A Vibrant Wedding on the Beach in Florida
Allison and Brad
Allison and Brad met four years before their May 22, 2010, Florida beach wedding. They kept running into each other thanks to a mutual friend, Emeril Lagasse -- Brad captains Lagasse's 1965 Hatteras boat, and Allison used to assist Lagasse's wife. The pair's relationship flourished -- and their shared bond with the Lagasse family grew -- until it was clear Allison and Brad were meant to be a permanent couple.
Allison and Brad shared their love of northwest Florida's Emerald Coast with their family and friends by hosting the wedding at a private home, Palazzo Del Sol in Destin. Since their lives revolve around the nearby water, it made perfect sense to have an outdoor wedding on the beach and a reception on the lawn.
The Bridal Look
Before saying "I do," Allison and Brad met to reflect and have a few moments to themselves. Portraits by Paul Johnson Photography were taken on the docks and again after the ceremony.
Brad and his groomsmen wore Jos. A. Bank suits. They relaxed on a boat in the Destin harbor before the wedding.
The bridesmaids wore flowy gowns from Vineyard by Priscilla of Boston and carried bouquets of fuchsia orchids.
A palette of blue (Allison's favorite color) and white was used throughout the wedding. Pops of fuchsia were reserved for the flowers and chair ties.
The Ring Bearers
The four ring bearers wore linen suits with tropical boutonnieres. They carried trinket boxes resembling a blue marlin fish and a pearlized seashell.
The Flower Girls
The flower girls wore dresses by Sweet Beginnings and orchid head wreaths. They carried pearl-handled bowls inlaid with mother-of-pearl.
Allison was escorted down the aisle by her parents, Allen and Madonna Gammel.
Brad's brother-in-law, Travis, led the ceremony, which was held just a few yards from the ocean.
The new Mr. and Mrs. Benton paused for a portrait with the family that brought them together: the Lagasses.
The 250 guests walked from the ceremony up to the lawn for appetizers, signature cocktails (a blood-orange margarita), and acoustic music.
Tall cobalt blue and aqua vases were filled with green leaves, and white and fuchsia orchids decorated the tables.
Paintings by local artist Allison Wickey were displayed throughout the yard.
The coastal theme of the day was reflected in the evening's menu. Executed by Celestine's Special Occasions, the cocktail hour appetizers included chilled avocado soup with corn relish, mini crab cakes with a lime-cilantro aioli and tequila brush, and watermelon wedges.
The Guest Book
The First Dance
Allison and Brad danced to Van Morrison's "Crazy Love," which was performed live by JB Roberts.
Bistro lights, strung overhead, kept the area softly lit as the sun set over the water. During the reception, Brad surprised everyone with a rhyming ode to his bride, titled "A Match Made in Destin." It had the crowd in stitches.
Their cake had alternating tiers of lemon pound cake with raspberry filling and white chocolate cake with cookies-and-cream filling. Guests also enjoyed four custom-flavored ice cream cupcakes, all with Belgian chocolate "cups," from Cold Stone Creamery
At the end of the reception, "Volcano"-scented candles by Aspen Bay Candles were given as favors. The cobalt blue votive was paired with a matchbox sporting the couple's names, wedding date, and monogram. The favor was wrapped in a cellophane bag and tied with a string holding a tag with their logo and a thank-you note.
A sparkler send-off ended the night on a high note.
Photography: Paul Johnson Photography
Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands: Ken Friend at Friend & Company
Videography: Tom Nebel Productions
Rentals, Floral, Catering, and Planning: Celestine's Special Occasions
Entertainment: JB Roberts Music, 334-372-7502; DJ Plate from B-Boy Productions
Wedding Cake: Yacha Becker of Sandestin Resort
Wedding Coordination: Beck England of AlliBeck Events, 850-376-3079
Stationery: Steve Wise, 502-454-6660
Hair: Krista Kuhn