Destination I Do
Friday, April 8, 2011

This Real-Life Couple Created a Destination Wedding Full of Southern Seaside Charm

Words by Courtney Kellar
Words by Courtney Cox
Photos courtesy of Dana Goodson Photography

Today’s real-life destination wedding couple took their nuptials to the coast for a southern, summer affair. For Laura and Lawson there was only one place in the world they could see themselves starting their lives together – Amelia Island Plantation, Florida. The Atlanta couple said they wouldn’t have held their destination wedding anywhere else and the location proved to be a strong pick.

Lawson grew up taking family vacations to Amelia Island and when he and Laura starting dating, it quickly became their favorite vacation spot. Many of their guests had never been to Amelia Island before, so the couple’s wedding became an opportunity to not only share their union with their closest loved ones, but one of their favorite destinations.

Laura and Lawson said planning their destination wedding was relatively simple with the help of vendor referrals and a few weekend trips to their destination.

“When we knew we would be making a trip, we tried to schedule as many of the appointments as we could so we could get a lot done,” says the couple. “The internet makes planning destination weddings so much easier as well.”

The day of, Laura and her bridesmaids looked stunning. Laura wanted a summer, southern feel to her entire wedding and the yellow color scheme was a perfect fit. Laura wore a gown by Priscilla of Boston and her bridesmaids looked lovely in J. Crew dresses and necklaces from Anthropologie which were a gift from the bride.

The ceremony and reception took place at Walker’s Landing at Amelia Island Plantation. The couple exchanged vows next to the water and in the shade of an enormous, beautiful tree. The wedding went off without a hitch – largely due to this couple’s amazing organizational skills! Laura and Lawson did a lot of the wedding’s details themselves and had plenty of DIY projects.

“Over half of our centerpieces were DIY,” says the couple. “We did have a florist put flowers on about 1/3 of the tables for some height and to break up the monotony. But, in order to save money, we put together the rest of the centerpieces ourselves!”

The couple really did a great job of staying on budget and getting creative to ensure that their southern, summer vision came to life. They also had a day-of coordinator that made sure vendors knew where to be on W-day. Family also played a large part in the entire wedding weekend being a success.

“When it came to the wedding weekend, my dad rented a cargo van and packed it full of all the items we needed from Atlanta such as our welcome bags for guests, fans, favors and many odds and ends,” says Laura. “We definitely had to be organized!”

The couple really wanted their guests to feel appreciated and have an amazing time while visiting Amelia Island for their wedding. Lawson arranged a golf tournament the Friday before the wedding and the couple brought in one of their favorite bands from Georgia, Bobby Moore and the Rhythm Aces, to provide amazing live music all night long.

Laura and Lawson believe they spent the same or less money on their destination wedding as they would have on a hometown wedding. All the DIY projects not only allowed them to stay on budget, but it ensured they got exactly the feel they were after for their W-day. They have some advice for other couples planning a destination wedding.

“Make your destination wedding special to you and your fiancé,” says the couple. “Make it your own and include ideas that are unique to you as a couple. When you have a destination wedding, most likely your guests that travel to be there are the people closest to you in your life and it’s a great time to be able to share cherished memories with each other. Have FUN!”

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