Wow lovely readers – if you are a fan of outdoor weddings, or just pure magic, then we have such a gorgeous treat for you today.
Laura and Alex were married in front of their friends and families under the bows of this stunning oak tree. I love festoon lighting and it certainly adds a particular warmth to this magnificent setting but even without it the location is just breathtaking. For me, taking in these images beautifully captured by Stephanie W. Photography, creates an irresistible atmosphere of magic and peace all at once. Call me a hopeless romantic but it seems to be singularly iconic that the tree will be standing long after Laura and Alex have gone: through this spot, their love is eternally remembered in the sheer greatness of the oak and all the history it has already seen.
Other than the incredible setting, which quite honestly I could gush about indefinitely, the whole day is styled beautifully. The bow ties and sequin dresses from the bridal party make this outdoor spot instantly glamorous. The beautiful cake and stunning florals are equally enchanting and I just adore the tribute to the relatives who have passed away but were firmly with Laura and Alex in spirit on their special day.
Reading Laura and Alex’s story is a joy too, they are clearly besotted with each other and it was certainly a perfect, whirlwind romance. As the saying goes, when you know, you know. Laura also offers her words of wisdom and warning for post-wedding blues and how making the most of having all your loved ones together is just the most important part of the day.
I just know you will love this truly magical celebration, if you need me I’ll be pondering all things love and life under the nearest oak tree!
HOW WE MET | Laura’s story: For me, it all began on Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 10 a.m. when Alex and I attended a USA Track and Field planning meeting at the University of North Florida. It was a meeting that I will never forget. I remember it like it was yesterday, down to what we wore; Alex wore khaki pants and a black Jax Sports Council polo and I wore a pair of black pants with a black and white floral blouse. The moment I locked eyes on Alex I knew he was something special. All that to say I didn’t even know his name. I went home that day and said to my mom, “So, I found the guy I am going to marry.” My mom’s reply was, “Well, what is his name?” to which I responded, “Well I don’t really know, but I’m going to find out!”
Alex’s story: For me, it all began on Monday, July 27, 2015, the first day of the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics event, also Laura’s birthday. We had a great conversation and then she invited me to her birthday lunch. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend due to working the track meet. We carried on for a few weeks without exchanging a word until Laura sent me a text message that ultimately changed my life, leading us to our first date at Moxie in Jacksonville, FL. All to say – it has been one heck of a year for the two of us! A year full of memories that will live with us forever, but most importantly a year filled with love, laughter and happiness. We are truly blessed to have found each other and could not be more excited for this next chapter in our lives as husband and wife!
FEELINGS LEADING UP TO THE WEDDING | Laura: Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed about my wedding day. While most young girls can relate to playing “dress up”, as a young girl, I would play “bride”. I would put on my grandmother’s hoop skirt and beautiful gowns, her finest shoes (always selected the Ferragamos and somehow they would always end up scuffed, I am sure it made her sick) and ask her to please play Wagner’s Bridal Chorus. I always referred to it as “the bride song”. She would play this over and over and over again, as I would prance through the living room and think ahead of what my wedding day would be like one day. I will never forget the day my dad and I were driving when I was about 18. We were headed to lunch and I looked over to him and asked, “Can you wait until the day I get married?” He responded, “Yes, because I know I need to save a lot of money.” I got a good laugh from that. But needless to say, everyone close to me knows that I have always dreamed and envisioned my wedding day from the time I could comprehend what the event was. I never knew when the day would come, but when I met Alex, I knew it couldn’t be too far away! I always wanted a magical wedding. Something that was a little different than what people would expect. This is what drew me to the Ribault Club. I was fascinated with the rich history and beautiful natural surroundings. Driving down the road up to the Riabult Club and seeing the beautiful building allows you to almost escape reality. It is so serene and peaceful. Somewhat similar to love at first sight with Alex, I experienced that with our venue.
FEELINGS AFTER THE WEDDING | Each day, for about a week after the wedding, I cried because I was so sad my wedding was over. I put my heart and soul into the planning the six months prior to the wedding and then it was over! It was an interesting feeling and Alex even asked several times if I was sure I was happy that I married him. I assured him YES! I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that the whole process was really just a fun experience. Of course, there were stressful situations, but nothing that wasn’t able to be worked out. I had the pleasure of working with amazing vendors and was surrounded by my closest friends and family members on the most amazing day of my life. I know there are so many wonderful milestones to look forward to with Alex, but our wedding day will forever remain one of our very favorite days. My suggestion to brides-to-be is to enjoy the planning process as much as possible. If there are days you feel close to a meltdown, put things away. They will be there tomorrow. Time flies way too fast to not take in a soak up each and every moment. Hug your significant other, smile, laugh, and hold tight as you embark on one of the most amazing journeys you will embark on in your life – it is all so worth it!
WEDDING FUNNIES | Alex and I practiced running through our ceremony a few times. I was convinced we both had it down and would dominate our “speaking parts”. During the ceremony and the marriage and vows, we were asked to repeat after my uncle (our priest). Of course, they try to break the sentences up, so it isn’t too much to remember and repeat. My uncle began announcing the lines Alex was to repeat and he paused for a hot second, literally a normal pause between a sentence, and Alex jumped ahead and started repeating the line. My uncle said, “Well, I wasn’t done, but I guess you are just really eager and ready to marry her.” Everyone got a nice little laugh from this. When it came time for the exchange of rings, we obviously didn’t practice this enough, because my uncle held out the rings in the palm of his hand and Alex grabbed his own ring. We quietly tried to tell him he needed to put it back, take my ring and hold it to place on my hand. It took him a second to process this, so naturally our guests were able to realize what was going on!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Stephanie W. Photography
Cake Designer | Classic Cakes
Floral Designer | Floriade Florist
Tuxedo and Mens’ Attire | JoS A. Bank
Shoes | Kate Spade
Makeup Artist | Makeup by Paulina Perez
Dress Designer | Paloma Blanca
Floral Designer | PRI Productions
Reception Venue | Ribault Club
Photo Booth Equipment | The Bloom Box
Caterer | The Chef’s Garden
Invitation Designer | The Write Touch
Jewelry | Underwood Jewelers
DJ | Y? Entertainment
Wow wow wow. Thank you so much to Laura and Alex for sharing your magical day with us, truly stunning. Petra x