Wedding Weekend Info:
Hotel accommodations for guests: Most of our guests were in town, but we did send out a map with directions printed on simple brown card stock, on the back it had 3 hotel recommendations located in different areas of town…one towards the beach, one by the airport and one closer to the venue. We didn’t have any specific hotel we wanted to recommend, so we looked at reviews and suggested affordable hotels in our area. A friend designed this handout and we placed it inside the envelope with our invitations. We printed them for cheap at Office Max.
Rehearsal Dinner Location: The Winterbourne Inn, Orange Park Florida. This was the cutest, most intimate, plantation style home on the St Johns river…just the laid back, family oriented style we were looking for. The food was fabulous…the cooks on staff make home style southern food that is amazing! We went with chicken and dumplings and roast beef, mixed veggies, baked potato casserole, bread, salad and banana pudding for dessert. I would definitely recommend this venue!!!
Ceremony & Reception Location: The Keeler Property on Normandy Blvd, Jacksonville Florida. I had always dreamed of getting married in a laid back rustic venue…like a barn. My mom saw an article in the Times Union a few years back and cut it out and saved it. When Greg and I got engaged, mom pulled it out and showed me and it seemed like exactly what I was looking for. We went and met with Diana and toured the property. It was a quaint, family owned property with 2 ponds, a covered bridge made of old barn wood for an outdoor ceremony, and a bright red barn for the reception. The barn is huge and had plenty of room for my 165 guests. Also has very nice bathrooms and a bridal suite where we were able to get ready the day of. I could not have been happier with our venue and would definitely recommend it. Our day at the Keeler property was absolutely perfect! (www.thekeelerproperty.com)
Caterer: Anthony’s Gourmet Catering, Orange Park, FL. This is one of the Keeler Property’s preferred vendors. I know why after they catered our event. They were experienced at our venue and were very efficient. We met with Rob a few months prior to our event and he already had numerous menu’s from previous weddings he had done at our venue. We set up a tasting and fell in love with all of our choices. We wanted down home southern food! We went with fried chicken and pulled pork with southern sides: sweet potato soufflé, mixed veggies, mac-n-cheese, garlic toast & corn bread soufflé . We also had a salad bar with dinner and a coffee bar with dessert. While we were taking pictures and our guests were waiting, the caterer served passed hors d’oeuvres…tomato bisque with grilled cheese wedge, fried green tomatoes with marinara & a pulled pork slider with candied jalapenos on a corn bread wedge. Everything was fabulous! The staff even brought drinks and hors d’oeuvres out to the bridal party and family that were outside taking pictures. Anthony’s had friendly staff and fabulous service.
We chose to provide our own mismatched vintage china plates and Ball jelly jars for our cups. My mom and I had a blast “thrifting” around town at antique stores and goodwills and the china turned out to be so beautiful. It really added to the barn setting and made the reception have a very personal/vintage feel.
Wedding Coordinator: We didn’t have a wedding planner, we did all of the planning and décor on our own, however I had some angst as to how the actual wedding day would go as far as setting up, staying on schedule etc. So we decided to hire Janie Egan, the Keeler Properties day of coordinator. We were so happy we did. In the few weeks leading up to the wedding Janie contacted all of our vendors and confirmed date, delivery times etc. She handled all of the decorating the day of and also helped us break down and clean up the reception. We couldn’t have been happier. She is very talented at what she does and a joy to work with! (Janie@thekeelerproperty.com)
Photographer: Oh, Tonya Beaver…I can’t even find words to describe how wonderful she was from day one…minute one…from our planning up to the day of the event and after she and her assistant Danielle and all of her second shooters have been so wonderful. Friendly and down-to-earth… and oh so talented! In my opinion, the very BEST of Jax! Tonya captures every detail and really listens to what is important to you. She is honest and tells you how it is from experience. She does not stop until the job is done! Our engagement session was so fun & the pictures turned out great! The day of the wedding, she showed up at 1230 and shot girls getting ready, details, groomsmen and bridesmaids and preceremony wedding shots….and she did not leave until after we drove off at 9pm. She brought top notch second shooters and they worked so well together to capture every detail of our perfect day! She keeps in touch with you and really knows what she is doing. She made sure that everything ran smoothly the day of my wedding. Such a professional, a friend, and a pleasure to be around! Because of her, we have memories frozen in time that we can enjoy for a lifetime! THANKYOU!
Cake/Cupcakes: Publix-yellow cake with raspberry filling and fondant icing. Cupcakes from sweet by Holly @ the St Johns Town Center.
Florist: Rose of Sharon European Florist. This is actually the florist who did Tonya Beavers (our photographers) wedding. They came highly recommended and lived up to all the bragging! Lynette and her son Paul were so awesome to work with, friendly, honest, experienced. Our bouquets, flowers for family, ceremony mason jar arrangements and reception centerpieces we all so beautiful and perfect!. Everything was so detailed and eclectic and fit our rustic/vintage theme and venue perfectly. We had a 12ft barn wood cross and Lynette created a floral arrangement to adorn it and it was gorgeous…exactly what we had envisioned and more! You would be crazy not to choose them for your wedding Florist!
Officient: Gregs Uncle, Reverend Gordon Keller.
Hair: Chuck Putman, stylist & owner & Liz Davis, hairstylist from “Dirty Blonde Salon” in Jax Beach. Chuck is a family friend and has done my hair my whole life…he did my hair for high school PROM. Down-to-earth, funny, hip and so talented!
Make Up: Carrie Wilson makeup. Carrie is one of Chucks friends and so experienced in the makeup industry. She has worked with celebrities and has an awesome bio. So friendly and great at what she does. Carrie wants to create exactly what you want…she listens and then accomplishes it to a T!
Entertainment: DJ Shane Entertainment, Inc. Shane came recommended by our photographer because he had done a wedding she had recently shot. I was so in shock at how good he was, The best wedding DJ I have ever met. He totally handled running the reception and kept in touch with Greg and I on timeframes, schedule etc throughout the whole night. He was upbeat and kept the guest excited. He created a fun, party atmosphere we were looking for and made everyone have a blast! He did the music and microphone for our ceremony and even made us a CD of our reception. Shane took 2 hours on the phone to get to know me and listen to what we wanted and then he created the perfect atmosphere for our event! Over the top good and highly recommended. He is from Melbourne FL but will travel for your event. (djshane@bellsouth,net)
Transportation: Our wedding party provided their own transportation and Greg & I left in his truck!
Wedding Dress: The very first dress I tried on at “Love Bridal Boutique” in Jax Beach. Liza greeted us, asked what I had in mind, I showed her a few pictures and she picked out the dress of my dreams! Both my mom and I were shocked by how easy the process was. It was exactly what I wanted.
Wedding Shoes: My “Durango Heartfelt Cowboy Boots”. I’m a boots kinda girl and it was just fitting to wear them on my wedding day. They were taupe with hearts cut out of the sides. The perfect accent to my vintage inspired lace dress. (Countryoutfitter.com)
Bridesmaids Dresses: “When the Night Comes Dress in Petal” from Modcloth.com. Vintage inspired and the perfect style with cowboy boots for my bridesmaids. We actually caught these at the perfect time because they were on clearance for $49.99 which my bridesmaids loved!
Groom & Groomsmen: Michaels Formalwear. We chose Michaels because they were much cheaper than Men’s Warehouse, by hundreds of dollars. We chose a Calvin Kline grey tuxedo and brown dress shoes. We were very unhappy with our tux’s…they were supposed to be slim fitting and looked more like “hammer pants”. Multiple grooms men had shoes that had the sole peeling back on them, and the tux’s were all dirty/stained. I have to say for a poor quality product, the guys looked mighty fine!!! Ties- “Silver & Mint Paisley Tie” came from cheapneckties.com…fabulous product for only $20 per tie. They have a huge selection and product shipped very quickly! Tie was even more beautiful in person than online!
Where did you go for your honeymoon?
We went to a brand new all-inclusive resort called “Breathless” in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The service was fabulous, facility was modern and pool and beaches were awesome! The food was okay. I don’t consider myself picky but I was not impressed with the breakfast and lunch buffet…lots of choices but the quality and taste was not gourmet! Dinners were sit-down/menu and we loved every single dinner. We went for 7 nights…unless you are planning on venturing away from the resort and doing multiple excursions, we would recommend saving some money and only going for like 4 nights (7 was a little much of the exact same thing). Being in paradise with the love of my life was great. We relaxed and even had a couples massage on the beach! Also would not recommend using American Airlines…total nightmare.
If you could give yourself any advice prior to the wedding, what would it be?
Simmer Down! Don’t sweat all the tiny little details because most people won’t even notice or remember them. No matter what happens on your wedding day, you are still the luckiest girl in the world to be marrying the love of your life!!! Soak it all in because all of the stressing and planning will fly by and you will look back with your husband after the BIG day and you will both go, “it was all kinda a blur”. Enjoy spending you day with family and friends!!!