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Today I am taking you across to Florida for this gorgeous winter wedding. The wedding may have taken place in January but the sun still shone and the weather was glorious for Whitley and Thomas, one of the joys of living in Florida. The couple held a beautiful outdoor ‘woodsy’ ceremony in the grounds of Kathleen’s Garden and filled it with the most beautiful flowers and earthy decoration. This was followed by an elegant looking reception, filled with rich dark tones, lots of candlesticks and so many gorgeous details. Our good friend Stacy Paul Photography was there to capture the day in all it’s beauty.
Whitley and Thomas were married on 12th January 2019 at Kathleen’s Garden, Plant City, Florida. ‘We wanted to stay close to home, and stumbled across Kathleen’s Garden on an internet search. The venue was so beautiful. We decided the day we saw it that it was our place where we wanted to share our intimate moment with our family and friends under the trees. We had 165 guests. We picked our venue about a year in advance. We slowly chipped away at everything during that year, but the final 2-3 months leading up to the wedding we nailed everything. We had a good time! Our wedding planning journey was a breeze, and excellent venue staff played a big part in keeping things simple for us.’
How they met
We meet through mutual friends. We spent about a year eyeing at each other from across the room. A lot of friends hinted on many occasions that we should hang out. Once we started talking… we never stopped. We have been together 6 years in October.
It was my (Whitley’s) birthday. I did not have the slightest suspicion that he was going to propose. We went to dinner on the beach at one of our favourite spots, and spent the night laughing per usual. We walked across the street to the beach and took a nice stroll. I was getting tired and ready to go back home so we turned around to head back to the car. Next thing I knew he was on his knee. I’ll keep the rest of the story for us, but it was perfectly Tom.
How did you allocate your budget?
We identified early in the process what was important for us, and used that to help us keep costs low.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
We determined what was important to us and went from there. For us fancy invitations were not at the top of the list so we saved a ton of money using Vistaprint. We did an online RSVP which helped save money on stamps and paper needs. Our venue had so many things from decorations, props, chairs, linens, pretty much anything you can think of so we were able to save on things like that.
How did you choose your photographer?
Very close friends of ours had used Stacy Paul for several of their life’s greatest events. We loved her style of photography and the way she uses light in the photos. After meeting her in real life we knew she’d be a joy to work with so we booked her!
The dress was purchased at CiCis Bridal Boutique, Tampa. I wore barefoot sandals which were super cute, and pearl earrings. I used little flower pins in my hair instead of a veil.
The suit and bridesmaids
The suits were all from Joseph A. Bank. They were very helpful while getting everyone the same suits, and getting them out to everyone on time. The bridesmaid dresses were bought at David’s Bridal and Nordstroms.
Theme or colour scheme?
We used warm tone colours like maroon and dark blues, and greens. We didn’t really have a theme but the vibe was was cozy, woodsy and earthy.
For the bouquets and boutonnieres we used Scabiosa, Lisianthus, Juliet garden Rose’s, Seeded eucalyptus, and Silver dollar eucalyptus. The centrepieces on the tables were faux flowers, and we aren’t sure what exactly they were called but they were gorgeously arranged and exactly how we wanted them!
Almost all of the decorations were provided by the venue. They helped us so much. We created a pintrest board of what we liked and sat down with them and they helped us coordinate it all. We had such an easy time with the decorations due to the inventory that the venue had. We used everything from tall candle sticks to mossy greens.
Honestly, neither of us could eat very much due to all of the excitement, but we enjoyed the dessert a lot! Our venue offered meals throughout the day including salads, chips and dip, sandwiches and dessert. For dinner our guests appeared to enjoy their meals. We used a catering company that was chosen by the venue, and they did a great job as well.
Our wedding cake was out of this world!! Andrea was incredible to work with. We did a semi-naked two-tiered cake accented with gold and flowers. One tier was traditional vanilla and the other was strawberry shortcake with strawberry filling. We had 3 different cupcake flavors (strawberry shortcake, cookies and cream, and peanut butter cup). It was all incredible.
We chose to have a DJ. Ian was very high energy, and on point the entire night. He listened very intently to what we wanted to hear, and also the “do not play list” which was just as important to us. Music is a big part of our lives and where it all began for us, so Tom had a blast creating playlists.
Who supplied the stationery?
We used Vistaprint for our save the dates and invitations. For our rehearsal dinner invitations, we found a template on Etsy and just had them printed at our local FEDEX store.
Or things that you did yourself? Our favourite special touch was the guest book. We had guests sign vinyl music albums with gold pens, and we plan to frame them.
Meeting each other at the alter was a special and extremely overwhelming moment. Honestly, singing very loud and dancing with all our family and friends was the most fun.
Advice for other couples
Relax, take it easy, and have fun!
Biggest surprise of the day
How perfect everything flowed. If there were any hiccups we never heard about them.
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