I’m so excited to finally be able to post a blog for Jennifer and Mike to showcase their beautiful wedding day. For now, enjoy their wedding day slideshow!
How did you two meet?
We met in the kitchen of the facility we work for. I was a line cook and he was my executive chef. The day I started I noticed how handsome and laid back he was. We were always friendly and I very much enjoyed working with him. Our friendship developed over the next year and I eventually ended up with a huge crush on him. I had a feeling he liked me back, but I was so nervous to say anything without being sure. We wound up at a birthday party for a mutual friend and were attached at the hip all night. As the night was winding down he boldly looked me right in the face and said “ I know you like me and I like you back so we should do something about that.” We started dating that night after spending hours on the beach sitting in a lifeguard chair talking and laughing about everything and nothing- anything to keep the night from ending. After that night we were inseparable. From the beginning he just felt like home to me and we were in love. I could always be myself with him. I knew for sure he was the one when my parents came to visit. We had only been dating a couple months and he happily spent his whole weekend off with us- showing them around St. Augustine and taking us to the lighthouse because he remembered me saying that my mother loves lighthouses.
How did he propose?
We went to Las Vegas for a week in June 2017 to play in a card tournament. One of the nights we got all dressed up and enjoyed an amazing dinner at Harvest by Roy Ellamar inside the Bellagio. After we ate he took me to the Grand Patio and proposed under the stars with all the lights twinkling in the trees. It was the sweetest most romantic moment – and a lovely stranger captured it all on video for us.
How did you decide on your color scheme, flowers, and cake?
I have always loved succulents, and our decorator/florist did a wonderful job of mixing them with garden roses and lots of greenery. I chose lavender and gray as my colors because I have always loved them together and thought they complimented the floral theme perfectly. The colors were also perfect for my bridesmaids – I wanted them to feel elegant and beautiful. We chose Biscotti’s for our sweets table because they had a great variety of mini desserts to satisfy everyone’s tastes and my husband LOVES their salted caramel cake- that was his grooms cake. We chose 10 dozen of their mini desserts- truffles, mini tarts, nut bars and whoopie pies. I also had a 6 inch raspberry champagne cake for our cutting cake. Everything was delicious.
How did you decide on your invitations, and who did you use?
I designed our invitations on a website called Vistaprint. We wanted to go simple with invitations and these were great quality and were in my mailbox within 10 days of ordering.
What was the most fun part of wedding planning?
Meeting with the vendors. I had the most wonderful people for hair, makeup, photography, rentals, food and desserts. They all made it so easy and were there for me 100% through every phase of planning. It was also so exciting to hear their ideas and create my husband and I’s perfect day. It’s a great feeling when you realize you don’t have to worry because every detail is in such great hands.
Which part did you not like as much?
Feeling like I was so needy when it got to the final couple days leading up to it. I didn’t realize how much I was taking on when I decided to plan it myself and even though everyone was very willing to help I felt like a big pain in the arse telling everyone what to do!
What are the biggest pieces of advice you wish you would have known before the wedding day.
Thats a hard one because everyone gave us so much great advice beforehand and we really took it seriously- so I will share the best advice I followed if thats ok-
Take a few minutes with your bride/groom to stop and look around at all of the people who love you and came to celebrate with you. Your ceremony and reception will go by fast as lightning and it was truly amazing when Michael and I stepped back and took in all of the beauty and joy surrounding us.
Wedding Weekend Info:
Hotel accommodations for guests: Fairbanks House, Williams House, Best Western Oceanfront (Jax Beach). Many of our guests used AirBnB as well in both Yulee and Jax Beach.
Rehearsal Dinner Location: My Aunt and Uncle’s home
Ceremony Location: My Aunt and Uncle’s home
Reception Location: My Aunt and Uncle’s home
Caterer: Brett Smith
Wedding Coordinator: none
Photographer: Tonya Beaver
Florist: Cheryl Hopkins of Blue Water Bouquets
Officiate: David Bowers
Hair: April Reeder
Make-up: Anna Benson
Entertainment: DJ Steadman Pottinger
Rentals: Luxe Party Rentals
Wedding Dress: Oleg Cassini
Bridesmaids Dresses: Forherandforhim.com
Groom and Groomsmen Wear: Jan at Black Tie Formals
Any other vendors who contributed that we need to mention?
In your words, can you give a storyline of your wedding day?
I was honestly so excited the night before that I barely slept. My makeup girl arrived right on time at 8:15am and got right to work on the bridesmaids. Then my hair stylist arrived right on time at 9am and also got straight to work. I wanted to treat them so I went down the street to the Tropical Smoothie and got everyone a nice healthy smoothie to start our day. Makeup and hair were full speed ahead and before I knew it it was my turn. After the girls beautified me it was time to put on the gown I’d been dreaming of wearing for months. I suddenly got very nervous. My photographer arrived and reassured me that everything was going to be great- just practice your yoga breathing. Then I started to get excited! We started taking photos and then before I knew it the time had come to make the walk. My dad and I shared a wonderful hug and away we went. I saw my groom waiting for me and didn’t even realize that I was practically running to get to him- dragging my dad the along with me. We got halfway when i made eye contact with my photographer and she smiled and mouthed to slow it down. Dad and I shared a chuckle and strolled slowly the rest of the way. We got to my groom and uncle (who officiated our ceremony) and proceeded with the ceremony. My groom did such a great job with his vows, but when it was my turn I could barely speak. I was overflowing with emotions and had to choke back tears through the whole thing. After the vows my uncle read a wonderful blessing for us and there we stood. Husband and Wife. A moment 5 years in the making. After the ceremony our photographer and her assistant continued to capture incredible photos for us, this time on the dock with the sun setting in the distance. The reception was a whirlwind of dancing (once again choking back tears dancing with my incredible father) and food and talking- the highlight being my little sister (the MOH) catching the bouquet and Mike’s best friend (the best man) catching the garter. They are good friends and it might be in my head but I swear I see a spark there. It was over so quickly but everything was so wonderful- everything we wanted and so much more.
A little tip: Our reception ended pretty early (10pm) so we went to the lovely bar at the Ritz-Carlton for a nightcap after saying our goodbyes with our wedding party and a few close friends. It was so much fun to go out in our formal wear and wind down together.
What was the high point of your wedding day that you hope to remember forever?
Being surrounded by all of the people we love who love us. We really have the most incredible friends and family and them being there to share our day with us made it perfect. At the end of the day it’s not the dress or the flowers or the presents that matter, it’s the people that love you who make your wedding day fun and special.
Jacksonville Wedding Photography
Fernandina Wedding Photography
Tonya Beaver Photography is a photo studio located in Jacksonville Beach, Florida providing: newborn, children, family, engagement, and wedding photography.