The Journey of Marriage is Sweeter in the Florida Tropics

by Jamie Field

Whether as a bridesmaid, a parent, or just a friend, being part of a young couple’s nuptials, as they officially begin a life together, is an emotional affair filled with hope, joy, and optimism. Throw in a beautiful Florida setting and you can appreciate the attraction to tying the knot here, even for brides and grooms whose lives and careers may have taken them from their Space Coast roots to other corners of the country.

The following newlywed couples have many things in common, including a love for Brevard County and a storybook memory of a fall wedding celebration with family and friends among the tropical breezes, sights and smells of Central Florida.


weddings_lindemanAUDREY & MARTIN J. PAYTON IV
October 3, 2015

“Love at First Catch” is the title of this couple’s “How We Met” story. While Audrey (Lindeman) was visiting a friend in Philadelphia, she was set up on blind date with Marty. As the guys were waiting downstairs for the ladies to finish getting ready, Audrey hurriedly stumbled down the stairs in her 6 inch wedges and guess who was there to catch her from the fall? . . .  Marty!

Months later, the Lindeman family took a trip to the Philadelphia area to meet the Paytons. Following a round of golf at Cedarbrook Country Club, Marty asked Audrey’s father, Dr. John Lindeman, for her hand in marriage. With his approval, the two families celebrated over lunch before heading back to Marty’s parent’s home, where he took Audrey to the vacant airstrip next to the house. There, he had arranged to have a twin engine plane on site to symbolize their long distance relationship. The two sat on the wing of the plane and just minutes later, as they jumped off the wing, Marty dropped down to one knee and proposed. Audrey’s response: “OH MY GOD, YES, OH MY GOD!”

They knew they wanted a wedding venue near Audrey’s hometown of Indialantic and close to the Orlando Airport to accommodate their many out-of-town family and friends. The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes offered a great location, golf, swimming, and places to eat where their guests could enjoy the beautiful fall Florida weather along with other resort amenities.

The couple resides in Oreland, Pa. where Marty is a sales manager at Precision Metal Services and Audrey is assistant director of recruitment for the Mid-Atlantic region for Miami University of Ohio.

The Details
Location of Ceremony and Reception: Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes
Florist: Marsha Marie Floral (Audrey’s aunt)
Attire: Aurora Unique Bridal Boutique
Photographer: Lisa Marshall Photography
Wedding Planner: Jamie Field Events
Band: Uptown Music by Muccigrosso
Hair and Makeup: Luma Salon in Winter Park
Invitations: Decoratifs in Melbourne

weddings_zielinksyASHLEY & BRET ZIELINSKI
October 11, 2015

Bret grew up in Ocoee and Winter Garden, Fla., attended UCF and later joined the Osceola County Fire Department. Ashely (Nelson) moved to Titusville when she was three years old.  After graduating UCF she became a high school teacher for Orange County Public Schools. The two met in Orlando through an online date that went very well. They bought their first home together in Winter Park.

Bret Proposed in December during a trip to Chattanooga, Tenn. He was recovering from ACL surgery and as soon as he could bend down on one knee, he proposed on the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge on their first day of vacation. Bret even hired a photographer to capture the moment to share with Ashley’s mom so she could see it too.

One visit to Up The Creek Farms was all it took for the couple to know that this was the special place for their wedding. The historic oak trees, beautiful property and Owner Jessica Tuten made it all feel like the right match.

For party favors, Bret and Ashley prepared over 130 bottles of homemade Limoncello (an Italian lemon liqueur), spending over four months to perfect the recipe. Their favorite part of the wedding day was their ceremony, which was officiated by a good friend of both making it more heartfelt and personal.

The Details
Location of Ceremony and Reception: Up the Creek Farms
Florist: Ann Petrosky with Nave Event & Floral Design
Cake: Stephanie Dawn Lynch with CakeKrush
Photographer: Bumby Grimm Photography
Wedding Planner: Nave Event & Floral Design

weddings_gatesmanCOURTNEY & JOSH GATESMAN
November 14, 2015

Josh, who grew up in Clarion, Penn., met Courtney (Wilkinson) of Rockledge at the gym, which led to a date at Grills to admire the supermoon on July 14, 2014. After dating for a few months, they took a jet ski ride one afternoon to the spoil island in front of Courtney’s parents’ house off Rockledge Drive, where Josh popped the question.

The two love the outdoors, enjoy living in Florida and wanted an intimate, simple wedding; they also wanted to take advantage of the natural beauty of fall in Florida. Courtney’s parents’ backyard provided the perfect setting for their ceremony, which was followed by a dinner at The Mansion.

The couple was very close to eloping, but on their wedding day realized they made the right decision not to elope as they were thankful to be amongst family and close friends, knowing they supported their union and would stand up for their marriage. The groom said his anticipation of riding in the limo to Courtney’s parents’ house in Rockledge and getting a first look at the backyard, and then soon the bride, was just a moment he will never forget.

The couple reside in Rockledge, where Courtney is a commercial real estate attorney and general counsel at Corporate Property Group, Inc. and Josh is a systems engineer at Harris Corporation.

The Details
Location of Ceremony: Home of Kim and Myles Wilkinson (the bride’s parents)
Location of Reception: The Mansion
Florist: Violets In Bloom
Cake: The Best Little Cake House
Photographer: Heart & Arrow by Caroline Julianna
Wedding Planner: Jacqueline Leierer from Sincerely Yours Weddings & Events and Courtney’s mom, Kim Wilkinson

November 13, 2015

The Police Academy is where Brett and Olivia first met. Now, both are Melbourne police officers.

Brett really tried hard to surprise Olivia with his proposal. Following a spa date in Orlando, the couple were on their way back to Texas Roadhouse in Palm Bay for dinner (where they had their first date). However, Brett was very nervous and thought Olivia had figured out what was going on. So instead of waiting until they were seated at dinner, he got down on one knee at the Sunoco gas station and asked her to be his wife.

For their wedding, they chose the Nyami Nyami River Lodge located at Brevard Zoo for its rustic appeal. When asked to name something unique about their wedding, Olivia replied that half of their wedding cake, designed by Cakes So Simple, was a bit untraditional with “mud” kicked up on it with a four wheeler riding up its side. One of Olivia’s best memories of her wedding day was having her dad walk her down the aisle to join her husband.

The Details
Location of Ceremony and Reception: Nyami Nyami River Lodge at Brevard Zoo
Florist: Awesome Blossoms Design
Attire: Aurora Unique Bridal Boutique
Cake: Cakes So Simple
Photographer: Michael Giragosian Photography
Wedding Planner: Custom Creations For All Occasions