Do you think that everything needs to be perfect and go just as you have planned it when it comes to your wedding? At the end of the day, what matters is that you are married to the man or woman that you love ... read on to see how we truly got to use the word "Serendipity" for one of our recent weddings ...
In Pensacola and in the entire US, we all know that if you are in the military, you can be deployed at any time. This was exactly the case for Ayanna and Milton. They are both in the Navy, and had a wedding scheduled for July 23rd, 2011. On Monday, June 6th, Ayanna learned that Milton would be deployed for six to twelve months on June 27th, therefore calling me to tearfully tell me the news and canceling their wedding. As her wedding planner, this left an awful feeling in my stomach, particularly because this couple has that special love that fills a room. My wedding planning business, named Serendipity Designs, felt this was a moment where we could truly use the meaning of the word serendipity, with “a happy discovery” for our bride and groom.
So, after sleeping on it, on Tuesday morning, June 7th, I called to talk to Ayanna and see if she was up for doing something a bit out of the ordinary – moving everything up to have a wedding before he leaves. After all, we had everything she needed – a wedding dress, his tux, a photographer, a florist, a cake, an officiant, a church, and the two of them – and at the end of the day, you don't even need to have all of that! So, that is exactly what we did. After making a lot of phone calls, we got everything moved up to Monday, June 20th - just twelve days after the initial idea came to mind. All of the family members of Ayanna and Milton were from the US Virgin Islands or Texas, and those of them that could switch their flights on such short notice did.
At 3:00 on Monday, June 20th at the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church, Ayanna and Milton exchanged their wedding vows in front of twenty-one family members and friends. Everyone in attendance was filled with emotion – from happiness to tears of joy.
After the ceremony, we then went to Palafox Pier to capture the moments from the day with the amazing photographer Irwin Funes of Funes Photography, where we had a little surprise for them. When Irwin discovered they wouldn't be having a reception where they would have a first dance, he downloaded the song they were originally going to have their first dance to onto an iPhone, and I brought a portable speaker so they could be have that special moment with each other. There, on Palafox Pier under the trees, they had their first dance as husband and wife, slowly dancing to “This is Love” by Kelly Rowland. And it was beautiful. The evening then continued with a family dinner at The Melting Pot Restaurant, complete with wedding cake, champagne, and lots of laughter. Love was definitely in the air, and it was felt by everyone around them.
It isn't every day that we get the chance to do something like this – or have everyone pitch in to help and make it happen. However, living in a time and a place where things can easily change, this is one of the reasons I love being in the business of weddings. This couple deserved to have a beautiful wedding, and just because things didn't work out the way they originally planned, that did not stop them from feeling overjoyed – they were a great couple who had their priorities straight when it came to their marriage. At the end of the day, Ayanna and Milton got their happy ending, and I am blessed that I got to be a part of it.
If nothing else, please use their story as a reminder that at the end of the day, you get to marry the person of your dreams - don't let the little items (or the large ones) consume you - anything is possible with a little bit of kindness, a lot of hard work, and a few fortunate discoveries along the way ...