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Sarasota Beach Wedding

02/22/2018
Bride & Groom
When Hannah and Donnie Kessler said “I do” in the sand on September 3, 2017, their love story was continuing just as it began. The couple met at a beach party in Jamaica in 2012, and have been together ever since. While the couple entertained love from a long distance for nearly four years, eventually they made a home in Tampa, Florida and decided to share their wedding vows on Longboat Key.
 
Now happily married for a few months, we caught up with Hannah and asked her about their Resort at Longboat Key Club experience, the planning process and how her wedding day became an unforgettable memory.
 
Q: How did you decide on The Resort at Longboat Key Club for your wedding?
 
“Honestly the venue itself was amazing. It was probably the biggest deciding factor- the venue.”

Posed portrait of bride and groom kissing outdoors under the trees

“We just recently moved to Tampa in July of 2016. We went shopping for our wedding, and we saw a lot of places, and it was honestly on a whim we came down to Sarasota because it was out of our way- but it was only one that literally had the full package for us. Our guests could stay there, there were restaurants on site for them, the beach...”

Sepia toned portrait of bride and groom slow dancing on golf course

“But, also, the golf course- because my husband’s family is really into golf. It was really a one stop shop for our wedding and that was great. And honestly, Ayla just sold it really well. She was amazing- she definitely gave us a personalized tour, she cared about us and our lives and our story- it was definitely different than most places. That was probably one of our biggest things. And what we loved about our wedding day was the view at the beach- it was to die for.”

Wedding ceremony setup on the beach with guest book table and ocean in background

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

“For our guests, it was actually a destination wedding, because we’re the only ones that live here. Everyone else is from all over the country. So luckily, we had the long Labor Day weekend so everyone could make a vacation out of it, if they wanted to, and most people did.”

Bridal party surrounds seated bride and celebrating while dressing for wedding

Black and white photo of bridal party walking up the beach arm in arm towards the camera

 
Q: What is your favorite memory from your wedding day?
 
“That’s a hard question, because everything was so amazing. Honestly, walking down the aisle. Christina Harris did all the décor, but the ceremony was like my baby. She did all the reception and cocktail hour and she did a great job, but the ceremony was what I had envisioned- what I wanted to see walking down the aisle. Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to get married on the beach with no shoes.”

Closeup of wedding ceremony seating with framed portraits of bride and groom

“Walking down the aisle, we had photos of our relationship from where it began to the proposal. So just seeing all that and then obviously the beach view and then Donnie standing up there waiting for me was just definitely the ‘aha moment.’”

Bride's father walking her up the aisle with ocean and guests in background

Closeup of groom's face as he watches his bride walk down the aisle

Closeup of bride wiping away a tear during her vows

Q: Did your husband like LBKCR as much as you did?
 
“Oh yeah, I think he loved it even more than I did (laugh), and I really loved it. His family is super into golf and so just having that added aspect was really great for him.

Bride and groom raise their hands into the air as they enter their wedding reception
 
And then of course all the restaurants, and just having everything right there. And with his family, who are much older, they didn’t have to drive anywhere and that was really important to him.”
 
 
Portrait of the groomsmen posing on a porch
 
Q: Where on property did you have your wedding?
 
“We had it in on South Beach, our cocktail hour at Spike and Tees and the reception at Island House. Which was definitely the best set up. I obviously follow Longboat Key on all social media, and they’ve done some really cool cocktail hours that I never would’ve thought of.”
 
 
Bridal arch and guest seating on the beach
 

Indoor/outdoor wedding reception at night with guests celebrating
 
“I definitely loved the terrace with the view- I mean, for sunset, that was perfect for our guests. It just had a lot of variety and it was definitely not your generic ballroom dressed up to look like something different.”
 
Decorated reception area before guests arrive
 
Closeup of wedding reception table decorations
 
Q: What kind of food did you eat at your reception?
 
Closeup of wedding reception menu


“We had a plated dinner- we had the braised beef, almond crusted Mahi-Mahi and the jerk chicken and oh my gosh- the food is phenomenal! It was so good. You always think it’s going to be good, and people judge your food at a wedding especially, because they chose what they wanted- but, I mean, it blew everything out of the water.”
 
Styled photo of reception donut bar with donuts, toppings and sprinkles
 
“Everyone loved the food- no one complained about the food. I went around and mingled and asked “How’s everyone’s dinner going?” and there was not a single plate that had food on it anymore- because everyone had eaten everything.”
 
Q: Any thoughts for brides thinking of getting married at The Resort at Longboat Key Club?
 
“We loved our wedding there, and every time someone thinks about getting married in this area we would definitely recommend it to them.
 
Bride and groom cutting the cake

Bride and groom on the beach at sunset
 
Bride and groom walking down path holding hands
 
“Most of the time people don’t get married where their friends had their wedding but we do tell them about it. All of our guests- we had some from this area and some that weren’t- every single person said it was the best wedding they have ever been to.”
 
Congratulations, Hannah and Donnie!
 
 
Vendors
Planner: Swanky Soiree Events
Photo: Todd Gilman Photography
Florist: Elegant Designs Floral Art Studio
Baker: Cakes by Ron
Lighting/Drapery: Swanky Soiree Events
Entertainment: Music on the Move
Decor Rentals: US Tent
Hair/Makeup: Destiny & Light

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