Casa Feliz Winter Park FL
Brianne and James have the craziest COVID story of all time.
With 17 days left until their wedding at the Seelbach in Louisville, Kentucky they were forced to move their wedding due to governor’s orders.
With stunning Spanish moss hanging from the trees and shear teal blue doors and window panes, this venue had it all.
But, even with the elegance and grace, there was nothing that shined brighter then James and Brianne’s love for each other.
As you can imagine, they were pretty stressed in that 17 day period… think about having to find a venue, caterer, planner, florist, just all the things within 17 days.
In the end it was a stunning event.
One of my favorite things to do is to ask couples a few questions after the day is done. These two each sent my answers so I’m going to include what James and Brianne said.
I warn you, James is one funny guy 🙂
How did you meet?: We met on a dating app. He commented about the Steelers, and I was hooked!
When/where did you go on your first date?
James: We met online and then at a Starbucks… but in the 100 degree weather of South Florida and my obvious temperature (I was super sick after a 4-day wedding celebration in Southern Michigan) – we decided to forego coffee for a nice air-conditioned plate of sushi… We ordered the Mori B Boat at Sushi Yama.
Tell me a bit about how you fell in love?
Brianne: Our chemistry is undeniable! After our first date, we saw each other three more times that week. We’ve been inseparable since! James is incredibly handsome, charismatic and charming! We had an instant connection that developed into a strong foundation for our relationship. We shared similar life goals for getting married and starting a family. We both waited until our late 30s to meet the right person to get married, and we knew that this was right!
James: Besides her pure hoop skills from our date at Chuck E Cheese; it didn’t take long and it was just about every action that drew me in….
How did your spouse propose?:
Brianne: Ah! It was amazing! I am tough to surprise, but he did it! James proposed to me on April 8, 2020. April 8th is “All is Ours Day.” He chose this date because of that. The pandemic and shutdown had just really sunk in. All of the restaurants were closed, but were allowing takeout. He made arrangements with Ruth’s Chris to allow us to get takeout for a picnic in the park. Not many people were out so it was nice and quiet, and honestly really nice to just be out of our living room. We had steak and wine, and soft music. He suggested we go for a walk after dinner. He started telling me about “All is Ours Day.” It’s all about appreciating the beauty around us and the beauty within us. As he’s telling me this, a drone starts flying nearby, and it’s carrying a small box. He cut the box off the drone, got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife! I was stunned. Of course, I said YES! He had a friend there to take pictures of the whole thing. After it all set in, we came home where he had a cake and champagne waiting for us. Our families were all in on it. We drove by to each house to share a toast and more champagne!
James: I faked my way through some cockamamie excuse to get Ruth’s Chris and take her to Mizner Park where we enjoyed the evening in the gazebo… shortly after, my buddy delivered the ring on a drone and recorded the entire thing… worked out pretty well – she said yes
If your love story was a movie what would you title it?
A Love Worth Waiting For
Describe your relationship in 5 words?
Brianne: Fun, supportive, loving, true, forever
James: Five words can’t be enough.
What is something that means the most to both of you?
Our cat, Murphy, and starting a family of our own. Wanting to have kids is what really kept us determined to get married in 2020.
What was the most anticipated part of your wedding day for you both?
Brianne: Our first look and seeing each other at the church.
James: The first kiss.
Did anything unexpected happen? What was the outcome?
Brianne: Ha, well where do I begin. I guess the most unexpected thing was planning our wedding during COVID and deciding originally to have a “destination” wedding of sorts in Louisville. Louisville was going to be beautiful and so special to us, but after downtown was shut down during our second visit involving curfews unrelated to COVID and then governor’s imposed COVID restrictions 3 weeks prior to our wedding date, we made the difficult decision to move our wedding back to Florida. While the stress was at times overwhelming, our wedding day was amazing and the dream we hoped and waited for. The venue, our guests, vendors and amazing photos from the sunsets in Winter Park were everything!
James: What was the outcome? Seriously? It was a 2020 engagement and wedding… we love each other and are looking forward to 2021 and beyond!
Were you nervous? How did you squash those nerves?
Brianne: I would say more excited and anxious than nervous. We decided to have a first look instead of waiting to see each other at the church. That was helpful to squash any nerves.
James: It wasn’t nerves, it was an anxiety and excitement that I’ve never felt before!
What was your wedding inspiration?
The Great Gatsby initially because we planned on getting married at the Seelbach in Louisville that is tied to so much history with the novel. We kept the formal attire and colors even when moving our wedding to Florida. Grace and class.
What’s your wedding song and the significance?
“Come What May.” It’s from Moulin Rouge, which we both loved. The song lyrics are fitting especially after all we went through this year.
What song did you dance to for your parent dances and why?
My Dad and I danced to “My Girl”. He loves Motown. We wanted something a little less sappy that we could have fun dancing to. He sang the entire song to me as we danced, and I’ll admit I still cried. It is a memory I will treasure! James and his Mom danced to “He Gets That From Me” by Reba. She loves Reba, and the lyrics fit him to a “T.”
What advice do you have for anyone getting married?
1. Keep your wedding small. COVID organically kept attendance small, and we really missed having our grandparents and other important people who couldn’t make it due to travel or concerns. I will say that I never expected to have less than 50 people there, but it turned out to be perfect. We got to see everyone and spend time with them rather than feeling like we spent the whole night making the rounds.
2. Be ready for anything! You may plan for one thing and end up with something totally different in the end. My dress, venue, wedding party, church, guests and state were all different than I originally planned. Our day was no less perfect! I believe it was divine intervention that I didn’t know I needed!
3. Follow your vendors on Instagram and communicate throughout! Save inspo photos and make sure you share your vision in advance.
4. Most importantly – Don’t skimp on your photography or videography! Make sure you hire someone who cares and is attentive to your style and personality. We brought our photographer and videographer with us to Florida when we moved locations. Our photographer made the day. Literally. She captured our love naturally and made sure it was all about us.
How did you feel at the end of the day?
Floating on air! It felt like a dream. It went as quickly as everyone said, but we feel like we had the best day ever and would do it all over again in heartbeat if we could. Being able to say we are married is everything and having as many of our loved ones there to share that with us meant the world!
We’re so grateful to have been there to celebrate with Brianne and James.
A love like theirs gives us life.
Venue: Casa Feliz, Winter Park, FL @casafelizvenue
Church: St. Margaret Mary @stmargaretmarywp
Dress: White Magnolia Bridal, West Palm Beach @whitemagnolia, Designer- Martina Liana @martinalianabridal
Tux: Men’s Wearhouse @menswearhouse
Rings: His, Manly Bands @manlybands; Hers, Blue Nile @bluenilediamond
Florals: Atmospheres Floral & Decor, Winter Park @atmospheresfloral
Jewelry: Bracelet, Kendra Scott @kendrascott, Necklace, family heirloom, earrings Jessica’s Bridals Esty
Shoes: badgley mischka “Roxy” heels, @badgleymischka
Officiant: Father Walsh, @stmargaretmarywp
Bridesmaid Attire: Champagne/Gold dresses from Adrianna Papell @adriannapapell
Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Caterer: Arthur’s Catering @arthurscatering
Hair and Makeup: Kristy’s Artistry Design Team @kristysartistrydesignteam
DJ: Junction 88 @junction_88
Hairpiece / Veil: veil – Sara Gabriel @saragabrieldesigns bought at White Magnolia Bridals
Photographer: The AMAZING Christora Osters – Green Apple Weddings @greenapplephotoky