I’ll be honest, when I learn that a couple meets at a philanthropic event for children, I’m going to have high hopes that their wedding is sweeter than sugar. Allison and Patrick did not disappoint! With the help of their planner, Molly McKinley, these two University of Florida alum (I see that chop, y’all!) planned a traditional wedding with plenty of heart. Allison and Patrick realized that this may be the only day where every person they love was in one room, so they wanted to take advantage of the chance to make each and every guest feel loved and important. They even took the time to write a personalized note to each of their guests, filled with words of love, gratitude, and memories, that was incorporated into their place settings. Such a kind gesture that I’m sure guests were touched by!
Big SW hugs to Morning Light by Michelle Landreau for sharing this lovely day with us!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something old was gold and pearl drop earrings that once belonging to my Italian great-grandmother, Nonni Catherine. Our something new was a set of beautiful coupe toasting glasses given as a gift to us from our wedding planner. We borrowed the cake cutter Patrick’s parents had used at their wedding. My something blue was a sorority tradition, a knotted turquoise ribbon, sewn into my dress.
There were many aspects of our wedding that we wanted to remain very traditional with, including not having a first look. We both wanted the traditional moment of seeing each other for the first time during our ceremony. It was even more special to us because all our friends and family were able to be a part of that moment too.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We used traditional vows, but our ceremony was very personalized because it was officiated by a college friend, Joe, who was in seminary school at the time. He also happens to be married to the mutual friend who first introduced Patrick and I. Joe added many personal touches (we made vows both to God and each other) and tailored the sermon to our favorite Bible verses (Romans 12). He also read Louis Evan’s wedding prayer–a personal favorite of mine–which includes beautiful advice for a Christian marriage, such as, “May they never take each other’s love for granted, but always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims: Out of all this world, you have chosen me!”
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: It was really important to us that every single one of our guests knew how much it meant to have them celebrating with us on our wedding day. We realized that our wedding day may be the only day in our lives where every person we love was in one room. We spent the weeks leading up to the wedding writing personalized notes to each of our guests containing words of love, gratitude, and memories. Those notes were then placed in hand-calligraphed envelopes and incorporated into each of the guests’ place settings.
Our wedding cake was composed of alternating tiers of almond cake with raspberry filling and cinnamon cake with cream cheese filling. It was covered in fresh flowers and rough buttercream frosting. We also had wedding favors of raspberry and coconut French macarons. While the only bite of cake we ate was during the cake cutting, we arrived home from our honeymoon to a freezer full of macarons and were eating them for months!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Patrick and I met through Dance Marathon at the University of Florida, a philanthropy benefiting Children’s Miracle Network.
When did y’all get married? August 15, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? In my opinion, part of being Southern is an emphasis on food, family, and the Lord. Each was highlighted in some way throughout our wedding day. I’d also have to say the way in which our wedding date was chosen adhered to some strict Southern norms. We only had August or December to choose from because we knew that holding a Saturday evening wedding during football season, would result in some pretty angry (and distracted) friends and family!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Instead of having a professional photo booth vendor, we provided polaroid cameras for the guests to take photographs with. Our family and friends had a lot of fun capturing moments throughout the cocktail hour and reception. The photos were either taped into our guest book or taken home by guests as sweet mementos.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We loved every single vendor who was a part of our wedding, but hiring our wedding planner, Molly McKinley, was the best decision we made. I wrestled back and forth over whether I needed a professional planner for the year leading up to the wedding, but looking back, I literally could not be happier with our decision. I can’t imagine the planning process without Molly. She is an advisor, artist, and friend, all in one. Every other vendor who exceeded our expectations were by her suggestion. She spun my ideas into a reality that was even better than I had imagined.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t get so wrapped up in planning the wedding that you forget to plan for the marriage. The wedding is one day. The marriage lasts all the rest. Surround yourself with people who can not only give you advice and guidance, but also some loving perspective when you need it.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We currently live in Atlanta, Georgia (with our cat Lilly) and are loving newlywed life. Every day is an adventure and we look forward to growing our love for each other for many years to come. We both look forward to all the little things that come with living with your best friend, such as trips to the farmer’s market, lazy Friday nights, and learning more about each other. Marriage is a wonderful gift and we’re thankful to be sharing it with each other.
Photographer: Morning Light by Michelle Landreau | Planner: Molly McKinley | Venue: Foxhall Sporting Club | Florist: Bloomin’ Bouquets | Cake Baker: Confection Perfection | Caterer: Home.Made | Rentals: Unlimited Party and Event Rentals, Event Rentals Unlimited, and Southern Vintage | DJ: Black Tie Events | Paper Products: Plain Jane Designs | Bride’s Gown: Style L318 by Legends by Romona Keveza | Bride’s Veil: The Sentimentalist | Hair and Makeup: Jennifer C Nieman | Bride’s Shoes: Jack Rogers | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy in Topaz | Linens: I Do Linens | Calligraphy: Lydia Whitener