The day before our wedding I was faced with a decision….tent or no tent. Thankfully I had put a tent on reserve several months prior knowing that having your wedding outdoors means you better have a rain plan. That Friday before I was sitting in the salon and watched the chance of rain go from 30% to 80% in about a five minute time frame…..decision made…..tent. Sure I was bummed that our wedding wasn’t going to be exactly as I had planned, but after about 15 minutes of being bummed I got over it. I knew I had a wonderful team in place that was going to make all the necessary changes and our day was still going to be beautiful. The day of the wedding it was slightly overcast with sun breaks throughout the day. The silver lining was that it kept the temperature down, there was a nice cool refreshing breeze, and the cloud cover provided beautiful diffused lighting for pictures.
The tent I had put on reserve was not the tent that got used however. I’m not a fan of the frame tent with all the framing exposed underneath and the liners for such a large frame tent are insanely priced. So some last minute decorating changes had to happen, but my amazing wedding planner Christina Gillon really came through and made it a space that she knew I would love.
In the end it didn’t rain a drop the entire day. It wasn’t until literally everyone was home later that evening around 11pm that the skies just opened up! We were incredibly fortunate with the weather we had, and when all was said and done the tents were a blessing. Our whole day was filled with laughter, smiles, tears of joy and all our friends and family pulling together to make the day run smoothly. Justin and I were in our own little bubble. This awesome little blissful bubble where all I saw was him and how happy we both were…..it was perfection.
I was really happy how our welcome table came together. Having splurged on my first choice of invitation designer I knew I was going to have to do some DIY. I ended up making the menu, seating chart, programs and place cards.
Justin found these great Fuji max mini Polaroid cameras that we provided for guests to take fun snapshots of each other, stick them in our sign in book and write their well wishes next to their picture. It’s one of my favorite keepsakes from our big day!
In the South you can’t have a wedding with out some iced tea! I wanted guests to be able to drink and stay hydrated from the very beginning of our event so we had a lemonade and tea stand set up right outside the ceremony tent.
I found these adorable heart straws and knew they would be perfect for our tea and lemonade stand.
Below: Our ring bearers Eli and Tre hanging out before the ceremony, aren’t they so darling!
I love Steven’s face in this picture! All the guys were so much fun and kept Justin laughing all day.
The Grandmas:) Maria was escorted by Justin’s groomsman Chuy and my Grandmother Anne was escorted by my God Father and Uncle Chuck Grayson.
The mamas! Mama Gigi was escorted by Justin’s God Father Jim Giesey, and my Mama is being escorted by her brother my Uncle Chuck.
Miss Anne and Miss Miranda.
The lovely Miss Jenn and Ms. Amanda.
My beautiful sister and maid of honor Miss Mallory Anne.
The boys were so great! Tre was a little confused as to why he had to carry the pillow if there wasn’t even a ring on it…..he had a point;)
Lainy was so precious and also did a great job. She smiled and held her flower and as soon as she saw her dad (the best man) she made a bee line straight for him. It was so cute and gave the guests a little giggle.
I was so thrilled to have found Joseph MacKenzie. He is a bagpiper who lives in Florida and shares my families last name. He wore the MacKenzie family tartan which was a wonderful nod to my Father’s Scottish heritage. As soon as he started playing the tears started flowing. I had held it together the whole day but the second I heard the pipes I lost it! I was trying so hard not to ugly cry down the isle! I kept telling myself smile, don’t contort your face…ugh it was no use;)
We were all a hot mess! I was just so happy, and when I saw Justin tearing up….I was done!
Justin and my Dad planned this special handshake which was a surprise to me and everyone else. It was adorable!
We did a hand blessing or a hand fasting which is a Celtic marriage ritual that refers to “tying the knot.” We used a sash made of our families tartan that my mother made and had embroidered with our initials. Also we didn’t have a groom’s side and a bride’s side, we let people sit wherever they wanted for the ceremony.
My Uncle Chuck did a reading of one of my favorite quotes about marriage from the movie Shall We Dance: “We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things, all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go unwitnessed because I will be your witness’.” He did a wonderful job!
Another tip: Mic your groom! Whether your wedding is inside or outside, it doesn’t matter, you should be mic’d! As well as your officiant. I’ve been to so many weddings where no one could hear what the bride and groom were saying, which totally defeats the purpose right!? You invited them there to witeness your vows! It cost maybe $50 extra for our DJ to set that up for us and it’s just a small black clip on mic that the groom can fit on his lapel. After all you don’t want to be shouting your vows at each other;)
Also I want to take a moment to say how lovely our officiant was. I found June online and instantly knew she was the perfect fit for us. We had a few phone conversations and I was so thrilled to book her because I knew she would give us the perfect balance between a spiritual ceremony and a romantic ceremony. She is just the nicest person you’ll ever meet and extremely professional. She tailored the ceremony to fit our wants and needs and really made our ceremony come to life. Thank you June!
One of the many reasons why I love him so much, he makes me laugh, everyday!
All week long we kept saying that our wedding was really a cute baby convention! Cute babies everywhere! This is Chuy and his daughter Maddie and little Noah on the right hanging out during cocktail hour.
Below: The wonderful Riddle family and my cousin Megan’s daughter Madison on the dance floor looking so darn cute!
I wanted to have these star lanterns hanging over the dining tables and I think they turned out so amazing. They were one of my favorite design elements of the reception as well as the black and white dance floor. A money saving tip for you brides out there, reuse the chairs from your ceremony for your reception, you will save a ton!
Our first dance as man and wife was to “That’s Where It’s At,” by Sam Cooke.
My Dad and I danced to “Sweet Baby James,” by James Taylor. When I was a kid my Dad used to sing that song to me before bed.
Mama Gigi and Justin danced to “Forever Young,” by Rod Stewart.
My Dad made a great welcome speech before dinner. He had us all laughing, he did a great job:)
The food was SOOO GOOD!! Our caterer Townsend Catering was incredible. We had an amazing mixed field green salad with fresh strawberries, grapes, fresh berries, dried cherries, candied pecans, Gorgonzola cheese and raspberry vinaigrette dressing.
The main course was crab cakes with a roasted corn relish, sliced beef tenderloin with port wine sauce and roasted asparagus with crispy prosciutto and shallots with vermouth reduction…..YUMMY!
Our beautiful cakes were made by the super talented Sugar Lilly Bake Shop. I knew I wanted three smaller cakes instead of one large cake and I gave them our colors and an idea of what I was looking for. Then I told them to have fun with it! Letting your vendors take your vision and make it their own will always give you the best results. The white cake with white peonies was coconut flavored with coconut buttercream, the three tiered cake in the center was salted caramel with salted caramel buttercream and the orange and pink cake was pink lemonade with pink lemonade buttercream….yummy! We also chose to have mini raspberry cheesecakes and key lime pies that were gone in less than a minute!!
Mallory gave the best speech, it really was so perfect. She had everyone laughing and crying all within a two minute time frame. The ninja and his princess loved it Mallory, thank you!
John Owens, the best man, also gave a wonderful speech. He had everyone laughing hysterically and it was filled with sentiment and great old stories. He put a lot of thought and effort into it and everyone loved it, thank you John!
We chose not to have a videographer. Justin was not comfortable with the idea of being filmed and the pictures were the most important to me. Instead we invested in two Sony video cameras that we had a few friends throughout the day film certain parts for us. Thank you Lloyd and Andy for the ceremony footage! During the reception a few friends passed it around to get the main reception events and it was great to see the reception from different points of view. We have the memories which is great, and all we really wanted as far as video was concerned. Plus we now own these great little cameras that take wonderful pictures and video!
We cut our cake to “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” by Stevie Wonder and we used the same knife that my parents used to cut their cake on their wedding day. My sweet mama had our names and our wedding date engraved on the handle alongside theirs. Justin was so cute. He was concerned that we hadn’t practiced this. I gave a little giggle and told him I think I could handle it;)
I loved how the star lanterns really made the whole tent glow once it got dark.
Our DJs were from Gulf Talent Services and they were so so so great! They were incredibly professional, stuck to the playlist, kept the party going, and never messed up a song or a que. Really I couldn’t have asked for anything more! We had the best experience with them from start to finish, I would recommend them every time!
……and trust me, we got our dance on!
My girls Anne and Summer getting down with some Journey…..it’s not a wedding without at least one Journey song!!
Vanilla Ice dance showdown!
Some of our wonderful friends, Susan, Allan and Blessing. So happy they all came!!
I was trying to aim for a few certain people, in dark blue…wink wink.
My cousin Mike’s girlfriend Lindsay was the lucky winner….still waiting on that invite Mike;)
My sweet Grandma Grayson and my Dadda, and Justin and I with our godson Gavin (Lainy’s little brother).
Below: The next day after the wedding was Mother’s day so we had a special Mother’s day dance towards the end of the night. It was really special.
Our amazingly wonderful friends and family that made the trek all the way to Florida for us! We love you guys!!
Rosemary Beach doesn’t allow fire so no sparkler exit for me. I found these great streamers, but it took a few seconds for people to figure out how to use them….I just started cracking up. By then we were a little toasty and for some reason the look on everyone’s faces trying to figure out the streamers just killed me. It was an awesome exit, everyone got really into it:)
I just want to thank all our vendors again for such a wonderful day. I knew I was in good hands and everyone went above and beyond to make it the perfect day for Justin and I. Another huge thank you to our photographer KT Merry and her husband Chad. You both worked so hard for us. Your extra care and effort didn’t go unnoticed. From moving the cake table to get the perfect shot, dreaming up the bike on the beach shots, to staying late into the evening. You two really made my photo dreams come true. I can never thank you enough.
Lastly, thank you again to our wonderful family and friends. It wouldn’t have been a wedding without all of you. Mom and Dad thank you for making our dream wedding a reality, and thank you to everyone for taking the time and spending the money to come to Rosemary. Cheers!