Melissa and Austin’s Wedding {Cathedral Basilica and Casa Monica Wedding Photos}



Wedding Weekend Info (Written by Melissa and Austin)

Hotel accommodations for guests: Casa Monica Hotel, The Bayfront Inn, The Best Western Bayfront, and The Holiday Inn

Rehearsal Dinner Location:  O.C. White’s Restaurant

Ceremony Location: The Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine.  The church was gorgeous and so rich in history as it was the first catholic parish in the United States.  It was steps away from St. George’s street and multiple places for our guests to enjoy.

Reception Location:  The Casa Monica Ballroom.  We had planned to have our cocktail hour out on the pool deck but unfortunately it rained and we had to move it inside.  Luckily the Flagler Ballroom was available so we moved it indoors.  We had a nice transition into the Main Ballroom for the reception.

Caterer: The Casa Monica.  After the wedding we had so many people ranting and raving over how amazing the food was and how they have never had anything like it at a wedding.

Wedding Coordinator:  We decided against a coordinator.  I totally wanted to hired a day-of coordinator but I felt that the costs were outrageous.  While having a coordinator it may have made a few things a little more streamline, but there certainly was no issues without one.

Photographer: The absolutely amazing Tonya Beaver!  Tonya and her assistant were so perfect.  I had met Tonya when I was a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding and I knew I would have to have her for mine.  She was the first vendor I wanted to meet with and set the bar for others.  They stayed the Entire day, even when my husband and I wanted to take night pictures after the reception ended at 10pm.  They captured everything and even had my husband and I sneak away from the reception to get a few more intimate pictures as the sun was setting over the bay.  It was so calming to have Tonya by your side the entire day because she is so down to earth and makes you feel completely comfortable.  .

Cake:  Classic Cakes.  We went for a cake tasting and then canceled all of our other bakery appointments because the cake was UNBELIEVEABLE.  She was able to capture our idea of a modern cake from some of the pictures that we brought and even made some beautiful turquoise sugar flowers to cascade down the cake.  We wanted our guests to have a selection of flavors and finally decided on chocolate decadent cake, almond cake with white chocolate frosting, and lemon cake with fresh raspberry frosting. Carol was so easy to work with and put me at easy because they have been in the business for around 20 years.

Florist: Rachael Kasie Designs.  We decided on this florist because of the recommendation from Casa Monica.  They are located in Daytona Beach, but we were able to do everything by phone.  Amazingly enough, Austin became very involved in the flower selection.  We had a great time finding unique flower options to provide texture and depth.  The flowers were gorgeous and my bouquet was completely perfect.

Officiate: Father Tim Lozier.  The Cathedral Basilica requires you to provide your own officiate.  Father Tim was recommended to us by Austin’s family friend Mary Beth Jones.  He was such a great recommendation as he really loves to have a good time!  He was so funny and engaging and wanted to be involved with the entire wedding day festivities.

Hair: Kati Hogan.  Kati was my Big Sister in my sorority and has been my hair dresser for years.  We had my trial run for my engagement pictures with my hair down and curled (per Austin’s request.) After having to fuss with the wind, I decided that I wanted my hair all up so we did another trial run.  I absolutely loved my hair and it held so nicely through the long day.

Make-up: Linda Newland. Linda has been a family friend for years and she was able to understand the natural look I wanted.  It was also so nice to have her around in the morning while we were getting ready because she is so calming and able to help in any scenario.

Entertainment: McGee Entertainment.  We had Milton as our Emcee and he was awesome!   He played all the songs we requested and added a little of his own flair.   He kept our guests engaged and constantly out on the dance floor.  My family likes to dance and party and Milton kept the party going.

Transportation: BTS Limousines and CB Hinson Inc.  We used the Limo to transport the bridal party to the church and then to take pictures between the ceremony and reception.  The Limo company was on time and pleasant.  Austin and I had a carriage ride with CB Hinson after the reception.  Since we did some night time photos we were pretty late for our reservations, but the driver was very understanding and let us take extra time.

Wedding Dress: Park Avenue Bridal in Orange Park.  The Bridal shop was in the process of closing as the owner wanted to retire.  I was able to get the perfect dress that I had found online for half the cost!  I also purchased a bridal belt from Michaels Formalwear to make the final touch. My lovely $7 veil from JoAnn Fabrics matched perfectly.

Wedding Shoes: Saks of 5th.  I wanted so really fun shoes that were comfortable and luckily they were 75% off.

Bridesmaids Dresses:  Coming Attractions Bridal in Akron, OH.  The brand was Allure and we were able to get the best price at this store.  Unfortunately ALL the dresses came in smaller than what the measurements indicated and everyone had to get their dresses altered.  Be wary of Allure brand dresses and this size difference.

Groom and Groomsmen Wear:  Michaels Formalwear.  They were sooooo nice and helpful at the St. John’s Towncenter Location.  It was also pretty easy for our out of town guys to work with.


Before the Wedding …

How did you two meet? We met playing pick-up volleyball at a local gym.  After knowing each other for about a year Austin finally asked me out.  On our first date we had a drink at the bar and ended up talking for hours until the bartender finally asked for last call. We both were shocked about how much time had gone by.

How did he propose?   We had discussed marriage prior and I always indicated that I wanted Austin to ask my father in person for his permission and I wanted to be surprised.  This was quite an obstacle since my family lives in Ohio.  Austin made a top secret trip up to Ohio for a day, telling me that he was going to visit his newborn niece in Tampa.  He then planned to propose on a weekend cruise to the Bahamas but after he picked up the ring from the jewelers it was burning a hole in his pocket so he proposed a few nights before.  I was studying for an exam and he barged into my apartment telling me that he has been lying.  He told me the story of the trip to Ohio and then got down on one knee.

How did you decide on your color scheme, flowers, and cake?  I love pink so I knew I needed to have that color as the main focus.  Our wedding venue was lush in gold tones so we incorporated that, as well as a turquoise that Austin preferred.  We both are in the medical field so we had to include that into our modern theme.  We wanted a modern cake and fun unique flowers.

How did you decide on your invitations, and who did you use?  My sister got married a few years back and did her invitations herself.  My mother insisted that I take care of all of this myself but I ended up having a local shop in my home town help with the invitations since I was getting so frustrated.  I did the Save The Dates myself creating some graphics that were used in the invitations.  We had Hollo’s Papercraft make the final invitations.  They were extremely inexpensive for invitations and Irene was so easy to work with by e-mail.  We were able to get exactly what we wanted, modern and medical themed.


After the Wedding …

Where did you go for your honeymoon? We spent a week at Nayara Hotel Spa and Gardens in Coast Rica.  This resort was unbelievable and very.  It was rated as the number 4 hotel in the world and it completely lived up to this.  We booked a package filled of amazing food and great adventure. We even had our own casita with hot tub on the balcony overlooking the La Fortuna volcano.  We know this will be a hotel that we will visit again in the future.  <>

 If you could give yourself any advice prior to the wedding, what would it be?   To stay relaxed and know that everything will work out.  I know that this is super cliché but it is true.  I felt anxious more so over the little details and not about getting married.  I wish I did not spend so much time focused on the “pinterest projects” because that worried me the most! Totally crazy I know, but in the end they did not matter, it was the time I was able to spend with my friends and family.  It is true what everyone says, the day goes by soooo fast!



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