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Q&A with Katie & Mike

Bride & Groom on Beach in Sarasota
Three months after their wedding, we caught up with Katie to ask her about planning from a distance and find out how she created the special day of her dreams.
Q: Being far away in Chicago, how did you decide on LBKCR for your wedding?
“We decided to get married in Florida because my now-husband had family out there. Almost every year we would go there and visit, so when we got engaged we talked about it, since we both come from really small families, that’d it’d be cool if we had a destination wedding.”

Wedding ceremony setup on the beach with seating sign and ocean in background

Wedding favor in the sand with orchids in the foreground

“We originally said we’d get married in Siesta Key, but when we went there to look at places, we looked around and we didn’t really find anything in Siesta that caught our eye. Then we came to Longboat Key and we instantly knew there something about it. I don’t know, there was just something about Longboat Key that I was like ‘yeah, this is where we’re getting married.’ That was it.”

Bride and groom walk up the beach hand in hand towards the camera

Q: Planning from across the country must have been challenging. How was your planning process?

“We had Christina Harris as our wedding planner- she was phenomenal. She didn’t have a contract with Longboat, we decided to go with her and we contracted her separately- she was fantastic. I would highly suggest having that extra person, especially with me being so far away.  And Ayla was with us for most of it, and she was just, there’s not even a word, she was fantastic. No question went unanswered. Even up until the day before the wedding, we were emailing back and forth, and she was just awesome. All the staff at Longboat Key Club is just awesome! Christina and Ayla were like my lifesavers.”

Bridal party surrounds Bride on beach while holding their bouquets

Q: Do you have a favorite memory from your wedding day?
“It was all my favorite. Walking down the aisle watching Mike bawl his eyes out was probably the surreal moment, like how far we came to get to that point.”

Bridal party carries bride's train down the path towards the ceremony

Groom wipes a tear beneath wedding arch as groomsmen look on

Sandy aisle leading to bride and groom holding hands during wedding ceremony

Q: There’s a fantastic photo of you laughing during your wedding ceremony. Do you remember what was happening at that moment?

Bride laughing under bridal arch during wedding ceremony

“Yes (laugh). My uncle married us, so he was telling our story and that was the ceremony. At the beginning, he was telling our story from our point of view-  we each wrote about how we met and how we feel about each other- and he took both stories and collaborated them into one. As he was telling the story, I guess Mike put in there ‘I never would’ve guessed when I met Katie that we’d be standing here getting married’ and I was just like ‘Really?’ and then I just burst out laughing, because when we met, that was probably the furthest thing either of us were thinking.”

Bride and groom embrace on a marina dock with boats in background

“Where we would end up six years down the road- did we think we were going to get married? No. When we first started talking I didn’t even think I was going to start dating him, I was like ‘Yeah, he’s just not my type.’ But, here we are! And he was like ‘I don’t ever want to get married, I don’t want a family. I just want to live the bachelor life,’ and here we are. (Laugh). I think that’s why I started laughing because I was thinking about all of those things that we said so long ago, and how everything’s changed.”

Q: What was your favorite part of your wedding?

Black and white image of bride and groom on dance floor

Sign welcoming guests to the wedding reception

Table centerpiece featuring white and purple flowers in a vase

“My favorite part was probably the party. We wedding planned for two years, almost to the day, so once everything was done and it was the first time in two years we could relax and just in enjoy the moment- yeah, definitely the reception.”

Bride and groom and full wedding party cheering on the beach with ocean in background

Bride and groom smile at one another on courtyard steps

Q: What made your wedding unique? What did you try to do differently?
“A lot of people told me “Your color combo- I would have never thought of that!”- I heard that a lot.”

Head table centerpiece decoration with white and purple flowers

Bride and groom smile while cloaked in bride's veil

“And I just wanted to do something different, I didn’t want a typical wedding. I didn’t want to get married and have the reception in a ballroom, it wanted it to be something different- like a beach ceremony. That’s why we chose the beach and another reason why we picked Longboat Key.”

Reception appetizers in small paper cones

Q: What was your favorite food from your wedding?
The cake was phenomenal. That was close to being the favorite but all the food was great - the steak and the fish were awesome. And our cake was awesome. Those were probably our two favorite things.

Beach themed wedding cake

Q: Did you honeymoon in Florida too or did you go somewhere else?
“Mike and I stayed after the wedding until the next Saturday, so we stayed a week after, but we are actually honeymooning in April on a seven-day Caribbean cruise. It should be fun!”

Bride and groom with ring bearer and flower girl

Black and white image of groomsman kissing bride's hand as groom and other groomsmen look on

Bride and groom walk on beach as bride's veil streams behind them

Q: You must be relieved to be done planning, happy and married.
“Oh yeah, of course. Trying to go to Florida and plan this wedding long distance, while going to school and working- it was crazy. But it ended up being perfect.”
Congratulations to Katie and Mike!
Planner: Swanky Soiree Events
Photo: Alisa Sue Photography
Florist: Flowers by Fudgie
Baker: Cakes by Ron
Lighting/Drapery: Swanky Soiree Events
Entertainment: Jam All Day Entertainment
Decor Rentals: US Tent
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