So tell us, how did you meet  the love of your life?

Blind dates aren't always a disaster! I'm originally from California and had recently moved to Wisconsin for a fresh start after bad break up. I packed up my little car and drove across the country and moved in with a friend. Right away she started brainstorming potential guys she could set me up with. After a couple dates that were duds, She reached out to her husband's best friend, Bill, and asked who was the nicest single guy he knew. He said his coworker Jake was a nice as they come. After a few texts back and forth, we met for drinks at a local bar, and have been together ever since. I agree with Bill, Jake is as nice as they come.

When did you know they were the one?

A few months after we started dating, Jake and I attended a wedding together for a mutual friend. I was holding Bill's daughter as she slept, so he and his wife could dance a bit. Jake looked over at me and said I looked good with a kid in my arms. It was a moment when he and I both really started to see a future together.

Tell us  the story of the proposal!

The story of our proposal is actually a story of Jake trying to propose several times with a comedy of errors preventing it from happening! My favorite try/fail was the weekend before he actually proposed. We drove out to Port Washington, a town that is on Lake Michigan, to go for a hike and then for a swim at the beach. So we're hiking along for about 20 minutes, and we come to this bridge over a brook next to a waterfall. Absolutely beautiful, picture a hallmark movie proposal setting... so I'm thinking this is it! It's finally going to happen. Meanwhile Jake is kicking himself, because he had left the ring in the car because he didn't want to drop it on the hike. So ever the optimist he is, he decides he's going to propose at the beach, equally beautiful. Well, when we showed up to the beach, it was closed because of a red tide bloom. In the end, Jake proposed on July 3rd at his family's hunting land. We set off fireworks and had a camp fire and just enjoyed the time together. It was simple and completely us.

How long was your engagement? What went into  deciding your wedding's date and location?

Our engagement was 7 1/2 months long. Jake had always wanted to have a beach wedding. His cousin had a beach wedding 4 years ago and he absolutely loved the laid back vibe. I on the other hand, really don't like beach weddings all that much. So we compromised on what we call "beach adjacent" venues. We knew we wanted it to be in Florida, as most of Jake's family lives there and to give us a break from Wisconsin's winter weather.

How would you describe your personal style?  What was most important to you when you were planning your bridal look?

I typically have a pretty preppy look. My boss said one time that I dress out of a J Crew catalog (I guess I wear a lot of stripes and navy.) For my bridal look, I wanted something romantic and comfortable and like myself.

How did you find  Wear Your Love?

I found Wear Your Love through Pinterest. I was a little skeptical at first, but read all the reviews I could find and several of their behind the dress stories (like this one) until I was comfortable with the idea of ordering a dress without trying it on first.

When did you know you had found your perfect dress?

After weeks of staring at the Wear Your Love online. I decided I should actually try on a dress before I took the plunge and ordered. I set up an appointment at my local bridal shop for the very next day. The dresses I tried on, while beautiful, weren't what I was looking for. I kept comparing them to the Wear Your Love dresses. When I left the salon, I called my mom and told her I was ordering a dress online!

Which dress did you choose, and did you request any custom aspects?

I chose the Fleur dress with unlined arms and sweep train. I didn't request and alterations, but when I received the dress I did have a slight alteration to the neckline done. I took the dress from a boat neckline to a scoop neck. I also added a ribbon to the back so I wouldn't have to be worried while dancing. (If I hadn't changed the neckline I wouldn't have needed the ribbon).

What went through your mind when the Wear Your Love box arrived at your doorstep and you  tried on your  dress for the first time?

I was so excited and nervous! I called my friend Melissa and took it straight over to her house to try it on. She and her 2 little boys were the best entourage I could have asked for. Her youngest, Mateo (4), kept calling it a princess dress. He said I looked "boo-tiful" and that's all the praise I needed to know I had made the right choice.

Did your wedding have a theme or style?

Since I didn't want a beach wedding, we had a tropical theme to our wedding. I was very clear to everyone that there would be no shells, sand, or drift wood making an appearance that day. As this was a destination wedding, most of the design came from our amazing florals. We had the best florist, Ashley from Arrangements floral studio (@arrangements_floral_studio), do our florals. Best part is we were able to reuse the florals for a breakfast and bbq the following day.

How involved was your partner in the wedding planning? Did your families help? Did you hire a coordinator, planner, or event stylist?

Jake was pretty involved in the planning process. We really wanted the day to feel like ours. We both bounced ideas off of one another and compromised when needed. I'm not going to lie, there were times I just wanted him to agree with me and not to have an opinion, but in the end with a little give and take it was exactly how we wanted the day to be. Our venue offered Day of Coordination services that we used but other than that, it was just the 2 of us planing.

Let's show your wedding venue some love! What is the name of your venue, and why did you choose it for your special day?

We were married at The Shore's Resort and Spa in Daytona Beach Shores, Fl on the terrace overlooking the ocean and the reception in their Ball room overlooking the lights of the city and river. It was the perfect venue for us as we were looking for a beach side property without actually having to be on the beach. Best part of The Shore's is they have the most wonderful Catering and Events Manager, Donna. She made the planning process so easy and fun. The staff there was so welcoming and friendly. Our dinner was amazing and the bartender kept our glasses full all night. We really couldn't have wanted anything more.

Tell us about your wedding playlist! What song did you walk down the aisle to? Did you have a first dance song that was meaningful to you

Jake, our bridal party, and family walked down the aisle to Beautiful day by Joshua Radin and I walked down the aisle to a piano cover of A Thousand Years by The Piano Guys. Our first dance was to "I Need Your Love So Bad" by Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac... Our DJ complimented us on it as its not a song people typically use but has all the feels. If you're looking for a song I suggest you check it out. (Youtube has an extended version that's 6 minutes, our dj found a version only 3 minutes, so we didn't have to dance that long!)

What was your favorite moment  of the day?

My favorite moment was actually at the end of the night. After our guests were ushered down to the fire pits for s'mores, Jake and I had one more dance to our song. It was a really nice moment just for the two of us to share.

Who  was involved in your special day? We would love to shout out your photographer, favorite vendors, and anyone else who made your day magical. 

I love our Photographer, Saski Mead (@thewildmeadows). She is based in Florida, so we originally met over texts and Facetime. When we went for our tasting, she shot some engagement pictures for us that we then turned into our guest book. She captured our day so beautifully and is so sweet. She truly has become a friend throughout this whole process. We also had the best DJ. Les from Soundwave Entertainment (@soundwave_dj_lighting) kept the whole day running so smoothly and kept our dance floor full the whole night. He and his wife Wendy were so easy to work with and I cant recommend them enough. They also did our up lighting for our reception which really gave it a party atmosphere once the sun set.

Do  you have any advice or  helpful tips for others planning a wedding?

I was given this piece of advice right after we were engaged and it really helped us both keep perspective during the planning process - "the wedding is a day, the marriage is forever". We can get so caught up in the small details of weddings and wanting everything to be perfect, but things happen, something will go wrong or be different than what you pictured in your head. At the end of the day, your partner and the relationship you have should be your number one priority. My practical piece of advice: Get your nails done the day before the wedding. I went the morning of and I was so nervous that I was shaking to the point my manicurist asked if I was cold. She then turned off a fan because I was a nervous wreck.

What has been the best part so far about being married?

Honestly, not having to plan a wedding anymore! More seriously, waking up everyday knowing he chooses me and I choose him.
Mary is wearing The Fleur with nude lining and an 10 inch train.

Rachel Ferreira