Though Florida weddings often inspire thoughts of sunsets on sandy beaches, Marci, 32, and Matt, 34, wanted something a little untraditional. "What we were really looking for was a barn," says Marci. "As soon as we pulled up to the Hitching Post Barn, we new it would be perfect!" The couple fell in love with the casual vibe and wide-open spaces (perfect for all of the children who'd be tagging along with their family and friends). With only 11 months to plan their November 2nd, 2013, nuptials, they got to work putting together their open-air wedding—a perk of getting married just north of Tampa!
Marci's Maggie Sottero gown was one of the first she tried on. She continued to try on other styles, but kept going back to it. "I loved the low back and the layers of lace," she says. She paired her gown with—what else?—cowboy boots.
"I wasn't really into keyhole backs, but wanted something that showed off my shoulders," says Marci of her tiered lace wedding dress. She carried a delicate bouquet of lisanthus, roses, and purple larkspur. Matt and his groomsmen wore taupe suits, with Matt topping his vest with a jacket and a boutonniere of a white rose and lavender wax flower.
Ceremony programs, full of playful fonts, were printed on simple brown paper bags. The outdoor aisle was lined with benches and decorated with jars of baby's breath.
Matt and Marci performed a unique spin on the unity ceremony. "We both got jars of dirt from our family homes, then poured the dirt into a pot with a lemon tree," says Marci. "The tree is now planted outside of our home, and has a great story to go with it!"
One of the Hitching Post Barn's sprawling trees provided a dramatic backdrop for the ceremony.
The tables were decorated in a casual, rustic style. "All the doilies came from our families," says Marci. "We saved bottles, glasses, and cans during our engagement to use for the centerpieces." Centerpieces of baby's breath, larkspur, and daisies added texture and color.
The couple's guest book was one of their many DIY projects. They framed their last initial on a burlap backing, and invited guests to leave messages for them on the white letter. The frame was surrounded with photos of Matt and Marci's parents and grandparents on their wedding days.
An old window frame was the perfect canvas for the evening's simple menu.
What wasn't simple was the dessert table, covered with cupcakes, miniature pies, and Marci and Matt's wedding cake.
Guests chose between vanilla and carrot cupcakes and pumpkin and apple pies, displayed in delicate paper cups.
The single-tiered wedding cake was decorated with ruffled buttercream frosting and topped with "Happily Ever After" bunting.
A wedding bonfire just wouldn't be complete without s'mores! "All the children loved running around and roasting marshmallows," remembers Marci.
"It rained all morning, but we got so lucky when the skies cleared for the afternoon," says Marci. "There were a few sprinkles during the ceremony, but you couldn't feel it beneath the oak tree." A few weeks after the wedding, the couple headed south to St. Maarten for rest and relaxation.
Though Matt and Marci had 11 months to plan their wedding, work (and life) kept them busy, so they made lists to keep things organized. "Do your best to tackle projects slowly, and say yes if friends offer to help!" recommends the bride.
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Hitching Post Barn || Day-of Coordinator: Suzie Batten of Hitching Post Barn || Bride's Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero, from Casa di Bella || Jewelry: Dogeared || Hair: J.Cotto Hair Co. || Groom's Suit: Suit City of Orlando || Wedding Bands: Zales || Florist: Westover's Flowers & Gifts || Invitations & Paper Goods: Luc & Lilah Events || Catering: John Mason Catering || Cake, Pies & Cupcakes: A Family Friend || Photography: Yanman Photography