Today we’re headed to Florida for a gorgeous wedding in a local park with Snapshots by Gabriela! You can find out all about her and her amazing work on her vendor profile HERE.
She captured Susan and William as they said I do surrounded by a tiny group of family in Brownie Wise Park in Kissimmee, Florida. Although Covid made them do a venue change they were able to keep their original date and plan B might have been an even better option!
Check it out with some Q&A from the couple below!
Photography: Snapshots by Gabriela
Location: Brownie Wise Park
Apparel : Lane Bryant
Groom’s Attire: Geoffrey Beane
How did you meet?
Our love story is quite unique, as most love stories are. We met in 2013 through Instagram. As a woman, doing the unthinkable, I “slid into his DM,” although back in 2013 Instagram did not have DM’s. I sent him a message on Kik- does anyone even remember Kik messenger? Cringe, I know. I sent a simple “hello” and here we are seven years later as husband and wife. The last seven years have been the best years of our lives. We became best friends so quickly: before becoming official we dated for two weeks. Those two weeks felt like two years; we did just about everything together, from movie dates to grabbing ice cream after work. It didn’t matter what we did, as long as it meant being with one another. I remember our dates were filled with laughter and a lot of conversation.
Two weeks into dating, he met my mother, which was a huge deal for me! I had never brought a boy home until this day. In hispanic households, you never bring a boy home unless he is your future husband. My mom was very welcoming and prepared a delicious dinner, their meeting went better than expected. After dinner he asked me out for ice cream at Disney’s Boardwalk and we found a beautiful lake front as we walked around. As the summer sun set, he held my hand and asked me to be his girlfriend and I accepted. It was definitely a pinch me moment! I had so many emotions running through me; I was on cloud 9. We concluded the night watching the firework show. It was the perfect start to forever.
Tell us about the proposal!
Let’s fast forward to year five when he proposed to me the day before my 23rd birthday. As it was my ‘golden birthday,’ I was turning 23 on the 23rd of December. I invited all of my friends and family to meet at Top Golf to celebrate on December 22nd; little did I know that he and his mother had been in contact with Top Golf to make sure that evening was perfect. We were all playing golf when I saw his brother holding a cake that read, “will you marry me?” I was in disbelief- did I just read that correctly? I turned around and saw him down on one knee holding a blue box when he asked me again – “will you marry me?”
I cannot put into words what I felt at that exact moment! I remember hearing everyone say – “is that a yes!?”
“Yes, times a million!” I said in between the tears and sniffles.
How did you decide to elope/do a smaller wedding vs. something more traditional?
We were engaged for two years while we decided what kind of wedding we wanted. “Do we have a huge wedding or just elope?” was a question we asked each other often during those two years. We couldn’t decide. We both come from large families, I’m Dominican and he’s Italian and Puerto Rican descent. It was hard to decide on whether to have big wedding or an intimate one. Once we saw the cost of a big wedding adding up, we quickly decided that it wasn’t for us. We love to travel and sacrificing our honeymoon to have a big wedding was not worth it for us. So, after much thought, we decided on a court house wedding. Our county’s court house is very beautifully historic: the brick buildings and marble flooring were our taste and we would be able to put the money we had saved on a big ceremony towards a Honeymoon. My mother was devastated by our decision, as in Hispanic cultures, having a formal wedding is the norm, but she supported our decision.
Tell us about the wedding plans.
We were to be married on October 23rd, 2020 at 10am, but Covid-19 had other plans! Our court house was no longer doing in-person weddings and if you chose to get married at court, it would be done at the counter through a plexiglass window, with no family or guest allowed – fabulous right? Back to planning we went. We had to find a low-cost, outdoor option for us to perform a small ceremony by our notary. After much Google searching and help from family, we found Brownie Wise Park. When we went to go visit the park we knew right away that we wanted to get married there. The park was so whimsical, it almost looked like a fairy garden. We had less than two months to get everything done for the wedding – no pressure right? Wedding dress shopping was the hardest for me because I couldn’t find the perfect dress. I didn’t want a traditional dress, since we were getting married in a park. I wanted something classic but short in length. I found a beautiful ivory dress that was romantic and vintage. It was a exactly what I pictured myself wearing on my wedding day. We found his suit that same week; it was the perfect shade of navy, a color that made his bright blue eyes shine. Next on the list was the wedding decor. Being a minimalist, I didn’t want much decor, as I wanted the parks natural beauty to show. We decided to go with small, white “vintage” touches and ivory roses. It was perfect.
The biggest box left on my check-list was choosing a photographer. We were not having any luck finding a photographer whose work we liked until my aunt introduced me to her good friend, Gaby (@snapshotsbygabriela). She was heaven sent! She was exactly what we were looking for in a photographer. We booked her for our wedding immediately. We had never done a photoshoot before, the only experience we had was seven years worth of selfies in our camera roll, so we decided to book an engagement session with Gaby a few weeks before our wedding. It was a magical experience. She really made us feel confident and comfortable in front of the camera. I definitely recommend having a session with your photographer prior to your wedding, because we really got to know and trust our photographer.
Tell us about the wedding day. What were your favorite parts?
On October 23rd, 2020 at 10am we met our family at Brownie Wise Park. Everything was perfect from the decor to the weather. I walked down the aisle with tears in my eyes; this was the moment I had been waiting for since I was a little girl. When I saw my groom at the altar, nothing else mattered but us. All the stressful planning, the Global pandemic, the last minute venue change, meant nothing. Love filled the air as we exchanged our vows and finally said “I do.” In that moment of bliss surrounded by our loved ones, we became one. As we close that chapter of our lives, I look forward to writing a new chapter together, as husband and wife.