Fabulous Florida NuptialsWords by Sydney Bowen
Photos courtesy of Rae Leytham Photography
David and Natalie wanted their wedding to feel like a casual and intimate family vacation. The bride and groom both grew up spending their summers on the beach along the coast of 30A in Florida, so they knew a coastal destination wedding would be perfect for them.
After deciding on Florida, David and Natalie took a planning trip to help decide where exactly they wanted to tie the knot. “We fell in love with Rosemary Beach right away because of its quaint feel and beautiful architecture,” says Natalie.
Once the couple settled on a location, the rest of the planning began. “We originally wanted to have a wedding of 80-100 people in Rosemary Beach but the stress of making everyone happy was starting to outweigh what the day was supposed to be about,” says Natalie. The couple decided to only invite immediate family and a few close friends.
Despite having to minimize their guest list to relieve some of the stress of planning, their friends and family understood. “Even though a lot of our family and friends weren’t there, everyone was supportive of our decision,” says Natalie. Following their nuptials and honeymoon, the couple held a large party in their hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma to celebrate with those who weren’t in attendance.
The rest of David and Natalie’s planning process involved minimal stress and was enjoyable for the two. “The experience of planning a destination wedding was easy due to our amazing wedding planner and vendors,” says Natalie. “Everyone was very attentive to our needs and made the process very fun and stress-free.”
Wedding planner Stephanie Tate, with Savoir-Faire Weddings, was familiar with all of the couple’s selected vendors. “Since she had worked with them before, it made everything very seamless,” says Natalie. Natalie also created private wedding boards on Pinterest so all of the vendors could see the vision the couple had for their big day.
David and Natalie traveled to Rosemary Beach once before the wedding to discuss and finalize details. Aside from their in-person visit, they had multiple conference calls with their vendors, coordinated by their planner, to make sure everything was on schedule.
The couple also added their own touch to their wedding with a few do-it-yourself projects. “We made our own place cards for the reception using sprigs of rosemary,” says Natalie. “To do this, we shaped the sprigs of rosemary into a wreath and tied the ends together with a bow of twine.”
When it came time to travel to Florida for their big day, David and Natalie rented two beach houses in Rosemary Beach to accommodate their guests. The bridal party and guests flew into Panama City, and then drove to Rosemary Beach for the festivities to begin.
In the end, choosing a destination wedding was less stressful and less expensive for David and Natalie. “If we had a wedding in Dallas, where we both live, or Oklahoma where we both are from, we would have been inclined to have a larger wedding, in turn, taking away from the relaxed, intimate feel we were both wanting,” says Natalie.
For those who are in the midst of their own wedding planning, Natalie advises, “Never forget what your wedding day is truly about and with all of the opinions from others coming at you, always remember to stay true to what you want.”
Vendors: Photographer: Rae Leytham Photography, Planner: Stephanie Tate with Savoir-Faire Weddings, Ceremony: Rosemary Beach, Reception: Vue on 30A, Florist: Patricia Bilbo with Perfect Day Weddings, Cake: Kim’s Cakes, Hair: Vivo Spa Salon, Gown Designer: Watters, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Jos A. Bank, Bridesmaids Clothing Designer: J. Crew, Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Jos A. Bank.
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