For Brooke and Chris Hamilton, plans for their big day last October, like their relationship, evolved organically, blending family traditions with special details that were uniquely theirs as a couple. Many times a wedding tends to be more of a reflection of the mother of the bride’s vision, but such was not the case for Brooke. Great love and care went into every detail, creating a memorable weekend for the happy couple and all of their guests.
Brooke and Chris met at an engagement party hosted by her parents, and the rest, as they say, is history. A daddy’s girl, she knew it would be tough, if not impossible, to find someone as sweet and caring as her father but she had a feeling early on that Chris was the one. Chris, an attorney, officially sealed the deal by proposing adoption to Brooke’s puggle, Cullen. Brooke and Cullen enthusiastically said yes, and the trio got busy planning their special day!
The venue for their ceremony and reception was the Palazzo Del Sol house on Holiday Isle, Florida, that had been in the groom’s family for years. The bride, like many Memphians, also spent summer vacations on the white sandy beaches of Destin. The couple attended Chris’ cousin’s wedding at the same house one year earlier, and it was then that they looked at each other with a singular thought: “What if we did something like this one day?”
Planning a wedding remotely could be a daunting task, but not for this cool, calm, collected bride. During her engagement, she made just one trip to the beach with her parents. Within four days they planned all of their rentals, flowers and the cake. She managed all the other details remotely from Memphis. She did enlist the help of a friend, Holli Kenney, for day-of coordination.
(Photos courtesy of Kate Capture’s.)
Brooke’s sister and maid of honor, Cameron, fell in love with a coral Amsale dress that she saw in a bridal magazine. Brooke then based the color scheme for the wedding around this beautiful gown. “I knew from day one that I wanted her dress to be completely different than the other girls,” says Brooke. She chose grey dresses for her bridesmaids, so as not to take away from the already beautiful surroundings, and she chose white for all of the flowers.
When Brooke visited Maggie Louise Bridal with her mother and sister, she went in with an open mind but knew she wanted something appropriate for a beach wedding. The dress she would ultimately choose was actually on the mannequin, and her sister encouraged her to try it on. “Once I tried it on I knew it was the one,” she recalls. “Finding out that it transformed into a short party dress was like icing on the cake!”
Most brides walk into their wedding reception seeing everything for the first time along with their guests. But, since Brooke was staying on site at the venue, she felt fortunate to see it all come together. The home also provided plenty of room to comfortably get wedding-ready surrounded by her family and bridesmaids. While the family all stayed under one roof, Brooke’s father, like the groom, had decided not to see her in her dress until the big day. They shared a special moment just before the ceremony that neither will ever forget.
Securing the country/Southern rock band Trotline was a top priority for the couple. Brooke and Chris shared their first dance to Alabama’s “Maker Said Take Her” and then she danced with her Dad to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra. After that, the dance floor was flooded and stayed that way for the duration of the night. A shoes-optional beach wedding sure makes dancing painless and fun!
When asked to name a favorite moment from the big day it was hard for Brooke to settle on just one. “I love the fact that Chris and I chose not to see each other before the wedding. I will never forget the look on his face when I walked down the aisle,” she remembers. For brides-to-be, Brooke shares this advice that was given to her prior to her wedding day, “If it is not done by the Wednesday before the wedding, it is not worth worrying about.” Secondly, “The day goes by so quickly. Really pay attention to everything around you; it will only happen once.”
- Photography: Kate Capture’s
- Invitations: Sue Clark at The Paper Place
- Floral Design: Fisher’s Flowers
- Rental Companies: H & M Tents and Party Rentals
- Catering: Blue Mountain Catering
- Cakes: Bake My Day
- Bride’s Dress: by Olia Zavozina at Maggie Louise
- Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid (Maid of honor wore Amsale, and bridesmaids wore Donna Morgan.)
- Hair and makeup: The Dream Team from Capelli