Brimming with pure sweetness, these Sunshine State “I Do’s” may put a lump in your throat. From the beautiful Bride’s priceless expression while reading a love note from her Groom-to-be, to the Bridesmaids giggles, to the adorable Father Daughter dance, every emotional moment, captured by Jacqui Cole Photography, is filled with lovely and is all in the gallery right here!
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From Jacqui Cole Photography…Courtney and Adam choose to host their special day at the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa. Courtney looked absolutely incredible in her blush Allure Bridal gown! The Bridesmaids wore stunning pistachio green dresses accompanied by soft blush florals by 2Birds Events. After a beautiful church ceremony, Courtney and Adam joined their guests and danced the night away. The happiness from this day is just to clear from the photos, it was such a joy to capture!
From the Bride…Adam and I actually met in high school and started dating at the end of our sophomore year. We had been set up on a triple date with some friends, but wanted to get to know each other a little better first, so our first official date was a run around our high school’s campus. We love having this story now, because my parents first date was also a run around their college campus and they have been married for 30 years! We got engaged the week of our eight year anniversary and the Saturday before Easter, which is a big holiday for both of our families so it was so fun celebrating with them the next day and Adam had hidden my ring in a plastic Easter egg.
Since Adam and I met and grew up in the Clearwater area, we knew that is where we wanted to get married. My family had been members of the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa since I was in high school and Adam and I had gone there a bunch to go to dinner and hang out by the pool, so it held a lot of great memories for us. We felt it would be the perfect place to have the reception, because besides being beautiful, it also held the number of people we planned on inviting and we really wanted to have the reception at a place where guests could stay on site. We also knew we wanted to have a Catholic wedding ceremony and the beautiful Espiritu Santo Catholic Church is right down the road from the Spa, making it the perfect fit for us.
After booking the church and the reception site, our priorities for booking vendors was the photographer and DJ, as we knew their availability would probably hold the shortest timeline. We absolutely loved all of our vendors and would absolutely recommend them to anyone getting married in the Tampa Bay area. We found our fabulous photographer, Jacqui Cole, through mutual friends, Adrienne and Chase, who were using her for their wedding a month before ours. I saw Adrienne and Chase’s engagement photos and immediately fell in love with Jacqui’s photography style and knew I had to have her for my wedding. Adam and I first met Jacqui at our engagement shoot. Adam and I were both pretty nervous that we would feel cheesy or awkward during the engagement shoot, but Jacqui made us feel so comfortable and we ended up having a blast! I would highly recommend engagement photos to any bride who is questioning whether to do them or not because it really helps you feel at ease with the photographer on the wedding day. By the time the wedding came around we felt like Jacqui had become a great friend and we had a blast celebrating the day with her, which I think also came across in our wedding photos (which we LOVE!). We also loved our DJ, Ben. Adam and I wanted fun music playing and everyone dancing the entire reception, so having a great DJ that would keep everyone up and moving was really important to us. Ben had the most contagiously fun personality and was the perfect fit for our wedding. Lastly, our videographer, Ian, captured so many wonderful memories from our wedding day, some of which we didn’t even realize until we watched the video. One of the things I loved most about Ian was the fact that he met us at the church prior to rehearsal and interviewed Adam and I separately to capture our feelings right before the big day. It was so nice to have clips of our interviews intermingled throughout our video to really capture all of the excitement and love that we were feeling for each other, our family and our friends. We ended up booking all of our wonderful vendors through recommendations of people we knew and trusted. It was nice hearing first hand what their experiences were like, and I would highly recommend it to all brides!
One of the most special things to me about the wedding was my wedding dress. I wore the most beautiful blush pink Allure Bridals ball gown. Besides being gorgeous, the dress held extra significance to me because I was able to order it from my aunt, who owns The Bridal and Formal Shoppe of Pendleton in South Carolina. It was so fun having someone I am so close with so involved in one of the most special and important things to me about the wedding.
Our wedding style was classic and elegant but with lots of fun mixed in. Our colors were blush pink and pistachio/sage green, with hints of gold and ivory thrown in. Our ceremony was very traditional (maybe minus the blush pink dress :) Our reception was much more laid back. We did a buffet style dinner and had done the maid of honor/best man speeches the night of the rehearsal, so there was no formal sit down dinner. We really just wanted everyone to kick back, relax, and be able to dance and celebrate with us all night long! We also had donuts from Dunkin Donuts delivered for a late snack, because who doesn’t love donuts?
My favorite moment during the wedding day was definitely seeing Adam for the first time as my dad walked me down the aisle. I feel like every girl dreams of that moment on her wedding day, but the love and emotions I felt at that moment was something I could have never dreamed of. I will also never forget the look on Adam’s face. I think we were both just so excited and happy that after being together for so long, we were really getting married!
My advice for future brides would be to remember to keep your eye on the prize (i.e. your wonderful husband to be) and the fact that the main purpose for all of the crazy planning is to marry your soul mate. Planning a wedding is so fun but also undeniably stressful at times, especially in the beginning when you are trying to make big decisions about which vendors to use and what sort of theme/vibe you want to have on your big day. While pinterest and huge wedding websites can be great resources, they can also be overwhelming at times. Therefore, I would also recommend talking to any friends or family members who have recently gotten married, as they will be able to give you first hand scoop on their experiences and vendors! Most of all, enjoy your day and don’t stress about the little things. You are getting married to the love of your life and that is all that matters!
Photography: Jacqui Cole Photography | Videography: Movie Magic Productions | Floral Design: 2 Birds Events | Cake: Chantilly Cakes | Reception Venue: Safety Harbor Resort And Spa | Bride's Shoes: Adrianna Papell | DJ: Grant Hemond And Associates | Men's Attire: Mens Wearhouse | Bridal Gown: Allure Bridal | Bridal Gown Store: The Bridal Shoppe Of Pendleton | Makeup And Hair: Michelle Renee | Photobooth: Snap Shoot Photo Booth