What was the inspiration behind your day?

Our wedding had a vintage/rustic theme to match our venue. Our colors were a powder/ice blue and peach. During our wedding ceremony, we did a sand ceremony to signify our unity.


How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception?

The Tavares Pavilion had a lot of its own decoration and beauty. The venue had beautiful antiques and paintings as well as gorgeous woodwork and large windows that provided spectacular views of Lake Dora. On the first floor of the venue where we had our ceremony, we added two pedestals with large flower arrangements next to the staircase and tulle along the banister of the stairs done by Lavender & Lace. When guests first walked into the venue, they were greeted with a digital welcome sign that was created by the groom. There was also a personalized wooden guestbook and vintage card box. We had dinner upstairs and the tables were covered with white linens and decorated with peach napkins. We also had tall flower arrangements with peach and ivory flowers. Upstairs there is a beautiful wooden antique bar. We put a small DIY touch on our special day with signs put together by the groom and framed. We also had a date jar where guests could leave date ideas for us.


What were the florals like in your wedding?

My bouquet was full of ivory and peach roses, blue delphinium, dusty miller, and silver dollar eucalyptus. My bridesmaids’ bouquets had ivory, peach, and blue roses with dusty miller, and silver dollar eucalyptus. The groom had an ivory rose boutonniere while the groomsmen had peach roses with greenery. The centerpieces had peach and ivory roses with dusty miller and silver dollar eucalyptus. Most of our decorations came from our flowers that also included two pedestals with large flower arrangements of peach and ivory roses, blue delphinium, dusty miller and silver dollar eucalyptus.


Did you personalize the day in any way? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

Our personal touch to our wedding day was through our music. Our taste in music is different. We love alternative rock, the older the better. I (the bride) walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” by Elvis Presley. The recessional was to “You Make My Dreams,” by Hall and Oates. Our first song was “Never Stop,” by Safety Suit. We ended the night with “Closing Time,” by Semisonic. All of these are some of our favorites and we were so happy to find great ways to incorporate them into our day. Our ceremony was also unique thanks to our officiant Sam. Sam has his own company, Weddings by Sam. During the ceremony, Sam did a great job of conveying our love to all our friends and family. We created our own signature drink called the Strickland Sweet Tea with sweet tea vodka, lemonade, and garnished with a lemon wedge for everyone to enjoy. We also created our own hashtag and Snapchat filter for our guests to help us celebrate and document the day. One of my favorite parts was all of the love in the room during our ceremony. It was absolutely beautiful. I also had an amazing time dancing the night away with the love of my life. Our DJ Manny with Shut Down Productions was on point. The dance floor was never empty. Ronnie’s favorite part was sharing a perfect night with his bride. He loved dancing into the night with me and seeing that all our friends and family were having an amazing time too. He also loved how amazing all our vendors were. Everything from the venue, catering, flowers, officiant, and of course you amazing photographers, was absolutely perfect. We couldn’t have asked for a better ensemble of professionals to make our day even better than we imagined.


How did you choose your wedding day look? How did the groom? Describe both looks in detail.

I spent an entire day shopping with my mom, grandma, mother-in-law, and bridesmaids. I ended up choosing a fit and flare dress with vintage style lace and a little bit of sparkle. I purchased my dress at Minerva’s Bridal and the dress is designed by Allure Bridal. My veil had some sparkle around the edges to match my dresses. I wore a diamond tennis bracelet, borrowed from my mother-in-law and a simple pair of stud earrings and a necklace with a single stone and square halo. The groom chose a charcoal gray suit with an ivory pocket square to match my dress. The groom also wore a powder blue tie to match the bridesmaids.


How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.

We first met on the Stetson University campus when Ronnie was in town visiting some friends from his hometown of Vero Beach on September 30th, 2014, where I was attending my undergraduate program. While our first meeting was brief, we kept in contact despite living two hours apart and our fondness for one another continued to grow.


For the proposal, we had a special night planned for Ronnie’s 25th birthday. Unbeknownst to me, Ronnie had arranged his own surprise. That evening, after we were both done working, we met at the Orlando Eye. Neither of us had been on it before and we thought it would be cool to see Orlando from above. When we arrived, the Eye was shut down due to the harsh weather that we had been having that day. There was still lightning in the area and they could not run the Eye until it cleared. Ronnie started to get nervous that what he had planned wasn’t going to happen. While I used the restroom, Ronnie talked to the staff to get an estimate of when they thought the Eye would begin running again. While he was talking to them, he told them of his plans and why it was so important that we get on the Eye as soon as it is cleared to run again. After about half an hour, the weather cleared, and we were able to get on the Orlando Eye. Ronnie had rented out an entire pod! As the pod was ascending, love songs played over the audio system and Ronnie and I danced as we enjoyed the gorgeous view of Orlando at sunset. When we reached the top, Ronnie pointed and said, “Wait, what’s that?” When I turned around to look out the window, Ronnie got down on one knee behind me and said, “That’s so weird, I thought I saw my wife.” I turned back around in shock of what he’d said, to see Ronnie holding out a gorgeous ring and of course when he asked, “Will you marry me?”, I said yes! When we got off the Eye, we went to have dinner at Vincenzo’s where Ronnie had one more surprise in store. He had invited some of my best friends to have dinner and celebrate a night we would never forget!


What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

The most anticipated moment for me was the ceremony. It was a beautiful ceremony and hearing all of the beautiful things Ronnie had written about me and our love made me melt. Looking into his eyes, it was hard not to cry. Another special moment for me was after the recessional when Ronnie looked at me and told me how much he loved me and that I looked beautiful. I loved absolutely everything about our wedding day.


My most anticipated moment for our wedding was the ceremony as well. Standing at the altar and watching our bridal party enter kept building the anticipation for me, with each pair coming in only growing my excitement as I knew my bride would soon follow. After I’d turned my back to the crowd, my heart started pounding and I was so anxious to see her. As soon as I heard her song start playing my eyes were already welling up but when I turned around to see her walking toward me, it was all I could do to keep from completely losing it. It was the most beautiful, breathtaking sight when I finally laid eyes on her and how insanely gorgeous she was. The moment was absolutely perfect and something I pray I will never forget. Throughout the ceremony, I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. I spent every second I could memorizing the details of her gown, her hair, her face; ingraining her beauty into my memory as if it was the first and last time I would ever see her. I was trying my best not to cry the entire ceremony because I knew if I did then she would, but I was misty-eyed the entire time. I couldn’t have dreamed a more perfect ceremony, and I couldn’t wait to be able to tell her how insanely beautiful she looked and how much I loved her. I did so at the first possible chance and think I may have actually cried in doing so.


Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?

Don’t stress the small things. Your wedding is about the love between you and your significant other. Not everything will go as planned but what makes it perfect is all the special moments you’ll have along the way with your wife/husband and your friends and family. Do your best to be present in the moment too, the day/night will go by incredibly fast so just try to take everything in and enjoy it.