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Weddings WEDDING & WARDROBE LAKELAND VENUES LET THEM EAT CAKE PERSONALIZE YOUR REGISTRY


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Comforting care for life’s emergencies. When your child is hurt or ill and needs emergency care, having a highly skilled team of pediatric professionals close by is essential. The George W. Jenkins Children’s Emergency Department at the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children provides the space and technology needed to ensure that your child receives the best possible care in a family-friendly setting. Our Children’s Emergency Department offers: • Round-the-clock Board-certified physicians and nurses specially trained in pediatric emergency medicine • A friendly and interactive environment designed to give children comfort • Prompt, safe and efficient care that has twice earned Lakeland Regional Health prestigious awards for innovation in emergency medicine • 33 beds dedicated to emergency care for children • Separate entrance apart from adult emergency care Your child’s health is our highest priority, and caring for your family is our greatest privilege.

1324 Lakeland Hills Blvd + Lakeland, FL 33805 + myLRH.org

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Marilyn

R

www.badcock.com Laurel Manor


Ellery

Eleven Polk County locations to serve you! Lakeland-Lake Gibson 6625 US 98 North (863) 858-3866 Lake Wales 126 Hwy. 60 W. (863) 676-6515

Lakeland Combee 1225 N. Combee Rd. (863) 665-3111

Lakeland North 1409 N. Florida Ave. (863) 682-8107

Frostproof Ft. Meade 500 N. Scenic Hwy. 1401 Hwy. 17 N. (863) 635-2645 (863) 285-9757

Lakeland Christina 6100 S. Florida Ave. (863) 646-2921

Auburndale 521 Hughes Rd. (863) 967-6602

Eagle Lake 1515 Hwy. 17 S. (863) 294-7749

Haines City 35495 Hwy. 27 (863) 422-3144 1350 N. Broadway (US 98) Bartow (863) 533-1611


PROFESSIONAL CARE MEETS

Personal

SERVICE

GENERAL HEALTH + WELLNESS

|

ACUTE CONDITIONS

WOMEN’S HEALTH

|

|

CHRONIC CONDITIONS

WEIGHT MANAGEMENT

Trinity Medical Group is a family primary care practice with locations in Lakeland and Winter Haven, that builds long-term relationships with its patients while also specializing in cutting-edge medical technology and preventative medicine.

3240 Florida Ave S #105, Lakeland, FL 33803 (863) 646-4000 TRINITYMEDGROUP.COM


SARA ZENG MISS FLORIDA 2017 - 2018 WITH DR. FAEZA KAZMIER AT WATSON CLINIC >>>

LAKELAND • JUNE 26-30 2018

P U R C H A S E T I C K E T S T O D AY RPFUNDINGCENTER.COM

G E T I N V O L V E D – W W W. M I S S F L O R I D A . O R G

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YOUR PERFECT DAY DESERVES A PERFECT SMILE $99 Bridal Opalescence Teeth WHITENING* Includes trays and take-home kit

*Must mention this offer to receive discount. Based on exam and doctor recommendations. Not all patients will qualify for whitening, valid only for adult patients in the absence of gum disease. Not valid on previous treatment or treatment already begun. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer, discount, or reduced-fee program. Offer expires 60 days after receipt. ADA 9972. THE PATIENT AND ANY OTHER PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYMENT HAVE A RIGHT TO REFUSE TO PAY, CANCEL PAYMENT OR BE REIMBURSED FOR PAYMENT FOR ANY OTHER SERVICE, EXAM OR TREATMENT WHICH IS PERFORMED AS A RESULT OF AND WITHIN 72 HOURS OF RESPONDING TO THE ADVERTISEMENT FOR THE FREE, DISCOUNTED, REDUCED-FEE SERVICE, EXAMINATION OR TREATMENT. LIC # DN17541, LIC# DN18083, LIC#DN13483, LIC # DN20050

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C O N T E N T S ISSUE 43

ON THE COVER Read our cover story, “Wedding & Wardrobe,” and discover how to develop an individualized look for your wedding day. Photo by Dan Austin

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CONTENTS

56 FEATURES

46 • REGISTRY

56 • TASTE

68 • STYLE

The Wedding Registry

Let Them Eat Cake

Wedding & Wardrobe

Wedding wishlist ideas that complement your coupled individuality

How to highlight your big day through this traditional dessert

Wedding attire that stays true to your personal style

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86 • SPECIAL ADVERTISER SECTION

The Wedding Planner The Lakelander’s top picks of wedding vendors for your big day


D I S C O V E R t he largest col lect ion of

FR AN K LLOYD WRIGHT arc hi tect ure in t he world

Explore the genius of America’s greatest architect through his most fully articulated vision: the National Historic Landmark campus of Florida Southern College. Located in the heart of sunny Central Florida, the campus is home to thirteen remarkable Wright structures, including a previously unbuilt Usonian Faculty House; Wright’s largest water feature, the stunning Water Dome; and the iconic Annie Pfeiffer Chapel, named one of Southern Living’s “Most Beautiful Chapels in the South.” Daily tours available. Visit flsouthern.edu/fllw today to learn more or call 863.680.4597.

The Annie Pfeiffer Chapel, 1939


CONTENTS

120 110 • PEOPLE

Wedding Stories What our staff wish they knew before the big day

120 • CULTURE

Family Ties Cross-cultural weddings

128 • VENUES

A Sense of Place Nine local wedding venues

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136 • CELEBRATE

Shaking Up Traditions

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Unique ideas for traditional events

DEPARTMENTS

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18 • MASTHEAD

22 • CONTRIBUTORS

28 • METRO

20 • EDITOR’S NOTE

24 • LETTERS

146 • HISTORY

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POWERING

YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT

“For over one hundred and ten years, Lakeland Electric has been a public utility owned by the City of Lakeland. Thanks in part to the dividends generated by Lakeland Electric for the city, Lakeland is known for beautiful roadways, parks, and recreational amenities, as well as outstanding police and fire emergency services.�

lakelandelectric.com


Curt Patterson Jason Jacobs • Brandon Patterson PUBLISHER

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHERS

Brandon Patterson

Daniel Barceló

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Advertising ADVERTISING DIRECTOR ADVERTISING SALES

“keeping It cool since 1984”

Curt Patterson | 863.409.2449 Brandon Patterson | 863.409.2447 Jason Jacobs | 863.606.8785

Editorial CONTRIBUTORS

air conditioning services you can

PRODUCTION EDITOR COPY EDITOR

Sally Ibarra Barceló, Brittany Cole, Kristin Crosby, Robert Crosby, Abdiel Gonzalez, Laura Helm, Emily Johnson, Annalee Mutz, Danielle Torres Annalee Mutz Laura Burke

Creative

trust

DESIGNER PHOTOGRAPHERS

VP, FINANCE

Anushka van Huyssteen Dan Austin, Tiffani Jones, Tina Sargeant, Tammy Swales, Jordan Weiland Deb Patterson

Circulation CIRCULATION DIRECTOR GENERAL COUNSEL

Jason Jacobs Ted W. Weeks IV

Issue 43 The Lakelander is published bimonthly by Patterson Jacobs Publishing, P.O. Box 41, Lakeland, FL 33802. Reproduction in whole or in part without express written permission of The Lakelander is prohibited. The Lakelander is not responsible for any unsolicited submissions.

Patterson Jacobs

Contact Patterson Jacobs Publishing, P.O. Box 41, Lakeland, FL 33802 863.701.2707 • thelakelander.com

Customer Service: 863.701.2707 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

863-682-3803 acu-temp.com 18

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Grand & Entertaining A home that reflects your life.

With hundreds of exterior and design combinations to choose from, you’ll help us design the home that’s perfect for your life and your budget. $0 Down • $0 Closing Costs • Up to 4,000 SF From $1,140/month (total investment) • From $75/SF Up to $15,000 in new home options

800.496.4096 MySouthernHome.com North Lakeland, South Lakeland, Winter Haven, Auburndale, Haines City, Bartow, Lake Wales, Dundee, as well as, On Your Lot Bring this ad in to receive $500 in new home options I SS U E 41

From $1,140/month total investment!

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P U B LIS H E R ’ S N OTE

BRANDON LEGAL GROUP

A Full Service Law Firm & Family Law Mediation Center

Family Law & Divorce, Wills & Trusts, Criminal Law, Bankruptcy,

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD We are thrilled to present the second edition of our “Weddings” issue. We enjoy coming up with specially themed issues that are tied together around a single idea. The idea of this one is so simple and yet so powerful. Weddings are the long-standing tradition of proclaiming your love and commitment, often in front of those who matter the most to you. It is the ultimate celebration to share your love with someone who shares and reciprocates those same feelings. Here at Patterson Publishing we are wedded to Lakeland. We love this city and its people. If you’ve ever met our Publisher and my father, Curt Patterson, you know that he loves life. He loves others and truly cares about everyone he passes on the street. He wants to bring you a smile and make sure you are doing all right. We want to make Lakeland a better place and use your support as readers of this magazine to do just that.

So we highlight the positive. We focus on what is good. We showcase our great people and have thousands of stories yet to be told. We will continue to press on and share our city’s stories for as long as you’ll allow us. And for that, we are thankful. Lakeland is not a perfect city, but it seems to be improving every week. And its people are constantly striving for better. We have a lot of room to grow, and we can do that together. Love is a choice, not a feeling. It needs to be constant in spite of our blemishes. We choose you, Lakelanders, and we are forever grateful to you for choosing to support us and live here with us.

IT IS THE ULTIMATE CELEBRATION TO SHARE YOUR LOVE WITH SOMEONE WHO SHARES AND RECIPROCATES THOSE SAME FEELINGS.

We also are excited to announce the promotion of Annalee Mutz  to the role of Managing Editor. She will be handling editorial duties for The  Lakelander, as well as new daily content for thelakelander.com. Annalee has been an important part of our team. She started working with us in January 2013, and since then  she has worked on multiple creative teams and publications. She is a firm believer in the power of storytelling. When Annalee started working with us, we noticed she was a gifted writer, detail oriented, a strong systems developer, and, most importantly, someone who loves  Lakeland. We believe she is the

right person to help us continue to grow our family of businesses. “I’m honored to serve on this team and see where The Lakelander, WH magazine, and thelakelander.com go next. I’m beyond thankful for the path that was set before me by previous editors; each of them brought a unique perspective that breathed life into these publications. I’m looking forward to continuing to tell the stories that make up Lakeland, including ones that show off the diversity of our city. We’ve shared some inspiring stories, but there are even more voices that need to be heard in this community. That’s what excites me about taking on this new role.”

Business Law, & Real Estate Law

Melissa A. Gravitt Lakeland Of�ice Available by Appointment

Brandon Patterson

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

Brandon Of�ice 20

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Annalee Mutz

MANAGING EDITOR


Beautiful. Confident. .

You

With an eye for detail, an emphasis on safety, and a focus on providing the highest level of care, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Faeza Kazmier loves to see the boost of self-confidence her patients exude as a result of achieving their aesthetic goals. With over 17 years of experience, she works to create an individualized plan based on your priorities and desires, and offers a range of surgical and non-surgical treatments that can help you achieve the look of your dreams. • Facial Rejuvenation (Facelifts, Eyelifts and Minimally Invasive Browlifts) • BOTOX®, Dysport and fillers for the face and hands • Breast enlargement, lifts and reductions • Drain-free tummy tucks • Liposuction • Laser treatments (fractional, spider vein, brown spots, vaginal and labia rejuvenation with diVa®) She is also thrilled to offer Clear + Brilliant , a new Fractional Laser treatment designed to maintain healthy, youthful looking skin through an in-office treatment with no down time. TM

Dr. Kazmier and her staff want you to have the best results and experience possible. They look forward to caring for you!

Women’s Center 1400 Lakeland Hills Blvd. Suite B • Lakeland Bartow 2250 Osprey Blvd. Suite 100 • Bartow www.WatsonClinic.com/Kazmier

863-680-7676.


C O N T R I B U T O R S THE WRITERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS THAT MAKE THE LAKELANDER

DAN AUSTIN

“Let Them Eat Cake” written by Laura Helm, p. 56

LAURA HELM Laura Helm was first introduced to Lakeland through a summer college internship at Cypress Gardens. After completing her education in public relations and business, she ended up moving back to Lakeland in the summer of 2009. She first worked in corporate events for an insurance company, where she quickly realized a desire to pursue a creativity-driven career. Her passion for storytelling and intentionality in life transpired into the creation of Ashton Events in 2010. The company slowly morphed to include planning, design, and florals. After six years in Lakeland’s event industry, she witnessed a void in our city for a large-scale venue. Lakeland CRA’s Mass Market project provided the perfect opportunity, and she opened Haus 820 in 2017. Why did you decide to pursue the wedding business? I feel incredibly grateful that I realized my passion for event planning and problem solving so young. My dad needed assistance with a grandopening event when I was in college. I fell in love with the entire planning process. It took six years for me to figure out that full-scale event production (planning, design, and florals) is my jam! I love telling our clients’ stories and creating an unforgettable day. As a wedding professional in Lakeland, what do you think is the most unique or creative factor to a Lakeland wedding? Lakeland is a wonderful, walkable host city for weddings. The scenery is stunning — something I try to not take for granted. Added to that, Lakeland has a wide range of venues that allow you to personalize in all of the details of your day, without limitations to food and beverages. A budget can stretch so much further here than in other cities.

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What do you like most about working with your brides and grooms? My favorite part of my job is nailing a client’s most ideal environment for their nearest and dearest. Their joy is contagious! Telling their story, within that setting, is my second favorite. What are some adjectives or buzzwords that would describe your dream wedding? Truthfully, it’s not something that I dream about. I am a firm believer that a marriage (and wedding) should represent the dynamic of a couple. Until that other person comes along, I just don’t feel right to dream! What has inspired you or caught your eye recently in regard to the direction of your business? I’ve loved spending more time researching and experimenting with flowers this year. It’s such an incredible, energizing creative outlet for me. I’ve especially enjoyed finding specific flowers for a bouquet that match a bride’s personality.

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Dan Austin is a Florida native photographer. He specializes in a unique style that combines the spirit of his subject with a detailed attention to lighting. Through this, Dan achieves a unique and well thought out aesthetic that can be seen in his images. danaustinphotography.com

DANIELLE TORRES Danielle Torres is an Interactive Designer at Publix, a practitioner of mindful living, and the creator of drift., a petite styling house specializing in art direction, dried florals, intimate gatherings, and prop styling based in South Tampa. Instagram: @driftstyling

See the masthead on p. 18 for a list of all contributing writers and photographers.


L E T T E R S COMMENTS FROM LAKELANDERS

BEAUTIFUL CRAFTSMANSHIP IN EVERY PASTRY...SEE IT AT @BORNANDBREAD. KENZIE AND I GOT UP EARLY AND DROVE OUT TO LAKELAND TO WAIT IN LINE FOR SWEET/SAVORY PASTRIES MADE FRESH AT BORN AND BREAD’S NEW BRICK AND MORTAR LOCATION. THE SHOP WAS FULL OF PEOPLE AND EVERY CORNER OF THE SHOP CAUGHT MY EYE DUE TO THE UNIQUE RUSTIC FARM DECOR. THE SHOP WORKS HARD TO PRODUCE THESE DELICIOUS PASTRIES DURING THE WEEK AND SATURDAYS ARE WHEN THEY ARE FINALLY READY FOR THE PUBLIC. @kenzies_girl // Instagram

WE ARE PROUD TO BE A FAMILY OWNED BUSINESS! THANK YOU TO THE LAKELANDER FOR THE RECENT PROFILE ON HIGHLAND HOMES AND OUR FOUNDERS, BOB AND JOEL ADAMS. Highland Homes // Facebook

I’D JUST LIKE TO SAY THAT I HAD A@LAKELANDERMAG TATTOO 3 YEARS AGO BEFORE THEY WERE BEING RECOGNIZED AS THE COOLEST CONTENT PRODUCER IN ALL OF CENTRAL FL @jjoehepler // Twitter

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EDUCATION AT SEU Teach from the heart

BACHELOR’S

Communication Sciences & Disorders Early Childhood Education Elementary Education (K-6) Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Kinesiology/Exercise Science Kinesiology/Physical Education Kinesiology/Pre-Occupational Therapy Kinesiology/Pre-Physical Therapy Music Education Secondary Biology Secondary English Secondary Mathematics Secondary Social Science Sport Management MASTER’S

Educational Leadership Elementary Education Exceptional Student Education (ESE) ESE/Educational Therapy Kinesiology/Sport Management Reading Education Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages DOCTORAL

Doctor of Education Tracks of study Curriculum & Instruction Organizational Leadership

Learn more at SEU.edu/education

SEU.edu 800.500.8760 | 863.667.5018 | Lakeland, Florida Follow us @seuniversity


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YOUR FOREVER SMILE “One of the things I love most about cleaning a patient’s teeth is seeing their reaction to their before and after photos. I can see their confidence level rise immediately, and a once-hidden smile shines through. I didn’t realize how important that confidence to smile was until my recent wedding. Like weddings, there are many important days in our lives, and our ability to smile through them is priceless. That is why at Agnini Dental we strive to give our patients the confidence to smile like they deserve.” Ashley Agnini Dale

South Lakeland Office

North Lakeland Office

2410 S. Florida Avenue Lakeland, FL 33803 863-682-1500

1805 Lakeland Hills Blvd. Lakeland, FL 33805 863-682-1500

AgniniDental.com We accept CareCredit I SS U E 36

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M E T R O NEW AND NOTABLE IN LAKELAND

This Year’s Biggest Wedding Had a Lot to Say About Marriage With pomp and circumstance to spare, the Royal Wedding put more on display than a beautiful bride and a fairytale romance

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ust a few weeks ago, 29 million people around the world stopped to view the commencement of a globally tracked love story. On May 19, 2018, Prince Henry (better known as the mischievous, endearing, redheaded Prince Harry) Duke of Sussex would marry Rachel Meghan Markle. Markle, the former actress, would join this union as the first American to marry into the family since 1937, and the first divorceé to marry into the royal family with the Queen present. A culture’s conflicted relationship with marriage has caused the meaning of marriage to change shape, to perhaps even dwindle in the sight of society. Its many ideals and grandeur can often clash with the realities of life. Its longevity and purpose are often challenged by the heartache and complexities of two flawed humans living individual experiences choosing

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to become one. There is often a perception that either two people must have arrived to some place of perfection before stepping into marriage, or that perfection will somehow be found in it. Exiting as the now Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the couple walked through a wedding ceremony that highlighted many foundational aspects of marriage in possibly the most public way imaginable. Though the world has obsessively observed the couple for nearly two years, moments throughout the service captured and expressed the clear purpose and significance of this union. This event allowed the world to not only watch the palpable love shared in the grandest of weddings, but to witness an intentional time set aside to extol the beauty, the wonder, and the enduring power of marriage. Prior to the American minister Michael Curry’s unforgettable message on the power of love, a handful of words quietly delivered to preface the ceremony by the Dean of Windsor captured the very essence of what was intended to take place: “Marriage is a gift of God in creation through which husband and wife may know the grace of God. It is given that as man and woman grow together in love and trust, they shall be united with one another in heart, body, and mind, as Christ is united with his bride, the Church. The gift of marriage brings husband and wife together in the delight and tenderness of sexual union and joyful commitment to the end of their lives. It is given as the foundation of family life in which children are born and nurtured and in which each member of the family, in good times and in bad, may find strength, companionship, and comfort, and grow to maturity in love. Marriage is a way of life made holy by God, and blessed by the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ with those celebrating a wedding at Cana in Galilee. Marriage is a sign of unity and loyalty which all should uphold and honour. It enriches society and strengthens community. No one should enter into it lightly or selfishly, but reverently and responsibly in the sight of almighty God.”

“AND WHILE ALL THE LOVE STORIES TYPICALLY PAINT THAT EVERYTHING BEYOND THIS DAY AS BEAUTY, AND BLISS, AND THE ULTIMATE ARRIVAL OF LOVE AND UNITY, NO DOUBT IT IS ONLY THE BEGINNING.”

While so many fairy tales often portray a wedding as the magical moment two people have arrived to find all they’ll ever need in life and in each other, this royal affair reminds us this moment is just the beginning. And while all the love stories typically paint that everything beyond this day as beauty, and bliss, and the ultimate arrival of love and unity, no doubt it is only the beginning.

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METRO

SUMMER SUNRISE SERIES

National Home Ownership Month - Lakeland Realtors®

PMOA ART OF FILM

Written by Emily Johnson Pictured above: Claudia Tritton, S & D Real Estate Services

Lakeland Realtors® continue to give back to the community by particpaiting in an Awareness Month initative that includes equipping youth in transition and partnering with the Boys & Girls Club for Lakeland Realtors’ annual Makeover Project.

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une being National Home Ownership Month, Lakeland Realtors® are very excited to share their initiative and drive for this month in getting locals housed. Marking its beginnings as early as 1923, Lakeland Realtors have been the voice of real estate in our city and making good neighbors ever since. This month specifically, they have been plugging into their community activism with their annual Makeover Project that they are in the midst of, as well as their partnership with the Sunshine Committee on equipping local graduating seniors who are leaving the education system without anywhere to live or supplies necessary to sustain a livelihood. For their Makeover Project, Lakeland Realtors are currently pulling and fundraising local support that will enable them to make over the nine children’s rooms which they have chosen from the Boys & Girls Club. This will be their sixth annual Room Makeover Project. They also recently raised money to provide the police department with a police dog that was needed. In addition, they are in the midst of a video series on Facebook that is sharing the stories of why our Realtors are vital to our community along every step of a homeowner’s

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Calling all experienced and inexperienced runners for Lakeland’s annual Summer Sunrise Watermelon Race Series. The first race has already passed and was a stellar success. But don’t fret if you missed it; there will be two more races on July 14 and August 11 starting at 7 a.m. Visit lakelandrunnersclub.org for more info.

On July 28, Lakeland’s Polk Museum of Art will host The Art of Film: Finding Vivian Maier. Their Art of Film series is an aspiring undertaking to present different film series as an authentic art form. The film will be followed with sessions hosted by Florida Southern’s film directors and faculty.

LAKELAND REALTORS HAVE BEEN THE VOICE OF REAL ESTATE IN OUR CITY AND MAKING GOOD NEIGHBORS EVER SINCE. way. Whether a family is growing or downsizing, they have had the privilege to help with each move. Since their 1923 start, Lakeland Realtors have gone from 21 members to their current 1,000+ members and 100+ partnerships with various auxiliary service companies. You might have also noticed their recently renovated building and location change to 619 East Orange Street that occurred in December 2017. The move has enabled Lakeland Realtors to provide their members top-of-the-line educational facilities that equip and walk alongside them in every step of their employment to provide the most optimal information for the housing market in Lakeland. Join the Lakeland Realtors in their partnership with our community and in their Awareness Month initiative to house the locally houseless by going to lakelandrealtors.org to see how you can get involved.

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REBORN If you didn’t know, tucked behind 5th & Hall’s new funky space of clothing and handmade jewelry is the recently renovated Blow-Dry Bar & Barber, Reborn. Beginning on the north side of town, Reborn has been able to merge its clientele with 5th & Hall to make a space that will do your full fashion, beauty, and style in one visit. In accordance with weddings, they’ll also close shop for a bride’s wedding day to do hair and makeup. For more information, or to book an appointment, visit their website at rebornlkld.com.


We can give you 8,000 reasons, our legion of independent STIHL dealers nationwide. We count on them every day and so can you. To give you a product demonstration, straight talk and genuine advice about STIHL products. To offer fast and expert on-site service. And to stand behind every product they carry, always fully assembled. You see, we won’t sell you a chainsaw in a box, not even a big one. Are you ready for a STIHL?

To find a dealer: STIHLUSA.com | STIHLUSA.mobi 1-800-GO-STIHL The Home Depot and Lowe’s are registered trademarks of their respective companies.

WDER BRO O S. R C

2 Lakeland Locations

Southgate Center | 2633 S. Florida Ave. | 863-683-6702 Sandpiper Plaza | 6549 N. Socrum Loop Rd. | 863-859-9909

AVAILABLE AT

WDER BRO O S. R C

MAKE EVERY SIP AN EXPERIENCE

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2 Lakeland Locations Southgate Center 2633 S. Florida Ave. | 863-683-6702 Sandpiper Plaza 6549 N. Socrum Loop Rd. | 863-859-9909

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Bridal Beauty Gurus 6 local hair stylists and makeup artists that will have you feeling fabulous and photo-ready on your big day

CHERISHED BEAUTY

LIQUID HAIR STUDIO

cherishedbeautysalon.com 863.646.7629

liquidhairstudioinc.com 863.616.9996

SALON CHATEAU

CIARA LIEBL

Facebook: @Salonchateaulakeland 863.500.4412

Instagram: @ci.beauty 863.393.4375

VALERIA LOREN

VENUE SALON

Instagram: @valelorenbeauty 863.738.8339

venuesalon.com 863.644.0102

ALICIA ALLURE

BELLE LA VIE SALON & SPA

Instagram: @alicia_allure 863.808.8786

bellelaviesalonandspa.com 863.617.5408

No Postage Necessary A must-see indie romantic comedy incorporates blockchain technology

Hair by Venue Salon, makeup by Alicia Harris. See more in our wedding style editorial p. 68.

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On June 28, one of Lakeland’s favorite neighboring cities, Tampa, will be debuting No Postage Necessary at the Florida Red Carpet Premiere at the Tampa Theatre. No Postage Necessary has all the makings of a traditional rom-com, with the main character as a computer hacker who has a whole lot of missing bitcoins. Red carpet and general admission for the premiere begins at 6:30 p.m., and the film screening takes place at 7:15 p.m. The screening will then be followed by a Q&A with the cast and creative team to answer any film-related questions. The attire is red carpet cocktail, and all of the proceeds go to support the Southeastern Guide Dogs — comically ironic since mailmen aren’t always a dog’s best friend. Tickets to this event are available at eventbrite.com. The film will also be screened at select U.S. theatres. Going along with the high-tech theme of the film, they will also be partnering with Vevue for blockchain distribution through their peer-to-peer video network app. In addition, the film will be available to purchase using cryptocurrency.


Boutique Catering . Exquisite Cuisine . Impeccable Service

Eat, drink, and be married! Frescos has offered onsite and off - premise boutique catering services in Central Florida for almost 10 years. We’ll create a one-of-a-kind event for you and your guests, turning your vision and dreams into reality.

FRESCOSLAKELAND.COM / 863.608.1347 @frescoslakeland


METRO

Now Open Federal Bar & Restaurant 124 South Tennessee Avenue 863.816.3968 federalbarlakeland.com

Lakelanders can now enjoy the offerings of Federal Bar & Restaurant — a Prohibition-era bar and eatery located in the historic Federal Building in downtown Lakeland. Starting at 11 a.m. daily, the space is ready to serve the community with a full bar and menu.

Mission BBQ 4104 South Florida Avenue 863.225.8433 mission-bbq.com

The heart behind Mission BBQ is to honor those who have served our country. So, along with a mouth-watering menu (filled with all the must-have BBQ essentials like bay-bback ribs and pulled pork), former and current military personnel can also take advantage of regular deals that are offered specifically for them at Mission BBQ.

Be On the Lookout Ford’s Garage 879 Lakeland Park Center Drive 863.337.3673 fordsgarageusa.com Opening June 2018

With all the charm of a classic burger joint, Ford’s Garage is ready to add to Lakeland’s ever-evolving list of burger offerings. From their service-repair-shop motif to the buns that are pressed with a Ford logo, Ford’s Garage will transport customers back to the 1920s while they enjoy a Model “A” burger with a side of craft beer.

Tsunami Sushi 114 North Tennessee Avenue Tsunamisushi.us Opening July 2018

Already a Polk County favorite, Tsunami Sushi is expanding from their Winter Haven location and adding a spot in downtown on the ground floor of the BB&T bank building. This new location will not only include appetizing sushi, but will also offer additional space that is available to rent for team meetings or special events.

SUMMER FOOD FINDS Just in time for summer, local restaurants continue to provide the best food offerings for the new season.

Just in Time for Summer Red Door’s Summer Menu 733 East Palmetto Street 863.937.9314 reddoorlakeland.com

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The Red Door continues to evolve and rotate their menu with the changing seasons. Their new summer menu has launched, but they have also included a variety of experiences to continue providing customers with the best experience. “Uke Nights” have commenced, and every Thursday Lakelanders can enjoy live music performed on a ukulele along with a featured tropical craft cocktail. Can’t make it on Thursdays? “Mad Men Flights” are available Tuesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., offering a rotating selection of craft cocktails for only $9.

Cob & Pen’s Brunch 1221 South Florida Avenue 863.937.8126 cobandpenlakeland.com

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Weekends have gotten even better in Lakeland with the addition of brunch to the Cob & Pen weekend menu. Come enjoy options like shrimp and grits or French toast. Paired with a mimosa or sangria, this is the perfect combination to start off the weekend right this summer. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


JUNE IS NATIONAL HOME OWNERSHIP MONTH!

• Equity Buildup - Owning a home is a good investment • Tax Incentives - Mortgage Interest and Real Estate • Neighborhood Pride - Homeowners form the bedrock of successful communities For more information or to find a realtor visit www.lakelandrealtors.org OR www.homeownershipmatters.realtor


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Avoiding Bridezilla

H How to keep your perspective when planning the biggest day of your life.

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Written by Annalee Mutz

Bridezilla: a blending of the words bride and Godzilla. Bride: a woman who is about to get married. Godzilla: a fictitious monster who created destruction and suffering in its wake. How did two drastically different words morph into one (and one so frequently referenced, at that)? The first appearance of this word was in a 1995 Boston Globe article written by Diane White titled “Tacky Trips Down the Aisle,” where White describes bridezillas as women who “lose sight of the solemnity of the wedding.” Since this first appearance, bridezilla has become a household

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name — even inspiring reality shows centered around the premise of highlighting brides’ temper tantrums. Yes, there’s value to putting energy into your big day and striving to achieve reasonable goals. It’s one of the most important days of your life, committing to one of the most significant covenants. Who wouldn’t want that to go over smoothly? But oftentimes, when a bride reaches bridezilla territory, this sense of “achieving” can easily be to the detriment of those whom the bride loves most.


A Lifetime of Memories…

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Some common symptoms that might indicate you’re making the turn toward bridezilla may include (but are not limited to):

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3. ACCEPT THAT THINGS WILL GO WRONG.

being demanding and difficult to please no regard for others and their feelings emotional breakdowns over [insert random wedding detail that truly does not justify an emotional breakdown]

4. TAKE A BREAK. Intentionally set time apart to do something that’s not wedding related. It’s easy for wedding planning to turn into a second job. Take time to practice self-care: exercise, get a massage, nap, etc. A great idea might even be to spend quality time with your soon-to-be husband. 5. BE GRATEFUL.

But it’s not too late. There’s always time to redeem your big day and live without the mass destruction that inevitably ensues from pursuing the bridezilla road. Here are a few tips to help you avoid turning into the dreaded b-word. 1. ASK FOR HELP Planning a wedding is already one of the most stressful experiences known to womanhood. Why do it alone? Your friends and family want to help; let them. Ask for support, and delegate. If you don’t have one already, consider hiring a wedding planner. You have enough on your plate; it’s not worth losing it over centerpieces or the seating chart. Leave it to the professionals to handle the planning duties. 2. PLAN A MANAGEABLE BUDGET. Although you’re planning for your big day, you’re also planning for the rest of your lives together. Some things aren’t worth going into debt over. Unless you have unlimited resources, you’re mostly bound to a budget of some sort for your wedding. Make a list of what’s most important to you and your fiancé, and plan your budget according to that. Where you spend your money often represents what you value most. So if you care more about having quality photos, know that it may mean scaling back on the elaborate floral arrangements.

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Repeat after me: “Something will go wrong ... and that’s OK.” Setting yourself up to believe that everything will happen exactly as you planned is only setting yourself up for a bridezilla-style breakdown. Be flexible and willing to adapt whenever the minor setbacks arise. Honestly, most likely than not, you are the only one that will notice the small hiccups.

Although a bride does carry a huge load, weddings are also a great deal of sacrifice for those involved. Friends and family often give up their time and resources to be there for your big day. Don’t take that for granted. Remember to express to all those involved how grateful you are for their love and support. 6. BE PRESENT AND DECIDE TO HAVE FUN. On the day of your wedding, it really isn’t necessary for you to be connected to your phone. So just give it up. Give your phone over to a trusted friend or your wedding planner, and choose to be present and have fun. This is one of the most important days of your life. Decide to be in the moment and have fun so that you can always look back on this day with fondness.

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We offer a beautiful venue, incredible amenities, and unmatched service. www.rockinghevents.com rockinghevents@gmail.com 863.581.1710


Two Sh a l l ...But Not Overnight Written by Robert and Pamela Crosby

Simply put: where there’s a WILL, there’s a WAY.

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[Pamela] wondered if he would even see the note taped to the front door before he left home that morning. My day ahead was full of more dirty diapers, baskets of laundry, and sinks full of dishes. No one asked how I was doing. No one called to check in on my day. I had no other family nearby to have coffee with. I was a young wife and a mom of two toddlers, struggling with more loneliness as a married woman than I ever had when single. Each day, Robert went to a job he thoroughly loved, worked with people who inspired him, and served in a role in which he found purpose and community. Each night, he would come home, the front door would fling open, and you’d hear, “Daddy’s home!” as the kids went shouting his praises as if Superman had just entered the house. And me? By that

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time of day, I looked like I had been through a war zone. The moments I looked forward to the most were moments with him, with my husband. Cuddle time on the couch with no little voices interrupting the movie or bowl of ice cream or late-night cup of coffee were among my favorite end-of-the-day highlights. But, instead, as I entered the room, there he was — sprawled out on the couch, TV remote in hand, snoring like a monsoon. After all, he had worked hard all day. He was really tired. And soon after, he decided to go to bed. As those first few years of marriage progressed, I felt more like a maid than a wife, but I kept telling myself it was OK because he was so happy in the world in which he was learning to succeed. After all, he was working so hard. I should be really grateful, right? I tried, but still I was so lonely, and becoming lonelier. I had never thought of myself one day feeling lonely in a marriage. What is a wife supposed to do with such feelings? I had so much that I wanted to say to him, so much I needed to say. But, I didn’t want to be that wife, a nagging wife who was never happy enough. Still, those emotions are a difficult thing to shake. Expectations are powerful. What I wanted to tell him was I needed more of him in my life and more of us. I wanted life to be like it was before the “I do’s.” I wanted a return to

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the spontaneous, the togetherness, less responsibilities, the flirty responses, the tender touches, the love letters, the getting the butterflies from just being in the same room. Was it really all gone? Were we really going to grow or act old so soon? Was there something I could do? If so, what was it? I was desperate to know. I thought about it a lot. I prayed about it. Finally, I decided to write him a note. I folded it neatly in a business envelope and taped it to the front door. Then, I waited and went to bed.

F INDIN G T H E NOT E The note taped to the front door I [Robert] found the next morning was likely an ordinary to-do list from Pamela, I thought. Eager to head off to work while she was still sleeping, I slipped the note in my appointment book and set off to meet my day. I’d check the note later. Right now, a schedule chock-full of other “important responsibilities” wouldn’t wait. Somewhere around lunchtime, I noticed the note again. It had dropped out of my appointment book and lay on my desk still untouched. When I opened it to take a quick look, the first


Be come sentence caught my attention: “Robert, I don’t know what has happened to us.” I decided I had better give it a full read. The note went something like this: Robert, I don’t know what’s happened to us. The life we’re now living, from my view, is no life at all. At least, this is not what I ever thought life would become. It feels like you’re more married to your work than you are to me. I’m confused. And I don’t know what to do with all that it’s causing me to feel. I’ve tried in lots of little ways to talk with you about this, but you just aren’t hearing me. You’re so creative at your work — I wish you would pour some of your creative energy into our home, into our children, into me. There are times I almost wish your preoccupation with your work were with another woman, so I could tell her to “bug off!” Something in our relationship is dying, and I don’t know what to do about it. Now we have our second baby, and our girls need more than I can give them by myself. They need a daddy and I need a husband. Robert, I don’t know who to turn to. Pamela My wife had expressed her frustrations before, but I’d always viewed them as something she would eventually just get over. This was different, maybe because I now connected the words in this note with the look I’d been seeing on her face. That look I’d been ignoring, a look of

hopelessness and pain. Desperation. After reading the note, I knew this was no yellow light. It was bright red.

RESPONDING TO THE NOTE

Pamela’s written words drove home one point loud and clear: our relationship had entered a danger zone. The question now tensing within my stomach was, What am I going to do about this? My “will” and her “way” were on a collision course. As I sat there, thinking and praying, I remembered an old saying: “Desperate times call for desperate measures.” So, I picked up the phone and called Pamela. “I read the note,” I told her. Silence. “And, I really want to talk about it,” I continued. “I don’t want to talk,” Pamela said. Which I knew meant she really did want to talk, but it wasn’t going to be as easy as I might have hoped. She was hurt, deeply so. I told her I had called a baby-sitter to watch our kids at home, and I wanted us to go to a quiet restaurant so that I could hear her out, fully. After some coaxing, that’s exactly what we did. Out

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of that three-hour talk I heard Pamela somehow beyond the words and also began to better understand how she felt. It wasn’t the volume of Pamela’s complaint that finally got my attention; it was the accuracy, or the truth of it. This long, heartfelt talk led to some much-needed changes. Out of that time we established some practices in our married and family life that have been anchor points for us ever since. One was that we started going on periodic Passionate Getaways — a few times a year just getting away as a couple to nurture oneness and understanding in our relationship. This decision, along with some others, have been among the best we have ever made, and we would recommend them to any married couple. For us, seven years into marriage, the Will of a Man and The Way of a Woman were at a crossroads. The next turn in our journey was uncertain. This point could have been the beginning of the end. After all, our marriage was broken, but instead of breaking apart, the conflict was doing something different. It was about to break us open to a new place of understanding and oneness.

Adapted from Robert & Pamela Crosby’s new book, The Will of a Man & The Way of a Woman: Balancing & Blending Better Together.

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Making Room For Your Marriage 5 Ways to Enhance Oneness Marriage is all about making room. It involves rearranging the furniture of your world so that the person you are committed to receives priority consideration. Here are a few ideas for starters: Adapted from the book (shown above): The Will of a Man & The Way of a Woman: Balancing & Blending Better Together.

Am I Making Room for You? 7 Questions to Ask Your Spouse

.01 Do you always feel comfortable when you are around me? When have I made you feel the most comfortable?

.02 Do you feel like you can talk with me about anything?

.03 Are there things you wish you had room for in our lives that you don’t? How can I help make room for that?

.04 Have I made reasonable room in my life for your family members, your parents, and siblings?

.05 Do you feel you have room in our house to do the things you want to do? What part of the house is your favorite place to relax or unwind?

.06 What are the things you do that make you feel most “alive?” Are there any ways I can help you do that even more?

.07 Do you feel I am taking time to help you with challenges you face in your life?

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1. Choose a Transition Marker on Your Drive Home – Find a landmark of some type that you pass by on your way home that can serve as a daily reminder to you to switch your “mental gears” before you get home. After a full day of all you have to do, take intentional steps to turn your thoughts toward your spouse. Ask yourself a few “I wonder” questions, such as: “I wonder what kind of day my spouse has had?”, “I wonder how they are feeling right now?”, and … “I wonder what I could do or say in the first few minutes after I see them that would set an encouraging tone for our evening?” 2. Ask Your Spouse Great Questions – One of the best ways to strengthen your marriage is to stay interested in each other. Nothing is more depressing than watching a couple sit at a restaurant and look at everything and everyone in the room except each other. And, to not talk at all. Or, to spend the meal gazing into their smartphone screens, instead of each other’s faces. Take time to get to know more about your spouse’s hopes, dreams, fears, aspirations, worries and needs. 3. Fill Your Spouse’s Hope Tank Often – Few things are more encouraging to a marriage than planning fun times and fun activities to look forward to. I [Robert] found out a long time ago that my wife enjoys looking forward to a vacation or getaway time together almost as much as she enjoys the trip itself. Keep your spouse’s hope tank full!

4. Turn Off the Tech at Mealtime & Bedtime – Here’s an idea: turn off the tech and turn on the tender touches! Overuse of a smartphone in the midst of married life is not too smart, not at all. Create some tech-free sanctuaries in your married life and world. 5. Show Interest in Their Interests – Steven Curtis Chapman, the popular Gospel musician and songwriter, has released at least 20 albums. One of his consistent practices has been to include one song to his wife in each of those albums. One of my favorites is “What I’d Really Like to Say,” a song that tries to say the things about married love that are hard to put into words. So, Chapman paints it metaphorically and beautifully in these words to Mary Beth, his wife of 34 years: “What I’d really like to say is what the sun would say to the sky for giving it a place to come alive.” Find ways to help your spouse live out their hobby, dream, talent, or interest. When they shine, so will you.

In this poignant phrase, Chapman speaks of a love that make a place, a place for someone to come alive. We do that for our spouses not just when we marry them or vow to love them, but every time we do something that helps them find a place, a place to grow, to heal, to shine; more room to love, more room live, and more room thrive. That’s what marriage does.


FLORIDAPOLY.EDU

High-tech INNOVATION starts here.

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TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR FUTURE AT THE ESTATES! “…Just Right for Two Thorough, Retired Engineers.”

Being in control of your life shouldn’t change as you transition to retirement. At The Estates, it won’t. In fact, we make it even easier for you to live life your way! HEALTH – An enriching, well-balanced lifestyle, featuring our Elevage Wellness & Fitness programs, helps you stay in control of your health! Best of all, as a Life Plan Community, we also offer assisted living, skilled nursing and rehabilitation right on site. FINANCES – With Lifecare at The Estates, you’ll have access to future health care services if needed – guaranteed for life – at the same monthly rates you are paying for independent living. Tax benefits included! SOCIAL LIFE – Indulge in a delicious, chef-prepared meal. Take a dip in the pool. Stay fit with our on-site trainer. Learn something new at a cultural event. Chat with a friend in the bistro. Be creative in the woodworking shop. Bond with your dog at the dog park. Or simply relax in the privacy of your spectacular new apartment. All this and more is within reach at The Estates! YOUR HOME – Whether you choose a studio, one-, two- or three-bedroom apartment home, you have the opportunity to make customizations in our Design Center.

“The Estates’ Move-In Coordinator, Patti, and the contractors worked closely with us to extensively renovate and customize our apartment to make it just right for two thorough, retired engineers. We enjoy our low-maintenance lifestyle and having more time and energy since The Estates provides so many services: move-in concierge, meals, transportation, housekeeping, maintenance. Best of all, should one of us need health care in the future, we won’t have to be separated.” - The Callahans


Why Did the Callahans Choose The Estates?

IT’S TIME FOR A NEW LOOK!

This bright, active couple enjoyed a well-planned life – and that didn’t stop with retirement. Here were some of the deciding factors in their choice to move:

WHY A CCRC? • • • •

You don’t enjoy doing lawn and house maintenance The house is too large to maintain easily The idea of a housekeeper sounds good Meals are becoming a chore that you don’t look forward to • You don’t think you will still be driving on the day before you leave the earth • You don’t want to be separated from your spouse if/ when one or both of you need assisted living or skilled nursing care

WHY THE ESTATES AT CARPENTERS?

• Choice of CCRC-A or CCRC-B (rental) – pay same(A)/more(B) when more care is needed • Excellent reputation • More amenities than smaller CCRCs • Large enough to find other people who share your interests but still has a small-town feel • Everything is under “one roof” – you don’t have to worry about the weather report • Many apartment sizes available • Customization of apartments is invited

WHY NOW?

• Moving and downsizing is a BIG job. Do you want to make your own decisions or leave it to someone else to decide? • Do you want to make big life adjustments when it’s easier or much more difficult? • Make it your home – and enjoy it – BEFORE life circumstances force you to move • Do you REALLY think that you’re in control of your health, auto accidents, etc.? • It’s better to be 5 – 15 years early than one day too late (e.g., after a stroke, auto accident)

Great news: Our exciting renovation project is complete, and we’re excited to share the results with you! Even better news: We’re offering one more opportunity to enjoy premier construction savings of $10,000 to $30,000 on entrance fees – now through July 31! Plus, couple this with our VIP MoveIn Program – a $2,500 value, complimentary with select Signature Series plans. If you’ve been waiting for the right time to lead a vibrant, worry-free retirement lifestyle – that time is NOW – before all our floor plans are wait-listed!

Call Jeanie at 863-588-7284 to schedule your tour today.

1001 Carpenters Way | Lakeland, FL 33809

EstatesAtCarpenters.com

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The wedding registry: a process of significance, a moment of sparked imagination, and a defining milestone — the first steps of curating a home well lived together.

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WED D I NG REGI STRY Written & Styled by Danielle Torres Photography by Dan Austin

While price ranges, retail options, and staple items can be a starting point, what wish-list items uniquely complement your coupled individuality? We’ve compiled a list of finds for you (and your guests!), meant to stir up inspiration based on your personality, lifestyle, and sometimes whimsical aesthetic. Building your registry is more than a list of necessities; it’s a representation of a union soon to be.

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The Weekenders Simple pleasures, Saturday morning brew, and muted hues. This couple prefers staple items rich in quality and flavor. Choose items from retailers that specialize in cookware, such as Sur La Table or local favorites such as Scout & Tag. Guest Tip: Pair items with local favorites, such as a bag of freshly ground coffee, a handcrafted mug, or a jar of AM Farm’s honey. Sources: a _ Chemex Drip Coffee Maker / Sur La Table - $38 to $47. b _ Wooden Coffee Scoop Scout & Tag - $12. c _ Wooden Bowl w/ Wooden Containers (each sold separately) / Scout & Tag - $24 to $38 each. d _ Concord Coffee Beans / Concord Coffee - $18 to $21 48

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.02 REGISTRY

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The New Classics For the couple who swoons over classic traditions, these items are an ode to white china, aged silverware, and a touch of handmade charm. Lakeland’s own Home Essentials has an array of high-quality options from which to choose. Sources: a _ Lake Morton Moonlit Swan Stemless Wine Glass / Home Essentials - $24. b _ Arte Italica Serving Pieces / Home Essentials - $151 to $295

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Antique Finishes There is beauty in the unordinary. For couples who prefer one-of-a-kind pieces, many medium to large antique shops offer full china sets in a variety of sizes and styles. Pair your set with flourished serving pieces and sprouting seeds perfect for Sunday dinner. Registry Options: If using a planning tool like Zola, pair your registry with a list of local items for close friends and family. Attach this list on your wedding site or tucked into your invitations. Sources: a _ Gold Lined China Set (150 pieces) / Dixieland Relics - $150. b _ Small Crystal Candy Dish / Lloyd’s of Lakeland Antiques - $10. c _ Clear Glass Dish Lloyd’s of Lakeland Antiques - $8. d _ Large Amber Floral Vase / The Store Across The Street - $20. e _ Small Green Floral Vase / Lloyd’s of Lakeland Antiques - $8

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DAN AUSTIN PHOTOGRAPH Y

Not only did Dan exceed our expectations, he made us feel so at ease while taking our engagement and wedding day photos.”

DANAUSTINPHOTOGRAPH Y.COM •

DANAUSTINPHOTO • 727.637.6069


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Eclectic Entertainers With each glass there’s a story of celebration. While full sets are good for quantity, glassware can be personal, eclectic, and handpicked. This array of options is suitable for cocktail hours and nightcaps. Guest Tip: Pair with an aged bottle of whiskey or a sweet rosÊ. Every connoisseur loves a basket full of their favorite indulgences. Sources: a _ Riedel Mouth Blown Decanter / Home Essentials - $195. b _ Riedel Vinum Decanter / Home Essentials - $80. c _ Riedel Peugeot Decanter / Home Essentials - $112. d _ Verve Martini Glass / Crate & Barrel - $13. e _ Slant 2 oz. Shot Glass / Crate & Barrel - $2

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.05 REGISTRY

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Modern Botanical Setting the table can be both mod and enchanting with pastels, mixed textures, and fresh blooms. Choose statement pieces with interesting lines, curved edges, and multipurpose functions. Guest Tip: House plants are a great complement to any home. Source: a _ Marbled Candles /Anthropologie - $18. b _ Numi Taper Glass Candle Holder / CB2 - $4.95. c _ Cursive Candlestick / Anthropologie - $32. d _ Glass & Stone Vase / Anthropologie - $68

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CAKES

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Our Featured Bakers: Born And Bread Bakehouse J’aime Cakes LLC Nook Bakery

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Julia Child once said, “A party without a cake is really just a meeting.” Who wouldn’t agree with that? Though the trend of creating a dessert display that has a host of different small bites and favorite treats is up and coming, the wedding cake isn’t going anywhere soon.

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FOR THE GLAM BRIDE . / W H I T E F E AT H E R C A K E

This three-tiered masterpiece from J’aime Cakes took our breath away! Inspired for the bride who wants her cake to steal the show, we couldn’t get over the exquisite, individually placed white feathers. We matched the cake’s presence with the Ella cake plate from Treasury Rentals and modern brass serving set. fa c e b o ok.c om / Jai m e C ake s L L C F l or i d a

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CUT THE CAKE .01 / Start by separating the tiers using the pieshaped server. Most likely there will be a cardboard layer between the tiers, providing extra support as you lift. We recommend this so that entire tiers can be more easily saved and transported if left uneaten.

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rown out of the ancient Roman custom of breaking bread over the bride’s head for good luck, the wedding cake has long held a special place in tradition. While at one point a luxury and sign of status (the bigger the cake, the higher the standing), we have come a far way since. By the 19th century, refined sugars became much more accessible, though whiter sugars and flour were much more expensive. While few families could afford the brilliant white decadence, Queen Victoria’s cake was covered in thick buttered sugar, later coined royal icing. At one point, cakes were stacked as high as possible to watch the bride and groom kiss over and attempt not to knock it down. If a couple could steal a kiss without knocking the cake over, it was a sign of luck.” (en. wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedding_cake) Though cakes may not hold the superstition and status quo they once had (thank God), they may be one of the most anticipated moments of the day. Whether it’s a three-tier naked cake, or a one-tier transcendent chocolate cake with a few simple blooms, the act of a new couple sharing a first bite never gets old. In all the newness of the day, the giggles and the smeared icing (whether accidental or not) as they try to coordinate exchanging forkfuls exude a sweet excitement and joy that can’t be matched. Over the decades of its evolution, mainstream culture has certainly shifted and altered the cake’s place in weddings, allowing each one to be as personalized as possible. The design of your cake is another opportunity to highlight your big day. Here, we present five inspirational cakes from J’aime Cakes, Nook Bakery, and Born & Bread Bakehouse. And while they all have the same color palette (black, white, and a mix of metallics), each displays how your unique aesthetic can easily shine through.

.02 / There may be plastic columns or dowel rods in the layers. Be sure to remove them as you cut the cake. .03 / Using the knife, cut an inside circle approximately 2 inches from the edge of your tier. .04 / Then, cut roughly 1.5 to 2-inch slices downward. Remember, your first slice will be the least pretty. It gets easier from there. .05 / Pro tip: Have a tall cup of water and a clean towel at the table with you. As icing builds up on the knife, dip it into the water and wipe off the knife on the towel. It will keep the slices clean and help you cut with ease.

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F O R T H E RU S T I C B R I D E . / B O R N & B R E A D C H O C O L AT E C A K E

This (honestly called) transcendent cake from Born & Bread Bakehouse is the perfect sweet treat choice for any rustic bride. The straightforward design of the chocolate cake is sweetened with a few garden-spray roses and complemented by the thick wooden cake stand. To bring in a bit more personality, we paired the silver cake servers with a matte-grey dessert plate. b ornandbreadbakehouse.com

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FOR THE BOHEMIAN BRIDE . / M A C R A M E & PA I N T E D C A K E

Nook Bakery created this one-tiered wonder for all of the Anthropologie-loving brides out there. We love the use of the unusual dried florals on the front, especially when paired with the macramĂŠ cake topper and chunky wooden base. The delicate gold leafing encouraged us to pair it with these beautifully etched brass filigree cake serving set and forks. fac eb o ok.c om /no okb aker y/

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M A K E I T A C A K E WA L K (AND OTHER HELPFUL T H I N G S T O T E L L YO U R BA K E R ) .01 / Avoid overspending! Only order dessert for 80 percent of your guests. One slice of cake per person, or two to three small bites per person (cookies, donuts, tarts, etc.). .02 / Searching for flavor inspiration? Look to your favorite birthday dessert or a famous family recipe. Use that as an inspiration point, and trust your baker to help you tell your story. .03 / Check your contract for the following: flavors, ingredients, decorations (a picture is worth a thousand words), date of the event, and time of the delivery. .04 / Ask about any extra charge for cake stands and whether there are delivery/pick-up charges. .05 / Think outside of the box with the cake topper. Instead of the traditional figurines or blooms, consider something like this bohemian macramé cake topper! Pictured on the left bottom. .06 / Purchase (or rent …Treasury Rentals provided all of these!) a pretty cake-cutting set. It’ll make cutting the cake, and capturing the moment, a breeze for everyone. Pictured below.

LAKELAND’S PREMIER COFFEE HOUSE & CASUAL EATERY

205 E MAIN ST

863.682.1210

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FOR THE ROMANT IC BRIDE ./ GREY & WHITE CAKE

We asked J’aime Cakes to create a cake that would speak to a Southern Belle. We loved pairing the delicate white floral work on the soft grey background with the antique silver, heirloom-esque cake stand and servers. For all the traditional and romantic brides out there, consider dressing up your classic design with a modern cake shape. fa c e b o ok.c om / Jai m e C ake s L L C F l or i d a

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F O R T H E A RT D E C O B R I D E . / B L A C K & G O L D A RT D E C O C A K E

Drama and edge — this cake brings the personality with its bold matte and glossy black accents. We were inspired by the little hints of gold and marble within J’aime Cakes’ design, so it only made sense to pair it with this stand from Treasury Rentals. The modern white and gold cake forks on the black plate match the intensity of its inspiration. fa c e b o ok.c om / Jai m e C ake s L L C F l or i d a

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At The Twisted Teapot, we are dedicated to providing an unforgettable afternoon tea experience with quality food and exceptional service. Here, the customer comes first; whether it's catering to a special need or delivering a truly unforgettable experience for a special occasion. If you have any questions, concerns, or inquiries, don't hesitate to contact us or stop by!

OPEN TUES-SAT 11AM- 3PM Reservations are highly recommended

863.299.5000 200 1ST ST. SOUTH, WINTER HAVEN, FL 33880

twistedteapot.com

www.facebook.com/ TwistedTeapotWH


STYLE

wedding

&

wardobe


It was a quiet Thursday afternoon in October. Mom, Dad, grandparents, and siblings sat anxiously in a simple, small wedding chapel, happy that I finally made it to the altar after a five-year engagement. I always thought I’d have an over-the-top wedding in a huge church filled with a couple hundred guests, but my family always knew it would be exactly like this: simple and unconventional. I pictured myself wearing a custom Prince Charming-like ensemble waiting for my bride to float down the floral-lined aisle wearing a giant cinematic ball gown. Instead, I stood at the altar in a stylish off-the-rack suit and opting for an ascot tie in place of a bow tie. My bride wore a white vintage Betsey Johnson cocktail dress, and although unorthodox, she stopped my heart and started my tears in that dress. Ask any bride or groom what was the most memorable moment on their special day and they’ll say the feeling they got when they locked eyes on each other across the aisle for the first time. That’s where my bride and I wanted to take some risks and make it as memorable and true to our personal style as possible. As many wedding ceremonies continue to take place in atypical venues, brides and grooms are also going against the grain and making their wedding day looks more individualized. Let’s explore a few examples of couples who threw the wedding-attire rules to the wind and used their ensembles to express themselves while complementing their overall wedding theme.

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Written by Abdiel Gonzalez Photography by Dan Austin Makeup by Alicia Harris Hair by Molly Osthus & Peyton Ahern of Venue Salon

Models: Kino Picoli Teslyn Leverington Jered Youngblood Dominique Wells - Modern Muse Chris Anderson - BMG Stephanie Sisk

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her look gown The White Magnolia Bridal Collection bouquet Taylormade Floral & Event Design rings Munchel’s Fine Jewelry crown Abdiel Gonzalez

B OHEMIAN CHIC For the gypsy bride and beatnik groom, your wedding is the perfect opportunity to let your free spirits fly. As the bohemian style culture becomes a little more mainstream and accessible, the inner flower child now has more options. The boho style is where light and airy fabrication is king, while minimal, earthy accessories complement the neutral color palette of decor and florals. Finish off the look with natural, tousled hair and nude-inspired makeup. This is the perfect opportunity to play one statement piece of jewelry, like an ornate necklace or whimsical headpiece. Proceed with caution as this has potential to “go too far,” so approach this look with a refined eye, and edit.

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venue: 801 E. Main St.

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his look suit, shirt, and tie Zara boutonniere Taylormade Floral & Event Design watch Munchel’s Fine Jewelery ring Wilson Diamond Brokers No one says you have to wear a tuxedo at the altar. Take a chance and wear a well-fitting suit with modern trimmings. Colorful suits are having a moment in fashion right now, so don’t be afraid to play with a modern hue instead of black.

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Extended 7am to 7pm Drive Thru and Saturday Hours


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BLACK-TIE TIMELESS A formal wedding look is simple and elegant, and still leaves plenty of room for an extravagant wardrobe moment in the gown and tuxedo fabrication, silhouette, and, of course, the jewelry. Classic shouldn’t be boring, so take a risk or two as I did here with the bride and groom both in head-to-toe white. A timeless look should be loaded with drama and a little sex appeal, but should stick to the traditional black-and-white color palette. If you love a good pattern, the way to do it while respecting the time-honored princess gown is to introduce it in a subtle monochromatic print, like a luxe brocade. A modern updo and darker, smokier makeup look finishes the bride’s regal look, while gold accents will have the groom feeling like a king.

her look gown and veil The White Magnolia Bridal Collection bouquet Taylormade Floral & Event Design rings Wilson Diamond Brokers

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The perfect complement to the simplicity of a traditional mermaid gown is a sparkly belt to help define the waist and add a little visual interest. This is also a perfect moment to add a hint of color.

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Building Quality New Homes

Designed for Your Life Since 1996

• Beautiful new homes priced from the mid $100’s to $300’s

• Choose from 30+ home plans with 1,301 to 3,315 square feet of living space

• Personalize your new home to your style and needs with design options in every price point

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Find Your New Home:

www.HighlandHomes.ORG • (863) 797-4999 *Prices, rates, terms, plans, and specifications subject to change without notice. See your Community Sales Manager for details. CGC #058580

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his look tuxedo Suitsupply boutonniere Taylormade Floral & Event Design watch and ring Munchel’s Fine Jewelry loafers H by Hudson

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venue: The Terrace Hotel

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found You’ve

the one.

The one you trust. The one who listens. The one who can help make your wedding day dreams come true. Publix is the one place for everything from gorgeous floral bouquets to fine foods to the fabulous finale— your wedding cake. You can count on variety and quality in all of it— from seafood selections to delicious Publix Deli platters of every description. And you can count on any Publix location to come through for you. Choose the one who makes the most of your once-in-a-lifetime day.

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EDGY ELOPEMENT She’s a little “lace;” he’s a little “rock and roll.” You both don’t want the stress of wedding planning, yet you still want to have that unforgettable first-look moment. An impromptu flashy Vegas elopement sounds like a dream to you and is the best place to mix a dash of streetwear and classic style. Trade the blazer for a worn-in motorcycle jacket and give your tuxedo a dose of James Dean. Feel like a rock star in a lace-and-beaded bodysuit-inspired gown. Leave your hair a little disheveled for an intentional windblown look, and wear a sultry smoky eye to bring a little glam to the altar.

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her look gown The White Magnolia Bridal Collection bouquet Ashton Events rings Wilson Diamond Brokers

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venue: Sun ’n Fun

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Spend Your Time Intelligently

eave the Banking to Us

THE ART OF INTELLIGENT BANKING

Providing innovative banking solutions for your business.

www.bankofcentralflorida.com

M E E T O UR CO MME RCIAL BANKING TE AM Left to right: Randy Hollen; Nancy LaFountain, Treasury Management; David Houston; David Brown; Marilyn Watson; Joe Furnari; Linda Harkins, Treasury Management; Scott Gardner DOWNTOWN LAKELAND 101 S. Florida Ave.

SOUTH LAKELAND 5015 S. Florida Ave.

WINTER HAVEN COMMERCIAL LENDING OFFICE 250 3rd St. NW #102

PLANT CITY COMMERCIAL LENDING OFFICE 111 S. Palmer St.

LET ME SHOW YOUR FAMILY THE WAY HOME.

2000 E. Edgewood Dr. Suite 103 Lakeland, FL 33803

CELL

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When sticking to the traditional black-andwhite colors, play with multiple fabric textures to add visual interest and a touch of luxury, like we did here with the velvet trouser on him and the nude mesh mixed with lace on the gown.

his look motorcycle jacket vintage Members Only tuxedo shirt and trousers Zara bow tie Suitsupply shoes Florsheim watch and ring Munchel’s Fine Jewelry

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FA S H I O N | E N T E R TA I N M E N T | C AT E R I N G | R E N TA L S | D É C O R | P H O T O/ V I D E O

SPECIA L A DVERTISER SECTION

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The Wedding Planner 2018-2019 VENDOR GUIDE

Behind every couple’s big day is a team of experts working to bring a wedding vision to life. Finding the right vendor can make a significant difference in the quality of your wedding day. So, we have partnered with some of Lakeland’s premier vendors to create a guide that will better prepare you to find the right vendors for your perfect day.

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SPECIA L A DVERTISER SECTION

VENUES

Spectra Turn your “Once Upon a Time” into “Happily Ever After” with the RP Funding Center and our award-winning culinary partner. All Inclusive Packages Now Available Tim Mahler, General Manager • 863 834 8109

C AT E R E R S

Nineteen61 Whether celebrating your wedding day, a private intimate celebration, or a corporate lunch, we look forward to serving you and your guests within our restaurant walls and beyond. Every menu and experience are custom and tailored to meet each individual’s event needs. nineteen61.com • 863 688 1961

Venue 650 Enter through the picturesque garden gates and step into a city-chic space with brick walls and romantic chandeliers. Light reflects from the high ceilings to the concrete floors, enhancing a romantic, warm, and aesthetically thrilling experience. venue650.com • 863 287 3814 • venue650@gmail.com

Haus 820 Dream and design your wedding day at Haus 820. Our Haus has 22-foot-high exposed rafter ceilings and deep gray-stained and sealed concrete floors with white-washed exposed brick interiors full of texture and natural light. Our blank canvas venue can be transformed to perfectly fit your unique design. haus820.com • 863 940 9639 inquiry@haus820.com

Frescos Have your party here, or we can bring it to you. We provide catering services for on-premise and off-premise events, including weddings, charity fundraisers, and corporate events. frescoslakeland.com • 863 683 5267

Terrie Lobb Helping to elevate life’s moments with food! terrielobbcatering.com • 863 533 6483

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White Horse Ranch Rustic weddings, charming celebrations, picturesque and personalized packages whitehorseranchvenue.com • 863 899 7984

RP Funding Turn your “Once Upon a Time” into “Happily Ever After” with the RP Funding Center and our award-winning culinary partner. All Inclusive Packages Now Available Stacy Keller, Sales Assistant • 863 834 5110

Rocking H Ranch Enter our majestic, vintage-iron-gated driveway and feel the pressure of the outside world fade away ... taking you back to a time long forgotten. Enter a new beginning, an amazing day of creating shared celebration memories that will last a lifetime. rockinghevents.com • rockinghevents@gmail.com • 863 581 1710

SUN ’n FUN

The Sommer Building Lovingly restored historic venue located in the heart of downtown lakeland sommerbuildinginfo@gmail.com • 863 227 4315

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Polk Theater An incredible, unforgettable wedding destination — the beautiful, historic, atmospheric Polk Theatre! A fairy tale come true under twinkling stars. polktheatre.org • 863 682 7553

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The SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus is one of the most unique venues in Central Florida for hosting your special day. With a myriad of spaces and natural beauty, you are sure to find the perfect location on our Campus to host your wedding and reception. eventrentals@flysnf.org • 863 644 2431; Debi Hobbs


local. curated. current.

Sign up for our FREE weekly newletters

Engage our city daily with original local stories and quality recommendations. A beautiful online experience made for Lakeland by Lakelanders.

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PHOTOGRAPHY

Sargeant Studios Sargeant Studios Wedding Photography is owned by Lakeland photographer, Tina Sargeant and specializes in classic, clean imagery that captures that grace and magic that can be found in the relationships, details, and moments of your wedding day.

BEAUT Y

Venue Salon Premier Aveda beauty services for the Lakeland community. Specializing in hair and skin care. We recognize the trust that you place in our hands, and we deliver on it.  VENUE is your friend in the beauty industry, and we take delivering your expectations very seriously. When you shine, we shine. venuesalon.com • 863 644 0102

sargeantstudios.com • 863 944 5261

Jenny Williams Jenny Williams / Salon Chateau Hair stylist and hair extension specialist. Great Lengths extension specialist. Dan Austin Years of experience in the modeling and fashion industry gives Dan a unique photography style that combines the candidness of his subjects with a detailed attention to lighting and posing. This perspective delivers a unique and genuine aesthetic in his wedding photography.

vagaro.com/salonchateaulakeland • 863 899 0290

danaustinphotography.com • 727 637 6069

VIDEOGRAPHY

Belle La Vie Call today for a consultation, no matter what service you’re interested in for your special day. We believe every day is an opportunity to look and feel your best! bellelaviesalonandspa.com • 863 617 5408

Blanton Creative Blanton Creative specializes in cinematic wedding videos. Our goal is to capture what the photos can’t: the laughs, the cries, and all the candid moments. Now booking 2018 / 2019. Limited dates available. wdblanton.com

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Bella Viságe Medical Rejuvenation Relax, unwind, rejuvenate. Book your reservation today! bellavisagelakeland.com • 863 333 0553


Dinner Is Served! Ribs Served nightly!


A PA R TM E NT S

The Avenue Offering amenities that redefine beauty and lifestyle, The Avenue Apartments were designed with your needs in mind. Focused on high-tech lifestyles and concern for a healthy environment, the Avenue Apartments aim to turn heads and raise standards!

FA S H I O N

theaveapartments.com • 863 286 0240

R E N TA L S

Wilson Diamond Brokers We welcome you to share in our passion for exquisite design and craftsmanship of fine diamond jewelry. wdbdiamond.com • 863 686 6060

Premier Party Rentals Premier Party Rentals We enjoy people, and we want to make each event successful ... no matter how large or small. premierpartyonline.com • 863 644 3000

Fine J

ewelr

. y, Inc

Munchel’s Fine Jewelry Munchel’s Fine Jewelry is a top-notch, family-owned and -operated jewelry store based in Lakeland for over 30 years! munchels.com • 863 619 6269

S TAT I O N E R Y

LS

Stationery Loft invitation & gift boutique historic downtown

Stationery Loft Invitation & Gift Boutique located in historic downtown Lakeland. Heidi and Kerrianne owners. stationeryloft.com • 863 248 4438 Nathan’s Men’s Store Nathan’s has been in the formal wear and suit rental business since the 1950s. Nathan’s takes extra care to make sure that each customer looks his very best when renting garments from us. An in-house tailor is on duty to offer last-minute tweaks if alterations are needed. nathansmensstore.com • 863 682 2811

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Chris McLaughlin’s G U I D E TO S M A R T R E A L E S TAT E I N V E S T I N G #1 Best Seller in Real Estate Investments on Amazon

Deciding to become a real estate investor might be the smartest financial decision you’ll ever make. The next step is to make sure you do it right. Chris McLaughlin is a seasoned and successful real estate investor whose offices collectively sell over $1.5 billion dollars’ worth of real estate each year, and he’s sharing everything he knows with you. His guide is much more than a simple walk through the process of buying and maintaining properties—it’s a comprehensive overview of making the best decisions for your financial goals, optimizing your investments for maximum return, and working toward building the happy and rewarding life you’ve always wanted.

Order Today W W W. O R D E R I N V E S T I N G B O O K . C O M

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PHOTO + VIDEO

MA K E

I T

U N F O R G E T TA B L E

By Kristin Crosby


hile there may be moments you simply can’t recreate, capturing your big day is a timeless investment you will never regret. There may be no more detailed day in your life than your wedding, yet there are some moments that may not go as planned. So, when the flower girl runs up and down the aisle, when Grandpa decides to cut loose on the dance floor, or when your loved one is caught welling up at the sight of you, no doubt you will want to capture them all. If couples regret one thing, for most it’s not investing enough in capturing these moments on camera and video. In fact, a recent survey by Zola (a nationwide wedding registry site) found most newly married couples’ biggest regret was not spending enough on videography. For all the moments you’ve planned for, and all those you never could, we’ve curated some of Florida’s tasteful creatives to document it all.

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TIFFANI JONES p h ot ogr a p h er

iamtiffanijones.com

TL: How long have you been in the industry? Nine years TL: What is your main focus or motivation on the big day? The people and the connections with family and friends TL: What can couples expect for the post-production process? I love giving next-day sneak peeks via social media, and then a storytelling slideshow within the week. My goal for wedding galleries is to deliver

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within two weeks. My turnaround has been as quick as four days. A few weeks after the wedding, I send a gift box with the clients’ USB and a few surprises. TL: What three things should a couple know before selecting a photographer? Experience, experience, experience. I know that’s redundant, but your photographer should be experienced in all aspects of your wedding — inclement weather, difficult personalities, problem-solving

different lighting and notideal location scenarios. Backup equipment is a must! TL: How should a couple prepare to be photographed on the big day? Relax and have fun! It’s the only time in your life that everyone you love is in one place. TL: What is your aesthetic as a wedding photographer? More moments, less Pinterest. I love organic, genuine moments. My approach is candid, nonintrusive, and laid back.

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JORDAN WEILAND photographe r

jordanweiland.com

TL: How long have you been in the industry? This September will be 10 years since I’ve gone full time and have been in the industry. I shot my first wedding 15 years ago. TL: What is your main focus or motivation on the big day? Capturing the story and essence of the wedding day. I want to tell their story well, in a beautiful way, and capture genuine emotion throughout the process. TL: What can couples expect for the post-production process? I deliver wedding images within six weeks. Clients receive an email with a link to their gallery that they can share with family, and download. TL: What three things should a couple know before selecting a photographer? 1. Make sure that you can see consistency throughout their work. Ask to see some full galleries, and make sure that they can take good photos in different scenarios, especially ones that match your wedding day. Ask about their experience. 2.Ask about backup systems. Do they have backup gear? How do they back up their images? 3. Check references! If they weren’t personally

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referred to you (or maybe even if they were), check their reviews on a third-party website (Google, weddingwire.com, etc). When you’re paying someone several thousand dollars, you want to make sure they will deliver. TL: How should a couple prepare to be photographed on the big day? Engagement sessions are great practice. I love photographing engagement sessions, because I get to know the couple, and the couple gets more comfortable being in front of a camera. They can learn some cues that I give so that things happen quicker and more naturally on the wedding day. TL: What is your aesthetic as a wedding photographer? I would say my aesthetic is natural, fun, and expressive. My approach on the wedding day is to generally stay behind the scenes, capturing the events of the day. I’ll work to keep everyone on schedule and give suggestions on locations for certain events. During portraits, I give direction but tell the clients to be themselves. If they want to move around and interact, that only adds to the natural representation of who they really are, which translates to natural photos.

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DAN AUSTIN p h ot ogr a p h er

danaustinphotography.com

TL: How long have you been in the industry? I’ve been in the photography industry since I was fresh out of high school. Dad gave me my first camera for Christmas and from there I experimented. I taught myself camera essentials, lighting techniques, posing, and, after a few years of practice, I gained the confidence to shoot at a more professional level. I was always intrigued by the photography industry growing up, especially the fashion and editorial side. TL: What is your main focus or motivation on the big day? Wedding days are always such an adrenaline rush. My main focus is to capture the special moments of the big day for the couple and their families. You’ll typically catch me on standby, with my finger on

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that shutter button waiting to fire. TL: What three things should a couple know before selecting a photographer? 1. Do you “click” with your photographer’s personality? This is a must! You want to hire a photographer who vibes well with your personality. You’re going to be with them all day and continue a correspondence through the post process. Liking your photographer is key. 2. Do your homework when looking for the right wedding photographer. Look through their website and online social media content; you can even request to see more images. You want to make sure that person’s style is what you’re looking for. 3. Research current wedding photography pricing before

you do your budget and begin shopping around. The photography industry and its pricing are constantly changing. Be informed, then shop around. TL: How should a couple prepare to be photographed on the big day? I always tell my couples to 1.) Breathe and enjoy their big day. It only happens once. 2.) Smile, and keep smiling. TL: What is your aesthetic as a wedding photographer? Candid-style comes most naturally to me. There are so many beautiful moments that happen during a wedding, that I am constantly scanning the room, waiting for something special to capture. Love can be captured and seen in an image. When it is, and it’s authentic, it’s beautiful.

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TL: What three things should a couple know before selecting a photographer? Understanding the variety of photographic styles is important, as well as being mindful of trends in the wedding industry. Couples should select a photographer who they can place complete trust and confidence in.

SUNGLOW PHOTOGRAPHY (Dus tin Pric kett) photographe r

sunglowphotography.com

TL: How long have you been in the industry? I began pursuing commissions with photography almost 10 years ago in 2008, and found an appreciation and interest in wedding photography a year or so later. TL: What is your main focus or motivation on the big day? My style is a blend of a documentary and a fine-art approach. I believe in love; I believe in marriage; and I believe the significance of a wedding goes much deeper than the images in my portfolio. It is such an honor to photograph weddings, and I wholeheartedly look to live

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up to that privilege at every event. TL: What can couples expect for the post-production process? My post production is honestly very minimal. As a lover of light and emotion, I am looking to enhance those elements in the lab while still delivering natural, timeless tones. During capture throughout the day, I am making conscious decisions to photograph in a style that is consistent and does not rely heavily on post production, all the while remaining true to the vision in which the couple connected to my work.

TL: How should a couple prepare to be photographed on the big day? Don’t overthink the process; remain natural and comfortable while being mindful of posture. But, most importantly, live in the moment filled with joy and happiness. TL: What is your aesthetic as a wedding photographer? I approach a wedding with the mindset that I must create an authentic and comfortable environment for those in front of my camera. I work to always maintain professionalism and an easy demeanor to capture the most intimate moments artistically, without being intrusive or drawing attention away from the event. My hope is that when a couple looks through their photographs, it’s like reliving the day all over again.

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ASHLEY HOLSTEIN p h ot ogr a p h e r

ashleyholstein.com

TL: How long have you been in the industry? I’ve been in the wedding industry for five years. TL: What is your main focus or motivation on the big day? My main focus on the big day is to serve my couples, not just with beautiful images, but with memorable moments. I do that by getting to know the family and guests, making sure I document their interactions with the bride and groom. TL: What can couples expect for the post-production process? The day after their wedding, an email will be in their inbox, with a link to their gallery and a time estimate of when it will be available. Once the gallery is available, they pick their favorite images, and I design the album (along with other tangibles) from their big day.

They receive a keepsake as a thank you for allowing me to document their wedding. TL: What three things should a couple know before selecting a photographer? 1. Find a photographer you make a connection with. Meet the photographer before you make a decision. It’s important to find someone you’re comfortable with. 2. Know that photography should be a priority; it’s the only thing that will increase in value over time. Your wedding images are meant to last more than your lifetime — it’s your legacy. 3. Ask the wedding photographers how they backup their photos. Professionals have backup methods to ensure your images are safe and sound from the time they are taken until after they’re delivered. If they don’t have a backup method, they could potentially lose your images. TL: How should a couple prepare to be photographed on the big day? Be prepared to smile a lot! Brides, wear waterproof mascara. Other than that, just enjoy the day. My job is to flatter you, and I will do just that, no matter what comes your way. TL: What is your aesthetic as a wedding photographer? I see beauty in life — the laughter, the snuggles, the chaos, the tears. They all have meaning, and I want to be there to remind you that ordinary moments are extraordinary. That honest moment is what gives context to the love story I tell through my lens. I take that moment and make it timeless for them to enjoy, not just a few weeks from now, but for generations to come.

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ARDENCY & ARROW (Evan & A bigail Dell) photographe rs

ardencyandarrowco.com

TL: How long have you been in the industry? I have been in the industry for eight years, and my wife joined three years ago during our start-up of our company. TL: What is your main focus on the big day? To document the couple’s unique personality and the beauty of their relationship. We strive to honor the passion and raw emotion of each part of the day. TL: What can couples expect for the post-production process? Our typical full-day wedding album takes four to six weeks to complete. We spend this time carefully selecting each photo, and hand-tailoring colors and contrast to match our style. Couples can expect warmer tones, leading to a romantic depth to fully illustrate the emotion in each image. We do not have a limit to the amount of edits delivered, because we believe that our couples deserve the entire visual history of their day, small and big moments alike. TL: What three things should a couple know before selecting a photographer? 1. Know what style you prefer. 2. K  now how much time you want covered by your photographer (for example, the full day photographed,

half of the day, or just the ceremony, etc.). 3. Ask potential photographers if they are able to meet in person with you and your [future spouse] to establish a personal connection, which will help them capture your vision more accurately on the big day. TL: How should a couple prepare to be photographed on the big day? Consider setting up an engagement or mini couple’s session with the photographer you plan on booking for your wedding.Also, being in front of the camera does not mean couples have to model for us. Most photographers want to capture genuine emotion and reactions. Be authentic, natural, and try to soak in the moment rather than be caught up in how you look on camera. TL: What is your aesthetic as a wedding photographer? To preserve every uniquely beautiful moment witnessed in its purest form. From tears to laughter, we see these emotions as artifacts of the love being celebrated between our clients. Using traditional and modern techniques, we want our imagery to evoke a sense of timeless beauty — pictures that can be enjoyed among anyone, now and for years to come.

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TL: How long have you been in the industry? I’ve been running my own wedding photography business for over three years now. TL: What is your main focus or motivation on the big day? Although I always go into a wedding day hoping to capture some truly gorgeous images, my main priority and motivation are to serve my couple. If I can be a joy and blessing from start to finish, leaving my couple feeling loved and beautiful, then I have succeeded. TL: What can couples expect for the post-production process? The first thing my couples can expect is a sneak-peek blog posted only a few days after their wedding. After that, the images are carefully sorted, edited, and uploaded into an online gallery, where couples can download images, share on social media, and order prints directly. My couples can also expect little surprises and thoughtful encounters ... far beyond the wedding day. TL: What three things should a couple know before selecting a photographer? 1. You have to love and believe in your photographer’s vision. If you don’t like their style or approach, then they aren’t the photographer for you.

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NAOMI LYNN VACARO p h ot ogr a p h er

naomilynn.com

2. Choose someone with a personality that works well with yours. A wedding day calls for a photographer who not only takes amazing pictures, but also knows how to make you feel comfortable and loved. 3. And finally, choose a photographer who knows how to troubleshoot difficult situations. No wedding day is perfect, and a good photographer will know how to think on their feet and work as a team with your other vendors. TL: How should a couple prepare to be photographed on the big day? The best way my couples can prepare to be photographed is to book an engagement session. This gives all of us a chance to get to know and feel comfortable around each other. This is also when we can be honest

about any insecurities, practice poses, and just run around like kids and have a great time. However, engagement session aside, I always give my couples careful instructions on the dayof, reminding them to breathe and stay relaxed, as well as affirming them throughout the process to keep their confidence high! TL: What is your aesthetic as a wedding photographer? I am an artistically driven photographer. I’m moved by deep colors, moody shadows, and strong emotional connection. My approach is to capture the story of the day, as well as the deep passion and longing that couples have for each other. As a strong believer in the beauty and sacredness of marriage, I pour my heart and soul into creating imagery that will stir my couples’ hearts for years and years.


ROB CROSBY photographe r

crosbyphotos.com

TL: How long have you been in the industry? I’ve been a wedding photographer for six years. TL: What is your main focus or motivation on the big day? When it comes to a wedding, my main focus is to create timeless, authentic, and emotional imagery that you can look back on and feel the love and joy of your special day. TL: What can couples expect for the post-production process? I have two separate businesses, a commercial (robchristian crosby.com) and a wedding business (crosbyphotos. com). The commercial work I do has really taught me the correct way to retouch, and I’ve spent hours learning and honing the craft of beauty and high-end retouching the right way. So, when it comes to weddings, I’m extremely detail-oriented in the post-production process of color and retouching skin.

TL: What three things should a couple know before selecting a photographer? Know what type of person is behind the lens, and make sure you’re comfortable with the photographer you’re working with. Know the style of photography you want, and make sure the photographer lines up with that. TL: How should a couple prepare to be photographed on the big day? While planning the day, I think it’s always a good idea to really identify the aesthetic you want for your wedding. Expressing that to the photographer and even giving them a mood-board can really help achieve the look you want. Second, on the day of the wedding, the best way to prepare is by relaxing and just enjoying your special day! TL: What is your aesthetic as a wedding photographer? Timeless, authentic, candid, and emotional

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TINA SARGEANT p h ot ogr a p h er

sargeantstudios.com

TL: How long have you been in the industry? Eleven years of wedding fun! TL: What is your main focus or motivation on the big day? I truly believe that with grace and selfless attention, marriages work and families flourish. I love shooting weddings, because I love marriage. The ability to make even just one special day stand still in the lifetime of a couple is a true treasure. TL: What can couples expect for the post-production process? Typically, I send over a sneak peek within a week or two of the wedding, and the remainder of the files are delivered within about a month of the

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wedding (times can vary based on the season). I carefully edit each image and prep the entire gallery to be print ready, and this takes time, of course. TL: What three things should a couple know before selecting a photographer? Be sure to look at full wedding galleries, and look at images that will compare to your actual wedding location, lighting, time of year, etc. It’s easy to put a few good frames from a wedding on a website, but make sure your photographer understands how to handle any lighting or weather scenario that could occur. TL: How should a couple prepare to be photographed on the big day?

It’s always helpful to talk over important shots beforehand. Let your photographer know about sentimental items, very special people, or any planned surprises that might happen. But, really, just be yourself, relax, enjoy your day as it unfolds. I promise it’s so much better that way! TL: What is your aesthetic as a wedding photographer? My aesthetic is typically light, airy, and reminiscent of the colorings of film photography, with a healthy dose of moody shadow tossed in for fun. I typically keep it clean and classic. I want your images to still feel beautiful in 50 years when your grandchildren display them at your big anniversary party!


RANDALL PRODUCTIONS (Ca leb Ra n d a ll) v id eogr a p h er

randallproductions.com

TL: How long have you been in the industry? Six years TL: What is your main focus or motivation on the big day? Our main motivation is to focus on the couple and their story. There are so many facets that come into play on a wedding day, but if the bride and groom’s covenant and celebration are not the main focus, it will just be another highlight film.

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teams. So many times I’ve seen things go wrong because of the wrong expectation and miscommunication. 3. Finally, a couple needs to be in alignment with the videographer’s style. They need to like the videographer’s prior work in order to have the proper expectation for their own wedding footage.

TL: What can the couple expect for the post-production process? With each package we offer a full-length film starting with the time we arrive through the final shots, generally lasting an hour to an hour and a half. It also comes with a narrative trailer that shows the most intriguing shots from the entire day put into a cinematic storyline lasting three to five minutes long.

TL: How should a couple prepare to be filmed on the big day? The only preparation a couple needs to know is to not worry about how they’re being filmed, but to ultimately enjoy every moment of their day. If they find the right videographer, there shouldn’t be any worry, because it’s about the couple, not the videographer. It’s the videographer’s job to capture the essence of their covenant and joy that comes with their wedding celebration.

TL: What three things should a couple know before selecting a videographer? 1. The couple must be able to connect well with the videographer. If a couple is being filmed all day, they need to feel completely comfortable in front of the camera and with the person who is capturing their day. 2. The couple needs to make sure the videographer gets along well with the vendor

TL: What is your aesthetic as a wedding videographer? Our style of filmmaking is a blend of a documentary and cinematic approach. We want to get to know the couple beforehand so we can thoughtfully tell their story through their personalities, their family, their friends, the location, and their decor. Since each wedding is unique, our passion is to capture and tell that story in the most authentic way possible.


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A PEACHY LIFE PRODUCTIONS (D a r in Pea c h ee) v id eogr a p h er

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TL: How long have you been in the industry? Since 2011 TL: What is your main focus or motivation on the big day? To capture moments that will tell the couple’s love story. I focus on candid moments, when true, genuine emotions are expressed. I’m always motivated to try to capture something that the couple was not expecting to see when they watch their film.

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TL: What can the couple expect for the post-production process? My post-production process is very collaborative in that I give the couple the opportunity to choose the song for their highlight film. I also present a draft of the highlight film to allow the couple an opportunity to review and suggest changes, before the film is finalized and released to the public. TL: What three things should a couple know before selecting a videographer? 1. What parts of the wedding would you like to have captured? Do you want events prior to the ceremony filmed? Are you planning a grand exit you want captured? Knowing the answer to these questions will make it easier to select the best video package. 2. How you would like to view the wedding, after all is said

and done. Do you just want a highlight film, the entire ceremony edited into one film, the reception toasts? 3. Your comfort level with having nearly every part of your day filmed. It’s OK to be up front about how you feel having a camera around you all day. TL: How should a couple prepare to be filmed on the big day? They should just be themselves on the wedding day. Put aside any stress that may be left over. And I encourage them to not even think about the camera. TL: What is your aesthetic as a wedding videographer? My style is flexible, but when granted full creativity in capturing a wedding, I like to go for cinematic shots that are oftentimes close up, to capture an angle no one else viewing the wedding can see.


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PEOPLE

BEYOND THE BIG DAY

M

ost every magazine’s “Wedding Issue” is intended to offer inspiration to a bride and groom for their big day. Whether it’s which perfect gown to select, which impressive cake to choose, or whether or not to have assigned seats at the reception, there are more than enough details and components to fill magazine pages. But, one detail often overlooked with all the planning is the very reason you’ve chosen to have a wedding: the marriage. As the allure of wedding details continue to fill the agendas, the beauty of the bond the couple is about to enter can easily be lost in the midst of the wedding-bell chaos. So we sat down with a few of The Lakelander’s very own couples, those behind the scenes of these pages. Whether they’ve been married for decades or as recently as last year, discover the stories that led to their big day and where life has led these unions after the “I do.”

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CURT & DEB The Lakelander: How did you meet? Deb: We met at Northwestern Bible College in Roseville, Minnesota. It was the very first day I got there, as a freshman, and I was moving into my apartment — I had just met my two roommates. As we were unpacking, Curt and his very obnoxious friend Reggie came in the room, and Reggie plopped himself down in the apartment, on the desk, and said, “Hey! Come out here, we want to see what you look like.” Curt (cringing): Not a good opening move. Deb: Evidently, Curt’s sister Marcy, who was moving across the hall, said … Curt: … “You need to go meet the girls across the hall.” So we walked over there and that’s when we met. Of course, they did come out. And I don’t remember what happened then. Deb: At first we all hung out together as a group. Curt: So we probably hung out with our sisters and intentionally tried to include Deb. But the first things that I saw was that she was a Christian and loved the Lord; she had a Christian family (which was important to me); and they were in business, and I loved business. Plus, I was attracted to her. So I said, “This might be the one.” Deb: I remember him going to the orientation on campus. He came up early to get a job. He was wearing white painter pants and a yellow, blue, and white striped shirt with the UNI emblem. And he had a ’stache and longer hair. I have pictures. [laughs]

breaking up, I went on a date and I saw it as a waste of time. Then we were separated for the summer. Deb went home and worked while I was still working up there, and that’s when we felt it was ridiculous because we were on the phone all the time, so she came up early to school so we could be together, and then we got engaged at Christmastime. Not the exciting engagements that they do now. But I did ask her father.

TL: How long was it before you both got married? Curt: She broke up with me like four times that year. But she was a freshman and I was a senior. I wasn’t in need of dating, but I understood (well, I don’t know if I understood). Deb [laughs]: But he’s a good salesman. Curt: Haha, yeah. In my heart, I still felt like she was the one. So I still pursued her. I had no interest in anybody else. One of the periods of

TL: How did you know this was the person you wanted to be with? Deb: I think what helped was the separation. I’ve heard before, “Don’t marry someone you can live with; marry someone you can’t live without.” And, you know, you’ve got to feel that way. You can live with a lot of people. Curt: I felt like I knew sooner in the process, but we both really knew that summer being separated from each other. Deb: Some great advice we received from some close married couples was that there will

“Don’t marry someone you can live with; marry someone you can’t live without.” - Deb

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Curt & Deb Patterson MARRIED 1979

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be times when you’re so mad that you don’t feel that love. But that doesn’t mean it’s not there — it just gets buried. Love is a commitment. Curt: The feelings come and go. I think a lot of people forget it’s a commitment. If you think about it, every day your emotions are all over the place. It’s really a reflection of Christianity and God’s love towards us. We fail Him and mess up, yet He loves us consistently. You’re going to have trials. You’re going to have hard times in a marriage — no question. So you both need to be committed. TL: In what ways are you alike? Curt and Deb (simultaneously): Alike?? Deb: We’re mostly opposite. Curt: We like to laugh. Deb: That was a requirement — whoever I’d marry had to make me laugh. Curt gives me a good laugh, whether he means to or not. [laughs] And we both love the Lord. Curt: Family is big for both of us. Our hobby is our family. Deb: We daily work on keeping a healthy lifestyle, so that as we get older we will be able to enjoy life and still chase around our grandkids, by God’s grace! TL: In what ways are you different? Curt: She’s detailed. I’m a visionary. Deb: He’s awesome at the big picture, the vision, and goals, and I fill in the blanks with details. Curt: And that’s why we’re a great team. Deb: That’s where being so different is such a plus. We can fill in each other’s gaps. Curt: It’s funny, when you’re first falling in love, you almost think that you both look at life the same way and that you like all the same things. As we’ve grown, we have realized that we are different. But that’s good.

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TL: What was the most memorable part of your wedding ceremony? Curt: Deb’s mom made me cry. Deb: When my mom was being seated, she told Curt she loved him and made him cry. I remember the amazing trumpets, being so excited that Curt and I were going to be our own family, and also seeing all the family and friends who had come to share our special day!

playing a show in Mississippi at Ole Miss. And Sasha had called about a week before that and said, “Hey, my parents want to fly you up to New York City. We’re going to be hanging out as a family.” And I’m like, what? “Yeah, I’ll be there!” So I flew to New York City and bought tickets to a Broadway show, spent two or three days there, and that was the week that she was like, “Ok, you’re the one.”

TL: What is your advice to couples who are preparing to get married? Curt: I’d say, to the guys, just enjoy the ride and let them make all the decisions. Deb [laughs]: Absolutely! It’s about commitment. Somedays it’ll be nothing but commitment. God put you together, and you made that promise. Don’t look to the other person to make you happy. That’s up to you. Curt: First of all, great job on the decision to get married — because not everyone does that anymore. Marriage is ordained by God. You will accomplish more with a helpmate in life. Deb: Always put your spouse first, before yourself, and put God in the center of your marriage.

TL: In what ways are you alike? [They look at each other and laugh.] Sasha: In no ways. Jason: In no personality ways, at all. I would say the bond that binds us is our faith and our world view, based on that faith. So that trickles down to, most importantly, the fact that we are dedicated to this marriage. Nothing will break it. Even when it’s difficult. And, what trickles down from that is how you raise your children and what’s important. We agree on most of that. Sasha: Yeah, we think the same about everything. Our approach is just different.

JASON & SASHA TL: How did you meet? Jason: We met when Sasha was 14 and I was 20. Obviously, we did not date. I was playing music, and we were here in town. [Editor’s Note: Jason was a former drummer and toured for 10 years.] Fast forward five, six, years later, and we met at a Six Flags Atlanta, at a concert we were doing there. And I always describe it (she’s going to roll her eyes), but there were 100,000 people at this place, elbow to elbow. And I remember 15 yards away I saw her, and it was like the Red Sea. I remember there she was, just as cute as can be. And then, a few months later, she was on my mind the whole time, and even though I was dating someone, I called her. And she was toying around with some guy [Sasha laughs] that she knew wasn’t going to last. She went with me to a wedding in Charleston, and she was totally convinced that I was not the right guy for her for a year. But we kept talking, and she said, yes, I could come visit her, though sometimes she would ask me to leave. Sasha: Because he was the Christian guy who drank, and used foul language, and he didn’t have all the check marks in my mind. So, I assumed, “Oh, he’s not the one for me.” And his personality wasn’t just like my dad’s. I was convinced I was going to marry someone just like my dad, because I thought he was perfect. I got over my self-righteousness eventually. But it took me a little while to realize, OK, I’m not supposed to marry someone that’s always patient and quiet, and doesn’t give his opinion. So that was a lot of why I thought he might not be for me. Jason: So, when it really happened, I was

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TL: In what ways has your marriage changed each other and you as a couple? Sasha: I think it has made me realize that I was really prideful, that things should be done the way that I think. But, realizing that his perspective is good, even though it’s different, it’s not wrong. But it feels wrong initially, so realizing it’s not just the way I see it. It’s made me more thankful that he’s not like my dad, because if he were I would be walked all over. Jason: I would say we’re both equally self-righteous, and we’re both equally set in our ways. She is quietly self-righteous. I’m loudly self-righteous. So the whittling away is getting her to be OK talking about things in our relationship. And the way she whittles away at me is you don’t always have to say what’s on your mind. So that’s what marriage does over the course of a lifetime. Over the course of 12 years we’ve eked a little bit out of each other. Over the course of 50 years, God uses marriage as the most — besides His word and Spirit — sanctifying force on this earth. If you let the marriage be that and don’t give up on it, it’s a good sanctifying force. TL: What were the most memorable moments of the wedding? Sasha: It was so much fun having everyone that you love in one place. For me, it was fun because, since my mom worried about everything, I really didn’t care at all. Which, if I would’ve been in charge, it would’ve been a disaster. But since everything was under control, I could really enjoy it. Jason: There was a hotel, on the beach. We had no plan. We’re on the beach and in the water the whole time. Obviously, when she turns the corner and walks down the aisle, that’s a special moment. Sasha: I think our wedding was at six, and I didn’t start getting ready until four. So my


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friends and I were just at the beach. I got ready in about 30 minutes, so we just hung out. That’s how I would do it again.

MARRIED 2004

Jason & Sasha Jacobs

TL: What is your advice for couples preparing to get married? Sasha: To have a good 10 fights before. Ask all the hard questions at the beginning so there’s nothing left to question. I feel like that’s the scary thing we’re seeing — that they didn’t ask the tough questions, or they didn’t have a handful of good fights to really work through things. Because everyone has something. Everyone is like, “I don’t want to judge them for their past or what they’ve been through.” So people just let things go, and it seems like they don’t realize they’re going to have to deal with that at some point in their marriage. You are who you are. And what you’ve gone through is part of who you are. That’s part of why you fall in love with the person. But living with someone like Jason, you’re going to know it all, whether you want to or not. Which is great in our marriage. But I feel like there are a lot of guys that hold a lot in and don’t know how to communicate. Jason: I would say, start with the traditional wedding vows. This is why we have a wedding,

so we can say before God and man, all who are in that room, that I am going to stay with this person through all the good and the bad. The wedding vows are trying to literally list out all of the possible good and bad things that could happen. So study those and go, “OK, if death and sickness and heartache happen, do I love this person so much that I’m going to stay with them?” This is going to be the most difficult relationship you ever have. You can’t even imagine how much another person can stretch you until you’ve lived with them and realize you’ll never satisfy their expectations and they’ll never satisfy yours. But how God shapes you through those difficult moments … character is built through the difficult moments. So the reason the vows are there is because that is what God is going to use the most to build your character and their character, and your hope and faith.

BRANDON & MELEIA TL: How did you meet? Meleia: We met at Liberty University. I’m pretty sure it was the first day, freshman year, I saw him from afar and thought, Ah, he’s so cute. But so did all the other girls, too. Brandon: We met the first day because her roommates were friends with my soccer teammates. Meleia: After hanging out in groups of mutual friends throughout freshman year, he then asked me out on a date, and the rest is history. TL: How did you propose? Meleia: So I’m from Minnesota, and he came up for the 4th of July the summer after our junior year just to hang out with my family. My brother and sister-in-law live on a beautiful lake and were having a party, so they asked us, “Can you go around the lake to a friend’s house to get some stuff for the party?” So we drove around the lake, and Brandon said, “Oh, let’s stop here.” There was a beautiful area that overlooks the lake. And I said, “Oh, look, someone put out flowers and stuff. That’s so cool. I wonder who that’s for?” It just did not cross my mind that he was about to propose. So we walked out and are looking at the lake, and then he started saying all these nice things, and then it took me a minute to realize: Wait! He’s going to propose to me! Brandon [laughs]: It took longer than I expected for her to realize what was going on. Meleia: He wrote me a song, played it on the guitar. And it was absolutely perfect. Brandon: Well, I’m glad you liked the song, because I’m sure it would be embarrassing now. Meleia: I think I was just so excited to have you there. It was just special to have the proposal in Minnesota where I grew up. And then all my family was there to celebrate after! TL: In what ways are you alike? [They look at each other and laugh.] Meleia: We’re not alike at all. But I’d say we’re both sensitive.

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Brandon: I think we’re very perceptive to other people, to what’s going on. We both like to have things together, to have things done so we can relax. Meleia: That’s true; we both like to keep things clean. Visual clutter is mental clutter. We both love playing sports together. Brandon: We both like staying active versus just sitting and watching movies.

“Obviously, when she turns the corner and walks down the aisle, that’s a special moment.” - Jason TL: In what ways are you different? Meleia: Brandon’s really good with words — arguing or just talking in general. And I’m not so much. Or it takes me time. Like if we need to discuss things, or are in an argument, he knows what he wants to say right away. And I’m like, “I need 10 minutes. Let me go in the other room, collect my thoughts, and I’ll get back to you.” I’d say you’re a little more social or extroverted than I am. Brandon: Yeah, I almost always prefer to be doing something socially.


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Meleia: Yeah, and I have four kids hanging on me all day, so alone time is gold. (Just kidding.) [Editor’s note: Brandon and Meleia have had four children in five years.] TL: What was the most memorable part of the wedding preparation? Meleia: For me, it was more just the excitement, because I’m the youngest of five in my family. (I have four older brothers.) The fact that all of my brothers and sisters-in-law loved Brandon, I feel like they welcomed him so well and loved him like a brother. The preparation was fun, since it was more of a destination wedding and everyone was around to help out.

said, “No,” and he still wanted to go out with me, I knew that was good. Brandon: We can edit that part out. TL: What is your advice to couples preparing to get married? Brandon: I would say find a good mentor, someone you really trust who is older, who has been through it. We were given a lot of good advice leading up to it on what to expect. Guys can just be so clueless about little things and expectations. Meleia: Yeah, I think I knew I wasn’t marrying Prince Charming, and he wasn’t going to complete me. [laughs] In a good way! Brandon: You’ll begin to realize how selfish you are once you get married. Once you have kids you’ll really learn how selfish you are! Meleia: Be able to laugh at yourself. Brandon laughs a lot. He can turn everything into a joke, and it’s great, even when it’s annoying and I’d rather he not. But, generally half an hour later, I’m like, OK, I guess that is kind of funny. So try not to take yourself too seriously.

other friends and I were up on the hill getting everything ready. Lisa Malott, who does a lot of staging for the magazine, also helped me put it all together. But then, as it does during Florida summers, it poured. It was August, so I knew there was a possibility this would happen. As my only backup, I had brought the 10x10 popup tent from our office. As scheduled, Dan and Sally eventually arrived but remained in the car trying to wait out the rain. But it just wasn’t letting up. He somehow managed to convince Sally to get out of the car insisting they could get a shot or two with the umbrella. They finally made it to the tent, where I was waiting. Table set, me dressed up, barely keeping dry under the tent that was now sagging under the weight of the water collecting on top. I just

D A N I E L & S A L LY

[Brandon and Meleia had their wedding at St. Pete beach in Florida.] The morning of the wedding, we were all playing volleyball. We had a pretty athletic bunch that loves sports. For the wedding preparation, all the old people took care of it, and the young people just had fun, ha! The mothers were probably stressing over all of the details for us. Brandon: I try to scrub all of the planning from my memory. But it was a fun, long weekend, almost a weeklong celebration. Meleia: I felt like it was the last hoorah before adulthood. It was like, “Here you go! You’re no longer in college. You have absolutely no money. Good luck!” [laughs] TL: How did you know this was the right person for you? Meleia: Well, obviously, he was very good looking, and after I found out he loved Jesus and was a Christian — and not just saying it to get me to like him — that was a big thing. So knowing he had a real relationship with the Lord, after a few dates [I’d say I knew]. And, when he tried to kiss me on a date, and I turned away and

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TL: How did you meet? Sally: We met in college. We were working together, on a student leadership team at SEU [Southeastern University]. I was on Daniel’s marketing team. He was the lead designer, and I was on his team. Daniel: Yes, we met that way but didn’t date until Clark, a friend of mine, invited me to hang out on the lake with some friends but insisted I bring a date. I wasn’t seeing anyone at the time, so my first thought was, Who do I know that’s cute? Sally: I recall clear as day the night he asked me out. I was with some friends watching a game when I got a call from Daniel. My first thought was, Did I need to send him a graphic or miss a deadline? What is going on? So I answered the call, and he invited me out on the boat but then proceeded to clarify, “Only if you are OK with it, just as friends — no pressure.” Daniel: Well, I was sort of her boss, and I didn’t want it to be anything weird. Sally: I agreed to go. I always thought Daniel was cute. And I thought it would be fun regardless — I’m a Texas girl so I could count the number of times I had been on a boat on one hand. TL: How did you propose? Daniel: Back in school we attended this award ceremony. It’s a big formal event put on at the Polk Theatre. She was my date, and afterwards I took her to this spot in town that’s commonly referred to as the “highest point.” I thought it was a romantic place to ask her to make our dating relationship “official,” I guess So — fast forward four years — it was her birthday month. With my friends, one of whom is a photographer, I convinced her that we would take some photos for her birthday, as an excuse to get her dressed up. My friend Dan set up two locations for the shoot, the “highest point” being one of them. Meanwhile, my

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Brandon & Meleia Patterson MARRIED 2008


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Sally: I had always dreamed of getting married in a church. For me there’s something really special about that. It represents the sacredness of a great sacrament. Because most of our families live so far away, they don’t know who we’ve grown to become, and it was really important to share that with them and say, “This is who we are. This is our community and our life.” TL: When did you know this was the right person for you? Sally: When I started to realize that Daniel brought out the best in me and I felt challenged by him to become a better person, I knew there was something special. Daniel: I feel like I knew pretty early. But, after two years of dating, I remember saying it out loud: “I’m for sure going to marry this girl.”

remember trying to block all of that out as I greeted her, wished her a happy birthday, and then finally popped the question. All the while Dan was shooting photos while our friends Matt and Candace captured the video. After I got the “yes” and placed the ring in her finger, we sat down and enjoyed a meal served by yet another friend, Charlene, who fully committed to the role by dressing like a waiter.

TL: Is there anything you would’ve done differently at the wedding? Daniel: I would’ve gotten the tent. Our entire reception had to be reset after a brief rain.

TL: In what ways are you alike? Sally: We’re both creatives. We both really enjoy similar overarching themes — we really enjoy movies, fashion, architecture, music, travel. Daniel: We love travel ... although we like to travel somewhat differently. And I’d say we really appreciate people and experiences. We love to take an ordinary moment and try to make it something memorable. Sally: They’re called movie moments. Daniel: Trademark Sally. [Both laugh.] TL: What do you remember most from the wedding day? Sally: I think all the people there, all of our friends. We had so many friends attend. I’m not from Lakeland, so having that many people come from out of town was really special to me. I had family from Texas, from Mexico. Daniel had family from Jamaica, U.K., Canada. Daniel: Honestly, for me it was the ceremony. It was very happy and joyous, obviously, but I took it very seriously along with the meaning of our commitment, writing out my vows that morning. I really appreciated our friends and mentors Hillary and Jason performing the ceremony; it was so special to us.

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Sally: I wouldn’t have spent so much money on flowers. TL: What is your advice to couples preparing to get married? Daniel: We did the Enneagram during our premarital counseling, which was huge. I’d definitely recommend it. Sally: Yes, the Enneagram! I became so selfaware and learned so much about myself and Daniel. We also had conversations that made us both open up while talking through the things that have shaped who we are. Daniel: I’d say it’s been helpful to have a set of household values. We have a list of five that are foundational to who we want to be. For instance, we value flexibility: we dream big and have high aspirations, so to avoid disappointment and pressure, we intentionally value being able to move forward and be flexible when we encounter the unexpected. But, we’re at the very beginning of our marriage, and learning daily. We are by no means the experts.

Daniel Barceló & Sally Ibarra Barceló MARRIED 2017


Photo Courtesy of Special Collections, Lakeland Public Library

The Cumberland Presbyterian Church was located on the corner of South Florida Avenue and Lemon Street in Lakeland, Florida. The congregation built a new church at 730 South Florida Avenue in 1935. It later became the Wesminister Presbyterian Church.

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CULTURE

XOXO

F A M I LY T I E S written by Annale e Mutz p h o t o g r a p h y o f L i m We d d i n g b y Ta m m y S w a l e s

Every family comes with their own set of traditions and customs. When planning a wedding, incorporating expectations on both sides of the family can be complicated enough. Cross-cultural weddings add a whole new level of complexity. But this unique experience provides a way for couples to truly appreciate and understand their diverse cultural backgrounds.

A N U N S T E A DY S TA R T “At first my parents didn’t really like Emily,” Jet Lim says as he recounts the earlier days of dating his now wife, Emily Lim. Jet’s family is from South Korea while Emily is from upstate New York. A born and raised all-American girl, Emily did not necessarily fit the mold of an ideal Korean wife that Jet’s parents had aspired for him. “That was the hardest part for us at the beginning,” Jet says. Jet was born in Virginia and moved to Korea when he was in the third grade. “But I was a troublemaker and didn’t connect with Korea very well,” he admits. So, he went back to the United States on his own, eventually attending Auburn University and then later transferring to Southeastern University where he first met Emily. Jet and Emily were head-over-heels for each other, captured by the thrill of a budding romance that later matured into a serious relationship. However, Jet’s parents were not initially on board

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with their son’s new relationship. “In Korea, it’s about preserving our culture,” Jet says. Emily is not Korean, and this was not what Jet’s parents had anticipated for their family. “They were sad. My dad loves Emily, but he can’t really speak to her; she’s all the way across the country and she doesn’t speak Korean,” Jet says. With the talks of marriage present in their relationship, this was a devastating situation for Jet and Emily to navigate through. “My parents came along, but it was because we had to slowly prove them wrong,” Jet says. “It was really hard for me because I’m such a people person,” Emily says. “However, it’s been cool to see their opinions change.” Jet and Emily dated for about a year and a half before Jet popped the big question. Six months later, they got married in Winter Park, Florida. Two weeks after the wedding, they got married again in South Korea.

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Jet and Emily’s “first” wedding was a fairly traditional American ceremony and took place in Winter Park, Florida.

TWO WEDDINGS ARE BETTER THAN ONE There are many different ways to go about a cross-cultural wedding, and having two separate ceremonies in order to incorporate both cultures is not an unheard-of idea. So, why did Jet and Emily decide to have two weddings? “My mom tricked me,” Jet jokes. “But it ended up being really cool.” “We ended up loving it,” Emily says. She worked closely with her family to plan a midsize wedding in Winter Park at a venue called Casa Feliz. This was a fairly traditional American wedding that took into consideration much of Emily’s large family. “We didn’t incorporate any real Korean traditions into our American wedding, because we knew we were going to have our wedding in Korea, too.” Although they worked closely with Emily’s family to plan the American wedding, many of Jet’s family also attended this ceremony even with the Korean one nearing close behind it. “They loved it,” Jet says. His parents arrived and brought a gift for Emily’s parents — a common tradition in Korea for the parents of the groom. A true cultural experience for the Lim family, this was Jet’s parents’ first American wedding, so they were not accustomed to some common Western wedding traditions. “My mom was really awkward during the mother-son dance,” Jet says. “But she had fun with it, too.” However, when it came to the Korean wedding, Jet’s parents were far from hands off with the planning process. “In America, it’s mostly the bride and her parents that plan the wedding. In Korea, it’s not like that,” Jet says. In Korea, it’s common for both sides of the family to split the costs. It is also common for the newlyweds to receive cash from their guests, rather than gifts. The parents typically take the money received and use it to pay for the wedding. The remaining money is then used to prepare a place for the couple to live. Depending on what they can afford, this usually covers the first year of living. “So my parents covered all the Korean wedding,” Jet says. “They used the cash to pay for the wedding and what was left was used as a down payment for a house and a dryer.”

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Two weeks after their honeymoon, Jet and Emily walked down the aisle again. Only, this time, in South Korea.

T H E I R B I G KO R E A N W E D D I N G After Emily and Jet tied the knot in Florida, they hopped on a plane and headed out for their honeymoon. Two weeks later, they were walking down the aisle all over again. Only, this time, in South Korea. “We had no part in the planning process for the Korean wedding,” Emily says, “which was nice. I was all the way across the world. I wouldn’t have been able to be a part of it anyway.” So with their outfits chosen for them and the details set in place by the Lim family, Jet and Emily arrived in Seoul ready to take on round two of the wedding festivities — this time a bit different from the first. “There weren’t a lot of similarities between the two weddings,” Emily says. She started her wedding day like most brides, getting her hair and nails done. Afterwards, she finished getting ready by putting on her wedding dress, the traditional Korean attire called a hanbok. “Before the ceremony, I went alone to this room with a wall of flowers and a bench in front. I sat there for about an hour as people showed up for the wedding.” “It’s traditional for people to come about an hour before the wedding,” Jet adds. Guests arrived early to the Lims’ wedding to

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greet the bride and family before the ceremony. “They were kind of nervous being around me,” Emily says. “My sister-in-law was there to help translate for me, but guests were still really nervous. People didn’t really talk to me a lot. I was just sitting there while they took pictures of me.” Jet and Emily’s Korean ceremony was much larger than their one back in Florida. “It’s normal for the ceremony to be big,” Jet says. In order to symbolize that they were already married, Jet and Emily walked down the aisle together for this ceremony which was officiated in both English and Korean. During the ceremony, they also had someone sing a love song to the couple. “It’s common for someone to sing to you at the wedding,” Jet says. “To me it was awkward, but he was a very good singer,” Emily says. Their vows were then sealed with a bow. “We did a bow to Jet’s parents,” Emily says. “She would bow. I got completely on the ground, like a full bow on my hands and knees,” Jet says. Instead of a kiss, the ceremony concluded with the couple bowing to each other.


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wr itte n by Br ittany C ole p h o t o g r a p h y b y T i n a S a r g e a n t

H O N O R I N G F A M I LY

Local wedding planner Brittany Cole from Eventrics Weddings has planned dozens of cross-cultural weddings. Although there is no one formula that works for all couples, she has gleaned insight into the top tips that will help any couple on their big day. 1 . S T R U C T U R E D F A M I LY DISCUSSIONS / It’s important to sit down with both families to outline the most important cultural details of the weekend. Both families should elect a spokesperson to act as the cultural expert for reference. This is crucial as it will determine everything from guest count, timeline of events, and location. Since there may be language barriers, I encourage a clear and consistent communication throughout the planning process to ensure all parties remain in the loop and comfortable with the continued progress. 2. BUDGET OUTLINE / The budget should be discussed from the beginning with both families. Each side should speak on what they are comfortable contributing and what aspects are most important.

5 . H I R E YO U R T E A M / Choosing your “core team” of vendors for your wedding weekend is very important. Not only should they align with your overall vision and budget, but they should also be enjoyable to work with. Be sure you see eye to eye with the vendors you hire — you could be working with them for a year … sometimes more! 6. INVEST IN ON-SITE MANAGEMENT / I cannot stress enough how important it is to have an experienced on-site wedding coordinator to oversee your investment. It’s important to ensure that your wedding will go off without a hitch given all the time spent planning and large financial investment. Also, the bride and groom can relax and enjoy the celebrations!

3 . K N O W YO U R D AT E / I always recommend you research your date extensively before finalizing. Depending on where the celebrations will take place, you might want to confirm there are no major conventions or other city events that will impact your overall guest experience and privacy. 4 . C H O O S E YO U R VENUE / With most cross-cultural events, I’ve found that it’s best to select a venue that allows outside catering. Be sure to ask the event coordinator directly if they have experience with cultural events and if they partner with outside caterers of your choice in the area.

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Considering family dynamics is just another detail to worry about when planning your big day. But, as the couple is preparing to join together every aspect of their lives, this attention to familial customs can add tremendous value; taking into consideration the cultures of both sides of the family is very honorable. Likewise, it can also be an eye-opening experience for the couple. “The Korean wedding didn’t really have our personalities. We did that to honor [Jet’s] parents, and that was really important to them,” Emily says. The two are thankful for their cross-cultural wedding experience and have gleaned great insight from the experience. “I actually really enjoyed having two weddings,” Jet says. Again, there is more than one way to organize a cross-cultural wedding, and two ceremonies may not always be the route a couple chooses. “If you want to combine, you have to be flexible,” he advises. “If you’re blending two cultures into your wedding, you have to be understanding and willing to compromise.” So, although a wedding is a time for the families to come together, it’s also about celebrating the couple. Blending together the desires of each can be more difficult to decipher when two entirely different cultures are involved, “because customs mean different things to each other,” Jet says. “There are some things that might be considered rude in one culture that wouldn’t be in another,” Emily adds. For all those involved in the wedding, clear expectations are crucial, especially from the bride and groom themselves. Jet’s parents have truly accepted and welcomed Emily into their family. “The wedding was really good for my relationship with his parents. They got to spend more time with me and get to know me,” Emily says. And her understanding of Jet’s cultural background also grew from this experience. “I think the Korean wedding helped a lot. I learned more about the culture while I was over there. I fell in love with Korea.” Jet and Emily’s cross-cultural wedding provided a means for the couple to fully explore their diverse backgrounds and honor their families in the process.

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VENUES

With aspirations of what a Lakeland wedding looks like, we gathered nine unique, creative, or traditional wedding venues in the area that could host Lakeland natives’ or travelers’ ceremonial dreams.

Photo: Tiffani Jones Photography

a s e ns e o f pla c e

Written by Emily Johnson

June might easily masquerade as the month for a wedding: flowers are in bloom, and the aroma of summer is in the air, so now seems to be the perfect time to present a host of venues all around Lakeland to celebrate your own dream ceremony. When mentioning Lakeland’s wedding venues, we can’t neglect mentioning its classics, like the extravagant Magnolia Building, the elegant Sommer Building, as well as the downtown gem of the Terrace Hotel. Lakeland also presents a few more obscure locations, though, like Lake Mirror’s The Loggia, the creative Haus 820, the rustic Rocking H Ranch as well as the White Horse Ranch, the intimate Danforth Chapel at Florida Southern, or even the convivial SUN ’n FUN Aerospace Museum.

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Each of these locations offers something different and unique to those who choose them, and with this, the ability to reflect the partners’ personalities and relationship in a memorable way. Maybe you and your future spouse’s first date was walking around the reflecting lights of Lake Mirror, or sharing dinner and drinks at The Terrace. Whatever it may be, each of these Lakeland locations could have hosted the blossoming memories of you and your partner, and have the potential of continuing those memories in their beautiful and unique settings, perhaps making one of them the immaculate venue and inevitable choice for your wedding day.

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Photo: The Ganeys Photography Designer: Ashton Events

THE LO G G I A email: lakemirrorrentals@lakelandgov.net | 863.834.2280 Everyone always wonders what’s inside those grand doors that hug downtown’s Lake Mirror. The Loggia, as it’s formally known, is actually a locale available for hosting a wedding. Whether in front of the stained white doors or tucked inside the secluded room behind them, The Loggia offers a charming canvas to drape your ceremony in front of. In association with the City of Lakeland and Lake Mirror Rentals, you can connect and converse with them for further details.

Photo: Sunglow Photography Designer: Ashton Events

Photo: Jordan Weiland Designer: Ashton Events

H AUS 8 20 haus820.com | 863.940.9639 The creative modernity of the 1920s’ refurbished Haus 820 might be the perfect location for you and your partner’s contemporary ceremony. With its extravagant white interior full of texture and natural light, restored warehouse windows, and white brick walls, you have the freedom to saturate it with your own colors, florals, and lively guests. Haus 820 prides themselves on being a space that allows you the freedom to design a ceremony as you like it, and is ideal for large indoor weddings where 500 of your guests can sit comfortably or 1,000 of them can stand, enjoying the ceremonial canvas you’ve created. There is a main open area for the reception, with dinner tables and chairs, a stage, and dance floor provided, as well as a 16-foot-long, custom-built bar to circle over to for drinks. Cocktail hour can be shared in Haus 820’s art studio, an empty room downstairs with art that covers each white wall. Smaller parties of 250 or under are also welcome to enjoy a more intimate ceremony in their gated outdoor courtyard. Alongside the venue’s freedom of space and decor capabilities, Haus 820 is also nonexclusive of the vendors or drink services you decide to cater your wedding with, so it’s bring your own vendor and beer with an insured bartender! A gorgeous, naturally lit bridal suite is also located in the building next door for all brides and bridesmaids wishing to add this to their rental, and a spacious catering prep kitchen is available for your use, completing the package over at Haus 820.

Photo: Jordan Weiland Designer: Ashton Events

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S O M M E R BUI LD I NG Facebook: @LakelandWedding.SommerBuilding | 863.227.4315 Photo: Sunglow Photography

Downtown Lakeland’s Sommer Building could be the ideal space for your ceremonial venue. Recently renovated by Heidi and Mike Campbell, this historic building with windows overlooking the rest of historic downtown, holds a unique appearance for you and your partner. With its open space and blank palette, you are able to be creative with the setting of your wedding, as the Campbells have installed all necessary means, such as, draping hooks, lighting, suspension on walls and ceilings, and hardwood floors to makeshift your own fun-loving dance floor. Heidi also talks of the careful execution she used when deciding the color of paint for the walls that carefully exemplifies the beauty of each partner without any washing out or distraction of those being wed. The Sommer Building accommodates 175 for a seated dinner and comfortable dancing space, and includes tables and 120 chairs for you and your guests. It is a private oasis in the rush of downtown Lakeland, making it another great wedding venue in the area. You can drop in at the Stationery Loft hosted in the same building and have someone show you the venue space upstairs.

Designer: Ashton Events

Photo: Tina Sargeant Photography

DANFO RTH CH AP E L AT FSC email: vmcdonough@flsouthern.edu | 863.680.4159 The admirable Frank Lloyd Wright built an intimate chapel, holding a mere 55 guests, on the campus of Florida Southern called the Danforth Chapel. The architecture follows the theme of Wright’s originality as distinctive and modern, and was built neighboring Lake Hollingsworth, inviting the sun to set right through the chapel’s glass windows. Inside you’ll find it filled with original pews and cushions for a historically charming ceremony setting. The nearby Waterdome also allows for photo opportunities as do the rose gardens nearby. The venue provides chairs, tables, microphones, and a speaker for your use.

Photo: Sunglow Photography Designer: Ashton Events

MAG NOL I A B UI L D I N G Orange Street | 863.834.2280 The classic Magnolia Building is an obvious choice for your wedding day. With its location right on Lake Mirror, neighboring the beautiful Hollis Gardens and within walking distance of downtown Lakeland, it could not be better placed. Walking inside exposes the building’s elegant, refurbished 1920s’ brick and stucco walls, with trusses of fabric above the main entrance and a beautiful fireplace to light the way, though unutilized in the summer months. Outdoor are terraces that overlook the lake and gardens, and Palladian windows that make up the back walls. The Magnolia Building comfortably fits a 175-person wedding and allows you to bring your own vendors and drinks with the hiring of at least one professional bartender.

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Photo Provided by FSC

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ROC KIN G H R A N C H

Photo: Jordan Weiland

rockinghevents.com | 863.581.1710

Designer: 2 Sisters Events & Design

“Anything but ordinary!” reads their tagline as you enter into the world of Rocking H Ranch. Its 100-acre location has it nestled in grandfather oaks dressed with Southern moss, roaming cattle, vintage gardens, and the serenity and privacy such grand landscapes can provide. With the owners’ modernized ranch, you may plan a barn reception with all the necessary amenities or choose to be outside under the stars and moonlit tree canopies. The barn hosts almost 300 guests and can captivate the dream of a rustic, hippie, or vintage wedding that you might desire. The ranch also hosts a tropical-oasis pool with a running waterfall, providing the perfect setting for pictures, cocktail hour, or the ceremony itself. The ranch allots you and your guests with the space for the entire day, so there will be no rush of getting in and out, allowing you to relax and enjoy your time with guests. New renovations include indoor air conditioning and heating, as well as some design renovations in the barn. Photo: Justin DeMutiis Designer: Ashton Events Photo: Richard Om

TH E TERRAC E H OTE L terraceweddings.com | 863.688.0800

Photo: Justin DeMutiis Designer: Ashton Events

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The Terrace is one of Lakeland’s classically renowned wedding venues, exhibiting the only full-service luxury hotel in the surrounding area. Their restored historic architecture, attentive staff, and fine-dining restaurant on site, are all amenities making this location ideal for a large or small wedding. The inside of the hotel can only hold smaller, more intimate parties, but they offer a beautiful outdoor setting for larger parties as well. What is also unique about The Terrace is that you and your partner can wed in the surrounding areas, such as Hollis Gardens or The Loggia, and then choose to walk right over to the Terrace for dancing, drinking, and all things reception. Lakeland’s historic hotel also has a mezzanine level with private bar area for an extra-groovy touch, as well as room accommodations for you and your wedding party.

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S UN ’N FUN M US EUM “Lakeland locations could have hosted the blossoming memories of you and your partner, and have the potential of continuing those memories in their beautiful and unique settings, perhaps making one of them the immaculate venue and inevitable choice for your wedding day.” WHITE H OR S E R A N C H V E N UE

eventrentals@flysnf.org | 863.644.2431 (Debi Hobbs) It might seem avant-garde to have an aerospace-themed wedding, but the Florida Air Museum is host to one of Central Florida’s great wedding venues. The museum is filled with airplanes and artifacts collected by renowned Howard Hughes, creating an inventive and original backdrop of color and vibrancy for weddings. The museum also encourages weddings to be hosted in their newly renovated Hanger with approximately 20,000 square feet and newly installed air conditioning. Your ceremony and/ or reception could also be outside on the camping grounds, set under a beautiful canopy of oak trees and with a cleaner palette and setting for you to decorate. So, whether you are a pilot or past student of the Aerospace Academy, or merely a lover of aerospace independently, consider SUN ’n FUN for your wedding venue for a creative and convivial time. Some participants of the past have even flown into their wedding ceremony by plane, making a grand and unforgettable entrance.

whitehorseranchvenue.com | 863.899.7984 Lakeland’s White Horse Ranch could be another wonderful outdoor venue for you and your loved one to wed in. Walking through their rustic barns and across their acres of land will surely put you and your guests in the mood for laughter, dancing, and love. The White Horse Ranch can host up to 500 wedding guests for a flowing reception, and the main barn hosts 300 covered seats, tucked right beneath a hanging chandelier. For a more intimate setting, you could have your ceremony in the smaller barn, where 40 to 50 people can gather to celebrate. You can also use the smaller barn for cocktail hour and hors d’oeuvres. The commons can also be utilized for the reception and dancing hour, as it places you directly under the stars, dancing on a concrete slab. Other amenities include a whitewashed bridal cottage with a porch leading to two French doors, a groom studio, as well as tables and 150 chairs for you and your guests.

Photo Provided by White Horse Ranch

Photo Provided by Sun ’N Fun

LAK E LAND CO UNTRY CLUB - UP CO M I NG V EN U E email: gbusch@thelakelandcc.com | 863.680.2582 If you plan to wed in 2019, then you can look forward to the Country Club’s spring opening, featuring its Spanish-Mediterranean renovations, as another possible venue for you and your loved one. Its location remains on Lakeland’s famous Lake Hollingsworth, providing the perfect setting for a wedding of any kind. The new club will host an array of amenities, including three banquet halls with the ability to expand for larger weddings or divide for more intimate ceremonies. They are also building a beautiful lobby attached to the banquet halls, perfect for a cocktail hour or set-up for wedding favors. Also, if you step out onto the lakefront, they allot your use of a large outdoor patio for receptions, cocktail hour, or your ceremony alike. Other amenities include a bridal studio, provided tables and chairs, a linen rental service, and audio/visual hook-ups.

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CELEBRATE

Shaking Up Traditions Alternative Events Leading Up to the Big Day

Written by Annalee Mutz /

Yes, the wedding will be the most significant of all events, but there are plenty of other festivities to take into consideration leading up to the big day: the engagement party, the bridal shower, the bachelor and bachelorette parties, and the rehearsal dinner. Similar to the wedding, the stress induced from all the planning can make it easy for a couple to lose sight of what’s most important. Although friends and family do contribute greatly to your big day, don’t forget just that — it is your big day. The wedding is meant to celebrate and support both of you, so every event leading up to the wedding should be, too. Although there are a slew of opinions that may surround what the rehearsal dinner is supposed to look like, know that this is your show. There are basic guidelines for what each of these events typically look like, but there are also tons of alternatives to consider as well. So, shake up the traditions and create a wedding season that truly speaks to the both of you.

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The Engagement Party Idea / A Wine and Cheese Party

The Rehearsal Idea / The Welcome Brunch

The Bachelor & Bachelorette Party Idea / Go Camping

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Th e E ngage m e nt Par ty / She accepted the proposal. You got the ring. Now begins the celebrating! While you can’t go wrong with a traditional engagement party, they aren’t always for everyone. Here are a few unique ideas to consider to start off your wedding season right.

A Wine and Cheese Party

Attend a Sporting Event

When hosted at home, this is the perfect balance of comfort and sophistication — without having to prepare a full meal. Kick off the wedding festivities while sampling an extensive range of wine and cheese offerings.

Consider renting a suite at a sport venue. They are surprisingly affordable (especially if you plan for a weekday), and packages typically include food and beverages.

A Rom-Com Showing of the Couple For the movie-buffs, it might be fun to turn your engagement party into your own romcom screening. Compile some of your favorite moments as a couple and create a montage for everyone to sit back and enjoy.

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T h e B ach elor / B ach elore tte Par ty This is your big party to celebrate your last single days with your closest friends. Some people are all about the quintessential bachelor/bachelorette night out, and that’s perfectly fine. But, for the more toned-down brides and grooms, there are many other options to leave you feeling refreshed the next morning.

Her Party Karaoke

The Spa Weekend

Attend a Wine Tasting

Take this up a notch by renting out a private space at a Korean-style karaoke bar — a private room for you and your friends to channel your inner-Beyonce and belt out “Flawless.” You’ll pay more than at a regular karaoke bar with a beatup machine, but you’ll have more time to sing and won’t have to worry about making a fool of yourself in front of strangers.

The bachelorette party doesn’t have to be for one night only. Plan a weekend getaway for you and your ladies, filled with quality food and drinks, a spa package, and plenty of time at the pool. It’ll also probably be a breath of fresh air from all the wedding planning.

Another way to ditch the traditions and opt for a more sophisticated option for a bachelorette’s night out — sipping away on the finest vino with your favorite ladies.

Rent a Houseboat

Attend a Mixology Class

Go Camping

A bachelor party of a lifetime, this is a weekend of both exploring and reminiscing with your best buds. Spend the day jet skiing, swimming, hiking, and soaking in the area and all the amenities of the houseboat. Then spend your nights sharing about some of your favorite memories together while you relax on the water.

Learn to create innovative cocktails and mix like a master at a day-long mixology class, and then spend the evening together indulging in your handiwork.

Take a break from the wedding planning and head to the great outdoors with your friends. Keep it as rugged as tents and sleeping bags under the open sky, or as luxurious as renting a cabin or a rustic and woodsy Airbnb.

His Party

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Th e Bridal Sh owe r /

Some people love having others watch them open gifts for an hour. Others ... maybe not so much. So, if you’re a part of the crew that would rather bypass playing cheesy bridal games, this list may be for you. (Bonus: all these are great options for the couple wanting a co-ed wedding shower)

An Open-House Shower A low-maintenance party, set a block of time for your guests to drop off a gift, grab some food, mingle, congratulate you two, and head out. This type of shower gives you the freedom from tradition, and allows your guests to come and go as they please.

A Honeymoon Shower This is a shower themed around your honeymoon destination. Create a separate registry for essentials you’ll need for your trip, and tie in the decorations, invitations, food, and games around the big trip.

A Stock-the-Bar Shower A fun twist to the classic bridal shower, guests are expected to bring items that will stock the bar in the newlyweds’ home. This shower can be as elaborate or as simple as the couple wants. Consider really playing into the theme by offering a signature drink.

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The Reh e arsal / Note: we did not say rehearsal dinner. A rehearsal meal does not need to exclusively revolve around a formal dinner, or meal, for that matter. Shake up this classic pre-wedding event by not only coming up with a unique location, but also the time of day which it is hosted.

The Welcome Brunch Welcome all your guests with a rehearsal brunch. A tradition is often to have a wedding brunch the morning after the wedding, but switch things up by doing this before the ceremony and in lieu of a rehearsal dinner.

A Cocktail Hour Forgo the main meal and plan an early evening at your favorite restaurant and bar filled with light bites and beverages. This can also be a great option if you still want to have a big meal with only your immediate family and then invite a larger group after.

A Post-Dinner Dessert Party Another low-key, sweet option for the couple — set up a little dessert bar filled with your favorite baked goods from a local bakery, and make this an open-house party where guests go to dinner anywhere and then spend a few hours with you after.

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HISTORY

Cyrus and Frances Wolfson pose in front of their home on Success Avenue in Lakeland, Florida, on the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary. The Wolfsons moved permanently to Lakeland shortly after their marriage in 1912 and were the first Jewish family to live in the city.

date: Unknown Photo courtesy of the Lakeland Public Library.

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The Lakelander - Issue 43 / Weddings  
The Lakelander - Issue 43 / Weddings