Real Weddings/Rustic Weddings

Colorful Florida Orange Grove Wedding

View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding

Florida & Washington could possibly not be more opposite – in geography, flora, fauna and color scheme. Originally Pacific Northwesterners, now Floridians, this real couple planned a colorful orange grove wedding filled with details representing both their past and future together.

Thanks to her event planning mother (score!) Allyson inserted plenty of personal details and DIY projects in this “destination” wedding. Traveling from the Northwest, their guests were spoiled to not only fabulous weather, but classic orange toasts and familiar apple treats. Rather than goods to stuff back in their carry-ons, the couple nobly donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital – a gesture surely appreciated by all.

The colors, of course, were a unique, tropical sight for all. The scene featured a bright and colorful flower crown for the bride, orange citrus decor and big bold peony bouquets for the ladies, captured so vibrantly by Everence Photography.

View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding
View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding

Our Love Story

Ian and I met in the 4th grade and have been friends ever since. He left our hometown at 15 to pursue his dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer, not leaving us a lot of room to date. He returned one summer to recover from an ankle surgery – he had realized his dream by then – and we reconnected. He was the boy I told all my friends to marry, until I got smart and took my own advice. We met for our first real date at his grandma’s house, eating Chinese food, playing bingo, and going to the town overlook. He’s had my heart in love and friendship from that day forward.

I was traveling solo in Iceland for about a week when Ian arrived. He was delayed by an expired passport, several delayed flights, and a missing suitcase. He made up for his delay by proposing behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall overlooking the raw beauty of the country. We celebrated our proposal alongside Icelandic horses, glaciers, volcanoes, and hot springs – making it one of the most magical and special times in our relationship.

View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding
View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding
View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding

The Dress & Attire

While our venue was an orange grove, the natural landscaping makes the ceremony and reception area feel more like a garden. I knew I wanted a lace gown to match the romantic, natural environment. My bridesmaid dresses had just enough lace for them to match without making an overstatement.

For the groom and groomsmen, we selected a navy suit with blush ties to match the ladies. The navy added a touch of color and contrast without being too formal. The groom selected a unique, floral tie to set him apart from the groomsmen.

For our guests we requested that they dress, “Florida Formal” – that is, “dress nice” but mind the heat. We knew if everyone was comfortable, they’d feel confident.

View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding
View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding
View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding

The Destination

We are both from Washington state and moved to Florida following my husband’s career. We really considered a Washington wedding – but we also knew that planning our wedding was a process we wanted to fully experience and enjoy. Giving our guests a “destination” wedding, one in which we could still taste the food first, fit our vision. We selected our venue because it’s bright colors fit our taste, and it fit our budget. We then built our wedding around our sense of joy and celebration – color, music, bold floral designs, with a touch of Florida sunshine, and smiles everywhere.

We knew our family would be traveling to join us on this incredibly special occasion, so we wanted to craft an experience that would be memorable and reflective of us as a couple. We wanted them to experience our love and take away a unique, cherished feeling of our appreciation to them. We did this by blending our home elements – appetizers made with apples from Washington, blood-orange champagne for toasts. We also made sure we built in special moments for the two of us to connect and keep the day about the commitment we were making. We splurged on an AC unit at the last minute that was a total lifesaver, and we skipped some expensive lighting.

View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding
View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding

The Flowers

The garden setting lent itself to big, bold floral choices. Roses, peonies, and pink tones complemented the earthy dark greens of our environment. For our centerpieces, we added oranges with the floral arrangements to create a sense of cohesiveness and unity, where we would blend into our setting naturally. We even used oranges for our place settings. We wanted green everywhere and achieved this through a combination of eucalyptus and Spanish moss. On the gazebo where we’d exchange rings, we opted for heavy greenery and bold flowers.

For the flower girls, we went with delicate baby’s breath. The men wore subtle but complementary roses. The women held bouquets of three single stemmed peonies, and I had the most dramatic floral arrangement with bold flowers and dark greens.

View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding
View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding
View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding
View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding

Favorite Moments

Our first dance together was absolute magic. After leaning into Ian, I opened my eyes – I had almost forgotten all the eyes on us as we danced together. Feeling completely in the moment with my husband was unforgettable.

There was another moment in our reception while sitting at the head table we could observe all our guests laughing and eating together. It was a moment of intense gratitude for my husband and me. We could look out over a sea of people who were there supporting and loving us.

The entire process of getting ready for the day – putting last minute touches in place, waiting for the guests to arrive and the music to start – it all combines into a collective and joyful memory of that being the most special day of our lives.

View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding
View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding

The Traditions

My father did not attend my wedding and it was under unfortunate circumstances. A few days before the day he told me he could not participate. Though it’s far from traditional, it feels important to mention the ways in which people stepped up for me. My brother walked me down the aisle and my father-in-law picked an incredibly special song dance for us to share. My stepfather not only gave us an incredible speech during the wedding, but an incredible toast to our guests during the reception. We are a far from traditional family, but our wedding marked the beginning of new traditions and memories to share.

View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding

The Favors

On behalf of our guests, we donated money to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. We had spent the weekend making memories, and determined that the most meaningful way to express our appreciation was to make a gift to children in need. Our guests were overjoyed and felt great about the donation.

View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding
View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding
View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding

The DIY Details

What made my wedding truly special was working on all the DIY projects with my mother, Debbie, head of Debbie Madison Design.

We went to a scrapyard to find a metal, “T,” which we then decorated with pages from an old dictionary, oranges, and greenery. She created a giant frame for our “guestbook” which was a wood cut-out of the state of Florida. She built and I painted a giant wooden welcome sign for the entry to the venue. We provided all the candlestick holders. We even created a cooler for drinks out of an old horse trough which we sealed and added a drain to.

My favorite pieces of DIY in the wedding were the hanging wreaths we created. These hung over the head table, and the “entry” to our ceremony. We wrapped wine barrel rings with vines and flowers – it made such a beautiful, personal touch.

View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding
View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding
View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding

The Cake

We kept our cake simple and delicious. We ordered a small, round cake from a cupcake place we loved. Instead of getting slices, our guests treated themselves to mini cupcakes. Our cake topper matched our personalities perfectly!

View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding
View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding
View More: http://everencephotography.pass.us/thetanzerwedding

Advice to Other Couples

Enjoy it. Enjoy every second. At the end of the day, you’re getting married – no table arrangement or song choice will make or break a day. It’s your attitude, your love, and the process that make it special. More practically – I would say try and pick vendors who you would invite to your wedding as guests. I can confidently say that everyone – my florist, my DJ, my photographer, my caterer – they operated as such an incredible and thoughtful team. To me it felt like they were a part of my day, and I am grateful to them for making sure things ran as smoothly as they did!

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