For Gabrielle + Paul, their favorite detail of their wedding was the gorgeous venue, the historic Case Feliz. For the bride, the space created a truly Southern atmosphere, surrounding the party with live oaks and warm sunshine. Not needing to make any additions to the Spanish-style house, G + P relied on the bride’s favorite peonies and flowing gray linens to dress up the outdoor space. We think it did just the trick! Big thanks to Vitalic Photo who shared this with us!
When I went wedding dress shopping, I started at The Collection in Winter Park; they have the most beautiful gowns. I tried on several designers, but I was in love with White by Vera. I felt it was the best fit for my personality and taste. I wanted it to be an intimate experience, so only my mother and my sister went with me to search for the perfect dress. I accessorized with a White by Vera jeweled belt for the ceremony and decided to do something fun for our extravaganza, changing to a big black bow. It was so much fun being able to change my look for the reception.
I decided not to do a “first look” and I’m so glad I didn’t! I wanted Paul to see me for the first time coming down the aisle.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The date was challenging since the wedding was on a Friday and we had family and friends traveling from out of town. But, we loved the idea of a Friday the Thirteenth Wedding!
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000.
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Photography! I chose the best, and we are so happy we did!
Our cake was not only beautiful, but very romantic, and delicious. I wanted it to match my gown, so I requested that it look like a layer of tulle over the cake, accented with peonies made of sugar. Everyone thought they were real. It was a vanilla cake with strawberry filling and Bavarian cream. Fondant of course.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Classic love story! We met at a costume party and became friends. We started to see each other on a regular basis and then we really became best friends, fell in love as friends do and, after many years, Paul proposed!
Describe the proposal. I had anticipated a proposal for months, but as time went by, I stopped thinking about it. One day, after a long day at work, I met Paul for a quick dinner and he then insisted we go to the beach for a walk. It was moonlit and pleasant outside — very romantic! Paul let out a sigh and said, “Wow, I’m feeling like I missed an opportunity here.” I then said, “Oh I bet you are wishing you had a ring right now!” I turned away and glanced at the ocean, and as I was turning back, Paul knelt down on one knee. The whole time, I’m thinking, “He is really playing this out!” I was sure he did not have a ring. Well, suddenly he opened a ring box and the most brilliant, gorgeous ring shone. It took my breath away! I don’t remember if I screamed, but I did cry. I think we both had tears of love and excitement. Paul had not planned it this way, but when he received the ring he had been waiting for, spontaneity kicked in. He did not want to wait, and I was very happy he did not.
In what month did you get married? April
How many guests attended your wedding? 105
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We didn’t have a formal one, but my fabulous big sister and maid of honor Danielle, who I love so much, came to me while I was getting ready and completely surprised me by re-enacting Jennifer Lopez’s speech from the movie “The Wedding Planner.” It was priceless and I’m so glad our videographer was able to capture it. It was meant to be funny but we both ended up in tears.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. I really loved the ceremony music. We chose to have a trio of flute, cello and harp. I walked down the aisle to Canon in D, and walked back up with the wedding party to “Kissing in Rain” from the Great Expectations soundtrack. It was so romantic and climactic! For our first dance, Paul and I chose “I found a reason” by Cat Power. My father and I danced to “Landslide” by Stevie Nicks and it was definitely one of my favorite moments of the night. Paul and his mom chose “I will” by the Beatles.
Describe your wedding flowers: PEONIES, hundreds and hundreds of beautiful pink peonies. I loved my flowers!! They were displayed in fabulous Mercury glass vases.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The whole event! It really was the wedding of my dreams, but I loved the surprise Rolls Royce exit car! I was so involved in all the details, but I had no clue my mom had planned that. We loved cruising around Winter Park after the wedding, it was so much fun. It kept our party going! We were not leaving for our Honeymoon until Sunday, so we had a family and friend brunch on Saturday. It was wonderful to see everyone and delicious too.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Take your time in making choices, and try to outline important details. As the day is drawing near, have a deadline where you draw a line and if it has not been done, let it go. Try to rest and enjoy family as much as possible, it will add to the relaxed feel at your wedding. Most importantly, be present in the moment, as it happens very quickly.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Furnishing our first home together!! We moved in the day we arrived home from our Hawaiian honeymoon. We’re looking forward to traveling!
Love this wedding? Maybe you’ll love these, too:
Caitlin + Charlie’s classic peony wedding here and here.
Cee Cee + Chad’s pink and gray Florida wedding here.
Whitney + Jeff’s modern and romantic wedding here and here.