“Esther,” Jesse started his vows with a long pause as he just stared at his bride, “You are absolutely… beautiful.” And another long pause as they just soaked in the moment and tears filled Esther's eyes.

That is how photographer husband and wife duo Scarlett & Stephen Photography introduced this wedding.

Jesse was right. In these photos you'll see a truly beautiful bride and her handsome husband, a gorgeously styled wedding {lemon centerpieces, blush pink bridesmaids dresses and guitar boutonnieres anyone?!} and a happy day filled with love and laughter. So you'd never imagine the stress going on behind the scenes leading up to the wedding! Esther explained, Everything that could go wrong, went wrong but in the end the only thing that really mattered was the fact that I was marrying my best friend.

Such a wonderful perspective and so true.

Enjoy these stunning photos and Esther's heart-felt words…

A Meaningful Location

Jesse and I were set up on a blind date and got married on the three year anniversary of that date which happened to fall on 10-10-10. We had our first date at a little restaurant on Beach Drive downtown {St Petersburg, Florida} and sat outside on the pavilion.  We used a spot just a few steps across the street to have our ceremony and said our vows just steps from where we had our first date three years before.

I insisted on having an outdoor location for both the ceremony and reception. We searched and searched for a spot and then found out that the historic hotel across the street from the banyan trees we were married under was in the process of building a new courtyard for events. We had to trust that it would be done in time and it would be right but we went for it and couldn’t be more thrilled with how it turned out.

A Soft Vintage Feel

We had a pretty eclectic theme with our wedding, I gravitated towards anything with a soft vintage feel to it and didn’t really stick to a strict color palette or theme but ended up with lots of yellow and pinks. We worked really hard at collecting and making special details to add our own touch to the details.We used a vintage car to drop my father and I off to walk down the aisle. We handmade our invitations which took WAY too much time but I wanted something really unique with a handmade feel.

{Photo of invitations by Esther Louise Photography ~ yes, Esther is a talented photographer too! Read all about her DIY invitations on her blog.}

Timeless Style

When we talked about it we wanted as timeless of a style as possible so that when we looked back at the pictures it would be hard to tell what era it was done in. The suits were vintage slim cut and we gave the guys skinny ties to give it a 50’s feel. I picked out a dress that had soft lace detailing and hand made a belt out of vintage gray velvet and used buttons from an old dress of my grandmothers to secure it in the back so I’d have something of hers with me.

The bridesmaids dresses we’re a little too short so we found some vintage lace and sewed it into the bottom of the dress and I hand sewed gray belts with a little crystal button.

Including Loved Ones

Our dog Molly walked down the aisle with our flower girl. Molly had a liver disease and wasn’t supposed to live through that week but she perked right up the day before our wedding like she knew it was important to us and now we have beautiful pictures of her sweet little face to remember her now that she’s gone and can cherish the fact that she was a part of it.

My grandfather passed away a short time before the wedding and to remember him at the wedding I left an open seat at the ceremony and wrote a letter to him that was read during the toasts. He had such an impact on my life and my choice in a husband I felt like I wanted to pay tribute to that and wrote a letter thanking him.

It's so wonderful that Molly was able to be there with them on the day.

{After reading about poor little Molly's illness, I have been showering our dog Rufus with lots of attention, taking him on some super long walks and trying my very best not to get so frustrated with him when he snores ~ really loudly!}

Come back tomorrow for lots more loveliness in Part 2 of Esther and Jesse's beautiful wedding…expect to see lots of lemons and bright pops of yellow!