Florida Beach Wedding: Dawn & Gena
Dawn and Gena got married at Panama City Beach surrounded by their son Kole and about 60 guests on June 21, 2014.
Dawn had attended her brother’s wedding at that same spot three years earlier and fell in love with it, so when it came time to plan their own destination wedding, the location was a given.
The brides met back in 2011. They had mutual friends and kept running into each other at various events, until eventually they started dating. Two years later, on Dawn’s birthday, Gena proposed.
They fully included their son Kole in their wedding ceremony, incorporating an ‘Honoring of the Child’ moment into the liturgy. They gave Kole an engraved St. Christopher necklace with his name engraved on one piece and the phrase ‘your moms are always with you’ on another.
They held an informal reception on the beach, serving light appetizers and drinks in front of the condo where the brides were staying. “It was a little hectic getting it set up right after wedding because we did it ourselves with help from family and friends, but it turned out beautiful and relaxing,” Dawn said. “My favorite memory is looking around and realizing how many of our friends and family made it down to Panama City Beach to be a part of our special day,” she added. Dawn’s advice to couples planning a destination wedding is this: Start planning early! “As far as love goes, always have faith and trust in your partner, as well as have open lines of communication, and as cliché as it is — don’t sweat the small stuff,” Dawn said.
Denise Oliveira is a Brooklyn-based writer. She has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York City and is the founder of Prequels, where she interviews engaged couples to create wedding invitations and favors that incorporate their love story.