Our reception was at the beach house where we stayed for the whole weekend. The vibes were mansion house party with incredible food. Check out lots of pictures here.
Our wedding party was incredible all weekend long with everything that we needed. It was overwhelming to be with our favorite people for a full weekend. To check out the pics of our gorgeous wedding party, click here.
And all the family group pics from right after the ceremony can be found here.
The ladies in the bridal party got ready at my mom’s beach house with the help of Pearl and Michelle from Destin Mobile Makeup Box. Fun pictures from the morning of wedding day here.
This squad of vendors made everything flow so smoothly. Highly recommend all of them!
- All the food – Alex and Charlie Eaton. Alex is a chef based in Charleston and her husband was her sous chef all weekend. They made all of our food dreams come true and it was above and beyond what we could have even imagined.
- Photography – Dan Dalstra He is based in Iowa but will travel! Cannot recommend his work enough. I am so happy with how all the photos turned out.
- Hair and Makeup – Destin Mobile Makeup Box
- Wedding Planner – Devi with Loughtide Beach Weddings
- Flowers – Debi Howell
- Wedding Cake – Sweet Choice Bakery
My amazing bridal party threw me an epic brunch the Friday before the wedding on Saturday. Check out the blog post here.
More weekend pics
Here are some of the cell phone pics from throughout the weekend.
Wedding Dress Shopping
I looked at bridal stores in New York City, Los Angeles and Angleton, TX. You can see lots of them here.
Wedding Planning Backstory
We got engaged January 23, 2019 (1/23). The bigger story of our engagement can be found here. Brian and I were not in a hurry to start wedding planning because we wanted to enjoy our engagement. A couple months later, we found out our life would be changing dramatically with a move across the country from Nashville to Madison, Wisconsin. I put off wedding planning for a while because I didn’t want to deal with it on top of planning our move. The one thing I did do was start dress shopping and asking my bridal party to be in the wedding! Big things. I went to Kleinfeld in New York, then dress shopping in LA, then found MY dress at a bridal store in my hometown.
The next big planning step was connecting with Alex on food things. At first I was asking her some general questions then she said offered to do the food for us for the weekend as our wedding present. I was STOKED. From that point on, I knew I wouldn’t have to stress about anything related to food because she was going to be amazing. Brian and I worked on a vision to send her and she ran with it. As our guest count kept getting smaller, the level of the food went up while still being within our budget.
For a while we went back and forth on the type of wedding that we wanted. We knew the vibe we wanted but not much beyond that. Nashville was in the running for a bit but the venues were so expensive. I wanted a beach wedding so we decided on the Destin area because it was pretty central for all the people traveling.
I did a ton of research online to find beach house venues that would allow events and get the pricing options for different times of the year. We were targeting Springtime for the weather. The first target date was 4.3.21 because it was cute! After realizing it was Easter weekend, we opened up our options to whenever we could get good rates where we wanted. My mom and I took a trip in February 2020 to check out some places starting in the Panama City area, then going up the coast towards Destin, Navarre and flying out of Pensacola. We had a hit list of some of the top houses I found and met with a couple planner people as well. After we went to all the places, I knew which one was my favorite so I worked with the owner to pick a date when it was off season that we could do a 4 night minimum instead of 7 nights. We picked one of the latest date options before Spring Break kicked in which ended up being February 20, 2021.
None of the planners I met with in Florida felt like the best fit. I reached out to one of the planners I found when first doing wedding research and had a phone call with her. She was awesome and came up with a custom package for what we were wanting. We hired Devi who runs Loughtide Beach Weddings.
With those big things out of the way, I felt great about wedding planning. And then COVID hit and the whole world felt crazy. We def thought that it would not affect our wedding which was over 10 months away at that point. We sent out save the date emails and were hoping for the best. I didn’t have to do very much wedding planning in the summer so I tried not to stress and covid brought lots of other types of stress beyond the realm of our wedding.
In September, Brian and I took a trip to Florida to finalize wedding things. We met with Devi in person and saw where exactly the ceremony would take place. Brian got to see the beach house for the first time and loved it. Everything was coming together and we felt stoked about it. We looked around the whole area of the beach house so we could recommend places for guests to stay.
In October, we sent out invitations and still felt like things were getting better and there may even be a vaccine soon. Around Thanksgiving, we realized that Covid was still a thing and probably not going away. We sent out emails to guests trying to reduce our numbers in a polite way. We wanted to make sure no one thought we would be offended if they were unable to make it. We also asked some people that might have come to wait and see how our numbers were looking before committing to attend. For everyone that was planning to attend, we emphasized the need to be very cautious leading up to the wedding so no one brought covid to the party.
My favorite wedding prep thing was tanning. I didn’t want to get sunburned in Florida and be a lobster on wedding day. I signed up for a Black Friday special at Suntan City which was also a great winter habit for me. It was super relaxing to soak up some rays and feel warm a couple times a week in the middle of the Wisconsin winter.
The week of the wedding brought a historic winter storm to Texas and Nashville. Half of our guest list was coming from those areas or connecting in an airport in those areas so that was a bit stressful. A couple people didn’t make it with the weather but the majority did. Ironically, Brian and I who were traveling from Wisconsin had no issues with winter weather. Once we got to Florida and as everyone else started to arrive, my stress level got lower and lower. After my mom and brother made it into town late Thursday night, I was in full on bride mode in the best way. I was so pumped on life and surrounded by amazing people.
There is really not much I would change about the weekend. In another world that wasn’t Covid times, we would have loved for more people to be there but all in all it was such a solid group of people that did make it to Florida for us. I am so thankful for all of the photo memories. This is definitely a weekend Brian and I will remember for the rest of our lives.
Maybe we will even do a 5 or 10 year anniversary party back in Destin!
Cheers from The Gibsons! We can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together.