We love seeing our darling Southern Bride Bloggers’ weddings! We’ve been enjoying following along with today’s sweet bride’s journey for quite a while! We aren’t surprised that Tori + Andrew’s Florida wedding was classic and stylish (hello, hot pink heels! ), but I can’t help but point out the very sweet details that we didn’t expect. I’m especially fond of the love letters they passed each other before the wedding where they “vowed that no matter what life throws our way, we will never give up on each other.” Such a powerful message to start a marriage with!
Big thanks to Tera and Wes of Armosa Studios for capturing this lovely day, and heartfelt congratulations to them on their sweet baby Olive!
Finding my wedding dress may have been one of the easiest decisions I made during wedding planning! I had an appointment with a huge gown shop in Atlanta with my mom. We went with the mindset that I would narrow down my options and get a feel for what I was comfortable in, then come back a few weeks later with my sisters and best friends. I picked a handful of gowns, all different styles and fabrics, and my stylist picked one she said she knew I would love. I tried her suggestion on first. That was that! After countless gowns, I couldn’t forget the first one. It was perfect for me. I chose a simple and elegant silk taffeta ball gown by Amsale, with skinny straps and a small flower detail on the low back. I felt like the ultimate princess, but at the same time, I still felt like me.
I clearly remember how Kristin and I swooned hard over the back of this Amsale gown at last year’s Bridal Market, and Tori looks absolutely stunning in it!
Describe your wedding flowers. Perfection. I began planning our wedding thinking I wanted all neutral colors, and then out of nowhere, I was dying to add more color and fun! Our florist nailed it. My bouquet was gorgeous and full of pink peonies and fresh greens and berries. My bridesmaids had similar, smaller versions of my bouquet. Pops of pink became part of our wedding decor and I loved it!
We had a very traditional Christian ceremony that felt so personal. Andrew is Baptist and I am Catholic. Every reading was from the Bible and centered around the sacrament of marriage. We chose to have our loved ones share stories and well wishes at our intimate rehearsal dinner, and Andrew’s grandfather blessed our meal by leading us in prayer before dinner was served at our reception. I am really happy with how we included readings and prayer outside of our ceremony.
My most memorable moment was stepping off the dance floor to pull my hair back, and looking around. It was later in the night and the string lights and chandeliers lit up the reception. I couldn’t believe how many people were there, dancing, smiling, laughing. All those people had traveled to celebrate Andrew and I. It still amazes me how much love was surrounding us.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Andrew’s family is from Mississippi and Alabama, so we really wanted to incorporate some of their favorite foods on our big day. We had a raw bar during our cocktail hour, filled with fresh seafood from the gulf. I made honey jar favors for our guests using honey from a local bee farm in our new hometown of Fairhope, Alabama. Honey Moon Bee Co. makes the most delicious honey I have ever had and I was excited to share it with our guests. We also had a farewell brunch on Sunday. You guessed it, more Southern food! Grits and biscuits were part of the amazing Southern menu as we thanked all of our loved ones for traveling to see us tie the knot!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? For most of our engagement, I was so caught up in pleasing everyone and worrying about what others would think. I finally realized that wasn’t as important as making our day about Andrew and I. It was a lot less stressful when I figured that out.
We had a simple white wedding cake that was delicious! Our florist and baker teamed up to adorn it with beautiful peonies. We also had a dessert station with all of our favorites, including black and white cookies and cannolis.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Andrew and I met while we were both at Auburn University. We had a lot of mutual friends, but didn’t formally meet until our junior year. We talked for hours the first time we met and the rest was history. Within two months, we were spending every day together and really haven’t separated since. We went on to enjoy so many milestones together–Auburn’s National Championship season our senior year being one of them!
Tell us all about the proposal! Andrew was coming to visit me in Auburn one weekend, which he did often, since he was working three hours away in Mobile. When he got into town, we went to a nice dinner at one of our favorite restaurants outside of Auburn. Looking back, Andrew was cool, calm and collected. The dinner seemed like it lasted hours, and Andrew insisted we wait until we heard from his best friend before we headed downtown to meet our friends. I knew something was definitely up his sleeve after dinner when he passed downtown and headed toward Samford Hall, a monument for Auburn students and fans. Samford Hall is a beautiful, red brick building with a historic clock tower that sits on the well-known Samford Lawn. The lawn is lined with perfectly-bloomed flowers and lights up beautifully at night. When we parked, I froze. Andrew came and opened my door–Mr. Cool, Calm and Collected seemed very nervous now. As we walked to the front of the hall, Andrew told me about the first time he met me and how he knew he would never stop loving me. We both cried when he got on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. We even have a few blurry photos from that moment that his best friend took while hiding in the bushes. I will never forget that night or how I felt.
When did y’all get married? May 18, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 160
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided against doing a “first look,” although we had contemplated both up until the day of! I considered doing a “first look” simply because of timing and convenience. After talking to my sweet photographers and hearing them ensure us that either one we chose would be perfect with out timeline and schedule, we decided to wait. I am so thankful we did; that moment is so breathtaking.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Andrew and I didn’t write our own vows. We exchanged letters before with personal vows to each other in them. We vowed that no matter what life throws our way, we will never give up on each other.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For our ceremony, we chose traditional wedding songs for the violist to play during the prelude and seating. My favorite choice was for the seating of our grandmothers and mothers. I chose “Ave Maria” by Schubert, because that was my late grandmother’s favorite song. Our first dance was to “Snow Outside” by the Dave Matthews Band. When I first heard it, I immediately called Andrew because every verse was so fitting for us. I was thrilled that our band was able to learn this song and sing it live for us. The night continued with a great playlist of some of our favorites by Elton John, Van Morrison, Allman Brothers, Bob Dylan and Billy Joel.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: How do I chose? My favorite detail was having all of our close friends and family with us to celebrate. We had the best time preparing and getting ready for the big day with our wedding party! The hot pink heels and and gorgeous flowers were a close second.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Gosh, can I pick all of them? Our photographers surprised us the most. We instantly connected with them during our engagement shoot and I am forever grateful they were able to be there (pregnant and all)! They are so genuine, hardworking and talented. They gave us a gift that can never be tarnished. Our florist, caterer and stationer went above and beyond to ensure that every detail was perfect! They took care of all the things I could have never even thought of! We also hired a month-of coordinator and couldn’t be more thankful for her help and attention. She dealt with a big crowd flawlessly and ensured everything went without a hitch!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Have fun and don’t let the stress get the best of you. Also, do your research. With so many vendors to chose from, chose wisely. Chose vendors who are authentic and that you believe in. They should be just as happy to work with you as you are to work with them.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Andrew and I are enjoying married life to it’s fullest. We are learning more and more about each other everyday and are so thankful for where we are. We are still figuring out the odds and ends of growing up and cannot wait to see what God has in store for our future.
Photographer: Armosa Studios / Planner: Savoir Faire Weddings / Ceremony and Reception Venue: St. Augustine Green in Rosemary Beach, Florida / Florist and Lighting: Fisher’s Flowers and Events / Wedding Cake: Cakes by Tanis / Caterer: Dine by Design Catering, LLC / Rentals: HM Tents / Band: Tim Tyler and Lane / Bride’s Gown: “Rosalie” Gown by Amsale / Paper Products: Honey Bee Invites / Bride’s Veil: Bliss Bridal / Hair and Makeup: Vivo Spa Salon / Bride’s Shoes: Dior / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Blair Long Style #53072” Joanna August from Bella Bridesmaid / Men’s Attire: Jos. A Bank / Bow Ties: Collared Greens / Men’s Shoes: Beau Outfitters / “Welcome” Bag Items: Southern Shirt Company