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.
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.
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!
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