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Retro Nautical Wedding

Retro Nautical Wedding

We’re kicking off the week with a deliciously fun rockabilly Florida wedding shot by Shannon Nicole Smith. Michelle and Steven’s wedding is chock full of heartfelt touches and vintage details. Michelle is also a wedding photographer, so it’s always a good day at Ruffled HQ whenever we get a real wedding of a pro!

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From Juli Vaughn of Juli Vaughn Designs who helped Michelle create her retro Nautical / vintage theme through tons of DIY ideas:
Michelle was a blast to work with because she had a very clear vision of what she wanted the wedding to “feel” like. She had these amazing pictures of 50’s and 60’s Nautical scenes and she wanted to work from that idea and keep the wedding very “homemade.” I loved her colors so much because they’re so fresh: Cherry Red, Navy, Light Creamy Peach, Sunny Yellow, and a delicious Minty Blue.

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She really did most of the personalized DIY stuff – everything from making flower accessories for each of her bridesmaids out of zippers to constructing her bolero and birdcage veil. She worked tirelessly – she was still sewing the backdrop for her photobooth the night before which was adorable and slightly crazy! I helped her with making sure the accessories went together and added to the look rather than distracted. We taped tons of “button flowers”, glued paper leaves, and sewed nautical flags together. One of the things she really loved and wanted was birds somewhere and I came up with the idea to make the birdtoppers for her cake instead of trying to buy them because they can get really pricey. They’re one of my favorite things from her wedding because they captured her colors and that homemade feel so perfectly.

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From Shannon: The bottle they are holding has a lot of meaning for them. For fear of butchering the story, I will tell you all that it was once filled with their love letters and buried under a rock in the earlier years of their relationship, was dug up many years later during Steven’s proposal, and was now thrown into the ocean on the day of their wedding. If you are a young bachelor, please take notes. Steven has got the ‘romance’ department cornered. The two of them together care for each other, take care of each other, and spoil each other in the most loving ways and it is definitely awesome to witness.
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From the bride, Michelle:
What I made myself was my bolero and veil, most of the accessories my bridesmaids, sisters, mom wore, unique for each one, I made my little brothers bow-tie, signage and decor for all the baked goods, candy buffet, photo booth backdrop & props, glass bottle with our letters to one another. My mother along with the help of my 6 sisters and 1 brother baked and decorated each one of the amazing baked goods including the absolutely gorgeous and delicious wedding cake!

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Gathered/purchased/thrifted (Vintage touches): coca-cola wooden crates, polka dot paper, buttons for the buttonieres, parasols, paper staws, vintage compass for Steven as a gift, and old fashion candy to give that vintage feel.

Sentimental: my necklace was given to me by my dad as a gift from an old antique market years ago, My mom made and decorated all the baked goods and wedding cake, family gathered during the ceremony.

Wedding Photography: Shannon Nicole Smith at SNS Photography and Event Planning and Design by Juli Vaughn Designs

View Comments (26)
  • Love the nautical theme! I like how it’s vintage but in a different way. My favorites are the hanging umbrellas, her centerpieces, and the bride’s bolero

  • Ooooo…how fun to see our wedding on Ruffled, we love this blog! I just wanted to give out major props and thanks to our precious family, friends and awesome vendors. We seriously couldn’t have done it without them. It was such a blast collaborating with Juli on the design, she is so creative and has such a passion and talent for bringing the big picture to life.
    Shannon totally captured the moments, details and emotions of our day in such a beautiful and honest manner, we will absolutely never get tired of looking through them!
    Thank you SOOO much Juli and Shannon!

  • I love weddings with colour! Red and yellow work so well with navy! And wooden crates! Oh I’ve been trying to find some awesome ones for my wedding for months!

  • Hi Everyone!

    I emailed Michelle, the bride, and will let you know as SOON as I hear from her – I am dying to know too 🙂

  • I bought my dress from They specialize in bridesmaids dresses but have quite a few wedding dress styles to die for! I chose style # 142 made from Silk
    Shantung in the color Dove. It is really fun because you get more options with these dresses (fabric/color/skirt length) I also made a few small alterations to my dress once I received it like adding a strap to give it an added vintage feel.

  • Hi! Love the look of this wedding! I would love to know where to get the border on the signs on the cake table!


  • Michelle and Steven’s wedding……..One word, Spectacular~ I love the whole vintage vibe, the colors are amazing, and the glass bottle with the letters…how romantic;) LOVE it!! Thanks so much for sharing!!!!

    Michele Moczarski

  • Absolutely gorgeous!!! We are thinking about having our guys wear the jeans and vests too. Where did your guys get theirs from?? Thank you!!

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