You better get yourself a pair of sunnies because Justin and Darce’s wedding is beaming with sunshine and love! It was a lovely beach wedding adorned with berry purple, gray, and white. Beach chic was seen all throughout the wedding. They wanted to remain comfortable yet still appropriately dressed for the elegant occasion. Darce was wearing a white dress with a detachable tulle skirt that revealed an elegant beaded gown; another tip for brides who think it is a hassle to undress and get into another dress. What are your thoughts on 2-in-1 dresses? Comment down below, let us know!
Justin, a Philadelphia native, and Darcee, a Pittsburgh girl, both attended Penn State University for their undergraduate degrees. It was at PSU, not where this couple met, but where they met some of their best friends that would later bring them together. It happened in December 2009 while both were living in Philadelphia that they met at a mutual friends “ugly sweater” holiday party. Not long after that, Justin asked Darcee out on their first date to St. Stephen’s Green, a place where they would later celebrate a lot of special moments in their relationship.
We Are a Perfect Match:
We are a good match because we share many common interests but have very different personalities, so we compliment each other well. We both love to travel, country music, a good beer, our cat Bam, sports, relaxing, nice weather and the little things in life. We both work hard and value the time we get to spend with our friends and family. Darcee is an outgoing, organization nut that loves to accomplish tasks and plan for the future. Justin’s quiet drive to succeed and layed back approach to life is a nice balance.
Justin planned a special day for them to take a “walk down memory lane” and visit many meaningful places where they shared special moments throughout their relationship. The day came to an end with dinner at St Stephen’s Green, at the same table they sat over four years earlier on their first date. Following dinner, they went back to Justin’s condo for dessert that consisted of cannoli’s and chocolate covered strawberries, Darcee’s favorite! He professed his love for her, got down on one knee and showed her the bling. Of course, she said YES!!
Wedding Day Outfit Inspiration:
We decided on beach chic for the wedding. We wanted everyone to be comfortable in the outside weather but still dressed for the occasion. It fit our vision best for the guys to wear light suit pants and a white button-down with flip flops. The girls wore bright flowing dresses and went barefoot in the sand. The groom dressed up his outfit with a complimenting suit vest and tie. The bride wore a tulle skirt and veil for the ceremony that was later removed to reveal an elegant beaded gown.
The Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Projects:
We were very limited on the DIY projects since we were having a destination wedding and had to fly everything down. The one aspect we did all ourselves with the help from the mother of the bride and her friends was the cookie table. It is a tradition in Pittsburgh where the bride is, so hundreds of home baked cookies were brought to the celebration.
Wedding Décor Inspiration:
We dreamed of an elegant beach wedding with simple mostly white decor to compliment the beautiful beach surroundings. We found the berry purple bridesmaids dresses, and they reminded us of the color of purple orchids. So from there the purple orchid became our pop of color in the bouquets and centerpieces.
The Planning Process:
Our wedding was almost one year to the day of when we got engaged. We started planning right away after the proposal. We settled on our destination beach location and had 11 months to get the details together. It was just the right amount of time. We stuck to our timeline, and everything was pretty smooth during the planning process.
The Best Advice We Received:
The best advice was to keep it simple and make the day about us.
Tips & Tricks For Future Brides:
Use the many wedding websites and planning tools out there to assist you. It makes life a lot easier. But be sure to have a clear vision of what you want before you start planning, it will help keep you focused and on track. There is so much out there it can be overwhelming sometimes.
The Challenges We Faced:
We planned a destination beach wedding, so the biggest challenge was planning from a distance. We never had a face to face meeting, food tasting or walk through with any of the vendors, so we had to use our imagination and have a lot of trust and faith. We had a few phone calls, several emails and a Skype session to get to know our vendors. We also used online Reviews a lot to assure us we were working with the right people!
We planned and coordinated everything ourselves instead of hiring a wedding planner. This saved us thousands of dollars, but It did take more of our time to plan and outline the day. We even wrote our ceremony, including our vows. Our complete involvement in every aspect made it very special to us.
The catering including the bar and wait staff for our property was the largest expense. It was about a third of our total cost for the wedding.
The Guest List:
250 guests invited, 174 guests attended. It was an unbelievable turnout considering it was a beach destination outside of our home states.
We didn’t narrow down the list! We invited everyone we wanted and let the guests decide if they could make the trip or not. The lighthouse beach property could hold several hundred guests, so we were not limited on the invites.
Our ceremony music was all played on steel drums.
- Seating of the Mothers “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”
- Processional “Pachelbel’s Cannon”
- Bride’s Processional “Can’t Help Falling”
- Recessional “I’m Yours.”
The Sandals, La Toc Resort, St Lucia
What Awaits Us:
We are very much looking forward to buying our first house so we can enjoy all of our new wedding gifts. We can not wait to start a family and enjoy our life together and travel to new places.
Planning Advice for Couples:
Enjoy the planning! It is just as much a part of getting married on the wedding day. It will help you learn a lot about each other.
Favorite Part of the Day:
It is impossible to pick just one moment. We were so happy and could not take the smiles off our faces all day and night!
The Highlights from the Ceremony & Reception:
One of the groomsmen, TJ, who is a musician played an acoustic version our first dance song, Martin, by zac brown band. It was amazing. The groom also planned with him a surprise performance later in the night where he played a special song to the bride.
Most Memorable Moment:
For the bride it was walking down the aisle with her father, looking ahead at her groom. I think we both will always remember the beautiful emotions we felt and looking out at our guests staring back at us. We received so many comments from guests about the beautiful beach setting on the water under the palm trees and the mini Coronas we served during the ceremony.
Photographer: The Wedding Traveler
Caterer: Key Largo Conch House Restaurant & Tropical Weddings
Event Venue: Key Largo Light House
Design and Decor: Linens & More Florida Key