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Aside from the Kentucky Derby, this weekend also holds another super-fun celebration: Cinco de Mayo! When Bee Photographie sent us this Florida wedding filled to the brim with colorful details, we knew it would be perfect to share with you this week, so grab some chips and guac, sit back, and enjoy the heartfelt fiesta of Gabriella and Jonathan! (Don’t mind if I do!)

How much do we adore these colorful bridesmaid dresses? A lot. A whole lot.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did, and here is a snippet from Jon’s vows: “I promise to love you for who you are, but more than that, I promise to love you for who God has in mind for you to become and to spend my life challenging you to get there. I promise to cry with you over loss, and dance with you to celebrate life and I promise to try my best to always make you feel as pretty as you look right now. I promise to love you, really and truly love you, for the rest of my life.”

Who else loves Gabriella’s cute short dress? I went shopping with my mom and tried on a bunch of long dresses. The dresses were beautiful, but I would put them on and feel all stiff and awkward. When the woman brought out a cute, ‘50s-style short dress, I put in on and immediately started dancing. My mom knew that it would be the one we’d bring home that day.

One of my best friends growing up, Erin, spent days making a multicolored Day of the Dead cake. She also made about 100 buttercream cupcakes with quirky mustaches and sombreros to continue the Mexican theme.

How did the two of you meet? Jon and I met when we were studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. Though we both went to the same school in Florida, it took both of us traveling all the way over to Spain to meet.
Describe the proposal. I used to collect snow globes. Since my first job out of college involved me traveling all over the country, this collection started to get ridiculous. I ended up with an insane collection of around 75 snow globes of various sizes. When I moved from Boston to NY, the snow globes did not make the cut and were left in a storage unit I had commandeered in the basement of my apartment building. On a work trip to Boston, Jon secretly collected all 75 snow globes and brought them him on a vacation we had been planning to Tree Bones resort in Big Sur California. Like many fiancés to be, Jon did not sleep on the night before, and in the middle of the night he laid out snow globes of all the cities we had lived in or traveled to together. Each snow globe had a note explaining its place in our love story. On Easter morning, Jon woke me up at sunrise telling me the Easter bunny had come. As I found each snow globe and its note, I began to think this might be a little bigger than a normal Easter gift. The final snow globe I found was a cheesy, but amazing, custom-ordered snow globe with the first photo Jon could find of us together on one side and the most recent photo of us on the other. The placard under the photo read “Anywhere” and it was placed on the ridge overlooking California cliffs and the Pacific. Jon came from around the corner, and said something sweet and sentimental that neither of us can remember for one second because our hearts were beating so hard and we were so nervous. I do remember Jon asking if I would marry him. And I definitely remember saying yes.
In what month did you get married? March
How many guests attended your wedding? 160
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. Our first dance was to “Breath of Love” by David Mayfield Parade and our last dance was to “Hey Jude” by the Beatles.
Describe your wedding flowers: They were bright, colorful gerbera daisies, carnations, and tissue-paper flowers.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The colors. It felt very vibrant and lively. It felt like us. We also had a wall made of entirely paper flowers that my amazing girlfriends helped make – it was beautiful.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Definitely the barn! It was fun because Jon’s family is from Iowa and my family is Latin so we wanted to create an atmosphere that represented both of us – a Day of the Dead barn wedding.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Our photographer and photo booth.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Undoubtedly, our last song, “Hey Jude.” We had an enormous dance circle with all of our family and friends lifting us up in the air and dancing around us. It was pretty epic. Also, when I ripped my dress! Eeek! I was getting really deep in the classic “running man” and put my heel right through the back of my dress. My amazing Aunt Maggie was immediately to the rescue, pulling bobby pins from her hair and pinning the back of the dress up.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Just love it. Dance. And when it rains, dance and laugh. And don’t forget to eat something.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are slowly figuring out what we are supposed to do with the rest of our lives. But we get to do that together – which is really exciting.

Photographer: Bee Photographie // Videographer: Bee Photographie // Venue: Family friend’s barn // Florist: Ashton and Christy Mayer // Wedding Cake or Dessert Baker: Erin Gilbert // Salsa Favors: The Jam Stand // Caterer: Chef Scott // Bride’s Hair Accessories: Ashton Mayer // Bride’s Jewelry: Nordstrom // Hair Stylist: Stacey Wick // Makeup Artist: Kristy Alonzo

emily Written with love by Emily
15 Comments
  1. avatar Madelynne Miller reply

    One of my favorite weddings ever featured on here! I love the personality and color and how unique it is! Not to mention the bride – she is gorgeous! And the bridesmaids dresses…and the paper products. It’s all to die for adorable!

  2. avatar molly reply

    i am in LOVE with this! such fun!

  3. avatar AshleyHH reply

    Very fun!!! But I got all excited when I saw a barn in florida… but its a friends!! Finding a venue will be the hardest thing for my wedding!!

  4. avatar Jenny (Captured Photography) reply

    Love this! So unique. Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!

  5. avatar Friday Wedding Thoughts | Bridesmaids and Weddings reply

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  6. avatar Color: The New Trend | Palettes of Perfection reply

    […] assorted bridesmaids dresses, I am totally all about this progression!  This featured wedding on Southern Weddings Magazine blog caught my eye for sure.  Jon & Gabriella liven the traditional wedding day black-and-white […]

  7. avatar Tim Duncan reply

    Whoa… all these colors! I LOVE IT!

  8. avatar Megan reply

    I’m in love with the bridesmaid dresses! I’d like one for myself! Do we know where to find them?

  9. avatar :jon & gabby: backyard barn wedding reply

    […] these 2 have become so dear to our hearts. jon & gabby have the sweetest love story and we are so happy to have captured it and become friends with them along the way. their wedding was the kind that makes my heart beat just a bit faster… backyard, barn, and diy details through and through! their wedding was featured on southern weddings and can be viewed here! […]

  10. avatar Cassie reply

    Gorgeous wedding! It would be nice if you credited the invitation designer. All too often graphic designers get left out of the credits. Who did it?

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hey Cassie! We do our best to credit invitation designers, because we want brides to be able to find their amazing work! Unfortunately, we have to rely on the information the featured bride (and sometimes her wedding planner) gives us. In this case, however, I believe the invitation is by our friends at Minted! http://www.minted.com Hope that helps!

  11. avatar Yessenia Diaz reply

    I love the pictures of this wedding, absolutely beautiful!!! I want to have this theme as well for my wedding, does anyone know where they got the bridesmaid dresses? Did they go to Mexico to buy them or order them online?

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking at Branches & Light, a photography workshop for ladies organized by Nancy Ray and Caroline Joy. I very much enjoyed chatting with the attendees about getting published and what we look for in submissions at Southern Weddings. (Vendors, if you’re wondering, here are our submission guidelines!) One of the things I spoke about is how we very rarely feature “inspiration shoots” on the blog, because the submissions we receive just don’t match up with what y’all enjoy: gorgeous photography, approachable, doable styling and ideas, and fresh, meaningful Southern details. However, I’m so happy that Caroline and Nancy let me share the images they created from the workshop shoot here, because they do fit the above criteria — and are perfect for Valentine’s Day, to boot!

First, I must introduce you to the adorable couple who posed for the day. Nope, they’re not professional models, but they couldn’t have been any cuter!

That gorgeous calligraphy heart was penned by Juliet Jones. We’re not the biggest fans of elaborate photo props at SW, but using sweet, simple ones like these can be a GREAT way to “warm up” and get comfortable in front of the camera!

Don’t you love how the table was nestled right under that big magnolia tree? The grounds of The Sutherland were so beautiful!

Erin McLean, the stylist of the day and the talent behind the tablescape, also dreamed up a darling dessert bar. We were so happy it featured an Ashley Cake!

Many thanks to Nancy and Caroline for having me, and for sending over these lovely images! Make sure to check out all of the talented vendors below. And ladies, if you’re interested in learning more about Branches & Light, click here!

Photographer: Caroline Joy and Nancy Ray // Designer and Stylist: Erin McLean with Erin McLean Events // Flowers: Tre Bella // Gown: Tre Bella // Cake: Ashley Cakes // Cake Stand: Sarah’s Stands // Hair and Makeup: Samantha Crowder // Jewelry: Emily Hansel Designs // Calligraphy: Juliet Jones // Venue: The Sutherland

Erin McLean Events is a fabulous member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
14 Comments
  1. avatar Branches & Light 2012 | Behind the scenes video – Caroline Joy Photography reply

    […] I am also so proud to direct you over to the Southern Weddings blog to see our full styled shoot from the workshop. I’m grateful beyond words to Emily Ayer, who was our guest speaker at […]

  2. avatar Natalie reply

    Love this! Nancy Ray and Caroline Joy are fabulous! Wonderful shoot, ladies!

  3. avatar Lindsay Ann reply

    I was so thrilled to be a part of this shoot and see Caroline and Nancy in action! The vendors did such an amazing job setting it all up. So much beauty, and so little time to photograph it! Thank you again, Emily, for sharing your insight and expertise!

  4. avatar Ilana reply

    Oh my, those photos next to the gate are EXQUISITE! the climbing vines look like a natural progression of her bouquet and I can’t get enough!

  5. avatar Styled Shoot at the Sutherland in Wake Forest » Michelle Lyerly reply

    […] women, Nancy Ray and Caroline Joy. If you follow Southern Weddings magazine blog you might of seen this post on Valentines. If you didn’t, you should hop over there and check out the photos that Nancy […]

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Y’all, you are in for a TREAT today. As you ladies + gents know, we usually feature three “Southern by Design” stories in each print edition. We had the first two nailed down (one of which you saw yesterday, and the other which you’ll see soon!), but the third one was stumping us. We knew we wanted to work with Summer from Grey Likes Weddings (because she’s AMAZING, obviously), but nothing was clicking until one word popped into our brains: punch! What could be more Southern and lovely than punch?? Summer and her styling partner in crime Cortnie did such a stupendous job modernizing the idea of a punch reception, and we love the Southern California flare with which they infused the shoot. And Braedon’s images — goodness, y’all! He blew it out of the park!

We hope you enjoy, and be sure to head over to the gallery to see even more images! The full story, of course, is in the print edition.

Make sure to check out Summer’s post on this shoot today, too!

The talented vendors:

Photography: Braedon Flynn // Styling and Art Direction: Summer Watkins of Grey Likes Weddings and Cortnie Purdy of Canvas and Canopy // Hair and Makeup: Kacee Geoffrey // Stationery: MaeMae Paperie // Calligraphy: Nancy Hopkins // Cake: Erica O’Brien // Punch Recipes: Snake Oil Cocktail Co. // Wedding Gown: Marchesa from Gabriella New York Bridal Salon // Bridesmaid Dresses: Luna Boutique and H&M // Hairpieces: Lo Boheme // Jewelry: Noaki Jewelry // Butterfly Shoes: Aruna Seth // Rentals: Urban Barn // Ladle and Cake Knife: Concept by Canvas and Canopy and Grey Likes Weddings, execution by Monkeys Always Look // Location: The Condor’s Nest Ranch

emily Written with love by Emily
9 Comments
  1. avatar Kelly Cummings : Spindle Photography reply

    This is for sure my favorite inspiration shoot from V4! I adore the colors and the softness with bursts of color. Love love love!

  2. avatar Jodi Miller Photography reply

    This is such a stunning shoot!! I’m swooning over those bouquets and the paper goods…love it!

  3. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] V4 gorgeousness continues with a Southern by Design feature where Southern meets Southern California. This punch inspired shoot brings a pop of color, a twist of modernization, and the cutest details […]

  4. avatar Southern by Design :: Southern Meets California :: Video! « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Saturday, y’all! Remember the beyond-fabulous V4 punch shoot we featured on Thursday? Well today, we’re back with the equally fabulous behind-the-scenes […]

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    […] Saturday, y’all! Remember the beyond-fabulous V4 punch shoot we featured on Thursday? Well today, we’re back with the equally fabulous behind-the-scenes […]

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Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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