Florida and Washington are opposites regarding geography, flora, fauna, and color scheme. This couple, originally from the Pacific Northwest, is now a Floridian. They planned a wedding in an orange grove full of details to represent their past and the future.

Her event-planning mother is to be credited (score!) Allyson included many personal details and DIY projects in this “destination wedding.” Their guests, who came from the Northwest, were treated to great weather and classic apple and orange treats. Instead of packing their luggage with goods, the couple donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

The colors were an amazing tropical sight. The scene was captured vividly by Everence Photograph, with a colorful and bright flower crown for the bride, orange citrus décor, and large bold peony arrangements for the ladies.

Our Love Story

Ian and I have been friends since we met in 4th grade. He left his hometown when he was 15 to follow his dream to become a professional dancer. This didn’t leave us much room to date. We reconnected when he returned to our hometown one summer after an ankle surgery. He had already realized his dream. I recommended him to all my friends, but I finally listened and married him. Our first date was at his grandmother’s, where we ate Chinese food, played bingo, and went to the overlook. Since that day, he has my heart both in friendship and love.

Ian arrived after I had been traveling alone in Iceland for over a week. A lost suitcase, a delayed flight, and an expired passport caused him to be late. He proposed to compensate for the delay behind the Seljalandsfoss Falls overlooking Iceland’s raw beauty and grandeur. As we suggested, Icelandic horses, hot springs, glaciers, and volcanoes were all part of our celebrations. It was one of the most extraordinary and magical times in our relationship.

Dress & Attire

The natural landscaping made the reception and ceremony area feel like a garden. The romantic and natural setting inspired me to choose a Lace gown. The dresses for my bridesmaids were just the right amount of lace to make them match without being overstated.

We chose navy suits with blush ties for the bride and groomsmen to match the ladies. The navy suit added color and contrast without being overly formal. The groom chose a floral, unique tie to distinguish himself from his groomsmen.

We asked our guests to dress “Florida Formal,” “dress nice but be aware of the heat.” We knew that if they were comfortable, everyone would feel confident.

The Destination

Both my husband and I are from Washington State. We moved to Florida after his career. We considered a Washington state wedding but also wanted to enjoy the planning process. Our vision was to give our guests a “destination wedding” where they could taste the food before attending. We chose it as our venue because its bright colors suited our tastes and fit within our budget. Our wedding was built around our joy and celebration. We used paint, music, and bold floral designs with a hint of Florida sun and smiles.

We knew our families would travel to be with us for this special occasion. So, we wanted to create an experience that would be memorable and reflective of us both. We enjoyed our family to feel our love and share a unique appreciation with them. This was achieved by mixing our elements, such as appetizers with Washington apples and blood-orange Champagne for toasts. We included special moments that let us reconnect and make the day all about our commitment. We bought an AC unit at the last minute, which saved us a lot of money, and we didn’t purchase expensive lighting.

The Flowers

The garden was a perfect place for bold floral arrangements. Roses, peonies, and pink shades complemented the dark, earthy greens in our setting. We added oranges to our floral arrangements for our centerpieces to create a feeling of unity and cohesiveness so that we could blend naturally into our environment. Oranges were used for the place settings. We wanted to achieve a green look throughout the wedding and used a combination of Spanish moss and eucalyptus. We chose bold flowers and heavy greenery for the gazebo, where we would exchange rings.

We chose the delicate baby’s breath for the flower girls. The men wore roses that were subtle and complementary. Women held three peonies with single stems, while I had a dramatic floral arrangement of bold flowers and dark leaves.

Favorite moments

It was a magical first dance. After I leaned into Ian, I opened my eyes. I had forgotten that everyone was watching us dance together. The feeling of being completely present with my husband is unforgettable.

Another moment occurred during our reception. While sitting at the main table, we observed our guests eating and laughing together. My husband and I were overwhelmed with gratitude. We could see a sea of people supporting and loving us.

It’s a beautiful feeling to remember the entire preparation process – from putting the finishing touches on the table to waiting for guests to arrive to the music starting.


It was unfortunate that my father could not attend. He told me about a week before my wedding that he would not be attending. It’s not traditional, but I feel it is essential to acknowledge the people who helped me. My brother led me down the aisle, and my father-in-law chose a song dance we could all share. My stepfather gave us an excellent speech at the wedding and a toast to our guests at the reception. Our family is not traditional, but we are excited to start new traditions.

The Favors

We donated money on behalf of our guests to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. After spending the weekend creating memories, we decided that the best way to show our gratitude was to give a gift to a needy child. The guests were thrilled with the donation.

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