Today I am delighted to spotlight on getting married in Florida and a destination Brides experience.
The Bride is Karen O Neil and her husband is David, and they were wed on the 8th of July 2015.
I have known Karen as my hairdresser and my friend for more years than both of us would care to admit (we aren’t old honest!) and have gone through some major life experiences at the same time (having our boys 3 days apart).
I was thrilled to be in Florida at the same time as Karen and actually see her on her Wedding Day.
She rocked her beautiful red bridal gown and amazing leopard print shoes ~ the epitomy of the alternative Bride.
I hand over to Karen to share her experience…
The Love Story…
“We met in a Nightclub in Shawlands, Glasgow when he was on a night out with the Marines. I was with my friend!
“I was unsure how long I’d be out for so I didn’t put my jacket into the cloakroom, and was carrying it over my arm.”
“We kinda caught each other’s glances a couple of times, he approached my friend and I , and asked if he could hold my coat whilst having a drink with him.”
“What a gentleman! How could I refuse.”
“The rest is history!!”
“10 years on and one little person later David proposed !
Initial Enquiries and Legalities
“We already had Florida’s Walt Disney World and Universal booked for a family holiday so thought why not get married over there!”
“On making initial enquiries, we found out easy it was going to be.”
“You are not required to be in the county for a minimum amount of days, and you don’t need any witnesses.”
“Provided you are over 18 and have the necessary documentation then all you need to do is for both parties to go to the local courthouse to obtain a marriage license.”
“However it is handy to be there a few days before as the courthouses are only open Monday to Friday.”
“All this information was readily available on the website ‘ Get Married in Florida‘
“They have a very informative FAQ covering most things you could ever think of.”
“Following a reassuring phone call, we used this company to make all the necessary bookings for us as they are Florida based and their packages gave us everything we needed.”
So we paid a deposit and the venue was booked! The Hard Rock Cafe !
Clearly we were looking for a wedding with a little difference!
The Wedding Venue, and what is included?
“Located at Universal Studios Orlando in the CityWalk entertainment complex, the Hard Rock Cafe Orlando is the biggest HRC in the world.”
“With large, statuesque pillars, it stands majestically as a Roman Coliseum of rock, and boasts more pieces of music memorabilia than any other location.”
“The site includes not only a vast, multi-level cafe, but also Hard Rock Live Orlando, a 3,000-person concert/party venue, as well as Wedding facilities.”
“You can choose from having your wedding outside on the terrace overlooking Universal Orlando and City Walk or you can have it inside then John Lennon Suite itself.”
There are different levels of wedding packages encompassing venue hire, notary fees, champagne reception, photography and things like flowers, hair and make up, and cakes.
“We had the John Lennon Suite to ourselves for 2 hours.”
It is dedicated to Lennon and is a replica of his Manhattan Apartment with memorabilia throughout.”
“It even has Lennon’s baby grand piano with all the keys signed by artists worldwide.”
“We chose to have the ceremony on the terrace in the Florida sunshine and then wander back into the air-conditioned room, where there was our very own barman for the duration with glasses of champagne. Rock On!”
“The Reverend and the Photographer were so relaxed and laidback, friendly and fun and got their job done without drama!”
“I think they would’ve stayed longer as I’m sure they had not seen so many kilts and Scots in the one room!”
“The Reverend took care of the license and that was on our doorstep on our return for vacation and we had our photos sent to us via Dropbox, completely edited the very next day.”
“How is that for service?”
“We had a table booked for post ceremony food in the Hard Rock Cafe itself.”
“There was no set meal just ordering from the extensive menu.”
“We had what seemed a team of staff looking after us and NOTHING was a bother to get for us.”
“They even gave us a shout out! We felt like Rock stars.”
“We stayed at the Highland Reserve Villas.”
“Their Disney Orlando villas and Orlando golf rental homes are privately owned rental homes located just 12 minutes from the Disney Orlando attractions.”
“All of the rental homes and villas at Highlands Reserve golf course are fully air-conditioned with private pools and free WiFi.”
“Many of the Orlando villas and rental homes have games rooms, spa’s hot-tub’s and some of the rental homes have golf course views or conservation area views.”
“Its golf course sits atop one of the highest areas of Florida offering remarkable scenery along with a course designed for championship Orlando golf.”
“With pine tree-lined fairways, open spacious fairways likened to the great Scottish courses, and a bit of old Florida with citrus trees along the countryside its a spectacular setting.”
“Our whole experience of getting married in Florida was fabulous, and teaming that with the wonder of Disney and Universal and family time was incredible.”
If you are a Bride in Glasgow I can’t recommend Karen, and her salon JR’s (Cardonald) highly enough.
I wouldn’t have trusted anyone else with my Wedding Hair and her patter is pretty good too…