REAL WEDDING + THE ‘CHILDREN AT WEDDINGS’ ARGUMENT | A simple, chic affair at Watercolor Resort in Santa Rosa Beach, plus… the ultimate question.

Happy lazy afternoon, darlings!  Well, actually, lazy hardly defines today, as I’ve been teaching my inbox a lesson for the entire morning and into the afternoon today so I’m in pretty high spirits at the moment… thank you, Pandora, for THAT.  Aright, let’s get moving – weddings and puppies, here we go… ;)

Ok so first off, someone suggested I check out “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” last week, saying that it was worlds better than The Bachelorette this season.  Turns out the show’s about Irish Traveler brides and their wedding-related shenanigans and how they risk persecution and cancellation if venues find out it’s a Gypsie wedding, but this does not keep them from having Disney-Princess-plot-themed weddings (← you think I’m exaggerating?  If anything, I’m not doing the unbelievableness of this show justice).  Anyway I wanted to thank that person, because I had been looking for a way to lose an hour of my life in the most painful, tacky way imaginable, and you totally found it for me.  So cheers, thanks for that.  No seriously, I appreciate it.

Moving right along – and by the way I’m pretty sure I inhaled a poppy seed this morning because I’m experiencing some unusually labored breathing and throat tickling, but… I’m going to soldier on… for you.

OK SO!  Happy Monday!  How goes it?  Good weekends had by all?  I most certainly hope so, for your sakes.  We had a pretty decent weekend, filled with park visits, a lovely dinner made even more lovely by alcoholic drinks, and the antics of one Bambino McPup.

Perhaps my favorite moment of the weekend was when this happened to my face:

I call it: Bambino meets little European boy, affectionate face slapping and friendship ensue.“  It was taken from the vantage point of a swingset in Central Park, nearby which we like to take Bambi for walks.  More details: it was taken after an hour of Alison wanting to give priority to every child in the area before even considering swinging herself, and Honey being as patient as possible about it, whilst two totally selfish adult morons swung to their hearts’ content for OVER AN HOUR, with countless children waiting patiently in the vicinity for their turns.  Oy.

I showed Honey my iphone screen yesterday, which now boasts a cropped photo of the two having their impromptu playdate, and he said, “hehe, so you’ve decided to make your iphone background a photo of somebody else’s child?”  To which I responded, “well, my child’s in there, too.  So it makes sense to me.”


Ok, shall we move onto this amazeballs wedding we have today?  Yeah, that’s probably a good idea.  This Santa Rosa Beach, FL shindig was submitted by the completely amazing pure7studios, and I dig it for sooo many reasons… a few of which are as follows:

- awesomely stylish bridesmaids shots, a-like a-so…

- exceptional implementation of an oft challenging color story;

- super duper evidence of love;

- stellar use of the handkerchief while walking down the aisle (I’m on a particularly strong handkerchief loving streak thingie, yeah don’t ask)

- A POOL.  I’ll explain later…

Here’s the rundown from our beautiful bride, Paige:

I started my wedding preparation years before my husband, Steve, ever popped the question. It’s not that I am ‘that’ girl who hopes and dreams of her wedding as a little girl and plans out every detail down to the lipstick shade after the first exchange of digits with a man (Not that there is anything wrong with that!) On the contrary, it was not quite so simple. When Steve and I first began dating it started like most relationships likely start when dating in your thirties…you tell yourself to ‘have fun,” “be open-minded.”  I did just that and I had never had so much fun in my life. I quickly realized I was completely and truly in love.  When a gal figures out she has finally met the one she want to spend the rest of her life with; she generally wants the rest of her life to start as quickly as possible!

Oh, if it was only that easy….

Steve and I share very different backgrounds: I was raised Catholic…Catholic right down to the plaid skirt and knee socks! Steve, on the other hand, is the son of a rabbi. We had many discussions together and we each had to soul search and ask ourselves if marriage and family could ever be even a remote possibility for us. At times it felt hopeless until we met the most wonderful people I have ever known: Monsignor Gracz and Rabbi Winokur. The Monsignor and the Rabbi listened to us and were thoughtful in their advice. They showed Steve and I that in spite our differences we could build a life together that honors both our heritages and they showed us how many similarities we have as a foundation. Finally, after three years of courtship, Steve and I were ready to get married!

We had a destination wedding at Watercolor resort in Santa Rosa Beach, Fl beside Western Lake. We were lucky enough to have the rabbi and the Monsignor travel to officiate our interfaith wedding ceremony. Steve and I customized the entire ceremony to honor both of our faiths and traditions. The priest and rabbi worked in tandem during the wedding and honored special traditions such as the blessing of the wine, and the breaking of the glass. We created a custom Ketubah or marriage contract that was signed by the Priest, Rabbi and two of our closest childhood friends. It is now displayed in our dining room!

The color theme throughout the wedding was bright tangerine with hints of aquamarine and navy blue. The bridesmaids wore navy strapless knee length Melissa Sweet dresses and carried orange botanicals. The grooms and his guys were tan suits, orange and blue striped ties and leather flip flops (The groom’s one request!). I wore a satin and chiffon Modern Trousseau trumpet sweetheart neckline gown with a cascading ruffle down the front and a Donna King satin lined veil that fell to the hip. We had all our favorite kids (7 nieces and nephews) in the wedding. The flower girls and ring bearers walked bare foot down the aisle in white Strasburg cotton sundresses for the girls and Jcrew khaki shorts with preppy striped bow ties for the boys. The ushers were dressed like junior groomsmen in tan suits.

The reception was on the pool deck by the lake under a twinkling starlit sky. We had a strolling reception with mahi mahi, shrimp and grits and prime rib. The Nashville band, Groove Addiction, played all our favorites and kept the party (and bride and groom) on the dance floor the entire night. Two of my favorite memories is when the whole dance floor swayed and sang together to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” and when the guests formed a circle on the dance floor to allow for some impromptu 80’s-style break dancing by our family and friends.

Before we knew it the night had ended as quickly as it had started. It was time to go. Steve and I ran through our line of guests down the dock an jumped onto a little wooden boat that circled us around Western Lake while we waved goodbye. It was the perfect ending to a beautiful beginning!

Wedding Tip: Schedule a “Day After Photo Shoot.”  Pictures of the wedding are no doubt priceless but if you are lucky enough to have a groom willing to ‘suit up’ again for more shots a couple days after the wedding; it may just be the best decision you make. My “day after shoot” includes my most favorite and ‘frame-worthy’ photos of my groom and me. Unlike the day of the wedding, we are carefree and completely relaxed ….perhaps a little too relaxed since I ended up throwing my  ‘by–the –rules- bridal-logic’ aside and jumped into the Gulf of Mexico in my wedding dress.  We started our new life with quite a splash!

Ok, so obviously there is some very cute kid action going on here in this wedding.  But I conducted a brief twitter poll on the topic of kids and weddings, and I want to continue on that topic, because let’s just say OPINIONS VARY.

So, what do you think of this wedding, and perhaps just as importantly, on which side do you fall when it comes to children attending weddings?  And do you have any thoughts/suggestions as to how to handle it?

Also – do you dig pool shots as much as I do?  Because honestly, I’ve never met a pool shot I didn’t like.  They just look so dreamy!

xoxo!  – Alison

Photographer: pure7studios / Submitted via Two Bright Lights / Floral Designer: Florals By The Sea / Reception Venue: WaterColor Inn & Resort / Invitation Designer: paper affair / Dress Store: Kelly’s Closet / Cake Designer: Cakes by Tanis / Band: Crescent Moon Entertainment / Linens and Coverings: linens by the sea / Makeup Artist: Chez Renee / Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid Jacksonville

Label(s): "DEAR TKB..." Advice Column, Blue, Color, Mr. McPuppyPants, Orange, {Real Weddings}

Love all of this...


  1. Danielle Pugh on June 27, 2011

    We are doing a child-free wedding in November and the way we chose to handle this is to put “An Adult Affair Only” right below the RSVP number on the reply card. We are hoping this will work and we wont have to have an uncomfortable conversation with someone who doesn’t respect our wishes.

  2. Melodious on June 27, 2011

    We had children at our wedding. I don’t think it would have been the same without all my favorite little people there…my godson, my nephews, etc. With them in mind, we kept the ceremony short and focused on having a friendly, casual reception. It was wonderful. And the kid pics are some of my favorites.

  3. Erin on June 27, 2011

    First off, the picture of Bambino and the Unknown Euro-kid – ADORABLE!!!!

    This wedding is absolutely gorgeous! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the bridesmaid dresses :)

    As for children, other than my nieces & nephews, which for the most part, are all over the age of 10 there will be no kids at the wedding. We are having a fairly small wedding & the space and our budget just doesn’t really have room. The wedding is also destination, so the adults that are coming (who have children) have planned on grandparents watching the kiddos so they can have a mini-vacay without the little ones.
    So my personal opinion, if your venue and budget allows for them, the more the merrier. But if your limited in either area, or having a destination affair (which would require more expense for the parents to fly them there), then kiddie-less is probably best.

    ps. I look forward to your blog everyday, by far my absolute fave!!!!

  4. Alison on June 27, 2011

    Danielle – It’s good when you know exactly what you want, and you’re not afraid to make that clear. I do not believe there will be much question about it! You, my dear, are one seriously smart cookie. :)

    Melodious – first of all, what a freaking LOVELY name. Just had to mention that. Now, regarding your comment; I think that you took quite a great approach to having all of your beloved little girls and guys at your wedding. It’s really a matter of what a bride and groom are interested in/willing to do to make things go smoothly. And if you’re willing to arrange your ceremony with your adorable little kinder in mind, I can’t imagine a better, more effective way to make it work. I also think that’s great info for other brides hoping to achieve the best case scenario for the littles.

    Erin – I’m *almost* (because everyone knows I’m obviously NEVER fully) speechless. Thanks so much! I’m immensely glad to hear you enjoy the blog so much. Truly, your words touched my heart. :)

  5. Jenna on June 27, 2011

    It really depends on who your wedding is for. If you don’t have any immediate family members or best friends with kids I don’t think they’re a necessity. However if you do, I really think you should invite them. You can easily get babysitters on site (more venues already have people they use), get a box with crayons and a couple other cheap toys to entertain, and you’ll make their parents feel more included. It’s tough when they start getting excluded from adult events or asked to leave the kids at home, so make sure you really think it through before you do. Also who doesn’t want photos of the bride or groom dancing with dressed up little kids? Adorbs!

  6. Emily on June 27, 2011

    I think I’m in favor of inviting guests’ children to weddings. That’s our plan so far – though I think I’m revisiting the decision after this post… :) No but I definitely know I want my nieces and nephews there, they mean so much to me and I never really get to see them!

    I should point out that my nieces/nephews are all over 10 years of age. So I’m thinking that makes a big difference. If they were in their early years I might have thought about it longer and harder maybe?

  7. Mimi Tilton on June 27, 2011

    I <3 beyond all thought the Cluster* that is "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" and Paddy. I love that they feel the need to subtitle the lil' scrapper. Plus…who doesn't love over-the-top um…anyfreakingthing?
    My view on da shildrens…if da Bambers seems to like 'um (at least Eastern European ones) then they can't be all that bad, right? Then again, I'm sooo not a fan of snot. ijs.

  8. Alison on June 27, 2011

    Jenna – Great points about adults with kiddiepies sometimes feeling excluded. On site babysitters are an excellent option and definitely keep everybody happy (of course, depending on who’s paying). Speaking of – OMGOODNESS I made like $20 an hour when I used to babysit way back when. If babysitters learned to unionize they’d probably be making what, like roughly $100 an hour now? Oh boy, unions. Anyway, right on, Jenna, witcha bad self. ;)

    Emily – Oh boy, I definitely hear ya on that. My littles live soooo far away from me, in Albuquerque. *tears* And the age thing is a good point; makes quite a difference. :)

    Mimi – LOL + a question: what’s “Paddy?” Hopefully I’m not being foolish. :)

  9. Amy E. on June 27, 2011

    I can’t get over that picture you took of Bambinerino and the little boy! How precious! Fortunately I was able to look away long enough to see that this wedding is absolutely droolworthy! Love the bridesmaids with their backs to us; I’ve never seen one quite that creative. Really beautiful photography.

    On the topic of kids and weddings, I’m very partial to little kids being in the pics. After all, it is a family affair, isn’t it? Just my two cents. :)

  10. Kristin on June 27, 2011

    I just didn’t feel right limiting our wedding to adults only – after all, then guests would have to find babysitters, adding to their expense.

    So, we’re having kiddos. Not only that, but we have two flower girls and two ring bearers – all under the age of 5. Let the chaos begin :)

  11. Lanie on June 27, 2011

    My color palette! WOOHOOOOO!!!!!

  12. alicia@Charitywedding on June 27, 2011

    Some of my favorite pictures are those when I capture random people I don’t know. It’s like I stole a little piece of their life or something. That sounds creepy but I don’t mean it in a creepy way.

    On kids and weddings… I am out on the idea. Weddings are like fancy dinners with expensive clothes, moments requiring silence, and lots of booze and no where in that description does a child fit in. IMO. We specifically said no kids at our wedding which did cause controversy and some pouting on the ADULTS part but in the end it was right for us and I don’t regret it. I am not a parent but I like to think I’d relish a night away from my children and wouldn’t want to have to deal with them at a wedding when I just want to have fun. The only exception to my no kids rule of course is if you are Mormon and then the more kids the merrier.

  13. Laura on June 27, 2011

    We got lucky, the nephews live in FL and my brother-in-law couldn’t come…we would have accommodated them no problem if they did come…other than that, none of our friends have any kids.

  14. Lena on June 27, 2011

    This wedding’s gorgeousness is on par with the cute of that photo of Bambi and Guillaume, which is what I’ve named unidentified foreign child. Here’s hoping you like it.

    As for kids at weddings, I think it depends on the wedding. Is it wrong that my first thought RE: the pool shots was, “What about ALL THOSE KIDS?!?! WHOSE WATCHING THE KIDS??!?!?!” I’m a terribly anal type-A person, and I know kids at weddings give me an ulcer. Obviously, there probably won’t be many Guillaumes running around on my big day…

  15. Cocroft & Delbridge on June 27, 2011

    Ok…as for My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding…that is easily one of the most entertaining T.V. shows out there right now! I certainly hope that you saw the one where the seamstress ‘rigged’ the brides dress with battery packs so that she could sew lights and mechanical butterflies to the fabric…that did actually happen.

    I am loving this wedding…the color palette is so great and bright! :) I won’t lie…I do adore the pool as well!

    We are going to be having children at our wedding and I think that as long as you keep the kids entertained they are a fine addition. Something that we are doing is creating little ‘kid kits’ with fun things like crayons, stickers, and coloring books!

  16. Kristine G. on June 27, 2011

    I’m with Erin on this. If your budget and venue allow for it, the more the merrier (very well said, Erin!). But when your venue only allows a certain number, and already feels a bit cramped, then I think it’s perfectly OK to request adults only. I also think the time of day matters. Having a day wedding? A casual backyard affair? Kids are basically a given. But what about a night wedding? Or a super duper fancy one? Kids? Not so much.

    Here’s the kicker: What do you do when you’d love to include some kids you’re close to and love spending time with (because they’re so awesome and well-behaved) yet there are others you can just see running up and down the aisle during the ceremony or sticking their fingers in the cake?

  17. Laurie on June 27, 2011

    I’ll be having an afternoon wedding in the beach town where I grew up next summer, and I think it would be really difficult to invite only the parents out to a wedding (out of town for most of my guests) at a place where it would really become a family vacation. plus, I think my groom’s family is just more used to bringing their kids along. I asked my cousins who have kids, and they did tell me that they’d prefer not to bring them along and have already requested that I find some sitters in the area. So I don’t really see a problem with bringing them along, its a family event, and I think it adds to the happy, easygoing vibe I’m going for. Plus, I’m not really worried about kids sticking their finger in the cake, so much as my own father doing so. Apparently he has a habit of not believing a cake is real, and touching it just to be sure.

  18. Carol on June 28, 2011

    I think it comes down to every person deciding they’re either a or b:

    A: Yay kiddos! They’re so full of life and fill me with. energy and laughter!

    B: Ditto the above for fifteen or twenty minutes, then give them back to their parents, PLEASE!!

    There’s also a C contingent that is way anti-kid, but they already know their answer. It’s your big day, why would you bow down to anyone else’s wishes? If someone gets offended, let them get offended. They’ll get over it when they’re happily jumping around to some Kanye, Clash, or whatever.

  19. Devin on June 28, 2011

    We didn’t think twice when it came to whether or not our 3 nieces (aged 5, 4 & 3) and nephew (almost 2) would be on the guest list. They’ll be included in the ceremony which is private, family only. They’ll get to enjoy some food, a little dancing, and then it’s back to the hotel for them all!

    Our wedding is on a Friday, and with the reception beginning at 7 and expected to end at 12, it’s not really a kid-friendly time frame. Those friends who have kids (most of them do) are more than excited to celebrate with us just as we celebrated with them, without little ones.

    I’m thrilled that we’ll have pictures and memories with our nieces and nephew and that they may remember our big day. But I’m glad that their parents will be able to have fun and not have to worry about keeping their children happy all night.

  20. Christine on June 28, 2011

    Hmmm….Kids at a wedding: I have read through many of the comments and while I can see the argument FOR having kids at a wedding, I still stand by my opinion. I feel that weddings are adult occasions and not a place for children to be running around. A lot of time and money goes into these events and children can be a bit too chaotic for that kind of a celebration. However, well-behaved kids can be absolutely adorable at weddings. We will be having my fiance’s 9 year-old cousin at our wedding; she is extremely well-behaved.

    In our case, all of our cousins and extended family are 18 and older aside from that one young cousin; so there (initially) was no problem.

    I have a new problem though….since my engagement, there have been 6 (yes, SIX) babies born (I got in engaged last October 2010). They will ALL be UNDER a year-old by the time my wedding rolls around. One of the babies will be born 1 1/2 months before my wedding and I am allowing her to come (due to her young age)…but I can’t have any of the others come. Seriously, even if you are in favor of children at your wedding…would you want to have SIX infants there? Crying, puking and drooling everywhere? I certainly don’t. So I am having an adult- only reception (with two exceptions). I am not one of those people who loves children anyway… so for me, a child-free wedding is the best thing.

    I will say though, despite my strong feelings on children…I’m not heartless. I do love my niece and nephew. They are adorable…but they still can’t come (and frankly, their parents don’t want them there…so that works for me!! ).

    Sorry if I seem very strongly opinionated on this topic. Normally I wouldn’t be like this except that this particular issue has been a huge problem in my wedding-planning. I’ve been pretty relaxed with my planning for the most part. I’ve been accepting help and have kept things fun and simple… but I can’t seem to get away from the topic of children at my wedding and it has caused an immense amount of stress for me (mainly because of how many new babies there are). I would be okay with children over the age of 8 (if there were any others besides my fiance’s cousin) but I draw the line there. Any child under that age is just too unpredictable.

    *steps off of soap box and moves on*

    What a beautiful wedding! I love the pool. My venue doesn’t have a pool but it certainly makes for a beautiful atmosphere.

    Bambino…always adorable!! It seems he’s popular everywhere he goes.

  21. Cindy Golightly on June 28, 2011

    The bridesmaids dresses are really beautiful.

  22. Mimi Tilton on June 28, 2011

    Oh Alison….Ali-mai-gurl-son!

    Paddy is the name of the main Irish Traveler/Gypsy who married his ‘woman’ when she was “jus 16 ya know wha’ oiy meeen’” (a direct quote with an attempt at a tight brogue).

    For me it’s a toss up between this train-wreck of a show and Toddlers and Tiaras – give me either one, plus my Mocha lookin’ sassy and a vat of buttered popcorn and I’m good for the night.

    BTW – foolish….#couldn’thappeninamillionyears

  23. Didi on June 28, 2011

    So my wedding is in…4 weeks.. wait… WHAT!? Ok, I knew that.. I mean.. I should know that…

    Anyway, we were lucky enough that not many of the people coming to our wedding had kids. And the ones that do, we kinda told them up front: We would rather you not bring your kids because we want to have a GOOD time, not worrying about little guys, and having to leave early because they’re tired and cranky, but if it’s between all of you coming, or none at all, then please by all means bring the kids! We’ll try to have some activities for them!
    We talked about it a couple times, and they decided to get them a babysitter, or leave them at friend’s house. Honestly, it would’ve been really boring for them anyway! Only like 3 or 4 kids at the whole wedding…not fun.
    But we are having a luncheon the next day with lots of games like bocci-ball and cricket to which all the kids are invited!
    I think that makes up for it, don’t you? And I’m happy, because all our friends are going to be having a GREAT time!! (I hope)

  24. The Perfect Palette on June 28, 2011

    I’m digging this color palette! Oh, and on the kids thing.. We did have a few kids in attendance at ours.

    Kids = unpredictability. My flower girl abandoned her job about 2 steps down the aisle…and the ring bearer didn’t even attempt to do his job.

    But we got some cute pictures of them for sure.

    But that’s kids for you. We also had a baby in attendance. But this was strictly immediate family’s children.

    For friends and everyone else, we just left their names off the invite and they got the hint. I felt bad for including some kids and leaving others out, but in the end, that is what was going to work best for us. We basically said we were only including kids who were in the wedding.

    worked for us.

  25. Madison on June 29, 2011

    LOVE the cute shot of Bambino and the kid and the wedding looks gorgeous, loving the pools shots.

    We are not having children at the wedding. The only child i have in my family is 10 and the fiancee has none so there is only one child in the whole of our families (who will be coming to the wedding because she will be 12 at the time and not that young).

    We are only 21 as well so none of our friends have children. There are a few family friends with children but because the people close to us dont have children we are leaving it a child free zone!

  26. erica on June 29, 2011

    Thanks for featuring Paige & Steve’s beautiful wedding, it was definitely one of our favorites from last year!

  27. CH on July 12, 2011

    Merely wanna remark that you have a very nice site, I enjoy the style and design, it really stands out!


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