What do we even say about Stephen and Brittany? From their awesome, island, fog-filled, bon fire engagement session to their moment filled wedding day, we absolutely love this couple! You may want to take a moment, stretch a bit, grab a snack and get ready for this quite lengthy blog post. (Seriously, I don't think we have ever posted so many pictures in a blog post.)
Brittany gave some gifts to her flower girls and ring bearers and this little guy could not have been more excited about his new crayons! Best reaction ever.
Stephen's mom snuck in just as he was finishing getting ready.
See Stephen's funniest memory below for an explanation of the following image:
This is the largest wedding party we have ever photographed and they were just awesome.
The hardest part of setting up the following image of Brittany and the groomsmen was them deciding whether or not to interlock fingers. As you can see they went with interlocking. Good choice.
Katie snuck these last two candids after I had just finished with portraits and as they were heading back inside to take a break before being introduced to the reception. Great shots babe!
The bridesmaids surprised everyone with a choreographed flash mob!
Before we get to the party shots, we have to shower Stephen & Brittany's reception band, Phase5, with a bunch of compliments. This was the BEST band we have ever heard. They were AWESOME!!! If you are looking for a band for your reception, look no further than Phase5! They kept the party going for hours and were so much fun!
Seriously. Book them.
Bride & Groom's names: Brittany and Stephen
Wedding Date: October 4, 2014
Ceremony Venue: The Palmetto Club at FishHawk Ranch
Reception Venue: The Palmetto Club at FishHawk Ranch
Who made this day happen…
Ceremony coordinator: Annie Johnston (Aunt of the Bride)
Day of/Reception coordinator: Lucille Hanson from the Palmetto Club
Makeup: Lindy Fialkin - Makeup by Lindy
Hair: Cliff Frias, Brian Graham, and Irene Tucker
Dress: Maggie Sottero: Esme
Bridesmaid dresses: Bill Levkoff: Style 323
Flowers: The INCREDIBLE Northside Florist! My second family growing up owns and operates this shop, and Miss Kathy Gilbert made my dreams and visions come true with her beautiful work! CANNOT say enough about her!
Stationary: Wedding Paper Divas
Officiant: Pastor Mark Farrell - Our youth group pastor throughout our entire relationship, Tampa Covenant Church and Rev. Ray Cameron - Uncle of the Bride, First Presbyterian Church of Lake Placid
Pianist: Uncle of the Groom - Jeff Johnson
Flutist: Aunt of the Bride - Debbie Bloemsma
We had special music as Stephen and I took communion, and this song was another highlight of the day for us. Groomsmen Wesley Whiteside sang and played guitar, and my sister, the Maid of Honor Brandi Guillen sang with him. My sister doesn't sing in public - so this was HUGE that she would do this for us in our wedding ceremony! We have such talented families, and this added such a personal, special touch to our ceremony!
Catering: Puff n' Stuff Catering
Cake: Sweet Tweets Cakery (There work on our cake was breathtaking!)
DJ/Band: Phase5 (I don't know if we could have gotten any more compliments on our AMAZING band! We love Phase5!)
Videographer: The wonderful Glenn Warren from Voila Cinematic
What we danced to…
Down the aisle: River Flows in You- Yiruma
Recessional: Treasure- Bruno Mars
Reception Intro: Timber- Kesha/Pitbull
First Dance: Then- Brad Paisley
This was by far one of the most special moments of the day. Stephen surprised me (which is an understatement) by singing and playing our song on the guitar, and then on the last verse the actual track cut in and we danced to the rest of the song. It is the most beautiful memory, and I still cannot believe he did that for me!
Father/Daughter: Save the Last Dance for Me- Michael Buble
My dad and I had choreographed our dance, so this was SO FUN to perform with him! I will always remember all of our laughter and smiles while doing this dance. I'm pretty sure it was a hit with the guests too!
Mother/Son: A Face to Call Home- John Mayer
Favorite memories of the day:
Brittany: Waking up on my wedding day with my 13 best friends in our hotel room, and wedding prepping all together was such a good time! The whole morning felt so relaxed and there was just so much excitement in the room! The memories only got better from there- walking down the aisle, the surprise flashmob dance done by the bridesmaids, the surprise song from Stephen, the dance with my dad, and the huge dance party that took over the rest of the night! Those are a handful of my absolute favorite memories.
Stephen: I loved relaxing with the boys all morning, and reminiscing of the fun party with family and friends the night before. Our ride over to the venue was exciting, having a slight dance party when our jams came on the radio. Upon arriving to the ceremony, one of my most cherished memories of the weekend happened. My men gathered around me and lifted me up in prayer before I made the biggest move of my life. Unbelievably special. Just preceding the ceremony, we all took a "photoshoot" which consisted of whiskey instead of flashing cameras to prepare for the big moment. From there, kissing my bride for the first time, celebrating with her as we danced down the aisle, and getting wild with everyone on the dance floor were my favorite memories of the day.
Sweetest memory of the day:
Brittany: The first look with my Dad! My bridesmaids and Jake and Katie made that moment so special. They built like a wall in front of me, and when my dad got to a certain point of the stairway they split in half and I was standing there in my wedding dress! He had the sweetest reaction, and that moment was SO perfect. My other sweetest memory is without a doubt Stephen surprising the heck out of me by playing the guitar and singing our first dance song to me!
Stephen: My sweetest memories of our wedding day occurred the second I saw my bride for the first time. Even though it was the back of her head, it was enough to send tears of joy streaming down my face. Following the ceremony and into the reception, one of the favorite memories of the day took place. I surprised my bride by performing a portion of our first dance song For her. She was speechless and completely overwhelmed, a priceless moment!
Funniest memory of the day:
Brittany: Finding out about the secret pictures that each bridesmaid handed Stephen when they got to the end of the aisle. Looking at those between the ceremony and reception and hearing Stephen's reaction to them was absolutely hysterical! My other funniest memory: watching the bridesmaids flashmob dance routine, and Stephen and I joining them and trying to follow along at the end of the routine when they called us to the dance floor! Pretty much every part of the dance party that went down during our reception is hilarious to us.
Stephen: The funniest memory of the day was when Brittany's bridesmaids decided to deliver me a picture slideshow one photo at a time as they strutted down the aisle during the ceremony. Each picture had a word to a message they wanted to tell me, coupled with a pose with a blow up doll that resided in the bridal suite for the weekend. Our pastor who conducted the ceremony peeked over my shoulder to see what the pictures were, and his reaction was hilarious!
Advice for future brides:
Enjoy EVERY second of your weekend! From the rehearsal dinner, to the prepping, to the ceremony, to the reception- try and always find a second to take in what is going on. So many people told me that the day is a blur and you won't even know what happened. I am so thankful to say that I don't feel that way- I felt like I was there for every moment and I remember so much so clearly. Although it ended too quickly- I am so happy that it isn't a big blur! Also- don't be afraid to delegate jobs to friends/family who offer. Even though you might feel like they may let you down because they don't know exactly how you want something done, communicate your idea, and then trust them and let them. You'll be happy you did with all the other things you have to do in those last few weeks before the wedding!
Advice for future grooms:
I would tell every groom to plan a surprise for his bride on their wedding day. Is a priceless moment to see the woman you love completely enamored and swept off her feet due to a well crafted surprise. It will mean the world to her, and make her feel beyond special.
Thanks goes out to...
BOTH of our sets of parents! Holy. Cow. They are amazing, and together, they gave us a wedding weekend we couldn't have even dreamt up so perfectly!
One of the best decisions we made throughout this entire process was having Jake and Katie as our photographers. They became more than just photographers to us- they are more like family, and it felt so right having them there our entire wedding weekend! They shot our rehearsal dinner, and from the way they seemed to hit it off with every single person involved in our wedding, I knew it was the start to a perfect weekend. Not only is their work absolutely stunning, but Jake and Katie are also some of the most amazing people we've ever known!
Stephen & Brittany,
Thank you, thank you, thank you! We just love you both and are so happy to have been your photographers!!
- Jake and Katie