Strange as it may seem, but I sometimes forget that Florida is a destination spot for weddings. I have lived here my entire life and when you live in paradise it’s easy to forget about our sugar-sand beaches, our blue water, our relaxed and friendly atmosphere, our warmth. It sometimes takes a beautiful and wonderful couple from Canada to remind us that, in other parts of North America, there’s snow on the ground in October.

I met just such a wonderful couple a few weeks ago in Alan and Shauna. This fun and energetic couple met only a year and a half ago, in July, and were engaged by February. This may seem a little quick for some but, as Al put it, “some would say it did not take very long before I proposed, but considering I knew the day would come from the very first moment I met Shauna, it took a very long time in my eyes!” They met at a friend’s wedding. She was the maid of honor to her best friend and he was the groom’s fraternity brother. To Al it was love at first sight. It took Shauna little longer. “Being the maid of honor my attention was more on the bride,” said Shauna, “but (it) didn’t take me that long to figure out he was the one either!”

In February, Al had made the decision. On his latest trip to Ottawa to visit Shauna he was going to pop the question. He didn’t plan it down to the second but he knew that weekend he was going to ask her. They planned to spend the weekend celebrating Winterlude but it was unseasonably warm so the plans changed to taking in a hockey game. When ticket prices turned out to be astronomical, Al realized that the night was telling him it was time. From here on, I’ll let him tell it:

“We decided to go back to the hotel to get ready for a nice night on the town and turned on some music. While Shauna was getting ready, I made a stealth-like move and placed the ring under the mattress.  We had a great view of Montreal skyline that we were enjoying while chatting & sipping on a glass of wine.  Just before we headed out to dinner, I told her how much she meant to me, and how she had me from day one. I then got down on one knee, pulled out the box, and popped the proverbial question.  We then went out for dinner to enjoy the moment and what it meant before calling friends and family.  Neither of us could be any happier!”

On October 5, Al and Shauna got married in St Petersburg, Florida on the West Pavilion of the Don CeSar.

The Don. Opened in 1928, the “Pink Lady” has been a cultural icon in our area since the Jazz Age and has hosted F. Scott Fitzgerald, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Al Capone. It’s hard to not be impressed by the pink castle set against the turquoise sky coming over the Skyway.

Al and Shauna had a relaxed and elegant “Backyard BBQ” at the Don surrounded by all of their family and friends. The colors matched the setting – black and white elegance with the vivid pop of hot pink and hot orange.

I want to wish good luck to the happy couple. It was an honor – and so much fun – to be there for their big day and to record such a happy occasion!

[nggallery id=83]

A big thank you to all the vendors who helped make this day special

Wedding Venue: Don CeSar in Saint Petersburg, Florida

Event Coordinators: Beth Clark & Courtney Blount

Officiant: Rev. Rick Lackore

Videographer: Hearts Video

Music: Maria Valentine

Band: DeLeon Entertainment, Inc