People often say that good things take time. And sometimes, the greatest things can happen unexpectedly. Allie Rybak can agree that this was the case for her and Josh Altenbach.

Though the couple had grown up in the same Florida hometown and even attended the same elementary school, it took a solid decade before Allie and Josh’s relationship blossomed into something very special. “We don’t officially remember meeting until high school,” explains the bride. “We ran in the same circle of friends and always felt an unexplainable connection with one another.”

Years later, as Allie enjoyed a casual Saturday stroll through the local farmers market with her sweetheart, she wasn’t anticipating the life-changing moment that was about to take place. “Unaware that friends and family were secretly awaiting us, I didn’t understand why Josh was rushing me,” the bride remembers. As they passed through the fragrant rose garden on their way to brunch, Josh stopped to get down on one knee and ask Allie to be his wife. “I was shocked!” she admits of the happy experience.

Seeking a timeless, elegant design scheme for their destination wedding celebration, Allie and Josh selected a palette of ivory, gold, and white with hints of blush. “We wanted to be able to look back at photos of our wedding in 20 years and still think it was beautiful and not regret any of the aesthetics,” explains Allie.

The couple also wanted to make a good impression on guests who had traveled to be with them on their special day. When loved ones arrived to their hotels, they were gifted customized welcome bags filled with snacks, drinks, koozies, and emergency kits including Georgia peach-scented hand sanitizer, an insert on the history of the Atlanta Biltmore, and a “Where and What To Do” in Atlanta card that the couple’s stationer created for them.

The ceremony space was stunning on its own, so the couple elected to only minimally decorate the area. Two tall floral arrangements stood on either side of the aisleway and satin draping created a backdrop for the vow exchange.

Josh admits seeing Allie in her dress for the first time was his favorite memory; she was the epitome of bridal beauty. Allie’s strapless gown featured an illusion low back which paired perfectly with her long-flowing locks. She carried a bouquet of all-white peonies while her bridal party held nosegays in a similar fashion but complemented with blush accents. The service was sentimental and sweet, and a terrific prelude for the evening festivities to follow.

At the reception, the dance floor flooded with family friends, who happily waved glow sticks to the sounds of the music and playfully posed for pictures in sunglasses which had the newlyweds’ #BakToBach hashtag printed on them.

Both the bride and groom assure other engaged couples that timing is everything – for both planning and indulging in your wedding day – beginning from the moment of engagement all the way to the actual exchanging of vows. “Engagement is such a special time, it’s a milestone, and a once-in-a-lifetime stage, so it’s very important to allow yourself to soak it all in,” confirms Allie. Adds Josh: “Have patience... Even if the decision seems small, you should enjoy the process. It goes by so fast.”