December 17, 2014

Wedding Wednesday - Our Venue

I loved our wedding venue!

Paul's on the Bay

One of the first vendors we booked after getting engaged was our venue. We knew we wanted to get married in our hometown where most of our family lived, so that part of the decision was easy. Through all of my vigorous research, I thought I knew every wedding venue in town. There are SO many gorgeous places in Pensacola to get married, but I had a few requirements. I wanted an outdoor ceremony with a gorgeous view. I wanted to have indoor space available for the reception that was equally as beautiful. I wanted to have somewhere to get dressed on site. I wanted to be able to bring in the caterer/florist/dj/planner of my choice. I wanted to be able to serve beer and wine. I wanted to overall vibe to be warm, Southern, cozy and comfortable, like a family gathering at grandma's house. We toured a few places that were nice, but each one felt like it was missing something. And then my sister nailed it on the head with her suggestion of Paul's on the Bay

Paul's on the Bay is the same building that used to house Skopelo's Restaurant many years ago. After the restaurant closed down, it was transformed into a one-of-a-kind event center. The interior is beautifully decorated, and the back terrace has the most stunning view of Pensacola Bay. One tour of the site and we were sold!

I loved that we were able to have our ceremony, cocktail hour, photography session and reception all at the same place! There are separate dressing rooms for the bride and groom, an onsite catering kitchen, as well as a built in bar. Dina, the owner off Paul's, even has her own wine and cheese shop, so she supplied all of our wine and beer for the evening. It really was a one stop shop for our venue needs!

Really though, it was the view that go me. Just have a look for yourself. 


I mean, how can you beat a scene like that? It was the beauty of a beach wedding, without the nuisance of sand in your shoes. We were blessed with the most beautiful, clear day in May, despite the monsoon that wrecked Pensacola the week prior to our wedding date. Paul's really set the stage for the best day of our lives. 

All photos by Mirabel Photography 

November 5, 2014

Wedding Wednesday - Engagement Photos

While we were dating and throughout our engagement, Chris and I would often go on drives and motorcycle rides out past the city. We are surrounded by some gorgeous scenery here in North Florida and we love to look at the mossy oaks and fields of wildflowers. On one such trip, Chris took me to what he called "his place". A place where he used to ride out alone and just sit. Think. Relax. On this occasion, we packed a picnic lunch and sat in the sunshine on the side of the road next to a gorgeous old tree. We talked about our future as a couple. We carved our initials into the trunk of that tree. We still visit that picnic spot on occasion, and it was the first place I thought of when brainstorming locations for our engagement photos. 

Chris and I considered hiring a different photographer to capture our engagement photos since we had such a specific location in mind. Our spot is about 45 minutes north of Tallahassee, while Josh and Sara are based in Pensacola (our hometown and where the wedding took place). We mentioned wanting to have our photos taken locally and Josh didn't hesitate to drive in and capture them for us. 

Josh captured some of my very favorite photos that day. I have a few framed around the house, and Chris even has one or two on his desk at work. We used one of these for our save the date postcards as well. 

From that first picnic...our tree carving!

October 29, 2014

Wedding Wednesday - Photography

This week I'll be talking about our amazing photographers, Josh and Sara Thurber of Mirabel Photography

Photography was one of my biggest priorities when it came time to plan our wedding. Our wonderful planner recommended the husband and wife team of Josh and Sara Thurber to us based on the style of photography we wanted. I wanted our photographer to capture all of the important, posed moments, as well as the candid shots that would bring us back to that night year after year when we flip through our album. I wanted photos of the entire day, from getting dressed to walking down the aisle to dancing and partying to our grand exit. I wanted two photographers to capture moments from different angles. I wanted to own the rights to all of my photos and I wanted a CD of photos that I could make prints from in the future (I put together our wedding album myself...but that's a post for another day!) I also needed all of these requests to fall within our modest budget. Mirabel Photography hit every bullet point and then some! Not only were Josh and Sara a dream to work with (so them!) but they blew us away with their talent and artistry. I will do a separate post next week about our engagement shoot, but today I want to focus on our wedding photos that I am in love with!

Most of my favorite shots from our wedding day are the un-posed, raw, us-being-us photos that were caught on film. The photos that happen when we didn't even know a photographer was there.

I couldn't possibly post every one of my favorites, but I will try to narrow down a dozen or so candid moments that I love looking back on:

A private moment after the ceremony  
A private moment after the ceremony

Possibly the best picture of our family in many, many years

A little ladybug found itself nesting in my dress...a good luck sign!

This happens a lot...

This is what happens when you tell us to look lovingly into each other's eyes

One of my favorites of the two of us

I missed a lot of moments like this in the flurry of the reception...I love being able to see them now

A much needed quiet moment 
We laughed a lot...

And cried a lot...

And danced a lot...

I mean A LOT. 

No really. The dancing never stopped. My poor mother in law just wanted a nice, normal family portrait. 

This laughter is the result of a naughty thing the pastor's wife said as she walked by. 

I don't think I even noticed the sparklers in this moment... 

Next week I'll share our engagement photos taken by Josh and Sara!

October 22, 2014

Wedding Wednesday - Our Florist

Up next on Wedding Wednesday is our fabulous floral designer, Chloe!

Chloe Lawry with Supposey Florals did the most amazing job. She was so creative and turned my inspiration pictures into our own personal reality. Just different enough to make them our own while still completely encompassing the inspiration we showed her. Chloe was patient with us through the many emails sent, phone calls made and meetings attended. I requested contract changes at least a dozen times during the planning process, and she obliged all of them.

Chloe created my beautiful bridal bouquet, six smaller bridesmaids bouquets, boutonnieres for the men, corsages for my mother and MIL, as well as all of the centerpieces and our cake topper. She also provided the gorgeous burlap and lace table runners at our reception.

I went with a full color palate as opposed to one or two signature colors -- we focused on soft, pretty shades of pink, peach, cream, yellow, with hints of turquoise as an accent (in the form of blue mason jars and dusty miller). The flowers we used include garden roses, ranunculus, poppies, anemones, hydrangeas and fever few. The vases for the centerpieces are all yard sale/thrift store/vintage finds that my mother and I collected over the course of  a year. We searched for a combination of milk glass, mercury glass, mason jars (blue and clear) as well as basic clear glass vases. Mom and I had such a fun time hunting for the pieces we needed to create the centerpieces! It was so special to have those moments with just the two of us amidst the craziness of wedding planning. A few days before the wedding, we delivered all of our found glass to Chloe and she worked her magic to create our beautiful centerpieces. We donated many of the pieces to Chloe to use for future weddings, I kept a few to have around the house, and we sold the rest on craigslist.

all photos by Mirabel Photography

I wish I had researched how to preserve my bouquet, but I had no idea I would love it as much as I do! I would love to one day have a painting of my bouquet to frame in our home. *Hint hint, Christopher*

What topic would you like to talk about next week?