A Rustic Winter Wedding in Florida
Aerielle and Dylan met the way many modern couples do: on the online dating app, Bumble ("per the pressure of my little sister," says Aerielle). From their very first interaction, the pair felt an instant connection. "We went on our first date, and two days later we were dating," says Aerielle. "It wasn't really a discussion—more of an, 'Okay, we work, we're doing this,' type feeling."
They were still going strong a year later when they planned an anniversary trip to Alaska, one of the few places that Dylan—a professional wakeboarder—hasn't traveled for work. On the first day, the pair hiked out to an ice flat so Dylan could get some shots of the scenery with his drone. "I was complaining about the weather, and then he wanted to take photos of us so we posed and smiled," says Aerielle. "Then he told me he had a gift for me, and ripped off his gloves and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him." She accepted, of course, and they used the drone footage to announce their proposal on social media.
Aerielle and Dylan spent the next year planning an 80-person wedding in Apopka, Florida—the wedding took place near the couple's home, but was a true destination for Dylan's family, who traveled from Canada. The December 16, 2018, ceremony took place under sunny, blue skies, with an indoor reception at an elegant restored barn, where vintage place settings, subdued greenery, and a timeless color palette gave the event a cozy but refined air. "Our wedding," says Aerielle, "was quaint, intimate, and everything it needed to be for us."
Her Gorgeous Gown
When she started looking for her wedding dress, Aerielle envisioned a fitted silhouette—but as soon as she saw this full-skirted, lace Monique Lhuillier number hanging in a boutique, she says, "I gravitated toward it." Though she was sold after trying it on, her mother and sister insisted that she try a few others. "In the end, I went back to my original choice," Aerielle says. "I loved how bridal my dress made me feel. It was something people wouldn't expect me to wear—and I loved that." The only problem: She'd been looking for a gown with sleeves, and the original dress didn't have them. But with some extra lace fabric from the designer and the help of a professional, she got her wish. "My seamstress built a detachable bolero on me," says Aerielle. "It had buttons all down the back to match my dress, and the bottom was fitted so it matched with my dress perfectly." She finished her look with a veil from Girl and a Serious Dream, pearl drop earrings from a local jeweler, and Badgley Mischka shoes.
Ladies in Red
Aerielle asked three of her closest friends to serve as bridesmaids, while her sister, Madisen, and best friend, Shelby, were both maids of honor. The women wore wine-colored gowns from Hayley Paige to represent the rich tones in the wedding's color palette, while Dylan's sister, Rhiannon—his matron of honor—wore a one-shoulder Jenny Yoo gown in a similar shade. "My mom and I decided that we wanted to do darker tones for the wedding with pops of blush and golds to make it flow," says Aerielle. "We both wanted every part of the wedding to be timeless, but on trend."
Dylan chose a custom suit from Men's Wearhouse in gray with a light plaid print, a black vest, and a skinny black tie. The couple shopped for the suit together—a memorable adventure for both of them, says Aerielle. "It was such a cool experience picking the fabrics and getting to add personal notes to his suit." His groomsmen chose classic formalwear from The Black Tux.
When looking for a wedding venue, Aerielle and Dylan were immediately drawn to the outdoor ceremony space. "It was naturally beautiful, and we loved the organic feel to the venue," she says. "I wanted it to feel very romantic, which is why we chose to fill the aisle with 10,000 red rose petals—it just felt intimate in such a large space."
Turn Up and Turn Off
At the entrance to the ceremony, a custom chalkboard sign reminded guests to turn off their devices during the unplugged ceremony.
Their First Look
Aerielle and her stepfather, James, walked down the aisle to John Legend's cover of "God Only Knows." She and Dylan chose not to see each other before the ceremony—"We wanted to keep it traditional and wait until we saw each other at the altar," she says—and for Dylan, watching his bride walk toward him was the most memorable moment of the day. "When I saw her walking down the aisle, she was so beautiful," he says. "She took my breath away."
Sealed with a Kiss
After they were pronounced husband and wife, the newlyweds walked back down the aisle to "Everywhere" by Fleetwood Mac. As they decamped to another part of the property for their portraits, guests continued on to the cocktail hour where the menu included tomato bruschetta, strawberry and goat cheese on crostini, and ratatouille in tartlet shells.
Aerielle's mother took the lead in designing the bride's bouquet, alongside Molly Lohman of the Orlando Flower Market. They incorporated ranunculus, garden roses, and spray roses with dusty miller, leucadendron, and seeded eucalyptus, wrapping the finished product in ivory ribbon.
The reception took place in a converted barn on the same property as the ceremony. Guests sat at long wooden farm tables, while Aerielle and Dylan's seats were decorated with red and white blooms and muted greenery—plus their new name in large-scale, metallic script. "Our wedding mood was 'rustic-chic'," says Aerielle. "I love rustic pieces, but didn't want the wedding to be all one theme."
Setting the Table
The couple enhanced the rustic atmosphere of the barn by leaving the wooden tables bare. Mismatched (but coordinating) vintage plates and chargers, ruby, frosted, and smoke-colored glassware, and gleaming gold flatware created elegant but unfussy place settings that fell in line with the couple's vision.
By the Numbers
Garlands of greenery and flowers, acrylic table numbers, and plenty of candles—including black taper candles in classic silver holders and smaller votives in patterned vessels—added to the ambiance.
On the Dance Floor
For their first dance as husband and wife, Aerielle and Dylan chose "Coming Home" by Leon Bridges. At her stepfather's suggestion, they also requested an iconic tune to celebrate the holiday season. "My stepdad insisted we play a Christmas song, so we chose 'All I Want for Christmas' by Mariah Carey," says Aerielle. "Everyone really enjoyed that!"
In lieu of favors, Aerielle and Dylan created "favor moments" for their guests, offering two different wedding experiences instead of material gifts. One was a photobooth set up in a vintage VW van, The Van Cam, where guests posed with props and captured moments both silly and sweet.
The couple's second add-on was a station from Sky Cotton Candy. Friends and family were able to customize their mid-reception sugar rush by choosing their own flavors (including vanilla, mango, raspberry, and rose petal) and toppings for freshly-spun cotton candy.
A trio of tiered vegan cakes from Sugar Sugar Cake Boutique— the confection's three flavors were amaretto soaked in rum, cinnamon apple, and vanilla—were dressed with fresh red and white flowers and displayed on gleaming gold cake stands. "We felt three cakes was presentationally beautiful," says Aerielle, "and I love cake, so it was awesome!"
Just the Two of Them
As guests lined up outside for the couple's sparkler exit, Aerielle and Dylan had one last quiet moment to themselves in the deserted reception space. "The moment that stands out to me the most is when all our guests were outside and Dylan and I had a private dance to 'Fade Into You' by Mazzy Star," says Aerielle. "I loved that time alone with him!"
Aerielle and Dylan left the party under a shower of sparks. "We loved sharing our day with people who genuinely love us individually and as a couple," says Aerielle. "That was so important to us."
Photography, Katie Mick Photography
Event planning, Bella Sposa Events
Catering, Foodie Catering
Flowers, Orlando Flower Market
Videography, Fox Grove Films
Officiant, Jennie Landeau, Freebirds Ceremonies
Stationery, Shine Wedding Invitations
Music, Our DJ Rocks
Bride's gown, Monique Lhuillier
Hair, Savanna Holland
Makeup, Glammed by Kyra
Bridesmaids' dresses, Hayley Paige
Groom's suit, Men's Wearhouse
Menswear, The Black Tux
Cotton Candy, Sky Cotton Candy
Photo Booth, The Van Cam