It is so special to see a couple who celebrates their marriage in a way that is a perfect fit for them, even if that celebration is less than traditional. Morgan and Brian are a lovely example–with the help of their planner and designer, Kylie Swanson, they said their vows by the ocean in Marco Island, Florida, surrounded by just 21 of their loved ones. A few weeks later, they also celebrated with family and friends back home in Oklahoma. We were delighted to share both parts of their wedding celebration in V7, and are equally excited to share them with y’all today, starting with their romantic seaside ceremony. We hope they inspire you to think outside the box and plan your wedding in the way that is most meaningful to you!
Thanks so much to Aaron Snow for sharing Morgan and Brian’s gorgeous wedding with us!
I have always adored the ocean, so choosing a destination wedding and getting married on the beach was a dream come true. Exchanging vows by the ocean was significant for Brian as well–when he was a teenager, he felt like God had told him that one day, he was going to wake up every day by the sea. Well, my name, Morgan, actually means “by the sea.” The symbolism is beautiful.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? My favorite part about my dress was its simplicity. The fabric was Spanish tulle and silk, so it was very lightweight. The design had a delicate, feminine, free-spirited quality that fit my personality. It was ideal for a beach wedding.
Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. How did you choose them? I let my older sisters choose a dress that they loved and felt beautiful wearing. It came in three colors: blue, blush, and mint. We chose mint!
Tell us about a date you’ll always remember. We will always remember our first date to a Tulsa Drillers minor league baseball game; Brian bought us tickets directly behind home plate. It felt as if we had the entire stadium to ourselves because there were so few people in attendance that night. It wasn’t a wildly extravagant date, but it was a precious and memorable one, filled with incredible warmth, happiness, love, and laughter. There’s something to be said about the simple things in life. All we wanted to do was spend time getting to know each other, and we truly cherished every single moment together. I pray that every moment is still deemed extraordinary, even fifty years from now. Life is made up of moments!
Exchanging our vows was the most special part of the ceremony. Those two simple words, “I do,” shaped the rest of our lives. Marriage vows are a covenant between best friends to love and cherish each other through thick and thin; they are promises to be lived out in each moment.
Did you try anything new or nontraditional? One thing in particular that stood out as nontraditional is that we decided to have everyone stand around us during the ceremony rather than bring out chairs. It made for a really magical moment.
Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding? Everyone was special, but one person in particular traveled over 24 hours to celebrate with us! Brian and his parents flew my best friend, Natalie, into Florida from Zimbabwe to be a part of our special day. We surprised her with a bridesmaid dress in her hotel room, and it was a very tearful, happy moment for everybody.
Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? We had a short cocktail hour at our wedding in Florida and it was a great transition for our guests while we wrapped up some portraits with Aaron.
We left the floral design up to Kylie, and after our initial meeting describing the type of design that I’m drawn to, I knew she would be able to pull together something incredibly beautiful. It was so surreal seeing my bouquet for the first time, because Kylie managed to pull together all of the colors and textures I loved and create something so spectacularly gorgeous.
Were there any family traditions you included in the reception? I don’t know if it was a family tradition necessarily, but Brian’s dad read a powerful blessing over the two of us and over every married couple present at our reception.
What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? Brian surprised me by serenading me after we exchanged vows. He sang “Happy” by The Daylights, which was “our song” during our entire engagement. It was amazing!!!
Don’t miss Morgan and Brian’s wedding film by Pen Weddings below!
When did y’all get married? May 29, 2014
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.We were introduced while hundreds of miles apart–Brian was finishing his college education in Mississippi and I was studying in Missouri. We met for the first time in person on May 19, 2013 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after a month of long-distance courting. We would Skype for several hours every day, sharing our hearts on just about everything: hopes, dreams, desires, and fears. We discussed our strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, and anything in between. Most of all though, Brian and I talked about our mutual love and passion for the Lord. All of our conversations–no matter how brief or lengthy, casual or serious–pointed to God. Beyond our compatibility, we both were deeply devoted to our faith and pursued the heart of God above all else. We honestly fell in love with the reflection of Christ that we saw in each other. We were inseparable that summer. Brian says that when he saw me for the first time, he knew I’d have his heart for the rest of his life. After six months of dating and a lot of prayer, Brian proposed. We got married a year and ten days after meeting.
Tell us about the proposal! In January 2013, Brian’s parents took us to Israel to tour the Holy Land with our church. Brian decided that there was no better place to ask me to join him as “one” than the very spot where Jesus asked to be one with us: the Garden of Gethsemane. Standing at the base of the Mount of Olives, Brian read to me from John 17, dropped to one knee, and proposed. I said YES! Along with a sparkly new engagement ring, Brian gave me a heart carved from olive wood. Olive trees hold incredible symbolism, and we were surrounded by them during the proposal. The olive tree thrives under great heat and is known for its tenacity. They live, grow, and bear fruit in any and every condition: hot, dry, cold, wet, fertile, rocky, or sandy. It is said that you can never kill an olive tree–even when cut down or burned, new shoots emerge from its roots. Like the evergreen olive tree, we pray that our marriage will withstand anything.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: It was joyful, vibrant, and blessed!
How many guests attended your wedding? 21
Who was your officiant? Why did you choose him/her? The officiant was Jason Cook, a former NFL player. He was Brian’s mentor at the University of Mississippi.
Did you try anything new or nontraditional? A fire dancer performed at the end of the night!
Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where? Since we got married in Florida, we thought it would be a great idea to start out our marriage in the Keys. After getting married in Marco Island, we rented a car and drove to Islamorada. We spent about four days at the beautiful Cheeca Lodge and Spa and stayed in a really delightful little bungalow. After our time in the Florida Keys, we drove to Miami and flew out to Turks & Caicos for eight days. We stayed at the Seven Stars Resort. The Caribbean was breathtaking!
Photographer: Aaron Snow / Videographer: Pen Weddings / Planner, Designer, and Stylist: Kylie Swanson / Ceremony Venue: Marriott Marco Island / Reception Venue: KJM The Farm / Florals: Isn’t She Lovely (Florida) and Poppy Lane Design (Oklahoma) / Catering: Marriott Marco Island (Florida) and Ludger’s (Oklahoma) / Cake Baker: Marriott Marco Island (Florida) and Amy’s Cakes (Oklahoma) / Hair and Makeup: Blo OKC / Bride’s Gown: Monique Lhuillier / Bridal Salon and Veil: JJ Kelly / Bridesmaid Dresses: Dillard’s / Groom’s Attire: Banana Republic / Paper Goods: Gather & Co. / Rentals: Niche Event Rentals (Florida), Kahoy Studios (Oklahoma), and Marianne’s Rentals (Oklahoma) / Transportation: Tulsa Vintage Rides / Lighting: Zach Downing Productions
This is amazing! Thank you so much for offering the magazines as an online version. I just discovered SW a year ago and love your blog even though I’m neither married nor engaged. Being able to browse through SWV7 on my lunch break today made my day!