When you get married in Florida, you always have to plan for the unexpected: Mother Nature often has a mind of her own! And Natalie & Neil’s wedding day gave no exception to this rule.
Having only met Natalie & Neil in person two days before their wedding, there wasn’t a whole lot of time to dilly-dally come January 27th. But with the help of Natalie’s mom, Kathy, planning was a cinch!
For over a week prior to the big day, the weather channel had predicted heavy rains at the same time as this incredible outdoor wedding. Of course the question is asked, “What do we do?” Come the day of, by the grace of God, the weather was showing rain in the morning and and again later at night, so we made the decision to cross our fingers and still hold the ceremony in the courtyard of 5Eleven Palafox, a beautiful space in downtown Pensacola.
Natalie and her bridesmaids, with the help of a few friends, got ready at The Pensacola Grand Hotel, coincidentally also where Neil and the groomsmen were preparing just a few floors away.
While the couple prepared, Courtney and her team were hard at work setting up the ceremony and reception. Kathy, her husband Brett, and her three sisters brought all of the decor and turned the venue into an elegant bridal oasis. They even did all of the personal flowers and floral decor for the arbor that included everything from succulents to lilies, and the final product was one of the prettiest self-decorated weddings we had ever seen! Natalie and her family even made an assortment of signs with the bar menu, where to sit for the ceremony, what their favors were, and directions on how to sign the guest book (with the most adorable polaroid cameras!)
By early afternoon, Houston-based photographers Jorge & Valerie with Good Omen Co. captured everyone getting ready, the beautiful ceremony, and the reception space. At not a minute past 4:30, Natalie, escorted by her father, walked down the aisle to Neil, and there was not a dry eye in site. Ryan, Natalie’s brother, officiated the ceremony and made sure that we not only laughed a little, but cried a little too — especially when we heard Natalie & Neil’s personalized vows. With the commitment sealed with a kiss, the couple was announced as husband and wife!
Once the ceremony was over, Jorge was lucky enough to get all of his pictures taken because practically as soon as Mr. & Mrs. Willis were introduced into the reception, the heavy rains soaked all of downtown Pensacola for hours through the night.
Craig Rasmusen, a DJ that had done other events for the family in the past, controlled both the ceremony and reception music. Everyone had a blast!
Nancy’s Catering & Events oversaw the dinner and bar service fluidly, and Sam’s Club supplied a beautiful 3-tired classic wedding cake topped with teal and purple fondant succulents.
We want to thank Natalie & Neil, as well as Kathy for allowing our team to play such a big role in the making of this spectacular day. Congratulations to the newly Mr. & Mrs. Willis! We wish you a lifetime of happiness.
~Blog by Courtney