Sunday, April 29, 2012

Jim and Alexa - Naples Wedding Photographer

The Story- As told by Jim
In June of 2008, while I was visiting Bolivia, I met Alexa while participating in a summer internship at a pediatric burn center. Alexa native of Newcastle, England was in the same area acting as a burn physiotherapist.  We got to know each other over the ensuing weeks treating the children at the hospital, mountain biking in the Andes, and exploring Cochabamba and La Paz. When I departed for home we continued to maintain daily contact while she was concluding her service there, and a couple months later, before returning to the UK, Alexa rearranged her travel plans and extended a short layover in Miami into a 10 day stop. I met her at the airport and we spent the time travelling around Florida, camping, kayaking the everglades and hunting lobster in the keys with embarrassingly little success.
Over the years to come, we accrued 250,000 airmiles crisscrossing the Atlantic.
Life with Alexa is always an adventure. It’s just one of the myriad reasons I love her. She will trek through the Amazon, jump out of airplanes, dive into deep, dark holes in the sea that are swarming with sharks, or hike up a mountain with a snowboard on her back, so she can ride the untouched powder on the other side. So it was that I was following her down a steep slope when I watched her tumble, striking the back of her head with a fair amount of force before sliding to a stop. I quickly arrived at her side and knelt down in the snow beside her. She was sitting quietly with a dazed expression on her face, so I did what any trained medical professional would do. I seized on the opportunity to take advantage of her in her concussed state. Reaching into my pocket for the diamond ring I had been carrying around for days, I proposed in the snow on the side of that mountain, held my breath, and prayed that the blow to her head had adequately clouded her judgment. It was no small relief when she responded with the three words that, even to this day, kindle in me such profound emotion that I border on tears. She said, “I suppose so,” and that’s good enough for me.

The Wedding- As told by Alexa
Jim and I decided to have a smaller, outdoor, intimate wedding. We discovered the Botanical Gardens whilst on holiday, and were immediately overwhelmed by its natural beauty. With such impressive surroundings, it seemed logical to keep the floral theme going, which planted the seed of an idea for our wedding favors - hand painted flower pots filled with small succulents. Much to the consternation of my immeasurably patient husband, once I started on the craft projects, it was impossible to stop - hand painting the bird shaped table names, designing and assembling invitations, menus and programs, and sculpting the (slightly odd looking) cake toppers. Even my limited sewing skills were challenged by making a ring bearer pillow from scratch. Our colors were cobalt blue, ivory and chartreuse.
Almost everything about our wedding had a personal touch. Jim's friend Kris was an amazing officiant, his brother and uncle performed beautifully on piano and violin, our sisters each read some poetry, our mothers assisted in the lighting of the unity candle, my father gave a spectacular toast at the reception complete with embarrassing pictures of me as a child, and we coordinated and decorated the entire ceremony and reception ourselves. I was astonished that everything came together so well. The day was spectacular from beginning to end. We had a truly unforgettable time celebrating with family and friends. I can't think of a better way to start the rest of our lives together.

Photographer: Clane Gessel
Wedding Venue: Naples Botanical Garden
Floral design: Botanicals on the Gulf
Officiant: Kris Morgan (A friend of the bride and groom)
Catering: Catermasters Inc 
Wedding invitations and programs: Assistance with design and printing from Jackie Marion: Talk, Paper, Scissors (Manchester NH)
DJ: Latin and American Productions
Wedding dress: Winnie Couture via Tie The Knot Bridal
Brides Shoes: Menbur
Brides Accessories: ETSY
Hair and Makeup: Danielle Sforza
Bridesmaids Dresses: Debenhams, UK 
Bridesmaids Jewelry: Woozle Designs
Men's Suits: Perry Ellis

AND - Thank you to Chloe for helping me out with this one, wouldn't have been amazing without you!