Today's real wedding is a true example of the power of love. Joanna and Chris had planned for a Fall wedding earlier in the year. When Hurricane Harvey hit at the end of August complicating their plans, they decided to go through with it anyway! We love how intimate and beautiful their beach setting was! Enjoy this Florida Destination Wedding on the Beach! Xoxo, Jessica
Joanna + Chris
November 11th, 2017
Redington Beach, Florida | Private Residence
What was the breakdown of your wedding budget?
We spent $10-$12k.
$7k on the house for the weekend
$3k on photographer
$700 on my dress
$500 on his suit
$400 on flowers
plus misc chair rental, etc.
Family provided food and drink
How did you meet?
A long time ago in a land far, far away, a boy named Chris met a girl named Joanna at a church youth group through some mutual friends in Festus, MO. They were both 16 and had May birthdays. They hit it off and became the best of pals! Chris led worship and played keyboard and Joanna sang. Neither was interested in dating at the time but they both admired one another deeply and developed a close friendship. Though Joanna moved away, they stayed connected through the years. Chris sang at Joanna's wedding. Joanna sang at Chris's wedding. They drifted apart and started families but interestingly their lives paralleled in many ways. Both worked for traveling ministries. Both worked for global ministries. Both worked in marketing and media. Both often took the road less traveled and both found themselves single again at age 42.
One day, Chris messaged Joanna on Facebook. The two struck up a conversation and began catching up. It was like putting on your favorite slippers! They chatted online for a while and graduated to a phone call. And then another, and then another. Joanna was online dating at the time and Chris would offer his friendly advice, “That guy is not right for you….no, move on from that guy…” Over time, feelings started to develop between them so they decided to meet up in person and just see what would happen. In the words of Mrs. Potts, “There was something there that wasn’t there before!” The two felt so connected they could hardly be apart from one another. One or two-hour phone calls turned into three to five-hour phone calls nightly. They talked about everything! They traveled on weekends to see each other and as messy as it was, they both knew they never wanted to part ways again. This was the “one more chance” they both dreamed about.
What is your proposal story?
We both just knew that we were so perfect together as kids and had similar values as adults. Our relationship was long distance and we talked so much we were like, “We should just get married!” So we did. Chris is having a custom ring made for me and it's still in the works. I used the center stone for the ceremony but the setting is still being made. So, I guess he hasn't proposed yet! Ha. Just kidding.
Tell us about your wedding vision.
Earlier in the year, we knew the fall would make sense for a wedding and we wanted it to be before the Holidays but on a weekend when people could travel. We planned for November but then Harvey hit at the end of August and threw all of our plans into a tizzy. My home was affected but we still wanted to do the wedding anyway!
Tell us about your attire choices.
Well, with restoring my Houston home after Harvey, I just didn't have time to shop. I bought a couple of dresses online and tried them and then sent them back. I didn't have time to be too choosy. I found my dress one week before the wedding and bought it off the rack!
What was the most important to you while planning? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?
We splurged on the rental house that would sleep 22 people on the beach. We wanted the whole experience to be about family and joining our families since we both had kids from our prior marriages. It was perfect!
What were your favorite parts of the day?
Where to begin?? The weather was gorgeous. The sunset was incredible, it was relaxed and we focused on us so the little imperfections that happen at every wedding were not an issue. We just rolled with it knowing that we were celebrating our love with family and that's what we wanted.
Tell us about your wedding flowers.
Bouqs.com. Again, fast and easy! They were great!
Tell us about your wedding cake.
I found a picture of a simple cake on Pinterest with a beachy theme. My mother had a friend make it, gluten, dairy free and delicious!
What did you do for favors?
My family did us all the favors! Ha! We bought mini bottles with messages inside to write notes to everyone but we never sent them.
Please describe any handmade, DIY, or personal items.
My aunt is an amazing cook and enjoys catering as a hobby. Since we were dealing with Harvey aftermath, I tasked her with organizing the food. It made it special because all of my family pitched in. We provided lodging, they provided food.
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
My dear sweet friend let me borrow a necklace and earring set that was her great grandmothers from the early 1900's, custom made by Tiffany & CO. It was so special and I was blown away. Borrowed. Check. Blue. Check. Amazing! Check! Check!
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Don't get caught up in the details. Look good for pictures because those last! No one ever remembers the food. When you walk out to the ceremony, stop and look around at all the people and take in the moment. Then walk down the aisle. Do the same at the reception. Walk in, look around at the whole scene and take it in. Don't be in such a rush to do the next thing that you miss the love that is surrounding you.
Photography: Andi Diamond Photography • Ceremony Venue: private residence on Indian Shore • Wedding Dress: David's Bridal • Groom's Attire: Men's Wearhouse • Bridesmaid Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu • Submitted via: Matchology