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There are many words that could be used to describe Laura & Richie’s wedding, held at the Inverrary Country Club in Lauderhill, FL: sunny, gorgeous, hectic to some, relaxing to others… but most of all, fun!  This couple really knows how to throw a party and their big day offered nonstop entertainment.  But more importantly, they got a chance at a beautiful cathedral in front of many friends & family members from all over the globe to publicly declare their love that will last forever.  I was behind the camera but was surrounded by inspiration.  My camera captured the fleeting moments, turning them into tangent memories that will endure time, as this couple’s promise to be together forever will as well.  From the interesting way they met to the days spent as newlyweds on their honeymoon, the story of these two is one I’ll always remember.


The Couple

Match.com was a so-called “last resort” for both Laura, a girl raised in New Jersey, and Richie, a New Yorker.  Yet it was on the last week of Laura’s subscription to the site (due to “too many horrible first dates”) that the two found one another and discovered they had a special connection.  Talk about timing!  She claims that they were “two nerds who connected through cyberspace”, so a first date was planned.  In late January of 2013 on MLK day, the two went to the Fort Lauderdale Museum.  With Richie’s funny, witty and sarcastic personality mixed with Laura, a girl who loves to laugh, the special “cyberspace” connection carried over to the “real world” and the two already knew they had something good.  It was a long day beginning at noon at the science museum and ending at 8:30 at night after doing many other activities like grabbing food, ice cream and getting to walk and talk in the park,really cultivating that connection.


The Engagement

After a while of being together, Richie decided that Laura was, in fact, the one.  He made a plan to recreate their first date, planning to go to the same park they had spent hours getting to know one another. There was a snag though when Laura began to feel unwell; Richie thought the plan was busted.  But he was determined.  After dinner at a restaurant, the two found a quaint bench to sit and talk.  This is where he popped the question.  He asked Laura to marry him, leaving her speechless.  With tears in both of their eyes she said “yes”, and just like that, the couple was engaged to be married.


The Ceremony

Picture this (or just check out the actual pictures a little further down!): a classically decorated, simplistically beautiful cathedral, St. Anthony’s Catholic Church.  The mood and the room were bright and a-buzz with excitement.  Laura’s son Domenic was beaming with pride for his mom and you could see the joy bubbling inside of him, anxious to walk his mom down the aisle “just right”.  He did a magnificent job.  At the end of that aisle was Monsignor Dixon who gave a beautiful mass.  Laura and Richie were blessed to receive the sacrament of marriage and the couple sealed the deal with the exchanging of vows and a kiss.


The Reception

Later at the Inverrary Country Club is where the party really started.  The food was great, the drinks were flowing and the dancing was nonstop!  Laura said she was dancing so much she eventually “ruined” her hair, but she claims it didn’t even phase her.  That’s a lot of dancing!  You could tell Richie was having a wonderful time, too.  He took his new bride in his arms as they had their first dance to “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran.  The couple agree that the lyrics speak perfectly to their commitment to one another.  Friends and family were clearly thankful to be a part of this happy day, and the fun that the rambunctious newlyweds were having was all too contagious.

The Honeymoon

What better way to start off a new marriage than to take a trip to Puerto Rico for the honeymoon?!  The two visited Old San Juan and participated in many awesome activities such as ziplining and rum-tasting tours.  They got a chance to soak up the culture and history of the area, as well as some of those warm Puerto Rican sun rays.

After all the fun in the sun and their romantic getaway, the two came back home.  Back to work, back to life as it was before… except there was one difference: Laura and Richie came back as a happily and newly wed couple.

The Photos

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See all the images from the wedding here.

The Vendors

Reception and catering: Inverarry Country Club
Photography: Frank Donnino Photography 

Photographic Team: Maibel, Maureen and Jennifer

Florist: Creations by Blanca
Music: DJ Ed Hall

It was a drizzly day in early March in Delray Beach, FL at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens when Ana and Jonathan gave their words of love and promises of ever-lasting commitment in front of a modest group of their closest family and friends.  But just as I think these two are very much meant to be together, it was meant to be that the weather put a pause on the rain at just the right moment in time.  But I will get more into that a little later.  Here’s a little background behind this unique couple I had the pleasure of shooting.


The Couple and Their Engagement

Ana is a spunky Costa Rican with a good sense of humor and really loves to laugh.  I’m told she’s “nerdier than she lets on”, and knowing this tidbit of information gives a little insight on the couple.  Jonathan, born in West Palm Beach, is also on the “nerdy” side.  In fact, Ana claims that “his nerdiness is part of his charm.”  He attended law school in England, so I think it’s safe to assume he’s probably a pretty smart guy.  So these two self-proclaimed “nerds” are definitely made for one another.  They met at an IMAX theatre when watching a documentary about the Hubble Space Telescope.  Seems fitting.  They’ve been together for four years, and a few months ago Jonathan decided to pop the question.  It was Christmas morning when he asked Ana for her hand in marriage, but not without getting permission first.  Yes: Jonathan, being a true gentleman, asked Ana’s seven-year-old if it was ok to propose to her mom.  Of course, she said yes, as did Ana.


The Wedding Day and the Ceremony

The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in a large venue with many different points of interest, but our day began in the peaceful gardens.  It was rainy that day, but that didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits.  Everyone was laid-back, almost reflecting the scenery around them.  Still, the quiet ambiance didn’t lack any feeling of fun or excitement.  There was one brief, twenty-minute period where the raindrops let up, and the momentary dryness couldn’t have come at a better time.  During the outdoor ceremony held in front of the Morikami falls, what would be considered the climax of any wedding day, the skies cleared completely and Ana and Jonathan got to tie the knot without precipitation.  All there was was the gentle roar of the waterfall, truly capturing the scene.  In one word: serene.  The ceremony was intimate, with only twelve guests in attendance.  The best part: the two completely embodying who they are by dressing down in Converse sneakers and Jonathan sporting a Star Wars light saber tie clip.  What a fun couple.


The Reception

The newlyweds went with a more informal reception held at their home with their family.  However, informality wasn’t a part of the decor as white linen tablecloths stretched across the table and there were beautifully delicate centerpieces of baby’s-breath flowers.  A tent was set up to keep the drizzle at bay.  It was a nice and simple garden setting.  Refreshing.  The food was catered by Mamma Mia’s Trattoria and was delicious– a huge hit.  An overall great way to end the perfect day.


Honeymoon Plans

The couple decided to put a hold on the honeymoon and postpone until the fall.  They plan to go to Costa Rica, the place Ana hails from.  When they go they’ll be visiting all the beautiful destinations and I’ll bet they’ll never find an end to the fun that will be had.  Of course, I’m sure this nerdy couple always finds a way to have fun no matter what their doing, as I’m sure they will for the rest of their lives together.


The Photos

Morikami Museum Wedding Photos The BouquetMorikami Museum Wedding Photos Couple Hugging in ForestMorikami Museum Wedding Photos Couple Standing on FenceMorikami Museum Wedding Photos Couple In Front of LakeMorikami Museum Wedding Photos Couple KissingMorikami Museum Wedding Photos Couple with Daughter on BridgeMorikami Museum Wedding Photos Couple on HorizonMorikami Museum Wedding Photos Couple with Daughter and UmbrellasMorikami Museum Wedding Photos CoupleMorikami Museum Wedding Photos Groom

To view the rest of Ana and Jonathan’s photos, click here.


The Links

Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
Frank Donnino Photography
Photographic Team Members:  Vanessa Velez and Robyn Barkley
Mamma Mia’s Trattoria


To see another post of a wedding taken at the same venue, check out Nina and Michael’s photos here.

A little rainy weather couldn’t dampen the excitement Jenna and Brandon had the day of their wedding held at The Bamboo Gallery in Davie, FL, nor could it extinguish the fiery passion the two hold for one another as a couple.  Smiles and laughter abound, this wedding was one I’ll never forget.  After the the vows were exchanged and the groom kissed his bride, the Tiki torches were lit for the reception– a flame that, to me, was a symbol of the light of love in these two people’s hearts.


The Couple

Jenna and Brandon on the surface seem to me to be a good example of the adage “opposites attract”.  While they’re not completely unalike, their differences in personality mesh splendidly.  Jenna is a girl who likes organization and punctuality but will always find happiness in a laid-back atmosphere.  When given a hammock, a good book, and a body of water to enjoy the view of, she is set.  Brandon is a little more the rambunctious type.  This sports-lover can always be found on a disc golf course, softball or ultimate frisbee field… pretty much anywhere a sport can be played.  His creative spark and ability to make Jenna laugh won her over, but not just as adults.  Both born & raised in Cooper City, FL, the two ended up first meeting in 6th grade at school.  They started dating in the 8th grade, but young relationships are hard to make last so they didn’t end up staying together at the time.  They did, however, grow extremely close as friends throughout high school.  You can’t keep a couple who’s meant to be apart, and after high school, “fate” brought the two back together.  The true testament of the strength of their love is staying together for over 9 years despite having to endure a long-distance relationship while attending different colleges and living in different states.  Talk about commitment!


The Engagement

Brandon really got her good.  One Saturday morning he told Jenna he would be at Plantation Heritage Park for the day playing disc golf.  Later that afternoon, Jenna received a phone call from him saying he had lost his car keys and needed a spare set and her help looking for the ones he “lost”.  After arriving, Jenna grew a little suspicious when seeing him overdressed for a day of playing golf.  Her suspicions of something being up were confirmed as he walked her to the lake and got down on one knee.  He wasn’t there to play, but to propose.  She, of course, said yes and the two enjoyed a picnic he set up.  Later in the evening, family and friends joined them at their favorite bar as a celebration.


The Wedding Day

As the weather wasn’t looking too good, the mood was a little hectic.  The groom, groomsmen and family spent most of the morning setting up tents to protect all the tables, chairs and equipment.  But once this was done everyone could relax, and the groom even got a chance to squeeze a trip to the disc golf course course.  Gotta love that passion in him.  The bride and bridal party had a laid-back approach to getting ready at the Renaissance Hotel and had a great time getting their hair and makeup done.  Girls always love being pampered, right?  While a little more nervous than she thought she’d be, Jenna still had a fun time as the excitement grew for the evening.  I got to shoot the couple’s “first look” pictures at the hotel.  Beautiful.  Luckily, we even managed to squeeze in the bridal photos before the rain.


The Ceremony and Reception

The ceremony began around 4:30.  It had a serene feel to it and was gorgeous.  Family, friends and a large bridal party filled the area.  The officiant, a good friend of the couple, did an awesome job.  Jenna describes the ceremony as “everything they imagined it would be”.  I couldn’t be happier to hear that.
Once it got dark The Bamboo Gallery really lit up!  Fire pits, waterfalls and those Tiki torches really gave the feeling we were in a tropical paradise.  The glow sticks were a fun touch too.  After the first dance, held to “Who I Am With You” by Chris Young, the drinks started flowing and everyone stepped into their dancing shoes.  The rain held off until the very end, but it ended up being welcomed as it cooled everyone off from the heat of the party.  So a great ending to a great day.


The Honeymoon

The two flew off to sunny Costa Rica for 8 days of nonstop fun.  They enjoyed tons of activities like a 4 hour ATV tour of the coast, some paddle-boating, and even a 2 and 1/2 hour zip line tour through the rainforest.  What an exciting adventure.  The two got to spend plenty of time at pools and beaches, soaking in the rays, the breezes and the love the newlyweds are sure to have for one another all the days of their lives together.


The Photos

The Bamboo Gallery Wedding Photos The BouquetThe Bamboo Gallery Wedding Photos Bride Looking Over ShoulderThe Bamboo Gallery Wedding Photos Bride Smiling CloseupThe Bamboo Gallery Wedding Photos The Wedding CakeThe Bamboo Gallery Wedding Photos Couple Holding ArmsThe Bamboo Gallery Wedding Photos Husband and WifeThe Bamboo Gallery Wedding Photos Couple KissingThe Bamboo Gallery Wedding Photos Wedding Cake TopperThe Bamboo Gallery Wedding Photos The GroomThe Bamboo Gallery Wedding Photos Happily Ever After


Click here to take a look at the rest of the photos of Jenna and Brandon’s big day!



Vendors List

Venue: The Bamboo Gallery
Photographer: Frank Donnino Photography
The team: Vanessa and Diego Velez   Kristen Browning.
Wedding Coordinator: Turnkey Events
Rentals: Party Explosion
Caterer: Olive and Oregano
Baker: Sweet Cakery
Florist: De La Flor
DJ: Pariba Productions
Videographer: (Friend) Tim Vothang
Hair and Makeup: Bridget Ortega Beauty
Hotel: The Renaissance Plantation


I’ve taken pics in Davie, FL before, why don’t you check them out?

At the Mirasol Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Christy and Joey said their “I dos” as a declaration of love and togetherness that will last forever.  I got to capture the beauty and excitement of this awesome occasion, and what an inspirational couple to shoot.  With the two lovebirds so happy along with the gorgeous ceremony and a reception full of smiles and laughter, I truly had a great time at work.


The Couple

Christy is a girl from Ohio who is addicted to Starbucks and shoes.  She has a warm personality and has charm to boot which must have played a part in Joey’s falling in love with her.  Joey is from New Jersey and loves playing and watching any kind of sport.  He loves to cook too (How lucky for Christy!)  They met through a mutual friend at Rocco’s Tacos when, ironically, Christy was on a date with another guy.  This didn’t stop instant sparks between her and Joey, though.  They started dating in July of 2014 and from that moment they knew they had something special.  Anyone can see that.


The Engagement

Christy and Joey were sure they were destined for marriage– so much so that they jokingly set a wedding date the very first night they spent together.  And would you believe it?  Seven months later they had their wedding on that date.  Joey popped the question one September evening at Ruth’s Chris Steak House while on a dinner date.  His stomach was in knots.  Not letting nerves overtake him he boldly proposed, and even added his own funny twist.  Before giving her the actual ring, he gave her a Ring Pop!  I’m sure she got a laugh out of this, but was glad there was a real ring too.


The Ceremony

The Ceremony went off without a hitch.  It was a magnificent day of 70 degrees and the Mirasol Country Club was decked out in gorgeous flowers.  The couple both kept cool, not letting anyone or anything phase them.  Later that day, the two walked down the aisle and it was like a wedding out of a fairytale.  Christy sported her custom-made shoes and beautiful gown while Joey sported a big smile.  The music really set the mood– it was a perfect representation of the couple and really told a story.  I’m glad I had the opportunity to capture such meaningful moments.


The Reception

Christy and Joey made their entrance in a way that perfectly describes them: grandiose and beaming with joy.  They were announced to “The Way You Make Me Feel”, a Michael Jackson classic.  Soon after they shared their first dance to Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up”.  I’m told the couple took dancing lessons for the week but humorously they say that “it didn’t help much”.  I think they did a fine job, though.  As time went on guests partied down.  There was great and even free entertainment: Brayden, Christy’s son, and Joey never left the dance floor.  Christy’s going to be spending a lifetime with those two energetic guys!


The Honeymoon

The newlyweds got to enjoy a “pre-mini honeymoon” in Chicago.  They went to enjoy the cold weather, spend some quality time alone, and to go shopping.  I hope Christy found her a pair of shoes or two to feed that addiction of hers!  Their actual honeymoon is planned to be a summer cruise to Alaska.  I’m sure they will have an amazing time they’ll never forget, and I’m sure the same goes for the life they’re spending together.

The Photos

See all the photos and video by clicking here.

Mirasol Country Club Wedding Photos Groom Lifting BrideMirasol Country Club Wedding Photos Bride and GroomMirasol Country Club Wedding Photos Bride and GirlMirasol Country Club Wedding Photos The BrideMirasol Country Club Wedding Photos The CakeMirasol Country Club Wedding Photos Groom and SonMirasol Country Club Wedding Photos The GroomMirasol Country Club Wedding Photos The RingsMirasol Country Club Wedding Photos Custom Made ShoesMirasol Country Club Wedding Photos The Wedding Dress


The Links

Mirasol Country Club
Frank Donnino Photography
Photographic Team Members:

Eddie B & Co
Reinhardt Video
Daniel Events

With a “fairy tale wedding day” and a honeymoon that never seemed to end, Whitney and Matt showed that they really know how to have a good time.  Being so fun-loving, among other traits, inspired me and made me truly love this couple.  Held at the Ritz Carlton in Key Biscayne, FL, this destination wedding will certainly be in everyone’s memories for years to come.  As these two embark on their life together as a married couple, they have many wonderful years ahead. Of this I’m sure.


The Engagement

Whitney and Matt have been together quite some time: seven years.  Wow.  They’ve spent vacation time together before.  Now they were taking another trip together, but Whitney had no idea how different this trip would be.  Matt had a plan.  A plan to propose.  So the two of them caught a plane to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.  It was a “Christmas shopping trip”… at least that’s what Whitney believed.  While there one evening they attended JB Hook’s, a steak and seafood restaurant.  At the end of the meal the waiter brought out the dessert tray, and on it sat a special “treat”.  As he was spinning the tray around Whitney caught sight of a box.  I’m sure her heart leapt.  Matt grabbed the box and got down on one knee and almost straight away the word “yes” came out of Whitney’s mouth.  What a great surprise!  Matt really lived up to his reputation for spontaneity and kept his bride-to-be on her toes as usual.


The Wedding Day and Ceremony

It was a sunny 82 degrees on the 3rd of January.  Perfect, since Whitney loves warm weather.  Family and friends were able to fly out, including Matt and Whitney’s 10 year old son, Jack.

The ceremony took place on the oceanfront lawn.  It was lovely getting to use the ocean as a backdrop.  The girls’ dresses were  complemented by the white rose petals and coral that decorated the aisle and chairs.  Whitney walked down the aisle in her dress from Alfred Angelo’s Disney Fairy Tale Bridal Gown line in a dress like Belle’s from “Beauty and the Beast”.  At the end of the aisle Matt smiled as he saw his princess.  What a moment.


The Reception

The couple got to gaze into the ocean as they had their first dance to a melody played by the acoustic guitarist.  How romantic.  Soon everyone joined in.  A beautiful scene.  No reception would be complete without the cake.  This one was a mouth-watering, chocolate ecstasy, three-tier wedding cake.  Such a fitting name– delicious.


The Honeymoon

This honeymoon has got to be the longest I’ve ever heard of.  The newlyweds began their special alone time by flying to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.  After a week of breathtaking scenery and unlimited exotic food and drink, they flew back to Miami.  But why stop there? They chose not to and extended the honeymoon by driving to Keywest, FL, where they spent four more days.  They made their way home, but made one last stop in Cocoa Beach where they stayed for a few more days  They soaked up some sun and got to visit the Daytona Speedway and the NASA Kennedy Space Center.  Finally they made the long journey back to Illinois, where friends and family anxiously awaited the couple’s return.  They are now back to life as usual in Edwardsville.  However, one thing is different.  Now they are happily married and will remain that way for the rest of their days.


The Photos

Ritz Carlton Wedding Photos Bride and GroomRitz Carlton Wedding Photos Couple KissingRitz Carlton Wedding Photos Moon RiseRitz Carlton Wedding Photos Back of DressRitz Carlton Wedding Photos Bride on BeachRitz Carlton Wedding Photos The GroomRitz Carlton Wedding Photos The RingsRitz Carlton Wedding Photos The BouquetRitz Carlton Wedding Photos The CakeRitz Carlton Wedding Photos The Family


The Links

Photography: Frank Donnino Photography

Photographic team members: Vanessa Velez, Robyn Barkley and Elda Leon

Wedding Coordinator: Cindy Roa, Ritz Carlton
Florist: Yamile Rodriguez, Flowers for You, LLC
Officiant: Reverend Charles Gilbride
Music – Guitarist: Mario Vuksanovic


To see the rest of Whitney and Matt’s pictures, click here.

I’ve also photographed another wedding at the Ritz Carlton.  Take a look at Jenny and Brad’s big day.