Rachael and Garrett's waterfront Lakeland wedding featured an outdoor ceremony overlooking Lake Morton, vintage decor and nature inspired succulent florals.
“Garrett and I would visit downtown Lakeland while we were dating. We just really fell in love with the place,” the bride gushed. “Even before we were engaged, we had talked about having our wedding in downtown Lakeland.”
Hosting an outdoor wedding ceremony was a priority for the pair, who chose Lakeland wedding venue the Junior League Sorosis Building.
“When we toured the venue we fell in love right away. It had the option of having an outdoor ceremony and a beautiful view of the lake outside. The building had this old rustic feel to it, which helped to incorporate the vintage appeal for the wedding,” Rachael shared. “It was the perfect venue for a small wedding and everything we were looking for!”
The wedding ceremony was the most important element for the bride and groom.
“I was excited to walk down the aisle toward the love of my life with our friends and family surrounding us in support. It meant a lot to us that our friend and pastor would be marrying us,” the bride reminisced. “We also chose to take part in communion lead by Garrett’s father and our pastor.”
The couple searched for a Lakeland wedding photographer who had character and was creative.
“When we met with Leo and Brittany [of Rad Red Creative], we fell in love with their photography style and their personalities,” Rachael said. “It felt like they were our long lost best friends. They made sure they asked all the right questions to ensure that our experience with them would be top notch.”
Looking back, one the bride's most cherished memories came during her Lakeland wedding ceremony.
“The most memorable moment for us would have to be our letters read out loud by Pastor Ted. It was the first time hearing about what the other one thought about ‘How you knew, you knew, when you knew.' We both teared up as well as our guests. It was so intimate and meaningful for the both of us,” Rachael shared.
What was your inspiration for your bridesmaids dresses?
I knew I wanted to incorporate lace in the bridesmaid dresses to complement my wedding dress, which was also made of lace. I knew I had some idea of what I wanted in the bridesmaid dresses, but I sort of went in knowing that it would be the one when I saw it. I ended up being pickier about what the bridesmaids wore compared to what I wore!
Bella Bridesmaid was very helpful, patient and easy to contact! They were patient with me when I changed my mind three times about the color. Overall, I was very pleased with their service!
What did you look for in a wedding venue?
We knew we wanted an outdoor ceremony. We both had dreamed about having a beach wedding, but it turned out that having a beach wedding in May wasn't all that practical for Florida weather, so, we did our research and had a price in mind.
The Junior League Sorosis Building ended up being the perfect fit for us! When we toured the venue we fell in love right away. It had the option of having an outdoor ceremony and a beautiful view of the lake outside. The building had this old rustic feel to it, which helped to incorporate the vintage appeal for the wedding. Their service was perfect! It was the perfect venue for a small wedding and everything we were looking for!
Garrett and I talked briefly about how we were going to celebrate our two-year dating anniversary. Since we had dressed up and went out to a fancy dinner on our one-year anniversary, we decided to do something more casual. He asked if I would like to drive to the east coast to watch the sun come up on the beach and then eat breakfast. Then, from there we could have the whole day to explore and hang out on the beach. I still can’t believe I said “Yes,” for I am not a morning person at all.
The day came, and we woke up early to drive to Flagler beach (where we previously had stopped at on a road trip for his birthday). As he parked the car, I noticed there was a table set up on the beach that had been nicely set for a romantic meal. I thought this table had to be for another couple. Once I stepped out of the car and began to walk closer, I noticed the picture frame I had made Garrett with our pictures in it. I asked him, “Garrett, what is this?” He just smiled and told me to look to my left at the pier. Draped over the pier was a giant sign that read, “Marry Me?” I immediately turned around to look at him, and he was already on one knee! I was in shock, but of course I said, “Yes!” We then walked to the table located on the beach, ate our breakfast and drank our coffee, thanks to the help of his brother, sister and best friend.
What did you look for in a wedding photographer?
Garrett and I knew we wanted a photographer who would be affordable, but who also is creative and fun to be around.
When we met with Leo and Brittany [of Rad Red Creative], we fell in love with their photography style and their personalities. It felt like they were our long lost best friends. They made sure they asked all the right questions to ensure that our experience with them would be top notch.
What did you look for in wedding rentals?
We knew we needed to rent chairs for our ceremony, so we began to do our research and compare prices with other vendors. To our surprise, we had contacted three vendors about renting chairs and no one emailed or called us back. We were shocked!
I remembered A Chair Affair from a wedding event I had attended earlier. I contacted Carly and she emailed me back right away! They made sure we had everything we needed. Carly and her team did an awesome job, and I would highly recommend them for any rental service!
How would you describe your theme?
Vintage/rustic in the most simplistic way. After doing some research on Pinterest, I came to realize that I really loved the vintage, spring look. I love lace, flowers and anything pastel.
What were your colors?
When I was researching colors on Pinterest, I found a color that I absolutely fell in love with, dusty blue. It was also the inspiration for our theme, Sadly, that color is almost impossible to find, so I settled with a rose pink, different shades of grey, ivory, and some very small hints of any dusty blue I could find.
What advice would you give to other Lakeland couples?
Breathe. Remember that this day is about you and your future husband. It may seem like other people are getting in the way of the planning, but just breathe and remember they are only trying to help. They want to be a part of your special day with you! I loved having other people’s input on decorations for the wedding, where to buy this item from, etc., but after a while, I didn’t want their input anymore. I knew how I wanted my wedding to look, and I knew how I wanted it to be done. Learn to have patience.
Have date nights with your fiancé during the planning process. It is good to get out of the house, stop thinking about planning, and just focus on each other and how far you both have come together.
All the matters is you finally get to marry your best friend, the love of your life, your prince, in front of all your loved ones! So cherish every moment of it together!
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Junior League Sorosis Building
Photographer: Rad Red Creative
Planner: Southern Romance Events
Florist: The Flower Cart
Rentals: A Chair Affair *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
DJ: Aaron Entertainment
Officiant: Ted Badger
Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas
Dress: Cinderella Shoppe
Bridesmaid Dress Shop and Designer: Bella Bridesmaid – Jim Hjelm *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Hair & Makeup: Tracy and Company Hair Designers