I have been waiting to post this wedding. I think the Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club is my new favorite wedding venue. Almost one year ago I had the privilege of photographing Nikki and Ryan's wedding for George Street Photo. This was my last wedding before the state of Florida went on lockdown. During this wedding, I had no clue that I would be out of work for 3 months, so it is bittersweet looking back. Now that you have the timeline and setting, let me tell you more about Nikki and Ryan.
Nikki and Ryan met their senior year in high school. He was the tattooed "hunk" (Nikki's words) who couldn't wait to be done with school, while Nikki was living the high school dream. After high school they got an apartment together, Nikki went to UCF and Ryan worked nights at the hospital. After several years, a dog and a house, and new jobs, Ryan finally popped the question while on a family cruise to the Bahamas. Nikki recalls, "I couldn't even talk, I just nodded my head and he instantly took me into his arms."
I photographed Nikki and Ryan's engagement session at Kraft Azalea Garden before their wedding, so I got to know a little about them. They even used one of my photos on their wedding invitation! At the reception, I took them aside to give them a sort of "gag" gift. Remember how I said this wedding was before Florida was restricting guests? That means it was before we were required to wear masks as well. I took two disposable masks and wrote "Bride" and "Groom" on them with a sharpie and had them pose with the masks for a few photos. Little did I know that custom bridal masks would soon be a thing you could order for your weddings! When I posted that photo I had several people share it in wedding groups. Can I brag that I started that trend?? /J
A couple of fun stories about Nikki and Ryan's reception - When Ryan threw the garter the first time, it got stuck on the chandelier. During the cake cutting, the staff had to bring in a huge ladder to get it down so that he could re-throw it later. Also, grandma was a hoot. She threw flower petals AND entire flower stems at the couple for good luck. She also attempted to break a butter dish for good luck, but it kept bouncing off the dance floor. She didn't give up though, I think she threw that plate a good 5 or 6 times before finally calling it quits. She led all the guests in the Hora Dance (but without the chair lifting). I wish all my grandmas at weddings were like her, I had a blast photographing her. Anyway, if you are planning a wedding I highly recommend checking out the Golden Ocala Golf Club, it is BEAUTIFUL. Check it out in these photos: