Welcome to another Saturday morning here at WWW. Today’s amazing international wedding is that of Nicole and John, who got married at The Barn at Shady Lane, Alabama on October 8th 2016. I think you’re going to love both the beautiful pictures of their day and the romantic story that goes with it.
These lovebirds really remind me of the saying, “Love isn’t found. It’s built”. They met while they were both on holidays with their families (away from their home states) and worked hard to make their long-term distance relationship succeed. So, needless to say, when it came time for their joyous union, 11 years in the making, they wanted to celebrate in style and kick their heels up with family and friends.
There are just a million little elements that I adore about this wedding. The theme, bohemian organics, was elegantly brought to life with an abundance of fresh florals, including eucalyptus to give a fresh outdoor scent; incredible DIY features like the wooden calligraphy signs; and of course, by the venue itself. Nicole largely took charge of all of the DIY projects and might I say, she did a fantastic job. I am IN LOVE with Nicole’s dress and loose braid hairstyle, as well as the entire bridal party’s look.
The black-and-white photo of the deliriously happy bride and groom on the dance floor took my breath away. That meaningful embrace and John’s facial expression make it look like they’re the only two in the room, despite the excited guests watching on in the background.
Thank you so much, Be Light Photography, for sharing these lovely photographs with us today.
FROM THE COUPLE |
Looking back at our big day, the number one question we have been asked from friends and family is “What was the best part or favorite memory of the day?” and I have to say it’s so hard to truly pick one thing, especially when this moment is something that we have been waiting for over 11 years. Our relationship started out being long distance. We met in Myrtle Beach on vacation while both separately travelling with our families (John from Tennessee and myself from Maryland). The first seven years were all long distance. It took not only a lot of love, but a lot of work. So we knew that when we got to the point of marriage, that it would be a huge CELEBRATION, especially symbolizing that long distance can work if both people involved give 110% equally.
So, when it came to planning this long-awaited day, we knew that we wanted it to really represent our history and style as a couple. It had to be inviting, organic, laid back and had to take place in our favorite season – FALL! With us both having family and friends all over the United States coming, we decided to have it in our current home of Birmingham, Alabama. We found this charming location called the Barn at Shady Lane. This location was truly a blank canvas with an organic flair that would allow us to bring our sense of bohemian style to it. The design for our big day was “Bohemian Organics”. Most brides have a planner or design team that can assist them on their big day and it was not in our cards to be able to afford that. So, throughout the whole wedding process, we really wanted to show not only ourselves but other brides that with hard work, research and a lot of DIY, you could pull off a dream wedding for under $15,000 or less! To achieve that budget we used a lot of local resources in our own community. In the design process, we both picked out the most important things to us. So, we made a master list. Here it is:
BRIDES MUST HAVES: 1. Pink Persian rug (AHH) 2. Greenery 3. Antique gold accents 4. Killer band.
GROOMS MUST HAVES: 1. Open Bar (typical guy) 2. Great food 3. Great music.
Leading up to the wedding, John and I can both agree that we did not have any nerves or stress because this was a celebration in our eyes, something we had waited for over 11 years, so we both were more than ready. We had a great group of people surrounding us, especially in our wedding party, that was mixed with friends who had known us over the entire relationship and some only 3 years into knowing. Our officiant was actually not only John’s best man, but a dear friend of his he had known since preschool. So, the sense of comfort was deff a big vibe throughout our entire day.
So number one advice we can give when planning your wedding day is “surround yourself with positive people and remember this day is not about the material things but, the love that makes everything possible.” DIY was a huge part of our day, all the florals (including bridal bouquet, wedding party bouquet, and ceremony/ reception greenery) was done by the bride (yours truly)! I wanted the flowers to be organic and feel wild so, I purchased the fresh eucalyptus from our local Trader Joes and colourful stems from Wholefoods. When you walked into our ceremony, the smell of the fresh eucalyptus greeted you as it was adorned on all the tables, chairs and bar front, it gave you a sense of being outside and not in a barn. We also made all the wedding signage that was placed throughout the ceremony/reception areas. As guests came into our wedding they were greeted with fun, upbeat, acoustic music that was played by a local band here in Birmingham. We walked down the aisle to Bob Marley’s “Is This Love” and walked out to David Bowie’s “Fame”. Both not typically ceremony music but, remember this was our day !
Our wedding party looked amazing too, the groom and groomsmen wore navy blue suits from Michael Kors and Vince Camuto. When it came to myself and the ladies I wore this beautiful light ivory dress from Haley Paige which right when I put it on I knew it was keyword “the one” and my bridesmaids wore long ivory gowns that they were allowed to pick since, let’s be real, all women have different shapes and we wanted to make sure everyone was comfortable. So, the light ivory, strong navy and surrounding greenery really all tied in together perfectly.
So, in answer to our number one question “ what was the best part of our wedding?” we both would agree the reception because as we sat down together eating with everyone, we looked around and took in all the hard work we had put into this big day. The band was bumping under our lighted marquee signs, the food was an awesome (southern / Italian) spread sourced locally, open bar was flowing and our guests were all mingling and dancing together. It was honestly a successful laid back bohemian wedding but, I’ll never forget at the reception right before cake cutting John and I looked at each other and smiled. It was one of those moments that I will never forget because our smiles said it all. It said, “Hey, look where we are, how far we made it through good and bad moments and who is all here to celebrate with us”! There is actually a picture that our photographers caught where John and I are sitting in our chairs sharing a kiss and we both LOVE this picture because we gave each other that kiss right after that very smile. So, was our wedding EVERYTHING we pictured? YES, IT WAS! It was fun, stress-free, laid back, bohemian, organic, adorned with greenery and antique gold accents, had a killer band, open bar, great food, and let’s not forget that beautiful pink Persian rug!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHH.
Truly a blessed day filled with friends and family who have had nothing but faith in us and our success as a couple for many years and many more to come! So, thanks for reading about what made our day truly OUR DAY and to all those new brides out there planning their day, just remember that “only you as a couple know what’s important and what it will take to make your day truly YOUR day! “ XOXOXO Nicole and John Guidara.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Be Light Photography
Beauty | Emily Walton Hair & Makeup
Bakery | Feast and Forest
Event Venue | The Barn at Shady Lane
Floral Designer | Trader Joes
Dress Store | Village Bridal
Huge congratulations to you, Nicole and John. I hope that you cherish the memories of your celebration and continue to build a strong partnership in the years to come. Nicole, I wouldn’t be surprised if DIY crafting was in your future somehow too! Abby xx