Real Weddings

A Wedding Planner’s Romantic Destination Wedding In Florida


Bride and Groom

For Martina Stritesky and Evan Garnell, it was a cancelled flight that prompted their introduction. “I was visiting my best friend in Tallahassee, Florida, and returning to Toronto,” Martina explains. “My connecting flight in Charlotte was cancelled. But, as luck would have it, an airline agent took pity on me and sent me back to Tallahassee for the night. My friend picked me up and we went to a restaurant to grab a bite.” Halfway through her meal, Martina noticed Evan across the room, trying to catch her attention. “We locked eyes, eventually spoke, and it was pretty much love at first sight,” Martina shares.

The next morning, Martina was scheduled to head back home. “I was sitting on the plane when I received a text message from Evan asking me not to leave,” Martina recalls. “At that moment, the pilot came on the speaker and said the flight was cancelled due to a mechanical problem. It was then I knew fate was intervening in a big way. To think I flew away one morning to end up being rerouted back the same day only to meet my future husband that very night.” After a year of being in a long-distance relationship, Evan made the move to Toronto and proposed.

When it came to the wedding location, Palm Beach, Florida, was the obvious choice. “I’ve been throwing events for 12 years,” Martina—the founder and planner at White Bow Events—says. “For our party, I wanted a place that was new and fresh. Plus, Evan is from Florida. His whole family is there. He left so much to be with me, it was nice to go back and celebrate with his loved ones.”

The ceremony site was at The Breakers Palm Beach, on the Ocean Terrace—a rooftop overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. “I remember as I was walking down the aisle with my father that the palm trees were swaying, violins were playing, the sky was a perfect pink-blue,” Martina reflects. After their “I dos,” the duo and their guests stayed outside to watch the sunset and revel in the delicious appetizers and drinks. “We feasted on lobster rolls, oysters, tons of bubbly and, of course, Canadian caesars served in mini-mugs,” she adds.

After cocktail hour, guests found their way to The Beach Club area for dinner, which featured rows of candles and flowers alongside an incredible display of illustrated place cards. “We had a hand-drawn portrait of each of our guests secretly done,” Martina reveals. “When guests came down from the ceremony, they were greeted by a custom-built trellis accented by succulents, and a heart marquee.”

Following the main course, Martina and Evan dished out a dessert that combined their favourite elements and cultures. “We called it The United Desserts. It was a mini key lime tartlet for Evan’s Florida roots and a classic butter tartlet for my Canadian heritage,” Martina discloses.

With the party in full swing, the couple and their guests enjoyed dancing, a champagne tower, a cigar lounge and cozy seating in an outdoor room outfitted with white lanterns and hanging wisteria. For a late-night snack, two food stations represented their backgrounds by offering a classic Canadian mini-poutine and an American chicken waffle. “By the end of the night, I was on such a high from being in the same room with all the people that I love,” Evan admits with a smile. “I wish that moment could last forever. Martina did an incredible job with the planning—she was amazing with every detail of the wedding, from start to finish. She created a memory that neither one of us will ever forget.”

Martina Stritesky and Evan Garnell, November 1, 2013, Palm Beach, Florida.

Photography courtesy of Wandering Eye Photography.

Ceremony and reception location: The Breakers, Palm Beach
Bridal gown: Reem Acra from White Toronto
Bridal party attire: Jenny Yoo
Groom’s tux: MADE Clothing Co.
Favours: Hand-drawn portraits of each guest by White Bow Events
Music: Elan Artists
Hair: Hair on the Avenue
Makeup: Pretty Suite Inc.
Invitations: One Plus One
Reception stationery: Pea Design & Paper Co.
Monogram designer: Camm Design
Custom handkerchief and pillow fabrics: Spoonflower

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