From Marathon to Married at Sundial

DATE: February 27, 2018

Brian and Kacy ended 2017 on a high note when they said “I do” at Sundial. From a proposal at the Chicago Marathon to tying the knot on the sands of Sanibel, this couple’s wedding journey is a fun one!

Where are you from?
We are based in Northern Illinois, about an hour away from Chicago. Brian has lived in this area his whole life. I grew up on Marco Island in Florida until my family relocated to Illinois. I spent many weekends and holidays on Sanibel visiting my grandparents.

How did he propose?
In October we ran the Chicago Marathon, Brian had the engagement ring wrapped in tissue in his back pocket (it had a zipper!) checking it every quarter mile. He grabbed my hand as we crossed the finish line and caught me completely by surprise when he got down on one knee.

What are three adjectives that your guests would use to describe your wedding?
The 3 most common compliments we got were:
-The food was delicious!
-Everything was perfect!
-It was beautiful!

tropical table top decor wedding sanibel 2017

Where did you pull inspiration?
We wanted to complement the natural island vibe that Sanibel offers, we wanted to keep it simple and we wanted the beauty of the location to shine.

What were some of your favorite wedding details? How did you come up with them?

beach ceremony sanibel island 2017

  1. Our menu:  Avid fans of Mexican food, we chose to have a taco bar and serve margaritas during dinner. We wanted to have a meal that was “us” and that was fun and different than a typical wedding meal. The meal was our number one compliment from the night.
  2.  Our ceremony:  Like the menu, we wanted to personalize the ceremony, short and sweet with a little bit of humor. One of my favorite parts of the ceremony was a letter we read from Brian’s grandfather to his grandmother from 1943 that we were lucky enough to find just one week before the ceremony.
  3. The background: The beach was beautiful, the Gulf calm, and we felt our beach ceremony was very intimate.
  4. The island accents: Not being a huge flower girl, I opted for greenery to decorate our reception. I thought lanterns were a perfect fit because of the historic lighthouse on Sanibel. It was simple but elegant. We used capiz shells for place cards. We opted for key lime pie instead of cake because it is our favorite dessert when visiting Sanibel.
  5. My Flower Crown: I wore my hair loose with waves and a simple flower crown made by Florist Artistry on the island. I had my hair down and the ladies at Kay Casperson Lifestyle Spa & Boutique in the resort were kind of enough to help me place and secure it.

Why did you decide to have the wedding at Sundial?
The ability to have our ceremony right on the beach and to have floor to ceiling windows inside our reception room leading out to a gorgeous balcony overlooking the beach and ocean were the big selling points for us. Additionally, we loved the modern-ness of the resort, the beautiful entry and lobby, the fun pool and tiki bar area, and all of the great views of the Gulf throughout the resort.

We also felt we had the warmest reception here. From Tiffany, the banquet and event manager, to the banquet staff, front desk receptionists, and the rest of the resort staff, everyone was professional and friendly. It was the small things that won us over: quick response time, a small gift when I toured (a much-needed stress ball), checking in to see how our decision-making process was going without being overwhelming, the time spent showing us around on short notice. These small gestures continued throughout our process and just confirmed to us that we had made the right decision.

How many other venues did you look at? What made Sundial the one?
We looked at four other venues on Sanibel and Captiva. We decided that Sundial was the best choice for us because of the friendliness of the resort staff, the beautiful views, the ability to customize, the resort amenities and the overall value we felt we would be receiving. I knew right away Sundial was the type of venue I would want to work with.

Would you recommend Sundial to other couples? Why?
Yes, yes, yes! Great food, a friendly, accommodating, and expert staff, clean, new facilities and beautiful views from anywhere on the resort. And your guests will have a blast! We had 70 guests, ages ranging from 1 to 89, and heard nothing but good things from everyone about the great stay they had.

Once you decided on Sundial, how did you choose where you wanted the ceremony and reception to be?

wedding group shot wedding party sundial sanibel island 2017

With most of our guests hailing from the Midwest, in December, we wanted to spend as much time outside as possible soaking up the beautiful weather and scenery, so we chose the Lace Murex Lawn for cocktail hour which offered a semi-private setting surrounded with beautiful vegetation and made cozy by lights strung across the area. We chose the Sundial Ballroom for our reception because, while it offered indoor dining, the room still had beautiful views of the Gulf and a great balcony overlooking the Gulf for guests to enjoy. 

Any big surprises on your big day?
Perfect weather! Also, not having to worry about the logistics of when or where to arrive at the ceremony, what to do after the ceremony, when to enter the reception, et cetera, Tiffany handled all of this and, in my opinion, was a lifesaver! Mostly, we were surprised that there were no real surprises!

What was your first dance song?
Say You Won’t Let Go- James Arthur. 

What advice would you give future brides thinking about tying the knot at Sundial?
Do it! At the start of the wedding planning process, I knew I wanted to plan everything myself, however, I was floundering a bit. With the help of Sundial, books, and websites it all came together easily and mostly stress-free. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and request changes so that everything is to your liking. If great food and a beautiful venue are top on your list, this is the place.  

Wedding Vendors:
Hair & makeup: Kay Casperson Lifestyle Spa & Boutique at Sundial
Cake (key lime pie): Bailey’s
Entertainment: Dan Confrey from Thank You For the Dance
Florist: Florist Artistry,, & Sam’s Club
Photography: Dave Graham & Karen Davidson

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