Sometimes, a wedding submission pops up into our folders and it immediately speaks to one of us. When I saw these soft, Southern-style images from Concept Photography, I immediately 'called it'! So much of this particular wedding reminds me of my own family and our home; lots of Spanish moss hanging from the big oak trees, long docks over beautiful, swampy waters, and a dog, of course! And after speaking with the lovely bride, I got so excited to share their story with all of you. In fact, Alex gave me such an awesome write-up for her special day that I'm going to let her tell you all about it...
I actually met Chad for the 1st time the fall of my junior year in college at FSU. We had a post-football game party at our house and he came with one of my best friend's boyfriends. I saw him sitting across the living room and thought, "Mannnn is that guy cute"! (It's funny how at the time it was an insignificant thought but I remember that thought so vividly). We continued to run into each other over the years, at friends weddings and football games, since we were in a similar circle of friends. We were always flirtacious but nothing ever happened. Then, during Christmas break of 2009 I was living in Manhattan (post college) and went down to Lakeland, Florida to visit friends. Chad came out to dinner with us that night and the rest is history. We have been together ever since. We survived a long distance relationship for 1 year (me in NYC, him in Florida) and then Chad took the leap of faith in Dec of 2010 and moved up here. We got engaged in March of 2012 and planned the wedding for April 2013 in Tallahassee. I had always wanted to do it in Tallahassee because it holds a close place in both our hearts plus it would be so much fun to get all our friends together for a small FSU reunion. And I wanted a theme of a souther old-Florida wedding, Great Gatsby meets Steele Magnolias. But this past July we said, "Ya know, what we just can't wait that long." His parents were throwing us an engagement party in Lakeland on August 18th, only 5 weeks away, and we said, "Let's do it"! So, we turned our engagement party into our wedding. We only had five short weeks to plan, but, by the grace of God we got everything we wanted. From the venue to the food to the photographer! It was beyond perfect and Chad and I both are thrilled to be married and not wait another year to tie the knot. And we still got to keep with the Old-Florida feel that I wanted. It was beyond perfect!
I knew Chad was something special when everything just came so easily and naturally. As a girl, I never fretted over, "Is he going to call?" or "Do you think he really likes me?". He always made his feeling very clear. That's when I knew I had found someone beyond amazing. I love the fact that Chad let's me be me. I can put my hair down and be myself and know that I am still loved, unconditionally. Chad is truly my best friend and it's so exciting to get to spend everyday with that person.
Alexandra and Chad were married at the First Presbyterian Chapel in Lakeland, Florida and like a lot of couples, there are some ideas that you have to let go of with regards to your wedding plans. Some things are over-budget while others just don't fit with the flow of the day you have planned. Alex really wanted her puppy with her and Chad, but, they just couldn't figure out a way for it to work. "They" couldn't, but Chad could...
One of my favorite things about our wedding was Chad's surprise to me. We have an 18-month-old mini golden doodle who is our little fur son. I wanted him at the wedding to be in photos, however, logistically it wasn't working out. Chad surprised me at the chapel and had Bleecker there for pictures after the ceremony. It was amazing and I literally cherish those pictures because it's truly the start of our little family.
The classic-Southern floral decor was created by 2 Sisters Events & Design with the help of some family heirlooms. Alex loved incorporating her great grandmother's lace linen for their cake table and the hanky that was wrapped around her bouquet was Chad's grandmothers, which was also used by her mother-in-law on her wedding day. I love how traditional and vintage this reception was and how it's balanced by the bride's modern-asymetrical gown and those sleek, black tuxedos. And the fact that both our groom and his bride look absolutely thrilled to be married is an obvious bonus, as Alex so confidently tells us...The best part was ending the night with a new last name and my partner-in-crime, by my side, for the REST OF MY LIFE!
I think it goes without saying that these two made a great decision to hurry-up-and-get-hitched. Alex told me that her best advice for our readers was to not prolong the engagement because being married is so worth it! I'd like to wish Mr. & Mrs. Crawford and their fur baby, Bleeker, a very long and happy life together, cheers!
Ceremony: First Presbyterian Church | Reception Venue: Lakeland Yacht & Country Club | Photography: Concept Photography | Floral Design: 2 Sisters Events & Design | Cake: Cakes by Maggi | Wedding Gown: WTOO | Bridesmaid Dresses: J Crew | Groom's Tux: Brooks Brothers Black Label | Getting Ready Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Rings: The Diamond District of NYC | Reception Entertainment: DJ Kelly | Ceremony Music: The Adonai Trio | Submission: Two Bright Lights