gulf coast weddings

Hunter + Hannah | Fort Walton Beach, FL

I will insist, until the end of time, that I have the best job in the world. I get to hang out with people who love each other (like Hunter and Hannah,) and then I get to sit on my butt and stare at a computer screen looking at pictures of people who love each other! The best of being active and sedentary, which is my sweet spot. (PLUS! Doesn't Hannah look a little bit like Adele?? GORG.)

What was the most anticipated part of the day?

"The most anticipated part for the day for both of us was the ceremony. We had talked about that moment a lot while planning the wedding and it indeed was an emotional time for both of us."

Did anything unexpected happen? What was the outcome?

"I didn't even finish reading this question to Hunter and he yells out "YOU WERE LATE". HA. 

So yes, the big unexpected thing for our day was how late I was to the ceremony. I always said I would NEVER be THAT bride, but things happen, things like spring break traffic in Destin, Fl. In my defense though, you can't have a wedding without the bride and it takes time to look that good!"

Were you nervous at all? How did you squash the nerves?

Hannah: "I didn't feel nervous until the moment I slipped on my wedding dress; that's when it all hit me at once. Once I started walking down the aisle though, I wasn't nervous at all, I was just too absorbed in the moment and ready to marry my best-friend." 

Hunter: "I wasn't nervous at all, I had been waiting for this day for awhile, and I knew she was going to be nervous enough for the both of us anyway."

What advice would you give couples planning their wedding now?:

"This piece of advice had been passed onto us from many newlywed coupes and it only seems fitting to continue to pass it on. Your wedding day will be hectic, theres so many faces to talk to and pictures to take, but try to find at least five minutes to sneak away from the crowd and enjoy a quiet moment together. You'll remember it forever."

What were some of your favorite wedding details? How did you come up with them?:

"Anytime someone asks me about our wedding decor I always say "Pinterest, pinterest, pinterest!". It was my #1 inspirational go-to for most aspects of our day, including my favorite piece, a hand-made fireplace mantle used as the centerpiece of our ceremony. My father has always been an amazing craftsman, among his many talents, and it meant the world to us both for him to create such a custom beautiful piece for our special day that we will treasure forever."

What ended up being your favorite part of the day?:

"Although our wedding celebration was absolutely perfect, we both agree that our favorite part of the day was getting to change into our sweatpants and chow down on leftovers after the party was over! It was so nice just to enjoy each others company and talk about how magical the day was."

What are you most looking forward to about married life?:

"Right now we are very excited to start the search for our first home! After two years in our cute, but tiny apartment, we can't be any happier to be able to grow and start our adventure as Mr. & Mrs. Pharis."

Event details:

Ceremony Venue: Emerald Coast Convention Center

Reception Venue: Compass Rose 

Rentals: The Big Day Event Rentals

Photography: Rockwell Images


John + Kelly | Destin, FL

John & Kelly are some of the most fun people I've ever met, and I've never seen someone make another person laugh as hard as John makes Kelly. These two are special to me also because I got to photograph BOTH of their weddings. Yes, you read that right. These two got hitched in August, but had a ceremony (and KILLER party) with their friends and family a couple months later.

Speaking of a party: I've also never been to a wedding where the bride and groom were on the dance floor ALL NIGHT. (Seriously, from the moment they walked in until the DJ had to turn the music off.) So. Much. Fun.

Take a look at that AWESOME ceremony backdrop!!

Event Details:

Venue- Beach Retreat Properties (Destin, FL)

Bridal Gown- Maggie Sottero

Florals- Couture Florals and Events (Destin, FL)

Catering- Cafe Hon (Baltimore, MD)

DJ- Any Day DJ, Brian Thomaston

Photography- Rockwell Images

Robert + Kimberly | Sowell Farms, Milton FL

I have a soft spot for brides who get unanticipated rain on their wedding day. Once upon a time (many moons ago....) I was that bride; the one with an outdoor ceremony, a backup plan, and crossed fingers. Sometimes the rain clears, sometimes it doesn't, but either way your wedding ceremony is always going to be something you remember fondly, no matter what the weather was! And it helps that the indoor space at Sowell Farms is just as beautiful as all the outdoor space!

(Plus, I met one of my now best friends at this wedding!!)

Event Details:

Ceremony & Reception Venue- Sowell Farms

Photography- Rockwell Images

Ryan & Mae | 7.17.15

Marriage is hard. If you're married, you are probably fully aware of this, We all go into it starry eyed and naive, even though everyone has told us isn't always sunshine and rainbows. Marriage is messy. When two imperfect people pledge their lives to each other, things are bound to get that way. And while everyone tells you that marriage is hard, you never really realize how hard it is until you walk through the fire with someone. What no one ever told me though, is that some of the very best times come after you've suffered through something together. When you break a bone, after it heals the part that was broken becomes the strongest part of it. Marriage is a lot like that. Trials come, but knowing that you and your spouse made it through to the other side together, and are stronger for it, is a feeling that no one can prepare you for. Marriage is worth it. It is worth all of it.

That being said, I love vow renewals. LOVE THEM. People change, grow, and mature. And when two people go through all that and decide to reaffirm their love for one another? Well, cue the tears. 

Ryan and Mae have such genuine love for one another. Love that comes from accepting another person fully, faults and all. Though they haven't been married long, I think we could all stand to renew our vows to our spouses, be it in a ceremony or daily as we choose to love them no matter what. And this particular vow renewal ceremony was just breathtakingly beautiful, and full of so much love. 

After they exchanged vows, they took a piece of paper that had all of their past failures written on it, and burned it as a symbol of a new start, and then released balloons as a symbol of the hope they have for the future. 

Plus, Mae MADE her own paper flower bouquet and Ryan's boutonnière out of sheet music and old notes that he had written her over the years. How cool/stinking adorable is that?! SWOON.

And then we come to the couples photos. I can't even handle how precious these two are.

So, here's to Ryan and Mae, and may we all follow their example and renew our love to each other daily.

P.S. Mae happens to be an AMAZING photographer as well as a wonderful friend. Make sure you go check out her stuff!

-Rockwell Images

Andrew & Kelly | 5.29.15

Andrew and Kelly are a couple that you don't come across every day. They are a couple that was born out of happenstance (a Facebook message, of all things), rooted in the love of Christ, and the love they share for each other. On the day of their wedding Kelly shared a story on Facebook about going to mass with her mom a few weeks after she and Andrew had started dating. She saw him across the congregation and pointed him out to her mom. He had driven from the next town to be in the same church as her. Her father toasted at their reception, "He drove across town to go to mass with my daughter. As a father, was I okay with this?" We all waited as he looked at his youngest daughter and her new husband. "...Absolutely I was." Almost exactly a few years later, they attended mass as a married couple, and it was beautiful. I have never seen a couple so bonded by the love they have for each other and the love they have for God. 

Not only are they one of the most grounded couples I've ever met, they are one of the sweetest. I could hardly turn away for a second without looking back to find Andrew sneaking glances at his new bride, or Kelly staring at her husband. The love they share has literally gone the distance (they were long distance for most of college) and now they are on the other side as husband and wife. And if I do say so myself, they are SO. STINKING. PRECIOUS.


- Rockwell Images

Event details:

Ceremony and Reception: Christ our Redeemer Catholic Church, Niceville, Florida

Flowers: Tracy Shelton, Vine & Petals