Maggie Mahoney and Dan Miekina's elegant wedding at Bay Preserve in Osprey.

Maggie Mahoney and Dan Miekina
Chicago, IL
Venue: Bay Preserve
How did you and Dan meet?
Online! And we got engaged on the anniversary of our first date: September 9, 2011.
You both live in Chicago—how did you choose Sarasota for your wedding location?
My parents have lived in Sarasota for the past few years and my grandparents have lived here since the late ‘70s. All three of their daughters—my mom and both aunts—got married in Sarasota, so I thought it would be special to carry on that tradition.
Why did you pick Bay Preserve as your venue?
I’d always dreamed of having an intimate, elegant at-home wedding, but my parents’ home didn’t afford that, given the complications of parking. So we originally planned to have the wedding at The Oaks—but then my mom stumbled across Bay Preserve, called me and said she’d found the perfect spot. I looked it up [online] and, sight unseen, we booked it.
What about it stood out to you?
The home was grand and beautiful and right on the water, and it gave our guests the opportunity to enjoy all that Old Florida has to offer—the Spanish moss dangling from the trees, the big old oaks overlooking the water.
Tell us a little about your vendors.
Our invitations were done by Paper Tree, and Ann Stocke helped us come up with our save-the-dates and invitations, but also our welcome baskets—people were coming in over Memorial Day weekend and so we had sand pails waiting at the front desk of all the hotels they were checking into, filled with all sorts of things that were reminiscent of Florida—orange juice, Sun Chips, monogrammed koozies—and Anne tied to them a little pamphlet that indicated all the different events going on.
I wanted the flowers to be beautiful and elegant, but also understated, and Jim and Arthur at Tiger Lily were a huge help and oversaw everything from the centerpieces to the bouquets.
Michael’s On East is Bay Preserve’s exclusive caterer, and SRQ Servicestook all of our guests to Church of the Redeemer [for the ceremony] and then to Bay Preserve. We had a big wedding cake from Cakes by Ron, andBarbara Banks, our photographer, lived up to her reputation. Our band,DeLeon Entertainment, had everyone on their feet.
What will you remember most about your wedding?
It was the most fun night of my life. Being surrounded by so many family and friends couldn’t have been anything other than wonderful. Everything went off without a hitch, and it didn’t matter that it was 95 degrees outside or that there was a huge storm overhead. In fact, we had planned to spend a few nights at the Gasparilla Inn on Boca Grande, but we woke up the morning after the wedding and didn’t want to leave—we ended up staying on Siesta the rest of the weekend so we could be with our friends and family.

Wedding planner: DayPlanners/Anna Pohl
Save the dates/invitations/welcome bags: The Paper Tree/Ann Stocke
Transportation: SRQ Services
Florist: Tiger Lily
Photographer: Barbara Banks
Videographer: Starfruit Productions
Bridal gown: Anne Barge
Bridal hair and makeup: Ana Molinari
Bridesmaids’ hair and makeup: Marmalade
Bridesmaids’ dresses: JS Collections