Venue: @riverhouseevents – River House Events Saint Augustine
Bartending @funcoastbar – Fun Coast Bar
Flowers @jadevioletweddingfloral – Jade Violet Wedding Floral
Band @baykingsband – Kings Bay Band
Photography @tonyabeaverphotography – Tonya Beaver Photography
Videography @nicalexproductions – Nicalex Productions
Photobooth @smileyfacephotobooth – Smileyface Photo Booth
Planners @coastalcoordinating – Coastal Coordinating
Catering @dei_jax – DEI Jax
Hair/makeup @sarinadurden.beauty – Sarina Durdden Beauty
Ceremony @sensationalceremonies – Sensational Ceremonies
St. John’s illuminations
Rentals: All about events Jax
Saint Augustine Wedding Photography
Tonya Beaver Photography is a photo studio located in Jacksonville Beach, Florida providing: newborn, children, family, engagement, and wedding photography.
How did you two meet?:
Carter and I met at a wedding on January 24, 2015. It was at the Vinoy in St. Pete celebrating our closest friends Sheena and Nick Bentley. He was his fraternity brother and travel soccer friend (since elementary school), and Sheena was my sorority sister at FSU (Go Noles). During a couples dance, we both happened to be up at the bar and Carter came over and introduced himself. He was so handsome in his tuxedo, and we quikly realized we were less than 5 minutes away back on the east coast of Florida (Palm Beach Gardens) at the time, which struck up a long coversation. We danced the night away, and the rest is history.
How did he propose?
Ahhh…my favorite story. It was the weekend before my birthday, and I have always had a dream to “swim with the pigs” in the Exumas, Bahamas. For the 3 years prior, Carter had always known this was on my bucket list, and that weekend my dreams came true…multiple dreams that is! The Wednesday before that weekend (May 18-20th, 2018), Carter told me to pack a few swimsuits, and some “sundress thingy’s” – his exact words haha, and that we were going on a weekend getaway to celebrate my big 3-0 (didn’t know where we were going until we were at the terminal at PBI). Fast forward to Friday, and we were on a plane to Nassau then caught a puddle jumper over to the most beautiful island of Staniel Cay, Bahamas. It was a small quaint island, surrounded by pristine water, beaches and yes…pig island just across the way! At this momemt, I knew my bucket list of swimming with the pigs was about to come true. That had me completely distracted to the fact that, after two days of snorkeling, beachin’, eating/drinking with the locals, two dreams were about to come true. On Sunday, May 20th, 2018, Carter had rented a boat for us to use for the weekend. We cruised over around 9:00am to “pig island” and were greeted with dozens of two week old piglets, their parents and many other piggies running around. It was truly the best day of my life! There were only a handful of other folks on the island, and all of a sudden all of them hopped back on their boats and left leaving just Carter, myself and 3 other folks that were making their way to their boat. As I was observing the little piglets on one part of the island, Carter had snuck away to grab me a towel. As he was on his way to the boat (you have to swim out a bit to get to your boat), he asked the 3 folks if they could snap a few pictures, since he was about to propose. He had tucked the ring/ring box in the towel and swam up to shore. The stars truly aligned.. he asked if we were ready to take a walk to see the other part of the island, and as we were walking, he looked at me and then got down on one knee. It was a moment i’ll never forget. My dream man proposed to me on my dream island!
Color Scheme, Flowers & Cake: It was a pretty easy decision for us to decide on Navy and Gold. We both love the water, and growing up on a boat, fishing and at the beach it was an easy decision to us to pick nautical colors. My mom(marms), and I were thinking of centerpiece ideas, and she came up with the idea to use Bahamiam Queen Conch shells as the girls bouqets and then re-purpose onto the tables! We have 14 tables + the head, but we turned that vision into reality! I love orchids, so we wanted to incorporate those as well. cake was an easy decision! Carter works for Mike’s Pies, a family owned and operated business ran by his father Courtney (operations), and the owner and inspiration Mike Martin. It has been a family business of their’s for over 25 years. They make the best cheesecakes, pies and brownies, so we had a variety of different mini pies for guests! We both love coconut and its a “beachy” dessert, so we decided on the Coconut Cake for our cake cutting! The mini pies were homemade: Pecan, Sea Salt Caramel & their famous Key Lime Pie.
Invitations: We wanted simple invitations with a formal, but summer look. We decided to use Zazzle for all of our invitations and Save the Dates. My Marms and I created all of the invitations/Save the Dates and Hotel Welcome Cards.
Most fun part of Wedding Planning?: The most fun part ..I would have to say is getting to bring my vision to life with the help of my best friend aka my Mom(marms). I have dreamed of planning my wedding with her since I was a little girl. Her and I spent days and weekends exchanging ideas, making weekend trips up to St. Augustine, and laughing the whole time. She has such an incerdible eye for design, so we had so much personalizing Carter and I’s big day together. Carter and I had a blast at our tasting, and connecting with our band, and all the details in between as well! Another fun/special moment, was that my dad and Carter hand picked the pilings (pictured in my ceremony) that would be next to where Carter and I say our I Do’s. My dad cut and leveled every piling and spent hours picking the right ones…those things are not light either! My dad piled them into his truck, brought them up to St. Augustine and Carter and my dad put them together the Thursday before the wedding. They were such a persoanl and special touch.
Which part did we not like so much?: The guest list. Having to narrow down the guest list is always the hardest part. We knew we wanted to have a more intimate wedding, and had all of our closest friends and family there!
Hotel: Embassy Suites St Augustine Beach Resort – IT WAS AMAZING!
Rehearsal: The Black Fly (so delicious)
Ceremony & Reception: River House
Caterer: Designed Events (John and Mark)
Coordinator: Coastal Coordinating (Shelly)
Custom Painted Oyster Shell “Placecards”: Paxton Point (Rachel – Etsy)
Photo: YOU!! AMAZING
Videographer: Nicalex Productions – also so amazing
Cake/Pies: Mike’s Pies
Florist: Jade Violet
Groom’s Favors: Yeti
Officiate: Rev Randy Hale – Sensational Ceremonies
Hair/Makeup: Sarina Durden Beauty
Entertainment: Bay Kings Band
Transportation: East Coast Transportation
Wedding Dress: Allure – Bellissima Bride – Deerfield Beach, FL
Wedding Shoes: Aldo
Bartending: Funcoast Bartending
Glassware/Dinnerware rental: All About Events
Drapery: St Johns Illuminations
Photo Booth: Smiley Face (Wanda)
Bridesmaid Dresses: Sorella Vita – Casa de Bridesmaids – Deerfield Beach, FL
Groom & Groomsmen Wear: Jos A Bank Custom Suits
In your words, can you give a storyline of your wedding day?
It was a beautiful Saturday morning on June 1, 2019. Carter and I decided to not see one another until the double doors opened and my dad walked me down the isle. All of the girls got ready at the Embassy, and then we made our way over to the River House for some pre-game pictures and events! Carter and his groomsman made their way to the River House, while us girls did final touches in the bridal suite! My dad and I did a first look, and it was just him and I. Another moment I have dreamed about, and it was as emotional as I thought it would be. I will forever his little girl and he will always be my first love. When it was time to go down the isle, my dad came back in and we laughed, teared up a bit, shared a lot of hugs and then we linked arms and were ready to go. It couldn’t have been a more emotional and special moment for me. As the doors opened, I saw my soon-to-be handsome husband for the first time that day (6:00pm ceremony). Teared welled in his eyes, and my dad and I made our way down to the aisle to “Can’t Help Falling in Love” – Instrumentals. What.a.Moment.As we said prayers, exchanged our vows, and shared a moment with all of our guests it was a magical ceremony. A highlight was that we had our 11 year old doxie named Little Man Lynyrd Skynyrd run down the aisle to give us our rings. I almost burst into tears of happiness from seeing him. I have had him since college, and he was the cutest little man running down the isle with his blue bow tie on. Seeing all of our parents, my Gram Gram, Grandfather and Grandma in the crowd was also a memorable moment. I felt so lucky to have them witnessing me marrying the love of my life.
Fast forward to the reception…. Carter and I are both die hard Florida State Seminole fans, so we handmade a spear, and had our bridal party waive garnet and gold pom poms in the air in a tunnel formation, as we both held the spear up and ran through the tunnel as our introduction! It was SOOO FUN!! A Bobby Bowden Cutout made an appearance, and an Old Logo FSU flag was passed around throughout the night. The night was filled with touching moments, from our first dance to Chris Stapleton, my first dance with my dad (another moment iv’e dreamt of my whole life – I ALWAYS get teared up at everyone’s wedding during the dad/daughter dance), watching my husband dance with his mom, my dad’s speech which made us tear up, laugh hysterically, and realize how lucky we are to have found each other, to our incredible best friends speeches from our MOH and BEST MAN Cait & Marty (both childhood best friends). We danced the night away with friends and family, ate incredible food (and pies), watched the sunset together on the dock during photos, and shocked guests as a giant pink unicorn (Cait was wearing it) made its way onto the dance floor courtesy of my MOH Cait and her sister Jen. It was one of the funniest moments of the night. We also concluded the reception with a wild limbo and then as the guests piled out for the bubble exit, Carter and I (and our band), danced to “Faithfully Yours” by Journey to conclude our epic evening. It’s hard to pick out a favorite part of the evening, as it sure was everything we had dreamed of and more. Most importantly we exchanged our vows and made a lifetime commitment to one another. We were now married and had all our friends and family their to witness it!