We are head over heels for this enchanting wedding at The Cooper Estate in Florida. The love that Stephanie and Eric have for each other can be seen throughout all of their photos. To top it all off, the couple even had a Brazilian style BBQ!
As if this wedding could not get any sweeter, the couple’s two adorable pups made a special guest appearance.
The bride was nice enough to provide us with a wonderful overview of her day and an inside look behind the styling. There is so much inspiration in this wedding!
Q: Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?
A: It was the most amazing day of our lives! Everything was so lush and green with white florals throughout. Although it rained all day, thirty minutes before the ceremony it cleared up for me to walk down the aisle. The Cooper Estate gave us the rustic barn-like feel we wanted. A tradition we came up with was including a wine-box in our ceremony. Sometimes couples write letters and read it blindfolded, well we wrote letters to each other prior to our wedding day on why we love each other. I got a wooden wine box custom made on Etsy from Sweetpinehills that had our vows, names, and wedding date carved into it. We had a bottle of wine in the box from a Napa trip we took two years prior, placed it in the box along with the letters, and Erik’s best man nailed it shut during our ceremony. On our fifth anniversary or our “first big fight,” we will open it, read the letters, and drink the wine together reminiscing our wedding day and remembering why we fell in love to begin with. We were looking forward to our meal that day the most… especially since you don’t eat much on your wedding day! We had a Brazilian style BBQ where they serve the meats table by table, truffle mac-n-cheese, and butternut squash soup to name a few dishes. We ate the leftovers, yes we requested a to-go box for late night munching, and yes they were just as good! Our theme was bikes, my husband Erik and I love to go for bike rides. We had lots of details with bicycles throughout the reception. Our last song that we danced to was “Bicicleta” by Carlos Vives and Shakira. It’s essentially about biking everywhere together while our hearts beat for each other in Spanish.
Q: Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?
A: I didn’t want any color because I loved all of the oak trees and greenery so much as well as the rustic wood inside the Cooper Estate so we went with white and some gold accents. My favorite touch was the large white lanterns that were put down the aisle we as well as on our main table. We had white drapes inside the barn and they looked so gorgeous. The outside had white benches around a fire pit and in the cocktail area tall tables with white tablecloths. Each table had mason jars filled with white florals and tealights. When our guests arrived there was a bike I DIY’ed for the entrance with beautiful white flowers and succulents inside the basket. The guests found their seats by looking at natural colored paper pinned to old bike rims wrapped in twinkle lights I set up on an easel. We also had bike bottle openers as takeaways for our guests as well that said: “Let the adventure begin”.
Q: What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?
A: I could not stop smelling my bouquet the entire afternoon and the days after, it smelled so perfumed. I chose peonies and lots of different kinds of roses as well as succulents. My cake had some white flowers and succulents and so did my bridesmaids in their bouquet’s and groomsmen on boutonnieres. The flowers were a huge part of my wedding design. Yira with M&J Custom events was recommended by the Cooper Estate. She knew exactly the look I was going for just by me sending her my Pinterest board… yes my wedding board actually came in handy! I still have the succulents from my bouquet in pots that just keep on growing. My family took a lot of the flowers home and a few days after my wedding I donated the centerpieces to a local hospital.
Q: Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
A: We personalized so many things, from using a football for the garter toss with our initials and wedding date to using champagne flutes with Mr. & Mrs. Lichter written on them my oldest friend and bridesmaid gifted us. We also had my colleagues play the violin and piano for my wedding party during the processional and recessional. For the recessional they performed signed sealed and delivered, I’m yours! My husband’s family also has a secret cookie recipe, he started a company is called “Sweet Lich’s”, we made cookie bags for everyone to take home that night. I had the bags custom made on Etsy saying “All you need is love and a few cookies. Erik & Stephanie 1/7/17.” We also had our guests sign a Jenga block rather than a guest book and now when we play we can read their well wishes.
Q: Let’s talk fashion. How did you choose your wedding day look? How did the groom? Describe both looks in detail.
A: I knew I wanted sparkly, long, low back, and a long veil, so that’s what I did! I am still obsessed with my wedding dress and wish I could wear it again! I bought a headpiece and went with an up-do since I had such a low back and it was perfect because I wasn’t worried about my hair frizzing up throughout the night. My veil was extremely detailed and hand-made. I had a seamstress cut out pieces of lace from my mother’s wedding dress and sewed onto the bottom of my veil. My mother passed away when I was fifteen so it was really important to me that I incorporated her spirit in every way possible. My husband loved trying on the suits… not! But he did go with me to choose everything. We were both between grey and navy blue. We went with navy blue for the groom and groomsmen, and light grey for the ushers. They looked great! My husband wore a white tie and all of the groomsmen wore black bow-ties so he could stand out more. I gave my husband a navy blue mont blanc watch as his wedding gift to match the suit and it went perfectly! Erik’s boutonniere was so delicate with a small succulent and white mini rose. My bridesmaids were dressed in blush and nude colors with sequence. They all chose their own and they looked gorgeous standing next to each other. One of my favorite things I wore was my headpiece and my shoes… I love butterflies and I found these amazing Sophia Webster heels with baby blue butterflies, underneath said they “Wifey” “for Lifey”.
Q: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
A: Erik and I are high-school sweethearts. He stole my heart at the age of 14 and it had been a long wait for a proposal! Ten years of a wait to be exact! We had been living together for three years and have three dogs together. My mother’s birthday is December 31st and it’s always a tough day for me since she passed. I was sick and not feeling well when he proposed which is why I ruined Erik’s initial plans that he told me about after (leading me up to our rooftop terrace with tulip petals, etc.). Instead, it was December 30 (1-2 am). Basically we both got ready for bed and our Siberian Husky usually pops her face in front of mine but of course, she was fast asleep that night. Erik called her up on the bed (she had a ribbon on her) and it took me a while to notice, I said what is that Nahla? Erik took the ribbon off and there was the ring! He proposed and of course I said yes! New years eve was the happiest day for once rather than a sad one, and it was a great start to the year 2016!
Q: What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
A: The most anticipated moment was definitely the ceremony, listening to the speeches, and s’mores! The ceremony went smoothly with our dog Camie casually burping during our vows, and Nahla (siberian husky) trying to catch squirrels the entire time. Yes our dogs were in our ceremony with their white lace collars and leashes. It was perfect. The speeches could not have been better! We really enjoyed the fire pit we had with s’mores set up. It was a rare evening in Miami that was actually cold (all of 60 degrees).
Q: Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?
A: Enjoy engaged life, the wedding planning, the cake tastings, trying on dresses, going to see venues, the tasting, you only do it once! Get a videographer (and a photographer obviously) but as much as a I love our photos, the video just brings back all of the feelings of love and happiness every time you watch it. I would say definitely get a day of coordinator! Donna worked with our venue, she was fabulous. Once you’ve planned ahead on the day of just enjoy it. Don’t worry about everything coming together -because it will. It was and still is the best day of our lives. I watch our wedding video often and still cry, laugh, and love reliving it all over again. The best marriage advice I can give is to communicate with each other. Go on dates, keep the love alive, help each other, and be each other’s cheerleaders! Build each other up and dream big dreams! My husbands best advice is “Happy Wife, Happy Life” it’s her day so if she wants it… let her have it!
[/vc_column_text][vc_masonry_media_grid grid_id=”vc_gid:1508162897953-d8278e06-416e-1″ include=”37202,37203,37204,37205,37206,37207,37208,37209,37210,37211,37212,37213,37214,37215,37216,37217,37218,37219,37220,37221,37222,37223,37224,37225,37226,37227,37228,37229,37230,37231,37232,37233,37234,37235,37236,37237,37238,37239,37240,37241,37242,37243,37244,37245,37246,37247,37248,37249,37250,37251,37252,37253,37254,37255,37256,37257,37258,37259,37260,37261,37262,37263,37264,37265,37266,37267″][TS-VCSC-Vimeo content_vimeo=”https://vimeo.com/205240578″][vc_column_text]Photographer: Dana Lynn Photography