November 3, 2021
Venue: Sunken Gardens - St Petersburg, FL Catering: C.B.K Catering & Events Photography and Film: Garry & Stacy Photography Co. - Garry, Stacy, & Ryan Officiant: Weddings and Wellness - Reverend Scott Ceremony Music: SRQ Violin - Matt Dendy
DJ: DJ by CJ - Steven Maldonado Hair and Makeup: Femme Akoi Dress: The White Magnolia - Maggie Sottero Tux: Jos A Banks Transportation: Jolly Trolly Hotel: The Hyatt Downtown St. Petersburg
Meg's Words: Rain on our wedding day would seem to be a disaster but Ron and I looked at life in a glass half full manner. We really try to take the positive out of the situation. Although we had to change ceremony sites last minute and move the reception indoors, we were extremely happy with the outcome! Also having a small wedding and wedding party was amazing! I was not sure how I felt about it at first but I am so glad we kept it under 30 people. It was so much more less stressful and so much more enjoyable. We were able to have intimate conversations with every guest! We created custom welcome bags for those staying at the hotel and not to mention we were able to get more photos of US on our big day. What was your style inspiration for the overall aesthetic and feel of your wedding?
Both Ron and I loved Sunken Gardens and we did not want to take away from its natural beauty. Our goal was simple elegance. Keeping that natural beauty of the garden while adding pops of dusty rose and gold.
What was your favorite part about your venue? In other words, what made you choose it?
Ron and I toured many venues and the moment we set foot in Sunken Gardens we both knew. It was simply beautiful! We absolutely feel in love with the North Lawn ceremony site and Oak Pavilion for our reception, it was the first place we could really envision our big day! Not to mention the staff Stacey and Sarah were truly amazing from the first contact through our wedding day!
What was your favorite (or least favorite) part about wedding planning?
Our favorite part was meeting new people our “friendors” We loved taking their recommendations and allowing them to help us create the vision for our big day! We really had a great time planning the wedding together.
As a follow-up to that: If you could pick one thing to do differently in your wedding planning, what would that be?
Honestly, I do not think I would do anything differently. We both put in a lot of research when planning our big day and we felt that although it rained and we had to come up with a back up plan, it all worked out better than we could have planned it too.
What is the one thing you love most about each other?
Meg: What I love most about Ron is his kind and selfless heart. I wish that the World had more humans like him in it; but I am glad he is mine. Ron: What I love most about Meg is her personality. How genuine and happy she makes everyone around her feel makes me the luckiest guy on the earth. Also she’s pretty to look at too…
Meg and Ron’s Love Story: The first time we met was in high school, at a Friday night football game. I was a varsity cheerleader and Ron the “new kid” who wanted to hang with friends under the Friday night lights. Ron had just transferred from another high school; however, we both were unaware we already had mutual friends. After my halftime performance I went to chat with my friends and Ron was a new face. I introduced myself to him, however the conversation was very brief as halftime was over. I went down the line with high fives to all and of course Ron was last one and didn’t get the memo… I playfully called him out for not high fiving me. Throughout the remainder of the game, I couldn’t stop thinking about him. After the game I ended up talking with a few friends about my new crush. I was able to get his number and sent him a text. We ended up texting and talking on the phone all weekend. We planned a date to the movies. My parents are protective so when they heard of the date, they requested that a friend come with. Fast forward to ‘date night’ we met at the Hollywood 18 movie theater to watch Across the Universe. Not only did Ron pay for my ticket he also paid for my friend’s ticket. At that point I was impressed, as most teenage boys would not pay for their date let alone their friend. Fast forward to May 16, 2008, where I had asked Ron to be my boyfriend in a colorful note, because you did that back in high school. Ron said yes and the rest is history. We graduated high school together in 2009 and both planned to go to college. Ron stayed local and went to a community college and I attended St. Leo University. This was about 45 minutes away so for a year we weathered a distant relationship. After a year away I decided to join Ron at the community college where we both received our associate degree. It was at that point we decided that we wanted a change of scenery. So, we decided to move to Orlando and go to University of Central Florida (UCF) to get our bachelor’s degrees. We moved to Orlando in the summer of 2011 where we lived in a cozy apartment, and both went to UCF. At this time, we both had jobs. I transferred to Chick-fil-A, as I worked there in high school and Ron started to work for Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal. After living in Orlando for a few months we decided we were missing something, we needed a companion. That is when we brought Khloe home, a French bulldog Shit-zu mix. Khloe has been in our lives throughout most of our relationship. In 2012 I joined Ron at the hotel, working full time there while also going to school full time. It was challenging needless to say but we managed. In 2013, we decided to look into buying a home, rather than rent. That is when we built our townhome and in May of 2013 at 21 signed for our first mortgage, together. This was a big step in our relationship but when you know you know. We never questioned any large decisions that we made together, as it always came easy for us to agree. After moving in we decided to get a second pup, Kali. Several years later December 2015 we both walked the stage at UCF to get our diplomas! I decided to continue my education and apply for graduate schools. My dream was to become an Audiologist. Ron was always very supportive and thus helped me research schools and study for my entrance exam. He was even supportive with the idea of moving to a different state. I did manage to get into a great school in April 2016, and by June 2016 was on our way to Philadelphia PA with Ron and both dogs in tote. Ron managed to stay in Philly for 6 months however decided that it would be best for he and the pups to move back to Tampa, FL. That is where he went into business with his dad. Although Ron moved back to Tampa, he and I would visit one another as much as we could. Ron would always come baring gifts, flowers, or litter my apartment with post-it notes that expressed all the little things he loved about me. He always knows how to make me smile, even if I was so sad, he was leaving. Fast forward a few years later, August 18, 2018, I had returned from Philly for my summer break, which was typically a week. Ron had a surprised beach weekend plan. Ron always had surprises up his sleeve when I returned home so I didn’t think anything of it. We checked into the Don Cesar in St. Pete. That day was so rainy, and Ron seemed off. He kept checking his phone and pacing the room. I would ask him if everything was okay, and he just kept stating it stinks we are at the beach, and it is raining. I didn’t care, I was just happy that I didn’t have an exam or assignment. We had “dinner reservations” that evening so I got ready. Just as I finished up getting ready the rain cleared and naturally Ron suggested we walk the beach for sunset prior to dinner. We head out to the beach, and I hear the click of a camera. Again, I didn’t think anything about it because it was sunset. Ron was still acting slightly off. He stops suddenly and goes, “here is good”. After this most of what he said was a blur, but I do know I said YES. I turned to my left and all our family and friends were there. I was sobbing but delighted. He planned a wonderful dinner with our family and friends. Then a week full of surprises. Let’s just say I dreaded going back to Philly but luckily, I was almost done with school and ready to be back in FL full time! In May 2019, I finally was able to move back home to Tampa, FL. After 2.5 years of not being together we were both so happy to finally see one another daily! I graduated with my doctorate of Audiology in May of 2020 during a global pandemic, it was an interesting time. We decided to hold off on wedding planning and pushed out our date. When we are not wedding planning, we love spending time with our family and close friends, spending the day at a beach relaxing or playing a round of golf. We also frequently go over to Orlando to visit the theme parks. We are one another’s best friends and couldn’t imagine life without each other. Ron says he loves when I become nerdy over my audiology terminology and thinks I am smart as well as cute. I love when Ron makes me laugh, which occurs multiple times daily, his genuine laugh is contagious. We are both ecstatic to finally be tying the knot after 13 years together! We both look forward to this new chapter in life. Our future will consist of the typical buy a house and start a family. We are so happy to be able to live this life together.
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Garry and Stacy Photography, Co., LLC ■ Wedding Photographers
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November 16, 2021