Agnes and Herron, a classic and beautifully in love couple, were married at an equally beautiful locale. The Central Florida wedding venue, Bella Collina, provided a romantic and picturesque backdrop which set the tone for the entire event. After exchanging vows in an intimate ceremony, they ate, danced and celebrated in grand style. You can’t help but feel the love of this couple with photos brought to you by Dana Goodson Photography, a wedding photographer based in St. Augustine, Florida.
Tell us how you met…
We met through a mutual friend at a party on Thanksgiving weekend. I asked Herron to dance because he was the only guy sitting at our table when I had the urge. From the moment he first held me on the dance floor however, I felt that something different was between us. For the rest of the night we were inseparable, and before we said goodbye – he asked for my number. The next morning he cancelled his plans for the day and called to ask me out on our first date. We talked everyday after that day and three years later (exactly) we got married. Neither of us were accustomed to going out much at that time in our lives. In retrospect, we’re so very glad we made an exception.
Now for the proposal… details!
We were talking on the couch one random day in June of 2011. I remember it was after a pretty routine spat, and we were hashing out the fine points of our argument. At one point, I reached over and smoothed Herron’s collar and told him that I would love him, no matter what. As Herron explains it, a light came on for him then and he just knew that he had to ask me to marry him. He’d made plans to ask me at the end of the year on Thanksgiving weekend. He’d asked my father and bought a ring. Something about that moment, however, told him not to wait anymore. He got down on his knee, told me he loved me and asked me to be his wife. I said yes.
Tell us about your wedding gown and what your bridal party wore.
I had a GORGEOUS and very classic A-line strapless Vera Wang gown on that night. However, I wanted to add a little bit of “me” to my outfit without going overboard and taking away from the dress. So, instead of going with typical classic jewelry like pearls or diamonds, or more new age accessories like peacock feathers and blue tennis shoes – I chose to accent my dress with a pale blue-green prasiolite necklace and matching Dolce Vita shoes, which contrasted nicely with the pink sash on my dress. My crystal & pearl earrings were a wedding gift from my little sister, Alexandra. She also helped Herron pick out the gift he gave me that day, a prasiolite bracelet that matched my necklace perfectly. I thought my choices were different, but not so different I’ll regret them in years to come. The boutonnieres were fabric flowers handmade by Herron & I before the wedding. Also, as a fun and bond building craft on the day of the wedding, my BMs and I made the bouquets using fresh roses & dried lavender/eucalyptus. Each of the bouquets turned out a little different, but they were all simple & elegant. which is exactly what I wanted.I was really concerned with my wedding being too matchy-matcy, so I gave my my BM’s a lot of leeway when it came to the dresses they wore. Everyone (BMs & GMs) ended up wearing a different color. But, because everyone had to run their selection by me before they purchased it, I was able to make sure the ensembles “went” together without matching exactly. This move required a LOT of trust in my ladies, but it turned out well in the end.
Can you give us an overview of the event?
We started the evening at half past five with an intimate and emotional ceremony. At six, the cocktail hour began with an open bar and passed horderves. The reception kicked off with traditional wedding dances followed by a sit down dinner. After dinner our guests were free to dance until the cake cutting ceremony began at half passed ten. Once the cake was cut, everyone enjoyed the candy bar and more dancing until the grand exit at eleven.
Was there a specific theme or style?
Our wedding is best themed “An Italian Love Story”. As far as style, we were going for a classic, rather than a whimsical feel- ie, white roses, crystal & Vera Wang as opposed to billy buttons & mason jars.
What inspired the theme or style?
Herron and I have a pretty unique love story. We met on a Friday night in November and declared our love two weeks later. We dated long distance for over a year until I finished graduate school, when I gave up everything to move to Georgia to be with him. We talk about everything (good, bad & ugly) and we fight/love in a way that most people would say is impractical. Many many people told us from day one that the kind of love we have couldn’t last – but somehow it works for us. So, when it came time to think of a theme for our wedding “storybook love” and all the drama, passion and bliss associated with fictional intimacy popped into my mind. Additionally, the Italian theme flavoring the night came from the dream Herron and I have of going to Italy for a romantic vacation one day in the future. Although we weren’t able to do that on our honeymoon, we wanted to incorporate that dream into our wedding as a nod to our future together.
What were your playful twists that made the event unique?
We used old romance novels we collected throughout our engagement as program holders. Inside each program holder, we custom created programs that resembled old-school library checkout cards. The programs were displayed on a refinished bookshelf that once belonged to my Paternal Grandmother (her name was also Agnes Byrd and she passed just before I was born). We had a “recipe for love book” at both our jack & jill shower & wedding reception. The guests were asked to pick a recipe from an Italian cookbook and write their best advice on how to make love last across the top of the recipe they chose. In lieu of a guestbook, we asked our guests to sign a lazy susan made out of a recycled wine barrel slice. Heron & I met in Orange County Florida & for the first year of our relationship he traveled back and forth to Florida to see me. As a nod to the great state where we met & fell in love, we created “fun florida facts” flags and displayed them on Clementine oranges for the guests to enjoy. They were ALL gone by the end of the night, our guests loved them!
Did you DIY any of the details?
We DIY’d almost everything! We made the programs, table numbers, signs, butioneers & Florida fact flags. using MS publisher. DIYing the details made it so our wedding was both unique and budget friendly.
What was the most memorable moment?
Herron’s mother (Christine) passed away a few years ago. To honor her memory, we had a “mother-son dance” right after the father-daughter dance. During that time, we had the DJ play one of Christine’s favorite songs and the entire room danced & rejoiced as she would have if she were there. It was beautiful.
Tell us about the food and desserts.
For fun, we passed quesadillas, mini eggrolls and other comfort food as horderves. The sit down dinner featured more elegant. Italian cuisine: Jumbo Seared Scallop and Cream of Cauliflower soup, Chicken Marsala, truffle potatoes and roasted Italian veggies. For dessert we had cupcakes and a candy bar with a variety of trail-mix options for our more health conscious guests.
What kind of energy did your entertainment give the guests?
The bridal party walked down the aisle to a custom song Herron & I put together for the occasion. As I walked down the aisle, my sister sang one of my favorite gospel songs, His Eye is on the Sparrow. We had a very lively reception. Our DJ was amazing at reading the crowd and people were dancing the whole time.
If there was one thing you could change, what would it be?
Well, we had a wonderful plan for the cake: as our something borrowed, we had asked my aunt to lend us the cake toppers she and my uncle used at their wedding. Unfortunately my cake did not make it to the event. My amazing brother in law ended up having to pick up a replacement cake from Publix on the day of my wedding. As you can guess, it was kind of a nightmare. We made the best of it, but when I look at the pictures and see our adorable cake topper on a Publix stock cake, I cringe!
What was the best wedding advice you received?
The best advice I received was to RELAX and enjoy my wedding. Up until the day of the wedding, I was running around making sure the day would be all I imagined it could be. On the big day however, I didn’t let anything bother me. Not even when the cakes and table numbers turned up missing! I made sure to stay cool as a cucumber, and happy as a lark.
Venue: Bella Collina Club | Photographer: Dana Goodson Photography | Caterer: Bella Collina Wedding & Events | Cupcakes: Cut The Cake | DJ & Lighting: Ampd Atlanta | Videographer: Cinemattox | Stationery: Susan Schneider | Calligraphy: Fontastic Calligraphy | Hair & Makeup: The Spa at Bella Collina