A celebrity wedding of International interest was recently celebrated in Sarasota at the Crosley Mansion. (See photos from the wedding.)
The bride, Natalie Marie Laughlin, is the daughter of Patricia D'Arcy Laughlin, Artist and Developer, and Peter G. Laughlin, Real Estate Broker and Developer, of Sarasota. Natalie is a famous plus size super model (referred to as "the Cindy Crawford of plus sizes". She's size 12 - 14). She is seen often on T.V., numerous magazine covers and articles, and has been featured on five billboards in Times Square for two years. The event was recently heralded in the Sunday New York Times as the Wedding of the Week.
She has hosted various shows and guest speaker at universities and seminars. She focuses primarily on modeling, self-esteem, body image, and eating disorders. A drama major of New York University, she is presently under contract with Wilhelmina Modeling Agency and others in Europe.
The groom is Andrew Sebastian Tanner, son of Ann and Lawrence Tanner of England. He has his own company in Sarasota and New York consulting and designing for designers and manufacturers of artisan, handmade menswear in Europe. He has outfitted many of the rich and famous including royalty, Heads of State, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hanks, Al Pacino, and Keanu Reeves.
Although a world traveler, Natalie met her true love right in her own back yard -- New York City -- where she owns an apartment on the Upper East Side. The couple courted for three years, often having to schedule time together in foreign countries. Andrew considers himself "third time lucky" in marrying Natalie; he was married before and has a nineteen-year-old daughter, Ashleigh.
The fairytale wedding was the grand highlight of a four-day event starting with Andrew's Sunset Cruise on Le Barge on Thursday, followed by the rehearsal dinner at the Laughlin's home on Friday, the wedding on Saturday and a beach party on Sunday.
Two hundred guests, many of them from out of town and overseas, attended the wedding. The bride was gorgeous and looked absolutely royal in a princess gown by Reem Acra. It was made of heavy ivory silk with a wide ball gown skirt and a long train that was later bustled up at the back for dancing. The bodice was fitted with a low waist, with rhinestones and tiny crystal beads embroidered around the neckline and down to a point in the front. She wore a two-tiered veil (the long one was removed for the reception) with a diamond tiara and diamond earrings.
The bouquet consisted of white and pale yellow roses, hyacinths, ranunculus, vibernum, and muscari - for 'something blue'. Attached to the satin bow binding it all together was an antique lace handkerchief of Natalie's late maternal grandmother - 'something old, and borrowed'.
There were six bridesmaids gowned by Vera Wang in pale hydrangea blue, escorted by six groomsmen. The maid of honor was Natalie's sister, Tonya and the best man was Andrew's best friend, Mark Pigou. The groom, groomsmen, and Peter Laughlin were outfitted in blue silk handmade ties and navy blue suits designed by the groom. The two flower girls, Natalie's niece, Melinda Goldstone Laughlin, and her godchild, Mikayla Dib wore yellow gold gowns also by Vera Wang, with floral wreaths in their golden hair. The ring bearer was Andrew's nephew Barnaby Hill. He wore a traditional pageboy outfit made in England by Andrew's sister, Phillipa.
Patricia, mother of the bride, was in a Cognac Peau de Soire gown with beaded flowers and stems, and matching shawl wrap and opera gloves.
The ceremony began when Natalie appeared at the top of the winding staircase of the mansion to gasps from the congregation. Reminiscent of a fairytale princess, with a fingertip veil covering her face, she floated down to be greeted by her parents Patricia and Peter, who escorted her up the aisle to be given to her anxiously awaiting groom.
Rev. Dr. Toni La Motta of the Center for Positive Living performed the ceremony on the bayside loggia of the Crosley Mansion.
The couple composed their own vows and said them while standing on their antique Persian carpet under the center arch, which was adorned with a garland of oak and grape vines and ivory, white and yellow flowers, and two large bronze urns of similar colored flowers on either side.
There were two duets sung by soprano Lynn Lickliter and Joe Spinella - "All I Ask" was first, and then Bocelli and Dion's "The Prayer" was sung during the lighting, by all four parents, of a special two-headed candle which the couple brought back from a Coptic church while on a spiritual journey in Egypt. The string quartet of Susan Stein and Tom Collogi accompanied the singers and played classical pieces, including The Blue Danube before the ceremony.
The Bach Gounod "Ava Maria" was sung by Lynn in memory of Natalie's grandmothers Irma D'Arcy and Janet Laughlin. Andrew's daughter, Ashleigh, read a bible reading chosen for the couple by Andrew's ninety-three year old grandmother, Vera Brown of the U.K., who was unable to travel.
The couple was blessed with holy water held in a crystal bowl that belonged toNatalie's great, great grandparents. The holy water was brought from Mijougoue and given to Natalie by her grandmother, Irma D'Arcy.
After the ceremony, a cocktail hour was held in the grand salon of the mansion where the guests were entertained by Dave Lapio's Tropical Steel Band, while the wedding party completed their official photographs.
The reception dinner was held in a white Marquis tent decorated with three huge crystal chandeliers, silver candelabras, and votive candles everywhere. There were fabulous floral arrangements in a blue, ivory and yellow color theme. The table centerpieces were blue hydrangea balls in square glass cubes, and the tent poles were wrapped in vines. The whole setting was described as "magical", thanks to Gail from Elegant Gardens, and Phillip Mancini of Michaels on East who catered all of the events. Many guests remarked that they had "never had such delicious food" at a wedding. Food stations were situated all around the tent, the menu consisting of Rack of Lamb, Tenderloin, Cornish Game Hen stuffed with Wild Rice, Mushrooms and Herbs, Grilled Gulf Grouper, Mixed Vegetables with Pine Nuts, Thai and Pasta stations, Cous Cous, a Seafood Boat and many other accoutrements.
The cake was a typical Trinidad (where Natalie was born) style wedding cake; the dried fruit had been soaking for over a year in rum and cherry brandy. It was baked by a Caribbean lady in Miami, and iced by Beautiful Cakes by Ron in Sarasota. It was unique and really 'Beautiful'. There were four double layers, hexagon in shape. The background was a very pale hydrangea blue with white "lace" all over, "ribbons" on the edges, and "flowers" to one side of each layer, all done in icing. It was topped with a Lladro figurine of the bride and groom, "A Kiss to Remember". It was truly a work of art.
Each guest was given a rose quartz crystal heart, signifying the love energy, in a blue silk bag with positive affirmation poetry on a card.
After toasts by the bride's father, the groom, the best man, and the maid of honor, the Bride thanked her parents, the guests for coming from near and far, and encouraged everyone to enjoy the dancing to the Hot Chilly Band and D.J. Goodley.
As everyone took to the dance floor, the bride was surrounded by her bridesmaids, cousins, parents and friends, who held out her huge skirt as they all moved in a circular direction dancing up and down with the bride, in a traditional wedding dance from Trinidad. The celebration reluctantly ended at midnight when the newlyweds walked down an aisle of guests lighting their way with sparklers to a boat that whisked them off to their honeymoon suite at the Ritz-Carlton for two nights. They will continue their honeymoon in Europe this summer. They bought a home in Sarasota and plan to live both here and in New York.
> New York Times
> Sarasota Magazine
Source: Patricia D'Arcy Laughlin