Hi beautiful people and Disney lovers, today’s Little Mermaid Beach wedding is about to do a number on you all with its beauty and creativity. According to Taylor E Photography, the bride Michelle has been a long time Disney fan who even worked at Disney World. Her love for “The Little Mermaid” was apparent in every detail of her wedding day as she said, “I do,” to her own Prince Eric, or in this case, Jon. Michelle grew up vacationing at Fort Myers Beach, and simply could not imagine her celebration any where else in the world.
About the Couple: How They Met
Jon and Michelle were friends in high school. He dated her best friend at the time, and she dated his. Little did the two know back then that they both actually had a crush on each other and were too shy to say it.
Right after graduation, Michelle moved away to attend college and pursue her dream of working at the most magical place on earth — Walt Disney World. It wasn’t until almost five years later Michelle came back in town to see some old friends. They took her out for a night in the town and just so happened to bump into Jonathan Burrows! Michelle and Jon both were a nervous wreck, said a quick “hi!”, exchanged hugs and parted ways. All Michelle could talk about that night was him and how completely charming she still thought he was.
To her disappointment, he did not ask for her number, so she thought that would be the end of it. Surprisingly, the next day she received a call from Jon saying he regretted not asking for it and tracked it down through mutual friends. They went on a dinner date that night and from then on were inseparable.
Jon and Michelle decided to take on a new adventure to a beach they had never been to before – Jax Beach. They soaked up the sun, tried the local seafood, and explored all the beach shops. Michelle had no idea that this trip was going to be completely different than the rest. Jon was carrying around her engagement ring loosely in his pocket the entire trip! It wasn’t until the last day he finally found the perfect moment to propose – on 7/20 at 11:20.
They decided to take a moonlit walk on the beach; they laid out their beach towels to watch the stars and gaze at the gorgeous moon that night. Suddenly a single red firework went off in the distance (Michelle LOVES fireworks!). As they watched it fade away, Michelle then looked over at Jon to steal a kiss when she saw something sparkling in his hand in the moonlight.
Jon asked if she would be his wife and she instantly said yes! They laid there listening to the waves, watching the stars, and holding one another. Jon told her all of the reasons why he couldn’t imagine his life without her, and she simply cried happy tears in amazement that she would someday soon get to marry her very own Prince Eric.
About the Event: at Pink Shell Resort in Fort Myers Beach, FL
Michelle’s wedding dress style “Sahara” was chosen in the shade “gold” and designed by Maggie Sottero. She was inspired by Ariel’s two dresses in the movie – the one she made from a tattered sail and rope and the other covered in sparkled when she emerged from the water and walked to Prince Eric. Jon’s suit was purchased at Joseph A Banks in a tropical blend fabric. He wanted to be dressed up, but not sweat to death in the hot Florida sun.
The wedding invitations were hand made by the bride and groom. They wanted something original, something to set the theme, and something to get their guests as excited for their big day as they were! Jon had the idea to send a message in a bottle. So, Michelle took this to the next level and made mini luggage pieces to put them in. Each box was folded inside out to give the tan look of old luggage. The ribbon was glued to the outside along with a brown foam handle tacked to the top. Inside the bottles were filled with sand, pearls, and mini shells. The invitations were written by the bride and groom and printed onto tropical paper they found at a craft store and cut to size.
Michelle’s favorite decoration piece for her ceremony came from a dream she had of ocean bubbles washing to the shore along with shells and sea creatures. She found clear iridescent Christmas ornaments of all sizes and had the idea to remove the silver top and hook from them and place them upside down in clusters in the sand. She then had her wedding coordinators dust fine iridescent glitter over them to make them more fairytale-like. The sunny day made them look amazing!
The beginning of the aisles started with large glass vases with rope handles. These were filled with shells, decorative balls in the wedding colors of coral red and teal, and white starfish. Around the vases, were large nautical rope balls and clusters of coral reef settled in the sand. There were also sprayed sea fans leaning on the side of the vase. All of the items were found at craft stores and home shopping stores and some spray painted to match the color scheme.
The bouquet was designed in great detail with her florist Dalia at Libby’s Flowers. Michelle wanted a mix of tropical looking flowers and wanted to specifically add her favorites – the pincushion protea and the orchid. Michelle dreamed of having her bouquet looking as though it emerged right out of the ocean with her. She pictured it covered in casting net with pieces of shells and starfish caught on it. She added sporadic rhinestones for sparkle and as something borrowed, because they were in her bouquet at her sister’s wedding.
The welcome table had a guest book to sign in and leave a message for the couple. “Sebastian” (the crab) was a cast iron find at a home store by the groom; he was there to politely hold the pen for signing with his claw. There were also framed pictures from the day of Michelle and Jon’s engagement as well as professional photos taken prior to the wedding by the lovely Taylor English. There was a sign saying, “love you more” (Michelle and Jon’s main argument) and a special box for wedding cards. This box was another wild idea Michelle had… She wanted to take the typical bird cage idea for cards and make it “beachy”! So, she found an old lobster trap and turn it into something creative guests could place their cards in. This was another favorite piece hand painted and glued by the bride and groom.
The centerpieces for the dinner portion of the reception by the pool were tall vases designed by both the bride and the groom. Jon loved the idea of having palm leaves in the center of the table above the guests, and Michelle wanted to bring the ocean floor to the shore. Combining the two ideas the center piece consisted of the vase being filled with sand, coral reef, and shells while the top had a variety of palm leaves cascading over with two of the wedding flowers – the orchid and birds of paradise.
The tables rotated in color scheme but all had a base of white linens with rope casting net in the center along with items found on the shore and a statue of a white modern mermaid or seahorse.
Upstairs the ballroom overlooked the beach; the balcony was covered in large “bubbles” that (like magic) changed colors throughout the night. The ballroom was the setting for the cutting of the cake, drinks, dessert, and dancing. The tables again rotated in color theme and were covered in casting net, but here the centerpieces were designed by the groom. Jon had the idea to core out pineapples as vases for small cocktail arrangements and have them filled with Michelle’s choice of flowers. They turned out beautifully!
The candy bar was covered in tulle and lights. There were pieces of driftwood scattered around and some made into a ship wheel. Two large dark teal starfish were found covered in rope at a home store, and so were the iron candy dishes. These were large silver trays shaped like fish, crabs, shells – you name it! The colored candy was found at a party store to match the theme.
The wedding cake was simple and tropical with waves of white buttercream on each tier and white cake with strawberry and pineapple filling on the inside. The wedding flowers then continued cascading around the cake with a handmade kissing seahorse couple found on Etsy.
Wedding Planning Advice
“If there is something you want a specific way, don’t be afraid to ask questions about every detail and tell vendors what you want. It’s your day, and you only get to make this day your dream once! Find vendors you are comfortable with and that you completely trust, because when the big day comes you don’t have time to get your hands dirty and set things up the way you want them yourself. You have to let go and trust they’ll know your vision.
When preparing, take pictures of EVERYTHING. Take pictures of the venue to have with you when shopping for decor. You don’t want to get decor and have no idea where you will put it and waste your money or have 4 sculptures for centerpieces but 5 tables to place them on.
Also, get an email address specifically for wedding info. You’ll be glad you did this. If your smart phone gives you an option, set vendors you will chat with often as a VIP. You will get specific notifications as to when they email you. You don’t want to miss an important email, because you may miss a deadline for an order, a payment, or even a confirmation date. You don’t want another bride to steal your vendor you were hoping for, because she replied to an email first.
Get addresses for your invitations EARLY. As soon as you get engaged, start updating your address book. You can text, call, and/or email and even though it may seem like a simple request, some people will take weeks to get their address to you. Once you get everyone’s info, make a spreadsheet on the computer to have a quick list you can reference for save the dates, shower invitations, and wedding invitations. You will visit this list often and be glad you spent the time to have it typed up to copy and paste whenever you need it.
Give your coordinators and vendors a backup phone number besides your own. You will be shocked at how many calls and texts you will get the week before your wedding. Let your mom, sister, or best friend help you out with this. They will be glad to take the stress off you. With that being said, keep a spare wall and car charger with you at all times.
Finally, know that no matter how hard you try and no matter how many pictures, notes, and reminders you give vendors, there will FOR SURE be something that is not how you asked it to be. It hurts to know this after all your time and effort put in, but you just have to remember what is most important – the love you have for your groom.”
BRIDAL GOWN: Maggie Sottero, Dress – Sahara | BRIDAL BOUTIQUE: The White Room | FLORIST: Libby’s Flowers | CATERER: Pink Shell Resort | VENUE: Pink Shell Resort | PHOTOGRAPHER: Taylor E Photography | ENTERTAINMENT: Steve Farst Music