from the bride:
Venue? Cross Creek Ranch – Dover, FL
Guest count? 80
What inspired you in planning the wedding?
Since Jon and I can be a bit, let’s say “quirky”, we knew we didn’t want to be too traditional in planning our wedding. We wanted to show how much fun we could have by planning an awesome party and showing who we really are through all of the fun activities and surprises. All of our hard work that was put into the planning really paid off and made us appreciate everything even more.
Why did you pick your venue?
When choosing our venue, Cross Creek Ranch in Dover, we really wanted something vintage, rustic and FUN. As soon as we got to the ranch, we knew right away that this was the place for us. It being tucked away a little off the beaten path made it even more appealing to us and we knew right away that people wouldn’t mind making a little bit of a drive when they saw it ? Not only would we be having a huge dance party, but we would have a photo booth, bonfire with marshmallows, croquet and horseshoes!
What were your favorite moments, traditions, surprises during the day?
I think we both have to agree that our favorite moment was finally getting to perform our wedding dance in front of all our guests. We had been taking dance lessons for 6 months and had a choreographed ballroom dance to one of our favorite artists Florence and the Machine’s, “Cosmic Love.” It was such an amazing feeling knowing that we had accomplished such a big goal…and oh yeah, did we mention it was a surprise to everyone?!
Dress designer, shoes, accessories, bridesmaids’ dresses, groom’s attire, etc? Why did you pick the outfits?
My Pronovias dress was definitely perfect for me. I had never seen anything like it, and it was exactly what I was looking for, and I didn’t even know it until I tried it on and fell in love. It combined ruffles and lace and was so poofy I could barely walk, and I loved every second of it. I keep my jewelry very simple by wearing a choker pearl necklace that my grandmother wore at her wedding, and a pair of pearl stud earrings from a good friend of mine.
For my bridesmaids, I chose a cute, spring bright coral ruffle dress from J.Crew. It was a little more on the casual side, but I wanted them to be able to wear it again if they wanted!
We chose grey tuxes for the guys because we wanted the soft colors and felt that black would be too harsh. They ended up looking perfect, and the guys said they liked the different choice.
Hair and makeup was done by the very talented Collective Creations and I’m going to admit, for the first time EVER in my life, I loved my hair as an up-do ?
Any DIY elements?
I would say about 75% of our wedding was DIY. From the invitations, programs, guest book, cake topper, place cards, wedding jam favors…I could probably keep going……we wanted everything to be very personalized. It was also great having a 13 month engagement in order to take our time with all of the projects, and thanks to the ranch, the rest of that 25% was taken care of by them and their wonderful staff ?
For the guest book we wanted to include our amazing engagement photo, so I figured the best way to do that was to use them in our guest book so everyone would get a chance to see them. To go along with the vintage rustic feel, I bought 2 pieces of 12×12 flat wooden squares from Michaels, stained them a little darker, and used distress ink around the edges. I used a simple black and brown sharpie to write the text and draw the Cross Creek Ranch tree on the cover. From there I drilled holes and tied the two pieces together with twine and pages in between that included a mix of lines for signatures and our engagement photos held in with photo corners. So now, not only is it our guest book, but also a creative coffee table piece!
Music you walked down the aisle to, first dance, special songs?
Music was a very important component to our day because it plays a huge part in our daily lives. We are huge music junkies, so we wanted to make sure there was something for everyone and so we chose every single song specifically for the entire night. It was a hard process, but we are so glad we did this. I really wanted to walk down the aisle to something different and a little playful, so I chose an orchestra version of “Can you feel the love tonight”. As for us walking back down the aisle as newlyweds, we decided last minute to have an Indiana Jones hat thrown to Jon to put on as we marched back to the Indiana Jones theme song. That was are sign to everyone that we were ready to party!
Then of course as mentioned before, our first dance, “Cosmic Love” by Florence and the Machine really was special to us since it’s one of our favorite artists that we got to perform our choreographed dance to as a surprise to everyone ?
Wedding Planner, Stationer, Floral Designer, Rentals, Music, Videographer, Photographer lighting, etc?
All of our vendors were amazing to work with and we would recommend any of them to our friends. Cross Creek Ranch did an amazing job playing wedding planner, coordinator and designer, while recommending our amazing DJ Bil at Harmonic Events and our wonderful florist Alta McCarthy of Alta Fleura. Then of course, the bestest most greatest photographer Shipra Panosian was able to capture the night so we can now relive the entire event whenever we please through our fantastic pictures.
Menu, Drinks, Dessert, Caterer, Baker, etc?
We went with more traditional food for our meal, yet it was definitely delicious! Affairs to Remember were to thank for feeding our hungry guests.
Our cake…ooooh boy did we love our cake. Not only was it fantastically delicious, but it was adorable! We really wanted the natural frosted look to add to the rustic feel of the wedding, with tree branches going along the tiers and raspberries as accents. It looked perfect with the topper that I made of us and our pup that sadly couldn’t join us because of his extreme hyper-ness. We had to include him in some way, so with just a little paint and felt, he was included on our little family cake topper. Our lovely and most certainly outstanding cake was by Alessi Bakery in Tampa and let me tell you, you have to check this place out if you haven’t already!
Favorite Blogs or Magazines used in planning the wedding:
I tried to stay away from wedding magazines just because they could get a little overwhelming, and seemed very traditional. Pinterest and I became pretty good friends the last few months of planning, and I occasionally would get a few ideas from Etsy. I also had a good collection of wedding blogs that I would browse every now and then — Grey Likes Weddings was a personal favorite, as well as Style Me Pretty and Green Wedding Shoes.
What mood/ambiance did you want to convey to your guests at the wedding?
We wanted our guests to have a total blast at our wedding and be something that they could remember forever along with us. Moments of silliness were definitely a necessity to tie in with everything to help us relax and enjoy the entire evening.
Advice that you’d give to other Brides? Advice for grooms?
Brides – Don’t stress, just have fun!
Grooms – Don’t forget to thank the in-laws, have fun, dance like you’ve never danced before, and again…don’t forget to thank the in-laws.
Thanks goes out to?
Family, friends, vendors, the weather for cooperating and everyone and everything who made our wedding day turn out perfect.
Our honeymoon was the biggest adventure of all! We stayed in a treehouse in the Costa Rican rainforest for a week, and it was the most amazing experience yet of our lives. We stayed in a beautiful treehouse, 90 feet off the ground, and in complete solitude with nature. We truly do want to go back and visit one day. The name of the place we stayed was Finca Bellavista, and we got to do almost everything we wanted without ever leaving the ‘treehouse community’. From ziplining, hiking, eating fantastic food, beautiful beaches, mountains and swimming holes, we had the time of our lives and got to meet some amazing people. Such a great way to start our new lives together.