When Desiree shared this sweet, handmade wedding with us, we couldn't wait to share it with you. It's filled with Southern charm, DIY touches, and a happy dose of love for our Gators... how could we resist?
These two Florida natives wanted nothing more for their wedding than to show their Gator pride and their Southern roots. Photos by Chris Martin shows us just how classic an Old Florida wedding can be!
From Mallory, "We knew what we wanted but we also wanted everyone to feel at home, like one big family, and also have a great time. We definitely achieved that and so much more, with the help of our family, friends, and great vendors!"
Mallory's bouquet of ranunculas, gerbera daisies, and roses was hand-tied with a monogrammed ribbon that included her new initials and their wedding date. She gave each one of her attendants a custom clutch that matched their personality by Oatmeal Lace Design. The clutches make a perfect gift that bridesmaids will use often and best of all, they are made in Florida! The invitations suite by The Blue Envelope showed guests early on that this was a Southern Gator wedding not to miss.
Our wedding planner Desiree, of Desiree Dawn Events, was amazing! She is a college friend of mine and made us feel so relaxed about every detail. We knew we could trust her and knew she would know everything that we needed to be prepared. And Chris was such an awesome photographer! He had the greatest picture ideas and he felt like an old friend more than someone we had hired.
Prior to their wedding day, Kyle had refurbished this antique tractor and it made a perfect agricultural accessory to the Southern Waters property. The oak trees, babbling brook, and wrap around porch only add to the charm that this venue, don't you think?
Southern Waters was a perfect venue for us, as well. We wanted it to be outdoors under the oaks and stars but also fit our large guest list of 250. We danced under the "rope light chandelier" and on our hay-covered dance floor and wish we could relive it everyday!
Being a graduate from the University of Florida and Kyle being a Gainesville native, we had to go with the obvious Orange & Blue! My MOH and I made our cake toppers which were little alligators, Kyle and I wore one orange and one blue sock with our boots, and we made sure to have the UF fight song and cheers during the reception! We were wed under a beautiful canopy of oaks, had great Florida sunshine light up our ceremony site and pictures, and also had swamp cabbage fritters as one of our appetizers!
Aren't these flower girls utterly adorable? They are wearing matching pillow-case dresses and tiny, white cowgirl boots.
Mallory describes her groom...
He's my perfect match! He's tall, sort of dark and very handsome! He loves me even when I'm crazy, and understands me even if I can't explain myself. He laughs at all of my jokes, doesn't mind watching Disney movies with me, and always tells me I'm beautiful. He's a hard worker and he always puts me and our fur kids before himself. We love a lot of the same things and I never get tired of being around him. We can sit around all day and never run out of things to talk about. I couldn't imagine my life without him and I'm glad our paths crossed!
And Kyle tells us about his bride...
She is everything I could ever ask for and much more. Caring. Loving. Beautiful. And Tough. Very family oriented and always puts others before her. Mallory is always happy and outgoing no matter what is actually going on. Hard working and dedicated. She also can put up with me for who I am and that is not an easy task! She truly is my best friend.
The wedding party carried the orange and blue theme with their navy dresses, blue gingham shirts, and orange accessories. The bridesmaid's bouquets were also tied with monogrammed ribbons donning their initials, another thoughtful gift from the bride.
Mason jars and Southern fare were not in short supply thanks to Cassie of Cracker Cookin' & Caterin'. We'd like to think that every jar and biscuit south of the Mason-Dixon line were present at this reception. They prepared a massive biscuit bar, with homemade jams and spreads, that geared folks up for the lip smacking BBQ feast to come.
Our caterer, Cassie, had the best ideas for food that totally fit our style and it was THE most amazing food we've ever eaten!!
Mallory works for Florida's Natural... the best OJ ever! Her boss let her collect juice box lids which she used as checker pieces. Using left-over burlap from her table runners, her maid-of-honor panted on the board squares. During cocktail hour, the guests had mini checker tournaments while enjoying their lemonade.
Our bride and groom wanted to line-dance the night away underneath the Florida stars. Only problem is it's pretty dark out there! Solution: they found a plan for a DIY hoola-hoop and string light chandelier on Pinterest and constructed this awesome light fixture for the night. The best man and his daughter laid hay on the dance floor which was a genius addition and a source of amusement for everyone.
Our wedding day was PERFECT! Everything we had imagined and more! We were both really relaxed the entire day, thanks to all of our great vendors and awesome wedding planner!! It was all outdoors, full of orange and blue, mason jars, good food, friends and family! And very laid back, just like us! There's nothing we would have changed and we were even lucky enough to dodge the rain that day!
No Florida Gator wedding is complete without some proper Tebowing, right?
I think it's pretty clear that Kyle and Mallory achieved everything they dreamed of and more. Congrats, you two! And thanks to Desiree and Chris for sharing this sweet day with us.
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Southern Waters, North Fort Myers | Planning and Decor: Desiree Dawn Events | Photography: Photos by Chris Martin | Catering: Cracker Cookin' & Caterin' | Bride's Bouquet & Boutonnières: Ruth Messmer Florist | Invitations: The Blue Envelope | Bridal Party Gifts: Oatmeal Lace Design | Rentals: Caloosa Tent & Rentals | Bride's Gown & Bridesmaid Dresses: David's Bridal | Cake: The Mad Batter | Desserts: DIY by maid of honor, bride & family | Cake Topper: DIY by bride