Google+ Real Wedding: Sarah + Brian, Part I - Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings

I’m dreaming of a …beach wedding… just like the ones we used to feature.  Alright, alright, I’ll stop humming Bing Crosby Christmas carols!  Now that we are nearing the New Year, we thought we’d bring you something fresh!  Sarah + Brian’s Florida wedding is the perfect cure for cold day in December. Capturing this fantastic wedding at the {Amelia Island Plantation} was the hot Florida-based photographer, {Scarlett Lillian}. Thanks so much, Scarlett, for sharing this fun wedding with us today!  More to come in part II…

How did the two of you meet? Brian was transferred temporarily to my hometown of Nashville TN. It was not my territory but after a couple months of working long days and still finding time and reasons to spend much time together as possible (any excuse – extra work so staying at the office late, dinner time, needing a ride somewhere) and a “break-up” dinner before ever dating dinner, Brian finally asked me out on an “official date”. Our first date was in Brian’s hometown, a tiny beach side restaurant called “The Surf”, staying at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton and meeting all of his wonderful friends and family and we knew from that moment, we would be together forever and yes, the temporary became permanent.
Describe the proposal: On our one year “dating anniversary “Which we spent back in Amelia Island, the site of our first official date”, I wanted to surprise Brian – I had packed little gifts in my suitcase and a sweet card filled with words about how much he meant to me, how he inspired and surprised me and how grateful I was that he was brought into my life. Brian looked at me when I said “happy anniversary” and said, “Why are you celebrating and giving me gifts? It’s just a dating anniversary…” I took a deep breath and tried not to cry, little did I know this was part of his elaborate plan. Brian made little comments about it not being a big deal, it was a just a “dating anniversary” all day. But for me, it was a such an important marker – not only a year, but a year with the person who seemed to be my soul mate. But Brian was laying the groundwork for his surprise. His friends and family met us that evening at the same restaurant in which we had our first date, The Surf. We ate dinner with everyone, me trying to fight back my tears of frustration with him as we started a discussion of “if this doesn’t mean that much to you, maybe we should take a break?” We headed back to the Ritz, where Brian dropped to a knee and proposed on our balcony. When I finally felt like I could make sounds again, I screamed, “I can’t believe you” at Brian, in which case he said – “could you answer me please?” I said yes and his family rushed into our room to celebrate. We made our way downstairs to dance the night away to the jazz band in the lobby bar. It could not have been more splendid.
What attracted me to my husband was: His gentle spirit and sense of humor that he tries to cleverly mask with a “tough guy” exterior. I loved watching the smile start to spread across his face when I did something frivolous, flirty or in my usual style – goofy.
Why do you love your husband? As cliché as it is… his love for my family, his family, and now – our unborn child and me. He makes me want to be a better person. He balances me and at the same time, knocks me off guard, he absolutely completes me.
What attracted me to my wife was: Passion, belief, faith, and forgiveness. She has a gift, an ability to see the good in everything and everyone and to believe in that goodness. I was truly intrigued when we first met. Listening to her stories and hearing no matter how bad anything seemed to me she was always able to see the good. After a while I came to the realization that she actually is the person I was so intrigued by.
A date we went on that we’ll always remember: Our non-dating “break-up dinner”. After weeks of enjoying each other’s company, spending time together whenever we could. Rendezvous in Memphis, Tennessee (one of our favorite restaurants to this day) was the location for the infamous dinner in which we discussed our breaking up. Mind you – we’d never been on one date. Brian asked “Did you just break up with me even though we aren’t dating?” to which I replied “I think so, but it’s just better this way. This thing we have going is just too good so let’s just make sure it doesn’t start…then we don’t ever have to end it bad.” We laughed, agreed, finished our dinner and Brian asked me out “officially” two weeks later, it was such a sign of things to come. No matter the circumstance we seem to find the sense of humor in it all.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: Some people say that looking for a wedding dress can be stressful, a little more difficult than what you imagine it to be. But, with my absolute affinity for clothing (some close to me might call it an addiction ) dress shopping was such an amazing experience. The girl, who can never have enough beautiful clothes, gets to try on the some of the most fantastic dresses in the world. My mom, my sister, a good friend and even my father, alternated days spent shopping with me. As I played dress-up, trying to find that “it” dress from online designer galleries to every store offering a variation of a wedding dress in Nashville. My only struggle was that the “it” dress had to be perfect for the beach … it had to move in the breeze, retain the simplicity of the classic design we had incorporated throughout but still be my perfect “wedding” dress. I found the designer at a local boutique near my home, in Franklin Tennessee, {Faccio}. They had also worked with my sister to create her dream wedding gown and it was my last stop. The designer was {Rivini}, who I absolutely loved every dress in the collection and tried on the pieces from the latest runway show, they were elegant, simple and seemed to be as close to what I saw me wearing in my dreams about the now quickly approaching BIG day. I found that very Americana yet “beach wedding” dress in almost all of the Rivini dresses from the new collection. Picking one that seemed to be “the one”, and everyone gave their seal of approval. We did leave the boutique to go eat lunch so that we could come back to sign the papers without stomachs growling. My mom and I turned around as we closed the door to the shop and saw in the window – the “it” dress! It had been forgotten in the search, hidden in the front of the store. We just knew without exchanging words, such a classic strap less dress with layers that looked like they would blow so effortlessly in the wind at the perfect beach ceremony – we had to try it! Forgoing lunch (it was as though we were never hungry), I stepped back in to try on that dress and the teary eyed smile from my father and that look from my mother that said “that’s it”. I knew I had found my “it” dress!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? We still remember the first time we saw each other that day, as I came over the boardwalk, Brian was on the beach. We smiled and if it was possible, without words, it was as if we fell in love even more.
Were there any special family traditions you included in the wedding? My dad walking me down the aisle. I couldn’t imagine changing that tradition not being our ceremony, no matter where the wedding occurred. My father and mother being married for thirty plus years, their marriage teaching me what genuine unconditional love is and being the first born, I was and will, always be daddy’s girl.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase/verse/or line? We didn’t write our vows but worked with the minister to create ones more tailored to our ideal, which was to tie in our families and friends, those we care about most, to the ceremony. Our vows included interaction from those gathered
to help us celebrate – He asked our parents each for their blessings, in which they responded with “they do”, and then he had all guests stand, Brian and I facing them and asked – “Will you, family and friends, stand beside them, celebrating their decision and do all in your power to uphold this marriage in the days and years ahead?” In which case they all responded with, “We will”. It was such an emotionally charged moment in the ceremony and one we will remember always.

More from Sarah + Brian to come!

Written with love by Southern Weddings
  1. avatar Heather Thorne reply

    Way to go Scarlett – love this wedding and you captured it beautifully!

  2. avatar my girl reply

    thank you for your sharing information.

  3. avatar Pat reply

    Love the picture with all the Bridesmaids and Bride with their legs crossed.

  4. avatar Suzie Seagraves reply

    CONGRATS Scarlett!!! What awesome shots! And what a fabulous wedding! Great job!

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