I love what I do. I love capturing the love shared between two people. I love meeting new people and sharing in the best day of their lives alongside of their friends and family. I love all of the details and emotions that go into a wedding. I’m a romantic at heart so I guess you could say I just love LOVE. Every so often I get the chance to work with a couple who exhibit such a strong passion for life and each other as well as what could only be described as a shared energy, that it’s obvious to everyone around them (including them, yes) that they were destined to find each other and commit their lives to one another. This is especially true with Christi and Jason.
Christi contacted me back in December when she first began planning her destination wedding to Key West. We e-mailed back and forth for months and quickly became friends. Through her e-mails it was immediately obvious the “glimmer” she had when she spoke of her soon to be husband. She is just an amazing person, whom I’ve come to admire greatly. Christi is beautiful, sweet, thoughtful, generous, organized, independent, strong, AND talented to top it off. I truly can’t say enough positive things about my new friend. Did I mention that both Christi and Jason are former Marines too? (More awesomeness about them) I’m always honored when a couple puts their trust and faith in me by hiring me to photograph their wedding but its an extra special feeling when a talented photographer in her own right decides she must use me for her big day. Check out her website www.crownofbeautyphotography.com She’s relatively new to the field but I’m positive it won’t take long before she is busier than she ever imagined she would be.
Well, that’s enough of me gushing. Christi and Jason have graciously agreed to share their love story, so, in Christi’s words this is how they met and fell in love:
“We met... hmmm well We met in June my best friend thought we would make a cute couple.. I was purposely not looking for anything serious just a person to date maybe. I was NOT wanting a boyfriend at all. Anyway.. I told my friend Kayla this and she said well let me give Jason your number he is cool and he isn’t looking for anything too serious either just someone to hang out with. So I said sounds great! We started texting and the first night he texted me he stayed home because he had a migraine so he was talking to me a lot because he was home alone. (He always jokes about when he has a headache of how thankful he is he had a headache that night, haha) and we made plans to have dinner and realized we had a lot in common. My friend Kayla told me he wasn't very touchy feely but he must have changed a lot with me because our first kiss was smack in the middle of the dance floor at a local bar we were at. I was like you just kissed me in PUBLIC!! haha I could tell by his smile that night he was already in love with me and I was falling for him too. I used to joke with him and say, MAN I wasn’t supposed to like someone this much, I wanted to be single! Funny how love finds you when you least expect it. Weofficially became boyfriend and girlfriend (old school I know) on July 4th, so July 4th is always a good memory for us. He proposed on Christmas Eve and we were married in May. It has been a great relationship and he is an amazing guy :) I thank God that we both didn't want anything serious and found each other :) “
AND now, this is how their beautiful, beach wedding at the Key West Harbor Yacht Club was!
I met Christi in her suite at the Key West Harbor Yacht Club early on the morning of her wedding. She was still getting her hair and makeup done by the fabulous Marie Pierre and the feeling in the room was lighthearted. She was relaxed and surrounded by her nearest and dearest and everyone welcomed me as if I was a treasured guest. The warmth and sincerity exhibited by their entire group was overwhelming. Did I mention Christi is thoughtful? ;) She surprised me with a large box filled with personalized presents! I thought it was my birthday and had to hold back some tears. (This box was cumbersome and had to be transported, not checked, on an airplane AND a cruise ship to get to Key West so I REALLY felt special!) She also surprised her future Mother-in-law with a custom embroidered hankerchief.
Jason was relaxing with his guys in another suite and was just as calm and lighthearted as Christi. (I’m telling you, they really do “go” together like two puzzle pieces)
When it was time for the ceremony, and once we made sure Jason wasn’t going to see Christi, we headed to the club house to line up for the processional. It was now time to get these two married!!!
Christi had her beautiful bridesmaids precede her while Jason and his groomsmen waited anxiously at the altar. She was escorted by her lovely mom, Cindy. It was also Cindy’s birthday so they all had double reasons to celebrate!
The ceremony was extremely touching. (I can’t cry and take photos so I had to work hard at keeping it together)
After the ceremony we got a few quick formal shots and a couple “art” type shots then headed directly into the reception. The resturant Jacks at the Key West Harbor Yacht Club catered lunch for everyone with a full menu of choices. Brian Roberts with Semi Tropical Music sang and played guitar both before the ceremony and during the reception. He helped to set a fun, relaxed tone for the event and before long had the girls shakin it to some island tunes. Christi and Jason had their first dance as husband and wife on the scenic verandah looking out at the boats in the harbor.
Afterwards, they cut their starfish theme cake and fed each other with playful whimsy. Before we knew it the day was done and it was past time to get everyone back to the cruise ship so we loaded up on the Old Town Trolley and headed over to Smathers Beach for a super quick 5 minute beach shoot. Then we managed to talk the driver into stopping momentarily for this “post card” shot. Our last stop of course was at the Westin for an ultra fast shot in front of the cruise ship before I waved all of my new friends bon voyage. All in all it was an absolutely perfect day!!!
Congratulations Christi and Jason!! I hope you have a very long and happy life together!!!
Photography: Mary Veal Photography www.marysveal.com
Venue: Key West Harbor Yacht Club http://floridamarinaclubs.com/ourlocations/key-west/
Hair and Makeup: Studio Marie Pierre www.studiomariepierre.com
Music: Brian Roberts www.brianrobertsmusic.com
Cake: Cakes by Karol www.cakesbykarol.com
Officiant: Steve Torrence www.keywestofficiant.com
Catering: Jack's at Key West Harbor Yacht Club http://floridamarinaclubs.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/jacks-menu.pdf
Cinematography: Cine Verde http://www.cineaverde.com/
Flowers: Boquets custom made by her bride's maid Deb Valis
Bride's gown: Custom made
Bride's maids gowns: Victoria Secret
Groom and Groomsmen's suits: Perry Ellis