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Amy and Brian met on a double blind date on election night in 2012, and as the only two Republicans in the restaurant, their night may not have ended the way they would have liked politically, but personally, it turned out perfectly! After two new jobs and a new city, Amy and Brian knew they wanted to celebrate their wedding in a familiar spot: Naples, Florida. Brian grew up visiting the beautiful beach town, and Amy quickly grew to love it too. It was just right for their Southern Florida-inspired wedding, filled with bright and bold florals, and even miniature pineapples at every place setting! I love this nod to Southern hospitality, and I completely agree with Amy’s response to what could possibly be cuter than 150 miniature pineapples: “The answer is nothing.”

Thank you kindly to Set Free Photography for sharing this beautiful day with us!

Right before we got engaged, Brian received a promotional opportunity that required relocation from Chicago to Columbus, Ohio. Since our lives were a jumbled mess of moving parts at the time, I decided to travel to New York City, where my sister and maid of honor lives with her husband, for wedding dress shopping at the one and only Kleinfeld’s Bridal. I figured if I had to fly back and forth from whereever I might be living at the time for various fitting appointments, it would be best to choose a place that came with a free weekend’s stay (coupled with some quality family time)! My mom flew in from Oklahoma (where I was born and raised), and we made a fun girl’s weekend out of the trip, filled with lots of wedding to dos, dinners out on the town, and even a Broadway show! I walked into Kleinfeld’s with a handful of photographs of wedding dresses that were all completely and utterly different styles. I had a hard time expressing what I wanted to the sales representatives. but those Kleinfeld ladies sure did hit it out of the park! I felt so beautiful when I tried on my dress–I immediately knew it was the one!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We got married in Naples, Florida, where we go every year for Thanksgiving! Brian has grown up going to Naples with his parents and grandparents. I have grown to adore the place–nothing beats the combination of sunshine, the beach, and family!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did not do a first look, and it was one of the easiest decisions of the whole wedding planning process, since it was one of Brian’s only real demands! Brian wanted the first time he saw me on our wedding day to be when I was walking down the aisle to meet him. If there is one thing my husband is not, it’s emotional, but as that moment was happening and I got closer to him, I saw that he was crying. He never, ever, ever cries, and it was one of the most special moments of the day.

My something borrowed was the most special “something.” Brian’s mother passed away after a long battle with cancer a few years ago. I didn’t get the opportunity to meet her, but he raised my husband into the man he is today, so I know she must have been an incredible woman. During my bridesmaids’ luncheon the day before the wedding, my two sister-in-laws gave me her wedding band as a gift for my something borrowed. I have worn it every day since the day I received it. My something old was a coin that my Nana, my mother, my sister, and I all wore in our shoes on our wedding days. I had to tape mine on the sole, since I wore sandals!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Everyone was incredible, but I have to say my sister, Emily Collins. She did all of the calligraphy for the wedding, from the save the dates and invitations, to the place cards, to the beverage signs, to the escort sign, to the programs, to the welcome baskets, and much more (pretty much on every piece of stationery in my wedding!) She is a high-end interior designer and architect by trade, and it was so incredible to have a little piece of her in my wedding in these ways. I love her dearly and will be eternally jealous of her amazing artistic abilities!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We had real miniature pineapples above each place setting. It was such a small, discrete detail, but I was head over heels for them! What could possibly be cuter than 150 miniature pineapples? The answer is nothing.

We had two different types of wedding cake (for chocolate and vanilla lovers), and we also had yummy desserts served at the tables immediately following dinner. The desserts were very Florida-inspired–chocolate-covered strawberries, fresh fruit tarts, Key lime pie tarts, and cannolis. The Key lime pie tart was probably my favorite!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We first met on a double blind date on the night of the 2012 presidential election. We were inadvertently set up by one of my best friends and bridesmaids, Emily, and one of Brian’s fraternity brothers, Jake (we have to give credit where credit is due!). We were the only Republicans in the entire restaurant, so we ensured all of our drinks were sent to us red, infused with grenadine. While the night didn’t end well for us politically, professionally (hello, mini market crash), or physically (work was not fun the next morning), it did work out personally!
Tell us all about the proposal! Brian proposed to me on a summer night in August. He told me that he had made dinner reservations for us at Gibson’s, a Chicago favorite. As I began hailing a cab from our apartment to the restaurant, he grabbed my hand and started walking me down the street and across the Wells Bridge that extends over the Chicago River. He led me to the front of the restaurant and bar where we had first met two years before, and we sat on the patio for a drink before heading over to Gibson’s. After a delicious meal, we walked out of the restaurant, and he started directing me to an unknown location. We ended up on the Lake Michigan beach, with the beautiful Chicago skyline lit up behind us. Before I knew it, he was on one knee, asking me to marry him. It was beautiful, private, and perfect, and one of the happiest days of my life. After the proposal, he led me to a fancy schmancy hotel in downtown Chicago, complete with an overnight bag packed by one of my best girlfriends, rose petals, and a bottle of celebratory champagne. The room faced the water, so we watched the Navy Pier fireworks go off while excitedly calling all of our best friends and family members. The next morning, Brian took me to a surprise brunch, where all of our friends were anxiously waiting for us!
When did y’all get married? April 18, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had two readings: “A Marriage” by Mark Twain and Romans 12:1-2, 9-18.
Describe your wedding flowers. In one word, stunning! I might be a little biased, but they were the most beautiful florals I have ever seen! Bright, tropical, fun, flirty–exactly what I had envisioned!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Plaid bow ties and navy suits, pink champagne and whiskey ginger signature cocktails, a stocked cigar bar cart with custom labels and match sets, and Southern Florida-inspired bright and bold florals, to name a few!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We moved cities (from Chicago to Columbus), got two new jobs, purchased a home together, and moved into said home, all while we were planning our wedding! It was an extremely busy time, but all of these moving parts were true blessings!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t dwell in the details, enjoy every moment of the planning process, and approach the bumps in the road with a light heart–everything will end up as perfectly as you imagine!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Travel, settling into a new city, making new friends, and (of course) kids!

Photographer: Set Free Photography / Planner: Jet Set Wed / Venue and Caterer: LaPlaya Beach and Gold Resort / Florals: Isn’t She Lovely / Cake Baker: Ella Cakes / Rentals: Sweet Southern Charm / Lighting: O’Ryan Sound / Band: Society Hill via Brett Foreman Productions / Paper Products: DM Paper Designs and Honest to Emily / Bride’s Gown: “R4BIS” by Le Spose Di Gio / Hair and Makeup: Jamie Lyn Cintron Salon / Bride’s Shoes: Stella McCartney / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “G856U” by Amsale / Menswear: Jos. A. Bank / Trees: Foliage Factory

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Stacy Sullivan reply

    Thank you for featuring this beautiful wedding! We are doing a happy dance!! Always on honor to be featured on your inspirational wedding blog! xo

  2. avatar Pristine Chapel Lakeside reply

    This is a very beautiful wedding. The gold, pink, and white compliment each other beatifully. The groom’s blue suit goes really well with the color scheme.

  3. avatar Dana reply

    I love her flower crown!!

  4. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #203 – Floridian Social reply

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I firmly believe that if Shelby (from Steel Magnolias) was not a fictional character, she’d be obsessed with this wedding – it’s her signature color modernized. I personally can’t get over how stunning Callee + Calan’s florals are! After giving her soon-to-be hubby’s aunts only the color pink as a jumping off point, they took peonies, garden roses, hydrangeas, and turned “pink” into what Callee described as “breathtaking.” I also couldn’t help but stare at the sweet treats another one of the groom’s talented aunts created. Be sure to slow down and take a peek at the adorable helmet cupcake pops showing some team love!

Big hugs to Set Free Photography for sharing C + C’s big day!

Pink seersucker + a bow + a monogram = oh my stars, y’all!! And THAT bouquet!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. 
My mom and I went to the traditional chain stores in town and we didn’t have very much luck. I was on the computer one day and found this little dress store and figured we’d give it a try. I must have tried on 15-20 dresses before I got to the last dress. From then, it was history. I walked out and my mother and I both started crying. I knew from that moment that I found my dress.

I gave them my main color swatch (pink) and told them to do whatever they wanted. They chose to go with peonies, garden roses, hydrangeas, kiwi branches and dusty millers. On our wedding day they even surprised us with fresh blackberries on the bouquets and boutonnieres! The barrels with the overflowing flowers, the trunk and the arbor were just so breathtaking. The flowers truly made our day beautiful.

My most memorable moment was being at the altar with Calan. I just instantly flashed back to all of the reasons why I fell in love with him. I felt like we were the only two people in the room and it was so special to me.

Describe your wedding flowers. 
Nothing I say will describe what Calan’s three aunts and two cousins put together. They are officially the most talented people I know. I have seen what his aunts have done at other weddings and it is just remarkable how amazing every single thing they do turns out.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: 
I think our favorite thing about the wedding was that our families and friends contributed so much time and energy into making it perfect and helping us with so much. I think at some point, everyone was involved, which means all of the details came from the heart. (The chandeliers were my second favorite detail.)

My brother and father-in-law even built and painted custom corn hole sets with monogramed bean bags to match our bouquet sashes that had our monograms as well. We also had a lot of country music playing during the cocktail hour and during dinner, of course. Yee-Haw!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? 
I love everything Southern, from our mason jars to the Cheerwine and the BBQ food.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. 
Calan’s Aunt Donna owns a cake pop business and brings cake pops to every family function. You haven’t lived unless you’ve tried her Oreo flavored cake pops! We both aren’t big fans of traditional wedding cake, so we asked Donna if she could put something together that made our desserts unique and special. She came up with mini pies, cake pops (of course), cookies, chocolate-covered strawberries, brownies, and key lime tarts. We also loved the idea of a hot cocoa bar, so we had spoons covered with chocolate and toffee shavings, marshmallows and peppermint sticks. These two tables were a big hit.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. 
Calan and I met 17 years ago when I was five and he was eight at The Storms Field. I cheered and he played football. Throughout the years, our families remained close, with my brother working under his dad at the fire station and our moms remaining friends. When I was 18, I was coaching at The Storms Field when I found out Calan was coaching there as well. We were close friends throughout the season (I thought he liked a close friend of mine) but I never thought we would start dating two years later. We’ve been inseparable ever since.
Tell us all about the proposal! 
I had been giving Calan “subtle” hints about the color, cut and style of diamond ring that I had been wanting for a few months before he proposed. My mom’s not a very good secret-keeper and kind of let the cat out of the bag the day he bought the ring. As a normal girl who can’t wait for surprises to just happen, I went in search for the box. Calan isn’t a very good hider, considering it was under the bathroom sink! He asked me later that night while lying on the couch and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
When did y’all get married? 
How many friends, family, and loved ones attended your wedding? 
Did you decide to do a “first look”? 
Calan is a very shy person and wanted to do the “first look” from the moment our photographer told us about it. I am so glad we did because it got the pre-wedding jitters out of our systems and the pictures from that moment turned out to be some of my favorites from the wedding.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 
Corinthians 13
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I love music so I played this part out in my head non-stop. I decided to have my bridesmaids walk down the aisle to “Till Kingdom Come” by Coldplay. It fit so perfectly and had a great beat for my best girls to walk to. From the start, I knew I wanted to walk down the aisle to “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. If you’ve heard this song, you know it’s just amazing. Calan doesn’t like dancing, so when it came to our first dance I had to make sure it was quick and painless for him. I chose “That’s When I Love You” by Aslyn. It was probably the shortest love song I could find, but the words made me embrace this song even more. I’m so glad we went with it.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I think just staying on track and making deadlines. My mom was here with me to whip me into wedding planning shape, which helped a lot. I managed to make most of the deadlines we set for ourselves.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? 
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? 
PHOTOGRAPHY!! Hands down. Stacy is amazing and I am so happy we went with her. In the end, all you’re left with is pictures. Let me tell you, I have some stunning photos.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? 
Don’t stress the little things, and the sooner you get things booked and done, the better off and less stressed at the end you will be. At the end of the day, you get to marry your best friend, so no matter what just remember that.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? 
We are going to be continuing renovations on our house (Anthropologie here I come!) and taking care of our two pups. Calan is in EMT school at the moment and will be starting fire school in the fall to become a firefighter. God has blessed us with each other, great friends and amazing families. Wherever he takes us, we will be happy just to be with each other.

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Kat reply

    I love so many things I don’t even know where to begin!! STUNNING florals, beautiful dress and I love the sweet details!

  2. avatar Lauren reply

    I love how romantic everything felt about this wedding. Pink is such a romantic color and they pulled it off perfectly.

  3. avatar Ken Tan reply

    Such beautiful photographs!!! :)

  4. avatar Bridget reply

    Hyperventilating over that bow on the bouquet!

  5. avatar stacy sullivan reply

    Thank you for this incredible honor of being featured! We love Southern weddings and could not be more excited! A true dream come true.

  6. avatar Arlene Roth reply

    Callee and Calan,
    We loved having you here at the Burroughs Home! What a spectacular wedding!

  7. avatar Leigh Pearce reply

    I am OBSESSED with that bouquet bow! I don’t do it often, but that baby is being pinned on my secret ‘when i get married’ pinterest board ;)

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  9. avatar Jessie reply

    Where did you find those monogrammed bows?! Please email me!!! (: [email protected]

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  12. avatar Alyssa reply

    Where did you get the bouquet wraps? I would LOVE details such as the length and width! How can I get that information?! Thanks so much! What a beautiful wedding!

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