A Beach-Chic Wedding in the Sand in Seaside, Florida

Real Weddings

Growing up spending summers in Seaside, Florida, Danielle Daily was convinced that she'd spent her childhood on the most beautiful strip of beaches in the world. "I'm a little biased!" she laughs. So when she and David Kurland started to plan their October 27th, 2012, wedding, the choice for where to have it was an easy one. "I'm from Alabama, Dave is from Minnesota, and we live in Denver," says Dani, "so we know it would be a destination wedding no matter where we picked."

The couple decided to say "I do" with their toes in the sand, then celebrate with a laid-back reception with great food, live music, and an open bar. "We didn't want anything stuffy — just something our friends and family would enjoy," says the bride. So they put a sophisticated oceanfront spin on a shabby-chic feel, toning down the colors for the late October date, and had Dear Wesleyann come along to capture the fresh, airy details.

After what seemed like endless searching, Dani fell in love with a fitted Romona Keveza gown with elegant ruching and an off-the-shoulder sleeve. "It was appropriate for a beach wedding, but still felt classic and beautiful," says the bride. To accent the dress's soft feel, she carried a textured bouquet of peonies, roses, and ranunculus in shades of pink and peach, and added texture with succulents and leaves.

Dani made it clear early on that she wasn't into over-the-top proposals. "I told Dave that if he proposed with a megaphone, megatron, megaspeaker, or anything else mega, I would say no," she laughs. "It's not my style!" So when she came home one night to find flowers and candles everywhere, the couple's dog with a giant red ribbon with a ring around his neck, and Dave with a love letter he'd spent months writing, there was no question that she would say yes.

Dani's bridesmaids carried bouquets of pink-and-white hydrangeas, roses, and ranunculus to pop against their blue dresses.

The three bridesmaids wore cobalt dresses from J.Crew. "I gave them a color and let them pick the style they felt most comfortable in," says Dani. The flower girl, four-year-old Alayna, donned a blue seersucker dress with a white collar.

Ring bearer Nathan, three, wore a seersucker suit and a khaki tie. Just imagine how dapper he looked as he came down the aisle with his "Here Comes the Bride" sign!

The ceremony took place in the sand, beneath a wrought-iron altar decorated with flowers and greenery. Driftwood posts held mason jars filled with white and pink hydrangeas and roses.

Dani's father escorted her down the aisle to a string rendition of Cannon in D. Guests abandoned their shoes for the shore-front vows, timed perfectly to take advantage of the afternoon sun.

Dave and Dani sealed their vows with a particularly celebratory kiss. Guests tossed white rose petals as they walked back up the aisle.

As guests left the ceremony to head to the reception, buckets full of soft brushes helped them clean off their feet before donning their dancing shoes.

Dani, Dave, and their wedding party stuck around on the beach for photos. The groomsmen's khaki vests and blue ties complemented the bridesmaids' ocean-blue frocks. Dani's wedding gown, complete with flowing chiffon and a brooch at the back, was perfect for catching the ocean breeze.

The reception took place under the gazebo at Bud & Alley's. Flowing white fabric and chandeliers hung from the ceiling. "We had lots of lanterns and flowers in different types of vases," says Dani. "It was understated and romantic, and still had a beach feel." Hydrangeas, roses, and ranunculus were tucked into mason jars filled with shells and accented with local greenery.

After a first dance to "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz, the couple shared a father-daughter and mother-son dance to "The Way You Look Tonight." "It was such a sweet moment," says Dani. Guests dined on a southern menu of blackened grouper and panéed chicken, and sipped the couple's signature vodka lemonade out of mason jars. The couple got a small cake to cut as a nod to tradition, but went all out with the dessert bar. "We had mini-Key lime pies, boozy brownies, fruit tarts, and caramel corn," says the bride. "It was delicious!"

The couple stayed in Florida after the wedding to decompress before heading home to Denver. They have two fantastic tips for couples planning their weddings. "We have two very opinionated mothers," laughs Dani. "So sometimes it was hard to go with our gut, but we pushed through and did what made us happy."

And a great way to wind down and get everyone ready to celebrate? "The day before the wedding, we spent the day on the beach with our family and all of our friends," she says. "We set up tents, had coolers with beer, and everyone came to hang out. It was so great to get to enjoy their company before the stress of our actual wedding day!"

Ceremony Venue: On the beach in Seaside, Florida || Reception Venue: Bud & Alley's || Wedding Planner: Defining Moments Weddings & Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza || Jewelry: Nordstrom || Hair & Makeup: Rolland's Salon || Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew || Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: J.Crew || Wedding Bands: Shane Co. || Florist: Bella Flora || Invitations: Imagination Print and Design || Music: Forrest Williams Band || Catering: Bud & Alley's || Photography: Dear Wesleyann

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