Finally! After eight and a half years of riding the love carousel, Jennifer and Alex committed on spending their lifetime with each other. Jennifer wanted a beach wedding as she only gets married once in her lifetime and she was happy that she did! The deBordieu Colony, where Jen spent most of her summers during her childhood, was illuminated with soft and neutral colors of grey, mint, and pink. It was a great color coordination to the beauty of the surroundings. The whole gang were stunned with Jen on her strapless sweetheart gown in contrast with Alex’s handsome dark grey tux. In all honesty, you guys make a very cute couple. Continue spreading the love, Jen and Alex!
Alex and I grew up north of Atlanta in the same hometown of Alpharetta, Georgia. We first met in 8th grade math class. We didn’t give each other much notice until the end of high school, when our paths crossed again (in math class!) and that is when we actually started dating. After both graduating from UGA, I started working as a RN at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Alex began dental school in Augusta, GA. Finally, after 81/2 years of dating, Alex proposed.
We Are A Perfect Match
We both love to laugh, work hard, and enjoy life to the fullest. However, we are also different in so many ways, which allows us to keep each other in check and balance each other out perfectly. It’s good to be able to teach each other new things and new perspectives.
On the day Alex proposed, we were on the back porch of his parents’ home enjoying a drink before going out to dinner (or so I thought). We began to hear a helicopter flying nearby that seemed to be lower than normal, so it caught my attention. It then hovered overhead and landed on the golf course directly in front of us! Alex looked at me and stated, “We are not going to dinner with my parents.” I was shocked.
He grabbed my hand, we climbed into the helicopter, and off we went. We were taken on a beautiful sky tour of downtown Atlanta, and Alex proposed in the helicopter as the sun was setting. We then landed on top of the W Hotel in Atlanta (one of the few places with a helicopter pad) and we were greeted with a beautiful dinner there.
The Planning Process
We were engaged for 15 months. I think it was the perfect amount of time.
With jobs, and both of us being in school, the time frame allowed us to figure out what we wanted and slowly plan without being too stressed out (at least not until the last few months)! It is also such a fun process and I’m glad I took my time!
Why we chose our location:
We were married at DeBordieu, SC on May 9, 2015. My family has been vacationing at DeBordieu Colony my whole life. My great grandfather owned homes within DeBordieu since the area was first developed. I love the beach, and this special place brings warmth to my heart. It’s a place of family, love, and happiness, and I’ve always known I wanted to get married here.
The perks of a destination wedding:
It was so much fun having a destination wedding, because it became a 3 day celebration. Most of our guests arrived in DeBordieu on Thursday and stayed through Sunday. Most rented homes and condos on property, and we were all together to share in this special time. We had welcome gift baskets with ocean and beach themed items.
My family rented a large home on the ocean, which was a gathering place for all. Thursday night, everyone was invited to a southern themed Shrimp Boil at our home overlooking the ocean. It was a great kickoff to the weekend. Guests had access to the beach and pools, and were walking distance to each other and the amenities. And, we concluded the weekend with a Sunday morning brunch as everyone packed up and headed back to their homes. It was wonderful to be able to visit with all of my guests the entire weekend, because on the night of the wedding it’s hard enough to say hello to all your guests, nonetheless spend quality time with all of them!
The Best Advice We Received
“You have to do what makes you happy, and not worry so much what everyone else will think.” That was the best advice I got before starting to plan my wedding. Although it was always a dream of mine to get married at DeBordieu, I worried that having a “destination” wedding was selfish. All of Alex’s family lives in Georgia and I worried a weekend at the beach would be an expensive trip to ask of my family and friends. One of my good friends encouraged me to have my dream wedding at the beach, because you only get one! I am so glad I did.
Tips & Tricks For Future Brides
Relax and be flexible. Don’t stress about what the weather will be like on your wedding day, because you have absolutely no control over it. I was so bummed at first when we had to move my reception from a tent outside right beside the ocean to an indoor ballroom by the marsh, however the night could not have been more fun. You will still get married, and with all your family and friends by your side you will have a great wedding no matter where it ends up taking place.
The Challenges We Faced
It was difficult to plan a destination wedding because I did not know any vendors in that area. It’s harder to trust a vendor when you don’t know someone personally who has used them. Meet with everyone in person before you book them. I got lucky in that all my vendors were incredible!
Wedding Decor Inspiration
The beach was my biggest inspiration! I love the natural beauty of the surroundings and wanted decor that fit with the natural theme. I had a lot of neutral, creams, and soft pastel colors throughout my decor. We had driftwood on the table settings and small, natural starfish clinging to some of the flower bouquets. I wanted a classic look that matched the setting, while also bringing in small hints from the beach.
Wedding Outfit Inspiration
The beach was my biggest inspiration when deciding the color palette and outfits. I still wanted formal attire, but chose soft natural colors and pastels to complement the beauty of the surroundings. The bridesmaids wore a short, mint colored, crinkle chiffon dress by Jim Hjelm. It fit all my beautiful girls perfectly! I added a pretty, simple pearl necklace (as my Bridesmaid gift) to accent the neckline. The girls all wore their own choice of nude heels.
The guys wore a Vera Wang dark gray tuxedo, with a matching vest, white shirt, and mint tie. I loved the contrast of the dark gray against my white dress.
I wore a lace, strapless, sweetheart gown by Monique Lhuillier that was a trumpet fitted style. I wore my sister’s veil that she wore in her wedding as my “something borrowed” and was very sentimental to me. It was a long veil edged with lace, and even though our dresses were completely different, the veil matched beautifully for both of us.
Our Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Projects
I wanted to bring in hints of the beach, while still keeping the wedding classy and somewhat traditional. The table settings had driftwood pieces intertwined with the flowers. There were also small, natural starfish clinging onto some of the bunches of flowers. We used starfish as our place cards, propped up in sand, and famous love quotes were printed on the table numbers.
We also had a basket of flip flips with a sign that said “dancing shoes”. Our original plan was to have the reception outside on a deck overlooking the ocean, but people used the flip flops just as much indoors! For favors, we gave away personalized coozies and chocolate sea turtle treats.
We also had mini beach balls that the wedding planner threw onto the dance floor at the end of the night. It was a lot of fun!
The Guest List
We had 10 bridesmaids and 10 groomsmen (1 couldn’t make it last minute). Our final guest count came to 140, which we expected. However, don’t assume that because you have a “destination” wedding, that not everyone will come. I was surprised at how many people made the trip and decided to stay for a week to make a vacation out of it!
String quartet played ceremony music.
Seating of mothers/grandmothers: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)
Wedding party introduction: Spring from the Four Seasons (Vivaldi)
Processional: Canon in D (Pachelbel)
Recessional: Hornpipe from Water Music (Handel)
We went to St. Lucia. We stayed at The Grande Sandals Resort.
The Next Step
We are excited to start our life together as husband and wife. We’ve been together for a long time, but there is still something so different and wonderful about being officially married. We have so much to look forward to. I also can’t wait for a “wedding reunion”! It was such a fun weekend that I hope we can get the same group back together for fun trips in the future!
Planning Advice For Couples
Take dance lessons! It was such a fun stress reliever during the planning process, and forced us to have a date night every few weeks without phones, computers, or work/school. Alex was not looking forward to the dancing part, but we both ended up having so much fun and it really brought us closer.
Alex also did not have an opinion on a lot of the wedding planning, he left a lot of it up to me, but this was something that we were both a part of equally and was cool to do together. None of our guests saw our choreographed dance until the wedding night.
The Album Story
It was a beautiful, beach filled wedding weekend with our favorite people in town to celebrate with us. There were good memories made and lots of laughter and love. Even though we had unpredictably bad weather at times, Tropical Storm Ana decided to come in a little early and change some of our plans (we had to move our reception indoors), the night was still everything we could have dreamed of.
Highlights from the Ceremony and the Reception
The rain held off enough so that we were able to still have the ceremony outdoors and get plenty of pictures outside, even though it was windy! The cocktail hour took place on the DeBordieu Club porch, and our guests were able to get a few rounds in of cornhole on the lawn and enjoy the view before the rain started trickling in. At the reception it was so fun to see everybody dancing. We had such a lively, fun group and made for a memorable night.
Favorite Part of the Day
The “first look”. It was something we had not planned on doing, however, rain was supposed to come in early evening and we decided to do a first look so that we could get pictures outside before the bad weather hit. Getting to have that moment with just my husband and I together before sharing it with everyone else was incredible. It was also nice to get the majority of pictures done before the ceremony so that we had more time to spend with guests at the reception!
My other favorite part of the day was getting ready at the beach house my parents rented. We had the stylists come to the house, so we didn’t have to go anywhere. I had all my best friends and family around me and a gorgeous view of the ocean as we all got hair and makeup done and drank mimosas! Just doesn’t get much better than that!
Photographer: Pasha Belman Photography
Hair Stylist: Beautiful Salon & Spa
Dress Store: bridals by lori
Caterer: DeBordieu Club
Event Venue: DeBordieu Colony Club
Band: Emerald Empire Band
Floral Designer: Greenskeeper Florist
Cinema and Video: Hart to Heart Media
Cake Designer: Incredible Edibles
Bridesmaid Dresses: Jim Hjelm
Groomsman Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Dress Designer: Monique Lhuillier
Musicians: Strand Strings
Event Planner: The Bride’s Maid