December 23, 2015
After Alana and Justin’s killer engagement session, I was super excited for their wedding. These two were so calm and relaxed, it was such a blast to celebrate with them.
Thomas and I arrived at the 6th Street Salon as the girls got their hair and makeup done. Super efficiently I might add! They had the salon all to themselves, being that it was the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Chatter and giggles filled the air. Kara worked on the girl’s makeup (and stuck around almost the whole day for touch-ups!! How amazing!) and make them all look gorgeous (as if they weren’t already! 😉 )
From the salon, we headed back to Alana’s parent’s home and Alana donned her dress, with the help of her mother. Dozens of buttons lined her lace back. Her father nearly had a heart attack when he first saw her. It was so sweet!
From there, we were off to meet Justin! Justin is from South Africa, and soon, you will see all of the touches of South Africa throughout their wedding. We met Justin, who was looking so handsome in his blue suit, at The Thomas Center for their first look. Alana carried her beautiful cascading bouquet, complete with proteas – gorgeous South African flowers. The light was good to us – just wait until you see their portraits.
After some photos, we all made our way to Sweetwater Branch Inn for the ceremony. The ceremony was officiated by a friend, who did a fantastic job representing Alana, Justin, and their families. Their parents came to the pillars to read excerpts that meant the most to them. Alana’s uncle and father read a piece in Greek, and translated into English for the rest of us. They also did a sand ceremony. Not any sand ceremony – a sand ceremony with sand from the countries that represented their family and heritage – California, Greece, England, South Africa, and Gainesville. Another thoughtful aspect of their ceremony was the exchanging of the rings. In Greek weddings, the rings are switched back and forth three times – from the bride’s finger, to the groom’s finger, back to the bride’s finger. I love how Alana and Justin included aspects of their family heritage into the ceremony.
The guests were welcomed into the reception area – complete with safari animal table themes, and stunning centerpieces from Prange’s Florist. Alana and Justin were toasted by the officiant, the best man, the maid of honor, and Alana’s father. All of them were hilarious, but I think Alana’s dad took the cake. All of the guests were in stitches!
Throughout the evening, the live band kept the dance floor hot. Alana and Justin acquired some dollar bills as congratulations on their marriage – a Greek tradition. Add in cake cutting and a “crazy hour” and you have yourself a successful wedding! The whole day ran so smoothly. A huge shout out to Masterpiece Weddings for all they did to create such a wonderful day.
Alana and Justin – it was such an honor to be included in your wedding. So thankful you all reached out to us! We had a blast capturing your day and celebrating with you all – and we can’t wait to head to South Africa with you in February! Hugs!