Samantha + Mike

I'm not sure I could pick one venue as my favorite Sarasota wedding venue, but if my feet were held to the fire, the historic Powel Crosley Estate would definitely be a top contender. Want to know why? Well, I'm going to tell you. ;) I'll start with the obvious. It's unique, historic, and gorgeous. There is an abundance of stunning locations to shoot photos in - the mansion itself with it's wood paneled circular ship room, a banyan tree, the water, multiple balconies, light filled rooms with original architecture and details....I could go on. But one of the things I really love about weddings at the Powel Crosley Estate is how stress free and relaxed they tend to be. It's amazing what an impact it has on a wedding day not to have to drive from one location to another, and the Powel Crosley is great for this. They have a beautiful prep room downstairs as well as space upstairs, including a large room with a balcony and fireplace that you might have to pay a little extra for access to (not the whole upstairs, just the one room)- but it's so worth it. I've photographed so many weddings at the Powel Crosley Estate over then ten years I've been a wedding photographer, but I never get tired of it and I feel like I find a brand new spot or have a new idea every time. So, if you are still in the phase of wedding planning where you are looking for a venue in the Sarasota or Tampa area, I definitely encourage you to check out the Powel Crosley Estate!

Now, onto Samantha and Mike's wedding. How pretty is this lilac ombre color scheme with the bridesmaids? I love this trend. Seriously, It's so good, I hope it never goes out of style. To me, it's so pretty and interesting to have a slight variety in the color and style bridesmaids dresses. But I can't mention the bridesmaids and not mention the BRIDE, can I? Just look at the ethereal beauty that is Samantha's wedding gown. I'm a sucker for whimsical, ethereal, and romantic - and this dress hits each one of those. I'll take this moment to high five the bride for how calm she was throughout the day - even when one of the groomsmen passed out and had to be taken away by ambulance, she held it together completely. Now, I'm not shaming anyone who has anxiety (like me!), but I'm super impressed by my cool-as-a-cucumber brides! One of the best parts of the wedding day was the mother-daughter dance. Prior to this wedding, I had only seen one once and after it I have seen one more. I LOVE IT. Maybe because I have two daughters myself who I am super close to...I am definitely holding out hope that I will get to have a dance with them should they choose to get married some day! Then there was the rap-toast one of the bridesmaids gave - personal touches like that really make a wedding day special (even better if it's hilarious!). I feel like the best wedding speeches do one of two things (or both) - make you laugh or make you cry. Pro tip: if you are asked to give a wedding speech - make it really funny or really emotional. You're welcome. ;)