How long have you been together, and how did you meet?
We’veWe’ve been together for five years but have known each other for ten-plus years. We met in college in our sorority and were friends for a very long time before we started dating.
Tell us about the proposal.
Gina- I proposed to Sarah on March 6, 2021. We were supposed to go to San Fransisco and propose in front of the Golden Gate Bridge. Unfortunately, COVID got in our way. I ended up proposing at a local park in the rain, but it was magical!
We ended up going to San Fransisco in May 2021, and Sarah proposed to me on the beach in front of the Golden Gate Bridge. It was picture-perfect!
Are any stories from the lead-up to the wedding stressful or funny?
Being a wedding planner, I had most of the wedding covered, along with Kehrin from Jet Set Wed, who did all our design work. So, the planning process was stress-free and smooth. However, a month before our wedding, a terrible hurricane rolled through SWFL and devastated the area. Hurricane Ian tore down all of Fort Myers Beach and the surrounding areas. Not only were hotels destroyed, but all our vendors’ homes were affected, and people were without internet, water, or any mode of transportation for months. Immediately following the hurricane, Sarah and I checked all outlets to see how our hotel was doing. Our wedding planner was trying to re-schedule all her weddings and we realized we needed to figure out another solution. The day after the hurricane, our hotel posted they would be open on November 1. Six days later they posted they would be closed indefinitely. We were able to speak with our contact at the hotel, who was absolutely amazing, and we agreed we needed to find another venue. I searched high and low to find a venue that was available on our wedding day and moved our wedding in two weeks. We informed all our guests and adjusted the design accordingly. Although this was extremely upsetting, we were thankful our vendors and friends who lived in the area were safe. In retrospect, the venue we moved our wedding to was absolutely perfect for our day! We were able to stay at the original hotel with all our guests and had an amazing weekend!
What led you to the destination?
We went to college in Fort Myers, and that is where we met. We both wanted a destination, resort-style wedding, so we ventured over to the West Coast of FL. I also wanted to have my mentor, Kehrin, with Jet Set Wed to be a part of the celebration, so it worked out perfectly!
What was the inspiration behind the theme of your wedding?
One day, we were leaving the grocery store, and the sky was cotton candy-colored – pinks and blues – and we got inspired by that. We wanted a heavenly, serene wedding that encompassed the look of the sun setting.
Did you undertake any DIY projects for the big day?
Not really – being a wedding planner, I understand a lot goes into DIY, and we didn’t have the time to commit to this. I am also a perfectionist and would rather have a professional do it!
Talk to us about your experience finding the perfect outfits.
We both struggled, trying to figure out the perfect outfit for us! Having to pick the dress over a year before you get married is daunting! We ended up finding our perfect dresses and then fun after-party dresses so we could let loose and have fun!
Talk to us about the big day!
The big day was perfect! The day before, it was hotter than ever, and the day of, it cooled down a little, and it was a perfect day! We took limos to the venue, and our rooms were next to each other so our wedding party could bounce back and forth. Our first look was sweet and we loved taking pictures with all our friends. Our ceremony was picturesque and so meaningful to us. Our reception was fun – which is exactly what we wanted!
What are your favorite moments?
Seeing my wife in her wedding dress for the first time, dancing with all our family and friends, and singing our sorority song before we walked down the aisle with all our sorority sisters.
What does marriage mean to you?
Marriage means a partnership between two people who dearly care for each other. You are going to go through tough times, so picking a partner you can rely on, who makes you feel safe and who reminds you daily is a strong, unbreakable bond. Since Sarah and I have been friends for so long, our communication was spot on, so being in this marriage feels like we married our best friends, and we are so lucky to experience life together.
Advice for other couples planning a wedding?
1 – Hire a planner! I am not saying this just because I am one – I even had one!! Planners will save you so much time, stress, self doubt and will be in your corner to help you through all the things you are going through.
2 – Be patient and flexible. Planning a wedding has its fun parts so make sure you are flexible, patient & set reasonable expectations.
3 – Have fun! Don’t make it your life – take some time away from planning (having a planner will help with that) so you can enjoy your engagement.
Photography by Danielle Margherite Photography
Cake Epiphany Cakes Gluten Free Bakery
DJ Dj Tommy Giaime
Dress Boutique White Magnolia & East Coast Bridals
Dress Designer Willowby By Watters & Pronovias
Florist Signature Floral
H&MU Unbreakable Beauty, Duality Artistry
Rental | Decor Trinity Event Rentals, Plithos Rentals, Bbj La Tavola, Lunca C.E. Productions, Different Look Rentals
Stationery Am+Co, Paper And Lace Boutique
Stylist Jet Set Wed
Venue The Club At The Strand
Videographer Mels Films