Florida Dream Wedding.

We had an incredible time in Florida at Devon and Patrick’s wedding.  The weather was beautiful and the whole scene was just plain welcoming and relaxed.

Devon is C’s very good friend from his days living in D.C.  She was the property manager of the building C lived in at 14th and P.  C told me that when he went for a visit to choose a place to rent before moving, he was in a unit in the building with Devon and said to her, “Well, I’ll continue looking around and see what else is out there.”  Devon looked at him and said, “This building is one in a million.  This unit will be gone tomorrow.”  He wrote her a check for the deposit 10 minutes later.

On Friday afternoon we arrived in Jacksonville.  After a long drive through Ocala National Park, we arrived at the rehearsal at the plantation house where the wedding was held and where we were lucky enough to be staying with other wedding guests and the bride (and eventually groom, after all the vows were delivered)!

We got dressed and headed to Devon’s mother’s home for the rehearsal dinner.  Two weeks before the dinner their contract with the barbecue company who was supposed to cook was broken and Devon’s mother threw herself into a frenzy, cooking an INCREDIBLE Italian meal for 45 people.  She did an amazing job.

Devon’s mother’s house is just adorable.  It’s a little camp built in 1915 across a country road from a lake.  There are very large trees in the yard covered in Spanish moss and a big, comfortable porch with lots of wicker furniture.

The inside is just as lovely.  The cottage is rustic and homey at the same time.  Devon’s mom and late father bought the place nine years ago in the hopes of restoring it together.  They did quite a bit of work — peeling off bell-bottom era paneling, shoring up the foundation, moving a staircase and replacing windows.  There’s more to be done now that Devon’s father has passed away — enter the newest member of the family, Patrick,who has already built some shelving in the kitchen.  The newlyweds are moving into the tiny guest house on the property and sweet grandma is moving in with Devon’s mother in the main house.

The next morning, back at the plantation house, from our large bed up on the second floor, we woke to the BeeGees playing somewhere downstairs.

When we walked into the dining room, Devon was sitting at the table, calmly sipping tea and reading the news online.  She had set out breakfast on the buffet and asked us if she could get us anything.  She was so relaxed.

We walked for a bit out in the yard with mugs of coffee.

And then we saw a little ‘gator swimming in the lake.  He was just a tiny thing, as people kept telling us, only ’bout five foot.

I set to work on a banner for the photo booth for the reception and Rob helped me “improve” it.

Then outside folks started arriving — hair and makeup and photographers and family members.  The girls showered and got dressed on the third floor.  Devon’s darling [precocious] niece was charged with “watching the baby” – her brother – to make sure he didn’t roll off the bed.  This also ensured she wouldn’t continue to muss her makeup and princess hair.  After she was caught in the backyard being pushed on the swing by C, she was immediately called upstairs.

“I don’t care to watch him,” she said.  ”Can’t a girl just play?  I want to swing on the swing outside with Mr. Chris!  I want to watch the ‘gator!”  It was pouty and so cute.  Her mother just thought it was pouty.

The sun was bright and beautiful by the time Devon and Patrick became Mr. and Mrs.

The cocktail hour was in the front of the house and there were lawn games and lots of cocktails.

I love this photo of Devon and C!  Hooray for good pals!

After dinner we danced.  A lot. The band played all our favorites.

The sky got dark and the party kept going.

By the time the night came to an end with sparklers, my flip flops were on and my hair was a disaster.  Humidity and swing dancing will do that to a Yankee.

Cheers to the happy couple, Devon and Patrick!




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