North Carolineans Destiny and Samuel Swanner were married in Panama City, Florida in July on this year - right on the beach. Their wedding was filled with fun and unexpected moments, funny mishaps and an unconventional day, the atmosphere was intimate and relaxed, and she looked amazing. Ladies planning destination weddings: take note! This girl knows how NOT to stress and let every single worry become a meltdown moment. She goes with the flow.
But first a little background.... These two were in the same schools together starting in the 6th grade, but didn't actually meet until a few months before high school graduation when a mutual friend introduced them. Before long, they were officially a couple.
"It such an odd thing that Sam and I had never met before our senior year. When we talk about our childhoods, we attended most of the same events in the community – but had never met! We even lived 5 minutes apart from each other but never knowingly crossed paths. It's almost like it was fate."
NC to Florida
"The morning of the wedding was very un-traditional. We spent it on the beach with friends and family. There were only 20 people in attendance at our wedding and I wouldn’t have had it any other way! Small and simple fit our style perfectly. The reception dinner was fantastic and afterwards our family spent time together playing cards at our rental house. Overall, I wouldn’t change a single thing.. it truly was the best day of our lives."
The day was gorgeous, the setting - as you can see - just perfection and there was only one snafu - which turned out to be the funniest and, according to Destiny, most memorable moments of the day. Her dad was so busy helping her with her dress as she walked through the sand toward Sam that he left her bouquet in the car. He had to go running back up the beach to get them while everyone cracked up.
Destiny's Destination Dress
"When I began looking for a dress, I knew that I wanted lace and an open back. I knew I definitely wanted it to fit my figure and have a small train. I was a sucker for unique designs, but was also open to simplistic and chic. I definitely didn’t want to spend more than $1,000 on my dress. The only 2 things that were must haves: open/detailed back and straps!"
And that's what she got at BT.
Destiny found a gown on Pinterest and ended up buying from us what she calls "its identical twin." We cannot stress enough that searching online for a gown is a great idea as you decide what your musts and loves are. But buy from a boutique or brick and mortar operation. You won't regret it. You can try it on, get advice, bring your pals with you and learn about what truly looks best ON YOU.
Destiny knew what she wanted, but was smart strategically. She wanted something for a beach wedding that wasn't "too much", would breathe and had cut outs. She LOVES cutouts, so once she found the one, she knew. She brought her friends and later her mom and grandmothers and they all knew that she looked like a bride who had found The One. We love that she chose to purchase her gown from us, even after going to a few more shops.
"You guys were the perfect amount of informative and helpful. You weren’t trying to up-sale anything. Your shop genuinely cared about my big day and making it everything I wanted.
My advice to future brides is to remember that it is about you… not your guests. If you’re getting too wrapped up in making everything 'look' acceptable and struggling to meet certain expectations then you’re taking away from your own experience of enjoying the moment."
We couldn't agree more.
Destiny graduated from UNC-Charlotte this year and Samuel will in '19 and they both have careers in place. If their first year has all of the carefree joy and beauty as their wedding day, then these two are in for Happily Ever After. That's all we could wish for them!
Store owner, Kelly has been in the bridal industry since 2000, when at the ripe old age of 20 she opened her first little store front on a wing and a prayer. She is a certified wedding planner (no, she does not plan weddings), and everything she knows about bridal and formal wear has come from, gut instinct, trial and error, and watching LOTS of What Not to Wear.