Real Weddings

Groom holding bride close and kissing her on the cheek by small bridge` Groom holding bride close and kissing her on the cheek by small bridge`

Rita & Justin

Silhouette: Sheath

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Date: November 13, 2016

Photographer: A Sweet Focus

Wedding theme: Simple and romantic

Groom twirling bride on garden porch Groom twirling bride on garden porch

Dress reaction:

As soon as he took my hands at the altar he whispered to me, “I love your dress. You look so beautiful.” It was worth the wait to see his reaction. He couldn't stop smiling, and because of it, I was on top of the world.

So how did you two meet?

Justin and I met in 2008 but didn't spend much time together until the night before he moved away to Florida for school. We were at the same gathering and quickly hit it off. Over the course of the next month, while Justin was in Florida, we spoke daily on the phone, sometimes two, three, four hours at a time. After a month away, our newfound interest in one another convinced Justin to move back. He proposed that I fly to Florida and drive with him so he wouldn't have to make the haul alone. Justin and I knew we were meant for one another when we arrived home after a 22-hour drive—neither of us had run for the hills or kicked the other out somewhere in Georgia.

 Bride with flower crown exchanging vows with groom  Bride with flower crown exchanging vows with groom

Tell us about your wedding day!

Sunday has always been "our" day, so it was only fitting for us to pick a Sunday morning in one of our favorite parks in St. Louis, Tower Grove Park. We found the perfect storybook tree and from that created a vision. After all, the day is about the couple and not the bells and whistles, and we wanted to ensure it reflected us and our love for one another.

Bride with flower crown smiling at bouquet of flowers Bride with flower crown smiling at bouquet of flowers
Bride with flower crown smiling at bouquet of flowers Bride with flower crown smiling at bouquet of flowers

Favorite DIY detail:

Justin and I hand-stamped coin bags and filled them with birdseed for guests to throw during our recessional. Since the wedding took place in November, we thought the birds would appreciate the gesture!

Did anything funny or unexpected happen?

After we said "I do," I was so caught up in the moment that I completely forgot to let my groom kiss the bride! Luckily he always has my back and quickly reeled me back down to earth and sealed it with a kiss. I can always count on him!

Newly wedded bride and groom walk down the aisle while bride holds bouquet in air Newly wedded bride and groom walk down the aisle while bride holds bouquet in air

How did you decide on your wedding dress?

I researched dresses for months and months online, checking out different designers, silhouettes, and styles, but I was unable to find even one that spoke to me. Then, while shopping the David's Bridal website, I came across my dress and immediately knew it was "the one." I called David's Bridal customer service a few times with basic questions, and they couldn't have been more helpful and informative. I ordered it having never tried on a single wedding dress and with measurements I took myself (three or four times for good measure, of course). I received my dress a week later and it was everything I had dreamed of and more. I wanted something modest, soft, romantic, and vintage and was asked more than a handful of times if my dress was vintage or even a family heirloom.

Bride and groom holding hands walking across wooden bridge Bride and groom holding hands walking across wooden bridge

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