“We were headed on a trip to New York, and I was a mess,” laughs Macy Barbee. “I was not packed, my suitcase was broken, and I got home late from work.” Michael was smart to leverage this chaos as an excuse to be in Macy’s apartment when she rolled in, and not just with a new suitcase, but also a new diamond ring for their weekend in the Big Apple!
Macy spent her high school and college summers on Amelia Island, and it’s where she chose to bring her future husband to meet her family in 2015. “Amelia Island is a special place for both of us,” says Michael. “When we decided on a smaller, destination wedding, we knew this was the place.”
The couple wanted a non-traditional venue and happily found The Amelia Island Williams House, a romantic bed-and-breakfast inn in downtown Fernandina Beach. An antebellum mansion built in 1856, The Williams House sits under a stunning 500-year-old live oak tree laden with Spanish moss. “We were astounded by the beautiful setting and thrilled for our families to be in one house together, to spend time on the porches rocking and getting to know one another,” the groom says. And that is exactly what the families did this past April.
A favorite memory of the Barbees is a walk downtown to a family dinner at Joe’s 2nd Street Bistro. “The location of our historic B&B is appreciated by all,” shares owners Maria & Chris Page. “It’s a short walk to Centre Street, and we sit within the Historic District. We are a perfect venue for your wedding if you dream of a setting where time stands still and graciousness is a way of life.”
On Friday of the wedding weekend, guests from around the country arrived at Hampton Inn & Suites Amelia Island overlooking the harbor. “My mom, who was instrumental in every detail of the weekend, prepared welcome bags with a letter from Michael and me suggesting things to do, including the Saturday Farmer’s Market, shops, favorite beach accesses, and of course a taste of Fernandina’s Fantastic Fudge,” explains Macy. That evening, everyone enjoyed a party at Café Karibo, followed by fun at The Palace Saloon.
On the morning of the wedding, Macy remembers how she sought to shake her nerves and enjoy some time with close friends before the ceremony. “My girlfriends and I went for a long walk on the beautiful beach,” she says. “I saw Michael throughout the day, and it was fun—together – to watch everything that we’d worked so hard to plan unfold,” says Macy. Just before the ceremony, the couple joined on the second-floor balcony of the William House for a first-look, and they will never forget the beauty of the moment, the venue, and looking down and seeing their family and friends arriving to celebrate their love.
A long-time friend of the bride performed the wedding. “The best part was that he asked both of our parents for martial advice and included that wisdom in our ceremony,” Macy reflects. Guests relaxed to music by guitarist Richard Stratton, who accompanied Tim Munro, three-time Grammy Award-winning flautist and brother-in-law of the bride, for the ceremony and reception. After the couple said, “I do!,” guests moved to the courtyard for specialty cocktails, appetizers, and specially prepared cuisine.
Six months later, the Barbees are still packing their suitcases and traveling on the weekends, including a September visit for a family reunion at the Williams House, where they’ll always remember their unforgettable wedding day on Amelia Island.