A Luxe, Bohemian Wedding in Naples, Florida
Samantha and Michael
This couple's love story began at Coachella in April of 2013—fitting for Samantha, a free-spirited artist and Pilates instructor, and Michael, who works in development at Uber. Their spark was undeniable and magnetic, but they didn't start dating until the following April, when they attended the annual festival once more.
After just over a year of dating, during a cozy evening in, Michael asked Sam to check between the couch cushions for his phone (where he'd planted the ring earlier). Sam plucked the ring box from the sofa, then turned around to see her future husband down on one knee. "It was pure perfection," she says. "Just the two of us at home."
The groom handpicked each diamond to create a ring with feather shapes and rose gold details—qualities that were later incorporated into their wedding day. "I wanted something unique and beautiful, like Sam, that she could wear every day and feel like it was 'her,'" says Michael of the creation. (The jeweler said it's the most energy he's seen someone put into a design in his 25 years of business.)
The Texas-based couple decided on a destination wedding in Naples, Florida, which the bride calls her second home. And so, on November 12, 2016, the pair exchanged vows on Cutlass Cove at Port Royal Club, with a reception following at the Naples Botanical Garden. About 160 of the couple's family members (including their 9-month-old daughter, Lennan) and friends made the trip. The romantically eclectic vibe of the day made their wedding "an amazing bohemian dream," says the bride, sort of like the setting of their first encounter. The grooms agrees, noting, "Waking up the next day, I was convinced it was a dream. It was the most magical experience of my life."
The Invitation Suite
Sealed with Love
The letterpressed invitations, with calligraphy by Plume Calligraphy, featured ivory wax seals.
The Welcome Bags
Guests received bags filled with Turkish towels, feather-shaped bottle openers, and sunglasses. Also inside was a "Lennanade" drink kit (a nod to their daughter's name), which included vodka, lemon sparkling water, rosemary, and a candied lemon peel.
A line from an e.e. cummings poem was printed on each tote, reading, "I carry your heart in my heart." The full poem was read during the ceremony.
The bride wore a lacy Anne Barge gown and veil. The groom went casual with a dark blue Hugo Boss jacket, light blue Brioni pants, and a white linen Brooks Brothers shirt—without a tie. Sam loved Michael's laid-back look. "We didn't want anything to feel forced on the day," she says of his decision. "We just wanted it to feel like us."
The Bridal Party
A Very Special Guest
One guest—the couple's daughter, Lennan—made the experience of becoming a family extra meaningful. "There was a moment at the reception when Sam and I were holding hands on the back of our daughter's chair, who was sitting between us," says Michael. "It was then that I truly understood how lucky I was to be Sam's husband."
The VIP donned a tulle dress from Etsy.
The Ring Bearer
The couple's nephew wore J.Crew for the occasion.
The Ceremony Marker
The ceremony took place on the beach, marked by a teepee-style focal point adorned with fresh flowers in the muted tropical palette, and topped with antlers.
The Program Panels
Instead of passing out printed programs, Anna Lucia Richardson of Anna Lucia Events dreamt up billowy panels with calligraphed details of the ceremony. "We knew we didn't want to hand out a bunch of programs that would end up wasted or thrown out," says Sam. "The panels were perfectly personalized, and now they're hanging in our home."
Seated in the Sand
Guests settled into a mix of wooden chairs and benches for the ceremony. "There is something so beautiful to me about asymmetry and a little bit of organized chaos," Sam says. "This was exactly that."
A Sweet Entrance
At 4 o'clock, the ceremony began. Lennan entered on a flower-covered wagon, pulled by the couple's niece, Evie.
The bride walked down the aisle to the tune of "Samantha," by Thomas Newman. Michael's brother, Alston, officiated the wedding. "We didn't want a stranger to marry us," says Sam. "Alston is our best friend and knows us both very well, so it made sense for us to choose him." The readings included two poems: e.e. cummings' "I Carry Your Heart" and Pablo Neruda's "Sonnet XVII."
Sam's favorite part of the day was exchanging vows. "We spent over a year writing our vows separately," she says. "Hearing what he wrote about me and us made me fall in love with him a million times more."
Cocktails in the Garden
Once the ceremony ended, guests went to the Naples Botanical Garden for the cocktail hour and reception. Décor included rugs, lanterns, teepees, and a neon sign to anchor the dance floor (which read, "Love happens like lightning," inspired by Sam and Michael's initial attraction).
"It felt warm and homey—like an amazing bohemian dream," says Sam.
The Signature Drinks
Signature cocktails included a Moscow Mule and a "Sparkling Lennanade," a play on their daughter's name. Like the ceremony program, they were printed on fabric, this time with a bit of fringe. Foil-stamped cocktail napkins read "You are exactly where you need to be," a favorite phrase of the bride and groom.
Escort cards, which were hung on a macramé display, led guests to their seats.
The Seated Dinner
Table settings featured green water goblets, wicker chargers, and linen napkins tied with ribbon, rosemary, and a feather. Macramé runners lined the long tables, and small round tables had dreamcatcher centerpieces with hanging glass bulbs and plumes. Arrangements of roses, hydrangeas, eucalyptus, and other tropical blooms were spread throughout.
The dinner menu included apple mango chive salad, passion fruit-glazed short ribs, grouper, mango coulis, and herbed polenta.
"We loved the idea of a subtle naked cake look with amazing flavors," says Sam. The end result, by Ella's Cakes, included carrot cake with cream cheese icing on two layers, and almond cake with key lime buttercream and fresh strawberries on the other tier.
The Photo Booth
A repurposed vintage VW van, called The Photo Bus, made an on-theme alternative to a classic photo booth.
After the newlyweds had their first dance under the tropical canopy to Bob Dylan's "The Man in Me," guests joined them on the floor, which was complete with a large cursive "F."
Clusters of teepees, poufs, candles, and lanterns invited family and friends to enjoy the natural backdrop and lounge (or dance) the night away.
Photography, Hunter Ryan Photo
Ceremony Location, Cutlass Cove Beach Club
Reception Venue, Naples Botanical Garden
Event planning, Anna Lucia Events
Catering, Lurcat Catering
Stationery, August Blume
Calligraphy, Plume Calligraphy
Cake, Ella's Cakes
Bride's gown, Anne Barge
Bride's accessories, Tabitha Simmons
Hair and Makeup, Salon Teez
Flower Girl dresses, Etsy
Ceremony Draping, Swag Decor