27 Jun Blog Contest – Michelle Pearl
2013 was a whirlwind year. Moving from Colorado, I was on a pit stop in Florida on my way to Atlanta for grad school when I met my now husband, Tim. We were engaged five months after meeting, and grad school was called off for us to start our lives together. LIving in Florida permanently was bitter sweet for me. I always envisioned getting married in the Rocky mountains at some rustic getaway, and now I was living in the tropics where beaches seemed to be my only option. After getting engaged I quickly started scouring the online wedding sites, looking to find my dream venue. Initially it seemed like all of the rustic settings were in north Florida that would require a lot of travel and other expenses, until I came upon the Cooper Estate. A quick glimpse at the pictures got me intrigued. I didn’t think places like this existed in South Florida. I immediately sent an email with some basic questions, and was impressed by the quickresponse from Regina.
That very next day she happen to have an opening that worked perfect for Tim and my schedule, and we drove to the estate. I remember being in the car telling Tim how excited I was to start the process of looking for our venue. When we pulled up to the estate my jaw dropped. Nestled away in the farm country stood this historic location lush with vegetation, and unique character that I immediately had a special feeling for. We opened the large door to the main reception hall (that looked like the original barn), and this unbelievable smell of cedar was present as I awed at the beauty of the space. It was so nice to meet Regina. She immediately treated us like friends. We took the tour of the property from where you have the ceremony to the bridal sweet, and my affinity continued to grow. By the end of the tour I knew that this was the place I would get married. But the first place I look at? I asked Regina if this was normal, to book the first venue. I just couldn’t imagine anything topping it. Somehow it brought many places I have lies or been in my life from Colorado to Bali in one location. I called my mom immediately with my excitement, who naturally had skepticism on my decision. She drove down the next day, and saw my vision. With that our wedding was booked at the Cooper Estate for October 12, 2013, only 5 months away. Two weeks later I found out I was pregnant, and would be walking down the aisle with my little miracle inside.
In the months prior as planning quickly developed, Regina was a wonderful support. She was always available for questions and opinions on almost every detail. I know this was a service I wouldn’t have had if I decided to book at a corporately run venue.
October 12th came quickly. Even though you spend months planning details, its really all in the theory until the day comes to see it all unfold. There is no other way for me to describe my day other than as magical. The feeling I had the first time I saw the Cooper Estate infused every part of my wedding. We were lucky to have perfect October weather in the mid 70’s with no humidity. Mid day was spent in the bridal suite getting ready with my bridesmaids. The design in the suite is so welcoming to me, every detail of color and wood made me smile. My photographer (who I flew out from Colorado) was in her glory. The setting of the estate was hard to explain over the phone. While I got ready, she was shooting pictures of the grounds, my dress, flowers, etc. We were traditional in that I didn’t see Tim until I went down the aisle, so we took separate family photos first.
5:30pm arrived, and it was time to meet my groom. The lighting at the estate was perfect as the sun was starting to go into dawn. I remember standing at the top of the steps getting ready to walk down the aisle, and I saw all 100 close friends and family together surrounded by the most beautiful trees with the sun poking through. It felt like a cocoon of intimacy. It was spectacular. From that moment forward the magic began.
I was now married! The planning and my dreaming came to life. The reception room set up with all the flowers and candles were incredible. The food was delicious. The staff couldn’t accommodate us enough.
I was able to enjoy myself immensely knowing every detail I planned for was taken care of.
Five hours goes by quick, and the hardest part of the night for me was when it ended. I had so much fun, and every moment was so special. I couldn’t have imagined having the same experience anywhere else.
To this day I get calls from guests saying this was the most beautiful and intimate wedding they had every attended, and how did I found the estate.
It been 7 months since I go married, and we now have a beautiful 3 month old daughter named Sophia. I make sure to tell her she was there too. We just got our wedding albums this past week, and when I see the pictures it brings me right back to that day. Every memory has a smell, song, or special detail attached unique to the Cooper Estate that for the rest of my life I will cherish.
Here are some pictures to summarize my day…