The investment of a lifetime, from wedding venue to man cave.

When it comes to weddings, most brides and families spend their time looking back - thinking about past family weddings, traditions they will follow and their dream wedding location. 

That was not the case for our bride Heather Ewing, Groom Rob Cochrane and their families - along with their talented wedding coordinator; they have won the title of "wedding visionaries 2015"

After a fuss free wedding proposal topped with a breathtaking antique engagement ring this couple embarked in the next chapter of their love story - wedding planning. 

The Ewing family is tight, loving and beyond welcoming; hosting the wedding for close family and intimate friends at "home" was pretty much a given... and so groundbreaking for Saturday 11/7/15 in Lithia, Florida began...the investment of a lifetime. 

As with planning any special event there is always a ton of logistics to consider - this was no exception. Where on the property? Should we have it in a tent? Should we dine "al fresco" under the stars? 

Reality is that in Florida the weather is an aspect in event planning that you must take seriously - VERY seriously. 

So an idea was born - a vision. Adjacent to the house on their property, stood a "structure",  think of an oversized wooden car port.  The father of the bride brought his construction background to the table, taking matters into his own hands and literally building a dream venue pretty much from scratch... Imagine that!

A beautiful southern style barn came to fruition months later setting the tone for a "rustic glam"  wedding. Think lace, antique gold hues, soft lose gorgeous florals, candlelight, airy drapes, crystal chandeliers, a floating cake, textural linens and a Chevy truck in which the bride and her father took the best photo of the day... A "selfie" of the two of them as they pulled up to the ceremony. A selfie taking tradition in the making...

The wedding ceremony site was on property as well, next to the wedding venue - on their perfectly manicured lawn with breathtaking views of lush trees. The ceremony was sweet, and non traditional, just like the bride - who preferred to keep her blush tone lace wedding gown with no bustle for the duration of the day. The recessional was fun and energetic, with the plan to have the couple drive off in the vintage Chevy Truck for a quick spin. The universe had other plans for them - the truck just would not start up again, quickly turning the moment into a great memory and photo op!

120 guests dined to a beautiful dinner buffet, accompanied by great wine pairings paying homage to the bride's love for good wine. As a matter of fact their "vows" to each other were handwritten letters to one another placed in a beautiful box accompanied by a bottle of their favorite wine.  Another tradition in the making if you ask us...

Heartfelt speeches and tears of joy were no strangers to this soirée. 

The dance moves were on point and could have gone until the wee hours, encouraged by a sign that hung at the bar and read "Trust me you can dance, Vodka"

There were a few bumps in the planning process, and a couple little ones on wedding day... Every process has its lessons and this one was no exception - choosing your vendors CAREFULLY is the one they have walked away with. It was clear from meeting with the bride, groom and family that there were no major regrets and they will forever be beyond grateful to everyone who made their day special. 

  • The biggest payoff to the Ewing's investment is the ability to relive and reminisce about the wedding day from the comfort of their new and improved man cave. Yes - you read it right - from wedding venue to man cave!

By:  Claudia Gomez-Larez


The team who made it happen:  

Photographer:  Stephanie Smith 

Florals and Event Design & Coordination:  Events in Bloom/Jana

Hair and Makeup:  Aquali Bridal/Michelle & Sara

DJ & Lighting:  Grant Hemond/Cory Baron

Minister:  Sensational Ceremonies/Rick

Caterer and Bar:  Puff N Stuff

Restrooms:  Imperial Restrooms

Valet:  Sunshine Valet

Photo Booth:  Clik me Quik

Linens:  Linens by the Sea and Nuage

Chairs and Pews:  A Chair Affair

Draping:  Affairs in the Air




14 Days 14 Styles 14 Tips BONUS DAY

Day 15: Bling! - Bonus Tips! We couldn’t narrow it down to just 14 so here’s a bonus style and a little tip from each of us!!



Jim Hjelm blush fit-to-flare bridal gown with a strapless sequined and embroidered elongated bodice. Accessorized with matching swarovski crystal veil, necklace, bracelets, earrings, and sash.

Carrie Wildes Photography – “When it gets down to the day of the wedding, enjoy every single moment and don’t stress!!  It will go so quickly and before you know it, it will all be over!”

The White Magnolia - "Just remember- your wedding day is a party and not a performance. If at the end of the day you married the person you love, then everything went perfectly!"

Events in Bloom – “Personalize, personalize, personalize!   Make your wedding memorable and unique from any other.”

Aquali Bridal – “The day of your wedding will happen so fast. Remember to relax and enjoy the whole process of the day. From the start of getting your hair and makeup done, to the final dance and kiss. Your wedding is and expression of you! Let your inner beauty shine through!”

14 Days 14 Styles 14 Tips Day 14

Day 14: Goddess - Why you should get an album A Hayley Paige silk georgette draped bridal gown with a crystal floral beaded strap and crisscross tulle detailing in the back accessorized with a dramatic freshwater pearl headpiece



Now days everyone wants the high resolution files.  That’s what the magazines and everyone tells you right?  Well reality is most people probably do nothing with them!  After the wedding you want to get your life going and who has time to try and try and figure out where to make prints or create a book online?  When you are 70 and your grandkids want to see your wedding pictures you aren’t going to sit them down in front of Facebook, you are going to do one of 2 things:  1. Pull out your wedding album and relive your beautiful wedding memories or 2. Say that you wish you had a wedding album to show them but you don’t and have nothing to show for it!  Which do you want to be?


Your wedding album should tell a story and the albums we offer are ones that consumers can not even come close to getting something like we custom design for them on their own.  When you are looking at photographers really look at the products they offer in terms of quality and custom creation.  I guarantee no one will ever say “I wish I hadn’t done an album”.


14 Days 14 Styles 14 Tips Day 13

Day 13: Simple - Wedding Gown Timeframe A Modern Trousseau thai silkball gown with a strapless sweetheart neckline and wraparound ties at the natural waist accessorized with a fingertip ribbon-edge veil and drop earring.



Here at The White Magnolia we find that the wedding dress is usually one of the first things a bride checks off her list. Typically once you have a date and venue chosen, it is the perfect time to shop for your gown! We suggest ordering your wedding gown anywhere from 8 months to a year in advance to avoid any stress, but rush orders can be accommodated on a shorter time frame. We work with brides anywhere from three months to a year and a half in advance! Each gown is custom made to order and can take about 4 to 5 months to come in, and you want to give yourself a few months for alterations ideally. As with most things when it comes to wedding planning, the earlier the better. Nothing feels more exciting than deciding on your wedding day look- you can actually envision yourself walking down the aisle on your big day!

14 Days 14 Styles 14 Tips Day 12

A Tara Keely two piece stunner; an ivory alencon lace mini dress and tulle overskirt with a horehair accented hem. Accessorized with a deep blue LK Bennett sparkle shoe and freshwater pearl & brooch necklace. HrIgtyG5DHkQKLQx2TMUoFOsL-6v3I_vSQF_OhDvrOg


Planning the budget for your wedding day is no doubt one of the most stressful parts, but the most important thing is to prioritize. Decide which vendors and details are most important to you, and put the bulk of your budget into those key things. Most experts suggest putting 10-20 percent of your overall wedding budget towards your gown depending on how it ranks on your list of importance! No matter where you get your dress from, make sure you are working with someone you trust. Who you choose to work with in purchasing your dress is just as important as other wedding day vendors- this person is taking your measurements, placing the order for your dress (color, sizing, and customizations are all important to note!) and helping you alter and accessorize to look perfect for your big day. At The White Magnolia we offer gowns ranging $1400-$5500 and are confident there is a gown for every girl, no matter what her budget is J

14 Days 14 Styles 14 Tips Day 11

Day 11: Princess - Preparing for your Floral Appointment A Mikaella re-embroidered lace and organza ball gown featuring a dropped waist and a tiered ruffle skirt with mohair detailed edging. Before you visit your florist, there are a few things you need to think about that will have an impact on your floral selections



Pick a style that fits your personality and your venue: Every wedding has a style. You will find it easier to put your decor and ideas together if you chose a style from the beginning and stick with it.

Do your homework: Don’t go into a decor appointment clueless. There are plenty of resources online. At least pull photos of things you like and don’t like.

Know your budget range: It is very difficult to help a bride that has no idea what she can spend or in what areas she wants to spend it. 15% of your overall budget for the wedding is a good starting point for flowers.

If you need more help we have an online help page for our brides! We will be glad to give you access!

14 Days 14 Styles 14 Tips Day 10

Day 10: Sexy - Best Timing & Seasons for Getting Married A Hayley Paige stretch satin and organza fit-to-flare bridal gown with an open back and tulle detailing connected by a jeweled brooch and accessorized with a chandellier earring.



In Florida we actually have 2 wedding seasons.  March – June and end of September – beginning of December is when the weather is usually the nicest.  If you are planning your wedding in these months plan early because they are the busiest and their earlier you plan the more likely the wedding professionals you want will be available.  For an outdoor ceremony, we recommend starting the ceremony 1.5 hours at minimum before sunset.   Usually outdoor ceremonies start 10 minutes late and are about 15-20 minutes long.  This allows for the cocktail hour to be that hour before sunset, which is the best lighting for pictures.  Especially if it is a wedding on the beach or waterfront! The first Saturday in November is daylight savings so after that the sun sets about 5:30pm.  We always develop a tentative timeline with our couples to make sure we are maximizing their time and getting the best lighting for their wedding!

Engagement Session

An engagement session is a great way to get to know your photographer and get some practice in before the wedding day!  Most couples have never done a professional photo shoot together and are nervous!  This gives you a chance to get those nerves out, along with getting some beautiful professional photos of you as a couple.  Our engagement sessions are usually about an hour. We help come up with a location that is meaningful and personal.  Wear something that you feel comfortable in and coordinates but doesn’t totally match.  We encourage only one pattern, and bold solid colors always look good. After the session, seeing the images also helps you to see what you like or don’t like.  You can use them for things like save the dates, sign in books, or wall art for your home.  A little tip I always like to share is, if you can schedule your hair and makeup trial for your engagement session.  It’s hot in Florida and most brides now do air brush makeup, which usually they haven’t done before.  It gives you the opportunity to get comfortable with it and see how it looks in pictures.  Plus you have to pay for the trial so you may as well put it to good use:-)

14 Days 14 Styles 14 Tips Day 9

Day 9:  Gatsby - Wedding Day Hair Tips A Modern Trousseau italian sequined and silk crepe wedding gown fashioned into a 1920's style with a scoop neckline and delicate straps accessorized with swarovski crystal headpiece and matching bracelet.



Show and tell.  On the day of your hair trial, bring anything you think will help your stylist understand the looks you love or the style of your wedding. Have a friend take a photo of you in your dress at a fitting.  Bring pictures of brides, celebrities, models—anyone whose look inspires you.


Shampoo…not! Unless you are going to be wearing a loose blowout, make sure you wash your hair the night before the ceremony; slippery-clean locks have trouble holding a curl or staying put in an updo. A good dry shampoo can be a great purchase for those with greasy hair.


Go big or go home: Pageant hair is big for a reason—hair appears smaller in photography and when viewed from afar (i.e., from a back pew). Another reason to try for size: Your style will likely collapse a bit in height and width as the day wears on.


Extend yourself.  Don’t shy away from having hair extensions for your wedding day; it’s way less of a drama than it may sound. And no one needs to know—it can be our secret! Extensions are great if you want a little more length or fullness, or if you or your artist is worried about your hair holding a particular style all through your wedding day. Even if your own hair falls, the extensions won’t.


Accessorize.  There are so many great hair accessories available now to add a gorgeous accent to your wedding hair. It will depend on the look you’re going for. For a more classical look, you might want to wear a Swarovski crystal brooch. Jeweled barettes can be great. Some of our favorites at the moment are bird-cage veils, feathers, and flowers, which go beautifully with more flowing, playful gowns.


Be honest. If there is something you want to change about your hair, try to contact your stylist and let them know prior to the wedding day. This will help the stylist in planning so that everything runs smoothly the day of your wedding!


14 Days 14 Styles 14 Tips Day 8

Day 8:  Rustic - How to Choose Bridesmaid Dresses A Tara Keely modified ball gown with mikado trumpet skirt underlay, illusion V-neckline accented with venise lace, and a harsehair hem. Accessorized with a champagne ribbon at the waist and sparkly bown cowgirl boots.



Choosing the right look for your bridesmaids can be almost as stressful as finding your wedding gown! Remember to always be a good friend, and that one size does not fit all. Make sure to search for a style that flatters all the different body types in your bridal party so everyone feels comfortable and ready to help you on your big day. A trend we love is the bride choosing a designer and fabric, and then letting her maids pick the dress they like best. If you order them all at once, they will be cut from the same dye lot and match perfectly while letting each girl put her own style into her bridesmaid look! This is usually a surefire way to make sure everyone is happy while still looking well put together.

14 Days 14 Styles 14 Tips Day 7

Day 7: Vintage - Favors and Donations A Modern Trousseau French alencon lace fit-to-flare gown with a sheer V-neckline decorated in hand-cut lace applique. Accessorized with matching swarovski belt and bracelet combo and vintage flower & feather hairclip.



People ask us all the time for creative and fun favor ideas.  One of the newer trends we are seeing is in lieu of favors donating to a charity.  We’ve seen this done a couple of different ways.  Sometimes couples will donate the amount they would have spent on favors to a specific charity and have a little sign on the tables sharing that with their guests.  One of our recent couples were huge dog lovers.  They even had their dogs in the wedding.  They asked their guests to bring dog or cat food instead of gifts to support a local dog shelter.  How sweet is that?  They had cute little wooden signs on the table and their guests loved it!  It’s a great way to give back and get your friends involved in a cause that you love as well.


14 Days 14 Styles 14 Tips Day 6

Day 6: Classic - Choosing the Perfect Wedding Colors A Tara Keely Ivory shantung bridal ball gown featuring an alencon lace bateau neckline, pockets, and a deep V back, accessorized with a double layer fingertip length veil.


Choose wedding colors that are easy to find and work with really make your life a lot easier.  Unusual color combinations or colors that are hard to find in flowers, dresses and linens can make your life---well---miserable.  Choosing the right color combinations for the feeling and style you are trying to convey is also very  important.  You would not pick hot pink, orange and lime green for a soft romantic feel.  It's not going to work.  Think before you pick.   Your color choices lay the ground work for everything else.  If you are not sure if you are making the right choices, turn to the experts.  This is such an important decision.

14 Days 14 Styles 14 Tips Day 5

Day 5: Seaside - Picking Fabulous Wedding Shoes A watters hand beaded slip dress featuring a bateau italian illusion neckline and pearl buttons down the back, accessorized with mint and gold saldals and bangles.


On your big day what you wear on your feet is just as important as your dress, after all you are going to be dancing the night away so you need to be both stunning and comfortable.  When choosing your footwear consider your venue.  Outdoor weddings call for functional wedges or a trendy flat while a fun sandal is better suited for a beach wedding.  Shoes also offer brides an opportunity to introduce a pop of color to their look.  Just remember: there are no rules for your Cinderella moment so pick a shoe that looks and feels fabulous.  (Tori)

14 Days 14 Styles 14 Tips Day 4

Day 4: Formal - How to Choose a Photographer A Modern Trousseau mermaid gown richly embroidered with French alencon lace and a voluminous skirt in layers of pulled silk organza, accessorized with a cathedral length veil and drop earrings.



Day 4: Formal - How to Choose a Photographer

A Modern Trousseau mermaid gown richly embroidered with French alencon lace and a voluminous skirt in layers of pulled silk organza, accessorized with a cathedral length veil and drop earrings.

14 Days 14 Styles 14 Tips Day 3

Day 3: Unique - Wedding Day Makeup Tips A Modern Trousseau blushing beauty featuring an assymmetrical silk ruched bodice and a dropped waist accessorized with an oversized flower headpiece and drop earring.



Your goal is to bring out your best features- not to prove how well you apply your makeup. So keep it simple but pretty. Sometimes less is more. If you’re going get your makeup done by a professional makeup artist, be sure to tell him/her what you want from your makeup. If you want something bolder, or some specific color, you should be able to get it. It is after all YOUR day, and you’re the one who gets to decide how your makeup looks. you should however still be open to wearing a slight bit more than normal because it will show up much better in photography.  Be sure your artist is a true makeup Artist . You get what you pay for in the makeup world.  Do your research and find someone you feel comfortable ,someone you think can truly see your vision and bring it to life for you . Don't forget all eyes will be on you and it will be worth every penny in the end .

- Beware of high SPF foundations/skincare.  Some will react to the flash of a camera and pale you out - Use a primer under your foundation.  A primer will help to smooth out your skin, tone down un-even patches and redness and most importantly, it will make the foundation or makeup you put on last all day. - Make sure you foundation is blended with the rest of your body. There is nothing worse than a pale face and a tan body ladies! - If you’re getting any facial treatments, make sure to get them several days before the wedding day. - Get  your brows plucked and shaped (possibly even dyed) before the wedding day. If you pluck them on your wedding day, your brows may look red, swollen and irritated. - If you’re going to wear contact lenses on your wedding day, put the lenses on before applying your makeup. - Try not to stress too much (easier said than done, I know!).  Stress may cause impurities on your skin. If  you have some impurities, do not pick at them as it makes them worse! Also, put a clean pillowcase on every night and drink plenty of water (avoid sugars, excess milk, and carbonated beverages). -ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS use waterproof mascara so it won’t end up on your cheeks if you happen to shed a tear (or a dozen). Good Luck ladies and Congratulations From Aquali Bridal :)



14 Days 14 Styles 14 Tips Day 2

Day 2: Elegant - Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue A Modern Trousseau Italian guipure lace fit-to-flare gown with a bateau neckline and cap sleeves accessorized with a charcoal grey ribbon and birdcage veil.



The first line in a traditional rhyme is something most brides are familiar with: “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe”. This old folk rhyme says that if a bride has all of the above on her wedding day, she will have good luck through her marriage! Our favorite something old has always been a vintage piece of jewelry from a grandmother, and a great something blue has always traditionally been the garter.  Some brides do their something borrowed as a veil, sash, or other accessory they may want. Most commonly brides use the wedding dress as their something new- that’s where we come in at The White Magnolia and are so looking forward to helping many brides find their something new through 2014!

14 Days 14 Styles 14 Tips Day 1

Everyone loves inspiration right?  We collaborated with The White Magnolia, Carrie Wildes Photography, and Aquali Bridal to give you some inspiration with 14 different wedding gown looks but also very valuable wedding day tips as well!  For the next 14 days we will be posting a different look and a tip from these talented ladies! Here’s day #1 Day 1: 14 Tips and Styles for 2014

Boho -A Modern Trousseau strapless Ivory silk organza and chiffon gown with a criss-cross bodice accented with crystals along the neckline and accessorized with a flower crown.



First Look

The bride and groom seeing each other, (aka first look) before the ceremony has gotten pretty popular these days.  Here’s the skinny on why you might or might not want to.

Why Would You?:  Typically when our couples do first look we also get all of the bridal party photos and pictures of the bride and groom done before the ceremony starts.  This does make the day much less stressful for the couple (and photographersJ).  After the ceremony, we usually just have family photos left to do which means the couple gets to spend more time with their guests and attend cocktail hour if they would like.  Another reason to do first look is if the ceremony is very close to sunset time and there is not flexibility in moving it earlier so the couple can get those really pretty daylight photos.  It’s definitely the less traditional route, and also does allow the couple to have a few minutes of “just them” before all the fun starts.

Why Wouldn’t You?:  The magical moment when the groom sees the bride walking down the aisle for the first time, it’s dramatic and amazing.  In fact it is one of my favorite moments of the day!  If you aren’t on a time crunch with sunset and want to stay a little more traditional then you might not want to see each other before the ceremony.

About half of our couples do first look.  Though it is a small detail of the day, it is a personal decision and we don’t push couples either way. We like to give the pros and cons so they can decide what’s best for them.  Either way we are going to get the groom’s face as he sees the bride walking down the aisle and first look or not, hopefully there’s a tear and no matter what it’s such a special moment.