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Rustic + Elegant Jacksonville Wedding

Maybe as a former ballet dancer myself I’m a little partial, but I knew this wedding would be making my favorites list upon first glance at these chic shoes. I didn’t even need to see this stunning Bride’s dress (the back details!), the elegant gold chargers or even this too-cute-for-words pup… but believe me, these all added up to one amazing affair, captured for our lucky eyes by Lauren Peele. See it all right this way!


From Lauren Peele… Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, Jennifer (Efstathion) Colvin, made the most stunning bride. The bride and groom met through a bridesmaid and fellow cheerleader three years ago and have been living happily in Dallas since.

The two were wed in Jen’s home town of Jacksonville, FL, at a venue her family built for her wedding. A majestic tree draped in flowers made for a romantic backdrop as they said their vows surrounded by family and friends.

Jen’s love of dance shaped her wedding into an elegant affair in neutral shades of grey and pale blue. She wore a Hayley Paige dress that was made to move, complete with ballet flats. Her maids were dressed in perfectly mismatched dresses and all held natural cream bouquets.

A candlelit reception set the mood for a romantic evening filled with dancing. The tables were adorned in ivory linens surrounded by lots of greenery keeping with the elegant yet organic tone of the day.

From the Bride… What are the MOST important aspects of our wedding day… What are our make-it-or-break-it things? This was the first topic we tackled when we started our wedding planning journey, and it wasn’t a very long conversation before we came up with our answer. Wedding success equaled: 1) being surrounded by our family and friends + 2) FUN (which obviously involves a lengthy dance party) + 3) having an amazing photographer to capture every moment. Being on the same page about our wedding priorities made the rest of our decisions a piece of cake :)

The venue, Bowing Oaks Plantation, was simply breathtaking. It gave our wedding that laidback, celebratory vibe that makes everyone feel right at home. We had the ceremony under the shade of a beautiful, giant oak tree draped in flower garland. Our officiant, Ted, is an extra special guy because he was the best man in my mom and dad’s wedding (42 years ago and counting!) and also performed the ceremony for my sister’s wedding. Ted’s words definitely made our ceremony feel more personal. However… the BEST part of the ceremony was when Ryan got a little tongue-tied saying our vows! He was a little caught up in the moment and repeated that he would take me as his “waffle wedded wife.” We totally lost it laughing, and everyone joined right in with us! So funny and so adorable :)

Of course, for any Florida wedding… outside…. in the spring… weather is a concern. So we partook in a little tradition to ward off the rain! Southern folklore says that “burying an unopened bottle of bourbon one month before the wedding, at the exact time of the wedding, at the site of the wedding, ensures good weather on the day of the event.” I’m not particularly superstitious, but we did have pretty perfect weather! The second part of the tradition gets even better. After dinner, everyone went outside and circled around as we dug up the bottle and passed it around to kick off the reception!

One of my favorite moments of the night was the father-daughter dance. My super talented groom played guitar and sang “Brown Eyed Girl” while Dad and I showed off our dance moves. This was just the beginning of the dance party highlights – all made possible by my amazingly perfect wedding dress! I loved my Hayley Paige dress even more than I could have imagined. The bodice and delicate straps reminded me so much of the ballet costumes I grew up wearing, and I immediately knew it was the one. I was also confident that I would be able bust out any moves I wanted to in this gown (which came in handy when it was time to do the kickline with my fellow Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders – a game day AND wedding reception tradition!) Likewise, I needed my feet feeling good too, so ballet shoes were an obvious fun and comfortable choice!

Our wedding day was everything we could have hoped for and more. The first morning we were back in Dallas, I made my HUSBAND breakfast-in-bed. Waffles, of course! With a little sticky note… “Love, your waffle wedded wife.”

Photography: Lauren Peele | Videography: Take One Productions | Event Coordination: First Coast Weddings and Events, Inc. | Event Design: Jessica Colvin Styling | Floral Design: Celebrated Occasions | Wedding Dress: JLM Couture, Inc | Invitations: Celebrated Occasions | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Lela Rose | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Watters | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Adrianna Papell | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Stardust Celebrations | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: 4 Rivers Smokehouse | Hair & Makeup: Zinc Beauty, Peggy Segundo | Groom's Attire: Vera Wang | Venue: Bowing Oaks Plantation | Alterations: Altered For The Altar | Bridal Bouquet & Flower Crown: Jessica Colvin Styling | Bridal Boutique: The White Magnolia | Bridal Party Hair: Coastal Beauty | Bride's Robe: BHLDN | Bridesmaids' Boutique: Bella Bridesmaids | Cigar Bar: Southern Charm | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Rentals: Beachview | Signage: BB Designs

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Chic Jacksonville Garden Wedding

Not only is this fête the perfect blend of sentimental details, but it’s also the perfect example that true love is worth waiting for. After holding onto a cherished alexandrite for 12 years, this Groom finally found his long distance love. So, when it came time to plan their Big Day they chose the talented Joey Kennedy Photography to capture every lucky-in-love moment.


Form the beautiful Bride… The night I met Chaz I had no idea that he would be the man I would spend the rest of my life with. Fortunately he knew almost right away and pursued me from that day forward. I lived in Jacksonville, Florida and Chaz lived in Orlando, Florida. For roughly 4 months he drove to Jacksonville every weekend to see me. While we denied we were in a relationship for a long time, our family and friends knew better. I was always someone who never wanted to get married or have children. I was perfectly happy on my own and so was Chaz. But falling in love with him was the greatest adventure of my life. Charles is my game changer and will forever be the most wonderful surprise.

When we first got engaged, Chaz did not have a ring. He told me that he had cut a stone years ago (12 to be exact) and that he had always envisioned setting this stone for his future wife; however, he wanted to confirm that I did not have my heart set on a diamond. I was so incredibly happy that he proposed that I forgot a ring is typically involved. The fact that Charles had something so valuable and special to him all these years and decided I was worthy of receiving it took my breath away. A few months later I received my ring and it was well worth the wait! A one-carat alexandrite set in diamonds. I receive compliments all the time regarding how beautiful and unique my ring is and it just makes me smile. Charles has so many talents and gifts that this is just another example of one.

We were engaged for 2 years and while some thought that was a long time, it could not have been more perfect for us! Shortly after we got engaged we moved to Dallas, Texas and lived together for the first time.

Photography: Joey Kennedy Photography | Floral Design: Lee Hamby Design | Cake: Metro Custom Cakes | Invitations: Charles Forster Design | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids | Catering: Chef's Garden Catering And Events | Makeup: Jill Stonier | Hair: Once Upon A Stylist | Lighting: Mark Grandin Events | DJ: McGee Entertainment | Officiant: Sensational Ceremonies | Ceremony And Reception Venue: The Cummer Museum Of Art And Gardens | Day Of Coordinator: Dairing Events - Adair Currie | Gown/Veil/Earrings: The White Magnolia

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Jacksonville Treaty Oak Park Engagement

These two southern sweethearts are proof that sometimes a blind date can result in happily ever after. They strolled through Jacksonville Treaty Oak Part for a love session documented by Stephanie W Photography, and the result is one adorable capture after another. Click here for so much more.

From the Bride and Groom-to-be… We met in Jacksonville, Florida through a mutual friend who was one of my sorority sisters and also his childhood friend. She set us up on a blind date, the first for both of us. We had dinner and drinks at a local restaurant in Atlantic Beach called Ragtime Tavern. Our first date lasted three hours long and we knew it would only be the first of many. Flash forward two years later, we took a trip to San Diego to visit friends who were relocated to the naval base there. He proposed at sunset in Temecula, California while we were wine tasting at Leonesse Winery. The proposal was absolutely perfect and I was so happy when he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife.

We decided to go with the traditional southern chic look for our engagement session back in Jacksonville. We love the big oak tree surrounding Treaty Oak Park downtown and also the historic area and houses of San Marco. I chose to wear white and blush pink shades, keeping with our traditional southern look. I also wanted to incorporate wearing some lace in our engagement shoot, keeping with my style of my wedding dress. We were so comfortable with Stephanie and she really made the shoot memorable. We can’t wait to have her capture our special moments on our wedding day this October!

Photography: Stephanie W Photography | Dress: Nordstrom | Makeup: Paulina Perez | Hair: Aura Salon- Kati Hogan | Earrings: Kate Spade | Shoes (gold Ballet Flats): Nordstrom | Shoes (neutral Pumps): Nine West