Destination Wedding | The Pelican Club
Kelly & Justin had a beautiful destination wedding at The Pelican Club in Jupiter, Florida, but the thing that stood out about their day was not anything about the location or decor, although both were beautiful. It was the sheer emotion that they had for each other.
When you hear the word emotional a lot of times I think people automatically assume that means everyone was crying, and don’t get me wrong there were a whole lot of happy tears on this wedding day, and I’ll get to that in a minute. But the thing about emotions is that they tend to range all over the place, especially on a wedding day.
One of the first things I noticed when I stepped on Kelly’s getting ready hotel at the Jupiter Beach Resort was that there was so much laughter it was almost hard to figure out who was where, and what was going on. She was surrounded by people she loved and she was enjoying every second of it. Shoes are strewn about, little girls running around, makeup being done everywhere, it was a party.
Let me give you a little bit of background. I definitely knew the term ‘Roll Tide’ before I met Justin and Kelly but I don’t think I fully understood the deep love of Alabama football until I met these two. Because the two of them met at the University of Alabama back in 2012, I think Alabama became such a big part of their love story that you could see it in every aspect of their day. During the rehearsal dinner an Alabama football game was on at one point Alabama made a touchdown and you would have thought the whole building was going to come down with the cheer that erupted. It just sort of makes you smile.
We had the opportunity to get to know both Kelly and Justin very well and the thing that they came back to over and over again was that no matter how hard you plan things will definitely go awry on your day but there are some moments that you can never live again, so you need to be present.
Seeing Kelly get ready was just that. Watching Justin preparing to see his bride was that too. Everything was full of all sorts of other emotions. Kelly’s first look with her dad was beautiful, emotional, and something she’ll never forget. Probably a strong highlight of the day for me personally.
Once we got to the couple’s own first look the sheer weight of the emotion of that moment was absolutely breathtaking. Justin was crying before he even saw her, (the man really likes her) and she could barely breathe and kept fanning herself to try to catch her breath just seeing him down the hallway that she was about to walk down… The whole thing was genuinely gorgeous.
They exchanged private vows, one of my favorite things that couples can do during their first looks, and enjoyed one of the only moments of their day that simply for the two of them. They laughed, cried, danced. and then they finished their first look time with their furry family members coming to join them. Everything that a first-look should be.
The reception was an absolute party. But I can easily say that the highlight was when Corey, the bride’s sister and maid of honor, delivered her speech… It was hilarious, and moving, and told so much of their story as a couple. She concluded this incredible speech up by telling everyone that she wrote the speech the night that Justin proposed to Kelly, two years before their wedding day. Not a dry eye in the house.
There was a beautiful moment where we pulled them out of their reception for just a quick second to grab a couple of portraits on the water after dark. Right before the end of their night, which included another ode to ‘roll tide’ with an Alabama shaker exit heading out to their intimate Rolls-Royce exit. When we do this, we have everything pre-planned and set up so that the party doesn’t stop we’re only pulling you out for two to three minutes before you can head on back in. So we took our portraits, and I said “all right guys whenever you’re ready you can walk back in.”
They both stood there for a minute, Justin turned and looked at Kelly and said “we’re not ready to go back”. Kelly said, “it’s just going so fast, we want to soak this all in.” She smiled at him, and they stood out on the dock watching their family and friends dancing and having the time of their lives. They stood on the dock with the lighthouse behind them watching their party in the distance and holding each other. They talked about their favorite moments of the day so far, how fast the day was going, and how different it was to imagine it versus actually experience it. I stood back and quietly captured the moment.
When I think about Justin and Kelly, I think I will always have that image in my head. I will forever be encouraging my couples to slow down, savor moments, soak it in. But the way that the two of them did it so beautifully (and visually) surrounded by the lights of the boats, looking in at their venue that was all lit up and beautiful… Will forever be a highlight for me. Just soaking it all in. They were present. ❤️
Congratulations Justin & Kelly, it was a joy to celebrate with you.