You know a bride and groom are just too cool when their wedding goal is to have a big fancy family barbecue with cornhole and roasted smores! Jessica Roberts Photography did such a great job capturing the couple's seaside affair.
Bride Rachel shares all of her tips and planning secrets, like her super cute Nautical themed bachelorette party, and why she loved doing a first look. From another wedding on the same day and a jet skier splashing around directly behind the ceremony, this bride tells us how she managed it all!
What were your top three priorities for your wedding?
Our top three priorities were photography, atmosphere, and the budget.
Having a great photographer was so important to us because it's the only tangible thing you get to keep from the big day. Hiring our photographer was the very first thing we did and our most expensive item in the budget, but it was completely worth it.
We knew what we wanted our wedding to “feel” like before we ever picked a color or flower.
We're both pretty laid back with a big group of friends, and we wanted our wedding to feel like a big (fancy) family barbeque, so we played cornhole (handmade with help from my grandfather), roasted s'mores and danced in the grass outside all night long.
The budget was important to us because we struck a deal with my family that we could keep half of the money left over. Being strict on the budget meant I had to know my priorities, splurging where it was important and skipping the extras. While it took a little extra time to price shop, (we got quotes from 6 bakeries!) it was worth it when that deposit hit our bank account after the wedding.
Did you have a wedding theme in mind before you started planning?
Since our wedding was at the sailing club and I love sailing, I knew it would be nautical. I have always been drawn to preppier styles and I thought navy and white stripes would be the perfect way to tie in the nautical thread without being over the top. Yellow is my favorite color and really complimented the navy and white, so that's how we picked our color palette.
Another cool theme that happened as we planned was the scalloped edge. My engagement ring is scalloped and the edge of my veil was too. This helped inspire our cake and invitations!
When shopping for your wedding dress, how did you know you found “the one”? What was it like?
The day we went dress shopping I made two appointments. At the first one I fell in love with a lace tiered dress and wanted to cancel the other appointment, but my mom encouraged me to just look at the second store just to be sure… thankfully. The very first dress I tried on at the second store was “the one!” It was totally different than the first one and not at all what I pictured myself in, but it fit like a glove and was the most gorgeous thing I'd ever seen. My mom took a picture of me when I came in to show them all, and my mouth is wide open in the biggest smile. Everyone there agreed, that was it!
Did you have a bridal shower or bachelorette party?
My bridal shower was right after Christmas, so my bridesmaids decided that we would have a New Year's themed party, so we could “ring” in the year we'd get married! We had giant gold 2016 balloons and even a countdown to 4:23 (our wedding date). The best part was taking Polaroid pictures and creating a miniature scrapbook with messages from my friends and family.
The bachelorette party was nautical themed. I wore a captain's hat with a veil on the back, and everyone else wore white sailor hats embroidered by one of my bridesmaids with “Bride's Mate” or “Bride's Crew.” We went out for tacos, drinks, and dancing. The hats were perfect because everyone immediately knew it was a bachelorette party!
Nautical Bachelorette Party Ideas
Throughout your wedding planning did anything surprise, irritate, or bum you out?
We met with our original caterer and the food was great, but three months later they still hadn't sent us a quote. Stressed and unable to get in touch with them three months before the wedding, I went to a caterer that we use at work a lot. I trusted his business because I've worked with him a lot and I knew his food was great! Having the peace of mind that I could trust him to show up made my stress level way less the day of.
One thing that really irritated me were the wedding timelines I would see in magazines. I was ALWAYS behind schedule according to those! As soon as I would see all of these things I was “supposed” to be doing it made me really anxious. Thankfully my wedding planner would always make me feel better. My motto became, “If she's not stressed about it, I'm not stressed about it.” I quit buying those magazines and made my own timeline.
Did you have a wedding planner? If so, what was your experience with them?
Having a wedding planner was fantastic! She offered full planning, access to her inventory, and wholesale linen rentals and flowers, plus she knew the best people in the business and what prices were reasonable. It was great to know that I had a professional on my side and that someone else would sweat the small things so I could focus on getting married to the man of my dreams!
Did you do a first look? Would you recommend it to future brides?
Having a first look was the best decision we made! I was a total ball of stress the day of the wedding. If someone had asked if I was ok, I may have cried. Jonathan said he woke up with a migraine, but once we saw each other, my stress and his headache were both gone. From there on out, it was just fun!
Throughout your wedding day, did you have anything go wrong or a “Bummed Bride” moment? If so, how did you handle it?
There was another wedding pretty close to ours that day. We know this because a few of our guests ended up there! They said that it was in a trailer park with hay bales as seats. When they saw the bridesmaids wearing camo, they realized they were in the wrong place!
Another funny moment was that the ceremony was very close to the water, and a jet skier thought it would be a great opportunity to show off his skills. He did donuts in the water behind us for part of the ceremony, but I was so zoned in on Jonathan, I barely noticed.
What was your favorite moment from your wedding day?
My favorite moment from the wedding day was the toasts, especially my dad's. I've never seen him give a speech in my life; It was so unexpected, goofy, and sincere. It made the day and welcoming Jonathan into the family so much more special.
What is your best advice for brides planning their wedding?
My advice to brides is to know your priorities and stick to them. Everyone you encounter while you're engaged will give you wedding planning advice, from who to invite to what to eat to how they feel about first looks, etc. If you know what's important to you and your fiance, it's so much easier to feel like you're doing what's right for you, because at the end of the day that's what really matters!
Photographer: Jessica Roberts Photography // Cake Designer: a piece of cake // Dress Designer: Allure Bridal // Event Venue: Augusta Sailing Club // Invitation Designer: ByFarr // Dress Store: Carolina Couture // DJ: DJ Manny // Caterer: Fancy That Bistro & Catering // Shoes: Jack Rogers // Groomsman Attire: Mens Wearhouse // Event Designer: Overflow Events//