When this wedding hit my inbox, I knew I had to share it with you. This intimate, charming wedding at the Lakeside Ranch wedding resort in Florida is beautiful! Meet Callie & Zach, both born and raised in Orlando, Florida and this is their gorgeous, rustic-boho wedding with a touch of Irish flair!
What I love so much about this couple, is how they met, and how the mom played an integral part in bringing this couple together. Zach taught at the same school as Callie’s mom, Monica. He felt like he knew Callie long before they met, from the hilarious stories and beautiful pictures Monica would share with him.
“The one I liked most was how Callie could be heard screaming various obscenities in her room every Saturday morning if Manchester United was doing poorly. Being a soccer fan myself, I knew I wanted to take her out on a date.” Monica had organized an event and brought Callie along to help out. Knowing all Zach wanted to do was talk to Callie, Monica did what any mother would do in that situation: bribe him into running errands all night for her. After completing his tasks, Zach took his opportunity to sweep Callie off her feet.
“I decided that a conversation about soccer would be the best way to break the ice. I tried a joke about how poorly Manchester United was playing, which could not have gone over much worse. Callie responded with “Oh! You’re a funny one!” and I was forced to retreat to the bathroom to regroup and attempt a different tactic. The second attempt went much smoother, and within a couple of weeks we were on our first date at Fiddler’s Green watching a Manchester United game.” – Zach
“Ever since we became a part of each other’s lives, any big or momentous occasion has always been done together. Whether it was starting a new college, beginning a new job, or moving houses! We didn’t want this experience to be any different. Plus, we’re really bad at keeping secrets from one another.” – Callie
What Zach loves most about Callie is her huge and gentle heart and how much love she has to give. Callie loves how hard Zach has worked to get where he is in life, and how hard he continues to work each and every day. He never gives up on his dreams.
“We think our relationship works so well because we try to make sure each other’s needs and happiness are met every day. We genuinely enjoy each other’s presence and respect and love one another.”
During a date when he went to watch Callie ride her horse, Tyler. The horse spooked, swung his head around and hit Zach in the face. “Zach was more worried about making sure Tyler was okay than he was about himself. That’s when I knew I was going to marry him.” – Callie
Tyler was to continue to play a role in this couple’s romantic story. As Callie headed to the barn to feed the horses, she received a text from Zach saying that Tyler wanted to say hi. On his stable gate was a note with instructions to head to the tack room, close the door to read another note. “At the end of a very sweet and heartfelt letter, it asked me to open the door! When I did, Zach was down on one knee in the barn aisle asking me to be his wife! It was one of the best days of my life.” – Callie
Venue | Style | Décor
Callie’s grandfather, Daniel O’Brien, was very proud of his Irish heritage. Unfortunately, he passed away from cancer before he got to meet Zach or see them get married. “We were very close and Zach reminds me of him in more ways then he’ll ever know. He actually wears my grandfather’s wedding band now.” – Callie.
By incorporating various Irish traditions into their wedding, Zach & Callie were not only paying homage to their own Irish heritage, but to Callie’s grandfather’s memory. “Our ceremony contained a hand-fasting ceremony and the Irish blessing. Our toast used Jameson Irish whiskey shots instead of the traditional champagne and as favours, seeds for shamrock plants were handed out.”
We wanted a small, intimate wedding from the beginning. We invited a little over 100 people and ended up with about 70 actually attending.
Callie walked up the aisle to Ingrid Michaelson’s version of “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. Their first dance song was Otis Redding’s “Stand by Me”. “We picked that song for our first dance because it was playing one night after we had a small disagreement. We just started dancing in the living room together, it made everything better.”
What would you do differently?
I wouldn’t change anything about my actual wedding day. It was perfect! Every single slightly-awkward moment, rain drop, and nervous butterfly. However, if I could do anything differently during the planning process, I would try not to stress and worry about what everyone else thought. After sending out invitations we actually had people complain about the location of our venue and how far of a drive it was for them. It made me feel guilty about the choice we made and had me re-thinking everything. “I spent so much time stressing about making sure everyone else would be okay with our decisions, I didn’t really get to enjoy a lot of the planning process.”- Callie
Our Tips & Advice
Our advice to couples planning their big day would be to enjoy the experience because it flies by! Have fun and enjoy the process, but don’t stress over small details. It’s only one day of the rest of your lives together. Remember it’s your day and the people that want to be there, will make the journey to be there. Also, trust your instincts! We picked our venue without seeing any others because it was everything we wanted and envisioned.
Our Best Spent Money
The venue and flowers really tied our entire wedding together. They made the vision in our heads a reality. Our photographer was amazing. She made us feel so at ease the entire day. I think we’re most happy we spent money on a videographer. Originally, we hadn’t planned on it, because most were outside our budget. We’re so happy we hired one though. Our wedding video is amazing and we love to look back and watch it together!
Photographer: Lora Rodgers Photography | Caterer: 4 Rivers Smokehouse | Cake Designer: 4Rivers Speciality Cakes | Cinema and Video: Brandon Kari Films | Floral Designer: Garden Gate Florals | Makeup Artist: Kristy’s Artistry Design Team | Event Venue: Lakeside Ranch | DJ: Pro Show DJ Services | Etsy Designer: Honey Lane Designs | Event Planner: The Wedding Angel
So many of my Real Wedding couples say that their best spent money was on a wedding videographer. If you’re still undecided, check out this post on 6 reasons why you should book a wedding videographer.