Chic Weddings/Cultural Weddings

Seaside & Sequins; Gorgeous Florida Wedding

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Any real wedding with a getaway boat sounds like a cool one to me, but that was just the finishing touch on Sarah & Austin’s beautiful Florida wedding.

The high school sweethearts, who now live in the Northwest, returned to their home state to say their vows by the sea in Pensacola. And it was an entirely gorgeous occasion.

The couple and their bridal party wore chic, yet classic attire, with Sarah in a stunning Sottero & Midgley gown with floral embellishment and a romantic vintage style veil. And Austin rocking a slate grey suit (and a massive smile – the first look is particularly sweet!).

Their decor paid homage to their waterside backdrop with sea shells and driftwood, while sequin linens and gold touches gave an air of glamour. As for the flowers, their planner Supposey gave a romantic, fine art feel to the day with luxe blooms.

Make sure you head over to watch their sweet wedding film which we shared this morning, but first up, get set to swoon over these stunning photographs by the super talented Alp & Isle – along with Sarah & Austin’s love story, the inspiration behind their wedding, and how they laced the bride’s Filipino culture throughout their day.

And the getaway boat, don’t forget about that!

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Our Love Story

From the groom: We met in high school through mutual friends.  After months of flirting, Sarah asked me to prom on a whim and then we began officially dating.

We stayed together through college and grad school, and after 10 years, decided it was time to get married.

From the bride: Austin woke me up before sunrise on a misty morning in August. He had burned me a mix CD of romantic songs (like we used to do all the time for each other when we first began dating).

We drove two hours away to Crabtree Falls in the Blue Ridge Mountains. We took a quiet hike and he asked me to marry him as the sun was coming up.

It was one of the most magical moments of my life.

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Our Wedding

We knew we wanted to tie in the ocean to our wedding, as that was a big part of our childhood growing up in Florida. That being said, we never imagined having a beach wedding.

We found such a special venue in Palafox Wharf, as it was located on the water in historic Pensacola and represented all that we love about our charming little hometown and wanted to share with our guests.

From there, we began looking at different local vendors and found a truly special team who could bring our wedding vision to life.

The inspiration for our wedding really came from the land and sea. I had imagined soft, ethereal colors with lots of grayed jades and slates, as one might find in the water on an overcast day.

I also wanted to incorporate some warmer colors such as peach and blush. I presented these ideas to our planner, Chloe from Supposey, and she made everything happen as far as décor.

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The Styling

In terms of attire, I found my dress on a whim. A local bridal store was having a yearly sale so I went by my lonesome just to see. My dress was maybe the second one I tried on and I knew it was it. I had it altered and had flutter sleeves added, and it really could not have been more perfect.

I knew I wanted to incorporate our colors into the wedding party’s attire, and loved the dusty sage color of the bridesmaids’ dresses. In order to have my sisters stand out, I had them choose long gray gowns in a similar chiffon material. We found Austin’s lovely slate suit from Nordstrom, and the groomsmen got their gray suits from Suit Supply in Washington, DC.

I took on a lot of DIY projects and had a horde of bridesmaids to help me as well. One of my favorite DIYs was the cake topper. Our little pug, Kubrick, couldn’t make it to the wedding and I had to incorporate him somehow!

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The Ceremony

From the bride: One of our favorite moments was the ceremony, which was very personalized. We took great care in picking readings, the best man (Austin’s brother) played “Can’t Help Falling In Love” on guitar, and we wrote our own vows.

I was a sobbing mess during the vows, and couldn’t have imagined it any other way.

It was also very important to me to incorporate some traditions from both my Filipino heritage and his Southern heritage in the wedding.

To that end, we did a veil, coin, and cord ceremony, served halo halo (ice with sweetened condensed milk and various sweet toppings) and Southern food (including fried chicken and shrimp and grits), and had a special dance with bamboo sticks during the reception (the Tinikling) performed by my cousins. I wasn’t expecting it, but a bunch of our guests tried the Tinikling and it was so funny and fun!

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The Photography

I knew it was Emily from the moment I laid eyes on photographs from friends’ weddings. Her whole dreamy aesthetic was the way I always imagined our photographs turning out.

We actually first met with Zach and Emily for our engagement photos and were so relieved with how comfortable and effortless they made the session feel.

We knew that we had picked the right team on that day, and have loved every single photograph captured from our wedding. Neither of us love forced poses in photographs, but rather love intimate, candid moments.

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Advice for Other Couples

A lot of people will give their opinions and advice, but it’s important to keep in perspective that this is about you as a couple.

If we had let others dictate our decisions and plans, our wedding definitely would not have been as personal and felt as right as it did.

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The Honeymoon

Since we were both in graduate school at the time in different states, it was important to us to have a short trip following the wedding.

We headed down to Sanibel Island, Florida for a couple of days following the wedding and it was absolutely wonderful.

We stayed at a seaside inn and spent all of two days riding bikes around the island, eating copious amounts of seafood, drinking wine, and enjoying each other’s company.

We would highly recommend having a honeymoon simply because weddings are so stressful and it’s a treat to actually sit back and enjoy being husband and wife afterwards before being thrown back into reality.

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Favourite Moments

From the groom: Sometimes the most seemingly silly splurges make the best memories. For instance, we toyed with the idea of leaving on a boat from our reception, but thought it might be ridiculous and frivolous.

In the end, we bit the bullet and it was one of the best choices we made. We rode around the bay for an hour and were just able to decompress, take in the salty night air, and enjoy our first moments as husband and wife.

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