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Celebrating our First Anniversary: Planning with the Family

Mon, December 26, 2016

I can’t believe Warren and I are celebrating our first wedding anniversary this week- one year of marriage has truly flown by. Everyone says the first year is the hardest, and if that’s true…we’re in pretty good shape! This week on the blog I’m counting down to this New Year’s Eve with my favorite details of our wedding process, from the planning all the way to the midnight countdown. To read the full story of the proposal or how we chose our New Years Eve wedding date, you can read about it here.

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When it came to wedding planning, my mom hosted the first “meeting” which included Warren, my sisters, and my dad – and of course some champagne to celebrate the kick-off! With both of our fresh notebooks opened and ready to go, my mom led the initial conversation to get us started and guide us in what we wanted our day to be like. She asked us each to list our top priorities of what we’d like incorporated into the day, or what we value most. Listing our priorities was a game changer in our planning process because the last thing we wanted to do was go overboard with the “fluff” and overshadow the real meaning of the day.


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The top priorities we set for our wedding were that it would:

- Be family-oriented

- Have artistic and creative touches

- Be festive and celebratory

- Incorporate meaningful personal touches throughout the day

Throughout our engagement, the personal touches were especially fun to plan and incorporate into the day. Starting with hand painting the Save the Date design and creating how I would ask my bridesmaids:

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Warren even had a moment in the “designer spotlight” as he enlisted the help of his cousins and friends to hand-make the bars that served our signature cocktails and were adorned in vintage glasses my mom and I found throughout our engagement.


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The next big decision {cue the designer in me!} was choosing an overall color palette. I knew I wanted to push traditional boundaries with a unique and festive color palette that really kicked up the festivity of the event. I ended up going with natural greens and shades of persimmons and ambers mixed with hues of mint, blue, and navy. Touches of metallic copper and gold finished it off with a festive touch.

Although my mom and I knew we had a vision for the design aesthetic, we wanted to enlist the help of our talented friends here in Tallahassee for a little out-of-the-box thinking. It was important to my mom and I that we incorporate their talents, and use local businesses to host this festive affair. A few of our friends include:

Ed Blissard, Purple Martin Outpost: Ed manages a local nursery in Tallahassee called the Purple Martin Outpost and is one of the most creative people I’ve ever met. Ed helped bring our vision to life and added so many unique and creative details along the way! Here’s a sneak peek of some of the amazing installations he created for the reception

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Tisha Brand, Tallahassee Coton Colors Flagship Store: Tisha designs custom centerpieces, arrangements, wreaths, and seasonal installations for the customers who shop in our Tallahassee store. Her natural talent for arranging flowers really shone through in the bridal party flowers for our big day.

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On the Rocks: The owner, Matt Spinx, worked for Coton Colors during college as a part of our Logistics Team and upon graduating, branched off to start his own bartending company, On the Rocks. We love to collaborate with him for most of our events with signature cocktails and other fun treats to pull it all together. He and his bartenders are always such fun to be around. {especially when they’re having fun - as evidenced by their dancing behind the bars during our reception!}

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Of course, the input from my family was extremely important to me. We are a family of almost all girls between my sisters, cousins, aunt, mom, and grandmother. Each one of them played a special role in helping with anything and everything to make this day a success. Starting with my cousin, Taylor’s wedding a few years ago, we began six traditions for all six Johnson/Parks cousins to carry out for our weddings:

1. Go wedding dress shopping together (yes, it’s a lot of opinions, but it’s FUN!)

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2.Spend the night together the night before the wedding

3.Have Dee Dee, our grandmother, embroider our initials and wedding date in blue thread inside our wedding dress as our “something blue”

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4. Design custom plates to serve wedding cake on, then package as favors for the guests to take home and enjoy!

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5. Have our dad introduce us a newly married couple and say the blessing at the reception

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6. The last dance song of the night before sending off the newlyweds, has to be “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”.


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With all the planning done, it was time for the big day. All I can say is that it was everything I’d hoped it would be and more! Follow us on Instagram, @cotoncolors for behind the scenes photos and stay tuned for another blog post later this week to see how it all came together on New Year’s Eve!

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