We couldn’t resist this sweet and simple Alys Beach wedding. Inspired by the crisp, white Bermuda architecture and bright pops of color of the Florida beach town, Monica + Aaron’s combined the best of modern + oceanfront wedding with their seaside nuptials. The husband and wife duo, Paul and Mechael Johnson, captured the couple’s intimate oceanfront ceremony, which included the groom’s son, Mason. Monica’s bride wore a grey B2 frock from Jasmine Bridal while the bride donned a loose Watters gown. I love the unexpected splash of yellow in the bride’s simple bouquet from Noveau Flowers and, after seeing the couple’s adorable black-and-white umbrella, think a little rain on one’s wedding day can’t be all bad if it means you get to carry such a cute accessory!
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We first met in high school when I was a senior and Aaron was a junior. I saw a drawing he had done for an art class on display in the hall and liked it so much that I wanted to meet him. We definitely hit it off, but the timing wasn’t right for a relationship, so we were just casual acquaintances. Four years later, however, we happened to run into each other while back in our hometown. At the time, Aaron was in a band and he invited me to come to see him play at a local venue. When the date came around, a friend reminded me about the show and we decided on a whim to go. We had a great time and Aaron and I had an instant chemistry that quickly turned into a romance that lasted for six years! We have truly grown so much together over the years and have become each other’s support and family even before getting married. Mason, Aaron’s nine-year-old son, was only 2 when we started dating so I have also had the opportunity to be a part of his life from a young age and to build a special bond with him, too. Sometimes wonderful things in life are worth the wait!
Describe the proposal. Aaron and I had just built a house together in Ft. Worth, Texas and we were so excited about the new chapter in our lives. As the house was going up, we would drive by and daydream about how great it would be when we could just relax on the back porch with a glass of wine at the end of the day. Very soon after we had moved in, Aaron woke me up to a gourmet breakfast he had prepared himself. After, he grabbed two cups of coffee and casually asked me to come outside with him. We went out and sat on the back porch, just enjoying our lazy morning. He started talking about how nice it was to be at home together and to finally be able to do all the things we hoped and planned. Then, he reached into the chair cushion, pulled out a beautiful ring, got down on one knee and proposed! It was perfect! (And he truly surprised me by doing it in the morning when I completely wasn’t expecting it!)
What was the design inspiration for your wedding? My inspiration was definitely the gorgeous architecture of Alys Beach where we were married. I loved the crisp, white Bermuda-inspired buildings and the pop of color on the shutters and doors. From planning my dress to designing the flowers, I always kept the unique design elements of the area in mind.
What was your favorite design element of your big day? Our favorite “design element” was actually the house that we stayed at in Alys Beach. Because the wedding was so small and intimate, the house played a big role in our big day. After the, we hosted a candlelight champagne toast and cut the cake on the house’s rooftop veranda overlooking the beach where we were just married.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our sand ceremony, which included Aaron’s son, Mason. We wanted him to feel special and celebrated on our big day, too, and it was a nice way to symbolize our new bond and to let him have a moment to shine.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I was very lucky to find the perfect Watters wedding dress hanging on the sample rack at the first bridal boutique I visited! My mom actually found the dress while scouting the day before and, when I saw it, I knew it was the one! Amazingly, I was able to get it altered and to take it home within a week. I added a custom-made yellow silk dupioni sash for a pop of color and unique style.
Describe your wedding flowers: Nouveau Flowers designed yellow calla lilies and white freesia for my bouquet.
Describe your wedding cake: Simply delicious! Vanilla cream cheese cake with raspberry filling and butter cream frosting by Fatty Patty’s Bakery & Café in Panama City, Florida.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Finding the time to plan a destination wedding was certainly a challenge. Luckily, my mom was a HUGE help in the planning and was somehow able to book all of our first choice vendors. We are so grateful – we never would have been able to pull it off without her help! THANK YOU, MOM!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Definitely when it started to rain on us in the middle of our outdoor ceremony! Or when I accidentally mixed up the rings and gave my maid of honor my mom’s gold ring instead of Aaron’s. Or when the officiate held up the rings to bless them during the ceremony, and we all realized it was the wrong one! Luckily, I was able to casually slip it on Aaron’s pinky finger and go on as if nothing had happened. These may seem like wedding day disasters, but we honestly enjoyed every minute despite any little mishaps. In the end, they added to the unique memories of our day.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are excited to get settled and move on to our next project: decorating our house! We would love to plan a trip to a new place each year, but we are definitely looking forward to coming back to Alys Beach for a special anniversary sometime in the future.
Congratulations Monica and Aaron! Thank you for sharing your special day with us!