A Lemon-Inspired Beach Wedding in Naples, Florida
Erin and Ryan
Mutual pals set up Erin Engelhardt, a resident physician in pediatrics, and Ryan Orf, a sales representative, shortly after they graduated college. Both St. Louis natives and avid Cardinals fans, it was apropos that their first date take place at the team's stadium. The two hit it off right away, agreeing to drinks after the game and dinner the very next night.
Four years later, Erin purchased tickets behind home plate at a charity auction and Ryan started to plan the perfect proposal. At the top of the ninth, his parents and siblings joined the duo and her family before the Cardinals lost their lead and went into extra innings. Despite the loss, when fans started to clear the stands, he got down on one knee and surprised her with a diamond that wasn't the field. She happily said yes, and the celebration continued at the same bar they went to on their first date.
Fast-forward a year, 59 loved ones jetted to Naples, Florida, for an intimate weekend that commenced with a welcome barbeque at Erin's parents' vacation home. The next morning, the wedding party soaked up the sun on a catamaran cruise and beach picnic at Keywayden Island before joining everyone downtown at Campiello Ristorante for a rehearsal dinner thrown by Ryan's parents. Then on April 25, 2015, the couple became husband and wife at Cutlass Cove Beach Club with an ocean backdrop, sunset skies, lemon-inspired décor, and many nods to their favorite team.
Though the weekend came to an end after brunch the next morning, the celebration continued six weeks later in Missouri where they welcomed 300 guests to Erin's childhood home for Part Two, which featured an outdoor movie theater that screened their Naples nuptials.
The layered stationery suite boasted lemon-inspired geometric shapes in soft, pastel tones. The invite itself (designed and printed by Cheree Berry Paper) included a hexagonal reply card that outlined the Florida fête's weekend festivities. "We wanted something special that had multiple layers," Erin says of the suite, which was printed in subdued citrus hues with die-cut details.
The Welcome Bags
Guests received a yellow-and-white-striped beach bag with the couple's custom monogram. The "E" and "R" are surrounded by an "O" to play up the couple's new last name (Orf). The red cardinal perched on the upper right is a tribute to the team that brought the two together.
In addition to a matching towel and luggage tag, custom essentials filled up the tote: Tervis tumblers, koozies, beach balls, Veuve Clicquot Champagne, hammerhead shark corkscrews and bottle openers, and mini hangover kits, along with Bissinger's chocolates (local faves in St. Louis), Sugarfina champagne gummy bears, and lemon drop candies (naturally).
A ten-page booklet by stationer Cheree Berry Paper, bound with ribbon and designed to mimic the invitation, included the weekend itinerary, a map, and things to do locally.
The Bride's Style
Erin wore a Monique Lhuillier gown and sash and accessorized with a diamond bracelet borrowed from her childhood nanny. The bride's bouquet, an arrangement of roses, ranunculus, sweet peas, peonies, brunia, calla lilies, chamomile, Veronica, and Oncidium orchids, was tied off with a handkerchief from Erin's "honorary godmother" (something blue) and decorated with her late grandmother's brooch (something old).
Cheree Berry Paper also created the die-cut lemon wedge programs.
For the oceanfront ceremony at Cutlass Cove Beach Club, Vanderbilt Strings played Debussy's "Clair de Lune" for the bridal party procession, and Erin walked down the aisle to Pachelbel's "Canon in D." Officiated by Father Charles Obie, the duo exchanged traditional Catholic vows. "It was such a meaningful and powerful moment saying those words to each other and making that commitment," Erin says. With ten bridesmaids and ten groomsmen by their sides, the pair "didn't care if it looked funny that most of the people attending the wedding were up there." Erin adds, "They're our best friends in the world."
Focused on getting to her man, Erin didn't realize her veil caught on the railing of the steps to the beach until her head suddenly jerked back. "Nothing ripped, everyone got a good laugh, and I proceeded down the aisle to marry my love," the bride recalls. Despite the minor mishap, Ryan shares, "Hands down, the best part of the day was watching Erin walk down the aisle, as beautiful as ever."
Shortly after, a man in a thong swimsuit interrupted the ceremony with a casual stroll by the water. "It was an hilarious moment. Many of the funniest photos are our expressions on our faces as we saw him," says Erin.
The Escort Card Display
Arrangements of roses, hydrangeas, amaranthus, cymbidium orchids, and freesia dotted the tables flocked by floating candles in tall glass vessels and small votives. Large arches made of garlands covered in greenery, flowers, and hanging votives, reached from table to table—a nod to famed Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
Guests dined on a three-course meal of Meyer lemon fresh Maine lobster risotto, salad with Muscat-poached peaches, Navel oranges, and goat cheese from Baetje Farms, and for the entrée, a Manhattan-style strip steak with garlic roasted potatoes, grilled Oregon morels, sautéed beans, and maple poached butternut squash. To keep the ball rolling, cotton candy, garbage dogs, macaroni and cheese, toasted raviolis, and bratwurst were passed around for the late-night seventh inning stretch.
DJ Dominick Buonantunono of Mobile Sound Entertainment kept guests on their feet with hits from the late 2000s—popular in the couple's college years. "We had a blast dancing the night away, though don't watch the outtakes of the wedding video too closely, a lot of embarrassing dance moves," Erin admits.
The Place Settings
Lemons with menu "leaves" and place cards brightened up the bamboo chargers.
Table for Two
A cozy seat for two at a sweetheart table was a great spot for the newlyweds to listen to Erin's father's welcome speech, a touching toast by the maid of honor (a high school friend), and two more toasts from the best men, Ryan's brother and a longtime pal.
The three-tier confection from Ella's Cakes consisted of two layers of marble cake with chocolate ganache filling and one layer of lemon cake with raspberry filling, fresh raspberries, and vanilla bean mousse. It was then coated with a thin layer of buttercream frosting and decorated with chamomile, roses, and rice flower.
The Sweet Treats
Special sugar cookies Erin's Aunt Lib made, following her late grandmother's recipe, were packaged as wedding favors.
Photography: Westrich Photography
Location: Cutlass Cove Beach Club
Event planning and decor: Carrie Darling Events
Catering: Annie Gunn's
Mixologists: D'Amico's The Continental
Flowers: Connie Cissell
Videography: Lucky Lemon Films
Stationery and calligraphy: Cheree Berry Paper
Cake: Ella's Cakes
Music: Vanderbilt Strings [ceremony]; Steely Pan [cocktail hour]; Mobile Sound Entertainment [reception]
Rentals: Niche Event Rentals; Premiere Tent Rental
Hair: Hair by Mia
Makeup: Duality Artistry
Lighting: Artistic Science