I fell for this couple pretty much immediately: Florida girl falls in love with Alaska and moves there; meets Alaska boy and falls head over heels for him. A few years later, they come back to the sunshine state for an intimate, vintage-inspired backyard wedding... captured by Elevation 9 Photography and planned to perfection by one of our Faves, Sugar(ed) Event Design and Planning. What's not to love?
Valerie and Alan set a February date for their wedding, so coming back to Florida's winter weather was an easy decision. According to Valerie, the location was also a way to bring their families closer together: "By having the wedding in Florida, I was able to share a little part of me with Alan's family. I also had family traveling from Colombia, so Florida seemed like a nice 'middle point'. My mom's backyard was the perfect venue because we both wanted something intimate and small. I think the final guest count was around 45. My mother was so excited to be able to have it there too, so I was happy to see HER happy."
The two share many interests and hobbies, which sounds pretty key for living in Alaska. As Valerie tells us:
We both enjoy fishing and camping in the summer time and being active together. We also just have a deep love for Alaska... not many people can live up here and stay for the SUPER long winters, but I think we have such a strong bond and relationship that those 8 months are very tolerable without getting cabin fever. I love that he is funny and caring and loves to take care of me. He says he loves the fact that I am learning to be 'Alaskan' and he loves that there are so many things I like doing that he also enjoys doing... it makes those activities even more fun because we are sharing them with each other.
We were pretty excited when Valerie told us that she followed Floridian Weddings during her planning! You know we're giving her a huge virtual high five for choosing Sugar(ed) to coordinate every detail. From Valerie: Planning was a breeze with Miranda. I was so worried because we were planning the wedding 5,000 miles away. I felt that with Miranda, I had zero things to worry about. I flew to Florida to go dress shopping back in May of 2012 so Miranda and I met up for the first time. She had appointments with vendors lined up for me while I was down there, which was perfect! I was literally able to book my major vendors while I was down there. We used Pinterest to communicate ideas and put together an inspiration board.
Unearthed Vintage supplied all the lovely vintage pieces for the day, and it's pretty obvious that the bride got everything she had dreamed of: It's so difficult to pick one favorite detail because everything was so awesome. I did love the church pews so much during our ceremony (I had to BEG Alan to say yes to them... he was eventually really happy that he said yes to them because he loved them too). I also loooooooved our chandelier over our sweetheart table. The decor was out of this world! It was seriously everything that I had dreamed about. It was cute when Alan said in his speech during the reception "This seriously looks like everything Val had told me about, its incredible!
Valerie also shared a few of her favorite moments...One of my favorite moments was hearing my husband say his vows to me in Spanish so that my family from Colombia could understand him. I loved it so much! I also thought the garter toss was hilarious. Alan came out from the dark with sunglasses on and with "Danger Zone" playing in the background (his favorite movie is Top Gun). I honestly couldn't stop laughing.
Dancing with my mom was also on my top best moments of the night. I loved sharing such a special moment with my mom... apparently there wasn't a dry eye in the audience :) But, by far, my favorite moment was dancing with my husband for the first time under the lights. Nothing can ever top that!
Val's mother surprised the couples with some seriously hot reception entertainment - fire dancers!
As a special treat, we also have the gorgeous film captured by Michael Burgos...
Valerie wrapped up her story with something I really loved to hear: "Maybe we can inspire a bride out there just as your other brides in the past inspired me!" I think that's a given, Val! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful day with us!
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Private Home in Plantation | Photography: Elevation 9 Photography | Event Design & Coordination: Sugar(ed) Event Design and Planning | Rentals: Unearthed Vintage | Cinematography: Michael Burgos Films | Floral Design: Love the Blooms | Catering: Hugh's Catering | Cakes: Sweeter Days Bake Shop | DJ: Avant DJs | Hair & Makeup: Art of Glam | Officiant: Eddie Rodriguez | Favors: Sweet Caroline Jams | Invitations: Rosie Day Design | Guestbook: Custom Chalk