Wow. Do you see that first photo? We love Paul Johnson Photography for sharing this wedding with us! Amanda + Brent were married on the landing of the gorgeous antebellum plantation house, Southwood, which was decked in magnolia garlands and blue hydrangeas by Missy Gunnels Flowers. The men looked sharp with their big blue and white bow ties, the bridesmaids were lovely in Jim Hjelm, and the bride was elegant in her lace gown from Simply Elegant. In addition to being beautiful and timeless, A + B’s wedding was full of family ties. Amanda’s two aunts were both involved in the ceremony as an officiant and a flutist and Amanda walked down the aisle wearing her mother’s veil. My favorite part of the ceremony, though, was the ring warming. The wedding rings were passed through the guests to be blessed before they were slipped onto Amanda + Brent’s fingers. That’s a beautiful start to a Southern marriage, if I do say so myself.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. I met Brent in the summer of 2002 through my friend and Brent’s fraternity brother. At that time, I was a student at the University of South Florida in Tampa and Brent was attending FSU in Tallahassee. We saw each other whenever possible on weekends and during breaks, but the long distance became a strain on our relationship and we parted ways. But in May 2004, we decided to start dating again. Our final year at FSU, we were inseparable. Brent was going to move back to Destin after graduation and we decided that I would move there too, after I graduated in August. For two grueling years, Brent gave me the support I needed while attending graduate school at the University of West Florida but we also had time to have fun vacationing in Colorado, traveling to FSU football games, and enjoying Destin.
Describe the proposal. I was involved in the ring design so I knew when it was finished. Needless to say, surprising me was going to be difficult. One weekend in March of 2010, I went home to Tallahassee for the weekend. On my way back to Destin, I called Brent to let him know I was close to home. If anything was out of the ordinary, I would have known something was up, so Brent simply hid behind the closed door to our house, ring in hand, and waited for me to come in. As I entered, hands full and hound dogs howling, Brent popped the question.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Southern, heirloom, timeless
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our wedding took place at an antebellum plantation home, Southwood. We included family and friends as much as possible. Brent’s grandmother addressed all of the invitations in a beautiful script font, both of my aunts were in the ceremony, I wore my mom’s veil, and we used my mom and dad’s 25th anniversary toasting flutes for the champagne toast. We also had a table of every wedding picture of our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents and during the ceremony, we had a ring warming where the wedding rings were passed throughout the audience and were blessed by each guest.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I shopped with my mom and my dress was the third one I tried on. Later, my dad came to Destin to see the dress and his jaw just dropped. However, my mom and I wanted to spend a weekend shopping in bigger cities just to make sure I saw all of my possibilities. As soon as I got back to Destin, I ordered my dress. I knew it was the one. I am glad I ordered it early because the first dress that arrived was sewn wrong. We had to send it back to be totally remade. I got my dress back three weeks before the wedding.
Photographer: Paul Johnson Photography // Planner: John Gandy Events // Venue: The Southwood House // Florist: Missy Gunnels Flowers // Wedding Cake Baker: Katie’s Cakes & Catering // Caterer: Catering Capers // Bride’s Dress: Simply Elegant // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jim Hjelm