Hilary and Gerry were married along Destiny Beach in Destin, Fla. on August 24. “Growing up, I always dreamed about getting married on the beach with my bare feet in the sand and the sound of the waves in my ears,” Hilary said. “My husband and I met at the beach, and he later proposed on the beach; it seemed fitting for us.” The ceremony took place before sunset with 12 of their closest family and friends (and two dogs) witnessing. Seashells lined the aisle and starfish decorated the chairs. “Our backs were to the sun, so we had no idea what the sunset looked like until we turned around and saw the most stunning pink skies,” she said. During the recessional, bubbles were blown! Hilary wore a sweetheart tulle wedding gown, accessorized with a turquoise statement necklace, while Gerry wore a white button-up shirt and khaki pants. Her bouquet and his boutonniere featured white roses and seashells from their parents’ honeymoon. How sentimental! Reception tables were decorated with burlap linens, gold charger platers, and illuminated with candles. The cake was their favorite flavor — red velvet.
Ashley and Brian were married at Goodwood Musuem and Gardens in Tallahassee, Fla. on November 10. “It was what I always dreamed of as the venue for me — full of Southern elegance and charm — huge live oak trees and plantation house all at the same location made for a picture perfect day.” Before the ceremony, the lovebirds decided to not see each other, but to exchange letters while holding hands around the corner of the building. Ashley wore a satin fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown with a keyhole back, while Brian wore a classic black tuxedo with bow tie. Bridesmaids donned in red orange long chiffon dresses and carried bouquets featuring white roses, eucalyptuses, and dusty millers. “The flowers were absolutely stunning, combined with the hundreds of candles at the reception,” she said. Even though the church Ashley grew up attending, her mom was able to take the old doors (since they were replaced with new ones) and repurpose them at the end of the aisle. “I started crying during the ceremony, and Brian reached up and wiped the tears off my face,” she said. “It was such a sweet and precious moment.” Guests were escorted to their seats with pine cones, long banquet tables were decorated with tall floral centerpieces, and instead of a cake, there were mini shot glasses of milk and fudge striped cookies.
Marielle and Ali set the date for their multicultural wedding in Jacksonville, Fla. on October 12. “Having grown up Catholic, it was very important to me that we had a Catholic ceremony,” Marielle said. “Ali is Persian, so it was important to him that we also had a Persian ceremony (Sofreh Aghd). For these reasons, we felt that it was best to have 2 ceremonies to incorporate both of our backgrounds.” Marielle wore a lace bodice a-line wedding gown, accessorized with a pair of “something blue” Badgley Mischka peep-toe heels while Ali wore a classic black tuxedo with a bow tie. The bride’s favorite moment? “Standing in the back of the church feeling excited, happy, and also a little nervous,” she said. “It was crazy to think that after all the months of preparation and waiting, it was finally here.” The groom’s favorite moment? Of course, seeing Marielle walk down the aisle. The historic ballroom inside the Florida Yacht Club was filled with floral arrangements featuring pastel colored peonies, garden roses, white hydrangeas, baby’s breath, and dusty millers. Guests couldn’t resist the scenic views of the St. John River. After dinner and dancing, the newlyweds took off on a boat! Now, that’s a unique send off.
Karina and Taylor were married at the restored Spanish farmhouse Casa Feliz in Winters Park, Flor. on October 13. Pumpkins atop hay bales stating, “welcome to our wedding” greeted guests as they arrived. The bride wore a v-neck wedding gown and Mary Jane checkered print pumps whereas her ‘maids wore purple dresses and saddle pumps. Bouquets featured dahlias, calla lilies, mums, fern curls, and thistle. The outdoor ceremony and reception overlooked the golf course with twinkling cafe lights overhead. Tables were decorated with lace linens, red napkins, tea candles, and unique centerpieces — succulents with hot air balloons — while glass bulbs were filled with blooms for favors.
1. What was the one thing about your venue that made you know it was the one?
When I chose to get married in the Florida Keys, I scoured the Upper and Central Keys for a vacation home where my closest friends could stay and where I could hold the wedding. The majority of vacation home rentals, however, prohibit wedding ceremonies over 20 people due to zoning and noise ordinances. I was familiar with Pierre’s Restaurant, a venue famous for its sunset weddings. When I went to Pierre’s to scope it out, hip Greek techno music was playing on Pierre’s beach and after my exasperating search to that point, I took it as a sign that this was my venue!
2. Which two details from your wedding were your favorites?
I adored my wedding dress and flowers. When people told me, “You will know your dress when you see it,” I thought, “Do they know how many ugly wedding dresses are out there?” Truth be told, I literally lost my breath the moment I saw my dress. To all disheartened brides out there, I urge you to keep looking. I am living testament that there is a dress for everyone! Given the overwhelming expense of a wedding, it is tempting for a bride to skimp out on the flowers. But flowers are the only creation on Earth, aside from human beings, that create light. Next time you see a bouquet of flowers or a field of wildflowers, notice how your heart center expands.
3. Give us the one moment in your wedding day you can’t stop thinking about.
My favorite part of the wedding day was having the Greek Orthodox ceremony on the beach. The Orthodox Church, much like the Catholic, rarely approves requests to marry outdoors. We were extremely lucky and never will forget the beauty and significance of our ceremony as we overlooked the vast and beautiful ocean, caressed by the wind and kissed by the sun.