Weddings 2007

Weddings 2007
You are cordially invited to join three couples as they share their stories, from the first day they met to their first day as husband and wife.


The Right Time for Love: Hillary Erdmann and Cory Fosdyck

By Lori Hutzler Eckert

{mosimage}Idefinitely had a crush on him, and I think he had a crush on me,” Hillary Erdmann Fosdyck said as she reminisced about how she has known her husband, Cory Fosdyck, since she was in eighth grade.

“The only sign I have that he did have a small crush on me is that in his senior will, he wrote: ‘Hillary Erdmann – the date I never received,’” she added with a laugh.

It took eight years for that date to happen, but when it finally did, it was magic.

Hillary, 25 – who now is the “art of living” director for St. Joe’s Northwest Florida Region, which includes the developments of WaterColor and WaterSound – and Cory, 28, a financial adviser with Merrill Lynch in Destin – grew up in Macomb, Ill., attending the same schools and socializing with the same circle of friends.

But Cory was three grade levels ahead of Hillary. He graduated from high school and left for Western Illinois University; Hillary later moved to Minneapolis to attend Bethel College, leaving little chance for young love to bloom.

However, timing is everything, especially when it comes to true love. In 2003, Cory, who had completed his M.B.A. and moved to Destin, and Hillary, then a senior in college, both returned to Macomb during the Christmas holidays.

“We were in the same place at the same time – we just ran into each other and caught up after years of not seeing each other,” Hillary said. “Then we started dating long-distance from there.”

After dating for two years, the couple took a vacation to New York City. While there, Cory surprised Hillary with a one-and-a-half-karat diamond solitaire set in white gold from Kent Ltd. of Grayton Beach.

“I had no idea,” Hillary said. “I thought it was just a Labor Day vacation. His sister and brother-in-law came on the trip!

“We took a carriage ride and stopped at a bridge near Tavern on the Green. I was sitting on the bridge and he just put his arms around me, pulled me down, and got down on one knee and proposed.”

Wedding plans quickly were put in motion and the date was set for April 15, 2006. Hillary, who chose to coordinate the event on her own, looked at several options for their special day. But she decided on Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, because she said the events staff was accommodating and made her feel comfortable right away. She decided to host the rehearsal dinner at the resort on the Solaris, a dinner-cruise yacht docked at The Village of Baytowne Wharf.

“It was neat because everyone was from Illinois or Minnesota, and we were out on the water with dinner and dancing,” she said. “And then we got off the boat and went to Baytowne Wharf. It was very simple because everyone was staying there too.”

The resort also offered the venue Hillary had in mind, along with the option of having an outdoor ceremony on the Grand Hotel’s Grand Lawn and an indoor reception in the hotel’s Azalea Ballroom.

The Grand Lawn provided the perfect backdrop for the couple, as they choose a nature-inspired theme that Hillary describes as “Asian-Zen.”

“I am a very simple person,” she said. “I like things clean and modern and natural.”

Her colors, black and white with touches of green and red, were reflected in her choice of flowers, which were arranged by Celestine’s in Destin. Bamboo in large square containers anchored the outside décor, while delicate orchids and berries were used in the arrangements.

Celestine’s also designed a unique bouquet for Hillary with white lisianthus flowers, hypericum berries and ti leaves to continue the subtle theme.

Six close friends and Cory’s sister, Nicki Robins, served as Hillary’s attendants. They carried smaller versions of the bridal bouquet and wore strapless, cocktail-length black satin dresses from Ann Taylor. Each bridesmaid also wore a string of pearls and a black headband.

Completing the formal tone for the early-evening ceremony, Cory and his seven groomsmen (six of his friends and his brother-in-law Matt Robins), wore traditional black tuxedoes with black ties from Adaptive’s Party Line in Fort Walton Beach.

Hillary wore an elegant white gown by the Jasmine Collection from the Glass Slipper in Panama City Beach. The strapless dress featured a delicate swath of sheer fabric wrapped across the satin bodice and tied at her lower back in a figure-eight knot. The bow gracefully streamed down the slightly A-lined skirt of the dress. A small train and a simple fingertip veil were simple yet sophisticated details.

After the ceremony, which was performed by Eric Partin, the pastor of Shoreline Church in Destin, Hillary and Cory came down the aisle through a shower of white flower petals thrown by some of the guests.

The reception following in the Grand Hotel continued the Zen-style theme. The centerpieces, also by Celestine’s, featured willowy white orchid stalks and simple green leaves, along with glossy black trays filled with stones and a single candle in the center.

Each guest found his or her seating assignment card wrapped around a pair of black chopsticks, which were a gift from the couple.

The buffet-style dinner, prepared by the chefs at Sandestin, featured gourmet sushi, a tropical salad with a sweet sesame dressing, coconut shrimp, a beef carving station and chicken skewers.

Ron Ralph of Pensacola’s A DJ to Go of Pensacola played a variety of tunes, including the couple’s song, “Fly Me to the Moon.” Hillary said they chose the song “because our first dance was outside the Bellagio in Las Vegas and that song was playing.”

And the sweet ending to the evening was a three-tiered cake. Sandestin’s pastry chef adorned the lightly lemon-flavored, raspberry-and-chocolate-filled cake with white orchids and lacy ribbons of icing.

Hillary and Cory spent their wedding night at the Grand Hotel, leaving the next day for the Jamaican resort Couples.

“We wanted to ride horses, relax, do water sports – we didn’t want to do anything touristy,” Hillary said.

After the seven-day honeymoon, the couple returned to the Emerald Coast to start their lives together as Mr. and Mrs. Fosdyck, a moment in time that Hillary said was well worth waiting for.


A Natural Fit: Melissa Robins and Jay Bartoline

By Katherine Han

{mosimage}Few married couples would admit that they could successfully share the same workplace. Newlyweds Melissa Robins Bartoline, 32, and Jay Bartoline, 32, are an exception. From the first time they met, everything about them seemed to flow in a very natural and seamless progression, from dating to the marriage proposal to the wedding planning and on to the wedding itself. Thus, the bride and groom say they feel they are the luckiest couple in the world to be able to share their lives together at home and in the office.

Melissa moved to Destin in 2003 from Mandeville, La., to manage her family’s business, Frock Candy, a junior/young women’s contemporary clothing store filled with the latest fashions and trends. Located in Destin Commons, Frock Candy has grown from two stores in Louisiana to the Destin location, with another store opening up in Baton Rouge, La., this summer. While Melissa is the store manager of Frock Candy, Jay is the district manager for all Frock Candy stores in Louisiana and Florida.

Born and raised in the Philippines, Jay and his family moved to Fort Walton Beach when he was 12 years old when his stepfather was stationed at Eglin Air Force Base.
The bride and groom met through mutual friends, Tara Carson of Mandeville and Geoff Brower of Fort Walton Beach. The couple dated for a year before becoming engaged on July 16, 2005, when Jay presented Melissa with a three-carat, princess-cut platinum ring from a New York City jeweler. Over the next 15 months, Melissa utilized her eye for colors and her love of fashion and accessorizing in her wedding planning.

“I planned every detail of my wedding myself and loved every minute of it,” she said. “I did not hire a planner because I knew exactly what I wanted. This was something that I had dreamed of all my life; therefore, the planning came easy for me.”

Since both bride and groom work in the retail industry, October was the only month when they would both be able to take off time from work together. On Oct. 14, 2006, Melissa and Jay were married in a breathtaking outdoor ceremony at Rutherfords 465 at Regatta Bay in Destin.

Overlooking the 18th hole of the Regatta Bay Golf & Country Club, Rutherfords exceeded the bride and groom’s expectations with its elegance and attention to detail, along with its magnificent views of the bay. Rutherfords provided the perfect atmosphere for a memorable wedding shared with family and friends.

For Melissa, flowers were an important part of her wedding, so she really wanted to use a vendor she knew could make a striking statement. Destin Floral Designs created the arches for the wedding ceremony – the two most beautiful pieces the florist designed, according to Melissa. The arches, with two columns on either side, were 10 feet high and made of copper willows intertwined with greenery and flowers.

“I knew that I wanted more flowers than greenery, so the flowers and linens were just so unbelievable to me,” she said.

The bride’s bouquet was all ivory, made up of four different types of flowers and tied with a satin ribbon and pearls. Other flowers and bouquets included roses, hydrangeas, freesia, stephanotis, lilies and orchids in vibrant colors of pink, light purple, peach, coral and ivory.

Ever color-conscious, Melissa chose champagne and taupe as her wedding colors. The subtle shades were accented by the multitude of colorful flowers that adorned the ceremony and reception. The bride wore an ivory, strapless, fitted long gown with a slight train from designer Maggie Sottero. The four bridesmaids wore champagne satin strapless gowns with slight trains and a taupe sash designed by Bill Levkoff. Melissa’s 6-year-old daughter, Madison, was the flower girl. The four groomsmen wore Perry Ellis three-button, black suits with taupe vests and taupe ties from the House of Brides in Fort Walton Beach. Jay wore the same suit with an ivory vest and ivory tie.

Another reason why Melissa and Jay chose Rutherfords was its reputation for impeccable food. The reception was attended by 120 guests who enjoyed the elaborate buffet with delectable cold hors d’oeuvres; a carving station of roasted turkey breast and roasted pan au jus; entrées of crabmeat-stuffed roasted grouper, sautéed shrimp scampi, beef tenderloin kebabs, pork spring rolls and pastas; and a special children’s menu.

For the bride and groom’s wedding cakes, Melissa and Jay chose Chef Yascha Becker, head bakery chef of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, to create their masterpieces.

“We went to Sandestin for a cake tasting, and it was just absolutely delicious,” Melissa said. “I wanted the cake to be beautiful, but I also wanted the cake to taste good.”

For the bride’s cake, Yascha created a four-tier, round ivory cake with pink and peach roses on each tier and an ivory satin ribbon. The cake had alternating layers of white chocolate and raspberry lemon cake. For the groom’s cake, the chef made a carrot cake in the shape of a basketball to reflect Jay’s passion for the sport. Jay played college basketball at the University of West Florida in Pensacola.

“To see all of our friends and family celebrating together and having such a great time at the reception was really special to see,” Melissa said. “There are many moments of that day that stand out to me, but to finally see it all come into fruition at that moment was something I’ll never forget. I wouldn’t change one thing about that day; it was truly my dream wedding.”

After reveling in the beauty of all of the lush greenery and floral arrangements from the wedding, the bride and groom spent eight days in Maui, Hawaii, for their honeymoon, where they soaked in the breathtaking scenery of the island while relaxing in cabanas and sipping piña coladas.


An Event to Remember: Heather Archdeacon and Marc Williams

By Katherine Han

{mosimage}Since April 2005, Heather Archdeacon Williams has been orchestrating spectacular weddings for brides along the Emerald Coast. As the senior event manager and wedding planner for the Cottage Rental Agency in Seaside, Heather, 27, works with brides in planning every last detail to make their big day live up to their dreams.

When it came time for Heather to plan her own wedding, her skills and talent as an event planner shined through, making the day magical for the bride and groom, as well as their friends and families.

Heather attended Florida State University in Tallahassee, where she met her future husband, Marc Brandon Williams, now 26, who teaches Advanced Placement classes in English at Fort Walton Beach High School. Marc’s family moved to Tallahassee in 1988; his parents, John and Beth Williams, still live there today.

At FSU, Heather and Marc first met through their involvement in a volunteer organization, and they quickly developed a friendship. They lost touch after graduation but ran into each other a year later at a dinner through a mutual friend in Tallahassee. They began dating and, after two and a half years, they were engaged.

On Sept. 2, 2005, Marc surprised Heather with a birthday trip to Orlando. They took a stroll around the romantic Yacht Club Resort in Walt Disney World and stopped at the gazebo that overlooks the lagoon and lighthouse. Marc handed Heather a wrapped, rectangular box disguised as a birthday gift. As Heather opened the box, Marc quickly asked for the box back, saying that he forgot to do something.

“He had removed the present from the box and was down on one knee,” said Heather. “The present was an engagement ring inside of a glass slipper. I was completely shocked as Marc said some beautiful things and asked me to marry him.”

Heather had planned the wedding’s location long before the proposal.

“When I was about 20 years old, I visited Seaside for the first time and fell in love with the quaint and romantic feel of the area,” she said. “When I walked into the Seaside Interfaith Chapel for the first time, the beauty of its architecture just took my breath away. I knew then that this was where I wanted to get married someday.

“Having planned and witnessed a plethora of wedding services for my clients who are brides, I also knew right away that I wanted the chaplain, the Rev. Harry Houseman, to marry us,” Heather said. “His ceremony is so meaningful and lighthearted for the wedding guests while completely intimate for the bride and groom.”

The two married on Saturday, June 24, 2006, with 115 family members and friends in attendance. The chapel was decorated in pink and black with a “shabby chic” theme. Small, distressed-wood shadow boxes in pastel colors, all handcrafted by Heather, lined the aisles, each containing an assortment of pressed flowers. The chapel altar was adorned with lush greenery swags of salal and ruskus, and white, distressed-wood planter boxes were filled with pale, pink tulips, medium pink roses and grasses for a fresh garden look.

Bella Flora of Seagrove Beach created the bride’s bouquet with champagne and pale pink Anna and Virginia roses, accented by white hydrangea and a slight touch of Italian ruskus leaf. The bouquet was hand-tied with a white Midori satin ribbon and enclosed by pearl pins with the stems exposed. The three bridesmaids carried smaller versions of the bride’s bouquet with roses, hydrangea and greenery, all in the bridal colors of champagne, pale pink and sage green.

Both the bride and the groom had three attendants. The matron of honor and bridesmaids wore pale pink, tea-length dresses. Designed by Bill Levkoff, the dresses had a diva satin draped neckline with an A-line skirt featuring a wide, black satin ribbon tied at the waist. The groomsmen wore Ralph Lauren khaki pants, white dress shirts and Banana Republic black, mauve and burgundy ties. The groom wore a Ralph Lauren khaki suit, a white dress shirt and a Banana Republic black, mauve and burgundy tie.

Heather wore a diamond-white, strapless, A-line wedding gown designed by Maggie Sottero. The “Alexis” dress has champagne accents, a corset back and a chapel train. Heather found the dress at a bridal boutique while shopping with her mother and sister in downtown Atlanta, but for convenience of shipping, fitting and alterations, she ordered the dress from The Glass Slipper in Panama City.

Integrating their own family tradition on their wedding day, Heather and Marc paid special tribute to Heather’s father, who passed away when she was 19 years old.

“Since my father was not here to give me away, I asked my mother to walk me down the aisle,” she said. “To honor my father, Marc and I lit a ‘memory candle’ in his honor immediately following our Unity Sand Ceremony. It was a very emotional part of the ceremony for all of us, but it meant a lot to me.”

Since photography has been a lifelong hobby for both Heather and Marc, quality pictures were one of the most important aspects of their wedding. They hired Sheila Goode Photography of Santa Rosa Beach since Goode is a friend of the bride and groom and has an impeccable reputation.

The bride and groom wanted a nontraditional wedding reception, and with the beautiful summer weather, they chose Pandora’s of Grayton Beach for the reception location. With the multiple indoor rooms and outdoor tiki bar area, Pandora’s was the ideal setting for the casual atmosphere that they envisioned. Tables fitted with white tablecloths were set up in the main dining room, and a buffet of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and desserts was placed in a secondary room. Disc jockey Bill Young of Destin’s Gulf Talent Services played in the main dining room while an acoustic guitarist, Gene Mitchell, performed on the outdoor deck.

As a nod to Heather’s Italian heritage, she chose an Italian wedding cake from Confections on the Coast by Debra Spurlin.

“I had the hardest time finding a cake design that really stood out to me,” Heather said. “In early 2006, I was looking through the new Martha Stewart Weddings magazine when I found my ideal wedding cake.”
Spurlin did a magnificent job, using the magazine photo to create Heather’s dream wedding cake. A four-tier square cake, each layer had a different flavor. The cake was covered by pale pink fondant with a thick layer of buttercream icing separating the cake and fondant. A black satin ribbon and handmade chocolate mint leaves added the finishing touches.

After the reception, the bride and groom left the reception in a white stretch limo to a Seaside beachfront cottage, where they spent the first night of their honeymoon. The following morning, the happily married couple departed for a seven-day Royal Caribbean cruise through the eastern Caribbean, sailing to the Bahamas; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and St. Marteen.

“I just wish I had known how fast time would go by on that day,” Heather said of her wedding day. “The moment was very surreal to me, as I was standing at the altar and it just hit me at that precise moment that this wasn’t one of my clients’ wedding that I was planning – it struck me that this was my day and I was the bride.”