By Sara Giza
Photos by Ross Gordon
Two may be a lucky number for newlyweds Michael Gordon and Angela Snyder. A widower, Michael has two sons. Previously married, Angela also has two children. It would take the nudge of two friends, two months and a little bit of fate to bring them together.
“A longtime mutual friend had initially tried to set us up,” explains Angela. “However, we actually met two months later through another mutual friend who unintentionally invited both families to dinner as we were all in Seaside, Florida for spring break.” From the beginning, the focus was on family.
The couple got engaged in the Bahamas, after getting approval from all four children. With all in agreement, it was time to plan the special day. “We wanted a beach wedding,” says Angela. “After all the family excitement from the engagement, we knew we needed a fun, casual venue that could satisfy our wants and easily accommodate guests for a weekend destination wedding.”
They chose TradeWinds Resort for its beautiful, lush grounds and white sand beach. It was also easily accessible from both Tampa and St. Pete airports. “The hospitable and experienced staff were so accommodating from the start,” Angela says on the venue selection. “The resort offers a plethora of activities to satisfy all ages and downtown St. Pete is a quick cab ride away.” She found the wedding team professional and easy to work with from the initial call to the actual wedding day. She appreciated that every detail was covered and they were able to make the majority of arrangements over the phone.
With Michael’s sister-in-law Kim Sears coordinating, they were able to have 72 family members and friends attend a very casual beach weekend in St. Pete, centered around the blending of families. The day of was a true family affair. Michael’s nephew Chris Sears officiated, while his sons Kyle and Mitchell stood by his side. Angela’s son Peyton escorted her down the aisle as her daughter Courtney fulfilled the role of maid of honor.
“After the traditional vows and additional ones including the children, we all participated in a sand ceremony with colored sand for each persons’ birthstone to signify our new blended family,” Angela recalls of the special day. They also had her wedding band made to include each family member’s birthstone, as a beautiful reminder of their blended family and unity.
According to Angela, simple white hydrangeas and pink roses were the signature flowers of choice. Candlelit lanterns and seashells with ocean blue accents transformed the ballroom into a more casual beach reception. A sit-down dinner with dancing followed the ceremony. The high energy nine-person band, C’Nergy from Orlando, had everyone on the dance floor all night.
Post-wedding, the family is busy as ever. With kids either back to high school or off to college and Michael starting back at this business, Anytime Waste Systems, they’ve had to postpone the honeymoon. They’ve planned a week-long trip of rest and relaxation for October, when the two will explore the beautiful Turks & Caicos. VT