Caitlin Camuti and Matthew Simak have everything in common. They are both originally from Chicago, they both attended Auburn University, and they both moved to Tampa, FL, to begin their careers after graduation. They were likely in the same place at the same time more often than they’ll ever know, but their paths didn’t cross until New Year’s Day 2015. Auburn’s football team was playing in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, and both Matt and Caitlin were hosting college friends in town for the game. “Through a series of messages between two mutual friends, Matt and his friends ended up meeting me and my friends,” Caitlin says. “We started dating just a few weeks after meeting — and yes, I was the one to ask Matt on our first date.” With so much shared history, it was clearly meant to be.

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Matt Simak and Caitlin Camuti were obviously meant to be! They share the same hometown and went to the same university, but their paths didn’t cross until they both started their careers in Tampa.

On a trip to Charleston, SC, with Caitlin’s family, Matt and Caitlin went for a walk on the pier after grabbing a drink and appetizers before dinner. There, with Caitlin’s dad hiding nearby to take photos, Matt got down on one knee and asked Caitlin to be his wife. “Matt is the most intentional, kind-hearted person that I know,” Caitlin says. “He knew that it was a wish of mine to have all of my family present at the time of the proposal.” With that in mind, Matt had carefully planned a proposal that would sweep her off her feet … and then allow them to celebrate with her family over dinner afterward.

Caitlin and her family moved to Memphis just as she was beginning high school, so they decided to hold the wedding close to home. The venues for the day were easy choices. Her family’s ties to St. George’s Episcopal Church and its gorgeous, light-filled sanctuary made it a no-brainer for the ceremony. Caitlin had long harbored a love for the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, so with its expansive grounds for guests to mingle both inside and out, the Dixon was the perfect reception option for this late summer wedding.

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Caitlin fell for the clean lines of her gorgeous wedding gown — even though it’s different from what she originally had in mind. “I had a vision of what I wanted my dress to be and scheduled several appointments before finding ‘the one,’” Caitlin says. “I was never planning on trying on the dress that I eventually ended up buying but fell in love with the classic simplicity.”

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Classic, fuss-free details, like these timeless lace, pearl and diamond touches, are absolutely Caitlin’s bridal aesthetic.

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Caitlin is the definition of bridal bliss in her gown and cathedral-length veil.

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Matt makes for a dashing groom in his tux.

Memphis wedding

A first look is always a good option to calm those inevitable wedding day nerves before the ceremony. These two look instantly more relaxed, and they just couldn’t keep the smiles off their faces!

Memphis wedding

This bride gravitates toward neutral colors, which make for a sophisticated and gorgeous bridal party. The men are ever-dapper in their black tuxes, and the bridesmaids are stunning in their dove gray gowns and neutral bouquets.

Because she was planning the wedding remotely from her home in Tampa, this bride knew she would need the assistance of a talented wedding planner to pull off her dream day, and she found one in Sheril Greenstein of Shindigs by Sheril. “Sheril was my rock in the planning process,” Caitlin says. “She was always available, paid attention to every detail and was my voice when I needed to collaborate with vendor partners. I am thankful for her patience, her creativity and her vibrant spirit — our day could not have been possible without her.” Sheril took Caitlin’s vision for a beautiful, family-focused day with statement pieces incorporated throughout clean, simple decor and brought it to life.

Caitlin’s preferred neutral colors perfectly highlighted the beauty of both venues, and soft accent shades of gold, blush and green added depth and interest to the reception. “In an effort to keep it simple, I gravitated toward statement pieces,” Caitlin says. “I knew a few of the statement pieces that I wanted, like the floral block hanging at the reception and the chandeliers hanging in the tent, which helped drive all other decisions.”

About 260 of Caitlin and Matt’s loved ones traveled from all across the country to gather in Memphis on June 24, 2017, to witness the beginning of their new life together. The classic notes of Bach and Pachelbel filled the sanctuary as the families and attendants made their way down the aisle, and Caitlin stood on her father’s arm ready to meet her groom. It was a traditional ceremony, and because her family is so close to the minister, it also felt special personal to Caitlin and Matt. After exchanging vows and rings and taking communion together, the bride and groom were pronounced Mr. and Mrs. and gleefully walked back up the aisle together.

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The crosses adorning the church doors are one of the bride’s favorite details from the day. “They were the last things I saw before walking down the aisle,” she says.

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The bride’s father escorts her down the aisle.

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You may kiss the bride! How sweet are these two?

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We love this just-married joy!

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“Matt is the most intentional, kind-hearted person that I know,” Caitlin says.

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You may kiss the bride — take two!

Caitlin knew that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have all of her favorite people in one place, and she wanted to make the most of it at the reception. “I come from a relatively large family,” Caitlin says. “We are all very close in age and often find ourselves visiting one another, even if it means traveling across the country. I knew that the wedding would be the opportunity to have all of my closest people in one room.” Her goal, therefore, was to have everyone mingling and out on the dance floor, opting for a buffet instead of a seated dinner and food that would be easy to eat while standing. The menu included a gorgeous charcuterie spread, a kebab station, barbecue nachos, macaroni and cheese and watermelon and feta cubes.

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The bride wanted to keep the reception decor simple with a few breathtaking statement pieces for interest. This gorgeous hanging arrangement definitely falls into the “statement piece” category — to die for!

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The flowers at the reception were absolutely perfect. From the small arrangements that dotted the tables to the ornate chandeliers that hung over the dance floor — these florals by Deedra Stone Designs are simply beautiful!

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Caitlin elected to keep it simple with a five-tier vanilla cake and vanilla buttercream frosting. Simple horizontal stripes in the icing gave the cake texture, and a cascade of flowers matched the blooms displayed throughout the venue.

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In lieu of a groom’s cake, Matt elected to have a Garrett Popcorn cart as a nod to his hometown of Chicago. “Matt and I both grew up eating Garret’s, and Matt decided that instead of a groom’s cake that he wanted Garret’s,” Caitlin says. “The Chicago-style popcorn is both cheese corn and caramel corn — it’s absolutely delicious, a must-try!”

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Caitlin’s wedding planner made all the details count – big and small.

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Memphis wedding

Caitlin and Matt’s first dance as Mr. and Mrs. was to the same song to which they shared their very first dance — ever! Ben Rector’s acoustic cover of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” was the perfect joyful and sentimental tune for these newlyweds.

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The transparent tent is especially stunning at night! Don’t you wish you were dancing under the stars with Matt and Caitlin’s guests?

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At the end of the night, mini “Chicago Dogs” and beer shooters made the rounds. The perfect bite for these Chicago natives!

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“Take a deep breath. Enjoy the little moments,” Caitlin says. “Share in the joy of planning with those who want to help. Talk to as many of your guests as you can or get out and dance with them. Hug your spouse, and give thanks! (I also crowd-surfed – you could do that too!)”

Memphis wedding

With a shower of rose petals, Mr. and Mrs. Simak exit among cheers from their loved ones.

After the toasts were made, the cake was cut, and the bride and groom tossed a bit of popcorn into each other’s mouths, Matt and Caitlin danced with their family and friends until stars dotted the night sky above the dance floor.

Under a shower of rose petals, the new Mr. and Mrs. were whisked off to a life of wedded bliss.

Thank you for sharing your gorgeous day with us, Caitlin and Matt! Cheers to you!

RESOURCES

Photography: Lindsey Lissau Photography
Wedding planner: Sheril Greenstein of Shindigs by Sheril
Wedding dress: The White Magnolia Bridal Collection
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Jenny Yoo from Bella Bridesmaids
Groomsmen attire: Vera Wang from Men’s Wearhouse
Cake: The Flour Garden
Flowers: Deedra Stone Designs
Ceremony venue: St. George’s Episcopal Church
Reception venue: Dixon Gallery and Gardens
Rentals and decor: White Door Events
Catering: CFY Catering
Band: Party Planet
Hair: Juve Salon Spa
Makeup: Kasey Acuff
Merchandise & stationery design: The Stovall Collection
Videography: French Film Co.

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