After ten years together, my high-school sweetheart and best friend proposed on a balcony in Carmel overlooking the Pacific. The proposal was absolutely magical and the beginning of a blissful eleven month engagement. We promised each other we'd keep the focus during wedding planning on what mattered most to us - our relationship and our family and friends. Once back home in Ponte Vedra, the planning and fun started immediately. We both knew the "feel" we wanted for our big day - classic, romantic, southern, elegant, and a true representation of "us."
Our April wedding date was perfect for the colors that we had chosen - ivory, gold, champagne, and blush pinks. The minute I put on my Priscilla of Boston wedding gown I didn't want to take it off - and the look on my mom's face confirmed that it was The Dress. A custom-made sash, a "something borrowed" veil, and vintage earrings completed my bridal look.
One of our favorite details from our wedding was our curtain of pink cranes framing our beautiful cake. It was delicate, beautiful, and a very popular backdrop for many of our guests photos. A Japanese-Hawaiian tradition is for the bride to fold 1,001 origami cranes before the wedding. Cranes are a symbol of peace, happiness, and longevity and the presence of the cranes at the wedding is said to wish the couple good luck more than 1000 times over. My mom and I spent many hours at the dining room table folding these cranes (and then stringing them on clear fishing line while my dad figured out how we were going to hang them!) in remembrance of my Japanese grandmother and that time was spent chatting, planning, and laughing.
That same dining room table saw many other DIY projects - the sweet flower girl's pomander, a guest book with our engagement photos, programs, flip-flop tags, table numbers, a push-pin fabric-covered board for escort cards, a pink and white cornhole set for cocktail hour made by my dad, and lavender toss bags for our send-off. The largest DIY task was our flowers and centerpieces of milk glass that we collected throughout our engagement. The week of the wedding, our dining room was filled with peonies, garden roses, freesia, and lisianthus and smelled like a garden! The gorgeous bouquets and centerpieces were designed by a friend.
We consider ourselves to be "foodies" (or maybe we just really like to eat!) and had fun planning our menu catered by Matthews, one of the best restaurants in Jacksonville. Stations included southern style shrimp and grits, lamb lollychops, and a slider station (kobe beef, portabello, and crabcake) with mac and cheese and truffled tater tots.
Every second of our day was so special and absolutely perfect. My sweet husband reminded me at times throughout the night to take it all in - it was wonderful looking around and seeing the dance floor packed with everyone we loved with huge smiles on their faces and all of our planning come together. The night truly was magical and our wish for every couple is that they enjoy their wedding as much as we enjoyed ours.
Our wedding was a true reflection of our relationship and our love. My dad said it perfectly after the wedding - "I've come to understand that it's not about outdoing anyone else or having the best this or that, but about creating a unique set of memories of every little thing that you can both call your own." Our wedding was more than just one night - it was a whole journey of memories made together with the ones we love and an adventure that continues.
Photographer: Brooke Images / Cinematographer: Collab Creation Films / Caterer: Matthew's / Band: Cloud 9 / Event Coordinator: Christina Kopecki / Ceremony: Christ Episcopal Church / Reception: Crosswater Hall at Nocatee / Wedding Dress: Priscilla of Boston / Rentals: GT Party Rentals / Transportation: Dana's Limos / Bridesmaids: Amsale, Bella Bridesmaids / Mens' Tuxes: Karls Menswear / Wedding Cake: Classic Cakes / Flowers: Cassy Butler, friend / Bridesmaids Gifts: Custom made clutches, robes, and Juicy Couture bow rings / Hair: Grazyna Mercado / Make up: JIll Stonier, Ruthless Beauty