A Prairie Swamp Wedding: Lauren + Dave

I know I say this a lot, but I think this might be one of the sweetest weddings. It’s so unique + really all about the couple. Lauren + Dave were originally planning the big “perfect” wedding with all the bridesmaids, catering, florist, and extremely large guest list. It started to not feel like them and it wasn’t a happy occasion anymore. So they cancelled everything. They decided to not think anything “wedding” for several months. After gaining good mental head-space, they planned the perfect day for THEM. They wanted to spent the entire day together. Knowing this was going to be one of the best days of their lives they wanted to soak up our together time as much as possible. They invited 38 of their closest friends + family to meet them at the prairie overlook at 5:30. They told them: “We are sort of eloping but in our own town.” Just love it!

And since they were spending the whole day together, Lauren + Dave contacted Glass Jar Photography to not only photograph the day, but to capture a mini documentary of the entire day as they baked their own wedding cake – a pistachio + fig cake with cream cheese frosting which sounds amazing! here is the link for you bakers out there :), went to the courthouse to get the actual marriage license, wrote their vows + got “prairied” in the middle of the swamp at Paynes Prairie. Congrats to Lauren + Dave for having the wedding of your dreams!

wedding at the courthouse in Florida

wedding at the courthouse in Florida

marriage certificate at courthouse

writing wedding vows near the swamp

writing wedding vows near the swamp

bride and groom wearing medals

From Lauren + Dave, “We felt very proud to make it to this moment. We have been together for almost 7 years and have experienced so much life together. We decided we were family a long time ago and never felt rushed to have a public ceremony. It was finally the right time, the right moment…so, we awarded ourselves

Love that! You might recognize those medals from Norwegian Wood from this other sweet wedding we featured last year.

swamp wedding

wedding dress with leather belt and boots

bride and groom in the swamp

bride and groom in the swamp

wedding on the pier of a swamp

What song did you walk down the aisle to? The absence of music can be the most powerful song. Walking down the aisle was a chorus provided by the wildlife of Paynes Prairie…the amphibians, reptiles, and birds.

After the ceremony, Dave had arranged a broadcast on the local low-power FM radio station dedicating songs to his new wife. Guests were instructed to tune in their car stereos during the drive from the ceremony to the reception. A mixture of Calexico, Pixies, Norah Jones, and Tom Waits rung over the airwaves.

a praire wedding

Their wedding day. Spent together. Captured by Glass Jar Photography.

We hustled and bustled to pull the wedding together. The day of the wedding we did all the tasks necessary to be wedding ready, including making the wedding cake and dropping it off at the reception on the way to the ceremony. It rained on and off all day but, in this moment, the air was cool and the clouds provided shade on one of the hottest days of the summer. Driving to the prairie together in the truck holding my lovers hand, I had The Moment. That peaceful moment which envelopes you with the calmest sensation that is only possible with love. Pulling up together to the prairie, where all guests awaited us…holding my soon to be husband’s hand as we made the trip, TOGETHER, down the long boardwalk aisle was unreal…I completely lost it!

If something doesn’t feel right then go with your gut. Don’t be afraid to have a wedding that works for you, even if it goes against the grain. Once you start down the aisle…loose yourself in the moment…and let your wedding day be one you’ll never forget!

photography + video: Glass Jar Photography // ceremony venue: Paynes Prairie, Gainesville Florida // wedding dress: Make Me Chic – $25! // medals + vintage brown belt – Norwegian Wood on etsy // reception + catering: Paramount Grill

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  1. Looks like a great shoot! What a beautiful bride and groom!

  2. What a touching day! It brought tears to my eyes to think of how meaningful it was for them. Cheers to them for doing their wedding day their way!

  3. The washed-out vintage effect is such a nice compliment to the easygoing, Southern summer tone of the styling.

  4. Lauren + Dave got this one right. Best wishes in your life together. Charming elopement…love the Glass Jar movie.

  5. I am in bed watching this and my fiancé caught me crying and started laughing because I don’t even know them, but it was so sweet and touching.. And something we might have to end up doing!

  6. downtown gainesville is beautiful :) congrats to the couple!

  7. I’m totally in tears right now. What a remarkable day for that couple. And Cat Power’s version of Sea of Love is one of the most romantic songs ever.

  8. This is a very sweet wedding, and I plan on doing something similar.

    Do you know where did she get the flowers for the city hall wedding?

    They look like peonies, and I can’t seem to buy peonies as single stems, unless I buy in bulk, or pay a florist for a bouquet. :(

    I’m having an intimate wedding too, and I just need a few flowers for my bouquet and a centerpiece for the dinner table that will follow. I REALLY want peonies, but I don’t really want to pay hundreds of dollars on flowers.

    Please, please let me know. I have been looking everywhere.

  9. What a sweet sweet video.

  10. Peony- If you are looking for peonies right now you might be out of luck, peony season is late May/ June/ early July. :(
    Dahlias are in season right now and also really pretty! Good luck!

    xx Jen

  11. wow. what an unbelievable way to do your wedding! love the radio station idea!

  12. What a sweet and precious couple and wedding!!!

  13. Oh my gosh…I am in tears after watching the super special video! I love it and thanks for the inspiration! This is a perfect example of how a wedding should be exactly how the couple wants. This is a day for the newly wed and this is when all the couple’s dreams come true!

    This is too sweet!!!

  15. Rachel Marie Photography on:

    Looks like such a perfect day. i love their boots!

  16. Love the picture of them writing down the vows, and here belted wedding dress!

  17. Love love love! This is one of my favorite weddings ever…definitely brought me to tears.
    I’ve already planned a special hike for my fiance and me the morning of our wedding. I love the idea of spending the day together, and these two just solidified how special this nontraditional idea is.

  18. what a sweet idea. i love that it was just a day for them, soaking each other up. and writing the vows together that day? just beautiful

  19. and that video was just so sweet. loved the soundtrack for it :)

  20. super sweet. congrats to the beautiful couple. 38 friends and family is something i dreamt of… but my love has 10 adult siblings…. impossible:(((( Intimate wedding is so awesome.

  21. Heart is bursting for these two. What an excellent video for a wonderful day. Congrats Replay!


  1. […] unique, charming prairie swamp wedding found on Green Wedding Shoes. Photography by Glass Jar Photography. A morning stop at city hall, then an intimate celebration […]


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