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Aside from the Kentucky Derby, this weekend also holds another super-fun celebration: Cinco de Mayo! When Bee Photographie sent us this Florida wedding filled to the brim with colorful details, we knew it would be perfect to share with you this week, so grab some chips and guac, sit back, and enjoy the heartfelt fiesta of Gabriella and Jonathan! (Don’t mind if I do!)

How much do we adore these colorful bridesmaid dresses? A lot. A whole lot.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did, and here is a snippet from Jon’s vows: “I promise to love you for who you are, but more than that, I promise to love you for who God has in mind for you to become and to spend my life challenging you to get there. I promise to cry with you over loss, and dance with you to celebrate life and I promise to try my best to always make you feel as pretty as you look right now. I promise to love you, really and truly love you, for the rest of my life.”

Who else loves Gabriella’s cute short dress? I went shopping with my mom and tried on a bunch of long dresses. The dresses were beautiful, but I would put them on and feel all stiff and awkward. When the woman brought out a cute, ‘50s-style short dress, I put in on and immediately started dancing. My mom knew that it would be the one we’d bring home that day.

One of my best friends growing up, Erin, spent days making a multicolored Day of the Dead cake. She also made about 100 buttercream cupcakes with quirky mustaches and sombreros to continue the Mexican theme.

How did the two of you meet? Jon and I met when we were studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. Though we both went to the same school in Florida, it took both of us traveling all the way over to Spain to meet.
Describe the proposal. I used to collect snow globes. Since my first job out of college involved me traveling all over the country, this collection started to get ridiculous. I ended up with an insane collection of around 75 snow globes of various sizes. When I moved from Boston to NY, the snow globes did not make the cut and were left in a storage unit I had commandeered in the basement of my apartment building. On a work trip to Boston, Jon secretly collected all 75 snow globes and brought them him on a vacation we had been planning to Tree Bones resort in Big Sur California. Like many fiancés to be, Jon did not sleep on the night before, and in the middle of the night he laid out snow globes of all the cities we had lived in or traveled to together. Each snow globe had a note explaining its place in our love story. On Easter morning, Jon woke me up at sunrise telling me the Easter bunny had come. As I found each snow globe and its note, I began to think this might be a little bigger than a normal Easter gift. The final snow globe I found was a cheesy, but amazing, custom-ordered snow globe with the first photo Jon could find of us together on one side and the most recent photo of us on the other. The placard under the photo read “Anywhere” and it was placed on the ridge overlooking California cliffs and the Pacific. Jon came from around the corner, and said something sweet and sentimental that neither of us can remember for one second because our hearts were beating so hard and we were so nervous. I do remember Jon asking if I would marry him. And I definitely remember saying yes.
In what month did you get married? March
How many guests attended your wedding? 160
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. Our first dance was to “Breath of Love” by David Mayfield Parade and our last dance was to “Hey Jude” by the Beatles.
Describe your wedding flowers: They were bright, colorful gerbera daisies, carnations, and tissue-paper flowers.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The colors. It felt very vibrant and lively. It felt like us. We also had a wall made of entirely paper flowers that my amazing girlfriends helped make – it was beautiful.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Definitely the barn! It was fun because Jon’s family is from Iowa and my family is Latin so we wanted to create an atmosphere that represented both of us – a Day of the Dead barn wedding.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Our photographer and photo booth.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Undoubtedly, our last song, “Hey Jude.” We had an enormous dance circle with all of our family and friends lifting us up in the air and dancing around us. It was pretty epic. Also, when I ripped my dress! Eeek! I was getting really deep in the classic “running man” and put my heel right through the back of my dress. My amazing Aunt Maggie was immediately to the rescue, pulling bobby pins from her hair and pinning the back of the dress up.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Just love it. Dance. And when it rains, dance and laugh. And don’t forget to eat something.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are slowly figuring out what we are supposed to do with the rest of our lives. But we get to do that together – which is really exciting.

Photographer: Bee Photographie // Videographer: Bee Photographie // Venue: Family friend’s barn // Florist: Ashton and Christy Mayer // Wedding Cake or Dessert Baker: Erin Gilbert // Salsa Favors: The Jam Stand // Caterer: Chef Scott // Bride’s Hair Accessories: Ashton Mayer // Bride’s Jewelry: Nordstrom // Hair Stylist: Stacey Wick // Makeup Artist: Kristy Alonzo

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Madelynne Miller reply

    One of my favorite weddings ever featured on here! I love the personality and color and how unique it is! Not to mention the bride – she is gorgeous! And the bridesmaids dresses…and the paper products. It’s all to die for adorable!

  2. avatar molly reply

    i am in LOVE with this! such fun!

  3. avatar AshleyHH reply

    Very fun!!! But I got all excited when I saw a barn in florida… but its a friends!! Finding a venue will be the hardest thing for my wedding!!

  4. avatar Jenny (Captured Photography) reply

    Love this! So unique. Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!

  5. avatar Friday Wedding Thoughts | Bridesmaids and Weddings reply

    […] via Bridesmaids and Weddings on […]

  6. avatar Color: The New Trend | Palettes of Perfection reply

    […] assorted bridesmaids dresses, I am totally all about this progression!  This featured wedding on Southern Weddings Magazine blog caught my eye for sure.  Jon & Gabriella liven the traditional wedding day black-and-white […]

  7. avatar Tim Duncan reply

    Whoa… all these colors! I LOVE IT!

  8. avatar Megan reply

    I’m in love with the bridesmaid dresses! I’d like one for myself! Do we know where to find them?

  9. avatar :jon & gabby: backyard barn wedding reply

    […] these 2 have become so dear to our hearts. jon & gabby have the sweetest love story and we are so happy to have captured it and become friends with them along the way. their wedding was the kind that makes my heart beat just a bit faster… backyard, barn, and diy details through and through! their wedding was featured on southern weddings and can be viewed here! […]

  10. avatar Cassie reply

    Gorgeous wedding! It would be nice if you credited the invitation designer. All too often graphic designers get left out of the credits. Who did it?

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hey Cassie! We do our best to credit invitation designers, because we want brides to be able to find their amazing work! Unfortunately, we have to rely on the information the featured bride (and sometimes her wedding planner) gives us. In this case, however, I believe the invitation is by our friends at Minted! Hope that helps!

  11. avatar Yessenia Diaz reply

    I love the pictures of this wedding, absolutely beautiful!!! I want to have this theme as well for my wedding, does anyone know where they got the bridesmaid dresses? Did they go to Mexico to buy them or order them online?

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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This weekend is Earth Day, belles! And with all the stunning natural beauty that surrounds us in the South, we thought it would behoove us to pause and take a minute to appreciate the majestic Lowcountry marshes, the romantic Spanish moss dripping from live oaks, and the endless fields of blue bonnets, to name just a few distinctly Southern gems.

We also have this eco-conscious bridal shower inspiration with which to celebrate! Photographer Sarah DeShaw partnered with Kendra from One Love Organics to put together this pretty inspiration. Wouldn’t something like this be perfect not just for a bridal shower, but for a low-key bachelorette or pre-wedding pampering session, too?

Love the idea of wrapping gifts in burlap – and of pairing the burlap with shiny satin ribbon to add a feminine touch!

If you’re ready for some Southern-style relaxation, we’ve got just the thing for you – a sweet tea pedicure!

Yum, don’t you think?


Design and Photo Stylist: Sarah DeShaw // Photography: Sarah DeShaw and Brent DeShaw // Venue: Hampton Island // Flowers: Holley Jaakkola // Clothing: Go Fish // Products: One Love Organics // Hair & Makeup: Katherine Taylor // Paper Goods: A Darling Day

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    So darling! The fact that it’s eco-friendly makes it even prettier :)

  2. avatar kim reply

    Super cute! I love the vintage feel to it all and the honey cocktails are genius!

    hugs! Kim @ Party Frosting!

  3. avatar laurie reply

    i am swooning over here!!! this is a must! what a cute idea with perfect details!! :)

  4. avatar Elizabeth reply

    All sweet ideas! Love the sweet tea pedicure! I think it would be fun to incorporate that into a girls’ night :)

  5. avatar Earth Day Spa Bridal Shower » Sarah DeShaw Photography Blog reply

    […] Earth Day Spa Bridal Shower Tuesday, April 24, 2012 In celebration of Earth Day this past Sunday I wanted to share some of my favorite photos from a styled shoot I put together! If you missed seeing our feature on Southern Weddings and instructions on how to do the sweet tea pedicures make sure to check out our Honey Bee Bridal Shower Ideas Here. […]

  6. avatar a {honey bee} bridal shower « A Darling Day reply

    […] honey bee bridal shower was featured on Southern Weddings last week, and includes directions on how to make the sweet tea pedicure! Check out their full post […]

  7. avatar A “Bee-utiful” Bridal Shower | Southern Wedding Whimsy on a Budget reply

    […]   All of the pictures shown above/the entire shower inspiration can be found here.. Now, for my favorite part… Pinterest Knock-Offs! The Cocktail  […]

  8. avatar Friday Wedding Thoughts | Bridesmaids and Weddings reply

    […] via Bridesmaids and Weddings on […]

  9. avatar Can you do me a favor? | Dapper Organizing Blog reply

    […] Credit: one, two, three, four, five & eleven: Martha Stewart Weddings, six: Etsy, seven & eight: South Weddings, nine & ten: The Bride’s […]

  10. avatar Let Us Give Thanks: Proper Thank You Card Ettiquette | LDS Bride Blog reply

    […] Photo courtesy of I Love Southern Weddings. […]

  11. avatar Paige reply

    Love your honey martini’s. Amazing photography.


  12. avatar 5 Dates that Double as Wedding Planning | wedding blog reply

    […] credits: 1: Trinitas Cellars. 2: Frenzel Studios. 3: Sarah DeShaw. 4: Arising Images at the Royal Park Hotel. 5: Rebecca of Birds of a […]

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We usually stick to showcasing weddings that took place in our beloved South, but when a bride goes to this much trouble to bring the South to her, well, we think that deserves a little love on Southern Weddings! Sarah’s Momma, who just so happens to own an antique shop in Texas, drove a UHaul full of vintage Southern goodness all the way out to California for her daughter’s wedding. The warm and cozy celebration that resulted was worth all the miles, as I think you’ll see. Michelle Warren’s lovely film images do an exquisite job of documenting the warm and cozy celebration that followed, helping us to see that yes, all those hours behind the wheel were well spent for Sarah + Dan!

My wedding dress was one of the first ones I tried on. I actually saw it in on a mannequin in the window of the bridal boutique and knew I had to try it on. It was the only one they had in stock, so I was embarrassed that I made the sales girl go into the window display and take it off the mannequin, but it was worth it. It was love at first sight!

I walked down the aisle to the love theme from Cinema Paradiso, a great, romantic Italian movie that we both love. We walked back up the aisle to “Married Life” from the Pixar movie, Up. It’s the song that plays during the first 10 minutes when they go through the timeline of the old couple’s relationship. It’s a very touching and poignant scene.

Do you love that Sarah and her Dad drove up to the ceremony in a lovingly restored 1940’s truck? We do!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Right after the ceremony, we had to drive back to the reception in the old pickup truck and had a moment alone to really absorb the moment and reflect.

Here’s some good news from Sarah for those of you painstakingly planning and constructing details (and sometimes wondering if anyone will notice): they will! My advice? Plan everything WAY in advance. Vendors get booked up far earlier than you would imagine. Also, make sure to add lots of personal touches. Your guests will really appreciate it.

And yes, there were beautiful details galore at this wedding! Renae’s Bouquet used local wildflowers and herbs along with roses and peonies for the arrangements and bouquets, and everything was arranged in vintage bottles and containers that Sarah’s mom sourced from flea markets in Texas (see: UHaul above!).

Wedding foosball — so fun!

We had a very simple carrot cake with some flower decorations as our wedding cake, but we had an amazing dessert buffet, with delicious mini cupcakes, pies, and my favorite giant chocolate chip cookies from a baker in Chicago!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met in college in probably the most “college-y” way you can meet: over a game of beer pong. Instantly bonding over our love of drinking games and movies, we agreed to meet up in our film class the next day. Gradually, over the course of the school year, the friendship morphed into a romantic relationship.
Describe the proposal. Having dated for five years, including a period of cross-country long distance, it soon became clear that we were going to be together forever. Our common desire to work in entertainment brought us both to Los Angeles, where we now live and work. One of our favorite weekend trips is driving up to the Santa Ynez Valley, filled with amazing wineries, gorgeous scenery, and delicious food. On our five year anniversary, we decided to take a trip up to celebrate, and while picnicking, Dan popped the question! By the end of the weekend, we knew that they had to get married up there as well.
In what month did you get married? June 2011
How many guests attended your wedding? Around 120
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The location! We had guests coming in from all over the world, and everyone was impressed with the beautiful venue in the vineyards of the Central Californian Coast.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Being from Texas, I had to have some type of BBQ at the wedding! We had three food stations: Texan food (brisket, onion rings, etc) for my upbringing, European food (Swiss and Spanish favorites) from Dan’s childhood, and Californian produce (from where we live now). More Southern details include the rustic feel of our barn reception, the 1940s Ford pickup truck that I drove up to the ceremony in and the line dancing!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? We had to bring in everything at the venue…even the bathrooms! Having the reception in the barn was great because it was a blank canvas to work with, but there were so many decisions to make since we had to bring everything in for the event. My mom brought in lots of great antiques and vintage details from Texas. She even drove a Uhaul out to California with all of her decorations!
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Food and wine! It was great to give our guests such a big selection, and they got to experience all of the delicious local produce and wines from the Central Coast area.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Our ceremony was very personalized. We worked with the officiant and he incorporated our favorite traits about our spouse into the ceremony. We also wrote our own vows. I loved that we both reiterated how natural and organic our relationship has been. It has never felt like “hard work.” We just really enjoy each other’s company and everything that comes with that.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? The 1 Corinthians 13 passage that everyone has at their wedding because my parents used it as their wedding vows.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We just bought a house! Looking forward to decorating, sprucing it up, and having lots of parties in our backyard this summer!

Photographer: Michelle Warren Photography // Planner: Carla Jacobsen of Special Occasions // Ceremony venue: Coquelicot Estate Vineyard / // Florist: Renae’s Bouquet // Dessert: Pattibakes, Enjoy Cupcakes, & Carol’s Cookies // Caterer: New West Catering // Rentals: Town & Country Rentals // Linens: La Tavola Linens // Paper Products: Urbanic Paper Boutique // Bride’s Dress: Melissa Sweet // Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil/Jewelry: Vintage // Bride’s Shoes: London Sole // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar molly stillman reply

    OH wow! this wedding is BEAUTIFUL. so so so beautiful. great way to start a Tuesday!

  2. avatar Gina reply

    I loved this wedding. So perfect and colorful! All the details match so perfectly and that pink… rocks my world! Great choice!

  3. avatar Erin Davenport reply

    Love the wedding foosbal and favor mailboxes, what cute ideas! Beautiful overall, and love seeing the fabulous Michelle Warren featured :)

  4. avatar Tim Duncan reply

    Love the invitation! Super cute!

  5. avatar Gayle reply

    Wedding fussball?! Genius!

  6. avatar cocktail hour entertainment » Nebraska Wedding Day Blog reply

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  12. avatar Life, Lately | Salt & Twine reply

    […] Colorful Barn Wedding by Michelle Warren at I Love SW Mag I’m a sucker for a barn wedding, and every time I look at this I know I *need* to own some whiskey barrels. […]

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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