Romantic Red and White Wedding – Christmas Inspiration

Florida Destination Beach Wedding

Hello lovelies. I have something gorgeous to share with you. Actually, gorgeous doesn’t quite cover it. Because this wedding shot by the incredible husband and wife team of Luminaire Foto is breathtaking, kneeweakening and stunning beyond measure. The details are subtle yet captivating and a perfect representation of the couple’s love story. From the intricate lace detailing on the bride’s dress, to the red rose and calla lily bouquet, from the simple beach ceremony, to the subtle traces of the Christmas holiday, to the incredible photos of the gorgeous bride and her dashing groom on Fort Myers beach. It’s what only the best kind of dream weddings are made of. I’ll have you know, it’s what my dream wedding is made of 🙂

bride and groom sharing an intimate moment on the beach, classic men's attire, red tie, red calla lily boutonniere, romantic Christmas beach wedding, Luminaire Foto

bride and groom sitting together in the sand watching the sunset on Fort Myers Beach, romantic Christmas beach wedding, Luminaire Foto

It must have been fate for Albert and Valerie to meet. Nothing else could explain them both being in that same place, at that same time. It was a warm summer’s night in June of 2008. Valerie and a close girlfriend had gone out to the bars to celebrate the end of the semester and toast to all their hard work and accomplishments. The first bar they went to was dead, a bit of a let down for Valerie’s friend who was looking for someone to date. Valerie assured her that it was alright, and insisted that she not be in such a rush to find the one and get married. Little did she know, she was only minutes away from meeting the man of her dreams.

red satin Nina shoes with bow adornment, red rose and calla lily bouquet, Luminaire Foto

They moved on to another bar where Valerie’s friend was immediately taken with someone tall, dark and handsome. Valerie went on ahead to get drinks to allow the two to get better acquainted. While she was away, Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome began to ask questions about her. When she returned to check on her friend, he asked her for her name. She refused to give it to him and then laughed when he told her he’d been looking for her his whole life. Valerie’s friend admonished her for being so harsh and insisted she give the man a chance.

He was a special education teacher from Miami (Valerie was getting her Masters in special education), twenty-eight, single, liked to travel, surf, and play the guitar, spoke Spanish, loved children and was close with his family. What more could a girl ask for?

red rose and calla lily bouquet, Luminaire Foto

strapless lace Casablanca wedding dress, custom i do bridal hanger, custom i do wedding dress hanger, Luminaire Foto

He asked her to accompany him to breakfast the next morning where he says she unknowingly spoke from her heart directly into his own. He was completely taken with her after only spending a few hours with her. Just days after that, he made plans for her to fly to Miami and spend the fourth of July holiday with him and his family. A whirlwind romance had begun.

They dated long distance for a year, with them flying back and forth (Miami to Omaha) to see each other every three to four weeks. It was during one of these earlier trips that Albert told Valerie he loved her (it came out naturally during a conversation at a red light), though he swears it had been love at first sight for him. So when the distance became too much for him, he bravely moved to Omaha where he experienced the coldest winter the city had recorded in decades.

Almost one year to the day that Albert moved to Omaha, he proposed. He picked out a ring, asked Valerie’s mother for her hand, and then took Valerie to one of their favorite places, Soaring Wings Vineyard. They were taking photographs when Albert “suddenly” thought to set up the camera to capture the two of them walking hand-in-hand. He set the scene and prompted Valerie to start walking as he counted down. 5-4-3-2- when Valerie turned on one, she found Albert on one knee, asking her to be his forever. Ohh, how I love that.

first kiss as husband and wife, simple beach decorated wedding arch, starfish and palm frond wedding arch decor, Luminaire Foto

handmade menus and favor boxes of sea salted caramels at every place setting, Luminaire Foto

{From the Bride} Our wedding day was magical and more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. As everyone says, the day absolutely flies by, and it is somewhat of a blur, but with distinct frozen moments that were filled with endless happiness and love. My day began early at 7:30am. I woke up full of excitement and anticipation as to what the day would hold. After a year and a half of planning, I was thrilled the day had finally arrived. And as it all came together, I counted my blessings that this gorgeous day was my wedding day.

To Albert and I, pictures really are worth a thousand words, they are a moment frozen in time and I cannot imagine my day without Karl and Nanette capturing the magical stories of the day with every shot they took. Albert and I decided very early on in our engagement that we didn’t want to see each other on our wedding day. But a friend suggested a way for us to see each other without actually “seeing” each other. Just before the ceremony, Karl and Nanette placed Albert and I on opposite corners of a wall and gave us a moment to talk and be together. That moment was so special and all the emotions that had built up to that moment flooded out. I sobbed. To be with Albert, to touch him, to know he was there and that in moments would become my husband was so beautiful and special.

Our ceremony was dreamy and intimate, the white sand beach between our toes, the sun glistening on the waves, the red rose petals lining the aisle to my husband. As the door opened and I began the descent down to the beach, my heart raced with excitement. My favorite moment was having my mom give me away to Albert. Seeing Albert’s face as I walked down the aisle, watching the way he lovingly embraced my mom and said thank you, turning to me and tightly wrapping me in his arms to share in this beautiful love filled moment we’d waited a lifetime for. Albert and I wrote our ceremony so every word had special meaning to us. We had two readings from the bible, one in English and one in Spanish to honor the coming together of our families. In addition to writing the ceremony, we also exchanged the vows we’d written ourselves and did a sand unity ceremony, incorporating both of our moms into it as well. After being announced as Mr. and Mrs. Varas, we shared a passionate kiss and then strolled back up the aisle to the chorus of “All You Need is Love” by the Beatles.

tall red rose and calla lily centerpieces, romantic Christmas beach wedding reception, classic tables cape, orchids floating in water amongst crystals, Luminaire Foto

Meanwhile, the Captiva Ballroom, where our reception would take place had been transformed into a warm and romantic seaside escape. The breath taking 3-tiered cake with vivid red roses and lilies with gold lace twinkled in the sunlight, beside it lay the forks that said together forever. The table centerpieces by Kevin at Botanicals on the Gulf were spectacular and the up lighting done by our DJ, Jim Dalia, brought the room to life. I also saw the menus and favors that my mom handmade. We decided to give caramels that were sprinkled with sea salt from Wockenfuss, a chocolate shop in Baltimore. It was more beautiful than I could have ever dreamed it would be.

{Advice for Couples} Albert says: “A happy wife is a happy life.” Ha-ha. Valerie says to savor every minute because it all goes by so fast and laugher is the best medicine. They also both highly recommend reading the book “The Five Love Languages” as it will give you insight into your partner.

bride and groom walking on the beach, strapless lace Casablanca wedding dress, classic men's attire, red silk tie, red calla lily boutonniere, red rose and calla lily bouquet, romantic Christmas beach wedding, Luminaire Foto

romantic dip kiss in the sand, romantic dip kiss on Fort Myers Beach, romantic Christmas beach wedding, Luminaire Foto

Every last bit of me is swooning. I love everything about this wedding. And not just because it’s my dream wedding to a T (although it is, right down to the breathtaking dip kiss in the sand;)) But because of how simply captivating everything is. Part of that has to do with the beautiful simplicity Valerie and Albert created in the details and style of their day, and part of it has to do with the way Karl and Nanette captured every single bit of it. It’s unforgettable. Congratulations, Valerie and Albert! May all your days be as blissful and beautiful as this one! Thank you for sharing your story with us! And a special thank you to Karl and Nanette for sending this amazing day our way! xoxo

Photography: Luminaire Foto | Officiant: Marcena Hendrix Event Coordination: Dony Lubig at Pink Shell Beach Resort and Spa

Venue & Catering: Pink Shell Beach Resort and Spa | Cake: Kakes by Karen Flowers: Botanicals on the Gulf | DJ: A DJ with Class | Invitations: Invitations by Dawn

Wedding Dress: Casablanca | Veil: Bel Aire | Sash: Kitty Chen at Suburban Bridals Shoes: Nina | Garter: Victoria’s Secret | Hairpiece: OliniFloral

I Do Shoe Crystal: YourHappilyEverAfter | Custom Hanger: deliziare | Jewelry: Valeska Jewelry Men’s Attire: Perry Ellis (suit), Cole Haan (shoes)

Hair & Makeup: Sir Daniel and Faces by Frohmberg at Salon Tease Favors: Wockenfuss | Cake Boxes: Cake and Wedding Cottage

Together Forever Forks: Bentspoonjewelry | Flip Flop Tub: BroddersTubs Sand Pouring Glasses: EtchArt | Personalized Tub: treefrogcreations

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