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Celebrating Dockside With a Simple and Classic Southern Affair

Steeped in Southern beauty, this simple yet elegant affair spans from a ceremony under the most majestic old tree to sunset portraits dockside and dancing under the stars. In other words, it’s gorgeous and all planned by Serene Occasions with photography by Sarah and Paul. Have a look here for even more.

Colors
Styles
Casual

From the Photographer… Daniel and Hannah’s wedding was a simple but classic wedding. With help from close family and friends, they made simple details such as flowers and table settings something special. The Eden Gardens State Park plantation home made for a classic southern background. Saying their vows under the old-fashioned wedding tree with moss swaying in the wind made you feel as though you had traveled back in time. Hannah’s wedding dress was just perfect for the wedding, with just the right amount of tulle to make her look whimsical and classic all at the same time. Daniel sported a nice navy blue suit with a bow tie to bring it all together. Surround by their close friends and family, they tied the knot. Afterwards, Daniel and Hannah had their reception under the mossy trees with cafe lighting to light the night as they danced their first dance together. It was a modest reception with only the special details to make it stand out.

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Photographer: Sarah and Paul Photography | Wedding planner: Serene Occasions | Floral Design: Bride & Family DIY | Wedding Dress: Mori Lee | Bakery: Whole Foods Market | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Weddington Way | Caterer: Chef Max Hornsby | Officiant: Kim Cannon | Ceremony Music: Michelle Adams | Eden Gardens State Park : Eden Gardens State Park | Event Rentals: Serene Occasions | Reception Music: Kyle LaMonica

A Shape Magazine Editor Shares Her Dreamy Wedding Photos

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.


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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

A Coastal Wedding With Lots of Chic Style

Just because you’re on the coast, doesn’t mean you have to go full on “beachy” with your wedding style. Eva Williams Clark of Belle of the Ball let the coast inspire this wedding’s design in stylish, subtle ways and infused the whole space with a romantic, rustic elegant vibe. The results? Perfect. Harwell Photography captured all – see more in our Vault right this way!

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From Eva Williams Clark of Belle of the BallLauren and Michael’s love story began at Auburn University when mutual friends introduced them. The emerald coast of Florida was so much a part of Lauren’s upbringing that it only seemed fitting for it to serve as the backdrop for her wedding. The reception venue was only steps away from their family vacation home so she felt right at home on her wedding day. It was important to the bride that elements of the coast were incorporated without it coming off too ‘beachy’. Pops of green and white floral added a distinctly beautiful freshness to the modern rustic venue!

Photography: Harwell Photography | Cinematography: Rusticus Films | Event Planning: Eva Clark Events | Floral Design: Bella Flora | Wedding Dress: Matthew Christopher | Ceremony Venue: Resurrection Catholic Church | Reception Venue: WaterColor Inn & Resort | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Hair + Makeup: Scoobie West | Entertainment: Emerald Empire Band | Event Design + Map: Natty Michelle Paperie | Floral Design (Personals only): Bloomin’ Bouquets: Unique Floral and Event Design

Seafoam Blue Santa Rosa Beach Wedding

Can I just start by saying I think this little babe’s face perfectly sums up all the feelings when any weekend comes to a close. So if you’ve got a case of the Monday morning grumps, fear not because this wedding is chock-full of pretty seaside dreaminess to turn your mood right around. Photographed by Jennifer Blair and filmed by Whits End Films, I’m betting The Vault will become your new designated happy place.

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From Jennifer Blair Photography… Matt & Alex have had quite the journey to get to their wedding day. After meeting in Chicago they had secret crushes on each other and friends for over a year. Not long after they made things official, Alex was transferred to New York but moved to Denver to be together.

Since Alex’s family lives in Dallas and Matt’s in Denver, they decided to go for an intimate destination wedding with their closest friends and family. The 30a area has a special meaning to them since Alex’s family lived there for a time as she grew up. The design they chose for the whole day was elegantly simplistic.

Alex’s Vera Wang gown was an incredible choice for a beach wedding. Even the delicate lace detailing on the cap sleeves mimics the natural vegetation around the area the the greenery used in the bouquets. The palette of seafoam blues and greens was found everywhere from the Rosemary beach location to Alex’s getting ready robe.

The highlight of the day was the family-style reception under twinkling string lights as the sun set along the sea’s horizon. The stunningly simple cake was highlighted by an oyster-shell chandelier that hung above, which also complimented the oyster table runners on the reception tables. Alex & Matt have the sweetest love and they truly deserved to be celebrated the way they were that gorgeous, September night.

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Photography: Jennifer Blair Photography | Cinematography: Whits End Films | Coordination: WaterSound Origins | Event + Floral Design: Bella Flora | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Invitations: Sweet Peach Paper | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Makeup: Celine Russell | Hair: Designs By Janet Suzanne | DJ: B-Boy Productions | Bow Ties: General Knot | Groom's Attire: Peter Millar | Ceremony Music: Donnie Sundal | Venue: Watersound Beach Club | Catering + Cake: Watersound Beach Club | Getting Ready Venue + Portraits: Rosemary Beach™ | Hair Accessories: Acute Designs on Etsy | Veil: Honey Pie Bridal

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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Elegant Beachside Engagement Session

To say that we LOVE us some Lauren Kinsey would be a massive understatement. Because not only is that girl talented beyond measure, but she’s also super fun to be around. Just as Noel & Felicia, for before jetting off across the world to marry, they spent an afternoon with one of our fave photos. A sweet e-session on the beautiful beaches near WaterColor Inn & Resort, see it all waiting in THE VAULT!

From Lauren KinseyNoel & Felicia are celebrating their wedding in Asia and before they jetted off across the world, we spent an afternoon together photographing a sweet couple’s session for them on the beautiful beaches near Watercolor, Florida. Felicia custom created gown was so perfect for her in every way, and I loved getting to know this couple and their genuine love and affection for each other.

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Photography: Lauren Kinsey Fine Art Weddings | Venue: WaterColor Inn & Resort | Photography - Assistance: Lauren Kinsey Fine Art Weddings

Intimate Santa Rosa Beach Wedding

This, my friends, is an amazing wedding.  It’s simple and sweet, set against a breathtaking ocean backdrop and filled with sooo much love, it’s palpable.  In other words, it’s pure perfection, from the soft, neutral color palette to the crazy gorgeous DIY details (the Mother of the Bride is awesome) to one beautiful moment after another captured by Jennifer Blair.  See them here.

From Jennifer Blair Photography… After becoming engaged, Taylor and Chase knew they both wanted an intimate celebration with their closet friends and family. Santa Rosa Beach was a natural choice, since both their families love to vacation there. Taylor loves meaningful details and infused that love into so many aspects of their day. Taylor’s Mom and family created the stunning family style table set up on the lawn adjacent to the beach. They filled the tables with Taylor’s favorite muted colored oysters (a nod to the seaside theme), a plethora of candles and handmade arrangements. Guest signed two boat oars that they will keep in their home. Even the officiant was Taylor and Chase’s good friend and Taylor’s old soccer coach.

Their love is so natural and they were both so joyful throughout the whole day. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed two people more thrilled to be joining their lives together. Everything about their day was beautiful, simplistic and focused on their sweet family and friends.

From the Bride… When Chase and I got engaged, a dear friend of ours told us that “Your wedding is the only time, this side of heaven, that everyone you love will be in one place.” With that in mind, we knew we wanted to do a destination wedding, where selfishly, we could truly savor every second.

Growing up, my family vacationed in the Santa Rosa Beach area each year. Some of my favorite memories are on that beach and now my favorite of all! Beginning Thursday, our friends and family took over a strip of 30-A and for all the times I have seen that beach, it has never looked sweeter than it did filled with those we love most. We welcomed guests with a Low Country Shrimp Boil on Thursday, held our wedding on Friday evening and spent Saturday at the beach with our guests.

In the beginning, above all, we knew that we wanted our wedding weekend to be laid-back and full of fun. We searched high and low for a venue that offered a seaside home with a lawn. We wanted a space that felt intimate but was large enough to accommodate our guests – The Highlands House offered just that. Being that the beach and venue were both so beautiful in their own rights, we chose a neutral palette to compliment the white sand beaches and seaside vibe of our reception venue.

At our rehearsal we laughed at the very idea of it because at best we hoped that everyone would simply make it down the aisle in some way. Our wedding party was disproportionate, included 14 children and my brother-in-law stood among my bridesmaids. One of our dearest family friends married us beneath a cross built by my dad, and the flowers were flown in and arranged by mom and her best friends.

The dresses didn’t match, but were rather hand-selected with love by seven women that I simply couldn’t live without. During the ceremony and the evening, babies ran around, danced and giggled and we wouldn’t have had it any other way. In the end, the sea air did a number on my hair and the dance floor but dancing with bare feet in a soaked gown with my new husband is one of my favorite memories of the day.

The small details, likely meaningless to others, were the most treasured to us. Both University of Kentucky alums, Chase gave his groomsmen UK cufflinks and the little boys each wore belts handmade in Lexington, Kentucky. We placed a “Thank You” note at each seat and every child received a box containing a headlamp, a pencil and list of items that were hidden for them to find throughout the night. For our reception, our guests enjoyed dinner brought in from our hometown and we chose family style seating as we regard everyone in attendance as such.

It’s true what we were told, October 10, 2014 was nothing less than a little slice of heaven. The day was filled with enough love and joy to last us a lifetime. We are so incredibly blessed by the people we get to do life alongside and we wouldn’t change one thing about the first day of the rest ours.

We are forever indebted to our families and friends who worked tirelessly, our guests who traveled far and wide, and to Jennifer Blair Photography for capturing the greatest day of our lives.

Photography: Jennifer Blair Photography | Floral Design: Sam's Club | Cake: Publix Bakery | Invitations: Howl Creative Co. | Bride's Shoes: Jack Rogers | Hair & Makeup: Deana Kale | Band: The Atlanta Wedding Band | Tuxes: Jos. A. Bank | Bride's Dress: Mori Lee | Flower Girl Dresses: Smockadot Kids | Little Boy's Belts: R E Fennell Co | Location: Highlands House | Rentals & Lights: Highlands House | Ring Bearer Oyster: BHLDN

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Casual Elegance in Santa Rosa Beach

Seaside, Florida never fails to charm. Maybe it’s the darling little chapel or the white picket fences holding back beautiful greenery, but it sure does go hand in hand with weddings. Case in point? This soiree planned and coordinated with a whole lotta love by Christina Gillon Events. Dotted with blooms from Myrtie Blue, each moment from W&E Photographie is waiting to be oogled in the gallery.

From W&E PhotographieSumner & Drew were married on a bright, airy day in November. Seaside, Florida is known around the world for it’s pristine beaches and charming neighborhoods. Sumner and Drew’s wedding decor fit perfect with their surroundings. The Seaside Chapel is the perfect mix of classic and modern. It’s all clean lines and white, with the structure of a historic building. They added touches of loose greenery throughout, for a simple, understated beauty. Not only was their wedding a stunning display of classic details, but the joy that overflowed throughout the day was unescapable!

Photography: W & E Photographie | Flowers: Myrtie Blue | Wedding Dress: Lea-Ann Belter Bridal Flagship Boutique | Cake: Sweet For Sirten | Ceremony Venue: Ruskin Place | Reception Venue: Ruskin Place | Catering: Townsend Catering | Make Up: Kate Norrell | Hair: Deah Hollan | Band: Fountain City Players | Transportation: A Bride's Ride | Dress Shop: The White Room | Planning/Coordination: Christina Gillon Events

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Sweet Outdoor Wedding Florida Wedding at Santa Rosa Beach

A love story that took this adorable duo from Russia to Florida and then to “I do”, this wedding is not only beautiful, but so incredibly special too. Of course, it was planned to perfection by Serene Occasions with gorgeous florals from Floral by the sea, but it’s the love in all the images from Amanda Suanne that really shines through, and how can you not love that? See even more here.


From The Bride…My husband and I met in summer of 2008 in a little city of Omaha. Both being from Russia, it took us to go across the globe to find each other. We worked together for several weeks before he finally found the courage to ask me out. Several dates later and many romantic nights, our relationship grew into something bigger than what we expected. A few years later, he proposed to me on the Skywalk at The Grand Canyon, my favorite place in the whole world. And here we are today – married and ready to write a new page in the book of our lives.

Our wedding preparation began last summer. We chose a classic combination of gray and pink and followed the concept through entire wedding including the bridal party and color of the cocktails. At first glance it seemed like an easy task, my assumptions were far from reality. Hundreds of hours were spent on trying to find the best photographer, my dream come true reception and ceremony venues as well as other routine but necessary pieces of one giant puzzle called, the wedding.

The most difficult challenge was finding the dress of my dreams made by my favorite designer – Vera Wang. Trying to fit this beautiful dress that I dreamed of ever since I was a teenager into a budget was not easy but we did it! After countless hours spent in numerous stores with my parents and friends, here I’m, in my dream dress with my incredible husband!!! The best part of the wedding – surprise song from my husband and surprise video from our friends. It was so sweet! You can see the picture below.

Photography: Amanda Suanne | Wedding Planner: Serene Occasions | Florist: Florals By The Sea | Cake: Sweet For Sirten | Bride's Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Vera Wang The White | Catering: Pascalli Foods | Make up: Make Me Blush | Hair: Alison Jones | DJ: Shane Keller | Bride Dress: Vera Wang | Draper Lake coastal Village: Draper Lake | Get away car: A Bride's Ride | Groom Shoes: Hugo Boss | Groom Tux: Hugo Boss | Photographer 2: Eka Shonia

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Shabby Chic Coastal Wedding

You can go ahead and file this pretty party under “seriously awesome weddings,” because, well… it sooo is.  A laid-back, yet totally elegant affair planned to perfection by Shannon Reeves Events, it’s what happens when shabby chic details and an adorable bride and groom meet the gorgeous shores of Santa Rosa Beach.  See it all captured by Woodland Fields Photography in the full gallery.

From Shannon Reeves Events… Pretty weddings are common, as I know you must know better than anyone. Pretty is usually a given. But easy, authentic, crazy-about-you, perfect-combination-of-over-the-moon-giddiness-and-calm-contentment is a bit harder to come by. These two had all of this in spades and you can just SEE it. And their wedding was pretty, too.

Jenn got engaged just about the same time I launched Shannon Reeves Events in October 2011. She was my very first client. Together, over plenty of phone dates and giddy emails between her home in Washington D.C. and mine in Tallahassee, we set a date, snagged the prettiest wedding venue you ever did see, assembled a to-die-for vendor team and filled in plenty of pretty details for a coastal wedding in Florida.

With Ian deployed, serving on the front lines in Afghanistan during most of the planning process, Jenn – sweet as she can be – focused more on the two of them then anything else. No big Pinterest projects. No over-the-top decor or filler craziness. Instead, a stripped-down, elegant affair with pretty flowers, southern lace, sweet handwritten vows and 72 of their nearest and dearest to share them with.

Bentley’s on the Bay, located in Santa Rosa Beach, is take-your-breath-away pretty. Classic white flowers, big wooden whitewashed tables, lanterns, mercury glass and textures galore was a perfect mix.

And some sweet cake with toasts to match and a packed dance floor on the waterfront, all under cafe lights on a summer night in Florida. Pretty perfect.

At the end of the June evening, the DJ played Jenn and Ian’s first dance song again, to end the reception just like it began. Such a sweet finale! And as though we drew it up perfectly ourselves, a summer storm hit the second the song ended and the DJ said farewell. And it downpoured the entire next day! We definitely didn’t forget to count our lucky stars.

The day was packed to the brim with grateful love. Real smiles. Adoration. She’s giddy-as-can-be and he’s the picture of happiness. It was the best big day I’ve ever experienced as a planner. I hope with these photos you can see it, too.

Photography: Woodland Fields Photography | Flowers: Florals By The Sea | Bakery: Bentley's on the Bay | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaid's Dresses: J.Crew | Makeup Artist: Jamie Gummere | DJ: GT Entertainment | Bride's Dress: David's Bridal | Catering and Bartending: Bentley's on the Bay | Ceremony and Reception Venue: Bentley's on the Bay | Event Planning, Design and Coordination: Great Southern Weddings | Groom and Groomsmen Attire: J.Crew | Hair Styling: Denise Davidson | Vintage and Shabby Chic Prop and Furniture Rentals: Hemstitch Vintage Rentals

Dine by Design Catering Spotlight

Happy Wedding Wednesday SMPers! I think it’s time for a little spotlight, don’t you? We have our fair share of convo about gorgeous dresses, lovely blooms and the little details that make a wedding come together. But we don’t give the wedding dinner the love it truly deserves—what do you think fuels all that late night dancing?! So, we’ve brought in one of our talented caterers, Dine by Design to let us in on some of the tips that make weddings so tasty.

SMP: Tell us a bit about yourself. What is Dine by Design?

DBD: Over seven years ago, in March of 2006, I opened Dine by Design Catering in Santa Rosa Beach, FL. Ever since, we’ve been happily catering from Pensacola to St. George Island, though most of our events take place along beautiful Scenic 30A, in south Walton County. At a “certain age”, my lifelong love affair with food led me to leave a successful career in the software biz and into culinary school in New York City. After graduating from The French Culinary Institute, I spent eighteen months in Paris completing an apprenticeship at a Michelin starred restaurant, before moving to Northwest Florida and opening Dine by Design Catering.

Dine by Design is a boutique catering company, which means that we don’t expect to be all things to all people. We are chef-owned, so our food is certainly a priority, and we cook everything from scratch. We have a passion for food and believe that it should be fun! That said, we take great pride in our customer service, and receive great reviews for that as well.

SMP: Favorite part of your job?

DBD: Menu creation! Our goal is to understand a client’s specific tastes, in order to be able to put together a menu that speaks to them personally. It’s always a challenge, but a fun one, and we get it right because we listen.

SMP: How early in advance should a couple meet with a caterer?

DBD: Our market is unique.The months of April through June, and September through October are very busy for weddings in this region. If a client is planning an event during those months, I’d recommend sealing the deal with your major vendors as soon as possible. There are also specific dates that book up quickly; for example if you were interested in 10-11-12, that’s the sort of date that you’d better hop on right away. In addition, the earlier you establish a relationship with your vendors, the longer you will have to develop a rapport with them; and a great rapport will a vendor will really help you during those final, dizzying, tense days!

SMP: What are some budget friendly ways to fancy-up a wedding meal?

DBD: In general, a buffet will be less expensive than a seated meal, simply because it requires less labor. However, if you stock your buffet with beef tenderloin and pretty grouper, it could end up being more expensive! Also, if you’re a foodie, and upscale food is important to you, you might want to consider scaling down the number of guests to serve the sort of meal you want. Another choice to consider is the number of dishes you serve. A caterer never ever wants to run out of food, so the greater the variety, the more expensive a buffet will be, because there are that many more dishes to “cover”.

SMP: What percent of a wedding budget do you recommend setting aside for catering?

DBD: The average is ten percent of your total wedding budget. Naturally that depends on tastes, however, so it’s possible that food just isn’t a big deal for you (gasp!), and you might be able to get away with a little less.

SMP: Any advice for Brides & Grooms on the big day?

DBD: BREATHE! Have fun! Take it all in, so that you remember the day well after it is over. If you choose vendors that you trust, they will handle everything for you and your special day.

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Catering: Dine by Design Catering

Destination Wedding at Watercolor Resort from Stephanie Rhea

Drop-dead gorgeous weddings and rainy days at the beach- two of my favorite things.  And when the two combine for a breathtaking Watercolor Resort affair from Stephanie Rhea Photography?  Absolutely amazing.  Because overcast skies, pristine beaches and uber-romantic stylings always, always deliver the pretty.  Add in a bundle of beautiful blooms from Fisher’s Flowers, a stunning gown from Elizabeth Fillmore and two seriously adorable cuties and we’re calling this the perfect Tuesday treat.  See so much more in the full gallery.

From Stephanie Rhea PhotographyAlthough it rained almost the entire day of this Santa Rosa Beach destination wedding, it was one of my favorites. Both Kate and Greg work in the design world, and their wedding details reflected it, including the Save The Date cards designed by the groom himself and the labels for the honey jars that just happened to come from Kate’s father’s bees. California guy + Mississippi girl = a match made in Heaven!

From the Bride… For Greg and me, it was easy to decide a destination wedding was for us. Our families stretched from north to south and coast to coast, and we wanted to bring them and our closest friends together in one place… where you could walk or bike everywhere you wanted or needed to be. As a native Mississippian, I was drawn to Hwy 30A and Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, where I had spent many years vacationing with my family. Greg, who grew up in California, wasn’t familiar with the area, but was hooked after just one visit, as we were planning for where our wedding would be. I was not surprised. Watercolor would be the place… a place that has focused on retaining open and natural spaces, with beauty and character in their own right.

I was not one to have ever really thought about what the details of our wedding day would be, but our goal was to be sure that the natural character of the spaces we chose were complimented, not covered up. The location of our wedding was already a special place. We worked closely with Fisher’s Flowers, from design concept to fruition, to add to what was already a natural and peaceful environment. Both Greg and I are in design related fields and were able to create some of the elements, from the rehearsal dinner to the reception, that made it all feel unique. One of my favorites was the label for my dad’s honey jars, which were favors for our guests.

Did I mention that it rained more than I have ever seen it rain before at the beach? Here is a lesson. We had all, of course, hoped for wonderful warm sunny weather. But, there was something about all the umbrellas and the light drizzle leading up to and during the wedding, while we all were gathered closely under a tent, that was very special. The rain added an element and a kind of sacredness that is hard to explain. And, lucky for us, it stopped just as the ceremony ended, allowing us to make a dash to the beach with our wonderful photographer, Stephanie Rhea, to capture a personal moment for me and Greg. I have never seen the beach that way, without anyone else on it. The light and colors were almost surreal. It was perfect.

There are too many good memories to list here… from all of the preparation, the gentle rain that fell during the actual wedding to being in the company of family and friends, who traveled far to be with us on this most special occasion. One that I remember most is looking down the long family style reception tables, scattered with pots of rosemary, lavender, succulents and candle filled mercury jars and seeing all of us gathered, laughing and talking. It was like a big family dinner… one that we will never forget.

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Wedding Photography: Stephanie Rhea Photography | Ceremony Venue: Western Lake Park, Watercolor Resort | Reception Venue: The Boathouse, Watercolor Resort | Floral Design: Fisher’s Flowers | Event Planning: Joseph A. Lanzy at Watercolor Resort | Rehearsal Dinner Invitations: Greg Magley (The Groom) | Save the Date Cards: Minted  | Wedding Invitations: Crane via Weddings Etc, Birmingham, Alabama | Wedding Dress: Elizabeth Fillmore | Shoes: Tory Burch

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Santa Rosa Island Inspired Shoot from Aislinn Kate Photography

You know who has the power to make an already uber-gorgeous inspiration shoot even more gorgeous?  Two real-life cuties.  That’s who. Two real-life cuties who happen to be this close to saying “I do” and smile as if the world is theirs in each and every photo.  (It sooo is.)  And when an adorable duo like that joins forces with the ever-fabulous Hemstitch Vintage Rentals and the crazy-wonderful Aislinn Kate Photography for a whole lot of “Message in a Bottle” pretty?  It makes for one magical Monday.  See it all in the full gallery.

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Vintage

From Aislinn Kate Photography… This is a styled shoot. We started with the theme of “Message in a Bottle,” which was inspired by our choice of location (my Nana’s beach house). Every detail we used was inspired by our location, theme, and models (who are my real-life clients, getting married next year). Here is a breakdown of the details and how we developed them.

The aisle markers are giant sea glass bottles, filled with rolled parchment. Antique bottles appear in almost every set.

Fresh herbs, picked from garden (groom is a gardener and chef). The aisle was strewn with crushed rosemary and lavender (the ceremony smelled as good as it looked). Lavender and rosemary-infused lemonades. Favors were potted rosemary plants propagated from the groom’s backyard (favor tags feature the line from Hamlet: “Rosemary, that’s for remembrance…”).

Vintage lace was rapped around napkins, tying herbs onto lemonade jars, strung across the rusty grill for the escort cards to hang to with clothespins, to – most dramatically – created a luscious backdrop of a lace waterfall during the ceremony.

Reclaimed furniture, found in yard sales and relatives’ attics. The piano bench is my favorite piece (we used it as the altar piece, seating at the dining table, and as a display for the paper products). Paper products are handmade with natural material, such as cork and burlap, in addition to traditional cardstock.

Since our couple is very literary, we incorporated quotations from Shakespeare (the bride’s second true love!) onto everything. All the paper products are made using the same materials and color palette: invitations, save-the-dates, response cards, menu, escort cards, favor tags, signage.

The veil is a true heirloom, having been worn in the mother-in-law’s wedding and loaned to the bride as “something old.” We love how the lace on it coordinates with the vintage lace carried throughout the shoot!

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Wedding Photography: Aislinn Kate Photography | Wedding Venue: Private Beach Home in Santa Rosa Island, Florida | Floral + Event Design: Hemstitch Vintage Rentals | Wedding Dress: La Sposa via Pensacola Bridal Loft / Hair & Makeup: Rachel C. Nelson 

Santa Rosa Beach Wedding from Browne Photography

I know I sing the praises of seaside weddings on a daily basis here on SMP Florida, but honestly, I just can’t help it.  There’s just something so magical about saying “I do” amongst the acres of sand, crashing waves and salty air that sends my heart into a serious pitter patter.  And this beautiful Santa Rosa affair? It’s beachy perfection.  Beachy perfection with amazing florals crafted by Noveau Flowers, a stunning Tara Keely gown and a bundles upon bundles of beautiful images from Browne Photography. See them all in the full gallery.

Colors

From Browne Photography… Megan and Charlie were married at Bentley’s on the Bay in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Bentley’s on the Bay is a sweet, cottage like retreat right on the bay. The decor is elegant, yet comfortable, as well. Their ceremony took place on the shores of the bay while the sun shone brightly above. Their outdoor reception followed on the patio overlooking the bay and everyone got to watch the set over cocktails. Their flowers and centerpieces were beautiful, light and airy and they also incorporated some homemade pillows, signs, and decorations. Everybody danced the night away under the lights strung across the dance floor.

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Wedding Photography: Browne Photography | Ceremony Venue and Location: Bentleys on the Bay in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida | Floral Design: Noveau Flowers | Wedding Dress: Tara Keely | Bridesmaids’ Attire: LulaKate

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WaterColor Resort Wedding by Dede Edwards Photography

Gingham and Nantucket Reds and stripes – oh my! This is a prepster’s dream wedding. Did I mention the groomsmen in flip flops and a gorgeous seaside ceremony? Oh I didn’t? Well that happened too, making this beach beauty as seen through the lens of Dede Edwards Photography a must-favorite for sure. So be sure to take a little stroll through the full gallery of images today, because you can bet your wayfarers that it will be THE place to be this Friday!

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From Dede of Dede Edwards PhotographyLouise and JP are from New York City, but chose the quiet, beach-side town of Watercolor to say their vows. Their week was full of fun filled festivities that was followed by a beautiful ceremony on the beach. 

Wedding Photography: Dede Edwards Photography / Ceremony: The Beach at WaterColor Inn & Resort in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida / Reception: The Lawn at WaterColor Inn & Resort in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida / Floral Design: Bella Flora / Event Design + Planning: WaterColor Inn & Resort / Wedding Invitations: The Green Kangaroo / Wedding Cake: Bake My Day / Wedding Dress: Watters via Lovely Bridal Shop / Hair: Rolland’s Beauty Bar / Makeup: Renee Armour of Two Fishes Artistry

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
WaterColor Resort Wedding from Diva Productions + Paul Johnson Photography

You are going to love these two. You are going to love them from the moment you watch this video. You’re going to love the cake, you’re going to love the decor, your going to love the beach ceremony. But you are going to capital LOVE this couple more than anything. Their infectious smiles, their extreme excitement, their tear stained vows. And you are going to love Paul Johnson Photography for capturing the day in beautiful stills, and Diva Productions for capturing it in a breathtaking video. You are going to love these two.

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A Water Color Wedding | Coming Soon: Missy & Lauren… from Diva Productions

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After dating for several months and realizing that I had absolutely met my best friend, it was clear that we meant to be together. Our plans were to be in WaterColor to celebrate the holidays with my father’s side of the family. Having such a special, amazing time in one of the most incomparably beautiful places, it seemed like this would be the perfect time to ask. Unfortunately, we still did not have a ring decided upon.

In WaterColor, there is a classic candy shop from your childhood with a bunch of stuffed animals and other small toys, amongst which is a big Hello Kitty section. Missy absolutely adores Hello Kitty. On the bottom shelf, thankfully tucked away from desperate eyes pointed at a huge stuffed Hello Kitty, was a rack of faux-antique rings with Hello Kitty jewels. While Missy sadly walked out without a big mushy feline friend, I rushed back and purchased one of the rings, thinking I had found perfection right there. I could barely contain my glee as I skipped outside, trying to look nonchalant while already trying to figure out the best place to ask Missy to be my wife.

Every evening in WaterColor, my family lines up beach chairs and watches the sun magically go down over the Gulf. This would clearly be the perfect place! However, being December, the coast was quite chilly and not everyone who grew up in Miami Beach wanted to stay out to watch, even when given the option of taking my fleece and gloves for warmth. Thus, “Plan A” was foiled. However, being Christmas the next morning there was another opportunity for a special and memorable moment. When we woke up, earlier than the family breakfast, I told Missy that I had gotten her a gift that week. “When? I was with you every minute!” Well, not every minute. I then reached into my coat pocket to get the pink princess Hello Kitty ring still waiting for a finger and got down on one knee in from of the bed. Looking up at the still just-waking Missy, I asked, “Will you marry me?” We then had the most smiling-est, jumping-est, teary-est morning ever.

After being engaged there, the decision to have the wedding at WaterColor was simple; we wanted a wedding where people who loved each other got to spend as much time as possible with one another. WaterColor is phenomenal for family get togethers, and we were excited to introduce so many people to the Emerald Coast.

The concept of a modern beach wedding was matched by the style of all of our fantastic vendors, who absolutely made the day. And we could not have had a better band than Rubik’s Groove. Missy and I both love 80s music, and these guys were the most amazing event band ever. No one sat for the entire night. Even when the delicious food was served, people wanted to be dancing, not eating! All we have seen in the pictures of the tent are empty chairs and a full dance floor!

Cinematography: Diva Productions / Photography: Paul Johnson Photography / Event Designer & Coordinator: Jennifer Warwick-Lewis + Jennifer Fisher for It’s a Shore Thing / Venue: WaterColor Inn & Resort / Venue Coordinator: Cheryl Walton for WaterColor / Cake: Confections on the Coast / Florals: Nouveau Flowers / Officiant: Rabbi Richard Baroff / Band: Rubik’s Groove / Makeup Artist: Yvette Nation / Hair Stylist: Ashley Carter / Ceremony Guitarist: Hunter Dawson