Destination I Do
Friday, December 14, 2012

Destination Wedding Florida: Whimsical Seaside DIY

Words by Alicia Clark
Photos courtesy of Kristin Byrum Photography
The decision for Haley and Jake from North Carolina to have a destination wedding was a rather simple one. While the couple briefly entertained the idea of having a close to home wedding in order to accommodate all of their desired guests, the stress of planning such an event caused the couple to rethink having a more traditional wedding. 

“I remember calling Jake on the phone from work, in the middle of a minor panic attack, because I had begun to feel lost in the planning. We’d watched too many friends get caught up in the wedding day and lose sight of the actual marriage and we didn’t want that to be us. We decided that immediate family and closest friends were those we wanted to surround us on our wedding day. We felt like a small destination wedding would allow us to focus more on us and less about the wedding itself.”

Once the decision for a destination wedding was made, the couple’s minds were made up. “Bottom line, a destination wedding was the only thing that made sense for us. So we switched gears and never looked back.” 

After settling on the idea of a destination wedding, Haley was eager to get started looking for a suitable location. When Haley found the Postcard Inn in St. Pete, Florida she knew it was the perfect place. “I ran across the website for Postcard Inn and within five minutes I was on the phone with them trying to reserve a date. With its retro and Antropologie-ish feel, I was sold immediately. It was such a change from the cookie-cutter beach hotels I’d been looking at all day.” The Postcard Inn offered the “perfect mix of modern style and southern charm all bundled into one venue.”

Haley and Jake jumped at the chance to give their wedding a personal touch with homemade pieces, and was able to get the whole family involved at the same time. “My crazy-talented sister made my fabric bouquet (truly one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen made by hand) and all of the boutonnieres using colored fabric and leftover pieces from my dress. Jake’s boutonniere was made specifically for him with a yellow shoelace to pay homage to his extreme shoe fetish. We created our programs as well as the little paper flags we cut out of a road atlas. My friend, Vanessa Long, created our pink and blue bird cake topper with felt (one of my favorite pieces from our wedding). I folded all of the origami paper cranes for the assigned seating using scrapbook paper. My dad helped build a mini mailbox for guests to place their postcards of advice in. I created all of the centerpieces using twigs from my father-in-law’s backyard and scrapbook paper leaves and twine. Practically everything we had for decoration was hand-made.” 

Rethinking the tradition of a set color scheme for her wedding, Haley decided to use whatever colors she liked best. “I had decided from the beginning that there would be no set color theme. I just wanted colors. That made it easier for everything to coordinate more easily."

In order to stay organized, Haley kept a detailed notebook which contained everything from receipts and addresses, to vendors and magazine clippings.

Haley and Jake had an overall very positive experience organizing their wedding. “Because we chose to make our flowers, order pies locally and use the Postcard Inn as the ceremony and reception venue as well as the caterer, we really only had two vendors we were working with. I made one prior visit to St. Pete before our wedding. I was able to coordinate the pies and food tasting at the Postcard Inn within a few hours. The rest of the communication occurred via email." With careful planning, Haley and Jake were able to pull all of the wedding details together in only six months. 

As for advice for any future destination brides out there, Haley had this to say: “It’s okay to make it about you. And I don’t mean you, the bride. I mean you, the couple. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard a bride and groom make a decision based solely on a guest, whether family or friend, I would have enough money to pay our parents back for our wedding. Do I think it’s important to be accommodating? Definitely. Do I think you should do it to the point where you lose a bit of who you are in the process? Heck no. Never intentionally make hurtful decisions. But if there is something about your wedding day that’s stressing you out because you’re afraid of what someone might think…make the decision you want to make and move on."

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