A Simple Wedding at Highland Manor in Apopka, Florida

Between the custom-meets-DIY wedding dress and venue-inspired decor, this celebration was filled with personal and unexpected details. Emily Fedel (24

Between the custom-meets-DIY wedding dress and venue-inspired decor, this celebration was filled with personal and unexpected details. Emily Fedel (24 and a teacher) and Matthew Fedel (27 and a supply-chain analyst) started the day with a spiritual ceremony under a more than 100-year-old oak tree. “Since both of us prioritize our walk with Jesus Christ, we wanted to make sure that our ceremony was sacred and people were exposed to the Gospel,” Emily says. Matt’s college pastor from Texas A&M University presided over the service as they took communion and sang a group hymnal. Another sweet detail that caught our attention was Emily's dress. Emily’s friend from Dresses by Lisa designed the look while Emily helped pick the fabric, sewed each button onto the lace back and added their wedding date to the lining in blue. (Talk about personalization!) Matt stood beside her in a classic black tuxedo. Once they exchanged vows, the celebration continued with an indoor reception at Highland Manor in Apopka, Florida. Each table was met with a tall or low arrangement of anemones and roses as pink tealight candles surrounded its base. But the most important part for Emily and Matt was keeping all their guests entertained. With this in mind, a DJ from Grant Hemond and Associates played a mix of music from every decade that kept the dance floor packed. For future newlyweds, Emily shares a tip: “Definitely plan the wedding together. It's not just about the bride and her day; it's a day of celebration and should reflect both of you as a couple.” Michelle Stoker Photography captured every detail of their day, below.

Emily's natural bouquet was filled with garden-style blooms that fit their natural backdrop. Blush and red garden roses, white and green ranunculus, dusty miller, seeded eucalyptus, white veronica and greenery were tied into the arrangement with one sweet accent: her grandmother's lace and brooch. The decoration went beautifully with Emily's lace wedding dress with an antique touch.
After a trip to David's Bridal, Emily's bridesmaids were ready for the outdoor ceremony in a short, royal purple chiffon dress. Matt's groomsmen matched them with formal black tuxedos and purple ties. What we did not expect was a second bridal party! Emily's four friends from college each wore a blue dress and took part in the ceremony by playing music and welcoming guests.
Since spirituality was the focus of their ceremony, Emily and Matt added limited decor to their natural spot, under one of the more than 100-year-old oak trees at Highland Manor in Apopka, Florida.
Since Emily and Matt wanted a ceremony focused on their religion, they accented the natural ceremony space with only a few details. White and yellow petals covered the aisle as a lavender runner stretched across the ground to their altar.
Following the tradition of something old, something new and something blue, Emily paired her new custom wedding dress with a few sweet accessories. Her vintage Bavarian lace veil was borrowed from her friend Lisa, who made the dress. Emily and Matt's wedding date was also sewn into the dress's lining in blue. (How sweet!)
“Since we loved the look of our venue, we wanted to keep our centerpieces simple," Emily says of Highland Manor in Apopka, Florida. Each round table was topped with cranberry and ivory linens as tall or low arrangements of pink roses, white anemones and seeded eucalyptus served as the centerpieces. For an added hint of color, Emily and Matt even surrounded the base with pink tealight candles and put each arrangement on a gold charger.
In lieu of a traditional wedding cake, Emily and Mike chose something a little more whimsical for dessert. Their 122 guests were treated to four different cheesecakes accented with red checkerboard, a "Love" topper and criss-cross designs. "It turned out to be more cost effective, beautiful and delicious to do it that way," Emily says.