After a very meaningful ceremony, the bridal party and guests gathered just beyond a foot bridge leading from the ceremony area. The Marines were lined up between guests and the bridge with their swords in hand. As the new Mr. and Mrs. strolled across the bridge, swords were raised for them to walk under until they reached Master Sergeant Eyler, who lowered his sword to block their path. A kiss from the newlyweds raised the sword and Samantha got a slap on her rear and a “Welcome to the Corps”.
Now it was time for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres with a Martini bar serving up signature specialties like the James Bond classic Vesper. The cocktail hour flew by, and before long it was time for dinner and dancing. An old nautical bell was rung by the Oaks staff, signaling it was time to move inside for dinner.
Samantha’s sister created a photo book of Samantha and Brandon’s dating years. Guests were asked to write messages in the book which also included engagement photos. In lieu of favors, Brandon and Samantha chose to make a charitable donation in the name of their wedding guests. Their contribution was to the Wounded Warrior Project, which holds special meaning to them.
The Bridal Party danced their way through introductions which were made by Chris Temple of C&J Entertainment. After the First Dance to “Faraway”, toasts were made by the Honor Attendants, and a delicious meal was served. After dinner, Samantha’s dad welcomed his guests and invited his daughter onto the dance floor. They performed not one, but three choreographed dances to three different songs that Chris had mixed together! Then it was my turn to dance with my son. Once this was over, the dance floor filled up and stayed packed until it was time to cut the cake.
The wedding cake was designed and baked with seashells and waves by Debi’s Cake Studio. Guests had a choice of Tiramisu, White Chocolate Raspberry or Chocolate with Chocolate Mousse. Along with cake, Scottish Highland Creamery scooped out 6 different flavors of homemade ice cream. Some of the wonderful flavors included Coconut Coco Snack, Snickers and Coffee Chocolate Chip. So good!
At some point, all great parties have to end. As the last dance “Faithfully” segwayed into “Don’t stop the music”, we asked guests to step outside for the big send-off. We handed out sparklers to form a tunnel for Samantha and Brandon to exit through. They were off to their Wedding Cottage with a little sparkle. My hope has always been that the weddings we help plan become cherished family memories. This one I will definitely treasure forever.