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Ellie and Nick met in a fraternity house in college, and while their love story might not have started in the most romantic way, their wedding is another story! Ellie and Nick worked with their florist, Botanica, to take the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts from a monochromatic museum into a romantic reception full of lush blooms, and of course, lots of Southern details! During their wedding planning, they not only focused on planning for their marriage, but on being hospitable and throwing a party guests would enjoy just as much as they did. I can’t help but love that they included a generational blessing given by their fathers and grandfathers. Such a sweet way to not only honor their family, but also to include them in their celebration.

So wonderful of Kristen Weaver to share this lovely day with us!

Tell us all about the proposal! During September 2013, I was in my last year of law school at the University of Chicago and Nick had just started his first year of medical school at the University of Florida. I made a trip to Gainesville for the weekend to see Nick and attend the UF-UT football game. On Friday, Nick suggested that we visit Paynes Prairie, a state park just south of Gainesville. We had the prairie all to ourselves and enjoyed seeing the wildlife and hiking the trails. Toward the end of our trip, we climbed to the top of a three-story watch tower and relaxed on the porch swing. Before heading back down, he got down on one knee to propose. After his very sweet speech, he reached into his pocket to pull out the ring, but accidentally pulled out the car keys instead! He had taken the ring out of the ring box so he could stealthily fit it into his athletic shorts pocket, but it had gotten caught up in the keychain. After a good laugh, I said yes!

I’ll admit, finding my wedding dress was harder than I anticipated. I bought a dress at the first boutique I went to–my mom, grandmother, and my three best friends were all there, and I foolishly let the excitement get to my head. Afterwards, I had some regrets, but assured myself that I would be happy when the dress arrived and I could try it on again. Well, it turned out that the boutique ordered it two sizes too small and then told me I must have gained weight (in fact, I had lost weight). I left in tears and tried to avoid talking about wedding dresses for as long as I could. Thankfully, my mom sensed my anguish and booked a trip to visit me in Chicago so we could go shopping for THE dress. We went to a few places, but we knew the search was over when I tried on the Esther dress at Vera Wang. We all cried (even our sweet bridal consultant!) and then celebrated with champagne and mini cupcakes. It was total redemption from our first experience and one of my favorite memories from wedding planning.

Describe your wedding flowers. We worked with Ian and Zoe at Botanica and they totally nailed it. I brought in pictures of loose, cascading bouquets and arrangements, but only had a vague idea of what colors I wanted. It was Ian’s idea to use more neutral tones for the ceremony and then pump up the color for the floral arrangements at the reception, which was in a rather monochromatic room.

We chose to have a first look. Those few minutes when it was just the two of us were the most peaceful moments of the whole day and a feeling I’ll remember forever. Even though we saw each other beforehand, nothing could have taken away the thrill of seeing him at the end of the aisle. It was the best of both worlds! Plus, we were much more relaxed in our pictures before the ceremony–after the ceremony, we were itching to get in there and celebrate with our friends and family!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? We found out a few months before the wedding that there would be a huge evening festival in the same park where we were going to hold our ceremony. Thankfully, the music wouldn’t start until an hour after the ceremony, and the wonderful people at Botanica assured us that they could create a wall of greenery to stand between us and the event. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because the wall created so much privacy that the ceremony felt much more intimate than it would have otherwise, festival or not!

To begin the ceremony, my cousin sang the praise and worship song “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman. Nick and I love the song and thought that it would set the ceremony off on the right foot. I chose “Dawn” from Pride and Prejudice to walk down the aisle to. I’ve always loved the book and the movie, and I thought it was a beautiful arrangement. Nick and I walked back up to aisle to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” We wanted something fun to let everyone know that the party had started!

We chose the Museum of Fine Arts with our guests in mind. Most of our guests were coming from out of town, so we wanted them to be able to enjoy their weekend without worrying about the logistics of driving, parking, and all that good stuff. The museum fit the bill of being close to a major airport, within walking distance of a ton of great restaurant and hotel options, and large enough to hold 180 people.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? To me, being Southern is all about family and hospitality. To honor our families, we featured pictures of our parents and grandparents at the ceremony and cocktail hour, we chose my uncle to officiate our ceremony, he read out of a Bible that has been passed down from my great-grandmother, and we had our fathers and my grandfather come up during the ceremony to give a generational blessing. We got to keep the handwritten notes from my grandfather’s blessing, and they are among our greatest treasures. In all of the wedding plans, we tried to focus on being hospitable and throwing a party our guests would enjoy just as much as we did. We had custom corn hole boards set up during the cocktail hour and on the patio during the reception. We made sure all of the children felt welcome and entertained by including a box at their seats with a coloring book, an I Spy game, and some other fun goodies. And of course, the food was Southern! Our cocktail hour appetizers included blackened alligator, fried green tomatoes, and game sausage. Dinner began with a basket of cornbread at every table and included a shrimp and grits station. Our late-night snack was BBQ pulled pork sliders on sweet potato biscuits. We made sure our guests went home with full bellies!

We had a wedding cake (lemon cream cake with raspberry filing and simple buttercream frosting) and a late-night dessert bar of fried Oreos, Twinkies, and Snickers with raspberry sauce!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Our love story didn’t start in a very romantic way–we met at his fraternity house during our sophomore year at the University of Florida. My friend had just finished an exam and was planning a low-key night in with her friend, Michael, and she invited me to tag along. Turns out, Michael was Nick’s best friend and fraternity brother (he even ended up being the best man at our wedding). Nick wandered into Michael’s room at some point during the night, we started talking, and we hit it off right away. We exchanged numbers and kept talking, even when I moved to Italy for a summer abroad. He asked me to be “official” from 5,117 miles away over Skype.
When did y’all get married? November 22, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 180
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Nick and I tried to keep in mind that the real event was committing ourselves to each other in front of God, our friends, and our family. All of the other stuff was just icing on the cake. With that in mind, we tried to be conscious of how we dealt with each other during the process, because we knew we were setting the foundation for our marriage.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We got really lucky with an incredible team of vendors, but I will say that we just adored Bryan and Tracey from Lucky Lemon Films. They really took the time before the wedding to get to know us as people, not just as a generic bride and groom, and to let us get to know them. Nick and I are both camera shy, but they made us feel so at ease. Their work is incredible and we really felt like they captured who we are in the wedding film they created. We can’t stop watching it!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are enjoying settling into our first home together in Gainesville with our dogs. 2014 was a hugely busy year for us, so we are taking it easy and cherishing our first year of marriage!

Photographer: Kristen Weaver / Videographer: Lucky Lemon Films / Planner: Nancy Cotto / Venue: St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts / Florist: Botanica / Cake Baker and Caterer: Olympia Catering / Rentals: Botanica / Lighting: Encore Lighting / Band: Brett Foreman Band / Paper Products: Invitation Consultants / Bride’s Gown: “Esther” by Vera Wang / Bride’s Accessories: BHLDN / Hair and Makeup: Rachel Reumann / Bride’s Shoes: Stuart Weitzman / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Nordstrom / Groom’s Attire: J. Crew / Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse / Dog Sketch: DM Creative Studios

marissa Written with love by Marissa
6 Comments
  1. avatar Bridget reply

    What a delightful wedding. Her wedding ring is one of the prettiest I’ve seen.

  2. avatar Kristen Weaver reply

    I can’t say enough about how much I adored Ellie and Nick, and photographing their wedding was definitely an honor for us! They are a beautifully wonderful couple and I’m so happy to see her wedding published on Ellie’s favorite blog!

  3. avatar Michelle reply

    Wow, this place looks so amazing !

  4. avatar Kristin reply

    Where are the flower girl dresses from?

  5. avatar ashley reply

    Hi i was just wondering who the designer was for the bridesmaods dreses

  6. avatar 6 Wedding Themes That Will Rule 2017 – Cyprus Weddings Magazine reply

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Getting married in the same church where your parents did is such a sweet way to honor your family, but that’s not the only reason I am smitten with Blythe and Ryan’s wedding! We are wedding date twins (BDK and I were also married on December 13!), and their ceremony was held at my very favorite church! I grew up attending the amazing Cathedral in downtown Mobile, and I not-so-secretly wish BDK and I had tied the knot there. The columns alone will make you weak in the knees! Add a classic lace Lela Rose gown, stunning all-white blooms, and a yummy menu at the Mobile Country Club, and you’ve just jumped onto the list of my favorite weddings we’ve featured!

Thanks to 509 Photo for sharing this lovely day with us!

P.S. Can we talk about Blythe’s getaway style? That dress + that fur–B, let’s be friends, okay?

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. It was our sophomore year at Alabama and I was on my way home for the weekend when I got a call from my friend, begging me to turn around and come back to Tuscaloosa, so I did! That night, we went to dinner with a girl who had just transferred from Georgia and did not know many people. After dinner, we went to to DKE house to hang out and meet her boyfriend and his roommate, Ryan. Little did I know, Ryan and I would end up getting married five years later!

I flew to Birmingham one weekend to meet with our planners, and stopped by Ivory and White to look at dresses. I had seen a Lela Rose dress online that I liked, but I did not know how it would look in person. I tried it on and LOVED it, but then I tried on another Lela Rose dress and loved that one too!! One was more classic and the other was a little edgy, and in the end, I decided to go with the more classic dress.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did not! Ryan is very superstitious, so the first time we saw each other was at the altar!

I grew up Catholic and always wanted to get married in the Cathedral downtown. It is such a beautiful church and my parents were married there years before on December 12, so our anniversaries are a day apart! We are members at the Country Club of Mobile, so it was a natural choice for our reception. We loved that the back room opened up to the outdoors!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The wedding party took a trolley ride from the church to the reception, and it was so much fun having everyone together!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? All of the food served was inspired by the South! From the grilled oysters, to the boom boom shrimp, to the Chrissy’s, to the groom’s cake (complete with a Texas flag)!, we loved it all!

Tell us all about the proposal! I hate New Years Eve–I think it is so overrated, and I would much rather stay at home and have pizza and wine! Ryan made reservations for us at a restaurant called Steele near my apartment, and we planned to meet his parents and friends for drinks beforehand at the Katy Trail Icehouse. For some reason, Ryan wanted to walk there on the trail–he usually never wants to walk! When we got to the trail, I saw candles lit and roses all over the stairs leading up to the trail. I started walking right past it (thinking, “Oh great, someone’s getting engaged and it’s not me–again!). Then, Ryan grabbed me, got on his knee, and popped the question. Of course, I said yes! We then headed to the Icehouse, where all of our friends and family were there to celebrate! It was such a special night and I will never forget it!
When did y’all get married? December 13, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I live in Dallas and the wedding was in Mobile, so it was very hard to not be there and plan everything in person!

Photographer: 509 Photo / Planner: Mariée Ami / Ceremony Venue: Cathedral Basilica Of The Immaculate Conception / Reception Venue and Caterer: Country Club Of Mobile / Florist: Elizabeth’s Garden / Cake Baker: Couture Cakes / Band: Musical Fantasy / Bride’s Gown: “Spring” by Lela Rose / Bridal Salon and Bride’s Accessories: Ivory and White / Hair Stylist: Jason Chambers / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale

Ivory and White is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Michelle reply

    Beautiful pics !

  2. avatar Stephanie Scholl reply

    What a classic, romantic, and gorgeous wedding this is! I’m loving all of the details, including the black & white photos!!

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When my darling BDK and I got married, one of the first things we did when planning was create a “non-negotiables” list. These were things that we both really wanted for our wedding, and throughout our planning, we focused on honoring each other’s wishes–minus his idea of white batting gloves on the boys! It helped us to realize what was important to the other person, and really aided us in making big decisions when our budget was involved. So, of course, I love Alice and Dan’s advice: “Have fun and build on your list of musts!” Alice knew she wanted classically elegant wedding on the water with great food, lots of hydrangeas, mojitos, and cotton candy, and Dan added Old Fashioned cocktails and an amazing band to their list. Together, they created a wedding that was as filled with Southern hospitality as it was lovely!

P.S. If you know me, you know how much I value the perfect Southern bump. Alice knocked it out of the park!

Thanks to Jacqueline Campbell for sharing this pretty day with us!

Every woman in my family gets married with an antique light blue polka dot handkerchief pinned inside her wedding dress! This covered my something blue and old. My something borrowed was my sister in law’s earrings from her wedding day. My something new was my dress!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did a first look underneath a weeping willow tree. It was so special to have a private moment with Dan before we got married. We also wanted to be able to take photos before the wedding so we could enjoy the party.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We both wanted to get married on the water, but didn’t want to venture too far from Washington D.C. We love the feeling (and the food!) at the Inn at Perry Cabin.

Our favorite moment from our wedding was when it started to rain right before our vows. All of a sudden, the crowd and our wedding party put up big Inn at Perry Cabin umbrellas, and everyone laughed! The pictures of the rain and storm clouds turned out so beautifully. Thankfully, the rain stopped and the sun came out for first kiss and cocktail hour.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Have fun and build on your list of musts! Planning a wedding is a lot of hard work, but it is such a special time in your life and in your relationship. I always knew I wanted a classically elegant wedding on the water with great food, lots of hydrangeas, mojitos, and cotton candy. Daniel was a great supporter of my wedding dreams, and added Old Fashioned cocktails and an amazing band to our list of wedding musts.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had a formal, but very relaxed, fun, hospitable celebration. One of our speciality cocktails was an Old Fashioned, which is Dan’s favorite! We served oysters at cocktail hour and crab cakes for dinner. Some of our favorite details were our display of blue toile-clipped escort cards, our pale pink wedding cake, and the table arrangements full of white and green flowers, lanterns, and candles.

We had a pale pink wedding cake, decorated with a cascade of fresh flowers. The cake was chocolate with vanilla buttercream, and each tier had three layers filled with fresh blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. From Dan: We met at a party in 2006. I was immediately head over heels, but Alice rebutted my advances. Over the next few years, we both dated other people and saw each other occasionally. Each time we ran into each other, there was a clear connection. Eventually, I heard she was single, and so was I, so I gathered up the courage to ask her out. She agreed, and we’ve been together ever since.
Tell us all about the proposal! From Dan: I bought a ring that needed to be shipped to me, and planned the proposal to take place on the delivery date. My plan was to tell her that I needed a new suit, and then bring her to Nordstrom to watch me try on various choices. I would change into a suit in the dressing room, come out with the ring in my pocket, and propose to her then and there. The day before the ring came, we spent the night at my brother’s house a few hours away, and then drove home to Chicago very early the following morning. During the drive, I tried to convince her that it was logical to stop at FedEx so I could pick up “an urgent package for work,” and then drive straight to Nordstrom to try on suits. She made it clear that she preferred to go home. We drove straight back into town, stopped at FedEx, and finally drove home to our apartment in downtown Chicago. Instead of taking the elevators up to our floor, I told her there was a new hot tub installed outside by our building’s pool, and that we should go look at it before we went upstairs. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and you could see the entire Chicago skyline from the pool deck. Alice asked me where the hot tub was. I took her hands, said something that I hope was memorable, took the ring out of my pocket, got down on one knee, and popped the question. After she said yes, I took her on a picnic on a boat on the Chicago River, complete with crab cakes, champagne, and chocolate.
When did y’all get married? August 2, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 135
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but we chose a few passages and poems for friends and family to read during the ceremony. Our absolute favorite was “The Silken Tent” by Robert Frost.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I walked down the aisle to the Water Music Suite by Handel, which is what my parents had used at their wedding. Our string quartet played lots of Cole Porter and The Beatles at our cocktail hour, and our band played some Talking Heads at the groom’s request.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We used the Inn at Perry Cabin china instead of renting our own. Their china is very ornate and has a beautiful antique look. We loved it!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are going to have a baby this summer!

Photographer: Jacqueline Campbell / Planner: Pineapple Productions / Venue, Catering, and Cake: The Inn at Perry Cabin / Florist and Lighting: Dragonfly Wedding Flowers and Event Design / Rentals: D.C. Rental / Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Musicians: Chesapeake Strings / Band: Round Midnight / Invitations: Smock via The Dandelion Patch D.C. / Paper Goods: Empress Stationery / Bride’s Gown: “Carmen” by Lea Ann Belter / Hair Stylist: Sonja Gregorie / Makeup Artist: Amie Decker Beauty / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan / Menswear: Vera Wang for Men’s Wearhouse / Calligrapher: Arney Walker Calligraphy

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar [email protected] island wedding venues reply

    Amazing pictures and I just loved the bride’s hair style , she is looking lovely.

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