Tara & Jeremy

How did you and your partner meet?

"We have an interesting story… we actually met when we were 19, dated through all of our 20’s, and broke up when he took a job in Denver, CO.  We were apart for most of our 30’s, although neither of us married or had children.  We reconnected when he walked into Wurst, where I was having my 39th birthday party (he was there for his friend Katie’s birthday on the same night!).  We spent the night talking and catching up… and over the course of the next few weeks/months I learned that he’d been telling his friends for years about “the one that got away” (me!).  Our “second-first date” was Vietnamese food, the downtown Christmas tree lighting, and cocktails…and we have been together ever since.  So my ex-boyfriend became my Boyfriend 2.0, then my fiancé, and now my husband!  I can truly say that he has been the love of my life through all the different phases in my life."


Proposal story?

"We took a family trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in January, 2017.  Jeremy had purchased my gorgeous engagement ring, and (unbeknownst to me) planned to propose on the trip. Unfortunately, there was a huge ice/snow storm as we were leaving and FedEx was unable to deliver the ring!  He was going to put the proposal on hold, and my brilliant sister convinced him to ask me “using anything, even a rubber band”.  On one of our last nights in the DR, he slipped away from the table during dinner and purchased a lovely Larimar ring from a street vendor… after dinner, we went out drinking and dancing with my soon-to-be brother and sister-in-law.  At the end of the night, we were walking back when Jeremy suddenly pulled me towards a gazebo out over the water, my favorite Beatles’ song (“In My Life”) began playing and we were dancing and saying lovely things to one another.  When the song ended, Jeremy was on one knee holding the sweet Larimar ring, asking me to be his wife.  It was a perfect moment, a perfect night, and an amazing trip… and I wore the Larimar ring on a long gold chain as my “Something Blue” for our wedding."  

How was the wedding planning process?  What was your favorite part of wedding planning?  

"Because we chose to have a destination wedding, the planning process was fairly straight-forward and easy, which was just what we needed.  My husband and I sat down with a laptop and a cocktail, and planned most of the details of our wedding in about an hour and a half!  We added on to those details over the next 18 months, but the overall structure of what we chose was all available online through the resort.  I’d have to say that our favorite planning pieces were in choosing the songs for our day, getting excited over our menus for the rehearsal and reception, and adding special touches like the catamaran cruise for all of our guests the night before our wedding, or the steel drum band during cocktail hour!" 

What was your favorite part of your wedding day?

"There were so many perfect moments!  I loved having a special bridal brunch the morning of the wedding to celebrate my relationships with all the women who were there…mom, mother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, and my girlfriends.  It was amazing to spend the afternoon getting ready with just my sister and having some quiet time together, bopping to music and prepping as we had done for so many high school homecoming dances and girls’ nights out in our past.  I loved the moment that my friend Kate saw me for the first time in my dress and teared up… I felt so loved, so beautiful, and so ready to get married!  Our friend Jesse was our officiant, and he was more perfect than I could have predicted… sweet, funny, and made our ceremony so intimate and so very “us”.  

The moment when my husband, during dinner, looked over at me with tears in his eyes and said that he’d remember how beautiful I was for the rest of his life and that my dress was more perfect than he could have imagined!!!  Being surprised by my sweet friend who’d flown from Atlanta singing a gorgeous a cappella version of Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect”.  The post-reception beach bonfire dance party… complete with bar, DJ, beer canoe, and everyone letting loose… SO much fun!!!  The fact that, amid all the celebration and events of the day, my night ended with my husband and I listing our favorite things about each other and our favorite things about our relationship.  It was an incredible day celebrating love, surrounded by the people who love and support us most, and then we got to experience sunny, gorgeous Jamaica with our friends and family!"  


What did you like about working with Charlotte’s?  Tell us about your dress shopping experience.  

"I was so nervous about shopping for a dress.  To be honest, it’s the part I was dreading most!  I am normally a self-assured person who likes the skin I’m in, but the prospect of picking THE dress had me in a total confidence crisis self-esteem slump.  I actually waited almost a year after getting engaged to go shopping… my sister called me a year before my wedding and said, “Happy negative one year anniversary.  It’s time to shop so that we can make sure you have what you want, and that every option is available to you”.  I knew that she was right, especially because I had a somewhat specific vision or style in mind… I really wanted a Gatsby-ish Art Deco style dress with sleeves, that would be flattering to my body, light enough to wear in warm weather, and look great on a Jamaican beach at night.  It also needed to fit my budget, be available in my size, etc.  A tall order, right?!  So, I made an appointment at a salon.  I did my due diligence before my appointment… researched dresses, purchased new shapewear, got a spray tan so that I felt better about being under the lights of a dressing room.  In short, my appointment was a nightmare… not only did the salon that I visited have nothing that fit what I was looking for, they had very little that fit ME.  I ended up getting physically stuck in a $7,000 beaded sheath gown that I had no intention of purchasing, while my bridal consultant went for help.  I left the salon in tears, with my confidence at an all time low.  

After my experience at the first salon, I was searching for any option to not have to shop for wedding dresses ever again.  My sister convinced me to not let one experience be the only experience, and just to try ONE more store…. Enter, Charlotte’s.  

From the very beginning of my appointment, it couldn’t have been more different than my first experience!  Charlotte’s was warm and welcoming, and my consultant Stephanie was lovely, knowledgeable, real and down-to-earth.  She respected and celebrated my vision for what I wanted, and worked hard to make sure that it was possible.  I am so grateful to Stephanie, and to Charlotte’s for making sure that my Madison James dress was perfect, and for helping me to celebrate my curves and feel good about myself during the process.  I didn’t want too many opinions or pressure during my appointment, so I only brought along my sister… but I also wanted to be able to include my mom and my future mother-in-law in the process so they could feel involved and appreciated.  After I chose and purchased my gown, Charlotte’s let me bring my group in when the gown came in for a “Say Yes to the Dress” experience complete with mimosas, a champagne toast, choosing accessories, etc.  It was a perfect way to include my special ladies without the pressure of having an audience while I chose my gown. Charlotte’s is passionate about their brides, knowledgeable, current, relevant, and I can’t recommend them enough!"  


Do you have any general advice for future brides? 

"Stay true to your own vision of how you want to feel, look, and experience your day.  Take a deep breath, and DON'T second guess yourself.  You know who you are, and you will know what you like and don’t like!  There will be a million directions to go, and twice as many opinions from well-meaning family, friends, etc.  Try not to be overwhelmed by it all, gracefully thank everyone for their help, and then make the day about you and your husband and YOUR love.  After all, that’s what everyone is there to celebrate!  Finally, invest in a truly great photographer and videographer to capture all the little moments of your day.  You will want to revisit those memories, and it’s so much fun to see your wedding from the perspective of those who were there to celebrate with you, as well as have something to share with loved ones who weren’t able to attend." 

Featured Vendors

Venue: Beaches Ocho Rios, St. Mary's Parrish, Jamaica

Photographer: Jamaican Wedding - Beaches Photographer

Snowy post-wedding shoot - Lindsey Stanton Photography

Florist: Jamaican Wedding - Beaches Florist

Snowy post-wedding shoot - Katie Stewart of Dearhouse Collective

Hair and Makeup: The bride herself, Tara!

Travel Agent: Jamie Anderson of Julie's Travel

Alterations: Andrea Hoyt of August Veils

Dress: Madison James