Cathryn + Rob’s Suwannee Wedding Fest

We were so honored to plan this couple’s wedding fest. From our first conversation with Cathryn back in 2018, it was clear we were in for a treat with this one. With family traveling from New Orleans, Charleston and New York to little, old Live Oak, Florida, we knew we had to make a major impression. With the world’s most laid back bride, (seriously, we think we’re going to send her an actual award,) we had free reign to exercise our favorite wedding fest design ideas. Seeing it come together over just five months of planning was really amazing.

We can’t say enough how thankful we are for Mercer and Smith Events. They helped pull off my dream wedding at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida. We live in Charleston, SC and our families live in New Orleans and New York… Trying to plan a large wedding (250-300) guests so far away from home was quite the task…A task that was certainly defeating this bride doing it all on her own. I called upon them 5 short months before the wedding and it was the best decision that I made throughout the whole process. These ladies took my ideas and ran with it. Without them I could not have brought my vision to life. From the vendor outsourcing to the most beautiful execution of our wedding invitations to the above and beyond decorations these ladies handled everything with grace, attention to detail, and impeccable professionalism. During the whirlwind of it all I felt confident in trusting them with everything which allowed me to enjoy the best day of my life with all of my loved ones without worry. If you are considering wedding or event planning treat yourselves to this terrific team.. You will not regret it!

– Cathryn DiPrima
Bride and groom walk hand in hand down a woodland wedding aisle.

This special couple met at the Suwannee during a music festival and have since routinely traveled back to visit this space. With a place so personal and loved by all their friends, this was always going to be a unique and love-filled wedding weekend. Scroll through these gorgeous shots from Lindsey Leigh Weddings from Folly Beach, South Carolina to see how their Suwannee wedding fest turned out.

Wedding Fest Dreams Come to Life

Beautiful bride poses for wedding portrait on tree house deck
Bohemian bridesmaids posing for wedding portrait
Bohemian bridesmaids goofily posing for wedding portrait
Bohemian brides walk towards the camera with sun behind them after wedding ceremony
Bohemian bridesmaids take a goofy photo after wedding ceremony in the woods
Live greenery garland and gauze draping line the wedding ceremony deck by the pond
We used a mix of rugs throughout the whole wedding from ceremony to reception. We’re super proud of how this garland of live greenery and gauze draping turned out. We did this by hand just a couple hours before the ceremony.
Beautiful young flower girls walk down the wedding aisle with flowers in hand
Young flower girl picks petals from wildflowers while walking down the wedding aisle
Live musicians perform acoustic music for wedding ceremony in the woods
A groom patiently awaiting his bride walking down the aisle
A bride being escorted by her father as she walks down the aisle
A father giving away his daughter as a woodland wedding bride
A precious moment while the father of the bride gives away his little girl.
Bride and groom stand on a deck by the pond with tall pines around them
Bride and groom embrace as their friend reads a poem during wedding ceremony
A friend performing a beautiful reading during the ceremony.
Bride and groom share first kiss after I Do.
Bride and groom walk down the aisle hand in hand after leaving wedding ceremony
A bride's veil blows in the breeze after her woodland wedding
Bride holding a bouquet and groom share a smile after they exchanged vows
The entire wedding crew poses for the camera for a group photo during cocktail hour
Bride and groom pose with wedding guests at cocktail hour
Bridesmaids help fix the bride's veil during cocktail hour
A bride laughs while her bridesmaids fix her veil before the wedding reception

One of a Kind Decorative Accents

Custom wooden signage at the entrance to the wedding ceremony site

As we do for all of our events, we created one of a kind decorations that accented all three event spaces during this wedding – the ceremony site by the pond, cocktail hour by the amphitheater and the reception in the VIP music hall. This bride was not afraid of color, so, to (literally) tie in the music fest vibe, we used hundreds of yards of ribbon in a spectrum of jewel tones that positively popped against the backdrop of the Florida woods.

Colorful silk ribbon garland are wrapped around oak trees for decoration during cocktail hour
Oaks wrapped in ribbon garland.
A pennant banner marks the camping spot of the bride and groom
We made this pennant banner to mark the favorite camping spot of the bride and groom.
Chair reserved tags are printed on seed paper and tied with silk ribbon
Reserved markers for seating at the ceremony were custom designed and printed on seed paper.
Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom chair tags printed on seed paper
The fonts chosen for the wedding decor match the custom invites we teamed up to execute with an artist friend of the bride and groom.
Custom hand painted artwork is featured on these wedding invitations
The invitations featured hand painted artwork by a close friend of the bride and groom.
A custom designed reserved sign sits atop the bride and groom's table at the wedding reception
Custom wooden signage marks the selfie station at the wedding reception
Custom colored lighting shines on the backdrop of the selfie station
Custom signage designed to accompany the sparklers for the wedding send off
A bartender stands behind the bar at the wedding reception
Framed song lyrics sit atop the bar at the wedding reception
These lyrics from a favorite song of the bride and groom were a perfect fit for the bar signage.
A custom designed sign directs wedding guests to the sign the poster guest book
Another friend of the bride and groom painted a festival poster as a tribute to the event that brought these two together.
A hand painted music festival poster commemorates the meeting location of the bride and groom
Festival poster used as the guest book for friends and family to sign.

Beautiful Blooms

Our favorite vendor Ladybug Blooms provided the bridal bouquet, beautiful cuff bracelet corsages and boutonnieres along with buckets of wildflower stems for the bridesmaids to piece together the bunches they carried down the aisle. We also created around 90 small arrangements for the assorted vases that adorned the reception tables atop live greenery. This colorful wild flower vibe was a perfect match for the occasion.

Young flower girls hand pick stems of wild flowers to carry down the aisle at the wedding ceremony
The mother of the bride leans over a table full of buckets of wild flowers before the wedding ceremony

A NOLA Second Line to the Wedding Fest Reception

This crew hails from New Orleans and lovingly incorporated some local traditions like a second line parade from cocktail hour to the reception and serving 250 pounds of crawfish! Catering was provided by the uncle of the bride and it was absolutely out of this world.

Bride and groom lead a New Orlean's themed second line parade from cocktail hour to the wedding reception

The Wildest Party This Side of the Suwannee River

The bride and groom make their entrance into the wedding reception
Alexander Harvie poses with his live painting he completed during the wedding reception
We’re now dying for a piece of this talented guy’s art!
Bride and groom walk hand in hand under sparklers during their send off
Bride and groom kiss under the sparklers held by guests during the wedding send off


Location: Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, Live Oak, FL
Wedding Planners: Mercer + Smith Events, Gainesville, FL + Saint Augustine, FL
Photographer: Lindsey Leigh Weddings, Charleston, SC
Florals: Ladybug Blooms, Gainesvlle, FL
Catering: Tope La Restaurant, Hammond, LA
Decorations: Mercer + Smith Events Gainesville, FL + Saint Augustine, FL
Lighting: Everyman Sound Company, Gainesville, FL
Tables + Linen Rental: Suwannee Valley Event + Party Rental, Live Oak, FL
Entertainment/Painter: Alexander Harvie, New Orleans, LA
Entertainment/Band: Stratton Moore and Friends, Charleston, SC
All Setup + Day-Of Coordination: Mercer + Smith Events Gainesville, FL + Saint Augustine, FL

A spacious empty barn is shown as the before photo in the wedding transformation
The decorated barn is full of life and color before the wedding reception begins
Draping is intertwined in the rafters of the barn above decorated tables for the wedding reception
So proud of this transformation!