Haleigh Nicole Photography shares with us this adorably loving intimate wedding held in Melbourne, FL. This Bride has a lot of advice to share and her story below is full of inspiration for the DIY Bride!
Emily and Jonathan met through his cousin while Emily was going to school at Savannah College of Art and Design. They reconnected when she moved back to Satellite Beach, FL and have been together since! He proposed with her great grandmother's ring on Valentine's Day while they were visiting an elephant refuge.
Emily and Jonathan had their wedding at their home church in Melbourne, FL, Hope Episcopal Church, during the Advent season. They went with a Christmas theme and had accents of red, green, and silver. All of the decor was DIY by Emily, her family, and her friends. During the ceremony, her matron of honor's husband, a family friend, and her father played original songs for Emily.
Emily is a professional seamstress and knew exactly what she DIDN'T want, but the final gown was a complete surprise to her. She altered the dress herself and altered all the bridesmaid dresses. She was even working on them on her wedding day when one of the bridesmaids was having issues with it.
Emily and Jonathan are the sweetest couple and had a gorgeous December wedding.
Q: Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?
A: Our wedding was at our church, Hope Epsicopal, during the season of Advent (Christmas), so we chose to go with a sort of Christmas Party feel. Lot's of greenery and red accents and silver as our metal of choice. We had Eucharist during our ceremony to celebrate our first meal as a married couple in the form of communion.
Q: Let's talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?
A: ALL of our decor was DIY. The ENTIRE day before the wedding my family and friends were at the church setting up. We ordered fabric and I cut it into strips which we then woven together and draped from the ceiling to create a soft white lighting and some dimenson in the space. We also bought greenery and placed it around vases with candles as the center pieces and tucked white roses in last minute to add some freshness. We rolled all of the silverware and tied them with a bow holding a candy cane. I also made all my own favors and signs for around the room.
Q: What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?
A: We went for a simple style for our flowers. White roses, greenery (cedar mostly) , small berries, and red ribbons. My bouquets were round and compact as I am a small girl and wanted them to feel proportional. Overall, the flowers were simple but brought in some white lightness to the bouquets, boutonnieres, and center pieces. We also used some on our cake.
Q: Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
A: My favorite part of the day (besides vows) was during communion when my father got up to play with the band. Our band was made up of two family friends of ours, one of whom is married to my matron of honor. They played original songs and during communion my father joined them on my favorite one. Hands down the sweetest part of my day.
Q: Let's talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.
A: I am actually a professional seamstress and have worked on wedding gowns for about 4 years now. I was currently working for Elda's Bridal Boutique when I chose my dress so my experience was different than most. I had seen all of our dresses on so many different women so narrowing it down was actually easier. I knew what I didn't want. My boss, Kristine, was awesome and made the process easy. When I came out and my mom and both grandmas were crying I knew it was the one. My dress was NOT at all what I thought I would get. Being a petite woman I thought I wanted a fitted dress and the dress I chose is quite large. It's a full Tulle ballgown with a horsehair hem that has multiple layers and different lengths. The neckline was a pleated sweetheart and I added a pearl and sparkle belt onto a sash so I could have a large bow on the back. For the groom it was easy. We knew we wanted the classic tux, it was actually his only request. So all we had to do was decide on which one which went rather quickly once we picked a budget etc.
Q: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
A: We met through my best friend Gabriella, who just happens to be the grooms cousin. He came up to visit her one weekend with her brother and I was there with her and we met. We reconnected a few months later when I moved back to my hometown which is where he happened to be living too! The next year, on the weekend following Valentine's day, he proposed. I have an obsession with elephants, like, and unhealthy one, and we planned a trip to an elephant refuge in central Florida for Valentine's day. I know, romantic. We went to lunch and when we got to the refuge it was raining! We were told we could still do the tour and meet the elephants but that we would not get to feed or ride them as I had hoped. I was bummed but still super excited. After walking around we were standing there under the umbrella observing two elephants playing (one advantage to being there in the rain is that elephants LOVE the rain and are unusually active) and I piped up saying I was going to grab a brochure for our scrapbook and started to walk away when he said "WAIT" and pulled me back in. He asked me "are you happy?" and I responded "yes of course". He asked me "is there anything that could make you happier right now?" and I responded with all seriousness "Are you gonna buy me an elephant??" He laughed and handed me the umbrella before getting down on one knee and asking me to marry him using the ring that belong to my great grandmother. TO which I said yes and promptly showed my new elephant friends my ring.
Q: What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
A: The most anticipated moment was our vows. We wrote our own and had no idea what the other would write. The anticipation was definitely there since the groom is a writer. When the moment finally came there was a lot of emotion and laughter because our vows were so distinctly us.
Q: Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you'd like to share with other couples planning their day?
A: Try not to stress too bad. No one except you has any idea what you have planned so what happens happens and what doesn't doesn't. And at the end of the day you marry the person you love and you get to go on a honeymoon!
Photographer: Haleigh Nicole Photography
Floral Designer: Publix
Other: Chairs for Affairs Party Rentals inc.
Dress Store: Elda's Bridal Boutique
Ceremony Location: Hope Episcopal Church
DJ: Mr. P's DJ Service
Cake Designer: Mathers' Cake Shop
Fashion Designer: Emily's Alterations and Design
Happy Wedding Planning!