A very nautical and beach-y wedding that ended up in a fun “trash the dress” shoot. Our couple, Brittney and Wes, really embraced the elements of the location they chose. The beach was credited for the casual vibe throughout the event (“but not too Jimmy Buffett” says the bride) and the yacht where they had the reception was credited for the nautical theme and the color palette. Then afterwards, while the sun is setting, they had a beautiful trash the dress shoot where the bride shared that it can get unbelievably heavy. But hey, the shots turned out to be amazing! Congratulations Brittney & Wes!
What is your story as a couple, how did you meet, fall in love?
I started working for a real estate company in Dallas and a guy from our Florida office occasionally came in and talked about SCUBA diving, boating, and doing all kinds of fun stuff. We hung out with mutual friends and got to know each other over the next year. Then one day we went out, just the two of us, and next thing you know- we were inseparable.
What do you think is the overall story for the wedding?
It was an amazing destination wedding. Our families and friends were able to come out, spend four or five days together, go fishing, kayaking, all kinds of events, cook-outs, and get to know one another better. It was more than just a wedding and reception, it was several days of activities, conversations, and building an unbreakable bond between two families.
What inspired your wedding decor?
We wanted something with a vintage style that was not too trendy, beachy, but not too Jimmy Buffet (difficult to do when the Groom is a huge fan). The colors and accents were nautical since the reception was on the water.
Why did you choose the things that you did?
We looked at over 20 venues in the Sarasota and Clearwater areas, as well as spots in north Dallas, which is where we live. In the end, what we chose was the best combination of what we thought was the most beautiful, something different, and the best bang for our buck.
What inspired the wedding day outfits?
Even though we were having a beach wedding, I wanted a traditional dress. I could figure out how to walk in the sand with it on later. I knew my dress was the one as soon as I saw it. My Mom, sister, and I went to a boutique dress shop in North Richland Hills, Texas and after telling the owner my basic criteria, she brought out four dresses. I tried on the other three first, but none of them compared to the forth one…. Decision made!
Wes wanted to wear a long-sleeved dress, but not too hot since it was early June on the beach. We were thinking linen vests and pants with light-blue shirts like we had seen in other pictures, which was OK, but it was very plain. One of the men’s stores we were at had navy pants that were a light material, and I brought them to him. It was a perfect match with the Groomsmen’s navy ties and looked great with the linen vest and light-blue shirts. He wanted to pick his own tie and from what I heard, it came down to a game-time decision.
What was your favorite part of the day?
Bride: My favorite part, other than the actual ceremony, was actually dressing back up in our wedding attire the day after and doing the “trash the dress” photo shoot at the beach and in the water. You would not believe how heavy the dress gets when it gets sandy and wet!
Groom: My favorite part was when she finally came out of the canopy, and I got to see her in her dress for the first time. My second favorite was leaving the reception with everyone doing a sparkler send-off.
Were there any Do it Yourself (DIY) projects? If so, can you describe them in detail?
Yes! We hand painted the signs for the ceremony using old barn wood from Wes’s grandparents’ ranch in Texas and shipped it to Florida. We also made the burlap draping for the archway and programs for the ceremony that doubled as fans. We made vases for flowers at the reception out of glass storage containers, ribbon, sea shells, and starfish. We used hydrangeas for the centerpieces, which are almost natural bouquets by themselves so it was super easy. We also brought small palm trees to line the walk-way from the beach entrance to the ceremony site.
Was there a theme for the ceremony and reception?
Not really. We just kept to the color scheme and added a few nautical/beach touches here and there, but the truth is that the location was all the theme we needed. I didn’t want to over do it with the decorations.
Do you have advice for couples still in the planning process?
My advice is to make lists of potential venues, get a big binder to put everything in it. Ask each venue which vendors they use. When you start to get multiple recommendations for one vendor, you know the vendor must be one of the best. Also, it will be great no matter what, and you are the only one that knows if anything doesn’t go exactly as planned. Just play it off and the guests will have no idea. Don’t plan to much DIY on the day of the wedding. There is just so much going on and time flies by. Most importantly, remember it is for you and your spouse, the guests are there to celebrate with you, so do what is best for you.
Photographer: Wesley Chapel Photography
Floral Designer: Bee Ridge Florist
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal
Hair Stylist: Kelly Anne Makeup
Cake Designer: Publix
Dress Designer: Watters
Caterer: Marina Jack
Reception Venue: Marina Jack Yacht II
Band: Jim Allen, Big Jim (Ukulele – Ceremony) & Russ Jennings, Russmaniamusic (Reception)
Videographer: Chris D. Lee
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