The moment that I pulled up onto the property at the Sydonie Mansion in Mount Dora, Florida, I was taken aback by its incredible beauty and intricate details. Here's the best part - it just keeps getting better the further you go in! Gardens, fountains, archways, a curved stairwell, iron gates, and market lights are just some of the features that set the scene for quite the backdrop for a wedding. The forecast was grim - we knew we had a very wet day ahead of us. Lucky for us, everything still ended up absolutely magical.
Cherie was all smiles upon arrival, carelessly laughing about the weather, saying none of that mattered because it was her wedding day. The group headed upstairs to the bridal suite, and you might notice something just a tad bit different about this group - Cherie added a bridesMAN to her side, and made sure he felt included on everything by supplying him with his very own robe. When it came time for some fun bridesmaids portraits, no one seemed to mind the rain once they were supplied with cute bubble umbrellas!
We asked the couple what their favorite moments from the day were, and here's what Matt had to say: "This is a tough question. The whole day from start to finish was the best day of my life. I was nervous at first not knowing what to do at the hotel and milled around anxiously. I guess the real best parts started when we got to the mansion. Hanging out with the guys in our little room was awesome and then seeing Cherie for the first time and doing the first look and taking pictures in the rain with the umbrellas was great. Walking down the aisle with everyone there to see us was amazing and just hanging out and celebrating with everyone. Hard to pin down a favorite part. It was altogether wonderful."
When asked about their experience doing a first look, they had nothing but positive things to say! "The first look was awesome! The first look took away some of the nervousness and saved us time in the end because we were able to take a lot of formal photos before the ceremony and didn't have to take time away from the reception. It absolutely did not take away from seeing each other down the aisle. We had all day before the first look to hide from each other and make sure we didn't see one another. We are a more private couple anyway, so sharing that moment with just us was the perfect choice."
The rain seemed to be never ending, and the Busy Bee's quickly changed the ceremony location to the arched hallway, and it turned into Cherie's favorite part of the day! She said "My favorite part of the day was walking down our 'back up' aisle with all our loved ones huddled in so close, my brother on one arm and my son on the other, to meet Matt at the end of the aisle. We had to move the ceremony to a covered area and it turned out to be even better than the original plan because of how close and intimate it felt."
After the ceremony and family and formal party portraits, we walked the entire property for the Bride and Groom portraits, utilizing each nook and cranny of incredible backdrops that the mansion provides. Cherie and Matt were so lovestruck they didn't even care about the rain and enjoyed themselves in front of our cameras.
When asked to describe their wedding, here is what the couple had to say: "We didn't really have a theme, but we wanted our wedding to be fun and enjoyable for our guests. We wanted it to be a wedding that we would want to attend as a guest. I am lucky enough to have an aunt who designs floral arrangements and has done several weddings in the past. She did an excellent job with the decor. I left things in her hands and I told her I really just did not want matchy-matchy. She put together such a great mix of textures and colors and it could not have been better if I planned every little detail. I especially loved my bouquet which had cabbages!! Matt is originally from Pittsburgh and there is a PA tradition of a cookie table. Matts mom put together our cookie table. She recruited her friends and family to make cookies for the big day and we ended up with hundreds of homemade cookies. It was a big hit with the guests!"
The rain stopped just in time for the reception, which gave the newlyweds and all of their guests the opportunity to dance the night away under the market lights in the open air. Cherie and Matt concluded their night with a pop-streamer send off in the same archway where they exchanged their vows.
Their final words of advice to all future couples out there: "While it's definitely important to have a plan and a vision, know that things will go off of track and that is ok. If you try to control every little detail, you will probably end up disappointed. Relax, trust your team, and go with the flow. You are marrying the love of your life and that is most important. Guests don't tend to care or even notice when little things go wrong. They want to see you happy and celebrate with you."
So. incredibly. true.
Thank you so much for having our team capture the magic of your beautiful day! It was an absolute honor, and we are humbled by how sweet your words were about what it was like to work with our team: "AMAZING! SO team was great. The weather didn't cooperate but the SO team was prepared with umbrellas, a great attitude, and lots of energy. The formal portraits were quick and organized! We didn't have to take a lot of time away from celebrating with our guests at the reception."
Thanks to all the hard working vendors who helped put on this magical day!