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Cate & Josh

Amelia Island Wedding

* Cate, Catering Sales Manager/ Event Planner & Josh, Project Manager * Photographer: Corrina Hoffman * Soundtrack for listening: “Home” by Phillip Phillips

One sentence sum-up of the wedding vibe: Warm family togetherness, bringing everyone together for homegrown beautiful love.

The Info—Photographer: Corrina Hoffman / Location: Walkers Landing, Amelia Island, FL / Venue: Amelia Island Plantation Chapel / Videographer: Mike Cutler (you can see our highlight video here) / Invites: A combination of a few people and places. I used a classic design from Wedding Paper Divas, gold thermography printing, ivory paper and envelopes, and gold lined envelopes. I purchased the belly bands from Cards and Pockets and had a custom map made of the area from a designer on Etsy.

Other cool stuff we should know about: My engagement ring goes back six generations and started as earrings in 1840. It passes down the female line in my family. The ring bearers—we had two, my second cousins. They were brothers and sons of my oldest cousin who I’m very close to. One of the boys wore the suit that was made to be worn by their father in my mother and father’s wedding thirty-four years prior. The older brother had a suit custom made from Etsy to match his brother. They wore page boy caps, knee socks, and eton suits. My uncle Joe bagpiped me down the aisle as a nod to my Irish heritage. We did a ring warming ceremony. As the final blessing I used a traditional Irish blessing. We also left a white rose on empty chairs as representation of our passed grandfathers. My grandmother carried her husband’s for the entire night and flew home with it the next day. My grandfather had passed away three months prior and they would have celebrated their sixty-fourth wedding anniversary only a month prior to our wedding. It was a tough time for us all. I also had a children’s choir that sang “You Raise Me Up” and “Let This Be Our Prayer.”

Favorite thing about the wedding: Our ceremony. I wrote our entire ceremony. Too often I think ceremonies are an afterthought and these days seen as unimportant. Typically if a ceremony lasts longer than ten minutes I’m surprised. I wanted people to leave our ceremony with a feeling of love, family, and just overall warmth. We chose “Union” by Robert Fulghum, “i carry your heart” by E.E. Cummings, and St. Paul to the Romans 12:1-18 for our readings. Our church required that we use standard vows but allowed us to incorporate our own along with the standard.

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  • H

    As beautiful as this wedding and the thoughts about it are, I can’t help but think, good lord those FLOWERS are so gorgeous!


    I’m getting married at Amelia Island next year! I love it there. Beautiful wedding!

  • Hannah

    Absolutely lovely. Congratulations!

  • Class of 1980

    “I wrote our entire ceremony. Too often I think ceremonies are an afterthought and these days seen as unimportant. Typically if a ceremony lasts longer than ten minutes I’m surprised. I wanted people to leave our ceremony with a feeling of love, family, and just overall warmth.”

    This is refreshing. A quickie ceremony always feels like such a let down to me. The ceremony is an opportunity to invoke an atmosphere of emotional warmth.

    • KC

      I think there can be a lot of emotional warmth in quick ceremonies as well; I’ve experienced long and short weddings that felt dry/impersonal and long and short weddings that were full of whatever that magic glitter dust of joy is. And even the dry/impersonal weddings were good, “worked”, and had a lot of love in them.

      I would also make an argument that if you’ve got a lot of reasonably small kids going to your wedding, either some degree of brevity… or, alternately, crayon packs or places to squirm to… can be merciful and loving. :-)

  • Meg

    My sister will be reading “i carry your heart” at our Sunday wedding and I know I’m just going to be a mess. It’s been a very poem of mine since I first read it in high school, and having my best friend read it as I’m joining my life to S.’s is just going to gut-punch me. In the best way possible.

    This wedding is absolutely lovely, but the personal details are the best. Huge congrats!

  • Katie

    Such a gorgeous wedding! We’re getting married in Amelia (well, technically off-island, but everyone’s staying on-island) next fall! I grew up going there and my parents live there full time now. So lovely.

    And I love that you wrote the ceremony! I’m not sure I’m a good enough writer to do that, but I want to make it as much our own as we can. I’m in agreeance with longer ceremonies feeling more personal, but obviously there are exceptions to every rule! Congrats and best wishes on your marriage!

  • Dana

    Beautiful. Simple and meaningful. Congratulations/

    I will also be walking down the aisle to bagpipes! SO EXCITED. What song did you use? Did you exit to bagpipes as well?

    We’re spending a lot of time on the ceremony as well. It is, after all, the main event. We’re having a Catholic ceremony which can sometimes seem dictated and rigid, but we are finding ways to choose readings, songs, and traditions that reflect who we are as a couple. We’re really enjoying putting it altogether.

  • Mallory

    I was THISCLOSE to get married at this venue! My (now) husband is from the island, but we live in Pittsburgh (my home town).

    What a gorgeous wedding! Walker’s Landing is so beautiful.

  • Lindsey

    Wow! What a Beautiful, traditional wedding. I have hope from this post that traditional weddings can be practical, since that is what I’m shooting for.

  • That Groom’s cake is fantastic!

  • Is that a groomslady I see in black with the guys?

    • Cate Bates

      Emily that is a groomswoman! She was the one who introduced us and a very close friend of my husbands. When we were deciding on our wedding party we knew Erin would need to be a part of it and since she is Josh’s friend first he wanted her by his side.

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