It’s wild how much can happen in a year, isn’t it? The first time we laid eyes on Ali and Nicholas’ wedding was just about a year ago, and the dreamy Florida sunshine, tropical-colored blooms, and delightful citrus details are just as welcome of a sight this January as they were then! This was actually the very first wedding we accepted for our most recent edition, Volume 9, and it certainly got our collection of gorgeous real Southern weddings for the magazine off on the right foot. Ali and Nicholas chose the Florida Keys (Nicholas’ hometown and a beloved vacation spot for the St. Louis couple) as the destination for their wedding, and with the help of Kristin Ashley Events, planned an old world Florida-inspired celebration that included an emotional walk down the aisle, family heirlooms on display, and a boho-meets-modern look that perfectly blended Ali and Nicholas’ unique styles.
We’re so glad Clary Pfeiffer shared this beautiful day with us for V9!
Tell us all the basics of your wedding! Why did you choose these things? Did any of these details hold special meaning for you as a couple? We decided to get married in the Florida Keys. It is home to Nick, and has become one of our favorite places to visit. We loved the idea of sharing that magic with our closest friends and family, so we found a beautiful spot in Islamorada called The Caribbean Resort. It really had that old world Florida feel, plus many of our guests were able to stay on the resort!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? I had a dress emergency three weeks before the wedding. The dress I had originally chosen was not fitting properly, and alterations were not working, so I took a chance and bought a backup dress online. It came three days before I left for Florida. It ended up being absolutely perfect, and felt like it was made for me.
Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. How did you choose them? I knew I wanted simple, elegant, ivory bridesmaid dresses, and that I wanted everyone to choose their own dress and style so they were comfortable. We went to Bella Bridesmaid in St. Louis and had a wonderful experience. Everyone chose from two different dress lines and we incorporated three colors to mix it up. I loved the way it turned out. Everyone looked stunning!
What songs did you use for your ceremony? I walked down the aisle to Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love.” He is my favorite artist, and that song it just so beautiful!
What was the most memorable or touching moment of your wedding day? For both of us, I think it was when I walked down the aisle and we saw each other for the first time. We were both crying. It was very emotional and special.
Did you do a first look? Why or why not? If so, tell us about it! Nick was very insistent that he wanted to see me for the first time that day when I was walking down the aisle. It was such a touching, special moment, so I was glad we waited.
Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. What part was most special to you? Did you include any special readings? We wanted our ceremony to be simple and sentimental. Many of our loved ones have passed or were not able to be there, so we started off with a moment of silence, thinking of them. We were fortunate to have our brother-in-law, Hank, marry us. Both he and Nick’s sister, Jane, are very rooted in their faith, and made it very special.
Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? Our sunset cocktail hour was inspired by the Cuban culture in the Florida Keys. We had freshly muddled mojitos and cigars from a local cigar shop. He rolls his own cigars and they are wonderful!
What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? I love most things bohemian, but I didn’t want our wedding to be overly vintage. Nick really likes modern, clean lines, so we mixed the two and it ended up being perfect!
Tell us about your wedding flowers. How did you choose them? What did you love about them? I wanted very organic florals with pinks and oranges to complement the Florida locale. I absolutely love flowers, and wanted the wedding to feel like a garden. My favorite part was probably the bed of flowers above our head table.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Have faith that it will all come together in the end! Also, make sure you take a moment that day to look around and soak it all in with your new spouse!
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met through work. After meeting my parents for the first time while we were still acquaintances, Nick remembers thinking “they will be my in-laws someday.” He was right!
Tell us about the proposal! We had close friends visiting us that weekend, so we had made plans to show them around. On Saturday, we had brunch and headed to the Arch grounds. I had never actually spent any time at the Arch, but it is something you shouldn’t miss when visiting St. Louis, so it wasn’t suspicious when Nick decided we should also do the helicopter tour. When we got to the banks of the Mississippi (where the helipad is), it was closed. Little did I know, our family and friends were watching from a large bus, only steps away. After walking around for a bit and trying to find an alternative plan, Nick grabbed my hand and pointed down the steps of the arch where our family and friends were holding a sign that said ‘ALI, WILL YOU MARRY ME?” What an amazing feeling! He had an agenda for the day that included a party bus, lunch, a stop at one of our favorite bars in Soulard, and a suite at the Cardinals game! I couldn’t believe all of the work and time he put into organizing this unforgettable day! The best part is that we were able to share it with our amazing friends, family, and even our dog, Arlo!
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Blissful, unforgettable, and FUN!
How many guests attended your wedding? 140
Bride’s favorite detail of the wedding: Probably my floral crown. My mom wore one when she married my dad, and I had always wanted to wear one on my wedding day. It was so romantic and beautiful; I didn’t want to take it off. I even went swimming with it on after the reception! I also loved having Ski Soda in our welcome bags. It is made in my hometown, and it was a fun way to incorporate a little piece of home. It is also DELICIOUS!
Were there any family traditions you included in the ceremony? My godmother, Sharon, passed away when I was very young. She had written an article about my grandmother’s wedding band, and it is a tradition in our family to display it at weddings. They are both very close to my heart, so it was special to honor them in that way.
What kind of food did you serve at your reception? Our wedding was planned around the sunset. After it set, everyone sat down for surf and turf. One of our favorite things to do when we are in the Keys is grill Florida lobster tail, so we were so excited to share it with our guests. We paired it with steak and mashed potatoes to give our Midwest friends and family a taste of home as well.
Tell us about your wedding cake or sweets. Key lime pie. Enough said!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are extremely blessed to have each other, and wonderful family and friends. We are renovating our first home together, and look forward to what the future holds! Hopefully lots of children and dogs!
Photographer: Clary Pfeiffer Photography | Videographer: Michelle March Photography and Film | Planner and Designer: Kristin Ashley Events | Venue: The Caribbean Resort | Florals: Becky Klein | Caterer: Green Turtle Inn & Kaiyo Grill Catering | Bride’s Gown: “May” by Amsale | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaid Dresses: Nouvelle Amsale and Joanna August | Makeup Artist: Ana Baidet | Menswear: Express | Paper Goods: Salty Dog | Rentals: Mile Marker Party Rentals, Unearthed Vintage | Linens: Nuage Linens