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Real Weddings: Bethany & Daniel | Southern Diversion Estate, FL

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{Featured in Vol. 21}

Photographer: Harmony Lynn Photography

Hair Stylist:Blu Bamboo//DJ: Eddie B & Company//Floral Designer: Floral Fantasy//Cinema and Video:Forever Studios//Caterer:Green Turtle Inn//Cake Designer:Publix Cakes//Other Location:Southern Diversion Estate//Submitted via Two Bright Lights




How did you two meet?
Dan and I met on Match.com. I showed his picture to a friend, and she said “yup, that is the guy I have always imagined for you.” After we got over the usual awkward first date, it has been nothing but fun and adventures.

How long was your engagement?
We were engaged on Christmas night, the ring was my last Christmas gift. Of course I said “Yes!” and we were married a little over 10 months later.

What inspired your wedding theme?
After discussing options for the ceremony and reception, we both knew we wanted to get married on the beach. Dan has vacationed in Florida every year with his family and I lived in South Florida for a few years after college graduation, so a beach in Florida seemed like the answer. I knew Dan would love the Florida Keys and so we booked flights to visit several wedding locations. We visited a few hotel venues before visiting a private home nestled on a private beach in Islamorada. It was gorgeous! We knew this was the perfect spot for our friends and family to kick their shoes off, relax and enjoy a night of celebrating. I immediately envisioned getting married barefoot in the sand under a palm tree!

What inspired your wedding color palette?
The private home where we chose to have the wedding had beautiful wooden lawn furniture situated around the pool and on the beach with deep navy blue cushions. I wanted to incorporate the furniture into our special day by creating lounge seating for our guests. As soon as we returned home from the trip, I found navy and white striped fabric that a local seamstress made into custom table runners for the dinner tables and custom pillows for the lounge furniture, leading into our nautical theme. Once I found the beautiful navy blue scalloped bridesmaid dresses from JCrew, I knew I had found my colors. In addition to the navy and white, I used a few gold accents to pop against the colors.

What was special about where you got married?
Islamorada was our first trip together as an engaged couple. In an effort to save money on a wedding planner, we decided to make a few return visits to Islamorada during the wedding planning process to meet with vendors and plan our own DIY wedding. This allowed us to make several trips together during our engagement!

What do-it-yourself projects did you do?
We knew we could lighten our spending if we tackled some of the projects ourselves. We didn’t realize our potential until we were knee deep in wedding projects.

Dan’s boutonniere: Although just a small detail of the entire day, it really stood out on his crisp khaki suit. My mother, my soon to be mother-in-law and I bought every spool of navy and white striped ribbon at JoAnn Fabric stores within a 60 mile radius of Columbus. I started tying it on everything! I folded a piece of ribbon, tied it with twine and snipped the edges of the ribbon. It was simple and perfect. The florist used the same ribbon to wrap around the bouquets of white orchids.

Bride’s Hairpiece: I used a vintage lapel pin that my grandmother wore many years ago and fastened it onto a hair clip to tie my hair back. It was a way for me to incorporate something “old” into our special day and it was the perfect accompaniment to my jeweled birdcage veil.

Ring bearers’ tassel balloon: Our three nephews walked hand in hand down the aisle barefoot and wearing navy bow ties. They carried an over-sized white balloon with navy and white tassels tied down the ribbon. I ordered the paper tissue tassels online and tied to the ribbon of the balloon. I was literally filling the balloon with helium just minutes before walking down the aisle.

Wedding stationary: The save the dates, invitations and ceremony programs were designed by Dan as he is a designer by trade. After we had the ceremony programs printed, we added the navy and white striped ribbon and twine to the top of the program. The place cards were written out by my mother who does spectacular calligraphy, and then attached to the napkins with a miniature version of the navy and white stripped ribbon and twine.

Guest book: Dan designed labels with different anniversary dates (1st, 5th, 10th and 25th anniversary) that were glued on wine bottles. Guests wrote their well wishes on slips of paper and put them into one of the bottles. Dan and I now have each “message in a bottle” to read on the corresponding anniversaries.

Gold Accents: We spray painted actual pineapples with gold spray paint to set around the bar and around the pool for the cocktail hour. The gold pineapples were one of my favorite details of the day. We used the gold spray paint on a large cardboard “N” purchased at the craft store to use as a photo prop.

Mr. & Mrs. Signs: I found wooden plaques along with wooden letters to spell out Mr. and Mrs. at our local craft store. I spray painted the plaques navy and the letters white and glued the letters onto the plaque and threaded the navy and white ribbon to tie onto our chairs at dinner.

Shoes Here Sign: This sign was definitely a Keys inspired piece of our décor. Dan used some extra wood we had around the house, which he cut up and distressed, to make it look weathered. We made the pieces of wood look like arrows and then placed them on a wooden stake that we hammered in the sand. Then we used chalkboard spray paint on them so we could write out some signage for our guests. It said ‘Shoes Here, Vows There, Love Everywhere’.

Starfish Aisle Décor: Hanging on the chairs that lined the aisle I created a simple, but very beach appropriate piece. We used some decorative starfish, to which I hot glued the navy and white ribbon and twine to.

Advice From The Bride:
Think outside the box. I worked hard to stay within our budget but still had everything we wanted. DIY-ing some of the wedding details can save you so much money. Oh, and don’t forget to have some fun along the way!


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