Who says that a beach wedding cannot be elegant? This Florida wedding, where the groom wears a pink bow tie, shows you can have it both ways. You can have a beautiful oceanside ceremony with a sophisticated reception.
We all know that, while many stylists will tell a bride to choose her dress based on her wedding venue or the destination she is going to, the truth is often “The wand selects the wizard Harry!” The dress, not the bride! This is the exact case with this elegant beach wedding.
Samantha, the bride-to-be, entered a bridal shop on a whim while visiting her mother. She had no idea that this would be her dream dress. She was blown away by a classic Carolina Herrera dress she never imagined. We’ve said it in our wedding dress posts: don’t hesitate to try something new!
While beach weddings are often more casual, Samantha and Andrew’s Yacht Club venue had the right amount of class to match a formal gown.
Our Love Story
Andrew and I met while working at our college part-time job. We both attended Florida State University and worked as a sandwich maker at a local Jimmy John’s. Andrew had worked there for two years, and I was a new employee. After working together for about two months, I asked Andy whether he would cover my shift on Friday nights or come to a party with me. He was at the party.
After adopting Finn, we took him to the Tampa Hyde Park farmer’s markets. We walked around for a while and then headed back to our car. Andrew took the box from his pocket, and I sat on my chair. I replied, “Yeah, duh!”
Finn tried to eat it. We kept the conversation private and then surprised all our family members by Facetiming!
Dress & Attire
To kill time, I visited my mother in New York. We randomly stopped by a bridal dress shop. We thought it would be fun to try on dresses even though my wedding was over a year off. I had always imagined myself wearing a straight-lace dress. I tried on a few, but none made me feel “wow.” The last dress I tried was different from the others, but I cried when I saw myself wearing it. My mother knew that it was the dress. I was shocked to find my wedding gown in the first shop we visited. We ran to three more stores before we realized that this dress could not be beaten. The dress was elegant, and the cathedral veil completed it. It was fun to see that the dress had pockets!
We decided suits were more appropriate for the yacht club wedding. Tuxedos seemed too formal. Andrew wore a vest under his suit jacket to distinguish him from the groomsmen. Andrew and the groomsmen bought the suits to wear at work or for other occasions.
I knew I wanted my bridesmaids’ dresses to be long and flowy so they could give our wedding a beachy yet elegant feel. I wanted my bridesmaids’ dresses to be comfortable, so I let them choose from 3 styles. All of them looked stunning!
I wanted our wedding flowers to be organic but not messy. We used roses, ranunculus, and a lot of greenery. The natural look was appealing to me. I loved the arch flowers. They were also able to use them as mantle pieces in our venue. Very creative! Our head table was also beautiful. We had the girls put their bouquets into water to make them look like centerpieces. Then, we added greenery along the table.
2 Birds Events made my vision a reality. They were also very flexible with my changes. This is something I appreciate! They also provided the decorations. It was helpful to have a florist that could handle everything.
We wanted our guests to be able to enjoy a mini vacation while they were at our wedding. Andrew’s Indiana family and mine are from New York. We looked at about five Clearwater Beach venues but had no luck. In most of these venues, you were married on the beach and then required to move into a ballroom when it was time for the reception. We wanted our ceremony to be intimate, and we wanted our guests to enjoy the views of the water at the reception.
We were worried that we wouldn’t be able to find a venue that felt like “us” until we found Stephanie A. Smith’s blog featuring the Carlouel yacht club. Her photos blew us away, and we met a week later. We knew the moment we walked on the private beach that we would get married at Carlouel Yacht Club. It was so perfect that I cried. The venue was simple yet elegant.
The theme was not decided, but we knew it had to be romantic and pretty. The navy and blush colors accented the yacht club without being “beachy.” The flowers were also essential to create a romantic atmosphere.
Andrew wrote me vows that I loved. He wrote the vows for me. We both said we had no idea what to say about a week before our wedding. He wrote about our evolution as a relationship and how we’ve grown as a couple. He noted that he was excited about our future. I and many of my guests were in tears. It’s hard to describe it in words.
One of the moments I remember is when my mother saw me for the first time and helped me put on my veil. I began to cry, and she started to cry. We were both so happy. My mom played a huge role in keeping me sane on this trip. Stephanie captured this moment in our photos. She did a great job!