Real Wedding on Florida's Gulf CoastWords by Alexandra Aley
Photos courtesy of Photography by Miranda Stallings
Newlyweds, Annaleigh and Luke, wanted their wedding to feel like a week-long vacation. As frequent visitors of Florida's Gulf Coast, the couple was eager to share their love for the location with friends and family.
“Nothing beats the white sand and clear blue waters on the Gulf Coast for a destination wedding location,” Annaleigh says.
When choosing the destination, the couple says they looked for a venue with an open vendor list so they could have a choice in who to hire. Lucky enough, they stumbled across a spot at Carillon Beach. It was the perfect destination for the couple to tie the knot while guests had an excuse to have a beach vacation!
Planning the wedding with a busy schedule was challenging for Annaleigh. She made the ultimate decision to hire a wedding planner to deal with all the hefty tasks. Wedding Planner, Renne, made sure to take care of everything for the couple. “She worked with my tight schedule and facilitated a full day of meetings with ALL of our vendors! Everything was literally seamless and perfect,” Annaleigh says.
The festivities kicked off with the ceremony at the meeting house in Carillon Beach. The enchanting quaint southern-styled chapel was surrounded by tree branches that framed the windows. The bright green tree leaves hanging from the branches glistened in the sunshine on the lovely spring day. Champagne was served to guests as they entered the ceremony. They sipped from their flukes and waited patiently for it to begin.
Inside the building, guests gathered on both sides of the aisle. The ceremony backdrop, a mix of flowers and foliage, took the shape of a broken arch. Bridesmaids wore navy blue gowns, while the groomsmen finished off their look with black bow ties. The bride strolled down the aisle carrying a glamorous bouquet of white roses and peonies.
The reception was filled with tons of fun. A photo booth saying, “snap it, shake it, sign it” caught lots of attention. The band rocked out next to the checkered dance floor. The couple even added a splash of personalization to the drink menu! “We love to drink this cocktail called, ‘The Botanist,’’ Annaleigh says. “It’s made with Hendricks Gin, St. Germain Elderflower, simple syrup, lemon juice, basil, and cucumber.”
Modern-looking leafy centerpieces draped over the tables, with candlelight brightening up the evening. “Tables and the bar shelves were decorated with small, potted, seasonal herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage) in terra cotta pots,” Annaleigh says. String lights in surrounding tree branches added a romantic touch.
As the reception came to a close, guests lined up on both sides of the street with sparklers. A golf cart ushered the bride and groom away into the evening while guests cheered.
The couple, after having such a wonderful time at their Carillon beach wedding, would like to offer some words of advice.
“Hire a wedding planner. We worked very well together for months leading up to the wedding as we planned all the details-big & small. I did not think about one single thing regarding the ceremony, wedding party, setup, band, cake, food, dress, getaway, photos... not a thing! We rented a large home in Rosemary Beach for the week. It was the perfect way to enjoy downtime during the wedding week with friends and family! We had a blast!,” says Annaleigh.
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