After modeling as a couple for over 80 photographers for styled shoots and photographer portfolios, Toni + Carter knew exactly what they wanted when it came time to plan their wedding. With a venue as beautiful as The Edison Barn Estate in Dade City, Florida an intimate guest list (including parents that came from Alaska and Ecuador!), and DIY projects sprinkled throughout, their wedding was bound to be a success! Bride Toni shares with us the vibe for the couples special day:
“The palm tree lined aisle and the outdoor dinner and first dance under the pergola were perfectly aligned with our vision. We met in San Diego and spent lots of time outside, at the beach, and under palm trees (and Toni has a palm tree obsession). In our first few months of dating, we discovered we both love dinosaurs and talked about having gold dinosaurs at our wedding. We made sure to hold on to that and though we didn’t want an overwhelming dinosaur theme, our gold dino table table numbers and mini dino name cards made us happy to see.
We both care about sustainability and toward that goal, we scoured thrift stores for months looking for gold items to match our theme, and found the perfect gold goblets for the bar display we wanted. Also in the interest of sustainability, our wedding was entirely plant-based, from the cake to the dessert bar, the coffee creamer to the dinner and grazing table. We wanted to have a natural earthy vibe to our decor, with lots of brown, wood, and rattan.”
An Effortlessly Neutral Color Palette
The couple spent quite some time trying to find the perfect invitations, but in the end, sourced the elements from different places and fully designed them themselves! The brown velvet envelopes had a natural but luxurious feel and the handmade paper RSVP card and vellum return envelope added to the tactile experience. Toni painted a landscape with silhouetted palm trees, a barn, and a tiny dinosaur to use as an envelope liner, and a hand-painted map of the Tampa area where guests would be staying. The couple said their most tedious DIY project was hammering in the tiny gold grommets for the stationery and menus. The stationary is beautiful and their hard work certainly paid off!
“Customization was important to us. With only 35 persons in attendance, we knew we could make sure each one felt recognized. Each invitation had a name card for the invitee and each place setting at dinner had the guest’s name in gold on a marble brick to take home. We declined to participate in any wedding tradition that didn’t speak to us, and instead of traditional wedding parties we selected 3 friends with values aligned with ours and who were comfortable with public speaking to stand up during dinner. That was definitely the right choice for us and what each of them had to say had us both crying into our napkins.”
The Picture Perfect Bridal Party
Looking gorgeous ladies! The bridesmaid’s matching pink dresses are all from Lulus!
“We kept our guest list small with only 35 of our nearest and dearest, including parents that came from Alaska and Ecuador for the wedding weekend. Our wedding dress code was “Neutrals only, no color, any formality you’re comfortable in” and our guests wore an array of tans, camels, creams, taupe, and gold.”
His and Hers
The couple wrote personalized vows to each other but kept them private and carved a special time and place prior to the ceremony for a first look and private vows. So romantic!
A Lifetime of Happiness
Congrats to the newlyweds!
It was very important to the couple that the day was equally Carter’s and not just Toni’s wedding. Carter was the only person wearing color, and his dark cyan suit from Express Men stands out in every photo. Carter’s “haunted” metal-engraved bull came with us all the way from California and was a guest standing watch over the dessert table. The couple shares that Carter selected October 31 as their wedding date and can’t wait to celebrate their future anniversaries on Halloween!
Carter shared that his favorite part of the day was the “groom toss” where all his friends got under and threw his 6’5 frame into the air giving him a memorable weightless experience and exercise in trust.
A deliciously plant-based meal was on the menu for T + C’s reception.
The magic has come to life! We cannot get over the gorgeous decor and whimsical venue!
Gather and Grace absolutely nailed these floral designs!
Dinner and Dancing
“Our first dance was a choreographed minute and a half to “10,000 Emerald Pools”. We practiced in our gym after workouts for months and now will probably never forget the moves. The pews brought in for our outdoor ceremony and the “flip” to create an outdoor dinner space were two of the hardest plans to pull off but VERY worth it.”
This gorgeous vegan cake was crafted by Dawn Konofaos and looks absolutely delicious!
The Salt Flats
Toni shares how special it was to take photos on the salt flats since there wasn’t enough time on their wedding day to get all the beautiful shots they hoped for!
“The barn where we wed had cows roaming the 21 acres and we hoped to get photos with them. The day of the wedding was too busy for that but we got to shoot our bridals with a sweet pet Scottish highlander calf named Archie. Visiting the Salt Flats for bridals was part of our wedding plan from the beginning and it did not disappoint! It was an incredible experience to walk out on the flats.”
Let’s finally talk about this bride’s dress, shall we? Toni wore her hair in half up space buns and got creative with dress alterations, turning the mermaid silhouette into the ballgown shape she originally wanted when the dress was bustled. The gorgeous Berta Privee dress had all of the elements she searched bridal boutiques from Orlando to Chicago for – strapless with bustier cups, huge tulle skirt, detached armbands, and that gorgeous honey color.
Can these two be any more photogenic? What an amazing shot!
Special moments in our ceremony were the Blanket Ceremony which we recreated at our Salt Flats bridal session, and a Crowning Ceremony with thin gold bands which carried over into the reception and a gold band crown for each guest to wear and take part in celebrating. We love the photos of everyone taking part and love that any photos of our friends in gold crowns are clearly photos from Toni and Carter's wedding.
Obsessed with these bridal booties!
A huge congrats to Toni & Carter from all of us at GWS!
photography: Britt and Bean Photography (and 2 more, see below) // venue name: The Edison Barn Estate, Dade City, Florida, USA // planning: Lauren Gertz // florals: Audrey Bluth // wedding dress: Berta Privee 20-P01 // wedding dress boutique: La Belle Mariee // hairpiece: Etsy-Petershams // bride's ring: Artemer Men's Wedding Band with Trillion Diamond // bridesmaid dresses: Lulu's // hair stylist: Denise Davis // makeup artist: Tara Salazar // groom attire: Express Men // groom's ring: Etsy // videography: Merriment Films/Stop Go Love // paper goods: Paper&Lace // calligraphy: Etsy-So My Darling // handmade details: McKenzie King // catering: Melanie Armstrong // cake: Dawn Konofaos // desserts: Etsy-StarsCandyFactory // tabletop rentals: Flock Decor // furniture rentals: A Chair Affair // officiant: Kane Brown (friend) // models: Carter + Toni // cocktails: La Bonita Camper // Photographer: Rachel Jensen // Ali Roumpos-Carter: Bridals Photographer // Alterations- Specializing in Berta Gowns: Thread&Needle // Wedding Florist: Rochelle Koontz