious to do some grand gester for the engagement so he hid the ring for months while he tried to come up with a plan. I gave him a few rules such as, no public proposal (restaurant or party), no skywriting, singing telegrams or scoreboard proposals, and it had to be somewhat of a surprise. Dave had tried to plan something based on our schedules and at the same time, keep it mysterious. He wanted to propose near the Kinzie Bridge where just about every Chicago couple gets their wedding pictures, but our schedules kept changing by the day. Finally, Dave decided to just do it! One day, he called my Mom and Don from the health club and asked for permission. He came home late that evening and he asked me to come into the kitchen. All of the sudden Dave became nervous and started to recap our entire relationship and telling me how much he loved me. It occurred to me that something was up so I said “just ask” so he opened me the ring and proposed. Dave always says that I never have any reaction to gifts. I usually don’t look like I like something however when Dave showed me the ring I exclaimed “holy sh*t Dave”! It was exactly what I wanted. He definitely surprised me with a beautiful ring, though I would have said yes no matter what. Although our proposal was in our kitchen, and in our pajamas, it fit us perfectly‚Ķnothing goes exactly as planned but we always find a way to make it ‚Äúus‚ÄĚ.


Maria: What was the biggest obstacle while planning your wedding? On your wedding day?
Sara:¬†Since¬†I wasn’t that girl that dreamed about her wedding day all the time, I didn’t know what to do. ¬†Wedding planning for dummies was a great resource to leverage. ¬†Since we live in Chicago and our wedding was in Florida, it was challenging to do all the planning and preparation from a distance. ¬†For instance, I had to look at a lot of online pictures and visualize, never quite sure of what the end product would look like.¬† However, the biggest obstacle on my actual wedding day was managing my bridal party in terms of where to be and when. ¬†At the same time I was trying to enjoy all of what we had planned! ¬†The wedding day itself goes by so fast, in hindsight I wish I had more time to enjoy everything that we planned.¬†¬† For instance, we never had a chance to try our cupcakes or late night snacks.


Maria: What was your best memory from your wedding day? And Why?
Sara: Our best memory was the sunset cocktail hour, as it was an absolutely beautiful day.  We enjoyed being with all the people we love and care about.   It was fun to watch our family and friends either meet for the first time or reunite after too many years of being apart, all of course with a few cocktails.
Maria: Why did you choose Marco Island Marriott?
Sara:¬†We both have parents in Florida and My (the Bride‚Äôs) parents live on Marco, so we have stayed at the Marriott many times over the years. ¬†Since we picked a ‚Äúdestination wedding‚ÄĚ, we thought Marco Island (and the Marco Island Marriott) would be a beautiful place for all of our friends and family to come and enjoy a great weekend vacation ¬†¬†The Marriott is huge and has everything from shopping, restaurants, pool, beach and bar all on property so it made logistics and activities for everyone very easy/convenient.


Maria: Why did you decide on SW Florida as your wedding destination?
Sara: Both of our parents live in Florida and so it just seemed like the best location.  It was like a mini vacation, in a familiar place.
Maria: Any tips or advice for other brides/grooms planning their wedding?
Sara: Get a wedding planner. Even if you are extremely organized and have the time to dedicate to planning, we would recommend getting a wedding planner just for the wedding day. You will want to be able to relax on your wedding day and not have to think about any of the details.  A wedding planner can help to cut down on the stress and anxiety of planning a wedding. Our wedding planner Paige Simpson with No Worries Weddings & Events was great.  Without Paige we would have had the Marriott ballroom with food and maybe a DJ but nothing else.  She was so helpful in guiding use through what works and what doesn’t work, so the decision process on where to spend money became much easier.  She had a great list of vendors too, including the DJ and our photographer.


Vendor Information

Ceremony Venue: San Marco Church

Reception Venue: Marco Island Marriott

Cake: Marco Island Marriott 

Florist: Barb at Focus Floral

Hair: Danielle Sforza

Makeup: Danielle Sforza

Dress Store: Glamour Closet (Chicago, Illinois)

Dress Designer: Rivini

Shoes: Christian Louboutins

Men’s Attire: Joseph A Banks 

DJ or Band: Jim Gable with StereoPhonic DJ

Favors: Candy Bar/ Garrett’s Carmel corn

Centerpieces: Barb at Focus Floral

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