It's no secret that I'm a big fan of the ladies of Stay Forever Photography based out of Palm Beach, Florida. They consistently produce classically vivid images. They're experts in getting all the detail shots and what I REALLY love about them is their ability to capture all the special moments. The ladies recently shot Maureen + Brian's Palm City, Florida and, once again, it did not disappoint. The couple was engaged for a little over a year before tying the knot in a beautiful church ceremony that was followed the perfect coastal reception.
I asked Maureen to join us today to tell us their love story...
Tell us a little bit about how you met your husband. How long have you known each other? Where did you meet?
Brian and I met under a very serendipitous occasion. Neither of us had lived in Florida very long, and had only moved here to relax and get away for a bit. There was a new restaurant starting up in town, and we had both secured kitchen positions. Hundreds of people applied to work at this new restaurant, and we both made it. As soon as I met him, I knew there was something special about it. I went home and told my mom about him, and he went and told his sister about me! We met a few days before Valentine’s Day, and starting dating April fool’s day. He proposed to me a year later!
How did he propose? How long were you engaged?
Our first official date was a walk on the beach after a rain storm had just passed. The waves were huge that day, and jellyfish were strewn all over the beach. We sat on the sand and just talked. Nearly a year later, we took a walk on the beach- on our anniversary. He said that he liked making memories with me- and I agreed. And then he asked me if I wanted to make memories for the rest of our lives together, and he pulled out a beautiful ring. And I simply said yes. It was very intimate and special. We were engaged for 14 months.
Out of the entire day, what was the most memorable moment?
There are almost too many wonderful moments when I see the slideshow in my head of that day!! I can remember my excited anxiousness as we arrived at the church. I remember walking down the aisle with my dad, and feeling like a superhero, knowing that I was marrying the best person in the world. I loved our Church ceremony- it was so beautiful, so soft, and just lovely. If I have to pick one moment as my most memorable, I remember having our first dance, and looking into each other’s eyes and singing the lyrics softly just enough so that we were the only ones that could hear it. Just wonderful!
This is my favorite shot. Maureen, first off, you are absolutely adorable and I love your expression in this image. Secondly, I love how Brian is looking at her. You can just see the love :)
What’s your favorite picture from your wedding?
I love this picture because it shows how wonderfully sweet Brian is. He is so tender and loving in everything he does and it shows in my eyes how much I trust him.
How did you choose your venue? What elements drew you to it?
We had first chosen and put a deposit down on a venue that is gorgeous. But, the more I thought about it, and the logistics of everything, I became highly stressed out. We started looking for other venues. My parents live in a neighborhood with a golf course and yacht house. It just made sense to go there instead. It is located on a river, with gorgeous boats floating at the dock, the foliage around the building just boasts of south Florida charm, and the nautical touches inside made it masculine but not overpowering. It was perfect.
Your wedding was filled with gorgeous details. Did any have special meaning? What was your favorite?
Everything about the day had real sentiment to it. All of my grandparents have passed away, so we tried to honor and remember them with certain things. The earrings that I wore were from a ring that my grandmother had, and my mom had the diamonds constructed on a silver chain. Brian carried my grandfather’s blue handkerchief that was wrapped up with a necklace that his grandmother had. Our wedding flutes were given to me by my sister that had come from Ireland- where my grandmother was from. I wore a ring, borrowed that day from my Aunt, as a replica of my Nanna’s onyx and diamond ring. Everything that was incorporated into our wedding had meaning for us. The list could go on. It is nearly impossible to pick a favorite because everything was so so special.
Tell us a little about your menu.
We were intent on having a wedding where people loved the food and would be talking about it for years. We enlisted Chef John Carlino and his team to create a masterpiece of a day for us! Our cocktail hour- which was two hours- was filled with Southern style food; mini BBQ pork sliders, Caribbean jerked shrimp, Red Strip soaked chicken skewers, Florida fresh ceviche, and, my favorite- a fruit bar. Freshly cut fruit topped with coconut or soaked in alcohol atop an ice bed with palm frawns frozen into it. Dinner ran the gamut from lamb chops to filet mignon, from Caribbean quinoa with fruit to freshly made pasta purses with goat cheese and pears. To conclude the dining portion of the night, my wonderful friend, Alexandra Mudry created our cake in Washington, DC and transported it on the plane with her. She constructed it while in Florida!! It was AMAZING!!
Looking back on your engagement and wedding, is there any advice you would give to brides in the planning process?
No matter what, things will always arise that you do not expect to happen. That happened for us, on more than one occasion throughout our year plus of organizing. You just have to go with the flow, don’t freak out, and realize that it might be better for you/ the day anyway in the long run. Come up with 2nd and 3rd plans. That way you are never shocked, and can move on easily from it without stressing. AND have fun at the wedding- it only lasts for one day- so soak it all up!!!