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Alachua Wedding from Julie Cate Photography

Magical and humbling. Two words that perfectly capture the mystery of weddings and they’re just how this Bride described her ceremony location in beautiful Cellon Oak Park. Magical in every way from the breathtaking bouquets from FiftyFlowers to all of the vintage touches (including hand-sewn bridesmaids’ dresses!) from this DIY-savvy bride. And humbling in that, under Florida’s most magnificent and largest oak tree, two sweethearts were wed surrounded by love and support from family and friends who all pitched in to make this wedding the prettiest of pretties. And you can see so much more from Julie Cate Photography in the gallery right here.

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the Bride… After Scott proposed, I began looking through wedding blogs for inspiration. All I knew immediately is that I didn’t want a typical, run of the mill wedding. I didn’t want anything formal or stuffy, and I wanted everyone to have a good time. I fell in love with the idea of getting married under a giant live oak tree after seeing a picture online. One of the things I love most about Florida is seeing all the gorgeous trees we have here, draped in Spanish moss. Something about standing under these huge oaks with curtains of moss feels magical and humbling. The problem is that most of them are either right beside a road or in someone’s yard. After an extensive search, I finally found the perfect place: the Cellon Oak. It just happens to be the biggest live oak tree in Florida and less than 30 minutes from my house. And since it’s on public land, it was also free! My vision for the rest of the decor really centered around the tree and my vintage, tea-length dress. I pictured using elements of tree bark, wild-looking plants and moss contrasted against more feminine, vintage-inspired elements such as lace and pearls. Scott actually got really involved in the decor at this point. He came up with the idea for the table centerpieces and built them — and eventually put live fish in them! I was skeptical about this, but he knows his stuff when it comes to aquariums, and thankfully they all made it home alive.

Sewing clothing is my biggest passion, so I knew from the beginning that I wanted to incorporate this somehow. I was way too afraid of making my own dress, so I consulted with my bridesmaids and received permission to make theirs. Then, when I couldn’t find the fabric I needed, I decided to dye the fabric as well. I tend to go overboard like that. I liked the look of mismatched dresses that all have something in common. All of the dresses were different shades of coral designed to give a gradient effect when the girls stood together. I actually ran out of time (I was finishing up the second dress one week before my wedding!) and had to buy the last dress. I was disappointed at the time, but it was the best decision I could have made. The dresses wound up looking just like I wanted, and my girls looked lovely in them!

Our wedding was truly a labor of love, with all of our friends and family pitching in make the day special. I discovered just how creative my husband can be, and we learned how to work together effectively as a team. I spent so much time stressing about this day, but it turned out to be so much better than I’d even hoped for. Everyone was laughing and smiling and dancing through the night (even my family!). In the end, all of our hard work was worth it.

Wedding Photography: Julie Cate Photography / Ceremony: Cellon Oak Park near Lacrosse, Florida / Reception: Alachua Woman’s Club in Alachua, Florida / Flowers: FiftyFlowers / Wedding Cake: A Friend / Music: A Friend / Wedding Dress: Vintage / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Two Hand-Made by the Bride + One Purchased / Men’s Suits: Macy’s

Gainesville Wedding at the Sweetwater Branch Inn by Julie Cate Photography

Homegrown is taking on a whole new meaning. It’s not just for your veggie gardens anymore. In terms of lovely weddings, it’s a bride and groom that met in the fourth grade and grew-up down the street from one another. An Aunt and Mother of the Bride that lovingly crafted all those bright, sunny details right down to hemming all of the burlap runners.  A love that started in Gainesville and danced down the aisle in, you guessed it, Gainesville. This is truly a homegrown affair captured by Julie Cate Photography; no artificial flavors or processing. 100% organic and totally SMP approved. See it all right here.

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the Bride… Jeremy and I have been together for the last five years, and from the beginning of our engagement, we knew we wanted a fun, simple wedding surrounded by our family and closest friends. We chose to get married in Gainesville because this is where our relationship really began. We’ve known each other since we were in the fourth grade and grew up down the street from each other, but it wasn’t until we were both living in Gainesville that we really noticed one another. From the moment we saw Sweetwater Branch Inn, we knew it was exactly what we were looking for with its sweet southern charm. The staff there was absolutely AMAZING! They went out of their way to make sure us and our guests were having a wonderful time! They even made sure to put a plate of the appetizers and cupcakes in our honeymoon cottage so we were sure to have some. 

Our wedding was a complete labor of love that wouldn’t have been possible without my aunt and mom. Our wedding was filled with sweet DIY details, and I absolutely loved the way it all came together. My aunt hemmed each and every one of the burlap runners herself. We purchased plain vases and used puff paint and spray paint to create a milk glass feel for the cocktail tables. Jeremy even helped out with these. The ceremony and reception area were decorated with “Olive Garden” lights, paper lanterns, wooden signs, chalkboards, mason jars, striped paper straws and burlap banners!

I can’t even begin to say how amazing all of our vendors were. Each of them were so wonderful to work with, and they truly helped make the day amazing.

Wedding Photography: Julie Cate Photography / Wedding Venue: Sweetwater Branch Inn in Gainesville, Florida / Flowers: The Conservatorie Floral & Event Design / Event Planning + Table Runners: Letha Watts (The Bride’s Aunt) / Wedding Invitations: Kelley Charnas (The Groom’s Sister) / Napkins: Bella Bride Designs / Wedding Cake + Cupcakes: Sarkara Sweets / DJ: Jay’s Entertainment / Vases: DIY / Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal / Shoes: Kate Spade + TOMS / Hair: Alisa Keaton / Makeup: MAC Cosmetics

Gainesville Wedding by Julie Cate Photography

Get ready for an all out Monday morning swoon fest cause this Hatchet Creek wedding is just the cutest rustic chic wedding I ever did see. I’m loving so many details about this wedding but my faves have got to be the maids dresses, (the color is just too sweet!) the milk glass vases, and the customized bean bag toss. Captured perfectly by Julie Cate Photography, this wedding is sure to become a fast favorite. Click here to see all the adorable details!

Click here to see entire image gallery!

Our wedding was, more than anything, a labor of love. When Ben and I got engaged we decided that the most important aspect of our wedding was the people, we wanted to include the numerous people who supported and invested in us throughout our seven years of dating in a celebration that represented our personalities and our love for each other.  However, large weddings are rarely budget-friendly. We were blessed to have over sixty people come together to make this day happen, from arranging flowers to parking cars to setting up and tearing down. We chose to get married in Gainesville, as it is the place that we both grew up and our relationship began. Our venue, Hatchet Creek, was an outdoor venue with the perfect “Old Florida” feel that we wanted to capture in our wedding day. We chose simple accent tones of ivory, burlap and grey to accent the natural beauty of the venue.  The Conservatorie used peonies, roses, hypericum berries and dusty miller for the bouquets and boutonnieres. The rest of the flowers were collected by family in North Carolina from local gardens and arranged in assorted vintage vases. Julie Cate Photography did a wonderful job of capturing the fun and natural feel of our wedding and we are so thankful for all the people that contributed to our special day!

Photography: Julie Cate Photography / Flowers: The Conservatorie Floral & Event Design/ Venue: Hatchet Creek / Shoes: J. Crew and  TOMS / Dress: Vineyard by Priscilla of Boston / Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew / Makeup: Paulina Perez

J.Crew is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.