The Ribault Club Wedding

Oh boy we have a treat for you! Today we are sharing The Ribault Club Wedding we recently photographed. This was one of the longest weddings we have ever photographed had more details than you could imagine, and we loved every single second of it. The talented Francesca Cooper, owner of The Eventful Gals, out did herself on this one! From the details to the perfect planning she knocked this wedding out the ball park.

I asked our bride Nikki to write a little about how her and Russell met, as well as speak about her wedding experience and here is what she had to say:

How We Met:

“Russell and I met while teaching at an elementary school in Lake Mary, FL. He is a PE coach and I was a kindergarten teacher at the time. It was my first year of teaching and his 4th. I was a brand new teacher who had never set foot in a kindergarten classroom. I had all this new responsibility and it was quite overwhelming. I had noticed Russell around the school at meetings, events, etc, but had never said more than “hi” to him. I was too focused on my career and giving my students the best education possible. I had a pretty active life, busy with friends, teaching, and trying to help out as much as possible at school events. I was doing my best to stay on top of everything as well as working late to keep up with my brand new schedule. Because of this, I hadn’t thought much about seriously dating anyone at this point. But by November, Russell and I had started flirting very innocently at meetings or in the halls. You know, that middle school type of flirting, but still never talking for more than a minute. One day it just kind of clicked for me when he was out at the car ramp, putting the students into their cars and I said to myself “I think I have a crush on him.” I never expected that feeling to pop up since we both worked together, but seeing the way he interacted with children just sparked something in me. I just knew this man was a kindhearted person and I had to get to know him. Of course I had to be the one to chase after him though. He was too nice and later told me “I wasn’t sure if you had a boyfriend or not so I didn’t want to make a move.” I started helping out at his PE races on Saturdays at the school to try and talk to him more, see what he was like apart from being a teacher. I found him incredibly sweet with a good heart, but he never asked for my number. Finally, the day before we left for Thanksgiving break I was doing a Zumba class under the pavilion with some of the other teachers after all the students had left. As he was locking up his classroom, I thought “Here’s my chance, just ask him!” So I grew the courage to ask him if he wanted to hangout outside of work that evening at World of Beer with my roommate and some of our friends. He said yes! Then we both awkwardly stood there until he FINALLY asked for my number. He was clearly new at this. That night I anxiously waited for the time to arrive to meet him outside of our work setting. Like any other girl, I played it over and over again in my head. I thought he wasn’t going to show or that he wasn’t into me since he hadn’t texted me asking me for details or a time to meet up. Finally a half hour before we were supposed to leave I saw my phone light up. I jumped immediately and unlocked my phone to see if it was him. Sure enough it was. We met up later that night at World of Beer with a few of my friends and his cousin who he lived with at the time. We found we had commonalities outside of teaching. One of those being a shared love of country music. He told me his favorite artist was Jason Aldean, who I too loved, but unfortunately did not have his CD at the time. We had a wonderful evening, joking, flirting, laughing, and sipping on a few beers. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face when I left that night. I waited patiently the whole next day for him to text me. When I finally couldn’t take it anymore I texted him saying I had a wonderful evening and GO Gators (the Gators were playing that weekend and he’s a MAJOR fan). I waited and waited and waited and finally got a reply HOURS later. Of course at this point I had no faith in the fact that he liked me. He finally texted me and since then I have realized he is a man who pays little to no attention to his phone. After that long Thanksgiving weekend passed, we returned to work on Monday. Russell showed up to my classroom door just after the bell rang with Jason Aldean’s new CD. My head was spinning and my heart was pounding. It was such a sweet gesture to show he had not only listened, but that he cared. We continued on about our work days as normal, not mentioning to anyone that we had started to talk more than as coworkers because we didn’t quite know the boundaries. Teaching was my everything and the last thing I wanted to do was get in trouble. However, we just couldn’t deny the spark we felt together. On December 4, 2012 he asked me out on our first date. He took me to my favorite restaurant, Olive Garden (I love their chicken parmesan). When dinner was over we decided we didn’t want the night to end so we went back to where we first hung out at World of Beer. From there our relationship was a whirlwind. We knew this wasn’t going to just be a fling and that we were developing sincere feelings for each other so we approached our principal. She was thrilled for our new budding relationship and gave us the “ok” to continue seeing each other outside of work. Russell asked me to be “his girl” on December 16, 2012. From there the rest is history! Teaching brought us together, but love has kept us together.”

The Wedding Day:

“The day of the wedding was a whirlwind of mixed emotions. I wasn’t quite sure how I’d feel the day of, whether I’d cry or just be smiling from ear to ear, but it was the perfect blend. I was so overcome with emotion the minute I saw my Dad standing with his back to me during our First Look. When he turned around my heart just flooded with emotions, knowing that my dad was about to give me away and the next chapter of my life was about to begin. Then I had to pull it together to see my {Future} Husband. We had talked in circles about whether to do a First Look together or not, and all I can say is I would’ve regretted NOT doing one. It was the perfect moment, that quiet one on one time before the ceremony. A time we could just relish in each other and let our emotions pour. We both cried the minute we saw each other. The emotions in that moment were so raw. Seeing our lives finally bind together as one on the most important day of our lives. After that I thought for sure I’d be fine for the ceremony, nope cue the water works. We just felt so much happiness and joy that we couldn’t hold it in as we professed our love for each other through writing our own vows. The ceremony was beyond perfect and my favorite part of the day. We laughed, we cried, and we celebrated our love. The rest of the evening was one giant party. For two years I planned every detail to a tee and seeing it all come together was a dream come true. I of course have to give props to my amazing Coordinator: Francesca Cooper who made my vision become a reality. The weather was perfect, the drinks were strong, the music was alive, and the sky was filled with stars. It was the perfect atmosphere for an outdoor wedding. I could live in that moment forever. Just when I thought our wedding couldn’t be more perfect, we were surprised by our groomsman asking us to be Godparents to our Flower Girl. Seriously?!? Best surprise ever! On April 8th, I married my best friend, became a Godparent, and partied the night away. Our wedding will forever be our favorite day.”

Vendor Love:

Venue: Ribault Club
Planner: The Eventful Gals
Hair and Makeup: Studio Bride
Dress: The White Magnolia Bridal Collection Jacksonville
DJ: Y? Entertainment
Videographer: Eli Meyer Studio
Rentals: Luxe Party Rentals and 
Southern Charm Events

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Bowing Oaks Plantation Wedding Photography

Who is ready for one GORGEOUS wedding blog?

Katheryn and Sophanara had such a beautiful day at Bowing Oaks Plantation this past February. From the flowers to the drapery everything was picture perfect. We love for our blog viewers to not only see our photos but get a chance to know the couple (because we have some pretty AMAZING couples!) So let’s learn a little about the happy couple:

How We Met:

“I wish I could say that we had some super romantic, Nicholas Sparks type of way that we met, but we really don’t. LOL! We have a very large but very close knit group of friends, so we’ve known each other since about 2006. It’s funny because we never thought of each other in a romantic way until 2012 when I guess the universe and stars aligned and something changed.

The Proposal


It was a Thursday afternoon and I had a jam packed day.. I scheduled an appointment to take one of our dogs to the vet, so I had to leave work early, go to the house to pick her up, take her in and then drop her off back at home, and head over to Sophanara’s brother’s house for a family dinner because his Aunt from NJ was in town visiting. I ended up leaving work later than anticipated, and didn’t take afternoon school traffic into account, so I was REALLY rushing and pushing up against the clock to make to the appointment on time. It was raining, I was sweating from getting her packed and loaded into the car, and I was COMPLETELY covered in dog hair (we have shiba inu’s and they shed A LOT), but we finally made it to the vet. By the time we left, I was exhausted, looked a HOT MESS, and was STILL running late, so I rushed home to drop her off, didn’t even bother changing or fixing myself up, and headed over to dinner. Now for anyone who knows me.. I’m the kind of girl who doesn’t leave the house without a full face of makeup and my hair done, but I figured that it was just close family and they would understand. I swear.. if I could go back and re-do one thing… LOL

Anyways, we ate dinner and as the adults were finishing up, his two nieces left the table to go draw/color in their coloring book. They called me over because they wanted to show me their pictures. Now keep in mind, these are the drawings of a 4 year and 18 month old, so I really didn’t have much of an idea what I was looking at. Page after page, I told them how nice their pictures were, until finally they stopped at a page that said “Will you be our Auntie?” To be completely honest, I was kind of confused because they already called me Auntie, but smiled and told them, “Of course! You guys are so sweet!” I must have been standing there for a while because finally someone let out an “Ahem” and kind of nudged me turn around, because behind me Sophanara was down on one knee with this fancy schmancy ring box that had a little spot light shining down on the ring, and asked me to marry him.

My first word after the question that I’ve been waiting oh so long to hear… “Reeeally??” (in a high pitched, SUPER excited, but seriously can’t believe it type of way) He thought it was cute… I would probably take that back too. LOL.

Now in my defense, I had NO IDEA he was going to propose. I honestly thought that we would be like 50 before he ever got around to it… LOL. I mean, that was a running joke between us. After every engagement or baby announcement, I would always look at him and say, “Soooo….” And he would humorously groan and be like, “One day babe…” so I never even saw it coming. Eventually I shifted my attention to buying a boat, so for the past few months, we had been casually looking. Actually.. we got into several arguments because I couldn’t understand why he was dragging his feet about it.. (little did I know), but either way, it NEVER even crossed my mind.

Now after my initial shock, of course my 2nd word was “Yes!!!!!” and then came the hugs and kisses, and finally once it all sank in, “But I don’t even look cute right now!” And we all started cracking up.

That  wasn’t the actual day that he planned on proposing. We actually had a vacation planned for two weeks later where a group of us were going down to the Keys for a friend’s birthday. but when the ring came in it burned a hole in his pocket. He was SO excited, which he blames it on that little light inside the box, saying that every time he opened it and saw that light shining down, it made

Favorite moments from the wedding

 First Look: At first, I really only wanted to do a first look to make the day more relaxed for the wedding party and give them time to enjoy cocktail hour, but we were really thankful for the extra moments that it gave us together. The day FLEW by despite all of my efforts to “slow it down”, but I’m glad I can look back and really remember those private (plus Landon J) few moments in the middle of a whirlwind.

 First Dance- but not ours: Don’t get me wrong… I loved our first dance. We danced to Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran, which was picked out before we even got engaged. I remember when that song came out, I fell in love with it and told him that it would be our first dance when we got married. Fast forward almost 3 years later, and I stayed true to my word.

Anyways, during the past year, some of our friends got married but didn’t have a big ceremony/reception like ours. Jackie (Bridesmaid) and Chang (Usher) eloped in Savannah, and Tina (Bridesmaid) and Tommy just had a super small backyard ceremony with their immediate family.  We wanted to give them the opportunity to have a first dance together, so we asked Carlton to cut our dance after the first verse and invite each couple up for a dance. I ran it by the girls and had each of them pick a song, but the guys were totally clueless. Seeing their surprise and then watching them all enjoy each of their moments really made our hearts full. I didn’t cry during my own dance, but I definitely cried during each of theirs.

Seeing all of the family: Sophanara has a HUGE family… I mean… really huge, so it’s only on very rare occasions where everyone will be in one place at the same time. It was such an honor knowing that we had family travel from all over the US… from Hawaii to California to New Jersey etc., just to share this special time with us.

The Details: For months, I poured my heart and soul into planning out all of the details for the wedding. I spent all of my lunch breaks shopping for decorations. I spent hours on arts and crafts, from the hand writing the calligraphy on the drink menu, to cutting the paper flowers and making the seating chart. I made the sangria, infused the vodka, and put together the smores bar. There were so many small touches, that I really didn’t expect anyone to pay that much attention to, so it was awesome to hear so many compliments and how much everyone enjoyed and appreciated the attention to detail. It was an AMAZING feeling to finally see it all come together and watch all of our guests enjoy it.

Vendor Love:

Venue Bowing Oaks Plantation | Planning & Design Christina Kreations | Florals Lori Parker Floral Studios | Hair Carolyn Syquio | Makeup Wyndi Abuan | Bridal Dress Michael’s Formalwear & Bridal | Bridesmaid Dresses Bella Bridesmaids | Entertainment McGee Entertainment & Events, Inc.

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