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Erin & Julia – A Remote Beach Wedding in Florida

Erin & Julia – A Remote Beach Wedding in Florida

Emily Burns Photography lesbian gay same-sex couple wedding marriage America American Dancing With Her magazine

Erin and Julia waited for a break in the rain to hold their intimate beach ceremony in Florida, only surrounded by their parents, sharing their vows privately.

Tell us how you met, and about the proposal.

We have been together for seven years and met through mutual friends one night during Atlanta Pride weekend. We instantly hit it off and spent the whole night talking.

Julia proposed to Erin at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and had a surprise party planned with a massive group of friends after the proposal. A couple of times the surprises were almost blown, like when Erin reached into Julia’s jacket pocket that the ring was in when we were only in the parking lot. Fortunately, Julia was able to play it all off and everything went amazingly. It ended up being the perfect day. 

Oh, that sounds like a close call! What lead you to the venue? Had you been there before?

Julia’s parents live in Destin and happen to live right next door to the venue we choose. We had been there tons of times for dinner and drinks, and we knew the venue staff pretty well, so we decided to have the reception at a place we felt comfortable. We both also love the beach, so we decided Destin would be perfect. Close to family and beautiful scenery.

As far as a vibe, we just wanted to feel like it was ours and represent our personalities. We wanted everything to be very relaxed and for everyone just to have a good time.

And you undertook some DIY projects to bring your wedding to life, yes?

Yes, actually many! Since we both really enjoy being creative, we wanted to make most of the decorations ourselves. The table arrangements were the most fun to put together because we bought the things to create them from a few different stores like IKEA and The Dollar Store and could piece together something that looked really cool. We also bought our flowers at grocery stores and did all our floral arrangements ourselves! 

Tell us more about finding your wedding outfits – you had a close call with your wedding shirt!

E: I was nervous about finding the perfect dress because I just wanted something low key and simple. I ended up finding my dress at the last place I went to, and it actually was a bridesmaid’s dress!

 J: I’m really picky about clothes because of sensory sensitivity, so shopping isn’t always easy. It took me the full two years of our engagement, piece by piece, to put together the outfit I envisioned myself in. Because of a last-minute tailoring issue, I ended up not having a shirt until the day before the wedding! 

When I tried on the final outfit, I was with my mom and Erin. We all said, “Yup, that’s it! That’s the one!” and I couldn’t have been happier with what I wore. 

After all the planning, how was the wedding day?

It was perfect. It rained like crazy until about fifteen minutes before we walked onto the beach, which created beautiful waves and sky for our pictures! After saying our vows and taking pictures, we went and walked our dogs, then on to the party at the reception.

What were your favorite moments of the day?

E: Mine would have to be, saying our vows together alone on the beach and taking couples pictures right after officially getting married.

J: We exchanged vows privately with only a few friends and family and then the reception was bigger. So most of our guests were seeing us for the first time, officially married, when we walked into the reception together to the song Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac. There was so much happiness at that moment, and the room was just filled with so much love. It was an incredible feeling.

Erin, you acknowleged your parents in a really special way, tell us about that.

E: Before my dad passed away, he used to wear a Mickey Mouse watch every day that I loved. I got it fixed and kept it safe, knowing that I wanted to wear it on my wedding day to feel like I had a piece of my dad there with me. I also used a piece of my mom’s wedding dress on my own to add an additional family memory. 

Photography by Emily Burns Photography

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