Let’s start the week with a gorgeous wedding in Rosemary Beach, Florida – the ceremony venue is one of the loveliest I’ve ever seen! Andrea and Scott chose a neutral palette of mostly white and pale green, with beautiful results. Photography by Magnolia Pair.

Fitting with the minimalist color scheme, bridesmaids wore chiffon dresses in barely-there neutrals.

Says the bride, “During the ceremony, it started drizzling outside. I wasn’t aware of this until after when we were supposed to take pictures on the beach while guests had cocktails in the park adjacent to the Town Hall. The drizzling turned into rain and not only were we unable to take very many pictures on the beach, but the reception area had to be flipped quickly after the ceremony so the cocktail could be moved inside. Thank goodness my wedding planner and parents had a “Plan B” and everything turned out okay. In the end everyone had a great time and Scott and I definitely felt like we were surrounded by true joy and love the whole day.”

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  The beaches of South Walton and along Highway 30A have been a special place for me and my family since I was little. My grandfather started bringing us to the area each summer around my birthday 25 years ago. I dreamed of getting married there because it brought back years of family memories and I felt like it was a tribute to my grandfather, who loved it there so much. My husband and I also really wanted our wedding weekend to be a mini-vacation for our family and friends. Rosemary Beach was a perfect fit – with the beautiful beach, the picturesque town with charming shops and delicious restaurants, and the beautiful, white Town Hall that gave us the “churchy” feel we were looking for.

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  Scott and I were inspired knowing that our closest friends and family would be gathering together in this special place to celebrate the most important day of our lives. With this in mind, we wanted our guests to feel relaxed and to enjoy the beauty and charm of the area. Once the venue was chosen, I knew exactly how I wanted my wedding to look and feel. The Town Hall and my beautiful wedding dress served as inspiration for the style of the wedding. I used white and neutral colors, with a hint of green, to highlight the natural beauty of the Town Hall and the beach town. I also wanted to choose colors that I could look back on 20 years down the road and still be happy with!

What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  Dancing with my dad was a moment I will never forget. My dad is not a dancer – in fact, I had never seen him dance before until we took a dance lesson to get ready for the wedding. Dancing with him was a special, once-in-a-lifetime moment that I will always cherish. Also, after our reception, Scott and I went back to our Carriage House in Rosemary Beach and we just sat there and talked about our wedding day and how happy we were. It was then that I realized that we were married and how excited I was to be Scott’s wife. Then we met all of our friends out at a local dive and kept celebrating – the night just kept getting better!

Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  One of my wedding “musts” was to have my dad, who owns a catering company in Baton Rouge, cater the wedding. Another reason Rosemary Beach was a perfect fit was because they would allow his company to do the catering. Having my dad cater the reception allowed us to share some of our favorite foods and drinks with our guests. Needless to say, everything was delicious! It was also important for Scott’s Dad, who is a pastor of a church in Houston, to officiate our ceremony. Having him marry us made the day even more special. He was able to really personalize the ceremony and even told a few funny stories about my husband’s childhood.

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Face the fact that complications will arise – some things are out of your control. Embrace the moments that make your wedding unique, laugh at them later on and remember all that matters at the end of the day is that that you will be married to the love of your life. Another important piece of advice I received was to spend as much time by my husband’s side as possible. Although it’s easy to get pulled in different ways at the reception, it’s important to try and stay together as much as you can and experience it all together.

What advice do you have for other brides?  Find a wedding planner or a day-of coordinator – especially if you are having a destination wedding. Weddings are very stressful, but the bride and groom (and their mothers!) shouldn’t have to worry about directing vendors or solving problems on the big day. Having a planner will allow you to relax and enjoy the day.


See more pics from Andrea and Scott’s minimalist beach wedding in the gallery.

Photographer: Magnolia Pair / Venue: Rosemary Beach Town Hall in Rosemary Beach, Florida / Event Planner: Christina Gillon Events / Bride’s Dress: Vera Wang, purchased from Mimi in New Orleans / Shoes: Valentino, purchased from Tootsies in Houston / Groom’s Suit, Tie: JoS. A. Bank / Groom’s Boots: Lucchese / Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale, purchased from Bella Bridesmaid / Calligraphy: Tara Jones / Invitations: Paradise Design Co. / Floral Design: Christina Springfield, Nouveau Flowers & Events / Caterer: Unique Cuisine / Cake: Cakes by Tanis / Wine Bottle Labels: Pinhole Press / Ceremony Music: Gulf Talent Services / Reception Music: Black Jacket
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What are you up to this weekend? Ryan’s folks are coming to visit, and it’s supposed to be really warm here, so I think we might drive up to our favorite oyster place for lunch on the water. Otherwise, I’ll be enlisting the help of my mom and Ryan’s mom in tackling our would-be nursery, which currently looks more like an unkempt storage unit than any place you’d put a baby. Wish us luck!

Photo from Tiffany “True Love Grows” campaign.

Love knows no time, via A Cup of Jo.

A sweet old telegram.

Golden goddesses.

Pretty parapluie pendant light.

Wouldn’t a pajama brunch be fun for a bridal shower?

Flourish hand stamp from Besotted.

Awesome vintage airplane wedding.

Lovely monograms from Antiquaria.

A little pricey, but this bracelet is so sweet.

Have a happy weekend everyone!

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Happy Valentine’s Day dear readers! In addition to our Snapshot of a Marriage post (a celebration of lasting love), we thought we’d give you a post the celebrates the other part of Valentine’s Day we can’t live without: chocolate! We asked some of our favorite wedding vendors to share their most-loved chocolates with us, and the result is a collection of amazing sweets that would make for delicious wedding favors, welcome bag gifts, or just everyday indulgences. Enjoy!

Meg Smith | Photographer
Caramels with Exotic Salts from Woodhouse Chocolate (top left)
“My favorites are any of the caramels with exotic sea salts from Woodhouse Chocolate in St Helena – my hometown. You feel like you’ve stumbled across a chocolate store in Paris. And if you want to see a child completely in awe bring home one of their chocolate animals for a very special occasion.”

Elizabeth Messina | Photographer
Dark Chocolate Truffles from La Maison du Chocolat (not pictured)
Dark Chocolate Truffles by Jessica Foster Confections (top right)
“I have a not so secret love affair with chocolate, and perhaps my favorite chocolate indulgence is a single dark chocolate truffle. The flavor is simply sublime. Maison du Chocolat Dark Chocolate Truffles have such a rustic feel, and the richness, flavor, and texture are divine. Jessica Foster is a local boutique company and each one is made by hand – these are the truffles I served at my wedding and they will always be close to my heart.”

Jose Villa | Photographer
Cocoa Truffles from Trader Joe’s
“I love Trader Joe’s truffles! I know getting chocolate at Trader Joe’s is not exactly a luxury, but they are darn good… and dangerous!”

Ariella Chezar | Floral Designer
Aztec Chili Tiles from Poco Dolce (far left)
“While I love almost all of Poco Dolce’s chocolate tiles (with their Burnt Caramel high up on the list), the Aztec Chili tiles have the perfect little kick combined with excellent quality chocolate. Yum!

Lisa Vorce | Event Planner & Designer
Chocolat Chaud from Angelina (left)
“My sister and I spent a very cold winter in Paris when we were young, and nothing warmed us up like the hot chocolate from Angelina. “La Maison Angelina” has been around since 1903, and serves the most luscious, thick, lava-like chocolat chaud you could imagine. Actually, you should go there, so you don’t have to imagine it! I promise, you’ll be in love! And if you can’t get there anytime soon, MarieBelle offers a line of hot chocolates that are delish as well!”

Bryan Johnson, A Bryan Photo | Photographer
Almonds & Sea Salt bar by Mast Brothers Chocolate (right)
“Mast Brothers uses the best ingredients and you can taste it in every bite. The almond and sea salt bar is exceptional because the dark chocolate is lightly sweet with a hint of salt for a savory twist! So delish.”

Kathryn’s favorite…
Butterscotch Squares by See’s Candies (a)
“Basically brown sugar covered with milk chocolate – it’s super sweet and is a childhood favorite that I will love forever.”

Laurie Arons | Event Planner & Designer
Champagne Truffes by Teuscher (b)
“It is a combination of a milk chocolate shell exterior, with a dark chocolate creamy make-your-mouth water ganache and a surprise of champagne creme in the center. Delicious!”

Sarah Ryhanen, Saipua | Floral Designer
Twix bar (c)
“My favorite chocolate is probably a Twix bar. I like cheap chocolate, and lots of it.”

Cynthia Warren | Illustrator, Designer, Calligrapher
Burnt Caramel Tiles from Poco Dolce (d)
“I desire less sweet things as I get older. However, the Poco Dolce bittersweet chocolate tiles are a perfectly sized little taste treat. They come in several flavors but my favorite are the burnt caramel. I love letting the velvety dark chocolate melt in my mouth to reveal the crunchy burnt caramel toffee inside – the combination of flavors and textures is delightful. The small sprinkling of gray sea salt on top finishes the flavor experience perfectly. Heaven!”

Steve Fortunado, Room Forty | Caterer
Dark Chocolate 70% bar from Green & Black’s Organic (top left)
“Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate is hard to beat for breaking off corners of a delectable brick – I dig that it is fair trade, organic, the flavor is intense, balanced – and can be used for cooking or for straight up gnawing. I’m partial to the pure bars, because that simple, pure high quality chocolate goes really well with wine and spirits, and if we’re in the mood to eat chocolate, we’re usually in the mood to drink as well.”

Kate Holt, Flowerwild | Floral Designer
White Chocolate bar from Green & Black’s Organic (top left)
Chocolate Covered Pretzels (not pictured)
“This white chocolate is divine – it isn’t overly sweet, and is really smooth and creamy.
Also, I always love a chocolate covered pretzel. I guess it’s the sweet salt thing that gets me – whoever figured that combo out is a genius!”

Calder Clark | Wedding Planner & Designer
Sea is for Caramel bar by Sweeteeth (top right)
“I’ve always heard that your taste buds change every 7 years. Old wives’ tale or not, mine have become salt obsessed! So Sweeteeth’s ridiculous sea salt caramel dark chocolate bar covers my every craving, plus they’re local and so genuine that it’s easy to support artisan chocolatier Johnny Battle.”

Kathryn’s other favorite…
Passion Fruit Truffle by Laderach at CocoaBella (bottom right)
“I had no idea what I was biting into the first time I tried one of these bon bons, but the sweet white chocolate shell with the tart passion fruit center was the most delightfully surprising taste I’ve ever had. They’ve become one of my all-time favorites.”

Rebecca Schmidt Ruebensall, Mr. Boddington’s Studio | Designer, Stationer
Put Your Money On Honey from Droga Chocolates (right photo, top left corner)
“[We worked on some designs for Droga Chocolates] and I think it’s safe to say that Put Your Money On Honey are our absolute favorites. They are dark chocolate covered caramels made with wildflower honey and a dash of salt on top – delicious! We make excuses multiple times a day on why another box should be opened! Research, of course.”

Is your mouth watering yet? I’m not sure I’ve met a chocolate I didn’t like a lot, and there are some I truly love, but I’m always looking to try something new. So do tell – what is your all-time favorite chocolate bonbon or bar? Leave a comment by 11:59PM PST letting us know what chocolate you love most, and I’ll send one of you a box of my favorite Butterscotch Squares from See’s Candies!


Photos by Christina McNeill.
Styling by Stacy Wichelhaus.

  • Top Wedding Vendors' Favorite Chocolate

    14 February 2013
  • 22 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Kathryn Loves

    With all of our focus on how to make your wedding special, we thought it was time to highlight some ways to make your marriage awesome, too. Introducing “Snapshot of a Marriage,” a series from contributor Emily Westbrooks, who interviews couples on some of their secrets for a strong and successful marriage.

    When Stacy and Rob decided to get married, they were met with some “discouraging words,” as they put it. Rob had finished college, but Stacy was three years younger and had decided not to finish. “My parents tried very hard to talk us out of it.” But despite her parents’ objections, Stacy and Rob were married and almost immediately packed their things and moved hundreds of miles away so Rob could start a new job.

    Thirty-one years later, those discouraging words are only a distant memory. But that doesn’t mean Stacy and Rob didn’t learn a few lessons along the way. When they began their married life together, Stacy and Rob had very little money. So little that Stacy recalls pulling off of the highway on their drive to avoid a fifty-cent toll. Says Stacy, “Our first home didn’t have a television or even a couch at first. We had one car, so I would walk to the library and back.” Stacy hadn’t yet found work, and says she often felt stuck at home while Rob was out at work all day, like their balance was off. But she quickly learned, “You have to go out there and make that balance.”

    Over the years, Stacy and Rob have learned how to adjust to the shifting balance in their relationship. In the 1980’s, Rob was laid off from his job and the couple decided to sell their house and car and pack up for graduate school. With two small children in tow, Rob and Stacy tried to adjust the balance. “We had decided early on that one parent would stay at home with the kids,” they say. That decision wasn’t always easy, but Stacy says they learned that “rather than try to fight your decision, you can make friends with your decision and figure out systems that work for you.” The couple decided Rob would be home every night for dinner and to bathe at least one of the kids, even if it meant he had to return to the library later.

    Seven moves and thirty-one years later, the two are enjoying spending time with each other in the same place. They work out in the yard, go for long walks and take yoga classes together. Their advice to newlyweds? Rob suggests remembering this mantra: “Marriage is work and it’s teamwork – remember you’re on the same team.”

    SNAPSHOT SUBMISSIONS  Do you know a married couple whose relationship you admire? Or maybe you’re married and want to share your words of wisdom! We’re now accepting submissions from couples who have been married for ten years or longer. Email Emily at emily@fromchinavillage.com with your first names, how long you’ve been married, and a few sentences about why you’d like to be interviewed for our Snapshot of a Marriage series.
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