Alana and Justin met online, got engaged under a waterfall during a trip to see his family in South Africa, and it’s safe to say their Gainesville wedding day at Sweetwater Branch Inn was completely lovely. They’re both inspired by their heritages, travel, and places they’ve lived, so all three played important roles during their ceremony and reception and also in their décor.
The pair were married in November, so they opted for a darker color palette. Alana’s off the shoulder lace dress is jaw-dropping, and I love how the bridesmaids continued the lace trend in their black gowns. The bouquets by Prange’s Florist are incredible, and I love how the beauty only continued inside their reception where animals served as table numbers as a nod to their engagement trip!
Masterpiece Weddings planned all of the beauty, and Emily Katherine Photography captured every image. It’s safe to say, I’m thrilled to share Alana and Justin’s unique, fun, and poignant day with you below!
What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?
My mom was so amazingly patient and supportive during the planning process, from finding and meeting with vendors to dealing with me being completely overwhelmed by many of the planning decisions. I wouldn’t have been able to make it through the planning without her! Our photographer was also so patient and relaxing to work with – I instantly trusted her and by the wedding day she felt like part of the family.
What was the most important thing to you when deciding who to work with for your wedding?
To find people who were low stress, not pushy with their own ideas, and who understood I wasn’t someone who had been dreaming about my wedding for years! I wanted people I trusted so that I didn’t have to think about anything on the wedding day. I ended up with an amazing group of vendors who I would hands down recommend to anyone.
What was your inspiration for your wedding details and/or design?
I wanted something that felt natural, warm, and inviting but also elegant and romantic. My husband is South African and since we decided to have the wedding in Florida, I wanted to incorporate as many South African touches as much as possible. You’ll see a lot of details with a South African influence – the proteas in the bouquets, the animal table “numbers,” the favors… I was thrilled with how everything came out.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding?
It felt like an amazing party where we had a ton of fun with the people we care about the most.
What is your best piece of advice for other brides?
Try not to make your vision too specific, especially with the details. One of my favorite memories of the wedding day was walking into the reception hall and seeing that everything had turned out so much better than I imagined it would. Finding vendors I trusted allowed me to give them the freedom to take my ideas and make the wedding better than I could have!
Vendors who made it all happen…
Photographer: Emily Katharine Photography // Wedding Planning: Masterpiece Weddings // Venue: Sweetwater Branch Inn // Floral Design: Prange’s Florist // Makeup: Kara Winslow // Hair: 6th Street Station // Band: The Dancing Melodies // Stationery: Minted // First look location: The Thomas Center // Bridal Salon: A Bridal Boutique // Bridesmaid dresses: Nordstrom // Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab