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A Modern Love Story

Northwest Florida Weddings Magazine digital editor gets hitched

Northwest Florida Weddings Magazine’s digital editor Alix Black and Jon Dodge met the way many couples seem to meet in today’s world—via technology.

After moving around the Southeast chasing opportunities, including horseback riding professionally for over 10 years, Alix moved to Niceville, Florida to help with her mother’s health needs. A long way from his hometown in Oregon, Jon found himself in the area due to an employment opportunity. Both wanted to make friends and connect with others along the Emerald Coast.

What was a chance meeting on a friend-connecting website became so much more. Several months after meeting and chatting online, Alix and Jon realized that they really enjoyed speaking with each other and were interested in meeting in person.

Photos courtesy of Cedar Relics Photography


That first meeting was comical, to say the least. When they initially planned to meet at a local restaurant, Jon didn’t know that he would need dental work that same day. When he learned that he was to have his mouth injected with Novocain, he did not want to disappoint Alix or push the meeting back. So, Jon arrived with a numb and swollen mouth and was only able to talk a little as the injections wore off.

This surprise didn’t bother Alix as she was always outgoing and willing to do most of the talking. Upon their second in-person meeting, she discovered that Jon was her match for cracking jokes and telling stories (sans dental work).

Then came life.

Health complications with Alix’s mother caused Alix to give Jon the old line, “It’s not you, but I can’t connect for a while.” Jon thought maybe he had heard the last from Alix (did he just get ghosted?) However, that was not the case. After a few months, once her mother was in recovery and doing well, Alix reached out to Jon.

From there, things evolved naturally. A friendship became a relationship, and soon, the two moved in together. Jon has three lovely children, and the family began to blend. Alix and Jon had spoken of marriage in their future, but it came as a pretty big surprise when Jon proposed three years into their relationship. When asked, Jon simply felt “it was time” and relished the thought of surprising Alix with a wonderful proposal.

The wedding date was soon set, and Alix, along with help from Jon, her friends and family, planned their wedding for the next two years.

The day before the wedding, the outside ceremony rehearsal was distracting. Very high winds made it hard to hear and left everyone concerned about what to wear and whether hairstyles would survive the onslaught.

However, the special day came, along with perfect weather, and Alix and Jon wed on October 21, 2023.

“The wedding venue was beautiful, the vendors were amazing and talented and the weather turned out just perfect,” said Alix. “I could not have asked for a more lovely Florida day to marry my best friend.”

The venue had everything on Alix’s checklist—beautiful fields and an orchard, a pond, a beautiful oak tree to hold the ceremony, a lovely modern barn reception area and an alternative ceremony site in case of bad weather. It is Florida, after all.

Photos by Cedar Relics Photography

The officiant was someone very special to the couple, Alix’s uncle David, who came all the way from New York City. David was a major part of Alix’s life when she grew up with a single mother, Leith (before Leith met Alix’s wonderful stepfather, Randy, who legally adopted Alix at age 11). David orated eloquently and really understood Alix and Jon as a couple as he expressed their love for each other.

“It was by far one of the best days of my life,” said Alix. “It meant so much to me that family traveled from Oregon, New York City, New Mexico and more to be with Jon and I on our special day.”

Jon felt the day was just right as well. “With my children by my side, I was able to marry my best friend, the person I knew I wanted to spend my life with.”

Jon was joined by his three beautiful children, the oldest as a groomsman and the middle as a flower girl, and also by his mother, Tasha, father, Mark (another groomsman) and one of Jon’s younger brothers. Jon’s best man came from Texas to stand by the couple.

Photos by Cedar Relics Photography

The ceremony and reception held fun and special moments, some guided by the bride and others a wonderful surprise.

The bride walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of composer John Williams’ iconic Jurassic Park theme song. The wedding party walked down the aisle to instrumental renditions of popular songs (think Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran) as heard on the hit Netflix show Bridgerton.

“One of my uncles inspired a love of fantastic movies, including the wonder of Jurassic Park,” said Alix. “When I thought about what I wanted to walk down the aisle to, it was the first thing to pop in my mind, and I thought, ‘why not’? It is very beautiful and moving on its own, and the melody brought a sense of wonder and whimsy to my introduction.”

Alix’s father, Randy Black, walked her down the aisle, and her mother, in a beautiful dress, smiled on.

During the reception, Alix and Randy paused the father-daughter dance to invite Alix’s wheelchair-bound mother to join them. Together, they held Leith up and finished the dance.

Photos by Cedar Relics Photography

Jon’s Native American grandmother, Joyce, surprised the couple by singing a beautiful song in her Blackfoot Native American tribe language.

The cake had a special surprise for guests—figures of the couple’s two cats were nestled among the succulents and frosting.

The entire day was a mix of tradition but with a modern twist. Most of the photographs were taken before the ceremony, with a “sneak peek” set wherein Jon saw Alix in her dress for the first time. The entire day went off without a hitch, and Alix and Jon are so pleased to begin spending the rest of their lives together. They cannot wait to see what adventures await them, beginning with a trip to Europe for their honeymoon!

Venue: South Laurel Weddings and Event Venue

Photographer: Cedar Relics Photography

DJ: ACE50Media/Johnny Alexander

Catering: The Depot

Wedding Dress: Simply Elegant Bridal

Florals: Sola Wood Flowers, arranged by the bride

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