After meeting online dating and corresponding via emails, Jenna and Jon met in person and realized instantly that their respective searches were over. After being offered by a family friend to marry at their home on Captiva Island, the theme jumped right off the page: beachy, literary and vintage a la Ernest Hemingway. Read about this match made in email writing heaven with photos by Maria Glassford Photography.
Tell us how you met…
We met on Match, and now I tell everyone who is single to get on there! We exchanged emails back and forth and when we finally met, we both instantly knew we had found something truly special. We stayed up all night talking; we couldn’t talk fast enough or long enough to say everything we had been waiting to say to the one. I think he called me every day after that first date- we have pretty much been inseparable since then.
Now for the proposal… details!
I think I made proposing to me as difficult as a girl can make it. We were on a getaway to Hilton Head, stopping in Savannah along the way. It never occurred to me that this might be the big weekend, until a friend mentioned it- she said that she just KNEW it was going to happen. From that moment, I became obsessed! I knew that Jon planned to use my mother’s ring, so I grilled her to find out if he had gotten it from her yet. When she told me she still had it, my heart sank. Then, I realized this WAS the perfect time to propose, and my god was he missing a great opportunity to do so! I couldn’t believe it. After giving him a hard time for an entire evening, he walked me down to the beach. When we were walking on the sand, I spied a little blanket with a bottle of champagne and a cd player on the dunes. He had arranged to have a cd of all of our special songs already playing when we arrived- I couldn’t believe it was happening- in fact, before he could get the words out, I blurted: OH MY GOD, YOU ARE DOING THIS NOW! We both dropped to sand in a kiss and I said yes.
We want to know about all the wedding details, was it small and intimate or big and traditional?
The ceremony was small and intimate; and everyone was crying! Once the party got started, it felt larger than life- we were surrounded by so many loved ones and everyone was so happy for us.
Tell us about your wedding gown and what your bridal party wore.
My gown was a strapless ivory taffeta gown with a ruched bodice and long train. It was the single most glamorous thing I have ever worn- it was classic, elegant and truly timeless. My bridesmaids were my “something blue”. They wore navy taffeta dresses from Ann Taylor, in the style of their choosing.
Can you give us an overview of the event?
We were married in the backyard of a family home on Captiva Island in South Seas Resort with 65 of our closest family and friends.
Was there a specific theme or style?
Once we were offered the use of a magnificent family home on Captiva Island, things started coming together- I chose to make the overall theme “1928: Hemingway’s move from Paris to Key West” It was beachy, vintage, romantic, a little bit wild and chock full of inspiration; literary elements, Parisian flair and the idea of love letters tying it all together.
What inspired the theme or style?
Jon and I were lucky enough to meet on Match, so essentially our entire relationship started with little love letters; messages back and forth on the site before meeting in person. We knew that we wanted it to reflect this idea of romantic correspondence and long distances- the journey to find the one.
What were your playful twists that made the event unique?
All of our DIY elements were definite playful signatures of our event. Jon and I both strongly identify and celebrate our hometowns- his Detroit and mine Atlanta. For the table numbers, I took vintage postcards and seated everyone at an appropriate “City”. Jon’s immediate family had the Detroit table, and mine had the Atlanta table. Our toasting charms were sterling silver logos from baseball charm bracelets- an Atlanta Braves “A” and a Detroit Tigers “D”.
Did you DIY any of the details?
I DIY’d practically ALL of the details. I spent months finding old postcards from the proper time period, little suitcases, old books, little knick-knacks and tea tins- to make sure that each object and decoration looked thoughtful. I didn’t want the tables looking like someone’s old yard sale. Our guestbook was an old school memory book that was actually printed in 1928. It was such a find, and I still can’t believe that it was filled with perfectly blank pages. I work for a creative agency in Atlanta, and Corwin Carter, our creative director, was kind enough to bring my vision to life for the invitations and programs. I feel they truly set the tone for the event. Our reply cards asked each guest to offer their advice for a happy marriage- we received so many responses that we will treasure forever. With the exception of my bouquet, all of the flowers were ordered online in great bunches and then artfully arranged by my bridesmaids (who I truly cannot thank enough for this). It took a tremendous amount of time and patience, but it was all worth it. I don’t recommend trying to DIY unless it is something that you already enjoy doing.
What was the most memorable moment?
There are two: Seeing Jon waiting for me at the altar- his face was just the happiest I have ever seen it. Our engagement was over a year, and it just felt so good- to both be smiling ear to ear, knowing that it was finally time to marry our best friend. The second- it was MLB Playoff time, and the Detroit Tigers were facing off with the New York Yankees to determine who would advance to the World Series. Once the DJ shut down and things were winding down a bit, chants of “LET’S GO TIGERS” started from the remaining guests. It was time to watch the game. I will never forget sitting in the big house with my husband and our family just hours after saying “I do” and watching the Detroit Tigers.
Tell us about the food and desserts.
We chose to have a buffet set up, and chose Jay Wolfson from Prestige Catering to cater the event. Jay was phenomenal and the food was fantastic. He was so creative and he really listened to what we wanted and gave us a distinctly European feel. We had Beef Wellington and Snapper Francaise- he even made a Portobella Mushroom Wellington for all of the vegetarians in our family. During our cocktail hour we had a fantastic Vol-au-vent station where he prepared and flambéed fresh seafood on puff pastry. The cake was by Mikkelsen’s Pastry Shop in Naples- it was half Tiramisu filled (for me) and half Raspberry filled (for him).
What kind of energy did your entertainment give the guests?
Jon and I both have a serious passion for music. On our first date, we decided we would bring each other a copy of the album we were both listening to the most at the time- so, our common love for music was a major foundation for us. When it came to the entertainment, we knew exactly what songs we wanted to hear and when, so we opted for a DJ. Jon made an EXTENSIVELY detailed playlist for him, which included all of our songs, as well as ones that were significant to our friends and family. Everyone loved it!
If there was one thing you could change, what would it be?
I wouldn’t change a thing. As we were planning an outdoor wedding, people kept asking me if we had a contingency plan for bad weather- the only thing I could think was that we didn’t need one. I would have married him in the middle of a hurricane and it still would have been the best most perfect day of my life.
What was the best wedding advice you received?
No matter what goes wrong, you are getting married today. This really helped me keep things in perspective. You spend SO much time planning the perfect day- all of the little details, the signature cocktail, the favors. And if you are anything like me, you are a real control freak about it. When you see your husband waiting for you on the other end of the aisle ALL of that melts away. All of your planning could go HORRIBLY wrong- but at the end of the day all of those little tragedies are part of the story of the day you committed your life and love to that one special person for life- and that makes them all ok.
Venue: Private Residence | Photographer: Maria Glassford Photography | Caterer: Prestige Catering | Rental Equipment: Caloosa Rentals | DJ: All Request | Cake: Mikkelsen’s Pastry Shop | Bride’s Bouquet: Floral Artistry of Sanibel