Chic Tropical Tent Wedding on Sanibel Island { Jennifer + Jeffrey }


Pineapples.  We love Jennifer & Jeffery’s tropical design and all the pineapples they included in the décor.  Their super tropical beach wedding at Sanibel Island’s Casa Ybel Resort started off with toes in the sand and continued through the night on the oceanfront lawn.  The tented reception was decked out with brightly colored florals, tropical greenery and, yep, pineapples.  Did we mention how much we love the pineapples?


Venue: Casa Ybel Resort |239-472-0693 |
Photography: Emma Burdis Photography
Flowers: Floral Symphony | 239-278-1500 |
Officiant: Rev. Dr. Jim Berger | 239-571-1769
Wedding Cake: Lady Cakes Bakery | 239-549-2253 |


Romantic Escape – Beach Wedding on Sanibel Island { Stephanie + Elijah }

Matt Steeves Photography Casa Ybel Sanibel Island_0058

New York is cold in February!  Stephanie and Elijah decided to escape to sunny Florida to get married on the beach on Sanibel Island.  They welcomed their guests to warmer weather at Casa Ybel Resort where they dined al fresco on the open air patio.  This was a destination wedding done so very right!


Venue: Casa Ybel Resort | 239-472-0693 |
Photography: Matt Steeves Photography | 239-246-1707 |
Flowers: Floral Artistry | 239-472-0693 |
Hair & Make Up: Sanibel Day Spa | 239-395-2220 |
Wedding Cake: Lady Cakes Bakery | 239-549-2253 |

Tropical Wedding in Paradise – Sanibel Island, FL { Karla + Alex }


If we had to use one word to describe Karla & Alex’s wedding, it would be FUN.  The most important thing about their Sanibel Island wedding weekend was that their guests have fun.  They held a tennis tournament and volleyball match the morning of their wedding!  We love how laid back these two were.  Their beach wedding ceremony and tented back lawn reception were full of joy and laughter.  The tropical centerpieces and sand dollar favors were a nod to their Sanibel Island wedding locale.


Venue: Casa Ybel Resort | 239-472-0693 |
Photography: Nikki May Day Photography |
Flowers: Floral Artistry | 239-472-3040 |
Music: Steve Farst | 239-645-0651 |
Hair & Make Up: Sanibel Day Spa | 239-395-2220 |
Wedding Cake: Lady Cakes | 239-549-2253 |

Do I really need a wedding planner? Here are 8 reasons you do.

written by Courtney Gabelbauer of Fabulously Chic Weddings


A wedding planner can be an invaluable addition to the planning process. They can save you time, money and a lot of stress.

Do I really need a wedding planner?

My venue provides a coordinator. 

I can do all of the planning myself. 

These are just a few of the phrases that I’ve heard from brides that opt to not get a planner. Can you do and handle all of the planning yourself? Probably; if you have the time. Will the outcome and your experience be the same? No.

Here are eight reasons you, your wallet, and your sanity need a wedding planner:

  1. Keeping you on Track

It’s a wedding planner’s job to keep you on track. They will tell you what you need to be doing when, specifically for your wedding. The peace of mind alone in this is significant. You don’t have to worry or wonder what you should do next, or if you’re forgetting something. You can enjoy wedding planning and simply do the tasks you’re asked as you are prompted to do them. It’s really that simple!


  1. Budget Management 

Weddings are expensive. Whether your budget is $20,000 or $200,000, the numbers need to be managed by someone. Your wedding planner can advise you to make decisions that stay in line with your budget, and they can let you know how decisions can affect the bottom line.


  1. Saving Money

Speaking of budgets, a wedding planner can actually save you money! They will advise you on where your money is best spent, and what’s truly “worth it”. They know who has the best options at the best price point. Wedding planners know what things should cost in their area. They can advise you on what you actually need and help you save on things you don’t. For example, I’ve had clients book my services after they have already hired their photographer. In numerous cases the client contracted the photographer for a ten hour package, and when we crafted the timeline, they only needed seven hours. I could have saved them around $1500+ in that scenario alone if they had hired me before signing a contract with a photographer.

  1. Constructing your Vision 

One of the biggest reasons my clients tell me they hire me is for the design aspect of the wedding. Bringing your vision to life can be extremely difficult for some brides. They know what they love on Pinterest, but the ability to execute is far above and beyond clicking “pin it”. It’s your wedding planner’s job to help you figure out your vision (if you don’t have one) and bring it to life (all within budget!). Wedding planners will help you choose the perfect color scheme, linens, charger plates, flowers, chairs, custom stationery pieces, lighting, bridesmaid dress, cake, signage, and this list goes on and on!


  1. Wedding Day Timeline

Properly planning out the wedding day is a crucial  requirement for the day to run smoothly and be stress-free. You need one person to manage the combined duties and agenda of all your vendors to ensure that everyone has the time they need to do their job the best they can. Things like getting ready: when do you need to be ready by? What time do you need to be putting your dress on? Is there padding in the timeline in case hair and make up runs behind, or if you’re missing an earring? Is there time for the special shot you wanted with your bridesmaids in their custom robes? There should be. Your planner will plan out every part of your day from start to finish to ensure that it runs smoothly. Your planner will also manage and plan the day for your vendors. What time is everyone arriving? What time can they start setting up? Your planner will take care of this!


  1. Reviewing Contracts 

Contracts are incredibly important and a wedding planner’s familiarity with contracts is invaluable. They will ensure that every detail is correct and covered before you sign.


  1. Troubleshooting 

Things go wrong. Your perfect day is not always perfect. There is not always someone readily available or equipped to save the day if something unexpected throws a wrench in your plans. It’s the wedding planner’s job to foresee an issue before it occurs, and fix them when they do. (Almost) everything is fixable. It’s just a matter of knowing how to solve the problem.  Wedding planners have the experience and the calm to handle these issues for you.


  1. Managing Family Dynamics 

This is something I never would have known would be a part of my job, until my first wedding. There are different personality types within all families (and let’s be real, always a little drama) and the blending of two families isn’t always easy. Your planner has experience with different personality types and can help manage difficult situations. Let’s say your future mother-in-law insists on hosting a formal, sit-down dinner for the rehearsal dinner and that’s just not you. It’s my job to sell your future mother-in-law on all the reasons that a casual buffet will provide the most amazing guest experience and will be a better choice. (Disclaimer: Not all wedding planners will get involved in things like this, but I’m always genuinely happy to help!!)



Owner and Head Planner of Fabulously Chic Weddings, Courtney Gabelbauer has been planning and designing weddings in Southwest Florida for nine years. Her work has been featured in print in The Knot, The Celebration Society, Weddings Illustrated, and My Florida Wedding, and noteworthy blogs such Style Me Pretty, Every Last Detail, The Knot and MODWeddings. 

Cake on the Ocean! Tented Beach Wedding – Sanibel Island, FL { Yuyu + Dan }

Matt Steeves Photography Casa Ybel Sanibel Weddings_0017

Casa Ybel Resort in Sanibel Island, Florida, is a popular choice for New York wedding couples.  Yuyu and Dan decided to escape the busy NYC scene for a laid back, island style soiree.  They tied the knot on the white sand beach and enjoyed cocktails and a night of fun in a tented reception on the Gulf of Mexico.


Venue: Casa Ybel Resort | 239-472-0693 |
Photography: Matt Steeves Photography | 239-246-1707 |
Florist: Floral Artistry | 239-472-3040 |
Music: Steve Farst | 239-645-0654 |
Cake: Lady Cakes | 239-549-2253 |
Hair & Make Up: Jamie Lyn Cintron | 239-839-5602 |


Seaside Island Wedding – Sanibel, FL { Emily + David }


The perfect island style wedding has champagne on the beach and a ukulele.  Emily and David’s beach wedding at Casa Ybel Resort on Sanibel island had both of those and an intimate group of family and friends to celebrate with.


Venue: Casa Ybel Resort | 239-472-0693 |
Photography: Impressions Photography | 239-437-1838 |
Florist: Floral Artistry | 239-472-3040 |
Hair & Make Up: Sanibel Day Spa | 239-395-2220 |
Cake: Lady Cakes | 239-549-2253 |

World Travelers Wed on Sanibel Island – Casa Ybel Resort { Lindsay + Gordon }


When Lindsay and Gordon called us from Europe to plan to their beach wedding on Sanibel Island, we knew this would be an international affair.  Guests came from all over the globe to watch Lindsay and Gordon say “I do” on the beach at Casa Ybel Resort.  Details of the wedding highlighted the couples many travels together while also carrying a distinct Florida vibe.


Venue: Casa Ybel Resort | 239-472-0693 |
Photography: Matt Steeves Photography | 239-246-1707 |
Florist: Floral Artistry of Sanibel | 239-472-3040 |
Music: Steve Farst | 239-645-0651 |
Hair & Make Up: Duality Artistry | 801-557-0054 |