OC-BridesHero-Felesha

“This dress is something I will cherish forever, and I hope to pass it down to a daughter or family member.”

When was your wedding?

Our wedding was on December 10, 2021.

What was the name of your venue and why did you choose it?

Our wedding was at The Lightner Museum in downtown St. Augustine, Florida. With most of our guests traveling from out of town, we wanted a unique experience they wouldn’t forget. Once we toured The Lightner Museum, we instantly fell in love. It is full of history and charm along with the full experience of downtown! We also had the added bonus of getting married in December during “Night of Lights,” which added so much beauty to our special day.

How long did it take to plan your big day? Any vendors you’d like to recognize?

We chose The Lightner Museum in April, so we had about nine months to plan the wedding. The three vendors I am SO happy I chose were my caterer, The Chef’s Garden (months later, I am still getting compliments on the food), my photographer, Luke Griffis, and my videographer, Courtney Clayton.

Who is the designer of your gown and where was it purchased?

My husband and I moved to St. Augustine in June of last year from Nashville, Tennessee, so I purchased my dress in Nashville at Brides by Glitz.

When did you know that your gown was “the one?”

In February of 2021, we lost the matriarch of our family, my grandmother Rosemarie. With Rose being her first name, that became her calling card and most of her things were adorned with a red rose.

After her passing, I held off for a long time going wedding dress shopping as I couldn’t imagine doing that without her. Finally my mother, mother-in-law and I decided to spend an afternoon looking. After trying a few dresses on, I walked out in a beautiful gown but hadn’t had a chance to pay attention to the details on it. When I turned around to look at the back of the dress, all three of us realized there was a rose pattern lace all down the back. Immediately, we all started crying since we knew this was the one!

To seal the deal, a few months later on my grandma’s birthday, I was looking through old pictures and I came across her wedding pictures. After looking closely, I realized she also had a rose pattern lace down the entire backside of her dress that matched my lace roses almost perfectly. Planning my wedding was so hard without her, but after all of these events, I didn’t feel like I was doing it without her anymore. She was with me and I know she will continue to be a part of every facet of my life, she is just a little further away now!

Why did you want to get your gown cleaned and preserved by Oceanside?

Clearly, this dress is something I will cherish forever, and I hope to pass it down to a daughter or family member. I wanted it cleaned and preserved because even if no one ever wears it again, it was such a great remembrance of my grandmother and I want it to stay in good condition so I can continue to show it off and tell this story.

I chose Oceanside Cleaners because it came highly recommended and the reviews I saw were outstanding! In addition to my dress, we had my husband’s tux cleaned and we were so happy. He now has all of his collared shirts cleaned at Oceanside.

How did you and your husband meet?

I moved to Nashville to start a new career in fitness with a goal of starting my own bootcamp. I decided to pick up a part-time bartending job to cover some expenses while I grew my business. Bartending on Broadway opened my eyes to A LOT of things, but I never in a million years thought I would meet my future husband!

One Friday night in December, I was prepping the VIP section for the party and this handsome, blue-eyed man walked up saying he was there for the Evan Clarke party. I still laugh because I thought his name was Evan all night. After a night of a little flirting, he told me to put a drink on his tab for myself after work. I never drank after work because I had to coach classes the next morning. After telling him that, he said “Well, if I stay until the bar closes, would you have a drink with me?”

I figured he was another drunk guy on Broadway so I said SURE if you stay, I will absolutely have a drink with you. He never came back that night!

The following Friday, he had another work event at the bar. He joked and asked if I remembered him. After a quick chat, he said he is a man of his word and that he would stay until the bar closed that night and have that drink with me. He stayed this time 🙂 We went on our first date the next day, and we have been loving life together ever since.

What is your favorite memory from your wedding day?

I think one of my favorite memories was all of my “first looks.” I had one with my father, grandpa and, of course, my husband. That was really special and something I will always cherish.

What made your wedding ceremony feel extra special?

Cole’s friend, Chris Morgan, married us and did such a phenomenal job. He spoke from the heart and really set the tone for the rest of the night!

Photographer credit: Luke Griffis