Samantha and Ryan wed on a beautiful summer day in Amelia Island. This wedding was a celebration of family, friends, and love; and I was truly so blessed to take part in the event. Enjoy some words from the bride herself below!
Hello! Ryan and I met on Bumble and were engaged for one year before our wedding! As far as the engagement ring, I’ve had mine pinned on my Pinterest for years – a cushion cut with a halo on a thin diamond band. Ryan had asked me to go ring shopping and I refused – convinced it would take away the magic of the proposal. I had my best friend Kelley go with me and she made sure Ryan got the message!
For my bridal style I wore my hair half up, half down with loose curls. I chose natural makeup because I really wanted to make sure I looked like myself! My dress was a beautiful, fitted beaded gown by Galia Lahav. To accessorize, I chose a gorgeous cathedral veil, gold sparkle Jimmy Choos, and Tiffany pearl earrings that Ryan gave me on our wedding day.
We chose to get married at the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island. I’ve always dreamed of a beautiful outdoor wedding and my family has a home on the island- we’ve been going there since we were kids. Given this, the Ritz seemed like an obvious choice. Ryan is from South Carolina so it was nice to have a tie to his southern roots as well.
I’d say our decor style was industrial garden. Though we had the ocean as our backdrop, it definitely wasn’t a beach wedding. For our decor, I was obsessed with mixing greenery, metals, and lots of candles. I also wanted lots of wildflowers so that our florals would feel very natural as opposed to done-up. August Design did an amazing job! In general I would say our colors were blush, green/greenery, and gold.
My Maid of Honor’s sister- who is also a long time friend of mine- designed our wedding logo herself. We loved it and used it on all of our paper goods as well as our photobooth backdrop. We used Double Trip Press to letter-press all the paper goods, which turned out absolutely stunning! The menus were even on this gorgeous handmade paper.
I had seven bridesmaids and we all went shopping together for their dresses. The girls picked their dresses out, I just knew I wanted something blush and simple. They looked amazing together! We kept it really classic with black tuxes for all of the guys- Ryan’s shoes were the only difference. Poor guys were sweating all day because it was such a hot day!
In terms of a car, I had an amazing moment with my dad. My dad is a big car guy and he has this old white Mercedes convertible with red leather interior that he keeps at the house in Florida. He loves that little ride and when I asked him if he would drive me to my first look with Ryan- just the two of us- he was in tears. It was a wonderful moment to have with just us before I saw Ryan for the first time that day.
As far as ceremony decor, we had a beautiful arch made by August Design with greenery and blush flowers. We had bunches of greenery and flowers lining the aisle as well so that they looked like they were coming up from the ground.
I’m Catholic and Ryan is not, so we had to do a small Catholic ceremony in a Church the day before the big day. Father Jordan Kelly was my high school teacher and he graciously did an intimate Church ceremony for us and our immediate family the day before, which was actually one of my favorite parts of the wedding weekend. He graciously performed a second ceremony outside the next day and kept all of the Catholic traditions that I wanted!
My dad walked me down the aisle. I’ve been dreaming about that moment my whole life. ?
Our ceremony music was pretty traditional. We had a lovely string quartet that did all of the music live and I walked down the aisle to “Canon D.” Ryan and I then walked off to their version of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”
We chose “From the Ground Up” by Dan + Shay for our first dance. I flew to South Carolina to meet Ryan’s family about 2 months into dating and we drove his car back so that he would have it in Chicago. That song literally came on the radio about a million times, it became almost comical. I’m not going to lie- in that moment- I pictured it being our song one day, turns out I was right!
We had a band for the reception that was an absolute blast! The band were truly real performers and everyone was dancing the whole time. We had a DJ for the after party.
Ryan and I didn’t do an exit in a car, we actually did an exit walking through sparklers- which was really cool.
My favorite moment was when Ryan and I stepped away as the sun was setting and got to look at our tent and the whole party from a distance. It was just amazing to take a beat and relish in it all together.
My advice to any new bride is to enjoy it! I stressed way more than I should have and looking back, I wish I would have just relaxed a bit more.
Ceremony Site/Reception Site: The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island | Wedding Planner: Christina Baxter Events | Floral: August Design | Photography: Virgil Bunao | Videography: Made With Love Films | Wedding Dress Designer: Galia Lahav | Wedding Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Engagement Ring: New York Jewelers Chicago, IL | Wedding Rings: Lester Lampert Jewelers Chicago, IL | Hair: Mideyah Parker | Makeup: Cathleen Healy | Bridesmaid Dresses: Watters | Menswear: The Black Tux | Invitations/Programs/Escort Cards/Menus: Double Trip Press