Florida Beach Elopement: Christine + Nathaniel

These high school sweethearts from Iowa had planned on a destination micro wedding, but they hadn’t planned on a pandemic to hit right as they were supposed to tie the knot. They wanted to marry somewhere that they could come back to each year for vacation and Clearwater, Florida was the spot!

Because of things starting to shut down (it was March 2020) they revamped the plans a bit so that their dream of getting married on a beach could happen before the beaches were set to be shut down! A few less guests were able to make it, but it was still perfection!

Check it out below along with some Q&A with the couple.

Photography and Videography: Seas Mtns Co

Event Planner: Tide the Knot Beach Weddings

Q: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.

A: We met in 2010 in high school. I remember him introducing himself to the class by saying “Hi my name is Nathaniel and my favorite color is purple.” We were both in acting, and quickly became friends.  We remained friends until prom that year, and started dating shortly after. In July of 2018, Nathaniel took me on a walk through my favorite rose garden in Des Moines. He had my friends hiding in the bushes recording. I knew something was up when I was ready to leave and find something cold to drink and he wanted to stay, because he usually isn’t a fan of hot weather. He talked about wanting to spend the rest of his life with me and I cried like a baby and couldn’t stop bugging him, I was completely taken by surprise. My friends recorded the proposal, and popped out of the bushes to surprise me. Definitely one of the happiest days of my life!

Q: Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? 

A: We wanted to have a simple destination wedding with our closest friends and family. We kept the palette clean with white florals and greenery. With the beach and Florida landscape as our backdrop, it was easy to have a beautiful day.

Q: Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY? What were the florals like in your wedding?

A: We had a draped arbor with floral accents on the beach as the centerpiece of the wedding.  The chairs were also draped in sheer white fabric to contribute to the airy beach feel. Tide the Knot did an amazing job decorating the space!We had white florals with eucalyptus as the floral theme. This was reflected in the arbor, my bridal bouquet, and the groom’s boutonniere.

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

A: The most special moment of our wedding day was saying our vows and realizing how real everything was. We have been together for so long, but making that commitment meant so much.

Q: Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look?

A: We are both from Iowa, and purchased our wedding attire there. My wedding gown was from Something Blue in Ankeny, Iowa. I know I really liked the dramatic mermaid look and felt like a beach wedding was the perfect setting for that. The groom chose a charcoal suit from Mr. B in Clive, IA.

Q: Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

A: We kept it a pretty low key on our wedding day. Due to COVID-19 we moved our wedding up a day because the beaches were closing. Our guest list was also smaller than expected with the threat of the virus. This actually made it more special, because we could really focus on each other and our family. Our favorite part was the beauty of the ocean and of course the cake!

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

A: Go for a small wedding. Know that you will not ever be able to make everyone happy, and try to spend your energy on what you can control. If you can, try to save ahead and pay for a lot of the wedding yourself so you have more control of what happens. Also don’t jump the guns on forming your wedding party! When you get engaged it’s tempting to run head-first into everything, but make sure it’s what you want before you commit and book. Most importantly, enjoy your time with your partner and soak in the love in that special day!