It’s not about how the day went, or what details went wrong, it’s all about the love you share. Gianna & David shared a whirlwind wedding weekend that was truly special, and we’re honored to share it with you today! Read on for an incredible story of love!
David’s family has had a beach house in Amelia Island for three generations, and he would go there regularly as a child with his grandparents and parents. As he got older and met Gianna, he was able to share in his love and memories of his family with her when they would visit on their own vacations. Many wonderful memories were made their together over the years.
“On August 26, 2016 (a year before Gianna & David’s Wedding date), David woke me up early that morning to go walk on the beach and to watch the sunrise. He and I started looking for seashells and got to be separated a bit. He called out to me and excitedly exclaimed, ‘sweetheart come here quick! look!’ So I ran up the beach to him as the first rays of the sun came up over the ocean and the sky, glowing with the red and purple hues of the new morning. As I got closer, I saw him kneel down on one knee and my eyes just began to well up with tears. I couldn’t breathe and time just stopped completely! He said my full name and said he talked to my father and pulled a little box out of his pocket. It was so special, a memory that we will cherish forever!”
David & Gianna chose to get married on the very same day a year later at the very same spot! Their ceremony arch was set up in the sand on the beach and the reception was at the private club they belong to.
“Having our wedding at this destination let us share with our friends and family a huge part of our happiness on a whole other level.”
Wedding Weekend Begins
With her destination wedding in Florida, Gianna decided to turn her celebration into a full weekend with friends and family, starting with her Bachelorette Party a few days before the big day at The Happiest Place on Earth, Disney World!
“The gals and I had a blast riding rides, taking pictures with all the characters, and all the photos we got from each country (at Epcot) were priceless watching the sobriety leave our faces and the fun kid in each of us kick in. By the end of the fireworks we retired to the amazing hotel my maid of honor booked for us at the art of animation hotel on site! It was incredible and had all the original ideas and sketches of my favorite characters, I geeked out completely and loved every minute of it!”
After the whirlwind day at Disney World, they made the trek up to Amelia Island, about 6 hours away for the wedding festivities to really begin. Gianna and David made sure to spend a lot of time with their guests who had travelled out for the big day, even going out with some of their guests for a bar crawl after their rehearsal dinner to continue the celebration!
“In hindsight I should have called it quits early here but it was such a good time dancing with family I hadn’t seen for a while we stayed out later than we should”
Time to Say “I do”
Out of excitement, Gianna was up bright and early on the day of her wedding.
“I was very nervous so I was up at 5am showered and ready to get hair and makeup done. The bridesmaids met me in my hotel room at 7:30am, and that’s when things started to go a little South.”
The venue called Gianna to let her know that rain was in the forecast. Something she had been nervous about leading up to this moment. It was so important to Gianna and David to be married on the beach, toes in the sand, so they had agreed that they would wait up until the final hour before the ceremony to move indoors or proceed as planned. There were a few more bumps and kinks with hair and makeup, but alas Gianna and her bridesmaids made it to the ceremony space on time without a drop of rain.
They arrived to see all the guests seated on the sand for the ceremony. The space was meticulously set with the details that Gianna had spent hours upon hours cultivating.
“I had spent 20 hours hand sewing 8,000 silk petals onto a 15 foot aisle runner, and spent days shopping for the perfect bamboo arch and matching drapes and sand ceremony set. It turned out it was too windy to drape the linens as I had intended, as a storm spawned from hurricane Irma (one week after our wedding) was quickly approaching on the horizon.”
Just moments before the start of the ceremony, as Gianna clutched her dads arm, ready to walk down the aisle, everything changed.
“The flower girls and the ring bear were just in front of me at the threshold of the door to the beach, when all of a sudden the heavens opened up and the rainstorm of all rainstorms rained down upon us. All I remember is seeing my guests bolt for cover under the small tent we used to store the chairs prior to the ceremony. All were completely drenched and soaking wet – hair, makeup, etc all for naught.”
With some quick thinking, Gianna grabbed the coordinator and asked her to use the patio umbrellas to help usher groups of guests from the small storage tent to the indoors where they lit the fireplace and grabbed towels for everyone to dry off and get warm.
“The most heartbreaking thing I saw all day was my husband still standing there by the arch, after all those people fled, he stood there in the rain and just hung his head. His white shirt completely transparent, his hair a wet mess.”
To remain out of view from all her guests Gianna retreated back into the venue, and after a good five minute panic they made plans to reset and go on with the day. The guests were all great sports and despite their drenched attire all smiled and laughed together at the hilarity of the situation. Unfortunately the sand ceremony Gianna had planned was ruined by the rain, and the runner she’d spent so much time on was hung up to dry.
“My maid of honor talked to my husband and he reported that no matter the rain, no matter the problems that he was so excited just to see me and marry me! That gave me all the motivation I needed to keep on going! I dried the few tears on my cheek from the stress, put on my happy face and said I am ready to marry my best friend, if at the worst of today all that happens right is I get married to him, then I will be the happiest woman in the whole world! And that is exactly what happened!”
Happily Ever After
The rain brought on a few more changes to their dream day, but through it all Gianna and David held true to the reason for the occasion: their love for one another!
“The DJ did a fantastic job helping coordinate the chaos and keep things moving on the timeline. He also added special effects that we normally couldn’t have had outside like fog on the ground to make it look like we were dancing in the clouds during our first dance. My photographer even snuck my husband and I away during dinner to get some amazing sunset photos on the beach next to our arch.”
Despite the kinks, the day turned out spectacularly and is a wedding day that won’t soon be forgotten by the couple and guests alike.
“The night turned out to be absolutely amazing, even though there were kinks all along the way! Absolutely no matter what, do not stress on your wedding day, for one – it goes by way, way too fast and if you don’t just live in that moment, you will regret it. Just know that all those there love and support you and, come what may, it is just about the love you all share for one another and celebrating it! We had our Happily Ever After and have an amazing story to share because of a little ol’ rain cloud.”
“She was so amazing to work with and made it her mission to make me comfortable and find me My perfect fairy tale dress! I loved the oversized fluffy robes, large comfortable dressing rooms, and that Jennifer played my “walk down the aisle” song when I found my dress! I cried happy tears! It was great!”
To commemorate it all, Gianna and David were able to get the beach photos they had dreamed of by taking her dress along with them to their Hawaiian Honeymoon.
Gianna was such a joy to work with, and we are so excited for her happily ever after. Thank you for letting Charlotte’s be a part of your journey!
Reception Venue: The Amelia Island Club in Amelia Island, Florida
Ceremony Location: Fernandina Beach
Photographer: Rin Photo Studios @Rinphotostudios (Rin Karnatz)
Videographer: Pine and Perfume Videography (Mark and Michelle) @pineandperfume
Fire Dancers: Cirque Bishop (Bradley and Jess) @CirqueBishop
Florist: Ribbons and Lace Events (Samantha)
Hair and Make-up Artist: Hair By Christian (Christian Griffin) @ChristianGriffin
Bakery: Nana Teresa’s Bake Shop @NanaTeresaBakeShop
DJ/ Emcee: Walt Edwards of Amelia Island DJ @ameilaislanddj
Photo booth: Sydney Edwards of First Coast Photo Booth @firstcoastphotobooth
“I would really love to give an extra big shout out to my photographer, best friend, and maid of honor, Corrine ‘Rin’ Karnatz, who started her own business as a photographer back in Chicago and now works her dream job as an events photographer for a large entertainment facility in Orlando – The Happiest Place on Earth! She captured our love and memories and still upheld her duties as maid of honor without missing a beat! Her amazing husband Vince filled in behind the camera when Rin had to be at my side. They are honestly the best friends I could ever ask for!”