SunQuest Cruise wedding sails on
Amidst a hurricane, tornado warnings, redirected flights, flooding and COVID-19, Blake and Yulia Steinvorth made it to the altar. The couple set sail on the Solaris yacht by SunQuest as the storm broke, shedding light and love on their ceremony.
Like many millennial love stories begin, Blake and Yulia met on Tinder. For Blake, it was his first and only Tinder date. He jokingly gives the app a 100% success rate. The couple has been together for three years, and Blake knew Yulia was the one soon after swiping.
Blake created a winter wonderland of a proposal. What Yulia thought was simply a trip to spend time with Blake’s parents in Utah turned out to be an epic proposal. The group snowshoed through the scenic landscape of snow to a charming yurt in the forest. Blake arranged for a private chef to prepare an impressive dinner, and at the end of the meal, he stood to make a speech. The speech concluded with Blake on one knee asking Yulia to marry him.
When the couple began planning their wedding, they envisioned a Destin wedding. They yearned for a unique and memorable experience that they could provide to their friends and family. When they learned about SunQuest Cruises, they were immediately entranced by the scenery and special experience that getting married aboard a yacht would provide. What sealed the deal were the all-inclusive packages SunQuest specializes in.
“SunQuest offered a package that included everything for a very reasonable price,” said Blake Steinvorth. “SunQuest covered all of the bases and made everything stress free because they took care of the large and minor details. The wedding coordinator, Sureya, was wonderful and ensured everything went without a hitch.”
Equipped with a dreamy venue and the trusted team at SunQuest Cruises, Blake and Yulia had no idea that rough waters lay ahead. Days before the wedding, Blake drove from Baton Rouge to Destin through the winds of a hurricane while Yulia and her family travelled through tornado warnings in Tallahassee.
As they drove, the couple received calls from guests who were experiencing travel troubles of their own. A group of guests that were supposed to arrive in Pensacola were rerouted to New Orleans. In an effort to make it to the wedding, the group rented a car and made the drive. More trials were presented as in their path — the Pensacola bridge broke, and the Mobile tunnel was closed.
As the couple approached Destin, they heard reports of severe flooding. The area surrounding the beach house they had rented was flooded, but fortunately the home itself experienced no damage.
On top of the weather-related stress was the global pandemic. Fortunately, the couple came equipped with masks that Blake’s mother handmade and had screen-printed with the couple’s logo. They enforced a mask rule and had guests get tested.
On Sept. 19, 2020 the storm ceased enough for the yacht to set sail. The couple exchanged vows under a light drizzle, which added to the romance and helped create some breathtaking photographs. During their first kiss as a married couple, the wind picked up Yulia’s dress in what Blake described as a “Marilyn Munroe moment, but less revealing.” It was a memorable and striking moment — now forever captured.
“Brandi, our photographer, was incredible,” said Yulia. “She knew all of the right angles and made the rain and wind work in our favor in the images. We can’t fully express how much we love her work.”
One of Yulia’s favorite moments of the day was watching Blake and his mother dance together, “seeing the warmth and beauty of their relationship made me cry.”
The couple could only classify their first dance as magical as they swayed while it lightly rained. Blake’s most memorable moment, a scene he will cherish forever, is first seeing Yulia in her gown.
“We had our first look on the upper deck, and when I turned around, I broke down and cried,” said Blake. “She truly looked like the princess that I think she is.”
Among the heartfelt moments were humorous ones. Yulia is Ukrainian, and per Russian tradition, her brothers kidnapped her and held her for ransom on the morning of the wedding. In order for the bridal party to gain her back, they had to provide breakfast. For the groom to earn his bride back, he was demanded to provide mimosas and recite Yulia a love poem while wearing a silly hat and dancing.
Despite the obstacles presented by storms and COVID-19, the couple weathered these trials as a true team relying on the strength of their love and commitment to one another to guide them through.
“The best advice I was given was to not stress the little stuff, because the day goes by so fast and is such a wave of emotion that you won’t even notice those small details,” said Yulia. “Just focus on being married to one another and concentrating on your relationship. Every detail was figured out, and our wedding was even better than I dreamt it could be — absolutely magical.”
Photographer: Brandi Roberson
Venue: SunQuest Cruises
Food: SunQuest Cruises
Dress: Dream Gowns
DJ: Gwen Lanier
Flowers: SunQuest and Yulia’s family
Bridesmaids dresses: Azizie and David’s Bridal