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Merry, merry Christmas, dear belles!

Photo by Abby Jiu

Yes, Christmas is still a day away, but since we’ll be wearing pajamas, opening presents, eating delicious food, and spending time with our families on Sunday, we thought we’d offer you our best wishes today. From all of us to you, have the most wonderful, magical, love-filled weekend!

P.S. Tune in next week for a look back at some of our favorites from 2011, all of the winners of our 12 Days of Southern Weddings Christmas giveaways (yahoo!), and a sparkly New Year’s Eve wedding!

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar kissdresses reply

    In the season of joy I present my sincere wishes and kind thoughts. May the kind of New Year outshine all the rest !!

  2. avatar Jessica H reply

    Can’t wait. Merry, merry Christmas to y’all!

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While their ceremony was a classic black + white affair, Taylor + Stephen celebrated with a bold and bright outdoor affair at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens. I love, love the twinkle lights over the checkered dance floor! Talk about dancing under the stars. For a fun twist on a wedding tradition, T + S served a chocolate, flower-topped cake from Classics Cakes (904-246-6408). For more from today’s fairytale wedding, visit Abby Jiu’s blog post here!

See all the photos from Taylor + Stephen’s wedding in their Real Wedding Gallery!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: My dress was the first one I tried on. I went on to 10 more stores and at least 100 other dresses. But I couldn’t get over the way that dress made me feel – just like myself… only better. I wanted something beautiful, feminine, and dramatic, something that would take Stephen’s breath away and this dress fit that bill 100%. The dress was going to stretch my budget, but my mother agreed to it saying, “Life will have its challenges. I want your life with Stephen to start off as perfect as possible. You’ll always have this wonderful day to look back on, and the way you felt, even when times are tough.” I couldn’t thank her for that more.
Describe your wedding flowers: My florist helped me choose a lovely palate of purples and fuchsia for our wedding floral designs. Throughout the museum and gardens were various arrangements of antique hydrangeas, purple and fuchsia roses, calla lilies, stock, and purple mokara orchids with a spray of peacock feathers in almost every design. I carried a cascading bouquet of white phalaenopsis orchids secured by a brooch that belonged to my great aunt. My bridesmaids carried bouquets of purple antique hydrangeas, deep purple callas, purple mokara orchids, purple roses and punches of fuchsia roses. Each bouquet was different, but similar.
Describe your wedding cake: The bride’s cake was a three tiered, chocolate devil’s food cake with a chocolate butter cream filling and chocolate ganache exterior. It had gold ribbon on the border, gold fondant feathers, and fresh flowers. The groom’s cake was a double layered half sheet of New York Style Cheesecake with butter cream icing and decorated with fondant, hand painted bow ties. One tie represented Stephen’s fraternity, another represented his interest in politics, and the last represented his signature bow tie.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Just as I stepped outside into the garden to take my place for my walk down the aisle, I heard the a capella group sing a song Stephen and I had listened to often. The rush that came over me in realizing this was the moment I would get to marry the most wonderful person I’d ever met brought tears to my eyes. I hid behind a great oak tree, waiting for my cue, thinking to myself, “I really get to keep him forever.”
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, but our priest knows us well. She represented us perfectly in her sermon when she said, “Taylor is Stephen’s inspiration and Stephen is Taylor’s rock.” She went on to say, Love is not a feeling. It’s a do-ing.”
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We look forward to moving into our new home together and starting a family in the next few years.

Written with love by Katharine
9 Comments
  1. avatar Tweets that mention Real Florida Wedding: Taylor + Stephen, Part II « Southern Weddings Magazine — Topsy.com reply

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Cynthia Krenek, Southern Weddings . Southern Weddings said: From simple black and white to a bold and bright outdoor affair at @CummerMuseum, @abbyjiu's couple has us swooning! http://su.pr/6TJTiL […]

  2. avatar Erin reply

    This is, hands down, my favorite wedding that I’ve seen–the checkerboard dance floor, the string lights, the classic black and white…everything looks timeless <3

  3. avatar nate henderson reply

    How amazingly elegant and colorful. Love it!

  4. avatar Rachel – theWeddingVine reply

    I love the image with the rose petals on the water with the bride and groom rubby ducks!

  5. avatar Paper Moss reply

    that dress… is stunning! what a beautiful couple!

  6. avatar Monthly Round-Up :: January « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] WEDDING DRESS: Katharine fell hard for Taylor’s Oscar de la Renta (here + here), while I loved Ashley’s Lazaro gown (here + here). Whitney picked Sidney’s perfectly […]

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I’m not usually a fan of poofy, princess-y gowns, but I totally had to eat my words when I saw today’s stunning bride in a to-die-for Oscar de la Renta gown from Sharon Batten. (Her perfectly pink Kate Spades earned her extra points from me, as well.) Abby Jiu photographed Taylor + Stephen’s Florida nuptials at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, and Jennifer Corrente of Chef’s Garden coordinated the affair. To complement the dapper groom + his attendants, Taylor’s ‘maids donned chic black sheaths, courtesy of Bella Bridesmaid, and carried bright bouquets from Ann Evans of Bloom Cypress.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met on a blind date set up by mutual friends who thought we would be a great match. When Stephen picked me up for our first date, my roommate’s crazy dog sprinted out the front door though his legs and into the neighborhood. We spent the first twenty minutes of the date getting to know each other while chasing the dog through streets and yards. But I guess that was a good omen, we’ve been together ever since.
Describe the proposal. One year to the day of our first meeting, Stephen’s surprised me at work. He had my suitcase packed and whisked me off to New York City, a favorite city of ours for vacations and the place where we realized we were in love. That night he pulled out the very dress I had worn on the dog-chasing first date and after a wonderful dinner he took me to Rockefeller Plaza where he dropped on one knee and asked me to be his wife. With tears running down my face I gleefully accepted and while I was trying to take in the moment, I was shocked again when my best friends ran up behind me. Stephen had secretly asked them to be there. I had had no idea that they were yards away, hidden behind a column video taping the entire proposal. It was perfect.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Personal, joyful, and playful.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: All of the music! I am a middle school drama teacher and musical theater actress, so I love music and knew it would be an important part of the experience. We had an a capella group sing during the wedding, a gospel choir pop up as we walked down the aisle and a marching band from Stephen’s university alma mater play us to the get-away car. My guests were dancing and clapping as Stephen and I walked between them and enjoyed our last moments of the wedding reception and waved goodbye for the first time as husband and wife. I also love the fact that we scheduled little sessions of alone time throughout the night for us to enjoy each other’s company on our happiest day.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our wedding was outside at the Cummer Art Museum in Jacksonville, Florida. The property is a former private residence on the St. John’s River. The back gardens where we had the wedding and reception are packed with classic, elegant, southern charm. The air was warm in early October and our guests loved walking through the manicured hedges while enjoying the a capella group. Both of our families are from the South, so our rehearsal dinner was a traditional southern fried chicken and sweet tea feast. At the wedding reception, we kept that theme going with an entire food station dedicated to southern style cooking, complete with short ribs and potatoes. Also, our first dance was to “Then” by Brad Paisley.

Written with love by Katharine
8 Comments
  1. avatar Tweets that mention Real Florida Wedding: Taylor + Stephen, Part I « Southern Weddings Magazine — Topsy.com reply

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Southern Weddings and Abby Jiu, Marissa Kloess. Marissa Kloess said: I'm a huge fan of poofy dresses, and today's @SharonBatten bride does not disapoint! Plus, @KateSpadeNY shoes? Score! http://su.pr/1UujtO […]

  2. avatar Maggie Eisenstat {I Do Love It} reply

    I LOVE the bride’s dress!

  3. avatar Suzie Parr reply

    Not only is Taylor one of the most gorgeous women I know, she is also the most genuine person you will ever meet. Her wedding was exquisite and every detail was perfect. You will never meet a more beautiful couple that truly embodies southern charm. Congrats to the both of them!!

  4. avatar Taylor Horne reply

    Thank you, Katherine, for the beautiful article and to everyone for their kind words. The entire event was a dream come true. Oh, and the dress is by Oscar de la Renta… just in case he’s reading this :)

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    […] perfect exit, captured by Abby Jiu (originally seen here) Comment below with your favorite photo! xo Emily December 28, 2011 | view Emily's blog 0 […]

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