Fairytales and romantic novels? They have nothing on this darling duo’s big day. Because Cinderella and Snow White may have found their Prince Charmings, but these two sweeties found each other AND a drop-dead gorgeous wedding. Think beautiful blooms from Just For You Floral Design Studio, a mesmerizing Marco Beach Ocean Resort setting and one seriously stunning moment after another captured by Binaryflips Photography. See them all right here in the full gallery.
After a two year soul searching adventure that took me not only cross country, but around the world – it was time to return home (somewhat begrudgingly, I admit) to Ohio. Before I gave in and headed back to my hometown, I spent every last dime of the savings I had accrued backpacking through the mountains and glaciers of the stunning-but-desolate country of Iceland. Needless to say, once the trek led me back to my childhood bedroom, I needed to get a job! An old friend helped me land a prestigious engagement as bartender at a historic mansion (previously a speakeasy and a noted ganster hang-out) turned five-star steak house.
It was my first night training and I should have been paying close attention, as I didn’t know the difference between a Mint Julep and a Sidecar, but something else had caught my eye and held my interest. He looked like Clark Kent and he dressed like Jay Gatsby. As he popped a bottle of champagne, laughing jovially, he was full of life – and I, was captivated. Across the high top table sat a beautiful, petite brunette who wore a ponytail, sundress and a noticeably sparkling wedding ring. “Lucky woman,” I thought wistfully. A refreshing thought crossed my mind, “I want to meet a man just like that.”
As fate would have it, I met a man JUST like that. Later the same evening the handsome stranger returned with a friend in tow. This time he took a seat where I couldn’t miss him, at the bar behind which I was working. He ordered a Kettle One martini with bleu cheese olives, but I was so distracted I served him something along the lines of a tequila and tonic (Ew, right?!) but alas, I heard no complaints. After a bit of small talk I believed he was simply playing the role of “wingman” to his cute-but-quiet friend. When he, not the friend, asked for my phone number I finally had to say something. “I’m sorry, but weren’t you just here…with your wife?!” I protested confidently. He replied coolly, with a smirk that seemed to say ‘so you noticed me too, eh?’, “Well, you mean my date for dinner?”… “That, was my mother.”
Blushing, but delighted and quite relieved, I scribbled my name and number on a cocktail napkin…and the rest is history.
He recounts falling in love with my sense of adventure and love of travel. I vividly remember being drawn in by his authenticity and open-mind. We found that we were both captivated by the glamour and rebellion of past eras, especially that of the early 1900’s (which inspired his purchase of my antique 1920’s engagement ring). We also learned that we both had led charmed lives – raised on Midwest farms each with two siblings and adoring, hardworking parents, only ten miles from one another. This love of the luxurious, yet down-to-earth appreciation for life was what ultimately bewitched us both. Three days after we met he told me he was falling in love with me and within the year he asked me to be his wife.
After a four month engagement, we said “I do” in a rooftop garden on Marco Island, with waves of the Gulf crashing behind us. Our intimate celebration included only our immediate family and our bridal party. We kicked our shoes off for photos on the beach, ate dinner on the terrace overlooking the water as the sun set before us, and danced the night away in the lounge surrounded by our best friends and our beloved family. It was the perfect pairing of vintage glamour and relaxed charm from the dripping chandeliers to the weathered lanterns.
In the words of Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca (well, sort of!)…
“Of all the steak joints, in all the towns, in all the world… He walked into mine.” Wilhelm still has the napkin with my phone number jotted in blue ink. He keeps it in the nightstand on his side of the bed.
Photography: Binaryflips Photography - Dennis & Tina | Flowers: Just For You Floral Design Studio | Cake: Ella's Cakes | Catering: Sale e Pepe | Hair: Katie Zunick | Beach Resort: Marco Beach Ocean Resort | Makeup: Erin Frame | Music: The Sekond Nature Band