When Alli and Dustin's close family friend, Scott, offered up his home on Lake Calm for their big day this past November, they didn't think twice. Some of the couple's fondest memories took place in that home - bringing their pets there to the lake on weekends, heading out for "stay-cations" because they love it so much - and it was the perfect setting for their laid-back, casual, fun-optimized lake house wedding. Stephanie A. Smith Photography captured this totally smitten couple and their perfect day.
As Tampa natives, Dustin and Alli crossed paths many times without meeting, until they were finally set up by their longtime close friends, Lucy and Sharkey Bowers. The matchmaking couple planned a BBQ and invited both Dustin and Alli, but neither of them were planning to attend. Alli had a last minute change of heart, and Dustin was given these words of wisdom from Scott: "You have to go. You'll never know if this is the one you're going to marry." Dustin laughed... and headed out to meet his future bride.
The two have a weekly champagne tradition (which is seriously the most adorable thing I've ever heard): Alli started it back in 2013, one week after they first met, by greeting Dustin at the bar with "Happy One Week Anniversary!" Since that time, they've celebrated each Saturday by popping a bottle of champagne.
Dustin and Alli have a ton in common, from both having large and close families filled with fun traditions, to enjoying binge watching series. They also share three furbabies: Naddi, Tucker and Lily. Dustin loves Alli's "love for life. Her ability to live in the moment and enjoy the little things. Little things that typically go unnoticed and not appreciated by most." And Alli loves Dustin's thoughtfulness: "He always thinks about me first before anything and everything he does. He truly cares about making me happy and it shows in his thoughts, words, and actions."
Scott, an avid antique car owner, also provided his fully restored Thunderbird for the day... and it was gorgeous.
“It was absolutely surreal. Such a special day that really portrayed our relationship and our love together better than words could ever do justice. The whole day was amazing but I was the most nervous I have ever been. I was dying to see Dustin, and once I got out of the Thunderbird and saw his face for the first time I was immediately put at ease.”
The couple's pastor, Kathy Conner, officiated the ceremony; she baptized Alli as an infant, and currently leads her women's Bible study. Alli shared another fun memory from the ceremony: "A big fly landed on my lipstick and kept flying on my face, which offered some much needed comic relief during the ceremony."
Top planning priority for these two was for their guests to have FUN. They wanted a wedding day that reflected their laid-back, casual personalities, and brought all their closest friends and family together for a memorable evening, so they went with a rustic, shabby-chic theme and emphasized the band, venue and open bar. They decorated the backyard of the house simply and seasonally, with white hydrangeas, baby's breath and pine cones in rustic arrangements.
TOMS and t-rexes = so perfect.
Congratulations, you two! Here's to many more perfect weekends at the lake.