Erin and Sean's wedding was filled with beautiful flowers and decor, meaningful details, creative touches... and nearly 800 guests. (Yes, 800!) Family, friends, their congregation and their talented stylist/coordinator Kasey D all pitched in to help them create the wedding of their dreams. And now, thanks to the gorgeous photographic work of Erika Delgado, we get to show you how it all came together!
So much of Erin and Sean's story revolves around their church, Abundant Life Christian Centre in Margate: it's where Sean grew up, with his father as the minister; where they met while volunteering with the youth group; and where Sean now works and is a minister. It's not surprising that it would also be the focal point of their wedding!
From Erin: Our church is really important to us, so we wanted it to be a big part of the wedding process. Sean's Best Man filmed our Save-the-Date video right on our church property and Sean edited it into a masterpiece. We incorporated that space into every aspect of the wedding – we went back there for our engagement photos, our pre-wedding video and our first look shots. We had the ceremony in the sanctuary and reception in the back. Because my husband is a minister and was born and raised in our church, he knows and has significant relationships with many people. We invited the whole congregation because there was no way to pick and choose; we ended up having nearly 800 guests.
A few months after the two started officially dating, Sean proposed on the beach at Sunrise. Erin's answer? "Of course!" As the bride tells us, they complement each other perfectly and yet have so much in common: We share the same strong faith in God, which has been the key to the success of our whole relationship. We are both high energy, movie-loving, home bodies. I have experience as a writer and he is an incredible graphic designer, so we are able to work together on lots of different projects. We are fantastic communicators; we really listen to each other and we talk about everything. Sean and I have great respect for each other and the roles we play in the life we share.
Sean's father, the Bishop and lead pastor of their church, led the service. As Erika tells us, "It was a tear jerking type of ceremony. They planted a tree together to symbolize their future of growth as a couple and decorated the building with photos from our engagement session, wild lavender and pink florals and of course, lots of string lighting.
Here's a little info that I know y'all will love: the creative vision for this beautiful day was all the groom's! Sean came up with their "Light up the Night" theme, and was the one to coordinate many of the design elements. Says Erin, "Sean kept most of the on-site designs a surprise for me, so it was so wonderfully overwhelming finally being able to take in all the little details." Their church pitched in to help with the setup: "... planning, designing, building, painting, cutting, gluing, organizing, laying flooring, hanging lights – you name it, they did it. We had an absolutely beautiful wedding that could not have executed without countless volunteer hours. It was incredible!"
That amazing backdrop? Another surprise from Sean, showing their guests the 'theme' of their night along his special words to Erin.
I also asked Erin to share their strategy for dealing with such a large guest list. The main areas that saved the day: (1) going with hearty passed hors d'oeuvres rather than a sit-down meal; (2) providing a mix of large rounds and small high top tables rather than assigned seats for all, reserving a few tables for the elderly and close family; (3) having a photo booth with copies for guests to take home rather than traditional favors; (4) skipping the receiving line, which would have been just impossible.
And Erin's tips for dealing with it all: My wedding coordinator was just wonderful helping us walk through this process. There are so many formal rules to follow and stress about during the planning process that simply cannot apply to large weddings. Be prepared to be flexible. Not everything will be exactly perfect. Just know that going into it and take everything in stride. Breathe deeply and remember it is YOUR DAY! Don't waste a moment!
For both of us, the most memorable parts were just seeing everything come together. We planned and pulled off this wedding in just 5 ½ months. Watching it all culminate into our dream wedding and thinking about all the work people put into it was just amazing and truly moving. It nearly brings me to tears now.
And I just love how all of that came out so perfectly in their photos, too. Big congrats to Erin and Sean, and thank you so much for sharing your story and advice!