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Bride Maggie shares her waterfront wedding at her groom’s family home!

I have a real soft spot for weddings hosted at the bride or groom’s family home. After all, there isn’t a venue much more personal than that, and you’re unlikely to have already been to someone else’s wedding there before! That’s why the sentiment behind today’s couple’s perfect ceremony location is so sweet. Bride Maggie shared, “After looking at several out-of-town venues, we both felt that something was missing. We wanted something personal, special and unique to the two of us that we could make our own. We wanted something that felt like home. Then we realized that our venue was in right in front of us: between two coconut palms in the backyard of Michael’s childhood home on Davis Islands, overlooking the the Hillsborough Bay. Home to Michael’s parents with his grandmother residing next door, this property has been in Michael’s family for nearly 70 years and been the backdrop for family celebrations and gatherings for six generations. With the help of Ian Prosser and Zoe Gallina of Botanica, our dream became a reality.”

Maybe the best part is that while the groom and his groomsmen proceeded out of his family home, Maggie and her dad were able to hide away and make their entrance from his grandmother’s home right next door! Read on for more of the lovely details behind this waterfront wedding!

Big hugs to Justin Demutiis for sharing this celebration with us!

Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. Growing up in Atlanta, we would always drive by an adorable, vintage bridal store called Kelly’s Closet. I always dreamed of getting my dress there one day, but never really thought it would happen. Kelly’s Closet was our first stop when we went dress shopping, and I tried on a beautiful Tulle NY gown. It was the perfect dress: simple elegance and a great skirt for a good twirl. My mom, my mom’s best friend, and my two best friends were with me and we all agreed: it was the one.

We did a first look and wouldn’t have a changed a thing about it. It was important to us to have an intimate moment between just the two of before the wedding, and it truly did ease our nerves. We will never forget how special that time was together.

Our ceremony was incredibly special. For starters, my bridesmaids, my dad and I walked to the procession from Michael’s grandmother’s home, and Michael, his groomsmen, and our family walked out from his parent’s home. My Uncle Nelson is an amazing musician. He joined the string quartet with his mandolin and played Rod Stewart’s “Maggie Mae” as my Dad and I walked down the aisle. Our officiant, Reverend Kathy Conner, performed a meaningful and special ceremony. Before we said our vows, Kathy asked that we turn around and face our guests. She told us to look at everyone there to support us. She told us to remember the moment as these are the people that love you and will continue to love us and support us for the rest of our lives. We were able to take in the moment and it is a part of our ceremony that was so moving for both of us. At the end of the ceremony, as Michael and I were announced as Mr. & Mrs, Michael’s brother-in-law coordinated a celebratory cannon salute from a friend’s boat in the bay. They even had binoculars to watch for our kiss as their cue. It was pretty spectacular.

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? It is so hard to pick the most memorable moment because the entire day was filled with incredible ones! One of my favorites was the gardenias in my bouquet and flower crown and on Michael’s boutonnière. The Gardenia flower is my mom’s favorite.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I can’t write about the songs without writing about the band. We chose Yacht Rock Revue from Atlanta, my home town. I had seen them perform numerous times in Atlanta. They play the smoothest hits from the 1970s and 80s, dress the part, and have the ability to connect with anyone aged 9 to 90. They are incredibly fun, wildly talented and really entertaining. We walked toward the dance floor as the band introduced us as Mr. and Mrs. to “Silly Love Songs.” It’s just a feel good song that we both love, it has a great beat, and fits with the theme we wanted to create for the evening. Our first dance was to “God Only Knows.” We were listening to The Beach Boys Pet Sounds album one weekend and this one spoke to us. It’s just a classic, sweet, beautifully composed song that we both love. I danced with my dad to Van Morrison’s “Tupelo Honey.” It’s his favorite song by his favorite artist. In his welcome speech at the reception, he dedicated the song to his Tupelo Honey, my mom. Michael and his Mom danced to “I Just Called to Say I Love You.” Michael’s grandmother used to sing this to him when he was a child.

Tell us all about the proposal! When I got home from work on a Friday afternoon, Michael was waiting for me on the dock at our house where he proposed! It was absolutely perfect. After he proposed, Michael told me to get ready and that there was another surprise waiting. We got in the car and drove to his parents’ home. Michael surprised me with both of our families and our closest friends waiting to celebrate with us. It was one of the happiest days of our lives.
When did y’all get married? December 10, 2016.
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 300.
What did you serve for your wedding cake? Our wedding cake was vanilla chiffon cake with raspberry buttercream and cream cheese icing (Michael’s choice) and amaretto chiffon cake with cream cheese icing and toasted almonds.
What was Southern about your wedding? We had an emphasis on family and tradition. They shaped our lives, and made us who we are. Also, there is nothing more Southern than having your first dance under a grand oak with lanterns hanging from the beautiful branches.
What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? My favorite thing about wedding planning was the anticipation of having all of our friends and family together in one place.
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? The guest list. Michael and I come from very large families and both cast a very wide net of friends so it was definitely hard making the cuts and tough decisions.
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? One of my most memorable moments was just before the ceremony. From Michael’s grandmother’s house, my Dad and I had a perfect view of all of the guests arriving, my mom being walked down the aisle by my two brothers, Michael and his groomsmen, and my bridesmaids walking in the procession. My dad and I shared a special, tearful moment, as we prepared for our walk to my soon-to-be husband. Walking down the aisle on my Dad’s arm, and seeing Michael at the end of the aisle was breathtaking and a moment I’ll never forget.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Do not think too hard about the details. Remember that the most important thing is your the ceremony, and y’all being together with your dear family and friends. It will be the best night of your life.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? It was magical.

Photographer: Justin Demutiis | Videographer: Voila Cinematic | Planner and Florist: Zoe Gallina | Ceremony and Reception Venue: Palori Family Home | Wedding Cake Baker: Hand’s On Sweets | Caterer: Puff n’ Stuff | Rentals:
AFR Furniture Rentals, A Chair Affair, US Tent Rental | Lighting: The Production Crew | Band: Yacht Rock Revue | Paper Products: A&P Designs | Bride’s Gown: Tulle NY from Kelly’s Closet | Jewelry and Shoes: BHLDN | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Elena Joseph | Groom’s Attire: SuitSupply | Transportation: Ambassador Limos | Parking: 717 Parking

Justin Demutiis is a lovely member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor directory!

Written with love by Catherine
6 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Those bridal party and groomsmen shots are pure gold!! So joyful and sweet!

  2. avatar Tegan reply

    love love LOVE the black and white dance floor – its on the ‘must’ list for our wedding

  3. avatar Sheffield Wedding Photographer reply

    Great Photos Justin! Beautiful inspiration

  4. avatar Maria reply

    What a gorgeous wedding! And great photography.

  5. avatar Sheffield Wedding Photographer reply

    Wow! Lost for words. What a great post!

  6. avatar Maggie + Michael – Justin DeMutiis Photography reply

    […]  Published on Southern Weddings […]

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