Wedding Blog


Real Wedding S + J

Real Wedding S + J

The story of Samantha and Jesse– two love birds that traveled all the way from Florida to host their Midwestern, destination wedding. Planning their day of ‘I Do’s’ from a distance most definitely did not keep this couple from hosting the most beautiful August wedding. Read on to feel all the love…

Tell us a little bit about your engagement.  At the time of our engagement, Jesse and I were both living in Panama City Beach, FL… I was training dolphins and he was going to school for anesthesia. Jesse proposed to me on the beach at a restaurant called Schooners, which was our favorite place. When Jesse proposed, the entire restaurant cheered! A nearby photographer even shot the scene completely free of charge and the host at Schooners brought us champagne on the house!

Jesse proposed September 18, 2012 and we were engaged for almost 2 years. Although we had a long engagement, each day together seemed better than the last. Every experience throughout our engagement made us stronger, and that led all the way up to the day we said ‘I Do’.

What was your favorite part of planning the wedding?  Meeting the vendors and getting to know them. All of our vendors became close friends and created this amazing vision of what our day was going to be.

Another favorite part of planning was when the big day finally arrived and we had the opportunity to see it all come together — watching each vendor add their own details to the mix to create the most beautiful, perfect venue that was unique to us as a couple. It truly felt like the day was created just for us.

What was the most memorable part of your wedding weekend here at The Pavilion?  A memorable part of the wedding was getting ready for the wedding with our families at Copperstone Inn. The experience can not be captured with words, but it meant the world to us to have the opportunity to relax in and enjoy such a gorgeous bed and breakfast while also having our family right there with us.

However, my most memorable part of the wedding weekend was seeing Jesse for the first time. I can vividly remember how anxious I was to see Jesse for the first time (and I know he felt the same!). While we were getting ready prior to our First Look it was raining non stop, but I knew that seeing each other for the first time was going to be perfect no matter what. The second we were ready and started to walk outside for our First Look, the rain stopped, clouds parted, and the sun shined as if it never rained at all. It was as if I couldn’t breathe — walking towards Jesse for what seemed like the first time.  And when we saw each other, time stopped for a while, and everything else faded away. Those precious moments before the wedding will stay with us forever.

What you would do differently if you could plan your wedding all over again?  At times it felt like planning from a distance was a challenge (as we lived in Florida at the time). So, if I could do it all over again, I would completely trust my vendors and their experience, and not worry about all of the little details that they obviously had covered from day one!  The advantage to having such great vendors is reassurance that they know exactly what you want and will surpass your expectations.

What great advice do you have for brides who are currently planning their big days?  Enjoy every moment, even the ones where you feel tired, stressed, and ready for the wedding to just get here already. Once the day comes it flies by and seems as if it almost happened in an instant. All the time it takes to plan can be just as much a journey as saying ‘I do’, and it should be just as rewarding and gratifying.

Make sure you take a moment during your wedding to simply look around at all the amazing people that came together to celebrate you and your husband, and just soak it in.

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S + J Wedding Vendors

DJ/ Lighting Design:  Luxe Productions

Cupcakes: The Sweetery

Florist/ Decor: Event Floral and Embellish Specialty Rentals

Hair Stylist/ Makeup Artist: The Beauty Team

Host Hotel: NCG Hotels, Rockford, IL. and Copperstone Inn

Photographer: White Shutter

Videographer: Amor In Motion

Wedding Consultant: Favor Events

Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero


Posted by kbenjamin
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