A Pretty, Backyard Wedding at Private Residence in Bradenton, Florida

Megan Chlebina (29 and an orthotist) and Santiago Gonzalez’s (31 and a medical assistant) backyard wedding mixed natural, rustic and classic details f

Megan Chlebina (29 and an orthotist) and Santiago Gonzalez’s (31 and a medical assistant) backyard wedding mixed natural, rustic and classic details for a day that was filled with personal flair. The couple started their day with a sweet ceremony in Megan’s childhood church, Community of Christ. She walked up the aisle in a classic A-line wedding dress as Oneco Florist added a whimsical touch to her look. She carried a romantic bouquet of blush garden roses, white roses, pink roses and white hydrangeas with fun purple veronica accents. “I wanted a wild feel to the flowers, nothing too formal or structured,” says Megan. After the couple exchanged vows, their celebration moved to a private residence in Bradenton, Florida, where a large Oak tree was the center of their reception. Personal wedding photos of the couple’s parents and grandparents were hung from the tree by burlap and lace fabric as dozens of mason jars were suspended overhead. Each was filled with a single candle that added a soft glow over the grounds. Hanging mason jars also lined the way to the couple’s tent as their wedding cake stood out on an aqua linen-covered table. Cakes By Ron baked  filled four-tiers with cupcakes in red velvet, chocolate and six other flavors. Each was topped with an icing drizzle, frosting, candy and sprinkles. A single-tier wedding cake was placed at the top as a fun silver lace design covered the confection. Kera Photography captured every blue, purple, green and white detail of the day below. For future couples, Megan and Santi share a tip: “Make your budget early and stick with it! At times it was tough, but we found ways to make it work - mostly by asking willing and talented friends and family for help.”

As yards of string lighting were hung over the dance floor, Megan and Santi added a rustic touch to their lighting design with a few dozen mason jars. Each was strung from a grand oak tree as white candles within the jars added a welcome glow to their candy bar and outdoor seating areas. A line of hanging mason jars also led the way to their rented reception.
Megan and one of her friends added a personal touch to the day with their centerpieces. The couple ordered dozens of blooms wholesale but did not know what types of flowers would arrive until the day of their wedding! The couple’s friend created each centerpiece and accent with purple veronica, yellow, orange and burgundy roses, purple and fuchsia daisies as well as greenery. Each whimsical arrangement was placed in a tall frosted-glass trumpet vase.
Megan chose a romantic bouquet from Oneco Florist with a few whimsical accents for her wedding day. It was filled with soft blush garden roses, white and pink roses and white hydrangeas as purple veronica popped from the arrangement. All of the blooms were wrapped with a sweet ivory ribbon.
The team at Sarasota Brides & Formalwear worked with Megan to find a classic wedding dress that fit her personality. “I wanted a dress that complimented me and not a dress that I was an accessory in,” says Megan. She chose a white A-line wedding dress accented with sweet floral appliqués and lace straps.
After looking through paint swatches in Lowe's for two hours, Megan and her mother picked the couple's color palette. Each of the bridesmaids chose her own dress based on the couple's blue and purple wedding colors. "I wanted everyone to feel good because when you feel good, you look good," says Megan.
For a sweet and personal touch, Megan and Santi used burlap and lace fabric to hang personal photos from their engagement as well as their parents and grandparents' weddings along a grand oak tree. “After all, if it were not for them, we would not be who we are today,” says Megan.
Simple Olive Monogram Sweetheart Table Accent
With whimsical centerpieces of purple veronica, multicolored roses and daisies, the couple opted for a simpler accent on their iron reception tables. Potted succulents were placed in low tin vases as burlap trim and a small blue initial accented the base.
Cakes by Ron baked eight flavors of cupcakes to cover four tiers of the couple’s dessert display. The final tier, was accented with a sweet single-layer wedding cake. The lace detailing on Megan’s wedding dress was complemented with a fun silver lace accent on the confection.
“For the dance floor we strung white Christmas lights over the cement slab to create a bright inviting dancing area,” says Megan. The couple’s reception design focused on the dance floor as Megan and Sani kept their guests entertained with music from a DJ. They also had a fun photo booth with a green screen and a whimsical candy bar.