1. How did you two meet?
JD: We met on a popular dating app after I thought I saw him walking his dog. Come to find out, he was walking a dog on that street that day but it wasn’t him! I still got the date though. The first night we actually were going to meet up, Tony left his wallet on the plane and it took off. Long story short, he couldn’t get out of the parking garage without some sort of payment. He made it up to me by taking me for sushi on our actual first date (same place he proposed, Shari Sushi).
TC: JD (John Derek) and I first met online. He thought he saw me walking my dog downtown, but really, it wasn’t me. We went to one of our now favorite sushi restaurants, Shari downtown for our first date. I remember being impressed that he ordered my same drink of choice (slightly dirty martini). We had great conversation at dinner and carried on our date for a walk around Lake Eola.
2. What is your favorite thing about your partner?
JD: His vulnerable cute soft side (as I am usually the one demanding attention).
TC: I would have to say my favorite thing about JD is his humor. He’s extremely witty and funny. He constantly makes me laugh and keeps me on my toes.
3. Who is more romantic in the relationship and how?
JD: I am. I for one am far more emotional than he is so I get a small kick out of sappy stuff. He travels a lot and I like to cook, so I always make sure he comes home to a nice candle lit dinner and wine.
TC: I would say JD is more romantic in the relationship. I travel a lot for business and it’s not uncommon to come home to a nice home cooked meal with my favorite wine and cheese. His most romantic gestures are through his cooking. This is also how he really won my heart over when we began dating.
4. In 200 words or less, describe your big day to our readers.
JD: We wanted the wedding to be as carefree as Sunday brunch from the jump, so we made sure there was enough champagne to go around! As we all got ready in the wedding suite, I loved seeing all our girlfriends all laughing and having a genuine good time. There wasn’t an ounce of stress which really set the tone for the rest of the evening. After hair and makeup, we began the photos with our photographer, we took some shots around the hotel with downtown Orlando as our back-drop. The wedding was held on Lake Eola Park which was lit by all the Christmas lights! The ceremony was short and sweet, and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. Since there was no bride, in lieu of flowers our “flower girl” carried whimsical balloons. Our sisters walked us down the aisle which everyone loved as well. We exchanged letters to one another, said our vows, had an intention setting, then we were pronounced husband and husband. After the ceremony, our guests admired the lights as they walked around Lake Eola to the reception which was held at 310 Lakeside.
TC: Our wedding ceremony took place on 12/12/15 at Lake Eola Park. I also proposed on this lake, so it was a very special place for both of us. We planned our wedding to begin at 5:00 so the sun would be setting in the background. We also planned it this way so the lights around Lake Eola and the fountain would be lit up as the ceremony ended.
After the ceremony our guest and wedding party walked around the lake to the reception at 310 Lakeside. We had a private patio outside of the reception for cocktail hour. JD and I made it mandatory we didn’t take too many pictures after the ceremony to hang out with our guest. After the cocktail hour we made our way into the reception area of 310. We wanted our wedding to be more like a family dinner all together. We made sure there was no dancing in the beginning so the guests would enjoy the full service and feel of a dinner together.
After dinner and dancing, we continued the night on-going out downtown. We originally planned for a bar crawl, but only made it to our favorite club, Stardust.
5. Tell us your favorite memory from your wedding day.
JD: After we said, “I do” and turned around, just seeing all of our newly blended family and friends. It was overwhelming.
TC: My favorite memory of my wedding day was right before we had dinner after the cocktail hour and were announced into the reception. It’s a very magical feeling to stand in front of all the people you love the most and know they are there to support you and your partner. I’ve never felt so loved and special. Our best friends and grooms gals of honor made the most beautiful speeches and I followed with a speech thanking everyone for being there to support us. I am not an emotional person, and usually don’t cry, but that was the happiest feeling to really see everyone in that moment and knowing they were there just for us.
6. What were you feeling at the exact moment you said “I do”?
JD: Thank God I didn’t cry my eyes out! (Remember I said I was the emotional one.)
TC: I remember feeling extremely excited, but also a sense of security and comfort. I knew I just committed myself to spend the rest of my life with my favorite person. There’s no better feeling.
Photographer: Blake Simpson (owner) of Lyrical Photography.