Steffani + Dominick | Autumnal Southern Charm Wedding

Novenas, roses, and a fateful road trip to Wisconsin. Steffani knew, coming back from a trip in 2012, that Dominick would be her future husband. But they wouldn’t be married until six years later. 

Their love story is a beautiful reflection of patience, prayer, and deep friendship that poured over into marriage. At their gorgeous autumn wedding, in true southern style, they made their vows before God and joyfully waltzed the night away with family and friends. 

From the Bride: Dominick and I met in 2012 during my senior year of college. We were on a road trip with a group of friends to Wisconsin for a mutual friend's wedding. Dominick was an altar server and I was a bridesmaid. 

When we arrived in Wisconsin, we all spent an evening outdoors at a quaint house settled in the middle of acres of land and corn fields. Dominick gave me his shoes to sit on in the grass, and we immediately clicked over a mutual love of beauty in nature, books, music, art, and theology. 

We spent the rest of the trip like this: escaping to take nature walks to talk about life and each other, dancing, and star gazing. It all sounds so cliché, but it really was adventurous, romantic, and sweet. 

It was exactly what I had been praying for after a couple relationships that left me feeling hopeless. I had been writing letters to my future spouse since 2010 about how God was converting my heart. I said countless novenas to St. Joseph for the grace to prepare me and the husband I did not yet know. I also prayed the novena to St. Therese of Lisieux frequently, in which it is said she will deliver a rose as an affirmation of her intercession. 

When we returned from Wisconsin I knew, perhaps from intuition, that Dominick was the man I was going to marry. Perhaps it was Divine Providence that he asked me to be his girlfriend with a single rose he picked from the garden at the University of St. Thomas, Houston. I took it as a blessing delivered by St. Therese. 

I didn’t know it was the same garden where he would ask me to be his wife almost six years later, and I would present him with the letters I had been writing and holding on to for almost eight years. God and his saints have a way of planning things better than I ever can, and I kept this reality present and true while preparing for our wedding day. 

Preparation for the vocation of marriage and not just the wedding day was the heartbeat of our engagement. That was the most common advice shared with us by married couples, and we took that very seriously. We went to confession and Mass often, prayed together more, and read books like Three to Get Married by Venerable Fulton Sheen and By Love Refined by Alice von Hildebrand for discussion. We reminded each other often of the wise words from our sponsor couple: “marriage is not about you, it’s about God.” 

The highlight of our engagement was our betrothal ceremony, which we performed on the Nativity of Mary to dedicate our sacramental engagement to her Immaculate Conception. We did it with the prayer that Mary might help purify and perfect the “giving of our troth” to each other.

We wanted our nuptial Mass to be an expression of God’s gift of beauty. This was our goal, to give back to God what he had given abundantly to us. My husband is a liturgist, and I am a theology teacher and Catholic event planner, so liturgy is a common topic in our relationship. It would no doubt be our top priority and the longest part of our planning. 

Dominick and I spent much of our relationship going to Mass at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, a Dominican parish filled with gorgeous, detailed architecture, woodwork, and stained glass, so we knew we wanted to get married there. In fact, this was where Dominick would have proposed to me, but it took him too long to get the words out. And so we ended up at the rose garden instead. Coincidence? Not likely! 

We both love the Traditional Latin Mass, which Dominick grew up with. I was drawn into it during a major conversion through youth ministry and was more accustomed to the Novus Ordo (the most commonly used form of the Mass after Vatican II, usually spoken in the vernacular), as were many of our guests. After we considered doing the Traditional Latin Mass, we decided to use more traditional elements within the Ordinary Form such as chanting the Mass parts in Latin and singing the antiphons with more contemporary songs as the preludes. It was the perfect package of old and new. 

We wanted to pick readings that were truly expressive of our shared faith, so I picked the Old Testament reading, and he picked the New Testament reading. As a romantic, I chose lines from the Song of Songs which have always spoken to my heart. It is the story of the lover and the beloved, of God pursuing me and my relationship with Dominick being a delightful reflection of that. Dominick chose Ephesians 5, a tough passage, but a reading that we reflected and prayed with throughout our engagement with the help of the deacon who led our marriage prep. It is a reading we encouraged each other to live out, and one that we wanted our guests to hear and hold us accountable to. 

The highest point of the entire nuptial Mass was receiving the Eucharist with my husband. My soul experienced something in that moment that was beyond understanding. It was an elevation that brought me to tears, and I was fully aware that I was now united to this man in a way I would never be united to any other human being--by sharing Jesus’ Eucharistic sacrifice in an intimate way as husband and wife. 

My entrance song was “Eternal Source of Light Divine” composed by Handel. We coordinated a schola choir with our musically-talented friends who gifted us with their voices and sang the Ode, which was a heavenly piece as Dominick and I saw one another for the first time. We decided not to do a first look to preserve this moment, but had a private moment of prayer instead and said the last day of our St. Josemaria Escriva novena for a faithful and happy marriage. 

We were married in November, so we decided on an “autumnal southern charm” styled wedding. The décor was filled with deep, rich gem tones and mauve and gold accent colors. Being very much a southern girl, I knew I wanted a Gone with the Wind, antique, grand feel to our wedding and reception--but on a budget. We found a large plantation-style venue tucked away on a pecan orchard to capture the look we wanted. It was so dreamy. 

We were extremely fortunate that many of our friends and coworkers donated items we needed like printing, invitations, and decorations. I did a few DIY projects like floral lantern toppers, grand entrance bell wands, and “bride” and “groom” chair wreaths. We splurged here and there on antique pieces, like the mirror we used for our seating arrangement and frames. 

Our nostalgic invitations echoed our theme as well with mauve calligraphy and deckled edge paper. Our guest book was a poster of two characters made to look like us, and it now hangs nicely in our home. Since my husband is Italian-American, our sweets table was filled with some of our favorite treats made by my mother-in-law. We added Catholic touches by incorporating saints that played important parts in our lives on our table numbers. 

I got ready before the wedding at Link Lee Mansion, where we also had our rehearsal dinner. It is such a stunning location at our alma mater. I soaked in time with my best friends and listened to their stories about marriage and motherhood while drinking mimosas and being pampered by our hair and make up team. They also gifted me with a basket of wine; one bottle from each of them for a major moment in our marriage with handwritten cards fit to make a bride cry. 

My favorite moments after Mass were filled with dancing! Our first dance was a waltz to “La Vie En Rose.” My husband and I love to ballroom dance, so we showed each other off with our practiced waltz step. At every Aquila wedding his family circles up and sways back and forth, singing at the top of their lungs, and kicking their legs to the song “New York, New York.” My husband is one of eleven, so the evening was filled with lots of people, joy, and laughter. 

We also had a private last dance. I stole this idea from a wedding I had worked a couple years before. While people lined up to see us leave, we shared a dance alone in the ballroom to a Glen Hansard song that we sang to each other in our first year of dating. As the song goes, “maybe I was born to hold you in these arms.”

Our wedding day was the start of a journey I believe I was truly meant for. Taking time to spiritually prepare the way we did only made our transition into married life that much better. It's not always easy, but knowing that we set a strong foundation of prayer and receiving the sacraments together gives us the graces we need. 

Savoring all the joy-filled moments of the day and not getting caught up in details I could no longer change put the emphasis back on us, our vocation, and God. We were supported in every step of our engagement by our parish community, family, and friends who constantly poured love and laughter upon us. Dominick and I both believe a relationship is not meant to turn in on itself but is meant to be shared with the Christian community. My cup has run over from the many blessings this provided to us.

Photography: Ten23 Photography | Church: Holy Rosary Catholic Church Houston, TX | Reception: The Estates at Pecan Park | Flowers: Mary Tran | Invitations & Stationary- Pax Paper (Dominika Ramos) | Bride's Dress: Allure Bridal | Veil: Custom Cathedral Veil (Cindy Rose) | Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Hair and Makeup: BP Artistry | Rings: Helzberg Diamonds | Groom and Groomsmen Suits: Men's Wearhouse | Cake: Magical Memories Made Simple | DJ: Dave Clark Events

Lea + Walter | Autumn Schoolhouse Wedding

Lea and Walter met at school--as teachers! Their friendship slowly blossomed over lunch duty, and their eventual engagement took place in the candlelit classroom where they first met.

Through the intercession of St. Jude and the graces of adoration, Lea entrusted her future spouse to the Lord, and her prayers were heard. 

From the Bride: I wasn’t looking for anyone when I first met Walter. We both worked at the same school; he was a substitute teacher covering a maternity leave, and I was a program assistant and taught an elective class. For the most part, we only saw each other as coworkers, and that was fine with me.

Even though I wasn’t looking, I prayed a novena to St. Jude, the patron saint of impossible cases, for my future spouse. The school days continued, and we continued to “just be coworkers” until Walter and I found ourselves on lunch duty together. 

Wanting to be courteous, I asked how his year was going and other niceties. I knew he grew up in the area, so I asked, “Where was it you went to grade school?” Quite plainly, he replied, “St. Jude’s.” I smiled, realizing I was about to finish my novena the following day. I wasn’t sure if God was trying to give me a sign, but I could tell he was working. 

For one of the elective classes I taught at the middle school, I took my students to adoration once a month. Because I taught multiple classes, other teachers came into the church to keep watch while I took one class out and brought in the next. During this time, I started to pray for my future spouse again. 

When I looked to see which teacher had come to help with the transition, it was Walter. “Interesting,” I thought. I decided to pray for him, saying, “Lord, bless Walter and whoever you would have for him to marry one day.” I felt peaceful about my unexpected prayer and headed out to get my next class of adorers. As the Holy Spirit would have it, I thought about Walter a lot during those next hours of adoration. The Lord was at work again. 

Although conversations were still casual and rather “lunch-timey”, we started to build more of a relationship. I learned that he liked (no, loved) sports. I liked...dance. He liked the Blackhawks and I liked...hummingbirds! I knew I had a lot to learn about this clam of a guy, but we were becoming friends, and our coworkers were taking note. 

It wasn’t long before his position was almost finished, and I started to feel sad. The lunch time conversations and hallway “hellos” were potentially coming to an end, and there was still so much I didn’t know about sports! Looking back, there were a lot of get-togethers his last month of subbing. It wasn’t long after that before we were officially dating. Our anniversary is the Epiphany of the Lord, and I think it’s quite clever. 

Later on, about one year ago, our journey to the altar started where it all began: at school. 

It was my birthday weekend, and Walter, my boyfriend, had made big plans for us. Progressive dinner dates are my favorite type of date, so that’s what filled our agenda for the night. At our first stop, we snacked on appetizers and enjoyed pub-type beverages. I couldn’t help but wonder where we would go next. 

I love surprises, but Walter does not. He told me he had a present waiting for me in the car, so I was eager to keep the night rolling. How had he kept it a secret since he had picked me up for dinner? When we got back into the car, I couldn’t spot a gift anywhere.

“So, where’s the gift?” I asked. 

“It’s actually something at the school. I’m going to take you there now.” 

At that point I was so excited, I couldn’t stop asking questions.

When we got to the school, we went into the classroom where we first met. It was dark. Why is it so dark, I wondered. Why is there a tablecloth on the side table and a vase with a dozen red roses? How is there a candle already lit? Why is he getting down on his knee? What is he saying right now? What is in that small box!? 

Needless to say, Walter and I were engaged that night, and so began our journey to becoming a wedded couple.

The process of our wedding and marriage preparation was truly a community effort. I lived with two of my bridesmaids at the time who helped me to organize plans, pick out bridesmaid dresses, colors, and flower and table arrangements. They served as my overall “wedding helpers.” 

My mom and Walter’s mom helped to gather addresses, and my sisters, Jenna and “Sis,” helped plan a super rad bachelorette party. Jenna even lent me her wedding dress to wear for the big day--unbeknownst to Walter, of course! I had a very talented friend use her artistic skills to hand write table cards, create wedding blackboards, and style hair for my bridesmaids. A bridesmaid even did my hair for the wedding. 

We were married in the same church where I had prayed for my future spouse that Friday afternoon in adoration.

I love my husband, but we could not be more different. He loves baseball, and I love dance. He loves hockey, and I love friendships. He loves golf, and I just don’t like sports. Even with our differing passions, we understand that our interests help make our relationship more balanced. He’s good at analyzing data, and I’m good at expressing my feelings. He’s strategic about problem solving, and I like executing plans. He’s good at finishing tasks, and I’m good at refining the details. 

Even just three months into marriage, we strive to understand the beauty of our wedding vows and try to uphold them as best we can. What we ultimately want in our marriage is God’s will for us. 

From the Groom: God’s intention for marriage to be between a man and a woman just makes sense. He made us perfectly ourselves, and yet we are so completely and amazingly different. My wife and I compliment each other and help one another to grow in holiness. She offers strengths that I do not have myself, and I offer strengths that she does not have. Together, we are seeking the ultimate end of marriage: heaven!

Photography:  Soul Creations Photography | Church: St. Monica Catholic Church, Mishawaka, Indiana | Wedding Reception Venue : St. Hedwig Parish Hall | Florist: Martins Supermarket | DJ / Band / Live Music: Bov Knows Music  | Cake Vendor: Bit Of Swiss  | Caterer: St. Hedwig | Rings: JR Fox, | Groom’s Suit/Tux: JC Penny | Menswear: JC Penney| Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie |Stationary / Invitations: Minted

Brooke + Austin | Timeless Autumnal Nebraska Wedding

“If there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

From the beginning of their romantic relationship into their new marriage, Brooke and Austin have strove to live in the wisdom of Scripture and the beauty of the sacraments. They know that saying “yes” to a strong relationship with the Lord is a “yes” to greater intimacy as husband and wife.

Their elegant, timeless wedding, centered around the sacrifice of the Mass, shows the joy of a community celebrating the union of this abundantly blessed couple.

From the Bride: Austin and I travelled in the same college friend group for three years. During our junior year, he showed up at my front door and asked to take me out on a date. He wanted to get to know me better.

I knew in that moment that Austin was something special, because you don't see men pursue a woman like that too often.

It was important to incorporate our faith from the very beginning. Throughout our relationship, we went to Mass together on Sundays and at least once during the week. Austin even shared his testimony with me one night and explained that I inspired him in his faith, and that I made him want to be a better man of God. I told him he inspired the exact same aspiration in me.

And so, we got engaged.

Austin and I wanted the Mass to be the center and most important part of our wedding day. I had not been living in Omaha long before we got engaged, so I had not yet found my home parish. I was looking for a place that felt like home and radiated God's presence. I knew after the first Mass I attended at St. Robert's that it was the church community I had been seeking. It would also be the parish where Austin and I would be married. They welcomed us with open arms.

Before the wedding began, the bridal party and parents gathered for a prayer led by our celebrant, Fr. Matya. The readings we chose were not common readings for a nuptial Mass, but were readings that spoke to our values as a couple that we wanted to build our married life on.

The gospel was Philippians 4:4-9, which includes a verse we both love: "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

The most special part of the Mass was our time after communion praying and asking for Mary’s intercession. We truly felt the presence of God in that moment and prayed that Mary would guide us along our new path as husband and wife.

Our wedding style was elegant and classic. Chic while remaining traditional. I am not all about glitz and glam, but I love a simple, timeless look. Because the wedding was in the fall, I chose a color theme with darker tones and greenery touches. I focused on the "burnt mauve" color and gold accents.

Looking back, our wedding day was another huge reminder of how much God has blessed Austin and I. One memorable thing we did happened during the reception. We stood in the back of the room and looked out at everyone celebrating our marriage. It was a day spent with all our loved ones supporting us during this special time.

Austin is the man I have prayed for my entire life. Actually, he's even better than the man I prayed for. I asked God for a faithful, loving husband, and God sent me that in Austin--and more. We are constantly striving to be better stewards of God’s grace and learning how to carry out his plan for us every day. We have learned the challenges it brings, but Austin and I have fought through them together.

The biggest challenge we have encountered is figuring out how to pray together, not settling for less in our faith lives, or becoming distracted away from time with God. We pushed past this challenge by reading a spiritual resource every day together and reflecting on it. Our favorite readings include the Bible (of course!), Three to Get Married by Fulton Sheen, My Daily Bread, and Fr. Mike Schmitz’s podcast.

Austin and I know if we choose to say "yes" to having a strong relationship with God, we will also feel closer to one another and become better versions of ourselves.

Photography: Kelli Dornbos | Church: St. Robert Bellarmine, Omaha NE | Wedding Reception Venue : Embassy Suites in the Old Market, Omaha NE | Bride's Wedding Gown: Ready or Knot | Bride's Veil: Ready or Knot | Alterations: Livia Designs | Graphic designer for all wedding stationery (invites, programs, placecards, etc): Brooke Sankey | Bridesmaid Dresses: Ready or Knot (Jenny Yoo collection in Cinnamon Rose) | Groom's Suit: Jerry Ryan | Groom's Tie: Tie Bar | Groomsmen suits: Jerry Ryan | Groomsmen/Ring Bearer Ties: Tie Bar
Makeup artist: Kate Johnson | Hair Stylist: Emily Jackson | Florist: iBloom (Lincoln, NE) | Reception Wedding Planner: Adrianne Lescanic
Flower petals for throwing: Sam's Club | Videographer: Tom Hoxmeier | Party Bus: Emerald Limosine | DJ: Complete Wedding and Events | Cake: Whisk + Measure | Biscotti: Enjoy Biscotti Company (based in Colorado) | Jeweler: Wrights Jewelry (Lincoln, NE)

Jamaila + Andy | Nature-Inspired Wedding

Jamaila and Andy’s story began with the Frassati Fellowship of NYC, a young adult group inspired by the life of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. Andy's experience with the group began the year he moved to New York to discern a life with the Community of the Franciscan Friars of Renewal. He later discerned out and moved back to his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, but stayed in contact with the order’s vocations director, Fr. Gabriel, CFR, who invited him to his first Frassati Fellowship retreat.

Andy left the retreat with a renewed desire for community. Soon after, he returned to the city, became a regular at Frassati, and later led the group's music ministry.

Meanwhile, Jamaila had begun working in the city around the time Andy was with the CFRs, attending one young adult event to another in search of other faithful professionals. But it would be five years before her path brought her to Frassati, and to Andy.

In 2015, Jamaila signed up for a mission trip to Peru with Frassat. Despite her reservations about making the trip from New Jersey to Queens, felt the Holy Spirit nudging her to attend a party for the missionaries prior to the trip. Like her, Andy also initially planned not to attend. At the last minute, he hopped on a bus from Manhattan to Astoria.

That night, Jamaila and Andy spent the entire party talking about their families and shared love of the outdoors. To Jamaila’s disappointment, Andy didn't ask for her number, and she left that night thinking she’d never see him again.

Much to her surprise, she received an email from Andy the following month, telling her about a hike with the group. Neither ended up going, but that note was the start of a correspondence, You’ve Got Mail-style, with constant emails throughout the day.

Three months after their first meeting, the two went on their first date to the New York Botanical Gardens. Soon after, atop a small mountain reserve upstate, Andy asked Jamaila to be his girlfriend as the sun was going down.

She took a picture of sunset with her instant film camera, writing on the film, "Lead me to adventures. Lead me to Christ. I'll follow."

Eight months later, at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in Lindenwold, New Jersey, Andy proposed.

From the Bride: During our first conversation, we learned we shared the same “Top 3” loves: God, family, and the outdoors. We planned for all three to be a part of our wedding day.

We chose to marry on the Feast of St. Jude to honor my devotion to him, the patron of hope and impossible causes. Our nuptial Mass was concelebrated by six priests, with our hope that our wedding witness not just to the sacrament of marriage, but also to the various vocations God calls us to, by having our religious brothers and sisters attend the wedding.

Starting the night before the wedding when we decorated the venue together, we were surrounded by our family and friends throughout. We used various greens as décor, from ferns tossed between our candlelit jars to the ivy hung as our photo booth backdrop to the eucalyptus in my bouquet.

My rings are inspired by God and his creation. They’re a sign of love: for God, His love for us, Andy’s and my love for each other, and our shared love of nature. My engagement ring has three stones, a reminder to keep him at the center of our relationship: in the center is a pearl, delicate like our hearts, always in need of his purifying grace. It was kept in its natural shape, unfinished, just like us. God isn't finished with us. The side stones reflect the silence of mountains and shadows of the setting sun. They appear pink and purple under the evening sky, and when the morning light hits, they turn blue-green like the ocean. My branch-like wedding band holds our memories of wildflower fields, giant trees, and times spent in awe of his creation. 

The night before our wedding, we had our rehearsal and more importantly, a Holy Hour. It included Praise & Worship led by Andy, confession, and Adoration. We desired to be in the presence of Christ in those last moments preparing for the sacrament. In the hours leading up to our Mass, various friends and family members asked how we felt. We could only describe it as peace.

From the get-go, we knew God made us for each other, so only his peace consumed us that morning. Our First Look before the Mass reminded me of Alice von Hildebrand’s words: she likens seeing your spouse as their true self for the first time to how the Apostles first see Christ in His Glory. She says,

“Trust this bright Tabor vision you’ve been given. Daily rekindle it in your heart and let it nurture your love. If you let it form the cornerstone of your faithfulness to your husband your marriage will be rich, indeed.”

It was truly a glimpse of Andy about to fulfill his vocation as my husband.

It was important for Andy and I to incorporate both Church traditions and cultural traditions into our wedding mass. We walked down the aisle together to signify our partnership and journey to God as one. During the Offertory, our cantor sang the Litany of Saints to invoke their prayers for our marriage. In the Filipino culture, the bride and groom are draped with a veil and cord. I had my aunt bring a veil and cord from her trip to the Philippines to incorporate into our Mass. The veil represents being clothed as one under the protection of God, and the cord symbolizes our bond. Before the final blessing we processed to a statue of Mary and laid a bouquet of flowers at her feet. As we knelt in front of our Mother, we prayed for her intercession for a holy marriage.

Leading up to the wedding, Andy and I prayed St. Josemaria Escriva's Novena for a Happy & Faithful Marriage. It helped us to stay focused on our marriage instead of the wedding itself. During our marriage prep, our priest recommended we appoint tasks to trusted friends and family during the wedding so we didn't have to worry about them. This truly helped us stay calm on the day of. Every time I look at our photos or watch our wedding video I am reminded of God's love for us.

Photography: Laurel Creative | Church: Church of Immaculate Conception of St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Montclair, NJ | Reception Venue: The Woman's Club of Ridgewood - Ridgewood, NJ | Rings: Ken & Dana Designs | Veil: Twigs & Honey for J. Crew | Dress: Bijou Bridal of Philadelphia | Caterer: Leonardo's Restaurant (Lawrenceville, NJ) | Band During Mass: Scott Tran Music | DJ/Emcee During Reception: Derek Hall of The Block Party

Heather + Jude | Bohemian Bayside Wedding

Heather and Jude met and fell in love in college, where they built a foundation that sustained them through five years of very long distance dating: Heather's career took her to New York City, while Jude was living across the Atlantic in France!  "As difficult as it was, Heather recalls, "I wouldn't change anything about that time in our relationship, because we learned to communicate and appreciate our time together in new ways." When they finally got engaged on a cloudy Sunday morning on a beach in Florida, they had been together for seven years, Heather was on her way to becoming Catholic, and it was clear that the Lord had beautiful things in store for this faithful couple. 

From the Bride: We were engaged for 11 months, during which we relocated to the South to be closer to our families and I attended RCIA in order to be fully received into the Catholic Church. I was actually confirmed on the night of our wedding rehearsal, with all of our closest friends and family present. The next day, we were married in our hometown of Fairhope, AL at the prettiest little chapel called Sacred Heart.

For the ceremony, Roman Street played acoustic guitars as we arrived at the chapel. Jubilee Flowers created a gorgeous garland that arched the doorway with roses and other blooms. My father walked me down the aisle, telling funny jokes along the way, where we met my family, family-to-be, and Father Boni. With a chapel full of loved ones, the ceremony was as personal as it was spiritual. The sun was setting over the bay just as everyone exited the chapel, setting the perfect tone for our casual-yet-romantic reception.

The reception was held at a beautiful event space in downtown Fairhope called The Venue. Jude and I enjoyed our first dance together to the song "Only You" by Yaz while my dad and I shared a dance to Roman Street's cover of "My Girl" by The Temptations. The food was a combination of Southern-inspired dishes with a flair of Creole spice, and the cake was made by local cake artist Jan Taylor. A sparkler exit sent us on our way at the end of the evening. 

My dress was a two-piece ensemble, which included a custom crop top by Kelly Faetanini and silk chiffon skirt by Catherine Deane. My cathedral veil was made by the team at Kleinfeld. My talented cousin Mary of One Suite Day created our custom invitations, programs, and signage and Brad Burckel of Du Castel Photography captured everything through the weekend perfectly.

Heather's spiritual takeaway from her wedding day: Being married traditionally in a church was very important to my husband and me, and I'm so thankful we were able to have a wedding in the way that we did. We put God at the center of our planning process and He blessed us with perfect 75 degree weather, a brilliant sunset, safe travels for everyone who came from so far away, and much more. It's easy to get caught up in all the details of a wedding, but we did our best to focus on our purpose and people, and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

 

Photography: Du Castel Photography | Nuptial Mass or Engagement Location: Sacred Heart Chapel (of St Lawrence Catholic Church) in Fairhope, AL | Wedding Reception Venue : The Venue in Fairhope, AL | Flowers (bouquet, flower crown, bouts, decor): Jubilee Flowers | Crop top: Kelly Faetanini | Veil: Kleinfeld Bridal | Skirt: Catherine Deane, BHLDN | Earrings: Samantha Wills | Bridesmaids dresses: Jenny Yoo | Groom Suit: The Black Tux | Groom Shoes: Allen Edmonds | Bride’s ring: Anna Sheffield | Groom’s ring: Benchmark from Ware Jewelers | Invitations, Programs, Signage: One Suite Day | Band: Roman Street | Illustrations: Illustrative Moments | Cake: Jan Taylor Cakes of Fairhope, AL

Rosie + Tyler | Fall Yacht Club Wedding

Rosie and Tyler grew up in the same Florida suburb and were classmates all the way up through their high school graduation, but they didn't get to know each other--or begin dating--until college at the University of Florida. Tyler knew early on that Rosie was the one. After finishing his Masters at the university, Tyler moved back home to work, while Rosie worked on her doctorate. She'd wonder now and then whether Tyler would propose sometime during the final year of her program.

Much to Rosie's surprise, it was during her penultimate year in school that she came to visit Tyler one late summer weekend. He'd decided shortly before her arrival that it was the perfect time to ask Rosie to be his wife, yet hadn't decided exactly how he'd ask. In his nervousness, Tyler accidentally spilled a bottle of blue curacao all over his carpet.

One freshly steamed carpet later and off on their planned weekend trip to a concert, Tyler covered Rosie's eyes around sunset and told her he had a gift for her. When she took off her blindfold, there he was, one one knee, asking her hand in marriage.

From the Photographer: They met in elementary school, attended the same high school, and are now alumni from the same college. When love is meant to be, it will be. 

Rosie and Tyler dreamed of a small, intimate, and elegant wedding day. Rosie has always loved the fall and used the rich colors of the season as her inspiration. The floral arrangements included the most beautiful calla lilies, roses, dahlias, wax flowers, scabiosas, and sunflowers in shades of burgundy, terra cotta, burnt orange, and yellow. Warm, inviting and captivating--the perfect setting for God's love to be shared with family and friends.

Their wedding mass was beyond beautiful. The splendor of God's glory was reflected not only in the brilliant fall foliage and florals adorning the church, but in the sense that the Holy Spirit was truly present.

Both families were so filled with love, radiating what it meant to be united in Christ. But one family member in particular stood out: Rosie's father, whom she obviously takes after. You could just see that his heart was so filled with love, peace, grace and joy on his daughter and new son-in-law's wedding day. As we captured moments of Rosie and her dad interacting, their bond gleamed so brightly. During their Father-Daughter dance, I could feel God saying, "I love you all that much. And more." What a beautiful representation of fatherly love.

Photography: Horn Photography & Design | Church: Espiritu Santo Catholic Church, Safety Harbor, FL | Reception Venue: St. Petersburg Yacht Club, St. Petersburg, FL | Flowers: 2Birds Events Floral Studio | Bride's Dress: Maggie Sottero | Bride's Shoes: Stuart Weitzman | Rings: David Yurman | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Groom's Tux: Men's Wearhouse | Groomsmens' Tuxes: Men's Wearhouse | Cake Baker: Bella e Dolce | Hairstylist/Makeup Artist: Lili's Weddings | DJ: Grant Hemond of Grant Hemond & Associates