Tying the knot, Sanibel style
On Jan. 15, 2010, The Sanibel-Captiva Islander contained a charming article about a young man from Pennsylvania who proposed marriage to his sweetheart by ‘planting’ a junonia on the beach with his “will you marry me?” message printed inside the shell.
On April 9, Julia Dressler and Michael Grey made good on the promises from 15 months ago and tied the knot in style at Sanibel’s iconic Casa Ybel Resort.
The bride was escorted to the 4 o’clock beach ceremony site by her parents, Suzanne and Barry Dressler of Jeffersonville, Pa., and Sanibel. Awaiting them were 75 guests who had assembled from as far away as Washington State and as near as Sanibel. As the bride approached, a spontaneous cheer went up from the guests, surprising all.
Awaiting them was the groom, accompanied by his best man, Josh Weigner of Boston, and Julia’s Matron of Honor and cousin, Erin Intessimoni of Waterford, N.J.
Sanibel resident and owner of Weddings by the Sea, Patricia Slater, conducted the ceremony uniting the couple. The very personal insights of Slater’s service included the couple’s love of the island and of finding that special junonia discovered on the beach at Sanibel Moorings, where the bride’s parents have owned their home-away-from-home since 1985.
The Matron of Honor proclaimed a reading from Sacred Scripture, the First Letter of John, in which God is acknowledged at the source of love. Mrs. Intessimoni also offered a Nuptial Blessing, on behalf of all those present, near the conclusion of the ceremony.
The couple’s vows amused the gathering with their whimsical yet deeply-heart-felt commitment.
The bride, a die-hard fan of the Philadelphia Phillies, promised that the groom would always be her MVP, that she would share their road trip of life together through many championship seasons.
The groom, a collector of antique Jeeps, promised a life of love and excitement that would be as much fun as driving a rugged trail Jeep with no windshield, no doors or top! The couple obviously knows the value of a sense of humor within married life.
Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed a cocktail party on the Great Lawn with butlers serving the couple’s signature drink, Sanibel Sunset, immediately upon arriving off the hot, sunny beach. Hors d’oeuvres were enjoyed, and tropical music by Clint Wiley delighted the guests until dinner was served under a magnificent tent. Chef John Wolff, of Thistle Lodge, served a delicious plated dinner featuring a duet of Filet Mignon with a red wine demi glaze and Florida Grouper with a key lime-infused butter sauce.
The stunningly beautiful wedding cake, created by Mason’s Bakery, was a three-square-tiered tower of citrus fillings of key lime, lemon, and orange amid white cake topped by butter cream icing and white chocolate seas shells.
The tables were adorned with aqua table linens, orange napkins, sand dollar place cards, and gorgeous tropical bromeliad centerpieces created by Sanibel resident and horticultural expert, Judy Hicks.
The bride and groom and all the wedding-goers danced the night away to the energetic music of Clint Wiley’s None Other, six-piece rock band of state-wide renown. It was a gorgeous, starry night with Gulf breezes cooling the dancers. The band ended the festivities with Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” which brought down the house.
All of the images and memories of the day’s events were captured by highly respected Sanibel photographer, Nick Adams. It was a perfect day comprised of dozens of details all expertly overseen by Casa Ybel’s Wedding Coordinator, Jennifer Dube.
After a “Morning after Mimosa Party” at the Dresslers’ home on Sunday morning and spending a relaxing day with friends and family, the couple departed on Monday for the docks at Fort Lauderdale. Awaiting the newlyweds was an 11-night cruise on Celebrity’s Equinox balcony state room and concierge class service to the countries of Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia, and Grand Cayman Islands. While there was no television reception of Phillies games, the couple did experience two shore excursions of Jeep-adventuring through the rain forests in Central America!
On April 22, the couple flew north to take up residence in their new home in Skippack, Pennsylvania. But their hearts belong to Sanibel and it won’t be long until they return to the place they love best.