Jeffrey and Ashley arranged for a romantic destination wedding in Cocoa Beach on Thursday, April 04 with the help of Shannon at Florida Beachside Weddings.
Alas, when their special day arrived, Mother Nature was not impressed. We had rain the day before, drizzles that morning, and a band of serious squalls clearly visible on radar. A thunderstorm was due to arrive right about the time the ceremony was to scheduled to begin. Ashley was looking at floating down the aisle under thunderclouds rather than on cloud nine.
Shannon called me at 9:30 in the morning to find out my schedule for the day. She was pulling out all the stops to make sure Ashley and Jeffrey got the beach wedding of their dreams. Fortunately, I had an unusually flexible schedule and was able to accommodate any start time they wished. Shannon arranged for hair and makeup to head straight to the hotel and the Doubletree Cocoa Beach staff gladly came on board with these last minute changes. Our 5:45 wedding became a 1:30 wedding.
Photo Attribute: Shannon Perez of Florida Beachside Weddings
Florida Beachside Weddings compressed their typical three hour set up time into something like 90 minutes. It still looked gorgeous!! The only thing that had to be sacrificed was chairs. It was a short ceremony with no elderly guests, so that barely rates the use of the word 'sacrifice.' I highly doubt the guests even noticed their absence.
Timing was barely shy of miraculous. The beach had just enough time to dry out from the morning rain and it did not begin to sprinkle again until after the ceremony. Thunderstorms arrived on cue later that afternoon when everyone was inside, safe and dry.
Jeffrey and Ashley's secular wedding included a Sand Ceremony and a Wish Upon a Shell ritual. They chose to combine the responsive and repetitive formats for their exchange of vows. They were attended by two bridesmaids and two groomsmen.
Word to the wise, officiants should always always always verify pronunciations before beginning a ceremony. I have a habit of doing that even if the names are Joe and Mary, so I confirmed the pronunciation of Jeffrey's last name with a family member before I met up with him in the hotel. I'm so glad I did as it was nothing like I had imagined. And it made me seem extremely clever when I first met him....yes, I admitted I cheated and had to ask. He still appreciated it.
Rev. Ann Fuller
The commentary on this blog is my own opinion developed over years of officiating a wide range of wedding sizes and styles. I am always happy to answer any questions you may have.