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Real Wedding Stories

Three Jacksonville newlywed couples share stories and memories of their big days.

From the Fall/Winter edition of Bride

Joy & Matty • October 1, 2011

Joy Gottlieb was born and raised in Jacksonville, but after college she went to New York City for an internship in the music industry. There she met Matty Irvin, an Australian musician who had left his hometown of Perth for the Big Apple and an internship at the same company. From the first day they met, Joy and Matty were instant friends. Their friendship blossomed into love and they dated for three years before Matty proposed during a family vacation in Turks and Caicos. Joy and Matty were married barefoot on the beach at The Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island, before nearly 300 guests from as faraway places as Hong Kong, London, Canada, New York and, of course, the groom’s homeland of Australia.

• FAVORITE PERSONAL TOUCH: The prayer shawl belonging to Joy’s late brother Marty covered the chuppah under which the couple was married. Traditional Jewish wedding customs were incorporated into the interfaith ceremony, officiated by the bride’s father.

• GROOM’S REQUEST: Traditional Aussie hamburgers topped with fried egg, pineapple, beets, lettuce and tomato, were served at the welcome dinner.

• HELPING HANDS: Joy’s brother Aaron, who owns Native Sun Natural Foods, provided goodie bags for the guests including healthy treats and vegan candies.

• INTERNATIONAL FLAIR: The newlyweds went on a nearly year-long honeymoon starting in Central America, then going to South America, Australia, Bali, Malaysia and Hong Kong. They learned Spanish and did volunteer work on farms around the world.

Kelly & Matt • December 21, 2011

When Kelly Atkins and Matt Morgan decided to get married, they wanted to avoid anything “overly complicated, very expensive or stressful.” Since it was not a first wedding for either of them, they only cared about celebrating their love in a romantic ceremony and sharing that experience with the most important people in their lives. When they made a list of those people, it was a head count of only 18.  Their entire wedding was planned in about six weeks. Kelly says it was “very easy and exceptionally beautiful.”

• FAVORITE PERSONAL TOUCH: The bride’s three-year-old daughter was more than a flower girl—she was part of the ceremony. The bride and groom included her in the vows they wrote to each other and to her as well.

• SPECIAL GIFTS: The brooch bouquets for the bride and her daughter were surprise gifts made by the bride’s dear friend and mentor, using vintage jewelry she had collected from estate sales.

• SOMETHING BLUE: The bride ordered her blue high heels online, since the jewels on the toe reminded her of her brooch bouquet; she fashioned her blue headpiece to match the shoes.

• STAYING ON A BUDGET: By getting married on a weekday right before Christmas, the couple took advantage of the Inn’s holiday decorations and saved “a ton of money.”

Chase & David • March 24, 2012

In February 2008, Chace and David met during a Downtown ArtWalk. Chace’s good friend, David’s sister, introduced them at Hemming Plaza Jewelers where David works as a gemologist and jeweler. Chace and David went on their first date a few months later at THE PLAYERS Championship and talked for hours on the steps of the Clubhouse. More than three years later, on those same steps, David proposed to Chace with the engagement ring of her dreams: a Princess Diana-inspired sapphire and diamond ring that he designed and made himself. The two Jacksonville natives wanted a wedding filled with family, friends and personal touches. From the music, officiants and readers, to the florist, food and cakes, Chace and David made their day unique in many special ways.

• FAVORITE PERSONAL TOUCH: Not only did the groom fashion his bride’s engagement ring, but he also designed and made the couple’s wedding bands.

• HELPING HANDS: A close family friend of the groom who is a classically trained violist played during the wedding, while a college friend of the bride’s sang the Ave Maria, and another friend of the groom’s co-officiated the ceremony.

• SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW: Chace wrapped her great-grandmother’s handkerchief around her bouquet for her “something old.”

• SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BLUE: Chace wore a sapphire and diamond necklace and earrings borrowed from Hemming Plaza Jewelers (the groom surprised his bride by buying the earrings for her as a gift).

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