Home » A Pared-Back Wedding That Highlighted Florida’s Natural Beauty

A Pared-Back Wedding That Highlighted Florida’s Natural Beauty

by Staff

For Sarah Wilkerson and Tyler Maconaghy, it was love at first sight—or, well, swipe. The two connected on Bumble in January 2020 and decided to take their spark from URL to IRL with a mini-golf date—a move Sarah says is “very Florida.” “I fell for Tyler in an instant,” she admits. “He was so chivalrous; opening doors and always with flowers in hand.” Naturally, the feelings were mutual, and Tyler wasted no time to make things official by proposing in October 2020 during a dinner with Sarah’s family. “I didn’t know he had written a song on his guitar at that moment,” Sarah recalls. “Dinner goes on without a hitch. Tyler starts playing his guitar afterwards and plays his song ‘You and Me’ which ends with the question, ‘Will you spend eternity with me?’ He gets down on one knee in the dining room, and the rest is history!”

When it came to planning their December 12, 2022 nuptials, the couple wanted to create a comfortable environment that highlighted Florida’s natural beauty. “My vision came more from a place of feeling,” the bride explains. “Where guests felt like they were in a familiar supper club but on the beach and with a beautiful ambiance. Not so much focus on the decorations, but rather highlighting the natural elements of the beach around us: The dunes, sea oats, and (luckily) sea fog.” 

Sarah and Tyler ultimately selected the Narrows Guesthouse in Indian Rocks Beach, a venue that had both a longstanding history in the bride’s family and the flexibility to give the couple carte blanche. With the help of planner Alexa Kritis—who employed tents, jute rugs, and woven elements—the couple had the “barren backyard meets lush supper club” day of their dreams. Take a closer look at the special day, as photographed by KT Crabb Photography.

To bring the Florida fanfare to their 80 guests’ mailboxes, Jen Simpson designed a beachy invitation suite with the Wilkerson family’s Corkscrew Palm, which was imported from Tenerife in the Canary Islands in 1972. “It took many years of nursing the plant to keep it alive. [My grandmother] would create a makeshift tent to cover it in the winter to protect from the frost,” Sarah explains. “The sofa placed underneath it during the wedding allowed guests to have a respite from the buzzing dance floor and to gaze into the tree’s unique canopy.”

Sarah and Tyler packed on the Southern hospitality with a welcome bag filled with fruit, sunscreen, and a pouch that spelled out the theme for the special event: “Good vibes only.” 

The bride stunned in an off-white tulle gown, courtesy of Galia Lahav. “I went dress shopping with my mother, aunt, cousin, and her newborn,” Sarah shares. “It was a very personal and wonderful afternoon for us. I initially had my heart set on a more conceptual Viktor & Rolf dress, but after I noticed the softness and femininity of [this one], I was smitten.” She accessorized the look with Iradj Moini earrings, shoes by Uma Wang, and a veil also designed by Lahav.

Meanwhile, the groom looked dapper in a suit from John Craig Clothier. “The idea was something off white and tonal that would complement the wedding dress, which it did,” Tyler says. Rounding out the look was a pocket square from the same brand and a kumquat boutonnière. 

The couple and photographer KT Crabb made the most of the little natural sunlight Florida has in winter with a first look. 

“There was a dramatic element that added to the scene, which was the sea fog,” Sarah recalls. “It was so thick and dense you could not see the water only a few steps away. It completely engulfed us.” 

Upon arrival, guests were immediately transported to the couple’s effortless-yet-elevated supper club, thanks to wood-slotted furniture, fluted glassware, and bistro lights that would twinkle well into the night.

Family and friends could toast the happy couple in style with a glass of bubbly from Prop Champagne Rentals. 

We wanted the altar pieces and flowers to feel like they had just sprouted up from the sand dunes.

Florist Fire Design House peppered the tent with lush greenery and small white flowers, adding an ethereal element to the area’s woven light pendants and bamboo buffet. “We wanted the altar pieces and flowers to feel like they had just sprouted up from the sand dunes,” Sarah explains. 

The bride and her dad walked down the aisle to Don Henley and Stevie Nicks’s “Leather and Lace,” performed by the quartet behind Sunset Strings.

Though the couple didn’t exchange personal vows, they found another way to add their words into the big day. “In our intro, we included a poem I wrote years ago but only found meaning as a prelude to our ceremony.”

After exchanging their Johnston Jewelers wedding bands, the couple ended the ceremony with a kiss.

With Sunset Strings playing a reprise of “Leather and Lace,” Tyler and Sarah recessed down the aisle as husband and wife. 

“We used a Sperry tent with Portuguese jute rug flooring for the ceremony and reception location,” the bride says. “When guests were in cocktail hour, we flipped the space and used the same supper club sofas mixed with wooden chairs for that more approachable yet luxury, beachy vibe.” 

To make the wedding a multisensory experience, the couple spritzed the venue with Frédéric Malle’s Cafe Society room spray. “One of the first things that Alexa and I connected about was scent—an often overlooked sense,” Sarah explains. “When I speak with guests now after the wedding, that was the aspect that left the most lasting impression.” 

During cocktail hour, Alexa and her team transformed the tented space into the perfect destination for dinner and dancing. “We had bamboo handle flatware and neutral dinnerware to still have an element of luxury without the formal place setting,” Sarah says of the space, which boasted a color palette of off-white, cream, and linen.

“My favorite moment was sitting with Tyler before Alexa and the team revealed the reception flip,” Sarah says. “The partition created a very dramatic backdrop and the curved booth created an eddy for us to be alone and intimate, while the river of guests flowed by us into the supper club reception space.”

The couple doubled down on the supper club feel by opting for food stations, including Tampa-inspired bites from Good Food and Elevenses Co.’s strawberry cake.

Instead of a first dance, the couple enlisted Tampa Bay DJ Company to provide a pulse-pumping playlist all night long.

The couple sped off to happily ever after—and their minimoon at the Don Cesar—in a Rolls-Royce. But, as they look in the rearview mirror of their special day, they encourage engaged couples to prioritize their vision above all else. “Keep it personal, don’t get mired in the details, and make sure your guests are comfortable,” they say. We couldn’t agree more.

You may also like