Midwesterners Cassie and Jacob wanted a seaside destination celebration, and found their dream venue on sandy shores with their Alys Beach, Florida wedding. We’re loving the cool, desert vibe of their relaxed celebration, the chic coffee shop where they held the intimate reception, and the eclectic décor they spent years sourcing for the big day – and we know you will, too!
Cassie wore a vintage-inspired dress from BHLDN.
“We wanted our guests to feel like they were on vacation, so we chose a location that we hoped they would enjoy. For us, spending a week near a beach sounded heavenly, so we opted for a destination wedding at Alys Beach in Northern Florida. It was the perfect backdrop for our informal, laid-back wedding, and we were able to spend an entire week there celebrating with family and friends.”
“We wanted our vows to be a list of promises to each other, essentially our love contract, and we wrote them together. During the ceremony, we read them aloud to each other, each sealing the contract with our words.”
Your ceremony in three words. Genuine, simple, and family.
Who officiated your ceremony? My husband’s mother was our officiant. We chose her because of her ability to write beautifully and speak to a crowd. She also shared our spiritual ideas, and it was a real gift to us when she accepted. Together, we built the ceremony and the readings to reflect our past and future.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? The bride said, “My favorite moment of the ceremony was walking down the aisle with my father, observing all the guests and the beautiful scenery. There was so much love on that beach.”
The groom said, “My favorite moment was seeing Cassie come down the aisle. Cliché, I know, but being on an open beach, I had to intentionally turn away as she approached. I heard my best man, Ben, whisper, “Wow,” and that was my cue to turn. I didn’t hear or see a single thing other than her in that moment. Time froze and I felt weightless.”
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Don’t worry about what you’ve heard weddings are “supposed” to be. This day is for you, your future husband, and your closest friends and family. If having a traditional wedding isn’t your style, do what comes naturally to you and your partner. Try to infuse as much of your personality as you can into the celebration – it’s a choice you can’t regret!
“Our biggest inspiration for our reception was the environment. We wanted our wedding to be easy, stress-free and fun, with a focus on enjoying the simple things in life. Our guests have traveled a long way, so we wanted them to feel like they were on a memorable vacation.”
How would you describe your reception? An outdoor dinner party with our closest family and friends, surrounded by beautiful scenery, amazing music, and good food.
Why did you choose this location for your reception? We wanted an outdoor reception that would feel like a laid-back dinner party, so we rented out Fonville Press, a lovely coffee & ice cream shop with a large covered patio. The environment was romantic and relaxed – just what we’d hoped for!
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? My parents handcrafted almost all of the wood accents and lighting pieces, and the table settings, including glasses, plates, and décor, were collected during many antique shop hunts. It was probably 2 years in the making to collect & make everything at our reception!
Please tell us about any special details or moments from your reception. We gifted our guests with small air plants to take a bit of the tropics home with them. We also installed a cozy pillow lounge near the DJ to create a laid-back atmosphere for dancing and chatting with friends and family.
What was your wedding menu? We served an Italian menu which included lots of pastas, soups, breads, and salads. The Italian appetizers served during cocktail hour were real crowd pleasers, too!
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We had a two-tier chocolate and vanilla cake, as well as individual mason jars filled with chocolate mousse made by my very talented sister-in-law, Roma.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? Dancing beneath the twinkle lights. I had no idea I had a family of dancers!
What was your first dance song? Our first dance was to “Come Away with Me” by Nora Jones. My dad and I danced to “Walk with You” by Edwin McCain, and Jacob danced with his mom and grandmother to “Over The Rainbow / Wonderful World” by Israël Kamakawiwo’ole.