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Tag: Florida wedding ideas

Happy Monday, y’all! I’m so excited to share today’s Real Wedding! Along with being an absolutely stunning day, the talented planner is not only one of our delightful Blue Ribbon Vendors, but a friend of mine! While our football alliances may not match up, I must say that boy am I smitten with the way Desiree helped Casey + Anthony bring that sweet Charleston charm all the way to South Florida. Together with Desiree Dawn Events, C + A’s vision came together splendidly, and I, too, can see the “all-over warmth and hospitality that the South is all about” throughout their big day. But my favorite part about this couple has to be that Casey chose her and Anthony’s vows as her favorite wedding detail — so sweet!

Big thanks to The Big Day for capturing such lovely photos (especially the adorable flower girl below!).

Love this sweet photo of Casey with her girls all in comfy robes from our friends at Plum Pretty Sugar!

Seriously? Y’all, are you with me that this little doll is cheek-pinching cute?

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. 
My parents were in Charleston just for a day as they passed through on the way back from vacation in North Carolina. We decided to look at a couple of places while they were here and I even talked my Dad into coming too! My Dad ended up being an excellent dress critic (in a good way) and steered me toward a particular style I never thought I would like. With no intention of actually finding a dress during their short visit, we went to Bridals by Jodi in Charleston and after trying on many dresses, the woman helping us picked one out that I loved, but never thought would look good. We all fell in love with it, but I was too indecisive to say yes right away. We discussed (I agonized) over it at lunch then went back to buy my dress! I am so happy that both my parents were there with me.

Yes, we did a first look because we wanted it to be an intimate time with just the two of us. It was so special being able to enjoy those moments together before our wedding began.

The ceremony was held under a huge oak tree at the venue, and there was a huge banyan in the front of the property with Spanish moss that reminded us of Charleston. The property had all the charm we were hoping for to bring in the Southern feel. We also collected driftwood from the intracoastal in Jupiter to make our altar (made by Van Aiden).

We complied our own vows from a number of different readings and other vows that we found online. I loved the vows that we read to each other, especially the last lines, “Because your love means so much to me, I offer you my heart. As your partner in life, I will share your joys and your sorrows, your laughter and your tears. Through all the changes that life will bring, I promise you this: I will always love you.”

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? 
We had been living in Charleston, South Carolina for two years when we started planning our wedding, and although we knew we wanted it to be in our hometown of Jupiter, Florida we really wanted to bring in the charm of Charleston that we love so much. Our wonderful wedding planner helped bring in Southern touches like mason jar luminaries, hand painted signs with a natural, rustic feel, and just all-over warmness and hospitality that is what the South is all about.

Our wedding cake was made by a dear family friend with so much love. I had very special dietary requests and she made a delicious topper for just me and Anthony to enjoy that met all the requirements. Then she made the rest of the gorgeous cake using her amazing recipes, one layer of carrot and one layer of marble cake. I sent her a couple of pictures of cakes that I liked and she made the most perfect cake combining all of my favorite natural elements.

And be sure not to miss the lovely film from this wedding by Shutter Life Productions!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. 
Anthony and I met while in college at Florida State University. I have always been good friends with Anthony’s brother Dave and I grew up knowing his family, but Anthony and I were never close friends until college. So, I guess we didn’t really “meet,” but instead started to build an amazing friendship that we still cherish as husband and wife.
Tell us all about the proposal! 
Anthony asked if I wanted to go for a run on the beach after work one day, which wasn’t out of the ordinary since we would frequently go to the beach after work to decompress and enjoy a sunset. I was happy to be getting out of work early that day and responded that I would love to, but I had already worked out and had a ton of grading to do for the class I was TA’ing. I decided to bring my papers with me and I would grade while he ran and we would bring a bottle of wine for after. We settled in at the beach and Anthony went for a “run” while I graded — he really ran back to the car to grab the ring since it would have been very obvious in his board shorts. When we came back, we decided to go for a walk and enjoy the setting sun. It was a spectacular sunset on Folly Beach. As the tide began to come up, I started to worry that all of my papers were going to get washed away so I wanted to turn around and go back, but we walked a little farther and that is when Anthony got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I was so excited, happy, and flooded with emotion that nothing else in the world mattered at that point! We made it back to our spot on the beach and I put all work aside to celebrate. We watched an awesome light show put on by lightning very far away; it was like nature’s fireworks for our happy occasion. It was an absolutely perfect night.
When did y’all get married? 
October 27, 2012
How many friends, family, and loved ones attended your wedding? 
130
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 
My mom read a part of Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet, On Marriage.”
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. 
We love music and really wanted the music at our wedding to reflect our personalities, not just “wedding music.” We had a wonderfully talented band that wildly surpassed our expectations. We chose non-traditional music for walking down the aisle and our first dance, but we loved them and they meant something special to us. I walked down the aisle to Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s “Somewhere Over The Rainbow/It’s a Wonderful World.” Our first dance was to the Sean Hayes song, “Baby I Do.” I still can’t listen to that song without a flood of emotions coming over me; it is perfectly “us.”
Describe your wedding flowers. 
My favorite flowers have always been orchids so I knew I wanted a lot of flowy orchids. Then, we took a trip to California and both of us loved the look of all of the wild succulents. Our flowers bloomed from there (ha!). We wanted a simple, natural, romantic look and our florist (she should be called a flower goddess or something) took my vision and turned it into a reality and then some. She is so amazing and talented; we love her!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: 
I would have to say all of the personal touches. We had so many friends help with different aspects of the wedding and that made it very special. We both really loved our vows, especially since we had put a lot of thought and effort into morphing them into what we wanted them to say, and then they were read by Anthony’s uncle which was so very special to both of us. We could really feel the love when they were read. Then, the band was phenomenal – we talked about how amazing they were for months!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? 
The biggest challenge was planning a wedding in Jupiter from Charleston. There were so many times that we would see something in Charleston that we loved and wished we could just move it down to Jupiter for the wedding or rehearsal dinner. Our parents, friends, and wedding planner were so helpful with everything though and made it all possible!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? 
I don’t know if I could pick just one! As I said before, all of our vendors and friends made it so incredibly special. The flowers, cake, and catering were all done by family friends. You could just feel that everything was made with love – nothing was run of the mill. Our wedding planner is also a great family friend and she made sure that everything went smoothly and helped to make our vision come to life! And, of course, the band!! The lead of the band became a friend just through the wedding process; he was so caring and made sure that all of the personal touches were there, as a friend would have done, on our wedding day. All around, the wonderful people we worked with made our day amazing.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? 
Having everyone we love in one place and being so happy for us is a feeling we will never forget. It was so special. (From the groom) Our first dance also sticks out in my mind; it felt like we were the only two people there and all of the wonderful emotions came flooding in at that moment while we were dancing to our song.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? 
It’s easier said than done, but don’t stress too much. There are things you just can’t control – weather, for instance! We had a hurricane coming through the weekend of our wedding! It all turns out perfectly though because at the end of the day you are married and ready to take on the world with your significant other!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? 
We are expecting a beautiful baby girl in the next few months! We are so excited to welcome our first child into the world and show her all the love and happiness that brought her here!

Photographer: The Big Day | Videographer: Shutter Life Productions | Wedding Planner: Desiree Dawn Events | Ceremony and Reception Venue: Houses at the Renewal Coalition | Florist: Van Aiden | Wedding Cake: Kristi Haney | Caterer: Drew Shimkus | Rentals: Better Party Rentals | Lighting: Van Aiden and Desiree Dawn Events | Band: The Brass Evolution (led by Jody Marlow) | Special Details: Van Aiden | Bride’s Gown: Wtoo (Style: Bristol) | Paper Products: Make Merry! | Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil/Jewelry: Van Aiden | Hair Stylist: Courtney Martin with Jennifer Cruz Beauty Group | Makeup Artist: Danielle Coryn | Bride’s Shoes: Ugg’s (Style: Lucianna) | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Joanna August – Newbury, 8th Avenue, and DC Long from Bella Bridesmaid Charleston, SC | Groom’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank | Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A. Bank

Desiree Dawn Events and Make Merry! are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
15 Comments
  1. avatar Be Inspired pR reply

    gushing over this southern wedding! The little details are amaze and you couldn’t ask for more gorgeous weather!

  2. avatar Katie reply

    Gorgeous and charming! I love the blush tones and especially the mix of wood :)

  3. avatar Lisa reply

    I love the mismatched Plum Pretty Sugar robes and the bride’s adorable shoes, but most of all, how sweet are the bride and groom’s kissing pictures? Their love just shines through those shots–so beautiful!

  4. avatar Krisstin reply

    Love the bridesmaid robes and their gorgeous dresses too!

  5. avatar Kelli Taylor/Daniel Taylor Photography reply

    This wedding is beautiful! Those bridesmaids dresses are so romantic!

  6. avatar Desiree reply

    Oh my stars! Marissa, you are simply the best. Thank you so much for sharing Anthony & Casey’s wedding with all of your readers. I just love being a part of the SW family and am so appreciative. This couple was just magical, their spark and passion is contagious!!

  7. avatar Liz reply

    Would LOVE to know more about her vows! The little snippet she mentioned really touched my heart, and I’m in the process of finalizing our ceremony now! What a gorgeous wedding and sweet proposal – you can see the joy in both of their eyes and hurricane schmurricane – beautiful wedding day. Go Noles!

  8. avatar Peter reply

    Love the menu board!

    • avatar Desiree reply

      Peter: hi Peter! Glad you love the menu board. It was totally one of the funnest projects that Laura (Make Merry!) and I worked on, yet! Let me know if you’re ever interested in commissioning a piece like this – we love custom work! And ps: Casey totally has it hanging over her dining room table now!

    • avatar Desiree reply

      Liz: Check out the video – the vows are repeated on their and are SO lovely!

  9. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze | Floridian Weddings reply

    […] try to avoid excessive horn-tooting, but we just can't help shout about this gorgeous wedding… it is just so all about the […]

  10. avatar Jenn reply

    Absolutely beautiful wedding!! I am getting married at the same location in March…does anyone happen to know how to contact Van Aiden or know what happened to the driftwood alter?

  11. avatar Snap Happy Saturday | Simply Peachy Wedding Blog reply

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  12. avatar Para gustos colores: Especial bodas reply

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  13. avatar Ana reply

    I am from Jupiter florida and am planning my wedding. I love this venue. Can you please share the name of the venue?

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Y’all, I about died over Grace + Daniel. Oh yes, Grace’s pink gown is magnificent and her dusty blue (and numerous) bridesmaids will have you swooning, but their proposal story is hands down one of the best I’ve ever heard! Definitely make sure you scroll down and read it, then click on the links (yes, there are videos!). I won’t give anything away, but it’s going to make you happier than a goat in a briar patch.

Watching the videos makes this wedding feel so special to me. You can tell how important Grace + Daniel’s friends are to them. After all, their proposal wouldn’t have been possible without them and most of their wedding day vendors were actually friends and family. Seeing these photos from Shea Christine with the newlyweds surrounded by their loved ones is one of the best reminders of what weddings are all about.

Finding my dress was somewhat of a stressful process at first, because it seemed like everything in the ball gown silhouette I was looking for was covered in “bling.” I knew I didn’t want something boring, but I wanted texture in a different way, such as lace or a ruching of the skirt. I also knew that I wanted my dress to be striking and unique — something that truly reflected my sense of style and personality. The only thing that I was really certain of was that I wanted tulle. It’s such a beautiful, dainty fabric that is perfect for a bride. Anyway, after endlessly searching online for anything I liked, I trekked to about ten different bridal stores in one day with a couple of my bridesmaids. We went to a bunch of boutiques, and ended up stopping at David’s Bridal at the end of the day because it was on our way home. Now don’t get me wrong…when I first got engaged, I swore up and down my dress would NOT come from there, but that was before I knew that Vera Wang had designed a collection for them! Needless to say, I saw my beautiful dress, tried it on and fell in love. The only color they had it in stock in the store was the blush, and I had initially wanted it in ivory, but I was really torn once I tried the blush on. I loved how different it was. I was talking to my friends about how I wondered if I would regret getting a “nonconventional” wedding gown, and the saleswoman overheard me and asked, “Well, are you conventional?” When I thought about it I laughed, because I wasn’t! My engagement ring is a sapphire, we weren’t getting married in a church — what about this wedding needed to be conventional? That really set my mind at ease about the dress, and of course I ended up buying it! I’m so glad I did.

Grace and her bridesmaids arranged all of the flowers themselves! Grace bought all of the flowers in bulk from Sam’s Club and worked with her bridal party to create their own beautiful bouquets.

Our wedding flowers were fairly simple. We decided to go with all white since we had color in my bridesmaids’ dresses and in my dress as well. For my sister’s and my bouquets, we just did white roses and baby’s breath. The rest of my bridesmaids had a pretty assortment of white flowers such as hydrangeas, poms, daisies, callas, mums, and greens. There were also little touches of eucalyptus in there, which complemented the girls’ dresses really nicely! For the rest of the wedding décor, we used the rest of the white roses and baby’s breath.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 
Daniel’s parents read three different scriptures at our wedding: Song of Solomon 8:6-7 “Always keep me in your heart. And wear this bracelet to remember me by. The passion of love, bursting into flame is more powerful than death, stronger than the grave. Love cannot be drowned by oceans or floods; it cannot be bought no matter what is offered.” Romans 8:38 “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 13:4 – 8 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”

We wrote our own vows, and I’m so glad we did! I think that traditional wedding vows are beautiful, but again, it’s all about filling your day with your personality. My favorite part of Daniel’s vows to me was, “I promise to be yours forever. I will spend the rest of my life, living our life. I will no longer consider me, but us. I promise to be on your side even when you feel like Nixon, and the world is out to get you. I will sleep like a pencil so that you can sleep like a starfish. I will make room for your shoes. I will never be too adult to call you schmoo or smuckers. And will never stop asking for kisses.” I couldn’t pick just one line.His vows were so beautiful, sweet, clever, and funny, and I cherished them so much. Daniel says that his favorite part of my vows to him was”Therefore, I promise from this day forward to love you despite circumstance, challenge you for the better, accept you as you are, console you when you’re down, encourage you in your passions, support you in your dreams, and laugh at all your jokes — even the ones that aren’t funny — and we all know that that is the biggest commitment of all!”

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? 
Well we had a horse galloping around behind a fence next to our venue! We also had nice little Southern touches like a fire pit with s’mores, corn hole, and some low country lemonade. I also had a few people tell me that my dress was very Scarlett O’Hara-esque. I also think that our whole DIY decor theme was very Southern and romantic. There is something about having a ton of twinkle lights in a barn in the middle of nowhere that is very Southern and beautiful to me.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? 
I would say to do as much yourselves as you can and that you’re comfortable with, and don’t underestimate your ability to do so! The price of weddings these days is astronomical, and so much of it can be done on your own if you’re just willing to take the time to do it. You can not only save yourself a great amount of money, but you also get to put so much more of your personalities into your wedding. It’s a day devoted fully to you and your spouse — it might as well reflect you two as much as possible! Also, utilize your friends and all of their talents. We had so many talented friends help us out in areas that would have cost us a fortune, such as the designing of all of our invitations, my hair and makeup and the decorating at the venue. We’re so grateful for everyone that was willing to put their hard work and creative efforts into our wedding.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: 
I think our favorite detail of the wedding was our little hot air balloon centerpieces that we made. Unfortunately by the time I was heading down the aisle they had started to droop! So sad! But I think we got the point across…I guess we should have been a little more generous with the helium!!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. 
I loved the music we used for our wedding. Daniel and I made a huge playlist on Spotify of all the music we love — everything from classic jazz to indie acoustics to rap! I think some of our favorite music was on the Pre-Wedding Playlist we had playing while people were arriving and seating themselves. It included “Waiting for My Real Life to Begin” by Colin Hay and “Life is Beautiful” by Vega4. The song that my bridal processional walked down the aisle to was “Turning Page” by Sleeping at Last and I walked down the aisle to “Keep Warm” by Ingrid Michaelson. Then Daniel and I partook in communion and the lighting of the unity candle during our ceremony, and played “Be Thou My Vision” by Ascend the Hill. Finally, at the end of the ceremony when we were pronounced husband and wife, we played “Lovers in Japan” by Coldplay for the recessional. I loved our music choices, they fit our wedding perfectly in the same “nonconventional” way the dress did. For our first dance, we used “You and I” by Michael Buble. We were going to dance to “Sweetpea” by Amos Lee because it was short and sweet, but we got so swamped leading up to the wedding that we never even got to practice a dance! We ended up going with Michael Buble because it was slow and beautiful and we could just sway together with the music without people figuring out that everything was improvised…hopefully!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? (From the bride) I think my most memorable moment about our wedding day was when I finally got up to the altar and was standing with Daniel while our pastor talked. I know I should have been listening, but I was so focused in on his face. There was so much love there. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that moment. There were a bunch of people witnessing this moment with us, but I felt like it was just me and him standing there. (From the groom) My most memorable moment was going off by myself right before we were about to start the ceremony and just taking the time to soak in the huge commitment I was about to make. I took some time to pray — I wanted to enjoy the moment of excitement and joy of anticipation of getting married and seeing my beautiful bride.

Our wedding cake was delicious…and it was cupcakes! We also had a little cake topper that we could cut and eat and save for our first wedding anniversary. Our cupcakes were made by our friend’s wonderful mother, who is a baker for Disney. She is super talented! She made us a beautiful variety of vanilla cupcakes with a lemon buttercream icing, and spice cupcakes with cream cheese icing. They were so good, and so pretty! She decorated them with little mint colored polka dots or flowers. They were all different and eclectic!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. 
Daniel and I met in 2008 at our freshman orientation week at Palm Beach Atlantic University during a lipsync competition (ha!). I fell for those big blue eyes the second I saw them! We quickly became friends and started dating after a few months. We’ve stuck together ever since.
Describe the proposal. 
Daniel and I were both theatre majors in college, and one of our professors has a children’s theatre company. About a week after we graduated, I received an email from this professor, addressed to myself and many of my former classmates, saying that he was holding auditions for a new company he was starting. It was a standard audition notice. I’ve never been too keen on auditioning. In fact, I hate it most times but I was pretty excited about this one since I’ve worked with this man before. I felt fairly confident in it. I prepared for a few weeks until it was merely a few days before the audition, when I came down with the WORST cold. The day of the audition eventually came, my cold never left, and I finally just determined that all I could do was my best, and hope it came out okay. Daniel and I went to the audition, waited with our other friends who were there, and eventually it was my turn. I went into the room, did my monologue, and waited for the accompanist to start my song (This was all being filmed by my professor, who stated it was for company purposes). However, the accompanist started playing something completely different from my song. I was so confused and thought maybe he was giving me some sort of wild introduction, when all of the sudden Daniel busted into the room and started singing to me (while another friend was filming him). I was mad at first and thought he was playing a somewhat cruel joke on me. Then I started to catch on. He was singing a song about how he was always the last one picked, until he met me. Meanwhile, as he is singing, tons of my friends start pouring into the room (ones who had been there for the “audition” and others who were hiding in the dressing room!) and setting up a house scene around us, complete with flats painted as a house, a white picket fence and a hose, a table and chairs with a tea set, and a mailbox that said the “Schmoos” on it (which is our signature name for each other). Finally the song ended, the lights went out, candles were lit and a video started with all of our favorite songs intermixed with interviews from friends who could and couldn’t be there, answering the question”If you could summarize our relationship in one word, what would it be and why?” It was also mixed in with places where Daniel and I had significant occasions in our relationship, with Daniel narrating our time together. At last the movie ended, and on the screen it said, “Justice is getting what you deserve, mercy is not getting what you deserve, and GRACE is getting what you don’t deserve.” It’s safe to say that I’m weeping at this point. Daniel stood me up and walked me over to the Schmoo mailbox and told me that he’d been lying to me. That this wasn’t a real audition and that Butler (our former professor) didn’t have a part for me, but that HE had a role for me as fiancé and future wife. He took my ring out of the mailbox and proposed to me! I said yes of course! Afterward, we went to a friend’s house with all of the friends who were in on the surprise and had a great engagement party. (See their engagement videos here, here and here!)
In what month did you get married? 
February
How many guests attended your wedding? 
90
Did you decide to do a “first look”? We decided against a first look. We wanted the first time we saw each other that day to be when I was walking down the aisle toward him. We ended up seeing each other while we were all getting the venue ready anyway, but I scurried away as quickly as I could! I wanted that ridiculous, exciting, crazy-giddy magic moment where all of our friends and family got to witness our reactions to one another as we saw each other for the “first” time on our wedding day.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? 
We both agree that our biggest challenge we had to overcome and eventually laugh about was our guest list struggle! As hard as it is to pick people to invite without hopefully offending others, on top of that we had to deal with people inviting themselves!! I’m sure that people don’t intend to be rude, but I don’t think they fully think about what they’re doing either. There’s no better way to learn these things than to live through them yourself. Suffice to say, I will never forget to RSVP to a wedding again!
What range did your wedding budget fall into? 
Less than $10,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? 
Definitely the dress. I had initially bought it used to save us some money, being that our budget was so tight. However, when I received it, all of the petals on the dress (that I love so much!) had been drastically altered, which was really disappointing. I took it to my seamstress to see if she could alter it. She told me that the amount of altering it would take to have it look like the original would cost me just as much as if I had bought the dress new. Upon hearing that, I shipped the used one back, sucked it up, and splurged on the dress. I’m going to resell it now, so it’s a win-win! And of course we are happy that we splurged on the photography. Everyone tells you that it is an absolute must, and they are correct. Photos are the only keepsakes that you get to hold onto after your big day, so they might as well be beautiful!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? 
 The sky is the limit as far as our plans go. We aren’t tied down to anything right now. I think that one thing we’re most looking forward to is finally finishing moving into our apartment together! We’ve come quite a long way, but there are still a few boxes here and there. On a more serious note, I’d say that we are most looking forward to just getting to live our everyday lives together and making our decisions for ourselves. It is so nice knowing that you get to live with your favorite person who you love most for the rest of your life.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
28 Comments
  1. avatar Kat reply

    3 words: OH THAT DRESS!!!!!

  2. avatar Robe de mariée reply

    The wedding details are great.

  3. avatar Susan P reply

    Love what is written here! Learned some things I hadn’t previously heard about. What a nice, nice article. One of my FAVORITE days, ever, Grace and Daniel!!!! Love you both!

  4. avatar Brooke reply

    Where are the bridesmaids dresses from?

    • avatar Nicole reply

      Hi Brooke! Grace had her bridesmaids choose their own dresses. Some of them are from Free People, J Crew, Modcloth and Chicwish.

  5. avatar Melissa in MN reply

    OMG, this is PERFECT. It’s everything that I dreamed that my wedding would be, but I just couldn’t make it happen in that way. What an incredibly personal, memorable way to start your lives together!

  6. avatar Nik reply

    I can’t believe how close this comes to my exact dream wedding. Wow.

  7. avatar Daniel reply

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQgtIhfevO0

    Here is the link to the video that Grace watched right before I dropped to one knee and proposed. Enjoy!

  8. avatar Audrey (big sister of the groom) reply

    This article made me cry all over again! Beautiful details and some that I wouldn’t have known if I didn’t read it (like the first dance to Michael Buble).
    This truly was a beautiful and personalized wedding and the details and hard work showed through the distinct touches of everything. Amazing job with the photos too!!
    Love my brother and his wifey :)

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  11. avatar Marti reply

    Where’d she get the floral boots from?

  12. avatar Grace Mattei reply

    hi marti!

    i got my shoes off of amazon…they are poetic licence brand, the lady victoria boot in the color bone, but im not sure that they are available anymore…i searched a few websites and couldnt find them again. good luck!

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  15. avatar Heather reply

    Where did they find that globe with the little lights? I love it.
    Thanks!

  16. avatar Grace Mattei reply

    Hi heather! The globe was actually something that I had thrifted and made into a lamp for a project I had in school haha. It was just fortunate that it ended up being some pretty decor for our wedding too! It’s simple enough to do-the people at Home Depot can show you everything you need to construct a basic lamp out of anything. Then it was just a matter of cutting open the globe and drilling holes in it…you can wind up with a great end result if you’re willing to put the time in!

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  19. avatar Amanda reply

    I am IN LOVE with the bridesmaid dres that is lace with 3/4 sleeves. It is exactly what I am looking for! Can you share where that one is from? I can’t find anything like it and will likely have to have them made. Thank you!

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  21. avatar vanessa reply

    BEAUTIFUL !! where did this wedding take place? It is stunning & I am currently looking for a locations like this for my wedding!

  22. avatar Jasmine Tran reply

    What a beautiful wedding! I was wondering where their venue was?

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  25. avatar samantha reply

    hi there is a picture of a single brides maid holding a bouqute of flowers i was wondering if anyone could tell me where her dress came from or who makes it

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We love every bride we have the pleasure of featuring on Southern Weddings, but today’s bride is particularly special — because we know her personally! And y’all do, too! Or at least our long time readers do. Some of you may recognize Caroline’s pretty face from V3’s hot air balloon shoot. We loved Miss Caroline so much we asked her back for a V4 shoot, and this time, her boyfriend Lionel came along, too. While we were hoping Lionel would propose at the shoot (no luck), we did hear that he had popped the question a few weeks later, and we’ve been waiting to see their wedding photos ever since!

The photos are in, and now we get to share them with you! From Caroline’s relaxed waves and adorable braid-halo to the absolutely stunning light in Melissa Schollaert’s beautiful photographs, I love the organic and fresh feeling of Caroline + Lionel’s jewel-tone nuptials. Aside from each and every pretty detail you can see on this page, I can’t pass up mentioning how fun and unique C + L’s music was! Caroline said they chose music from their favorite movies, including Legends of the Fall, Father of the Bride, The Cider House Rules, and Braveheart. Such a fun way to incorporate their personalities into the fabric of their big day!

WOAH, nelly! Can we please stop and stare at Caroline’s grandmother’s to-die-for ring she rocked on her big day?

Okay, moving on!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I knew I wanted to find something classic and fitted with some lace and also something that would look good in the fall outdoors. I went with my sister just to look at a store that was closing in the area (Priscilla’s of Boston) and I ended up purchasing a brand new dress on sale. I knew it was the one because I looked and felt like a bride! (I’m actually selling it here.)

Describe your wedding flowers: My aunt did the flowers and we went with a lot of white (roses, ranunculus, hydrangeas, lilies), touches of purples (calla lilies), and some greenery (baby’s breath). They were all so beautiful! I think my aunt has a new career!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding.  The music was very unique throughout the wedding. We played a lot of music from our favorite movies (Legends of the Fall, Father of the Bride, The Cider House Rules, and Braveheart). Growing up and listening to the Legends of the Fall soundtrack, I knew one day I would walk down the aisle to it. My sister did it too. We also had a musician perform our favorite praise and worship song, “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)” by Matt Redman during the ceremony.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Yes, I love taking pictures and I wanted to make sure we could get as many in as possible! Lionel was thrilled too! Those were some of my favorite pictures of the entire wedding and such a special moment to watch on the wedding video. We also got to spend more time at the cocktail hour with our friends and family.

Did you write your own vows?  We didn’t state the traditional wedding vows, but we put together ones that fit us better personally. “I Caroline take you Lionel to be my best friend, my faithful partner, and my one true love.” They were more intimate because they were really geared toward us as a couple.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My little sister read Colossians 3:12-17 and my grandmother read Deuteronomy 6:5-9. It was so sweet to hear both of them speak during the ceremony, and for them to read some of my favorite verses on marriage and love. My grandparents have been married 62 years and counting. They are so special to me!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: For me, it was the ceremony. It couldn’t have been more perfect — the setting on the lake, the cross, the weather, the breeze, the music and of course, marrying Lionel! Tyler, my brother-in law who introduced us, was the officiant. He did an awesome job lightening the mood with his humor. I remember his first line: “Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today to witness my debut as a wedding officiant!” We also loved how the tent turned out. The lighting was so beautiful along with the farm tables and mahogany chairs! We brought the ballroom outside!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert: It was the best cake I ever tasted and it was very pretty too! I wanted something simple but tasty and it was perfection! We had three layers with different flavors: White chocolate with Nutella filling, chocolate pistachio with milk chocolate mocha buttercream and Italian cream with Nutella filling. We couldn’t even wait until our one year anniversary to eat our saved toped layer! It lasted about a week.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration?  What was Southern about your wedding? The food! Cheese grits and short ribs for dinner, fried mac ‘n’ cheese balls and crab cakes for appetizers. The décor was also Southern. We had hay bales, vintage window panels for seating assignments and the outdoor venue. Also, we played country music at the reception. We also had a Southern-themed rehearsal dinner the night before with hay seating, a low country boil, sunflowers, and sweet tea in mason jars.

How did the two of you meet?  Tell us your story. We meet through my brother in-law, Tyler, who was trying to play matchmaker. Tyler and Lionel had a mutual friend in the Army and would often hang out together. Both of my sisters had already met Lionel and approved so I was less hesitant. Lionel, however, thought the safest way to communicate with me was on my birthday through Facebook, a week before his deployment to Afghanistan. In Lionel’s words, “Upon Caroline accepting my friend request and looking at her pictures, I immediately regretted waiting so long to communicate with her, Tyler had obviously done a poor job describing her.” Lionel arrived in Afghanistan and was excited to have email connections so he could communicate with me. Long story short, Lionel decided to write me an email hoping for a response, and we ended up writing each other every day throughout his three-month deployment! The first weekend he got back, we met for the first time and the rest was history!
Describe the proposal.
I’m an avid golfer so the first weekend we met, I insisted that we play golf. We made a bet that if I won, then he owed me a date in Charleston where I didn’t have to make any decisions. Well I won the golf match and almost a year later I got my surprise weekend date in Charleston where Lionel proposed on the beach. It’s kind of cool to think the bet we made on our first date ended with me wining a proposal!
In what month did you get married? October
How many guests attended your wedding? 100
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I did all the planning throughout the entire engagement. There are so many details and tasks to accomplish right before the wedding that can become stressful. We did hire a coordinator/planner for the day of so that was helpful for me!
What range did your wedding budget fall into?  $25,000-$50,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? The lighting, tables and chairs, videographer, and photographer!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Make a list of what’s most important for both the bride and groom. For me, it was the pictures, ambiance and food. For Lionel, it was the atmosphere, wine and the food. Also, take pictures from magazines and Pinterest to every vendor appointment so everyone is on the same page. When the caterer asks you how you want your napkins folded, you already have thought of it and have a picture!
What’s next for you as a couple?  What are you looking forward to in the future?  We are looking forward to Lionel graduating in May with his MBA. We will be moving to Houston, TX where Lionel will start work. I continue to travel a lot with my modeling career. We are seeing a house full of kids happening in a few years once we get settled.

Melissa Schollaert is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
24 Comments
  1. avatar Shannon reply

    This wedding is so so lovely! I especially love the late night milk & cookies!

  2. avatar Drew reply

    Caroline was a pleasure to work with and the final product was amazing! Melissa is such a talented photographer.

  3. avatar Kelly Taylor reply

    The colors are absolutely lovely & the gold details are stunning as well. What a beautiful wedding and even better inspiration!!

  4. avatar Jessica B reply

    Beautiful wedding! Love the Southern decor details (magnolia leaves, lanterns, etc), especially the tablescapes. Elegant without being fussy.

  5. avatar Ashley S reply

    Love this! Where was the ceremony held?

  6. avatar Dee Shore reply

    Cookie shots? Yes please!

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  8. avatar Kathy C reply

    Love the bridesmaid dresses. What is the style number of the dress with the cap sleeves? Were they added after purchase?

    • avatar Nicole reply

      Hi Kathy! That bridesmaid dress looks closest to the CHIFFON G736C style from Amsale. Hope that helps!

  9. avatar Jane reply

    what color does amsale call this??

    • avatar Kathy C reply

      Jane: They call it eggplant–the chiffon is slightly lighter than the lining because of the way the die takes, but it’s really pretty in person and seems to photograph better than darker purples.

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  18. avatar Jessica reply

    Beautiful wedding! What did you use for the venue?

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