Carlie Marie & Collin Jurgen Sprenker

Collin and I met at Tampa General Hospital during one of our night shifts. I am originally from Fairfax, Virginia and he is originally Danbury, Connecticut. We currently live in Tampa Florida with our two French bulldogs, Jax and Stella.

The Proposal

September 22, 2020. We spent the day going to church, and then to a local sports bar to watch the Packers game and headed to David Island later that day to walk the dogs. Collin prepared a picnic basket with charcuterie and wine and as the sun set, he gave me a book he had made of all the memories of our two years of dating. I was going through the book without any idea that he was going to propose, until I saw a sign on Jax, our dog, that read “Mommy will you marry Daddy.” Collin then proceeded to give me a blue ring pop (I always told him I wanted a ring pop any time he asked me what kind of engagement ring I would want). After kissing and being all joyful, he gave me the real diamond ring (which I still was not expecting!)! We then watched the sun set and stayed a while longer looking at the stars. God put on a show for us that evening as we then witnessed a shooting star!

The Wedding Venue

We got married in the Secret Garden of Paradise Springs in Lithia, Florida. We had the entire place to ourselves for five full days and had our family and wedding party stay with us. It meant a lot to Collin and me to have a place in which we didn’t say “hi” and “bye” to our important guests.

It was my dad who found Paradise Springs and suggested we check it out. I was very hesitant to see any location that weren’t all-inclusive as I had no desire to plan a wedding on my own. (I was unbelievably excited to marry Collin; however, I was not one of those girls that dreamt about planning every detail of her wedding day.)

When we visited the venue, we were greeted by our venue coordinator, Ashley. After about an hour of walking around the property and gathering all the details we needed, Collin and I headed back to our car and once alone, I asked him for his thoughts on the venue. He looked at me with such love and excitement in his eyes and said, “This is the place where I want to marry you.”

It was the first venue we looked at but, that evening, we placed a deposit and our wedding planning was officially in full gear.

The Wedding Day

Collin and I tried to keep it traditional and not see each other before we needed to. I purposely woke up earlier than everyone to have a moment of prayer. I made Collin coffee and brought it to him because that was our routine I wanted to keep it going. I was told that Collin later went for a run (He never goes running so he must have been feeling all the feels).

We later met for a prayer together before going down the aisle. Our ceremony was performed by our Pastor Brandon. Following the ceremony, we sped through group pictures and entered the reception to our choreographed first dance which we nailed! Dinner was held inside a tent and the rest of the night flew by as we danced, mingled with guests, had a fire pit and s’mores. We had a few friends and family stay until 2am, talking and just enjoying their company. When Collin and I finally decided to head to bed we had a small sparkler exit which was a perfect ending!

Most Poignant Moment

During the ceremony, our Pastor gave us a moment to stop and just observe our family and friends in attendance. I remember standing up there in awe at such an amazing group of people that were coming alongside Collin and I to support us in marriage.

The Least Fun Part of the Wedding Planning

Guest list! I have a massive family and we didn’t want anyone to feel left out, but Collin and I were adamant that ours will be a small and intimate wedding with no more than 100 guests and no children. Collin and I had a few “coming to Jesus” moments when we were cutting down our guest list. Thankfully we made it through with no blood shed

Wedding Must Haves

Our dogs. We knew we wanted them there! We also knew we wanted an open bar. I wanted all guest to show up and have no worries. Eat, drink, and be married!

The Wedding Dress

A few days after booking the venue, I went dress shopping with my Maid of Honor, my mom, and two friends. I went in knowing I didn’t want lace, glitter or anything big or bulky as I am a tiny human, only 5’3 and 100lbs. I tried maybe 6 dresses on and some just for fun: A-line, ball gowns, mermaid styles, lace dresses, long trains… When I tried on my dress, I saw myself in it walking down the Aisle to Collin. And when I put a cathedral veil on (also something I knew I didn’t want), I was sold.

The Wedding Shoes

I absolutely am a shoe girl! However, I had a vision for my shoes and could not find that shoe anywhere! I saw an ad for Shoenvious and I cannot believe how easy designing a shoe was. I wanted glitter as the occasion called for it. My girls were going to be wearing navy dresses, and I threw a pop of navy on the shoes and BAM! I have never owned a more gorgeous pair of heels (and Collin can tell you man do I own heels). They are so easy to walk in and dance in. Our first dance in them was a piece of cake. I literally could not stop holding my dress up in the corner so everyone could see them. I had so many guest compliment me on how unique they are. I already have two date night outfits picked out with them. Also, Collin loves my shoes and he is a very modest man so that means so much coming from him!

Sharing A Prayer Before
The Wedding Ceremony

This moment meant so much to us. We didn’t want a first look however we knew we wanted to be together in prayer before walking down the aisle.

Wedding Photography

I knew Kenzie, our photographer from college. She took my graduation photos, family portraits, and boudoir photos. I love how immediately comfortable taking photos with Kenzie was. She knew my style and just ran with it. My dogs also loved her, so it made shooting them so much easier the day of. We didn’t do much pre-planning as once again I am a low-key bride and kind of just let everyone have their creative moments and I just did what they said.

Advice for Brides

Focus on small details that are important to you. Collin and I focused on a few things that meant so much to us: praying together, writing each other day of cards, having our bridal party stay the night before, and taking dance lessons.

Accept that everything will not go as planned. There is no such thing as a perfect day without hiccups. We had them on my wedding day, although I only knew about it until the next day! Knowing I am marrying the love of my life was perfect enough for me.

Favorite Moments From The Photographer

One of the most important things I can advice couples looking for a wedding photographer is to find someone they instantly click with. Finding someone who’s work you love is also important but finding someone you get along with makes the difference, as we will be by the couple’s side the whole day. I like to tell my brides that I should feel like one of their BFFs!

Carlie's venue had the most amazing bathroom so of course we had to use it for photos. I loved this shot of Carlie on the tub with her pup. I thought it was such a simple & sweet shot having them looking at each other. Carlie & I are both big dog people so I understood how special & important it was to have her dogs included on her big day.

This shot of Carlie & Collin walking through the tall field was one of my favorites because of how playful yet romantic it was. The long grass also helped to frame the photo perfectly.

This shot was one of my favorites for details. The light and shadows from the window just made her shoes really shine!

PHOTOGRAPHER

Kenzie Rae Photography

SHOES

Shoenvious

DRESS

Ivory and Lace Bridals

HAIR & MAKE UP

Sweet Southern Roots

FLOWERS

Jennies Flowers

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