We first met Katie and Michael in 2013. It was our freshman year of college - and on the first day of their love story, I didn't even know Jeff exsisted yet. Katie and Michael met each other outside of my dorm room on move-in day. In a act of pure chance, the two collided for the first time (along with a future bridesmaid). The words below are the very same ones you'll find on Michael's & Katie's clever and adorable wedding website.
"Katie and Michael met at Southeastern University their freshman year on August 17, 2013, which just so happened to be the very first day students arrived on campus. They ended up in the same circle of friends on that first day. Many were people Katie recognized from the Facebook group set up for incoming freshman, but Michael was still a stranger. And thus, the first words:
Katie: "I don't know you. What's your name?"
Michael: "Michael Scott."
Katie: "Okay, cool!"
They were vague acquaintances for a few weeks until Katie realized Michael hadn't been around for awhile (turns out, he was drowning in Calculus homework). Spurred on by an uncharacteristic burst of social courage, Katie swiped his number from her friend Jamie's phone (who is now a bridesmaid and wants credit for being the source of the phone number) and sent a brilliant anonymous text: 'I know where you live... ... ...Michael Scott.'
Michael made a smart choice and didn't reply. The next day, Katie happened to run into him in the library. She confessed to the ridiculous text, and Michael still actually added her number. They've talked every single day since then."
Okay, how cute is that!? Four years later, they became husband and wife. Is there a sweeter story to tell?
Michael & Katie tied the knot at her home church just outside of Gainesville, Florida. With her family as a strong support, the two of them created a gorgeous, DIY wedding in her small hometown of Citrus Springs, Florida. Surrounded by family and their closest friends, Katie and Michael tied the knot just three weeks after they graduated.
"I've never been one to dream about my wedding and plan before I was even engaged," Katie shared with me. "But the three things I always knew about my wedding was that it wouldn't feel right if not at NOBC with Pastor Stan officiating and the people who were basically my other moms, dads, and grandparents surrounding me."
I especially adore this brief but sweet First-Look moment Katie shared with her mom and dad. You can always tell so much about a family in the anticipation up to the ceremony - how they act around each other, how they handle last minute pressures, how they care for the Bride. It was evident Katie and her parents had such a special relationship. There was so much laughter, and lots of tears. You could tell just by looking at them that they were so proud of the woman Katie has grown to be - and the man she choose to marry.
The details in the sanctuary were especially important. Nearly every single bit of decor was handcrafted (and we'll talk about that more later!), but arguably the most important and most impressive was the arches that served as the ceremony backdrop. Katie's mother spent days piecing together the flowers and making them look perfect for their big moment.
The way Michael asked to her to be his wife, almost a year before their wedding day, also held sweet significance. Every summer for as long as she can remember, Katie's family would visit New Smyra Beach. With each summer came its own special memories - and Michael knew the perfect thing (wink wink) to make that beach even more special.
Near the end of their vacation, they made their traditional walk down the beach towards the ice cream shop. All of a sudden, it seemed that everybody almost randomly wanted to stop for photos as the sun set. "I didn't care, I wanted ice cream." Katie recollected. "The wind was blowing and I didn't have a hair tie so I knew the pictures would be a mess anyway. But everyone insisted, I got crankier after every picture, and next thing I knew Michael was on one knee. All I remember doing is freaking out about my hair while being super happy and super embarrassed because strangers were stopping to record us and take pictures, but finally Michael reminded me I'm supposed to answer him. Surprise! I said yes. Then I got my ice cream."
So, if Michael and Katie aren't perfect enough for you, take a peek at their super sweet wedding party! You guys, they were so much fun. Jubilee & Jaime, two of the bridesmaids, have been friends with Katie since those first few days of college, while Amberly (her cousin and Maid of Honor) has been one of Katie's best friends for life. Michael's side was filled with family and closest friend, Tyler.
Aren't they a dapper looking bunch?!
Let's talk more about these reception details. Katie and her family and friends got together to piece together nearly every. single. bit of decor you see in these photos. For flowers, they used fabricated ones and pieced together the bouquets and centerpieces. I absolutely love her creativity for the table's decor - floating pedals inside of glass. How romantic is that!?
After the formal introductions and first dance, the reception kicked off with a Conga Line! Although traditionally the bride leads the conga, Katie had the DJ announce her mother as the line leader! Not only does Katie hate dancing, but she got such a kick out of her mother stepping out of her comfort zone and paving the way for an exciting reception! "She was adorable! I laughed literally the entire time."
One of the things that made Katie & Michael's reception so special were the people who pieced it together. Not only did Katie & her close friends spend hours creating the decor, but she had family friends volunteer to coordinate the ceremony & reception activities. Along with the DJ, they did an incredible job! The dance floor was always full, and every one had a smile on their face.
Close to the end, we snuck outside to take a few photos with Katie's extended family. Like with most families, getting everyone together in one spot can be rare, which made these photos extra special. With the sun hiding right behind the trees, these sweet moments turned into some of our favorites.
Katie & Michael had a 12 hour drive to Tennessee ahead of them, so they ended the evening with a final dance and a fun exit with their friends and family. A perfect way to end an already perfect day!
Ceremony: North Oak Baptist Church
Officiant: Stan Stewart
Reception: Citrus Hills Golf and Country Club
Wedding Planners: Family friends Cheryl Jacobson & Leigh Ann Host
Flowers: arranged by mother of the bride, Tamy Widener, and Maid of Honor Amberly Widener.
Cake: Suzanne Boyle
Caterer: Citrus Hills Golf and Country Club
DJ: Christ Moling from TMC Productions
MUHA: Family friend Brenda Sheldon
Bridesmaid Dresses: JC Penney
Tuxes: Karat Gallery Jewelry & Gifts
Bridal Gown: Dalis' Bridal Couture
Calligraphy & Name Cards: Sara Host