Michaela and John have family living in Tallahassee and they both lived in Indianapolis at the same time, but it took moving to Los Angeles to meet. Where they could have met countless times in these cities, their love story proves that stars and paths cross when they are meant to.
When considering their wedding city, they knew it would be in Northwest Florida. At first, they considered Alys Beach, but their hearts called them home towards Tallahassee. The couple’s modern French tropical theme coincided with their garden-side ceremony and classy rooftop reception. Michaela shares their love story and the beginning of their chapter called marriage.
“John and I both lived in Indianapolis for years, never having met one another. We would later come to find out that John lived only a block from where I worked. A week before I was set to pack up my entire life and try to fit it into my Honda Civic, a guy approached me and said that he knew a girlfriend of mine. Awkwardly enough, I was trying to politely communicate to him that I wasn’t interested, so I told him I was moving to Los Angeles. He started talking about his friend John and how he had just left a few days ago and was on his way to LA as well. I very adamantly told him to give John my number in hopes he would get the hint that I wasn’t interested in him. Well, fast forward three months and that mutual friend did in fact give his friend John my number and the rest is history. Since the moment we met, we have almost never spent a night apart. Some say our story sounds like fate, but I think that just goes to show that your soulmate is out there. He could very well be right under your nose, but it might take moving across the country to actually find him.”
“My sister, maid of honor and John’s best man all gave toasts at our reception. My sister is not at all a public speaker but managed to gather the courage to speak in front of all our guests at the reception. I don’t know that John or myself have ever felt more loved than during those toasts. Both my maid of honor and the best man delivered hilarious and emotional speeches. Between jokes about our age difference, our height difference (I’m taller), or how happy they are for the two of us for finding one another, there were a lot of tears.”
“Aside from toasts, other special moments included watching my 85-year-old grandmother, Mimi, and her 93-year-old sister dance together alongside some of my other family members. I’m not sure who had more fun, but we could not get Mimi off the dance floor! Lauren and Bryce were able to capture some of the sweetest moments between all of us, and although everyone pictured may not be able to gather all together again, those memories will last a lifetime.”
“After 2 save the dates, 3 invitations, and 1 change the date, we found out after the wedding that December 19th was exactly 40 years to the date of when John’s parents got married. John’s father passed away when he was 21, so he was not able to watch us get married, but we think he might’ve had something to do with this special coincidence.”
“As my reign as Jr. Miss Williston came to an end in 2007, I was given the opportunity to write an essay about my experience and have the recording play to a song of my choosing during my final walk on stage before crowning my successor. My mom recommended that I use the song ‘My Wish’ by Rascal Flatts because she felt that it matched perfectly. Not wanting to admit that she was right, every time she would suggest the song, my answer was consistently no. As she watched me walk on stage to begin my final walk, she was surprised to hear the words ‘My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to..’ This song soon became something we bonded over. Before the wedding, I devised a plan with our DJ to not let anyone make song requests, and that after the father- daughter/mother- son dances concluded, our DJ announced that sure enough, he did receive multiple requests for a certain song, all requested by the one person, and if you know my mother you would know that this is very on brand for her. He then told the guests, ‘The bride would like for her mother to make her way to the dance floor for a mother-daughter dance.’ Now, fourteen years later, as she made her way to me, cheering and shaking with excitement just at the thought of getting a surprise dance, she heard the words ‘My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to.’ This moment for us was even more special than my last walk in 2007.”
“Without our vendors, our wedding wouldn’t have been possible, but some stood out more than others. Finding out that we had to completely switch venues only four months before our wedding was incredibly stressful, but after meeting Robin and Ali from Simply Entertaining, our stress was alleviated. They worked extremely hard with a very short timeline and were incredibly professional throughout the entire process. Robin and Ali went above and beyond on multiple occasions, especially the day of our wedding. After facing one roadblock after the other, including heavy rain the morning of, Robin and Ali made swift decisions and last-minute changes to ensure everything would be perfect. I am so thankful I trusted them with my wedding. If you are getting married in North Florida, you need Simply Entertaining. We are also immensely grateful for our photographer, Lauren and her husband Bryce were so kind and easy to work with. As a habitually awkward photo taker, I was so happy to see the way our photos turned out. Their attention to detail shines through in all of their work. Lauren even found my Pinterest board shot list and made sure to capture all of our most wanted photos!”
“After planning and re-planning my wedding for two years due to covid, this is what I learned: One of the only other things that you have after your wedding day is over, are your photos! Do your research and take your time selecting the best photographer. Hire a wedding coordinator. Most venues have wedding/event coordinators, but you need someone that has your best interest in mind. It also helps to have a third party that isn’t emotionally invested in all of the wedding planning so that they can properly negotiate and work through any issues you might have.If your budget allows, I highly recommend this, and if it doesn’t, ask a friend or family member to handle/help with day of coordination etc. Even if you think you aren’t someone who cries, you will cry. So plan accordingly! Waterproof mascara, extra tissues. Lastly, things don’t always go the exact way you planned them, so try not to let your wedding overwhelm you. Don’t worry about your dress getting dirty, or forgetting your veil. The day will be over before you know it, so enjoy it. It’ll be the best day of your life – so far.”
Coordinator(s)- Robin and Ali, Simply Entertaining
Ceremony: Alfred B Maclay State Gardens State Park, Reflection Pool
Reception: The Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Oasis Pool deck
Wedding Dress- Allure Bridal from White Weddings Tallahassee
Florist- A Country Rose Florist
Hair & Makeup- Studio Bride (PRIM Salon Jacksonville)