Florida Guide > Miscellaneous
Our Florida Wedding
My daughter had the big engagement party. She found it so stressful she decided that she definitely did not want the big wedding.
When we bought our villa in Florida she decided that she wanted a nice, quiet family wedding in the sunshine. I was delighted.
So we looked around for venues. She really wanted to get married at Cypress Gardens but she wanted her reception at Mt Dora-at The Garden Gate tea rooms. That would have meant driving for an hour to Cypress Gardens in one direction and then nearly 2 hours to the reception in the other direction so that was out of the question. The wedding had to take place in Mt Dora.
She had a trawl through the internet and found that the Darst Victorian Manor (now called Heron Cay) held weddings. It's a beautiful blue immaculate Victorian looking building-that was at least 10 years old at the time -so we contacted Nancy Darst, who showed us around and it was beautiful. They had a Victorian Parlour inside that we could use if the weather was bad-but all being well it was going to be under the oak trees outside. To use the facilities was $100 and the happy couple had to book a room there-which was the Victorian suite at about $200-and was really stunning.
We asked Nancy if she knew a notary who could perform the wedding. Nancy gave us the name of Jodie and we went along to meet her. Jodie was wearing shorts and barefoot (well it is Florida) on the day we went to meet her at her huge house in the country. My daughter and her fiancé picked a lovely wedding service from a book-naturally there was going to be no hymms or singing.
We found a photographer's shop in Mt Dora and asked if he would take the wedding pictures-he charged us for an hour of his time-I think it was about $200. He took two rolls of film and developed them for us-they were fantastic.
So with everything all organised we only had to find a dress. With an excellent excuse to go shopping-my daughter found a stunning long white dress with pale pink underskirt in Dillards. She looked a million dollars for the princely price of $120-it would have cost 10 times that in the UK. We hung the dress up in our owner's closet-there was no point in carting it all the to the UK and back.
With all the main preparations done in about 3 days -we then enjoyed the rest of our holiday.
The wedding was booked for October. My daughter had her pick of dates and times-she didn't have to fit around anyone else's schedule-we couldn't believe how easy it had all been.
When we got back in October we had about 6 days before the actual wedding-my daughter didn't want to look all jet lagged on her wedding day.
They went to the Kissimmee court house and got their licence. We went to Publix where she ordered her cake-pale pink and heart shaped-cost about $35. When you think of the price of a UK cake it makes your eyes water.
The day before the wedding she went to pick up her bouquet which she had ordered over the phone. We kept it overnight in the fridge and it lasted a full week after the wedding.
On the day itself mum and my son in law went up in his car and we took the bride.
The weather was gorgeous. She looked stunning-and all the men cried.
She couldn't have had a better day and it was all so stress free and compared to a UK wedding-it cost peanuts.
For anyone else thinking about it-I'd recommend it-and it is so easy to do yourself-there's no need to pay for someone else to do it.
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Page added on: 31 March 2007
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