Gretchen and Alecia’s incredible love story began in 2010 after meeting through an online dating website, which led to beautiful phone conversations. Gretchen remembers speaking with Alecia for hours while on a business trip in Chicago. This was a very difficult time for Alecia as she had recently lost her beloved grandmother. After talking for weeks and being unable to meet in person, many heartfelt conversations took place between Gretchen and Alecia.
Finally, Gretchen could not wait any longer to see Alecia in person. Alecia was packed for her grandmother’s funeral in New Mexico when Gretchen insisted on coming the night before Alecia left. Alecia met Gretchen for the first time outside her rented room in Sacramento. Alecia was experiencing the pain of the loss of her grandmother while Gretchen wrapped her in her arms and comforted her. They laid together talking and looking into each other’s eyes before Alecia had to go to the airport. As Gretchen dropped Alecia off, there was a special feeling of connection, and the couple was excited to see each other again.
Several months later, Alecia and Gretchen found a beautiful home in Napa to begin their journey together. They have been happily living together with their beautiful dogs, cats, and two horses!
Alecia and Gretchen had casually talked about marriage, but Gretchen did not think Alecia ever wanted to get married. Alecia definitely proved her wrong! In August of 2014, Gretchen and Alecia were attending Gretchen’s youngest sister’s wedding in Sante Fe. Gretchen and her other sisters rented a beautiful home to visit together as they live in different states and are unable to do this much. “After a fantastic meal we were laughing and sharing in the living room. Suddenly Alecia got down on one knee and proposed in front of my family. I kept shrugging it off saying she was kidding…she wasn’t! Alecia asked me to get married and I said yes.”
Prior to the ceremony, Gretchen began planning and dreaming about the wedding vision. Gretchen and Alecia wanted a gorgeous destination wedding at a tropical location with lush tropical gardens enjoying friends and family for a weeklong celebration. When Gretchen and Alecia set their wedding date, Florida had not yet approved same sex marriages. However, they continued planning. A few months prior to the wedding date, Florida approved same sex marriages. “The real gift was that two weeks after our wedding date the nation approved same sex marriages.”
Gretchen and Alecia chose not to see each other dressed for the wedding for the first time until the ceremony. This took a little bit of juggling, but Gretchen and Alecia were able to rent a large compound where this could happen easily. They waited separately on opposite sides of the garden perimeter as local musician Brian Roberts sang the classic “At Last” by Etta James. Alecia and Gretchen walked out of the perimeter and saw each other for the first time. “I was weeping of course!” Gretchen and Alecia walked toward each other and met at the base of the aisle, then walked to the altar together making a beautiful entrance. “My vision was delivered!”
Gretchen and Alecia wanted a theme of old world elegance and to capture the period of Hemingway, who they both love. Hemingway’s quotes were written on small chalkboard signs and hung on wood sculptures with candles at the welcome table. From the wedding attire of the wedding party and decor of the reception, classic elegance existed throughout the wedding day with shades of purple and lavender. The beautiful four course meal was enjoyed at a king’s table with a stunning large chandelier hanging above. “Once the sun set, it appeared to be floating above the table.” The table was decorated with old lanterns, gold vases, beautiful flowers, crystals, and driftwood pieces. Printed menus and place cards adorned a beautiful place setting. Gretchen and Alecia gave out small green striped canvas bags containing ingredients for Key West Lime Pies as party favors.
Gretchen and Alecia had an intimate wedding with 19 loving guests in attendance. The wedding day was truly unforgettable as the wonderful wedding coordinator and caterer tracked a tropical storm that was set to hit toward the end of the evening. Lots of rain, thunder, and lightening made its way into the reception, but no amount of rain could damper this parade! Gretchen and Alecia had a beautiful time joining together in marriage.
May their lives always be a celebration!
Wedding Coordinator | Erica Fuhrman, Simply You Weddings
Photographer and Videographer | Solaris Photography and Southernmost Bride
Caterer | Great Events
Florist and Decor | Milan Events
Musician | Brian Roberts
Cake | Cakes by Karol
Venue | Hemingway House
Officiant | Carmen Rodriguez
Bride’s Dress | Jenny Packham
Bride’s Suit | Custom by Vigilante Labs
Hair and Makeup | Casa Salon