Wedding Weekend Info (from the bride and groom):
Hotel accommodations for guests: Hilton Garden Inn Jacksonville/Ponte Vedra
Rehearsal Dinner Location: Hilton Garden Inn Jacksonville/Ponte Vedra
Food was very good and prices were excellent
Ceremony Location: On the back lawn of TPC Sawgrass. It was absolutely beautiful.
Reception Location: TPC Sawgrass. The banquet room is already beautiful on its own. The food and staff was wonderful.
Caterer: Food and beverages were part of the TPC Sawgrass wedding package. Cake was from Classic Cakes.
Wedding Coordinator: I planned the wedding myself but had a day of coordinator, Heather, from First Coast Weddings and Events
Photographer: The wonderful Tonya of course!
I don’t even know where to begin in saying how much I absolutely LOVE Tonya and her team!! Her pictures and work already speak for themselves and I knew she would take beautiful pictures for our engagement shoot and for our wedding, but what I love most about Tonya is her personality and her professionalism. My husband and I got just got married on March 5, 2016 and I spent over 1.5 years planning our wedding. During that time, I spent a lot of time working with Tonya and getting to know her. Tonya and her office manager, Amber, were always quick at answering all my questions and emails, they were always super helpful and friendly, and even gave me great tips and advice on helping me with other aspects of wedding planning. My husband and I had met with several other photographers before we met with Tonya. I already knew she does great work after viewing almost all the pictures on her blog and I knew she was going to be the photographer for us after just 5 minutes of meeting her. Tonya is unbelievably sweet and funny and I knew she would be a joy to work with and I was absolutely right! She made us feel completely at ease during our engagement shoot and the pictures turned out great. She was absolutely wonderful at the wedding. She kept us on time, she made sure I got all the shots I wanted for the wedding, and she was great at working with my huge family as well. She made me laugh when I felt overwhelmed and stress and she helped to keep me calm and at ease. I highly, highly recommend Tonya and her team. She is an absolute joy to work with and she will give you beautiful and everlasting photos for whatever occasion you need. I plan to have Tonya be our family photographer for as long we as stay in Jacksonville.
Videographer: I did not have a videographer
Cake: Classic Cakes. The BEST wedding cake ever. My guests were telling me for weeks how delicious the cake was!!
Florist: A Happily Ever After Floral. Kristin Hendrix is awesome to work with. She was speedy in replying to all my emails. She made beautiful recreations of centerpieces and bouquets I loved on Pintrests. Her prices are also very reasonable.
Officiate: Dee from Knot your ordinary officiant. I loved how flexible she was with our ceremony script. She was speedy with replies, very professional and unbelievably sweet.
Hair and Makeup: Studio Bride. However, make sure to request Amber and Paige!! They are WONDERFUL at doing hair and make-up, however some of the other artists they employ are not as good as them. On my wedding day our 3rd artist was not very good. Amber had to redo 2 hairstyles from scratch and Paige had to help touch-up makeup on my Mom to complete her look. It made it very stressful since we subsequently got behind schedule.
Entertainment: Kris from Footloose Entertainment. We loved him! He has a great upbeat personality! He is speedy with returning emails and very organized. We had an absolute blast at our reception! We had the best time dancing with all our guests. He kept our reception timeline on schedule and was awesome.
Wedding Dress: Love a Bridal Boutique.
Wedding Shoes: Badgley Mischka. But I got a great deal on Hautelook and made less than half the original price. They were beautiful!
Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal
Groom and Groomsmen Wear: Express
Before the Wedding …
How did you two meet?
In July 2013, I had just started my 2nd year as a PA student and was on my very first rotation at UF Health. Keith had just started his 3rd year as an Internal Medicine Resident. One day while in the physician’s break room, Keith noticed me working with his friend, Trevane and he was interested to get to know me more. He asked Trevane about me and Trevane quickly became our match-maker. We had our first “blind date” at Black Sheep with both of our friends present to ease the anxiety of meeting for the first time. We quickly hit it off and talked for hours that night. We learned that we both grew up in traditional Chinese families and shared many of the same cultural beliefs; we loved how much we both valued family. Since we both grew up as First Generation Chinese-Americans, we shared the traditions of hard work and both believe that education is a privilege and a blessing. In just a few short months of dating, we quickly fell in love and knew we would being spending the rest of our lives together.
How did he propose?
In March 2014, Keith secretly asked my parents for my hand in marriage. They absolutely love Keith, knew he was the perfect future husband for me, and of course said yes. Keith was very clever and enlisted Stephanie, one of my best friends, to help him with the surprise proposal. After weeks of stealth planning with Stephanie, he had Stephanie ask me to go to Cummer’s Museum on 4/6/2014. He acted as if he didn’t want to go with us just to throw me off and it definitely worked because I had no idea what was going to happen that day. While outside in the garden, Stephanie was taking pictures of us next to some beautiful flowers. Keith grabbed my hand and started to say “Tina, I love you . .” I thought he was jokingly proposing to me and actually pushed him a bit and said “this isn’t funny. If you are really proposing, then you better get down on one knee” and sure enough, HE DID! He got down on one knee, pulled out a beautiful ring, and proposed! After just 9 months of dating, we were engaged! I was in absolute shock and was unbelievably happy. I will always remember crying and saying yes. It will always be one of the happiest days of my life.
How did you decide on your color scheme, flowers, and cake?
I’ve always LOVED coral so it was an easy choice for me especially since I knew it would be beautiful in spring. I had light shades of pink, white, and green as my accent colors and everything was beautiful. My florist was Kristin Hendrix from A happily Ever After Floral and she did a great job helping me pick out the perfect flowers for the wedding day it everything was absolutely beautiful!! The cake was part of my TPC wedding package, but it was from Classic Cakes and was ABSOLUTELY delicious. I highly recommend them!
How did you decide on your invitations, and who did you use?
Keith and I decided to use Wedding Paper Divas since they had great reviews and very affordable prices. We browsed the hundreds of different designs they had available and picked one that we felt was perfect for us
What was the most fun part of wedding planning?
Picking out the playlist for dancing at the reception. Wedding planning can be very stressful but I remember that night we were both playing random favorite hits from when we were both in college, which brought back great memories from the past. We had so much fun that we eventually got up and started dancing and laughing. We ended up having a full out dance party with just the two of us in the living room but I’ll always remember how much fun we had.
Which part did you not like as much?
Trying to please friends and family even though it was our wedding. I remember always stressing about making this person or that person happy. But in the end, I accepted that this was OUR wedding and we needed to do what would make US happy. I think it’s important for every bride to remember this when they are planning their wedding.
After the Wedding …
What was the high point of your wedding day that you hope to remember forever?
The ceremony because it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL and very emotional. I still remember my dad walking me down the aisle with all our friends and family smiling and crying as they watched me walk towards Keith. I felt overwhelmed with love from them. Our vows were beautiful and I still remember how unbelievably happy I felt holding Keith’s hands and looking into his eyes as promised to love each other forever.
If you could give yourself any advice prior to the wedding, what would it be?
This is easier said than none since I still remember people giving me this advice when I was planning and I didn’t really listen to it. But honestly, don’t sweat the small stuff. I still remember stressing hours over some of the smallest details, like “is everyone going to like our party favors? Should we order more party favors? Should I order more candles for the tables? Are the table numbers nice enough? Do I need more decorations for the welcome area?” I drove myself crazy over the tiniest details, but when the day came, none of it really mattered. All that mattered was that Keith and I were unbelievably happy and we felt like everything was perfect.
Where did you go for your honeymoon?
El Dorado Royale in Riviera Maya, Mexico. It was a beautiful, all-inclusive resort with amazing good. Highly, highly recommend!