Says Emily, “Ever since I was a little girl, I had wanted to get married on the beach. My family would vacation in St. Pete Beach every year for spring break while I was growing up and I would see so many weddings on the beach that looked absolutely magical and couldn’t imagine anything better. I wanted our wedding color palette to match the colors of the beach – all shades of blue, white, gold, and some soft pink and yellow accents. My vision was to have a fairly casual, intimate wedding that would be a party/vacation for everyone who came. The venue perfectly matched that style with a beach bar located right next to the reception area so it was definitely a fun atmosphere.
Since we were getting married in Florida in June, I knew everyone would need comfortable, cool attire. All the members of our wedding party lived in different cities (including a couple overseas), so I also knew it would be pretty difficult to get everyone to match. I gave my bridesmaids four or five paint swatches and let them pick their own dress within the color scheme. As for my dress, I knew I wanted something delicate and flowy to keep me cool, so the chiffon skirt and beaded straps were exactly what I was looking for.
The wedding flowers were one area where we decided to save instead of splurge. My mom and I bulk ordered all the flowers from Fifty Flowers online and had them delivered the week of the wedding. I had a vision of big garden roses, eucalyptus, and palm leaves. We filled in with white lisianthus and freesia. During the day before the rehearsal dinner, all of the bridesmaids and their moms got together and we made our own bouquets and the centerpieces. Thankfully my mom had done a lot of YouTube research and a few practice runs so that our bouquets all turned out amazing!
One of our favorite moments was our first look. We were both so nervous beforehand and I knew we were both going to cry! We each wrote letters to each other that we read after our first look and it was the perfect start to the rest of the day.
Emily & Tanner’s Love Story | We met during one of our first weeks at college when we sat next to each other in class. We soon found out we had mutual friends and would hang out as just friends almost every weekend for the whole school year. A few weeks before class ended for the summer, we both realized we wanted to be more than friends and decided to try a long-distance relationship over the summer until school started up again in the fall. We dated for three years before Tanner popped the question! We both knew pretty early on in our dating relationship that we wanted to get married and had agreed we would get engaged before summer 2016 was over. Every time we went out on a date or took a trip somewhere, I was expecting a proposal, but it never came! Summer was starting to wind down and some friends of ours had planned to come visit for a weekend. Tanner had just bought a new GoPro and suggested we go explore downtown before meeting our friends for drinks. We walked all over the city and I was feeling a little left out since Tanner was so focused on taking pictures (little did I know he was just nervous!). We finally walked through some beautiful gardens with a fountain in the middle, and Tanner suggested we get a video of ourselves throwing pennies to make a wish in the fountain. We both threw our pennies in and when I turned around, he was down on one knee! He got the entire thing on video and even hired photographers to capture the moment. After we left the gardens, he had a whole ‘engagement’ playlist he created full of our favorite songs. I thought we were still headed to meet up with our friends who were coming to visit, but when we arrived at the restaurant, all our friends and family were there for a celebration dinner that he planned!
Just about all of our decorations were DIY! Since we had a fairly small wedding, the task was a little easier to tackle and maintain quality. One of my favorite DIY items was the gold pineapples on the guest tables! We bought a bunch of pineapples from the grocery store and spray painted them gold! It was a cheap way to make a big statement on the tables.
I love coffee, and Tanner loves donuts, so we decided to give both away as favors! We picked up some coffee grounds and mini donuts from the grocery store and packaged them up the week before the wedding. Tanner even designed the cute little labels! Since we weren’t having a day-after brunch for our destination wedding, we thought this would be a good way for guests to use the favors as breakfast the next day! We wanted something small and simple as a sweetheart cake. My aunt used to own her own bakery so asking her to make the cake was an easy decision! We stuck to classic white almond frosting with a few flowers on top and a gorgeous cake topper. ‘Better Together’ is also the song I walked down the aisle to!
Emily’s advice? My biggest piece of advice would be to ask your friends and family for help! I definitely could not have planned a wedding by myself and did not have all the talents that the people closest to me do. People love weddings – especially when it’s someone close to them! Some of my family friends said that the wedding was more fun for them since they were involved throughout the whole process or got to see a project they helped with come to life.
Credits: Photography: The Ganeys | Ceremony Venue: Postcard Inn on the Beach | Reception Venue: Postcard Inn on the Beach | Event Planning: Postcard Inn on the Beach | Floral: DIY by Bride’s Mom | Stationery: DIY by Groom | Videography: Sunshine City Films | Wedding Cake: DIY by Bride’s Aunt | Hair: KyleLynn Weddings | Makeup: KyleLynn Weddings | Engagement Ring: James Allen | Wedding Ring: Christopher’s Fine Jewelry | Band: Matt Winter Band | Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab | Wedding Dress: Stacey’s Bridal | Bride’s Shoes: Aerosoles | Bridesmaid Dresses: Mismatched | Veil: Bel Aire Bridal | Headpiece: taken from mom’s veil