Pure Romance in Rosemary BeachWords by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Pure 7 Studios
Brian and Ali didn’t immediately decide on a destination wedding. In fact, they spent the beginning of their engagement planning a hometown affair. Alas, a wedding away was the better fit for these lovebirds. “Our wedding we began to plan locally was not fitting in our budget,” explains the bride. “The location we wanted and the 300+ guest list was not meshing well. So, we decided to have a destination wedding and it was honestly the best decision we could have made!”
Much like the couple, their family wasn’t immediately sold on the idea of a destination wedding. “At first, our family was a little skeptical about it all, but once we showed them pictures and they saw our excitement, they were all in for it,” says Ali. “Our friends were beyond excited! They love any chance for a getaway.” Once the couple decided to take an alternative route for their nuptials, they had to pick exactly where in the world they would say, “I do.”
“In truth, we chose Rosemary Beach because I knew someone that had gotten married there and instantly fell in love with the amazing character and architecture of the town through their wedding pictures,” says the bride. “It’s just the cutest place ever! We had never been to Rosemary Beach before we booked it, but eventually got up for a visit and were beyond pleased with our choice.”
In terms of travel logistics, the couple’s chosen destination wasn’t quite as close as their loved ones had been hoping for. “We had several complaints from family and friends about the distance to get there (it’s a seven hour drive from our hometown of Jupiter and not the easiest flight route), but it’s safe to say that now everyone would go back for a visit in a heartbeat. I would say out of our 135 guests, half drove and half flew. We had friends and family in from all over the country.” From the sound of things, it was good that Ali and Brian stuck to their guns about their decisions.
Once the “when and “where” were decided, the couple really got to planning the wedding of their dreams. Due to the bride’s background as an event planner, they didn’t hire a professional wedding planner and relied on their venue and photographer’s vendor suggestions. As a bonus, Ali’s mom is a florist and not only provided the gorgeous florals for the day, but a friend to serve as a day-of coordinator.
Overall, the couple was happy with their entire vendor team. “We had such a nice, fun, accommodating group of vendors we worked with that in the end it felt like we had made new friends. We did take a trip about two months after we booked our wedding and met with our photographers, caterer and staff at Rosemary Beach. It was so fun to put faces to names and spend time with them going over our vision and getting their input.”
Not surprisingly, Ali herself got creative when it came to designing certain aspects of the big day. “I created all of the menus, programs, table numbers and place cards. I do calligraphy as well, so I was able to incorporate that skill into much of the wedding details.”
When we asked the couple how they felt about changing their mind and opting for a destination wedding instead of a hometown wedding, they explained that the decision had pros and cons. Thankfully, the good far outweighed the bad! “We definitely spent more than our parents would have probably liked for our destination wedding (thanks, parents!), but by doing a destination wedding we cut our guest list by about 150 people…so that saved us some money! [With a hometown wedding], we would have had to sacrifice a lot of our wishes. By doing it away from home we downsized our big day, but didn’t have to skimp on décor or details we really envisioned having.”
It’s no surprise that the couple looks back on their wedding fondly. “It was an amazing experience and just the most fun week of our lives. Who doesn’t want to go on a vacation with 135 of your closest friends and family? We took over the town! It was surreal to be riding our bikes down the street in this vacation town and pass our aunts/uncles, parents’ friends or our best friends walking down the road. It was a blast to enjoy becoming newlyweds with all our loved ones.”
In the end, Ali and Brian pulled off the destination wedding of their dreams! We asked the bride and professional event planner what advice she would offer other couples currently planning a wedding away. Not surprisingly, she had some very helpful advice:
“Don’t overthink things. It is far too easy to get caught up on the little details that honestly no one ever notices. Choose a few of your favorite details and stick to those. Don’t go on Pinterest too much – it fills your brain with so many pretty things and it can be overwhelming. Most of all…make your decisions and stick with them. Don’t change them or go back unless you absolutely have to! Oh, and have TONS of fun planning and actually being at your wedding because we PROMISE you will seriously miss it once it’s over and you will want to relive it again and again.”
Vendors: Photography: Pure 7 Studios, Ceremony/Reception Site: Rosemary Beach Town Hall/St. Augustine Green, Florist: Southern Floral Company, Stationery: Smitten on Paper, Hair: Justin & Greg’s Beauty Loft, Makeup: Lanna Bloodworth, Gown Designer: Truvelle from Wildeflower Boutique in West Palm Beach, Groom’s Clothing Designer: The Black Tux, Bridesmaids/Groomsmens’ Clothing Designer: Joanna August/The Black Tux, Catering: Townsend Catering, Rentals: Townsend Catering and H&M Rentals, Band: The Atlanta Pleasure Band
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