Garden Parties

By Kathy Becker

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Nicole Iadevaia wanted her wedding to reflect the eco-friendly focus she shares with her husband, Stephen. "We've always gone to zoos and gardens as activities," she says. "I was a biology major in college. It fits our style as a couple."

As a result, they designed and made most of the decor themselves for their fall wedding at the Naples Botanical Garden. Instead of floral centerpieces, which would have to be shipped in, they worked to create wheat-grass centerpieces with Worden Farm, an organic farm in Punta Gorda, where they also had their engagement photos taken. Stephen works with the farm as a chef at River City Grill in Punta Gorda. Nicole's father built the boxes from wood they had in their own gardens. For the bouquets, she selected flowers that were in season--blue and green hydrangeas.

"The colors we picked matched the way the garden looked at that time," she says. "I love the centerpieces. It was like a spring garden on the table."

Blue and green bridal bouquet | Photo: Luminaire FotoWedding gown at the Naples Botanical Garden | Photo: Luminaire FotoGroom's attire for a garden wedding  | Photo: Luminaire FotoBlue and green ring pillow  | Photo: Luminaire FotoWedding at the Naples Botanical Garden  | Photo: Luminaire FotoEat, drink and be married sign | Photo: Luminaire FotoPhoto: Luminaire FotoPhoto: Luminaire FotoGarden wedding escort card seating chart  | Photo: Luminaire FotoNaples Botanical Garden wedding  | Photo: Luminaire FotoNaples Botanical Garden wedding, wheat grass centerpiece  | Photo: Luminaire FotoNaples Botanical Garden wedding  | Photo: Luminaire FotoGarden wedding table numbers | Photo: Luminaire FotoEat drink be married napkins  | Photo: Luminaire FotoPink, blue and green garden wedding cake  | Photo: Luminaire FotoPhoto: Luminaire Foto


Photography: Luminaire Foto

Venue: Naples Botanical Garden

Decor: DIY

Cake: Black Market Cakes

Catering: Gourmet Catering (now Five Star Gourmet Catering)

Hair and makeup: Sir Daniel and Faces by Frohmberg


Rachel Fusco and Chris Prattini also work in the restaurant business and chose a similar theme for their autumn wedding at the Naples Botanical Garden. They too put emphasis on food. The couple had a private chef prepare sea bass and petite filet, and a bartender friend set up the bar. "Our food was incredible," Rachel says. "A lot of brides scrimp on the food and forget it's not just about the dress and the day, but it's also about the guests."

Rachel, who was once a pastry chef at Mikkelsen's Pastry Shop in Naples, had two bakers vying to create her cake. Mikkelsen's made the groom's fleur-de-lis-shaped cake, acknowledging her husband's New Orleans background, and Kakes by Karen in Naples made the wedding cake. Mikkelsen's also created plated desserts for each guest.

"I always wanted a garden-theme wedding," Rachel says. "But I wanted it to look like spring, even though the wedding was in the fall."

Red and orange rose bouquet  | Photo: Luminaire FotoPhoto: Luminaire FotoCeremony set up at the Naples Botanical Garden  | Photo: Luminaire FotoFall garden wedding gold bridal party | Photo: Luminaire FotoFlower girls with wings at a garden theme wedding | Photo: Luminaire FotoSimple rose petal aisle decor  | Photo: Luminaire FotoGarden wedding ring pillow  | Photo: Luminaire FotoPhoto: Luminaire FotoFall inspired garden wedding at the Naples Botanical Garden | Photo: Luminaire FotoFall inspired garden wedding at the Naples Botanical Garden | Photo: Luminaire FotoWatering can centerpieces at a garden theme wedding | Photo: Luminaire FotoBirds nest place cards at a garden theme wedding  | Photo: Luminaire FotoTable numbers | Photo: Luminaire FotoSeating chart  | Photo: Luminaire FotoPhoto: Luminaire FotoPhoto: Luminaire FotoElegant fleur de lis wedding cake  | Photo: Luminaire Foto


Photography: Luminaire Foto

Venue: Naples Botanical Garden

Flowers: Driftwood Garden Center

Cake: Kakes by Karen

Groom's cake: Mikkelsen's Pastry Shop


*For the two couples' complete wedding stories, please pick up a copy of Weddings Illustrated's Spring/Summer 2012 issue here.


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