Garden Parties

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.”

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.”

Photography: Luminaire Foto
Venue: Naples Botanical Garden
Flowers: Driftwood Garden Center
Cake: Kakes by Karen
Groom’s cake: Mikkelsen’s Pastry Shop

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