The beautiful moss covered trees of America's south make my heart flutter� there is just something about them that's just so romantic. Meghan and Derek fell in love with the THE RIBAULT CLUB � a 1920's white Florida plantation house that's situated on the water's edge. Effortlessly beautiful it became the inspiration for their wedding which MELANIE GABRIELLE has documented to perfection in these images.
HOW DID YOU MEET? Derek was having a party at his house one evening and I was invited by my cousin. I had a crush on him for weeks and he didn't even know my name! We had an awesome talk at the party, sharing travel stories and talking about adventures we love. After a lot of laughs, we wrapped up the conversation, he had to go host the party and "work the room". That next night I received a call from him asking me to go kayaking that next Saturday. Weeks later I found out he asked me out because he claims to have seen me flirting with one of his friends and wanted to pursue before his buddy did. I guess the hair flip worked.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: I'm a marathoner and Derek only runs when he is being chased. For months I had begged him to run with me and always got a resounding NO! One day he finally said he would go on a run with me only if I would do a sunrise run on the beach with him, I enthusiastically agreed (though I'm not a morning person in any way). At the end of our run he said he had a note for me with the last line reading, "Now this is the part where I get down on one knee". Without hesitation I said yes and he led me to the gorgeous breakfast on the beach he had set up. My sister came in from out of town and popped out of the sand-dunes half-way through breakfast. He then drove me to my college town for a surprise lunch with all my best friends and then drove me to a surprise dinner with my parents and his... perfect.
TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS: I found "The Dress", which was a light-pink ball gown, then got home and realized I just bought a princess, fairy-tale, pink dress and I'm just not that kinda girl. Needless to say I had my first and only bridal-anxiety-attack. After much begging and groveling I returned "The Dress", went home to South Florida and found "The (real) Dress" with my parents and sister. I still stare at it in my closet!
DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING FLOWERS: My florist, Ken, was absolutely incredible. I didn't have a very clear vision, but knew I wanted flowers that looked like peonies, were in budget, and were blush and white. He nailed it! O'Hara garden roses, white hydrangea, spray roses and wax flowers that were exactly what I didn't know I wanted.
FAVOURITE DETAIL OF THE DAY: Derek surprised me with a photo-booth at the wedding. It was such a fun detail! The guests had a blast with it and we got to keep a copy of all the pictures to remember how crazy and fun all our friends and family are.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A COUPLE PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? Don't underestimate the value of a wedding planner. Halfway through planning, we got our wedding planner (fairy god-mother), Sarah, and it completely changed the whole process. Planning became enjoyable rather than overwhelming and I didn't worry about a single detail the day of except for soaking in every moment of the best day of my life.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT? We can definitely think about how beautiful the night was, how smooth and fun the wedding went and all, but when I truly think back at my favorite moments, it is times I got to spend with my husband. Him biting his lip as he fought back tears during his vows, clinging to him during our first prayer, smashing cake in his face, sharing in laughter and smiles, driving away thinking how grateful we are. Those are moments I'll cherish forever.
ANY OTHER DETAILS THAT HELP TELL THE STORY OF YOUR DAY? At Derek's parents wedding nearly 30 years ago, the best man came down the isle and surprised the bride, my mother-in-law, wearing bright-red high-top converse. Fast-forward to our wedding day, Derek's best man (his younger brother) walked down the isle in the same kicks. Definitely unexpected, but I think this is the beginning of a new family tradition. I loved it!
Photographer MELANIE GABRIELLE PHOTOGRAPHY / Cake FRENCH PANTRY & WE TAKE THE CAKE / Florist DOTTIE �B� FLORIST / Stationery BEVERLY DAVIS / Venue THE RIBAULT CLUB / Bride's gown MIA SOLANO / Shoes BETSY JOHNSON / Hair ERIN TIERNEY / Bridesmaids Dresses UNION STATION / Groom's Attire MEN'S WEARHOUSE / Planner SARAH ANNA EVENTS / Caterer DAVOLI'S CATERING / Photobooth IPHOTOBOOTH