Sure, the summer sun down South can make almost any bride melt, but we think Kristina + Michael found the perfect solution for beating the heat with their early morning Florida wedding. With crisp seaside blues and fresh white accents, this one-of-a-kind wedding captured by Corinna Hoffman reminds brides that even a 10:00 a.m. ceremony and mid-morning reception can be an intimate, chic and, best of all, fun and memorable event for your guests! While we love the bride’s simple, beach-perfect Watters gown and the teal bridesmaids dresses she let her attendants choose themselves, we’re really obsessed with the games (think bride and groom specific scavenger hunts, a spin-off of the “Newlyweds” game and their own unique variation of the ever-popular Musical Chairs) the couple wowed guests with at the reception. The many unique beach-themed elements of this wedding, from the all-white cupcakes and flowers by A Floral Affair to the adorable sea star favors, make me want to pack up, grab the SW girls and head right for the beach! Anyone up for a trip to Wilmington, NC?
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Mike and I were both assigned to the same squadron in the summer of 2006. We hit it off immediately, worked together frequently and now are happily married!
Describe the proposal: Mike proposed in front of Forsyth Fountain in Savannah. We had visited Savannah a few years back when we first started dating and that was where I really fell in love with him. Mike had arranged for a photographer to stand by while we walked through the park after dinner. I specifically remember seeing the photographer as we were walking through and telling Mike we should stay out of the pictures and trying to drag Mike out of the way. Little did I know the photographer was there to capture Mike’s proposal on film!
Why do you love your husband? It’s difficult to articulate why I love Mike and anything I can say about him here is really only the tip of the iceberg! What immediately comes to mind when I think about why I love my husband, though, is how incredibly patient and insightful he is. I always look forward to hearing his point of view. He makes me laugh and then he makes me cry… from laughing so hard! He is good to me and he is my best friend. Mike really does complete me!
A date we went on that we’ll always remember: I had told Mike one day that I was craving BLT sandwiches with avocado. A few days later when Mike was enjoying some time off from work, he met me for lunch and brought a huge paper bag full of picnic fixings to make BLT sandwiches with avocados! We enjoyed our picnic lunch by the lake. It wasn’t candlelit but it was incredibly thoughtful and terribly romantic.
The weather on our wedding day was: Sunny and HOT HOT HOT!
What was the design inspiration for your wedding invitation? While Mike was deployed, he did a water color painting for me of a tuxedo jacket and a wedding dress with a note on the back about how he was looking forward to our wedding day. I knew I wanted to incorporate that painting into our invitations somehow. On the actual wedding day, we had the original painting on display as well.
Describe your wedding flowers: I had a bouquet of callalilies that I carried Miss America style! My bridesmaids carried bouquets of hydrangeas wrapped in raffia ribbon.
Describe your wedding cake: I had always wanted cupcakes for my wedding and, luckily, Mike was not at all opposed. I asked a friend of ours if she would do the honors of baking the wedding cupcakes and she happily agreed. We had 3 flavors of cupcakes at our wedding: key lime, vanilla and strawberry with buttercream frosting. We kept the cupcakes very simple and lined them with silver cupcake-cups. They turned out perfectly and set the right mood for our morning wedding.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: It was a morning affair! Our ceremony was at 10:00 a.m. and we had breakfast during the reception. Everything was over by 2:00 p.m. but we continued to spend time with our family and friends (many of whom came from all over the country) on the beach afterwards. That evening, we celebrated again with a casual dinner and then rallied at a nearby bar. We truly got to spend the entire day with everyone! I had heard so many complaints from friends who had attended other weddings and had never even gotten to speak to the bride and groom, so was so happy we decided to plan our wedding as we did.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? For me, finding a hair and make-up artist that was willing to be up and ready to go by 6:00 a.m. proved to be the most difficult thing of all, especially considering I lived out of town and did not have any connections. Fortunately, I found a stylist who really did a fantastic job!
Were there any wedding traditions or new ideas you included in the wedding? I think we definitely broke the mold as far as traditional weddings go. Of course, having a morning wedding was somewhat novel and we also decided to meet and see each other prior to the ceremony so as to maximize time with our family and friends and because of the afternoon heat. In lieu of the traditional bouquet and garter toss, we decided to play a few wedding games. One was a spin on the “Newlyweds” game where Mike and I asked several pre-selected couples trivia questions that both the husband and wife were to answer. We also had a male- and female-themed scavenger hunt. For prizes, we selected beach-themed items for all the winners. The games were a huge hit and made for hilarious pictures.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Refreshing, original and FUN!
What advice would you give to someone planning their wedding? Decide upfront and togetherwhat your priorities are. Keep an open mind and be flexible up to and, most especially, during the wedding and reception. Finally, consider this: we were told that the DJ truly runs the (reception) show. A good DJ will ensure that the wedding vendors are always in the loop (i.e., letting photographers know when key events are about to happen) and will ensure there are no awkward pauses or silences. Also, if music and dancing are at all important to you, keep this in mind: we’ll never forget when we told our photographer who our DJ was (McGee Entertainment) and how excited she was!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Apparently, when it rains… it pours! Two weeks after the wedding, we packed up our house and prepared to move across the country to Portland, Oregon. We’ve also separated from the Air Force to pursue graduate school. In the midst of all that, we began planning a three week excursion to South America, which is where I am writing this from. Hola from Buenos Aires!
Congratulations on your fun and fabulous wedding, Kristina + Michael! Best of luck on getting settled in your new home and with beginning graduate school!