(Originally posted on 10/3/2012)
I got married last Friday on Shell Island!!

As a child and younger woman I had dreamed of a beach wedding and when I moved to the beach I suppose that dream became a wonderful possibility.  My now husband (I have a husband!!!) proposed to me just six short weeks ago and made it clear he did not want to wait long.  But I had a few people who wanted to see me get married so I started to plan a small, simple and inexpensive wedding.

If you are reading this and planning a wedding, chances are you are younger than we are, have more time to plan and possibly even a larger budget than I was working with.  But this was my first and only wedding and I got straight to work creating a beautiful wedding that was perfect for us.


Photo by Lasting Images Photography


The first step after choosing a date was to find a location.  Shell Island seemed like the ideal spot and I thought it would be fun to reserve the St. Andrew Bay Ferry for the trip to and from the island.

We met at the ferry at 5:00 and planned a 5:15 departure,  hoping that the websites that I had turned to in order to plan a sunset wedding were accurate.  The ferry ride to Shell Island takes about 30-35 minutes and with the short walk off the boat and across to the beach I was pretty sure we timed it right.

Captain Hal and his wife, Milagros, were perfect hosts and the ride over was pleasant while our guests began to meet and mingle somewhat with those near them.


At the marina, doing a headcount

Sun beginning to set as we ferry over to the island

Bride, groom and some guests walking the path to the Gulf side of the island
Once we had chosen the location and transportation, we needed a officiant to perform the ceremony.  Since Beach Beginnings and Lasting Images Photography came pretty much as a package deal and I had already been talking with Mylissa of Lasting Images about shooting our photos, that seemed like the way to go.  Amanda, who owns the business with her husband, helped us coordinate everything with Pauline, the officiant.  And Pauline did a beautiful ceremony, including a sand ceremony which seemed like the perfect addition and a must do at a beach wedding.  They can match the two sand colors to your wedding colors (ours was light blue and white) or to your two favorite colors or to coordinate with the room in which the bottle of sand will reside.

After a photo session with family, my matron of honor and other best friends, our guests continued to enjoy their time on the island with the amazing sunset to the west, and a full moon to the east, while we went off with Mylissa to get some photos of just the two of us.

We arrived back at the ferry to a warm welcome and wedding bubbles.  And at this time I will tell future brides to check out Dollar Tree’s wedding site for some fantastic money saving ideas on table decor, favors and more.  At Dollar Tree I got the bubbles, the little pails for our favors, water bottles that we self labeled with our names and wedding date (we are still drinking that water!) and even the glitter glue to add some glitz to our plastic champagne glasses for the toast that we did on the ferry.  But don’t do the glitter glue thing, especially if it is going to be dark.  Nobody really saw my pretty glasses and the humidity made the glue soften so everyone got glittery 🙂


Tin pail favors filled with chocolate seashells

Wedding bubbles from Dollar Tree
There are a number of restaurants that can accommodate a small wedding party.  We had about 30 people and chose Jazmine Thai.  We also decided to go with a buffet style dinner, selecting two appetizers, a soup, two curries and two stir fry dishes as well as plenty of rice.  This was a little unusual for a wedding but we loved it and from the looks of our guests empty plates and repeat buffet visits, it was popular with them, too.

Tiffany of Beach House Bakery created the most perfect cake for the occasion.  We were having a small, simple, very casual wedding and wanted a cake that fit that style.  I also wanted it to be delicious!  It turned out exactly as I had envisioned it, simple, elegant, and adorned with molded shells to tie in with the whole Shell Island theme.  It was delicious, too!  Tiffany uses quality ingredients including organic milk and eggs.  The cake and buttercream frosting were vanilla.  The fillings were chocolate in the middle tier, coconut cream on the top and bottom tiers.  I did not opt for a topper or any other adornment but I did leave a bit of decor for Tiffany to use for the cake table.  She used the tulle, seashells and bits of light blue curling ribbon to create a beautiful table to highlight the cake!
If you plan to get married in Panama City Beach or know of anyone who is planning a beach wedding or any kind of event large or small, the wedding and events section on Beach Bux is finally beginning to fill up with coupons for some of the above wedding vendors and soon there will be more!
For more information about Beach Bux please check out
our site!

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