How did you two meet? Astin and I met 2 years before we started dating. I was looking for a new disciple group (small group through our church) to join and I only had one free evening during the week because of my dance teaching schedule. I looked for the group that was closest to my house and that met on Monday nights and the “Hunt” group it was! It takes me awhile to open up and get to know new people but after about a year the group had really grown on me and by the time Astin began to pursue me this special group of people (who played a HUGE roll in our wedding) were more like family than just friends.
How did he propose?
I always knew that when Astin proposed he would make it special. He loves to create beautiful moments and he did not disappoint! I had to work on my birthday but Astin secretly arranged for my boss to let me off early that night. We had plans to go to the Cowford Chophouse for dinner that night after I finished teaching. When I walked into the doors of the studio where I work my students were lined up holding signs stating why they loved me and why they were thankful to have me as a teacher. They each walked up to me, handed me their sign and a flower. As I stepped further into the studio more of my students and their families were waiting inside and stated singing happy birthday to me. There was a table of beautiful cupcakes and the ceiling was covered in balloons. I remember thinking this was so sweet of them but also wondered why they chose this particular birthday (not a monumental one) to throw me such a special celebration. As they finished singing the back door opened and Astin stepped inside holding a bouquet of flowers – at this point my heart was racing and I thought it might be “it” but also thought it could just be a fun surprise for my birthday. It only took a moment to know that this was in fact the moment I had waited for my whole life. He told me that he loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his life serving me (freaking out at this point). As he dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him I saw my family joyfully enter through the back door as I said “Yes!” I loved everything about Astin’s proposal – he spent so much time on the details. I love that he included my students who are so important to me and a huge part of my life. I also really cherish that he included my family – I am so grateful that they were able to share the moment with us. After tears and celebration we then headed to the Cowford Chophouse in downtown Jacksonville to complete a perfect evening.
How did you decide on your color scheme, flowers, and cake?
The colors for the wedding were actually the easiest decision we made. We were getting married in February but I did not want to play into Valentine’s day and do red or pink. I wanted it to have a bit of a winter feel. As I browsed Pinterest for ideas I fell in love with Steel Blue as a primary color, it felt right for the season and looked beautiful with natural pops of green that we used in our center pieces. I loved the idea of natural greenery with simple cream flowers. Astin really like this color scheme as well so it was we moved forward with Steel Blue, Grey, and Green as our color pallet. I did not want a fancy cake covered in fondant. When I saw images of “naked” cakes I really loved the natural sort of distressed feel they had. Once again simple beauty with just few pops of flowers to soften the look.
How did you decide on your invitations, and who did you use?
Planning a wedding on a budget is challenging so when it came to invitations I turned to Etsy. After scanning hundreds of invitations we settled on one that was a tree with a heart carved in it. Having a wedding that incorporated the outdoors was really important to both of us because we love to be outside whenever possible. We also knew we were going to be getting married between two trees so this invitation jumped out to us both. The template was on sale for $10 – I downloaded it and was able to edit whatever I wanted. After that we had them printed through an online company called Print Place. They turned out perfect!
What was the most fun part of wedding planning?
When it ended! Lol wedding planning was more stressful than I anticipated but I will say that shopping for my wedding dress was my favorite part. I enjoyed every moment of that experience.
Which part did you not like as much?
Budgeting was a challenge. Deciding where to spend money and how to create a beautiful wedding without going into debt.
What are the biggest pieces of advice you wish you would have known before the wedding day.
Hmm I am not sure. One thing people told me over and over was that the day would go by in a blink. So many brides told me that their wedding day was a blur. After all the planning and anticipation I did not want that to be my story. Because of that I was very intentional about taking in every moment and savoring it and I am so glad I did. I loved every moment of my wedding day.
Wedding Weekend Info:
Hotel accommodations for guests: we did not have many out of town guests so we worked with each of them individually to find accommodations that worked best for Thor trip.
Rehearsal Dinner Location:
Ceremony Location: All 4 One Farms
Reception Location: All 4 One Farms
Caterer: Joey Mozzerella’s (amazing mom and pop Italian)
Wedding Coordinator: Brittany Batts and Wendy Owens (good friends of ours)
Photographer: Tonya Beaver Photography
Cake: -My amazing maid of Honor Amanda Parler made our cake
– Astin’s Mom Jacquie Heinze spent countless hours making 120 cupcakes for our cupcake bar with beautiful individually made edible flowers on top.
Florist: Brittany and Wendy did all of our flower arrangements
Officiate: Ryan Britt
Hair: Michelle Couchenour
Make-up: Michelle Couchenour
Entertainment: Cliff Long – DJ
Iphotobooth- photo booth
Wedding Dress: Purchased at Brides and More
Brand – Casa Blanca
Wedding Shoes: Etsy
Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal
Groom and Groomsmen Wear: Michael’s Formal Wear
In your words, can you give a storyline of your wedding day?
After a whirlwind of packing for the honeymoon, hosting friends and family, and moving Astin out of his house I was determined to stress as little as possible on the day of the wedding. The day began at Compliments by Sherry, the salon where my friend Michelle Couchenour works. She took her time and did an amazing job on my hair and make up. Because we are good friends we laughed and chatted and had a great morning. Once finished at the salon Amanda, my maid of honor and I drove 50 min or so to the farm. As we neared the venue the sky opened up and it began to pour…I willed myself to not panic and trusted that the day would be beautiful no matter what. Once I arrived at the venue I was blown away by the beautiful work that Brittany and Wendy had done on the decor – it was everything I had envisioned. Before I knew it it was time to get dressed and take pictures – the sun began to spill out from behind the clouds just in time to get some beautiful shots and get the ceremony space ready for guests. The hardest part of the day was waiting to walk down the isle. Because several people were stuck in traffic the ceremony was delayed 30 min. I just wanted to see my man at the end of the isle! To ease my antsy-ness my bridesmaids pulled out heads up on their phones and played with me to distract me from my impatience. Once our ceremony began I was washed I peace. I could not have asked for a better service. Our pastor, Ryan Britt made every moment special for us and really helped fulfill the vision we had for the ceremony. Once married the party began! What a fun night we had laughing and dancing with friends and family. It was not lost on us how special
It was to have so many of the people we love in the same place at the same time.
What was the high point of your wedding day that you hope to remember forever?
Definitely the moment the doors opened and I locked eyes with Astin. I know that sounds cliche but really that is what it was all about for me. The ceremony was more important to us than the party. Conventing our lives to each other was something we wanted to cherish and not take lightly.
Jacksonville Wedding Photography
Tonya Beaver Photography is a photo studio located in Jacksonville Beach, Florida providing: newborn, children, family, engagement, and wedding photography.