J&B14 Jul, 2021
The story of our wedding
We got engaged on Lido Beach, Florida in November 2020. We had been together as a couple for over 10 years at that point. We had a trip planned to Hawaii for my milestone birthday that November ~ then Covid happened and we weren't able to make the trip (the hotel we planned to stay at wasn't even open yet when the trip was supposed to happen!). We live in Florida and decided to make the best of that vacation time we had been planning to use to go to Hawaii. So off to Lido Beach (which is in Sarasota County a couple hours from where we live) ~ weather in November tends to still be warm & we were able to have a beach day. Arriving later in the afternoon for better parking, etc. We were walking along the beach "shelling" & looking for a spot to set our towels, etc. up. Jimmy spies what seems to be the "perfect" shell & picks it up only to find the shell had a large hole on the top side ~ which being a Florida girl I would have left it (I NEVER remove any shells that have a creature in them & really only take shells which are perfect or near perfect ~ when you have spent as many beach days as I have IF I wasn't REALLY picky I wouldn't be able to walk through my house if I wasn't). Anyway, Jimmy decides it is beautiful & keeps it ~ mind you it IS beautiful and had been "well tumbled" in the ocean/gulf before we found it as every edge was perfectly smooth including the broken bit.
We walked a bit further and set up our towels & begin soaking up some warm Florida sun. He is sitting up & I am laying on my stomach. He asks if I want to see the aforementioned shell ~ I am like sure... When he hands me the shell, nestled in the broken part of the shell is the most beautiful engagement ring I have ever seen! So the shell is now FOREVER part of our story & will never be anywhere except where we live! LOL
Unbeknownst to me at the time but He was planning to propose on the beach in Hawaii! So our wedding theme became "Hawaiian"!
We would have liked to plan to get married in Hawaii but with Covid still a thing in early 2021 we weren't either one comfortable either: a) planning a trip from Florida to Hawaii until things are more "settled" and b) he had waited almost 11 years to propose & he REALLY wanted to get married sooner than later! AND wanted July This year!
So we decided (after much discussion, conversation & information gathering of various locations which mean a lot to us) to get married on Clearwater Beach on 7*14*21 (the date wasn't part of our story before selecting it ~ but we both felt is was a really "cool" date & one he has said he would NEVER forget! LOL)
We selected The Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa as our venue AND they had availability for the date we wanted. We initially decided on their "intimate wedding package" which is quite inclusive, although we ended up adding a dinner, bar service & appetizers to our package.
With our theme being "Hawaiian" ~ I incorporated a lot of elements that would have been appropriate in Hawaii. Since I have never been there it was kind of easy to "dream" ~ sunset on the Beach with beautiful tropical flowers (with reds, yellow & orange & tropical leaves), my dress, his shirt, the Best Man's shirt and my Flower Girls dress all were ordered from a company in Hawaii. I ordered fresh leis from there which arrived the morning of the wedding.
My photos are stunning everything was just perfect including the huge thunderstorm which rolled in a couple hours before the wedding! A true blessing in disguise! The storm lasted long enough to drive all the people OFF the beach AND quit before our actual start time for the wedding ~ since we were at the Hilton even though we weren't actually ON the sand of the beach during the ceremony ~ we were on a beautiful patio next to the sand & were able to get amazing sunset pictures with almost NO onlookers (due to the rain sending them away!) Additionally, July in Florida can be VERY hot the rain dropped the temperature at least 10 degrees! (All blessings!)
My favorite moment of the day (besides the thunderstorm blessing) was the look on my now husband's face when he saw me walking toward him!
Jimmy and Betty's vendor team
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