The wedding of Tia and Stephen was spectacular! The weather and lighting was perfect, although halfway through the ceremony it got dark. Fortunately I anticipated this and set up a couple of lights that matched the color temperature of the string lights above and around the center tree. Tia and Stephen are super laid back, and all their guests were just as easy going and fun. I had a blast filming their Ever After Farms wedding. Check out their film and read their love story below!
Stephen and I actually met on Match.com. Oddly enough, I wouldn’t have talked to him had he messaged me any other way than how he had. There was a picture of me and my Doberman on a hike and he commented on my dog. We started messaging back and forth and never stopped. The first time we met was on Halloween. I had recently purchased a home and it was my first Halloween in the neighborhood. I had gotten candy, and about 30 minutes into passing it out, I realized I was going to run out. Apparently my neighborhood was the one EVERYONE visited. Stephen was at Gator’s Dockside in Deland and offered to bring me more candy. I told him he could bring candy and beer and sit on my front porch with me to pass it out. We’ve been inseparable ever since.
For the proposal, Stephen involved the kids which I loved. They had created a “restaurant” in our home. The kids made the menus and decorations and were our “wait staff.” Everyone got dressed up and Stephen made dinner for all of us. Once everything was ready, Stephen and I exited the house and were greeted by our daughter and Sophia, our hostess. She sat us at our table. Our son, Ethan, played our waiter and greeted us with a towel over his arm as he proceeded to take our drink order. Ethan and Sophia gathered all the drinks and took our food orders, as well. They dished and served our meals and joined us for a wonderful dinner. At the end of dinner, Ethan handed Stephen his “check.” Stephen then proposed to me at the table.
I just pictured a rustic wedding with great food, open bar, and our closest friends and family to celebrate.
I wanted warm colors since it was during December. We ended with Chianti which is like a mauve and a dark navy for the guys. I like warm colors and felt it went really well with the rustic theme of the Ever After Farms Blueberry Barn.
All of my flowers were actually fake. I had enough happening before the wedding, so I didn’t want to think about trying to keep real flowers. I ordered my bridal bouquets off Etsy, and they were all made of wood. They turned out AMAZING and I got a keepsake after the wedding. The boutonnieres were also off Etsy and were plastic, which made them really durable before and during the wedding.
The dress I finally picked was actually the second dress I had purchased. When I first went shopping I found a strapless dress I liked, but had hoped to add some type of lace sleeves on it. After speaking with tailors and thinking about it, probably more than I should have, I decided I wanted to keep looking for dresses as I didn’t want sleeves to look like an “add-on”.
After multiple bridal stores and about 40 dresses later I found my dress. I loved it, but it showed WAY too much of the “girls” upstairs. I found a wonderful alteration shop in Winter Park, Thread and Needle, and they were able to add more lace underneath to provide more modesty, but still give the sheer illusion. My dress was ivory with the perfect amount of lace. It was sexy, but provided coverage that made me comfortable. It also had some fluff, but not so much I had to worry about tripping or not fitting through doorways.
For Stephen’s tux we chose dark navy, and he HAD to add a little pizzazz in there with his American Flag on the back of his vest (He snuck in the flag socks without me knowing). He is very well known among our friends/families for wearing his American Flag cowboy boots with basketball shorts because he knows how to keep it classy. I made him wear “adult” shoes for the wedding so the boots got nixed. Instead, he wore a classic brown shoe. He also wore a chianti colored tie to match my bridesmaid’s colors.
For our wedding favors, we chose to do small 1oz jars of blueberry jam from Bonne Maman. We wrapped them in a little white box with twine and used blue crinkle paper.
Our cake was a 3 tier cake that looked like a silver birch tree. We loved the rustic look of the white wood on the top 2 tiers and brown bark on the bottom. Our decorator added some flowers to add a dash of color and finalized it by carving our initials in a heart on the side. They did this instead of using a cake topper.
We got very fortunate because many of the decorations were actually provided by our venue. This was great because it saved me a lot of time, money, and the headache of having to create all the decorations. This in addition to storing them and then getting stuck with a ton of stuff after. The few things we did do were create clip boards with coloring sheets for kids and attached crayons for some quick entertainment.
We also decorated a wagon to tote our very busy toddler down the aisle as a flower girl. Although in the end she didn’t make it down the aisle in it, it did later serve well as a mobile bed. Our daughter fell asleep during the beginning of the reception and had to be “wheeled” off the dance floor! On my bridal bouquet, we also added 2 charms – 1 of my late mom and the other of my late grandpa. It was really important to have those so close, especially because my mom had just passed in January of this year and I wanted her close.
Our wedding day was filled with a lot of emotion. The feeling of finally being able to marry my best friend in front of all our friends and family was amazing. In our union, I also “officially” became a stepmom to 2 amazing children, Ethan and Sophia. Regardless of the chaos from COVID and many things that happened leading up to our big day, to feel the love and support from those who came to celebrate with us was truly a blessing.
I saw my dad cry for the first time, my husband, and oldest daughter tear up on more than one occasion- which of course made me cry (thank goodness for waterproof mascara). We saw friends and family whom we haven’t seen in years come to join in the festivities. We laughed until it hurt as our loved ones let loose on the dance floor and our sassy toddler, Ava, made sure she showed everyone her sweet dance moves and the raw energy of a 2 year old! Our wedding day was amazing and wouldn’t have changed a thing.
My favorite moment of the day at Ever After Farms Blueberry Barn was dancing with Stephen at the end of the evening. It was really the first time we had a moment alone since the commencement of the day. We laughed a little, cried a little, and just held each other for a moment as husband and wife. It was the biggest exhale after months of chaos.
My advice for brides-to-be is do research and hire good vendors, use friends and family to help with planning /prep as it is a lot to do alone, understand that things will go wrong, but that is okay, and enjoy all the time you get with friends and family who come to celebrate this new chapter in your lives.
If you’re looking for a great rustic chic venue in Central Florida, you need to check out Ever After Farms. They’re sure to have a venue that suits your vision. Also check out the amazing vendors who worked on this wedding below:
Wedding Vendor Team
Venue: Ever After Farms Blueberry Barn
Videographer: Luxe Filmography
Photographer: Our Day Wedding Photography
Hair/Makeup: The 911 Stylist
Caterer: Leefayes Catering
Baker: It’s Tasty Too
Transportation: Apollo’s Chariots
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