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A Marriage Fit For A Mermaid

Emily Thomas is a self-proclaimed lover of all things sea-life. She’s happiest with her feet in the sand, but the most ecstatic she’s ever been was when Jacob Thomas’ knee met the sand to ask for her hand in marriage. A Panama City Beach proposal led to a Panama City Beach wedding complete with starfish details, ocean blue hues and a beachfront ceremony.

“Jacob and I met in a bank that I used to work for called Clayton Bank in November of 2014. He was coming in to visit with my coworker, which was his cousin. Jacob asked her about me, and he started to message me on Facebook. We eventually exchanged phone numbers and he started to call me every day. We went on one date in December of 2014, but we both weren’t ready for serious relationships at the time. He also lived in Kingsport, Tennessee, and I lived in Knoxville, Tennessee. He continued to call me every day for a year. We officially started dating in December of 2015. Jacob had plans to move to Knoxville, Tennessee in April of 2016. We started living together in December of 2016.”

“He proposed to me on June 27, 2019, in Panama City Beach, Florida on the beach. When we returned home from the proposal trip, we found out that we were pregnant with our daughter, Baileigh Thomas. We each had a daughter from our previous relationships. My thirteen-year-old, Chloe Beeler, and his eleven-year-old, Adlee Thomas. Three girls all together! Baileigh helped to join our little blended family. I am thankful that we were pregnant after the proposal trip because, I would have planned a wedding in 2020, and COVID-19 happened. We would have probably had to cancel, and we may have lost a lot of money in the process. Thankfully, I was pregnant, and I put off the wedding until 2021. I took my time, and I planned the perfect beach wedding over two years. We had our wedding on the beaches of Panama City, Florida.”

“We did a sand unity ceremony during our wedding ceremony to officially join our blended family. It was precious. I am a mermaid, seashell and starfish lover, and this really was my dream wedding. All our friends and family helped to make this happen for us as well. The venue, Little Mermaid Properties, had two adjoining beach houses. The Opulent Pearl, and The Quiet Lady. They had ten rooms in each house. Everyone helped to chip in for the week, and so everyone was already there for the wedding. I planned my bachelorette party, my husband had his bachelor party and we had our rehearsal dinner all in the same week. The wedding was Thursday, July 1, 2021. It ended up being the prettiest day of the week. I was so thankful.”

“The first special moment was the first look. My husband burst into tears when he saw me walking down the aisle with my late father, Edward Osborn. It was a precious moment.The next special moment was when we did our sand unity with the girls. Our sixteen-month-old was so happy to come up there with us, and my daughter Chloe cried when the officiant asked her and Adlee if they were committed to our union. My husband burst into tears again, and hugged Chloe.”

“Another special moment was mine and Jacob’s first dance. We danced to our song through our entire relationship, ‘Paperweight’ by Joshua Radin and Schuyler Fisk. My husband also grabbed me several times to dance during the reception for other songs as well. We were so happy, and so in love, and it showed. The dance with my late father, Edward Osborn was special as well. We danced to ‘You’re the Only Little Girl’ by Steve and Annie Chapman. This song was special to us because I sang this song with him as a little girl in churches. When we danced to this song everyone started crying, and I sang to my dad in his ear. He was so happy that I sang to him. He kept telling everyone that I sang to him. My father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and Lewy Body Dementia. It was a miracle that he made it to my wedding day. I was lucky to have him to walk me down the aisle, to give me away and to dance with me at the reception. We also did a special dance with our three girls. We decided to do a special dance since we are a blended family. We danced to ‘A Thousand Years’ by Christina Perri.”

“The last special moment was when Jacob gave me my wedding present. I asked him for a card with all of the reasons that he loved me to be in it. You know how hard it is to get men to share their feelings. He surprised me by giving a special toast instead in front of everyone listing all the reasons that he loved me. It was so special! I will never forget it. It takes a lot of courage for men to share their feelings, and then to do it in front of everyone. That was the best gift I have ever received.”

“I had some great vendors. My alterations company, The Perfect Fit, worked with me on my weight loss with my wedding gown up until the day before we left on our trip. My venue owner, Genese Hatcher, and my wedding planner, Ashlee Hatcher-Shaw went above and beyond. They made sure everything was the way I wanted it. They even took pictures for me as well, and they also made a special video of the whole evening, plus took other videos as well. They saved me money by doing that, so I didn’t have to hire a videographer. Genese also brought me down food and a mimosa while I was having photos taken after the ceremony. My photographer, Ana Edwards, went above and beyond by staying extra time past the three hours we hired her for. She just loved our vibe and theme so much, she decided to stay a little longer. The DJ was very nice and complimented our group. The caterer worked with me up until the last minute on my guests’ RSVP’s. My hair and makeup artist, Lisa Port, with Destin Mobile Makeup Box, made sure that she knew exactly what I wanted with my hair and makeup. She was very patient with me on my lashes. Donna Beasley, a friend of ours, she made my bridesmaids bouquets and boutonnières. She took the time to sit with me and go through stuff that she bought to make sure it was exactly what I wanted. She also helped to make the heart in the sand around our ceremony arbor. My friends and family were also a big help. My mom made my cake. My sister’s boyfriend, Nick, also helped to make the heart in the sand. Jacob’s groomsman, David, brought his camera and took some photos for us as well. My friends and family helped us to pay for our wedding venue.  Everyone was a part of making our special day happen. I chose a really great group of people for my wedding.”

“My advice would be to take your time planning. Don’t stress. It is your special day. Make sure that your wedding is everything you want, and don’t worry about pleasing others. Don’t forget to enjoy your special day!”

Ana Edwards Photography – Photographer

Little Mermaid Properties in Panama City Beach, Florida – Venue

DJ Rad Music Services– DJ

Officiant Doug – Officiant

Destin Mobile Makeup Box– Hair and Makeup

The Gilded Gown- Bride’s Wedding Gown

The Perfect Fit, Leah Williams – Alterations

Victoria’s Last Bite– Caterer

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