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It is so special to see a couple who celebrates their marriage in a way that is a perfect fit for them, even if that celebration is less than traditional. Morgan and Brian are a lovely example–with the help of their planner and designer, Kylie Swanson, they said their vows by the ocean in Marco Island, Florida, surrounded by just 21 of their loved ones. A few weeks later, they also celebrated with family and friends back home in Oklahoma. We were delighted to share both parts of their wedding celebration in V7, and are equally excited to share them with y’all today, starting with their romantic seaside ceremony. We hope they inspire you to think outside the box and plan your wedding in the way that is most meaningful to you!

Thanks so much to Aaron Snow for sharing Morgan and Brian’s gorgeous wedding with us!

I have always adored the ocean, so choosing a destination wedding and getting married on the beach was a dream come true. Exchanging vows by the ocean was significant for Brian as well–when he was a teenager, he felt like God had told him that one day, he was going to wake up every day by the sea. Well, my name, Morgan, actually means “by the sea.” The symbolism is beautiful.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? My favorite part about my dress was its simplicity. The fabric was Spanish tulle and silk, so it was very lightweight. The design had a delicate, feminine, free-spirited quality that fit my personality. It was ideal for a beach wedding.
Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. How did you choose them? I let my older sisters choose a dress that they loved and felt beautiful wearing. It came in three colors: blue, blush, and mint. We chose mint!

Tell us about a date you’ll always remember. We will always remember our first date to a Tulsa Drillers minor league baseball game; Brian bought us tickets directly behind home plate. It felt as if we had the entire stadium to ourselves because there were so few people in attendance that night. It wasn’t a wildly extravagant date, but it was a precious and memorable one, filled with incredible warmth, happiness, love, and laughter. There’s something to be said about the simple things in life. All we wanted to do was spend time getting to know each other, and we truly cherished every single moment together. I pray that every moment is still deemed extraordinary, even fifty years from now. Life is made up of moments!

Exchanging our vows was the most special part of the ceremony. Those two simple words, “I do,” shaped the rest of our lives. Marriage vows are a covenant between best friends to love and cherish each other through thick and thin; they are promises to be lived out in each moment.

Did you try anything new or nontraditional? One thing in particular that stood out as nontraditional is that we decided to have everyone stand around us during the ceremony rather than bring out chairs. It made for a really magical moment.

Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding? Everyone was special, but one person in particular traveled over 24 hours to celebrate with us! Brian and his parents flew my best friend, Natalie, into Florida from Zimbabwe to be a part of our special day. We surprised her with a bridesmaid dress in her hotel room, and it was a very tearful, happy moment for everybody.

Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? We had a short cocktail hour at our wedding in Florida and it was a great transition for our guests while we wrapped up some portraits with Aaron.

We left the floral design up to Kylie, and after our initial meeting describing the type of design that I’m drawn to, I knew she would be able to pull together something incredibly beautiful. It was so surreal seeing my bouquet for the first time, because Kylie managed to pull together all of the colors and textures I loved and create something so spectacularly gorgeous.


Were there any family traditions you included in the reception? I don’t know if it was a family tradition necessarily, but Brian’s dad read a powerful blessing over the two of us and over every married couple present at our reception.

What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? Brian surprised me by serenading me after we exchanged vows. He sang “Happy” by The Daylights, which was “our song” during our entire engagement. It was amazing!!!

Don’t miss Morgan and Brian’s wedding film by Pen Weddings below!

When did y’all get married? May 29, 2014
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.We were introduced while hundreds of miles apart–Brian was finishing his college education in Mississippi and I was studying in Missouri. We met for the first time in person on May 19, 2013 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after a month of long-distance courting. We would Skype for several hours every day, sharing our hearts on just about everything: hopes, dreams, desires, and fears. We discussed our strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, and anything in between. Most of all though, Brian and I talked about our mutual love and passion for the Lord. All of our conversations–no matter how brief or lengthy, casual or serious–pointed to God. Beyond our compatibility, we both were deeply devoted to our faith and pursued the heart of God above all else. We honestly fell in love with the reflection of Christ that we saw in each other. We were inseparable that summer. Brian says that when he saw me for the first time, he knew I’d have his heart for the rest of his life. After six months of dating and a lot of prayer, Brian proposed. We got married a year and ten days after meeting.
Tell us about the proposal! In January 2013, Brian’s parents took us to Israel to tour the Holy Land with our church. Brian decided that there was no better place to ask me to join him as “one” than the very spot where Jesus asked to be one with us: the Garden of Gethsemane. Standing at the base of the Mount of Olives, Brian read to me from John 17, dropped to one knee, and proposed. I said YES! Along with a sparkly new engagement ring, Brian gave me a heart carved from olive wood. Olive trees hold incredible symbolism, and we were surrounded by them during the proposal. The olive tree thrives under great heat and is known for its tenacity. They live, grow, and bear fruit in any and every condition: hot, dry, cold, wet, fertile, rocky, or sandy. It is said that you can never kill an olive tree–even when cut down or burned, new shoots emerge from its roots. Like the evergreen olive tree, we pray that our marriage will withstand anything.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: It was joyful, vibrant, and blessed!

How many guests attended your wedding? 21
Who was your officiant? Why did you choose him/her? The officiant was Jason Cook, a former NFL player. He was Brian’s mentor at the University of Mississippi.

Did you try anything new or nontraditional? A fire dancer performed at the end of the night!
Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where? Since we got married in Florida, we thought it would be a great idea to start out our marriage in the Keys. After getting married in Marco Island, we rented a car and drove to Islamorada. We spent about four days at the beautiful Cheeca Lodge and Spa and stayed in a really delightful little bungalow. After our time in the Florida Keys, we drove to Miami and flew out to Turks & Caicos for eight days. We stayed at the Seven Stars Resort. The Caribbean was breathtaking!

Photographer: Aaron Snow / Videographer: Pen Weddings / Planner, Designer, and Stylist: Kylie Swanson / Ceremony Venue: Marriott Marco Island / Reception Venue: KJM The Farm / Florals: Isn’t She Lovely (Florida) and Poppy Lane Design (Oklahoma) / Catering: Marriott Marco Island (Florida) and Ludger’s (Oklahoma) / Cake Baker: Marriott Marco Island (Florida) and Amy’s Cakes (Oklahoma) / Hair and Makeup: Blo OKC / Bride’s Gown: Monique Lhuillier / Bridal Salon and Veil: JJ Kelly / Bridesmaid Dresses: Dillard’s / Groom’s Attire: Banana Republic / Paper Goods: Gather & Co. / Rentals: Niche Event Rentals (Florida), Kahoy Studios (Oklahoma), and Marianne’s Rentals (Oklahoma) / Transportation: Tulsa Vintage Rides / Lighting: Zach Downing Productions

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar 365 Days of us. | Morris Ministry reply

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  2. avatar Dan Biggins Photography reply

    In a word, swoon! I dream of photographing a beach wedding, but don’t get much chance living in the UK! Beautiful photos, couple & wedding :)

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After a long distance romance, Amanda and Adam took to planning a beach wedding that told the story of their love! They mixed Southern touches in honor of their roots with chic vintage decor to create a lovely bohemian vibe. The contrast of the dapper gents in black bow ties and the organic handpicked wildflowers play off each other perfectly! I must say, I love Amanda’s advice for folks planning a wedding: “You can’t avoid the craziness, so just embrace it!” Such sage advice that can be applied to all aspects of life!

Special SW thanks to Kaytee Lauren for sharing this gorgeous day with us!

Could these fellas get any more dapper? So very GQ!

Since our wedding encompassed a vintage and bohemian vibe, I knew immediately that I wanted organic, handpicked wildflowers to complement the antique and rustic decor. We had every type of colorful wildflower you could imagine, with pops of pink peonies and bright billy balls. My favorite floral detail was the magnolia leaf garland we hung from our driftwood arbor and our sweetheart table. It was absolutely stunning.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? The Outer Banks is one our favorite places in the world. We have both spent a lot of time there over the years, but more importantly, it was the first place we visited and spent time together as a couple, almost five years ago to the day that we got married.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We decided to recite traditional vows, though we exchanged letters to each other prior to the ceremony that expressed our love to each other in our own words.

No first look for us. As much as we wanted to shy away from a lot of the formalities of a traditional wedding, there were still a few traditions that we wanted to retain. There’s something truly romantic about waiting to share that first look moment right before the ceremony–we will cherish that for the rest of our lives.

Adam’s late grandfather was a Baptist minister, and he had married countless couples over many years. He had a prayer he said for every ceremony that we incorporated into ours. It was beautiful.

Both of our rings hold special meaning. Mine were custom-made by a small, family-owned jeweler in NYC. They symbolize the start of our marriage in one of the greatest cities in the world. Adam decided to use his late grandfather’s wedding band. He and Adam’s grandmother were married for over 60 years. Adam had the inside of the band engraved with his grandfather’s initials, followed by his own, with the intention of passing it on through our family.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We did a simple buttercream cake for cutting, but also wanted to offer a variety of our favorites desserts for our guests to enjoy: key lime pie, glazed doughnut holes, and cupcakes.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. From Adam: Amanda and I met in 2008 through work and mutual friends. Just as we began to feel our relationship could be something more, Amanda moved to Nashville, Tennessee to finish school. Almost six months after she moved, I flew to Nashville with a buddy for a weekend. Amanda and I reconnected and I ended up canceling my flight home so that I could stay an extra day. From then on, we traveled to see each other whenever we could, and lived for the moments that we got to spend together, even if they were only a weekend at a time. We knew that if we could make that situation work, we could get through anything together.
Tell us all about the proposal! My family was vacationing in Virginia Beach, where I was raised. The night before we headed home, we went out to dinner and then decided to take a walk to enjoy our last night of vacation. When we got to the street I grew up on, Adam took my hand and we walked out onto the beach. The sun was going down and it was gorgeous. We stood there together just looking out at the ocean when Adam turned to me and dropped down on one knee. The next few moments were a bit of a blur, but it was incredible to be able to say YES!” in a place that means so much to me.
When did y’all get married? June 7, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 85
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I think finding my wedding dress was the easiest part of the whole wedding planning process. From day one, I knew the exact vibe I was going for and I immediately fell in love with a Sarah Seven gown I had seen online. I booked an appointment at Lovely Bride in NYC, and after trying on the “Practically Perfect,” I was sold. It was the perfect beachy boho dress.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We wanted to stay true to our Southern roots without going over the top, and we knew that food was the easiest way to get that right. We served Carolina BBQ, coleslaw and potato salad–as traditional as it gets. Burlap and vintage doilies covered the tables and we used mason jars for glassware. In lieu of a traditional guest book, we had our guests sign vintage postcards from our favorite Southern cities.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We saved money by choosing our venue, Pelican’s Landing. It’s the perfect classic beach house located on the oceanfront in Corolla. It’s a one-stop shop that includes everything from ceremony benches to place settings. The property owner also owns a local catering company, which we used to cater our wedding, and our guests couldn’t stop raving about the food.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Relax, don’t sweat the small stuff, and enjoy every second. You can’t avoid the craziness, so just embrace it! You’re getting married and that is the most important thing. Also, don’t skimp on a day-of coordinator–they are life savers!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are enjoying life in New York City and looking forward to what the future holds. We’re getting the chance to begin our journey as husband and wife in a place neither of us had ever imagined, so we are living for the moment and making the most of each day.

Photographer: Kaytee Lauren Photography / Planner: A Premiere Event / Venue: Pelican’s Landing / Florist: Bells & Whistles / Cake Baker: Hibou Pastries / Caterer: Coastal Provisions / Rentals: Metro Rental / DJ: Outer Banks Music Masters / Bride’s Gown: “Practically Perfect” by Sarah Seven / Bride’s Accessories: Ivy & Aster / Makeup Artist: Rebecca Wood / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Groom’s Attire: Zara / Groomsmen Attire: J. Crew / Ties: The Tie Bar

marissa Written with love by Marissa
10 Comments
  1. avatar Alisha reply

    Kaytee is my photographer too! She did such an amazing job on this wedding and I can’t wait until mine in September! :)

  2. avatar kristin partin reply

    yeah kaytee get it girl!! these are incredible.

  3. avatar Loverly reply

    Absolutely stunning! Looks like a dream-come-true wedding!

  4. avatar chapel2chapel reply

    Wow! Loved this. The groom’s suit–fit, texture, the whole nine–was absolutely amazing!

  5. avatar Emily reply

    Reminds me a bit of the portraits at my wedding – also black tie on the beach! Of course I love :)

  6. avatar katelyn james reply

    Awww! So fun!!! Small world! This is Michael’s cousin and his beautiful bride!! :) Yay!!! Love this Marissa!!!! xoxo

  7. avatar Wedding Venue TX reply

    I love the concept about this black tie beach wedding, looks like a music video with a happy ending, lovely couple and the beach just make the day perfect

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I’ve always loved beach weddings, but I must admit, I didn’t truly understand their magic until I was a bridesmaid at one a few weeks ago and dinner was served literally inches away from the water. Now, I completely understand how unbelievably romantic it can be to have the sand beneath your feet and the ocean as your backdrop at your wedding! Alex and Joey’s wedding falls right into that magical category–with its old Florida feel and sweet and meaningful details (the ceremony benches were made from reclaimed wood from Alex’s parents’ home!), these two threw a celebration that was good ol’ Southern fun!

Big thanks to Rodeo and Co for sharing these dreamy photos with us!

See! Absolutely dreamy!

My mother and I were in Burlington, Vermont when we decided to see what Sewly Yours Bridal had. I knew I wanted a vintage dress, but I only saw one that I wanted to try on. It fit perfectly! A week later, I tried it on again for my sister to see. This time, one of the ladies working there asked, “Can you see yourself getting married in this dress?” I started crying because I knew the answer was yes!

Describe your wedding flowers. My bouquet was made of Juliet garden roses, light peach roses, pink Sophie roses, white majolica spray roses, white hydrangeas, and white ranunculus. The bridesmaids carried bouquets of light peach roses and white majolica spray roses. Joey’s parents grew roses when he was younger, so we wanted to have lots of roses at our wedding.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: My mother, stepfather, and brother made our ceremony benches using floor boards from my parents’ in Fort Myers house that they’re remodeling. I loved the lounge area my mother created with four love seats, ottomans, and a bamboo table. There was a fish detail on the flatware and we used ocean blue glass plates. My grandmother’s large crystal bowl was filled with roses on the entry table.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I was born in Fort Myers, Florida and most of my family still lives down there. We decided to have the wedding right on Fort Myers Beach. My uncle, Les Morgan, who is a minister in LaBelle, Florida, performed the ceremony. We had a very Southern dinner that included a shrimp and grits station. We also served pulled pork, three-cheese macaroni, collard greens, black eye peas, sweet corn bread muffins, and buttermilk biscuits with berry jam. It was so good! I highly recommend Gwendolyn’s Café and Catering in Fort Myers.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Being the fifth generation in Fort Myers, Florida, I wanted the wedding to have an old Florida, romantic feel. We’re very laid back and wanted everyone to enjoy themselves, so the beach was perfect for that. When I saw the Stella-Maris, I fell in love with its historic charm.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. A mutual friend secretly wanted us to meet. At first, neither of us thought anything of it, but by the end of the night, Joey was walking me to the train and kissing me goodnight. We’ve been together ever since.
Tell us all about the proposal! I had a feeling he was going to propose soon because he kept getting up early on Saturday mornings, saying he was going shopping, but he never came back with anything! A couple of weeks later, we were in his hometown of Rochester, New York, and he drove us to Mendon Ponds, where there is a big open field next to the water. It was very pretty, and our dog, Danger, was running around, all happy. The next thing I knew, Joey was on one knee with a beautiful ring, asking me to marry him. I said yes! We celebrated that evening with his family.
When did y’all get married? April 27, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 95
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We were planning to write our own vows, but then I came across some traditional vows that said everything I wanted to say and more. I tear up every time I read them.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed was my mom’s vintage coral earrings. My something old was my vintage 1920’s dress. My something blue was the ribbon my sister-in-law used in the garter she made for me out of the extra fabric from my dress. My something new was my Marc Jacobs sandals.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We didn’t hire a DJ–instead, we made one continuous playlist for the whole event, from the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, dance party, and late night. We also bought our own beer and wine.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Rodeo and Co. Photography. Meg is my sister’s best friend and she did such a great job capturing the love and happiness of our wedding day. My sister was a second shooter for her (as well as my matron of honor) and I can’t thank them both enough! Sometimes, we forget how amazing family is, but I will never forget all the help we had for our wedding!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I loved seeing Joey standing up there looking so calm and handsome, just waiting for me. The look on his face when I stepped out onto the aisle was priceless. That made everything worth it.

Photographer: Rodeo and Co. Photography / Planner: Monica Johnson / Venue: Stella-Maris / Florist: Libby’s Flowers / Cake Baker: Publix / Caterer: Gwendolyn’s Café and Catering / Rentals: Caloosa Tent & Rentals and Creative Events & Rentals / Lighting: Caloosa Tent & Rentals / Bridal Salon: Sewly Yours Bridal / Calligraphy: Laura Lavender / Bride’s Hair Flowers: Libby’s Flowers / Hair Stylist: Esterra Spa / Bride’s Shoes: Marc Jacobs / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: ModCloth / Matron of Honor’s Dress: Chic Wish / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

marissa Written with love by Marissa
4 Comments
  1. avatar meg reply

    everything about this day was magical & full of love…I feel so grateful that I was able to document it for them {plus, knowing alex since she was a little girl…it made it extra special for me} thank you for putting this together so beautifully! xo

  2. avatar Bridget reply

    An absolutely beautiful wedding! I am so happy to see the bride in a vintage gown from Sewly Yours in Vermont – I’ve known the owner Debbie Wells for about 20 years, and she restores original vintage dresses like no one else :)

  3. avatar Dana L reply

    love love love! so beautiful!

  4. avatar The Wedding Printer reply

    Beautiful wedding! Love the photo of the groom swinging the bride around…so cute!!

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