Claire emailed me to book for her wedding while they were living in Hawaii. I was very excited to dream of doing their engagement session there! =) Unfortunately that didn’t happen, but they did have a beautiful wedding day in Gainesville. Claire and Keith were actually already married but wanted to now have the official celebration with their friends and family. I was honored when she asked me to be a part of their day. Not only is she a referral from a previous couple, but we also went to high school together too!
The week of the wedding I checked in several times to make sure everything was going well. The only thing she was concerned about was her dress. They had to do some creative inventions to the back in order to keep it together so that was stressing her out a bit. Well the dress…oh the dress. It would randomly come popping off the loops in the back…which I can imagine is quite uncomfortable not knowing if your dress is going to stay up! By the end of the night, we had looped her back in so many times…I’m quite sure she had to be cut out of the dress! =)
They chose a beautiful church for their ceremony location. It was filled with these beautiful stain glassed windows and gorgeous features every which way you turned. I was so excited to find out we could run up to the balcony during the ceremony for a few quick shots. After the ceremony, we made our way to high springs for the reception. When we pulled up, I noticed a train track with wild flowers only a short walk away. THANKFULLY Claire and Keith were open to heading down there. Those photos are some of my favorites from the day. And it turns out that black eyed Susan’s are a sentimental flower to her which was just the icing on the cake. Once back inside, they had a gorgeous reception full of laughs, tears, and tons of dancing. The room was on the second floor, and there were several times I could feel the floor shaking with everyone dancing. That’s when you know there’s a good time!
Claire and Keith, thank so much for having me a part of your day. It was so much fun, and I loved getting to spend it with you. =)
Wedding day details:
Rehearsal Dinner Location: None
Ceremony Location: First United Methodist Church
Reception Location: The Opera House at the Great Outdoors Restaurant in High Springs
Caterer: The Opera House
Wedding Coordinator: Didn’t have one. I planned it all from Hawaii on my own!
Photographer: The wonderful and amazing Tonya Beaver!
Cake: Joni Cole
Officiant: Dr. Harold Henderson
Hair: Deborah Hayes
Make-up: Stefanie Humphrey
Entertainment: DJ Ozzie Oz
Wedding Dress: Jasmine Haute Couture from Park Avenue Bridal in Mandarin
Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal
Groom and Groomsmen Wear: Marine Corp Dress Blues
How did you two meet?
Keith and I met in college when I was at UNF. He was in school at FSU. His sister and I were both in the same sorority and all the same education classes. I was over at their parents all the time, so eventually we met. We never dated though because of the distance. When I graduated, I didn’t see him again for awhile. He looked me up five years later on facebook. He was about to deploy to Afghanistan, and I agreed to go see him while he was in Jacksonville. And after that, we were hooked I called my aunt after seeing him, and I told her then that he was the one I was going to marry.
How did he propose?
(I’m sorry this is so long! I just already had it typed out from when I sent it to our families when it first happened)
We went up to the North Shore for the weekend. Saturday, he took me to go snorkeling in the shark cage. It was really cool, but the waves were super choppy. We both got sea sick on the boat. It was awful. Afterwards we went to stay at the Turtle Bay Resort (the same one from “forgetting Sarah Marshall”) We got up to our hotel room and I was still feeling sick from the boat. He wanted to go for a walk, and I kept telling him no. All I wanted to do was sleep! But finally he talked me into it. Before we left the hotel, I bought this huge bag of funyuns because I was hungry. Later on, he told me he was ready to take the bag away because he was worried I was still going to be eating them when he proposed! Ironically, as we were trying to find the trail to the beach, we ran into three different weddings that were going on.
As we were walking on the beach, I said “I love that I got the chance to live out here in Hawaii with you” and he goes “would you follow me wherever I went?” and I said “of course” and he said “well, then you should marry me.” I said “haha, yes, sure” I thought he was kidding since he’s said stuff like that before. So, my hands are wrapped around his waist, and he’s trying to get into his pocket. The ring was in there and wrapped in toilet paper so he wouldn’t lose it. Well he couldn’t get it out of the toilet paper. I didn’t know this. I thought he was being a spaz, so I kept walking. I turn around and he has his hands behind his back. He looks at me and goes “I love you, and every plan I make for the future has you in it. Will you marry me?” and he pulls the ring out. I just started giggling and kissing him. And he hugged me and was all shaky. (He said he was less nervous when he’s getting shot at.) It was perfect.
How did you decide on your color scheme, flowers, and cake?
Because Keith and Matt were wearing their dress blues, I went with a darker blue to match. I honestly don’t know how I decided on Calla Lilies. I just wanted something simple. I found a picture just through a random google search, and one of the pictures really stood out. As for the cake, that was my mom. Her best friend told us about someone who did a wonderful cake at Hunter Abercrombie’s wedding, so we went with her based off of the recommendation. I never met with her or anything! I just looked at her pics on facebook, and told her the ones I liked. I had no idea what it would look like at the reception!
After the Wedding …
Where did you go for your honeymoon? We’ll be going to Ireland next summer.
If you could give yourself any advice prior to the wedding, what would it be? The most important part of the day is about you and your husband. In five years, no one is going to remember the favors or the colors or who they sat next to. They’re just going to remember having fun and watching two people in love. So don’t sweat the small stuff. Just have fun, and if something goes wrong, just laugh it off. It makes for a better story anyway.