A Romantic Beach Wedding at a Private Residence in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Meagan Bowlin (26 and a designer) and Cody Millican (27 and a designer) went to the same high school but didn't meet until the last day of their senior year. They started dating and, within months, “I think we knew that we would marry each other one day,” Meagan says. They went to the same college, then went their separate ways for a while, but they found their way back to each other during senior year at Mississippi State University, where both were graduating from the School of Architecture. Cody proposed during a weekend trip to Nashville, Tennessee, and wedding planning commenced soon thereafter. “Finding the perfect venue was at the top of our priority list,” Meagan says. After touring traditional venues and feeling frustrated by the restrictions and limited opportunities for customization, they decided on a mini destination wedding at a vacation rental on the beach—Sandhill Beachhouse—“so we could build the wedding of our dreams from the ground up,” Meagan says. The couple, who both have a background in graphic design, created the invitations themselves, selecting a color scheme of pale blues and pinks in watercolor for a dreamy sunset-like vibe, setting the tone for a casual beach wedding. Their ceremony was simple—no altar, no elaborate wedding party, “just understated floral arrangements and a special friend who officiated our wedding.” After exchanging vows, the party moved to the backyard of the beach house, where guests enjoyed a buffet of blackened tilapia with mango salsa, chicken and beef kabobs, roasted new potatoes, mac and cheese, green beans, salad and rolls. During the reception, “we danced the night away on the lawn of the house overlooking the beach,” Meagan says. One of her most vivid memories is of her and Cody strolling down the beach, just the two of them, during their reception. “The path was lit with paper lanterns, the moon was full and reflecting on the ocean, the string lights were twinkling, and we just stood out on the beach for a few minutes looking back at the house, taking it all in,” she says. —Chrissy Sorenson