Rehearsal Dinner Location: The Raintree Restaurant
Ceremony Location: Back patio of the River House in St. Augustine, FL – Funny story…with hurricane Matthew having hit just 2 weeks prior we were extremely fortunate in that the river house building did not sustain any damage that would prevent our wedding. However, there were 3 stray sailboats that were washed up on the shore of the river house that had also damaged the dock. We were told the sailboats would need to be removed with a crane and that it would not be done in time for our wedding. So we were fully prepared for a “unique” backdrop for our wedding ceremony to say the least. BUT, the Friday of our rehearsal they were able to remove the last sailboat and on the morning of the wedding, the river house crew were able to fix the dock! It was so incredible and hard to believe how it came together for the day. We are so fortunate that we were able to have the wedding as planned despite hurricane Matthew.
Reception Location: The River House ballroom, St. Augustine, FL – This is a truly incredible venue. I did a lot of research before booking, and never found anything like it. I got so many compliments from my guests about it as well. I hope we get invited to someone’s wedding one day so we can enjoy the venue as guests!
Caterer: Mai Oui! had great food, especially the appetizers which my guests loved. The fried mac and cheese poppers went so fast and my guests did not stop talking about them. I also thought the service was great, even though as the bride I was so busy I hardly noticed the servers, and somehow everything managed to be where it needed to be and at the right time. Perfect pour managed our bar and Alicia was incredible with helping us (being patient with us) and delivered an exceptional night of bar service and our signature drink.
Wedding Coordinator: Karen Bassham and her partner Freda. Karen was so thorough in following up with me, my family, and my vendors. She truly made the wedding come together as I dreamed. She was always so prompt in responding and gave great advice. She was also incredibly organized and thought of and paid attention to details I was oblivious to. But the best part was on the day of the wedding, I did not have to worry about a single thing because I completely trusted Karen and Freda to keep the day and night on track. They truly went above and beyond everything I was expecting from a day of coordinator and I don’t have a single negative comment to make. I will refer and praise these ladies to everyone!
Photographer: Tonya Beaver of course! Found her on Pinterest and probably stalked every photo she’s ever posted to her website/blog. Loved them all and it had to be her. Plus, her reviews on weddingwire not only praise her photos, but also the incredible person she is : )
Videographer: John Wolfe from Siberian Pictures. He was soooo nice and a true professional throughout the day. I don’t remember any point while on the dance floor, at dinner, or with guests, where a videographer was “in the way.” I have not seen my video yet, but I’m confident it will be amazing, especially when I saw him filming my bridesmaids basically having a dance off on the dock before the ceremony.
Cake: Publix from Nocatee. The complimentary tasting sold us, and we heard great things about the cake decorators at that particular store and they truly came through! The cake looked amazing and tasted great. We also had cupcakes from Publix displayed in the shape of a gator. Jeanne Martin is an event planner with the store and she was so wonderful. Very patient and helpful through the whole process, even when I started changing things 1 month out.
Florist: Lori Parker – She is such a wonderful person and florist. My bouquet was PERFECT and just as I had imagined it. She also completely nailed the centerpiece flowers and candle displays. She also took a cut out of my mother’s wedding dress I brought and was able to sew it to be used to wrap my bouquet! She was also one of the first people to email me to ask how me, Zak, and my family weathered the hurricane.
Officiate: Peggy LaRoche – She was recommended from the River House and she was wonderful. She was very responsive in responding to emails and guiding us through the ceremony planning process.
Hair: Julia from Amanda Hopcraft & Co. – She was incredible! She is so talented at doing hair and she was able to take my thin, flat, lifeless hair (with the help of some extensions) and turn it into a masterpiece that looked just like the photo I showed her. It was important to me that my hair look great the entire night without fear of it falling out. Mission accomplished. Also she made my bridesmaids’ and mother’s hair look equally amazing.
Make-up: Amanda Hopcraft – THE. BEST. I have really poor skin due to acne and melasma and Amanda worked some serious makeup magic to make me (and my girls of course) look flawless! I really appreciate her attention to detail. She is a perfectionist, and that is absolutely what you want on your wedding day. I felt so beautiful, and I know my girls did too.
Entertainment: Carlton with McGee Entertainment. Carlton was sooo great! We had a very specific vision and plan for our Gator themed wedding party introduction and Carlton nailed it (even though he isn’t even a Gator)! He was also great about playing specific requests we had discussed before the wedding. He also supplemented with his own songs and it kept everyone on the dance floor all night.
Transportation: Southern Carriages. We had a horse and carriage to whisk us away at the end of the night. Be aware the prices go up dramatically from the usual hourly rate in St. Augustine because it’s a wedding, but we thought it was worth it, and we reallyyyyy enjoyed the hour cuddling up and going through St. Augustine decompressing from the crazy night
Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals – Purchased from Minerva’s Bridal in Jacksonville. Inspired by a picture from Pinterest of course.
Wedding Shoes: Nina Shoes from DSW.
Bridesmaids Dresses: From the designer Jordan, which has since gone out of business unfortunately : (
Groom and Groomsmen Wear: TheBlackTux.com – We were VERY hesitant about renting from an online company, but after doing our research it seemed to be a great option and ended up being AMAZING. We were most concerned about Zak being 6’6” and having issues with a tuxedo fitting him properly, but theblacktux.com sent a complimentary trial tuxedo for him to try about 2 months before the wedding. It was great to physically see it on him and we were able to adjust some of the sizes and were able to determine that the slim fit pants were NOT going to work…
What was the high point of your wedding day that you hope to remember forever? My high point was when we shared our personal vows during the ceremony. Up until about 3 months before the wedding we had decided not to write/say our own vows, but after going to a friend’s wedding and listening to their personal vows, we were moved and ended up adding it to our ceremony. We kept them secret from each other until that day, and it was so special how they complimented and mirrored each other. I never felt more strongly we were soulmates than at that moment.
If you could give yourself any advice prior to the wedding, what would it be? Don’t sweat the small stuff. Focus on the purpose and meaning of the wedding and not the wedding itself. Be grateful and accepting of any help from family and friends.
Where did you go for your honeymoon? We went to Charleston, SC for a couple days and then drove to the mountains of North Carolina in Highlands/Cashiers to finish out our week. Charleston was such a cute town and very romantic destination to continue our wedding high. Also, the food was amazing, especially after our wedding dieting….The mountains were equally enjoyable too. It is a great time of year to see the leaves change and cool enough to make it feel like fall : )