One of My Most Special Weddings to Date

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This past April, I designed florals for one of my most special weddings to date-- the wedding of my right hand lady Kellie to her husband Trae.

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, then you know how much I love and appreciate Kellie. She is the backbone of my business, and her wedding was such a special day.

I asked Kellie if she’d be willing to share a little of her story and what it’s like to be a Zimmerman bride. No one else knows the business from both sides like Kellie! Thankfully, she agreed. Keep reading to hear Kellie’s real wedding story.


Trae and I went to high school together in Arkansas, but we didn’t date until he randomly messaged me on facebook one day my sophomore year of college. We dated for a year and a half, and then broke up for about three years. We got back together at the end of 2013 and from then on, it was pretty serious.

In July, 2016, we went to NYC for the first time. I thought we were going to a Coldplay concert (and we did), but Trae had another motive for that trip. He proposed at the top of Rockefeller Plaza. It was completely unexpected.

I was wanting to get engaged that year, so I’m so glad it happened, but I was not expecting it that trip at all. We had just gone to Jamaica with my family, and we were all expecting him to propose then. But no. He waited until we went to New York!

I started the planning process pretty much right away. Since I work on a lot of the planning for Zimmerman, it was natural to get started on my own wedding. The first vendor I booked was my photographer. Her name is Lauren Kinsey, and Jessica has worked with her a bit, so I knew I loved her work. As soon as I booked Lauren, I started kind of looking into venues, but I didn’t know where I wanted to get married or what I was looking for, so it was kind of a big research project. I’m the type of person who likes to do things that no one else is doing. I like to be different without being too crazy or out there. Just unexpected in a good way.

When I was looking for venues in Arkansas, I kept finding all the same venues we were used to using with Zimmerman, and I just realized that I needed something different.

During our wedding planning process, Trae and I relocated to Florida. We ended up finding a venue in Tallahassee, Florida and booked a venue for November 7, 2017. We did not end up getting married in November, but we took engagement pictures, sent out save the dates, the whole thing. We had a guest list of about forty people.

Everything was going great, and then there were some red flags.

The management at the venue changed at some point, and I couldn’t get ahold of anyone to confirm some design details! I’m really particular about layouts and having a space feel the way it needs to feel. With Zimmerman, one of my favorite things is laying out a venue in a new way, and communicating with the venue that we’ll be handling the design of the layout. We loved the venue and the space, we just wanted a unique layout, and that was getting really hard to negotiate! From there, I just kept running into issue after issue.

I remember the night that everything changed. Trae and I were walking into Target, and I was telling him about my concerns with the paper goods I had ordered, and he just said, “Let’s just change everything.”

What. Of course I said, “We can’t change everything!” But we did. We changed everything.

That night, we decided to switch venues. We were going to do something different, whether that was elope or what, we didn’t know, we just knew our current plan wasn’t working for us.

Eventually, our venue gave us our deposit back, I found a private residential property that would be a perfect venue for a super intimate wedding, we changed our date, and we notified our guests that we were downscaling to just immediate family and very close friends. Everyone was super understanding!

Once we made all the drastic changes, everything went so smoothly. Our new venue was along the Emerald Coast in Florida, which was almost halfway between where Trae and I were living and where most of our family live in Arkansas.

Finally, it was April and it was time to get married! The venue ended up being perfect for our intimate wedding. Jessica came down and created beautiful florals for our day. Jessica hadn’t been to the venue until the morning of our wedding, which isn’t typical for us. But she is SO GOOD at walking into a space and knowing exactly what it needs. And she was able to walk into our venue and just know exactly what florals we needed, and she made it happen in just a few hours.

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Our ceremony was held in the house’s courtyard against the backdrop of three stone fountains. After the ceremony, we had our portraits taken throughout the Alys Beach area. There were so many perfect nooks and crannies for us and our photographer, and being outdoors in the gorgeous Florida sun worked perfectly since she’s an amazing film photographer.

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One of my favorite things about the wedding was the reception. Because we had just our closest friends and family, everyone fit at two eight-foot tables that we squished together, and Trae and I got quality time with everyone there.

We had beautiful centerpieces, and we used the plates that we had purchased for our everyday plates to set the table. We used white plates from Crate and Barrel and beautiful blue plates from Anthropologie. We actually planned on returning the Anthro plates, but we loved them so much that we kept them, and now I use them all the time! I love that our first memories using those plates are from our wedding, and I get to remember that every time I take one off the shelf in our home.

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Obviously, our wedding changed a lot between the time I started planning and the day we finally got married. It was such a great reminder that all the details of the wedding don’t matter as much as just getting to marry my favorite person. So if I had to tell brides one thing, it would be to stay calm. At the end of the day, you will get to marry the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with! Everything else is just details. Knowing this just makes the planning process so much less stressful!  

I also stuck to the things that were most important to me. I knew that beautiful photos were important to me, so I chose a venue that would allow the photographer to use natural light and get great photos. I knew that I wanted the people who attended my wedding to be people who would still be in my life ten, twenty years from now, so I went with a tiny guest list.

Now that I’m married, I definitely have a different perspective on serving Zimmerman clients. Instead of a wedding being this fantasy thing, the whole process feels so special. Even more than it did before. The wedding, and more importantly the marriage, is just so important. I love taking that mentality and the weight of unifying two people and two families into the entire planning process.

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Click here to view more of Kellie’s wedding in the wedding galleries.

Want to learn how Kellie, my Head of Operations, became the #1 change that led to profit in my business? Click the button below.

Jessica ZimmermanComment
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Welcome to the blog

Hi! I'm Jessica Zimmerman, top wedding planner and floral designer.

Born and raised in Arkansas, I’m a proud wife and mama to a 5-year-old daughter and 3-year-old twin boys. A true believer in freedom, flexibility (and of course, incredible flowers), I’m wholly devoted to creating a life I love to live every single day–not just on the weekends. From travel to business to weddings, this blog is full of features designed to inspire other busy mamas (and businesswomen) to make a living from their passion without giving up their lives.

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