Shape magazine’s Fitness Director, Jaclyn Emerick and her hubs Scott graced our pages back in November with their Florida e-session, and today these two are back to unveil the wedding day that followed. Set at the Watercolor Inn and Resort, Christina Gillon Events helped capture that organic, earthy vibe Jaclyn wanted and everyone – including the couple’s French bulldog, Chandler – took part in the festivities. Watch the day unfold with images captured by Lauren Kinsey.
From the bride, Jaclyn… A mutual friend connected Scott and me, even though he was living in Los Angles and I was living in New York City. Our jobs took us to each other’s coast every couple of weeks, which was great but not quite enough. So three months later Scott made the decision to move to NYC. A year later we moved in together and a week later he proposed to me on a suspension bridge at dusk in the Costa Rican cloud forest.
Our relationship has always been about experiencing new things together, about exploring and adventuring and most importantly having fun. We wanted our wedding to feel that same way.
We had our wedding in Watercolor, Florida. My family moved there when I graduated college and it’s one of the most beautiful places in the country. Our ceremony was in a boathouse on a lily pad filled lake. Whenever we visit, we kayak or SUP on that lake, so it felt very authentic to us. And instead of hiding the boats and boards, I wanted people to see them so we had them out on the side deck. Our decor vibe was very rustic and earthy. We had fabric flowing from the ceilings and beautiful greens and flowers overflowing from overhead troughs. There were big candles lining the aisles and at the head of the room.
Local singer-songwriter, Chris Alvarado sang and played the guitar while guests entered. He sang an original song, Find Out Who We Are, while our families and we walked down the aisle (I wanted one full song rather than chopping up different songs for each “segment”). Scott and I both have a ton of close friends, but we are also both very close to our siblings, so instead of a traditional bridal party we decided to have my brother stand next to me and his sister and brother stand next to him. My brother walked our French bulldog pup, Chandler, down the aisle. She wore a flower collar and couldn’t get to the end fast enough. Our friend who introduced us performed our ceremony. People laughed more than they cried, which is exactly how we wanted it.
Our cocktail hour was a few feet away on a pool deck. (We didn’t want people to have to get in a car or walk far to get to each spot.) Chris continued to sing and play. We had lawn games (oversize Jenga, bags, ladder ball, and so on). It was so important to us that people had fun and like they didn’t always know what was coming next. We did our first dance outside (Chris sang Joshua Radin’s Lovely Tonight). Then we snuck away to the beach for sunset photos while our family and friends snacked and had cocktails.
Our reception was a few steps away and in the other, newer building on the lake called the Lake House. Guests entered to our big Motown band playing. Seating was up for grabs. It was a mix of long farm tables, high tops, and lounge spots with big couches and ottomans. Dinner was ready whenever. We wanted people to sit where they wanted, move when they wanted, and eat when and what they wanted, and to get out and dance when they wanted.
We had a lot of fun with our menu. We did five food stations and each station represented a city that had meant something to our relationship. For example, LA was tacos and Portland was mashed potatoes in an artisanal waffle cone with Pilsner gravy and toppings. In a way, none of the food actually went together, but it was so memorable to everyone because of the meaning behind it. We had a silly photo booth, a local artist made a big guest board for us out of reclaimed wood from a local beach walkover for family and friends to sign (it hangs in our bedroom now), the games remained outside for people to play when they stepped out to cool down.
My dad read a letter I wrote him when I was little. It was hysterical. Our cake looked like a beautiful tree, covered in flowers. The flower troughs were brought in and hung around the dance floor, there were candles and more draping and greens everywhere. Our band played all night (we extended the party to midnight). There were late night snacks (peanut butter, Nutella, and banana sandwiches, which is what we’d snack on after a late night out). The night ended with a ribbon tunnel. My brother pedaled Scott and me in a rickshaw across the street to the Inn.
There is something so special about having all of your most meaningful family and friends come together for one weekend to celebrate you. It’s something we’ll never forget. It all happened so fast but I am so thankful we have Lauren’s photos to be able to relive this night.
Photography: Lauren Kinsey Fine Art Weddings | Event Planning: Christina Gillon Events | Floral Design: Events by Nouveau Flowers | Cake: Confections On The Coast | Catering: WaterColor Inn & Resort | Makeup: Eulanna Bloodworth | Hair: Deah Hollon | Calligraphy: Sarah Ingram | Band: EastCoast Entertainment | Ceremony Music: Chris Alvarado | Wedding Venue: WaterColor Inn & Resort | Photobooth: Facetime Photobooth | Rentals: The Big Day Event Rentals