A Veteran's Wedding to Remember

Posted by: Jennifer Matteo on Friday, May 19, 2017
Dancing Couple

A Veteran WeddingCall me crazy - but I wanted to donate a wedding. Not just my services, but an entire wedding to a deserving couple who without assistance, could not have gotten married. The proposal happened on stage at a charity concert, as a surprise to the bride - who had no idea how much her life was about to change! He popped the question, she said yes and I walked onto the stage (very nervous to be in front of thousands) and announced that not only was her engagement ring a gift from Diamond Vault Jewelers, but her entire wedding was being gifted to her as a “thank you” for her military service and service to the community. Tears followed, and so did many planning meetings!

Their vision was elegant country, I found them the perfect venue - Rafter J Ranch Barn, which was so kind to donate their rural farm venue as the location for their big day. Every detail of the wedding was generously donated by a local vendor (please see complete list), and donations for the affair nearly reached $40,000. I was in awe of the generosity of our community in Sarasota - everyone was happy to be a part of the wedding and bring their creativity and services.

As a homage to her military service, Karrie adorned dog tags in remembrance on her bridal bouquet- a detail that touched the heart of all the guests. The groom’s wedding band was a custom made piece by Diamond Vault and was forged out of metal from his fathers wedding band - another detail in memory of loved ones.

It is not every day that I get to “give” someone a wedding - plan them, style them, yes - but the feeling of giving two amazingly sweet people the gift of a life together is something that I will always cherish. Without the unwavering support of the local wedding community this simply would not have been possible. Sarasota is a small town, but with the biggest heart!

A Very Special Thank you to the vendors who donated their time and talents:

PhotographyKatelyn Prisco Photography
BakeryCakes by RonWonder Cakes
RentalsUS Tent 
Lighting & DrapingPalacios Events
Furniture & DecorSo Staged
FloralsVictoria Blooms
FavorsJust a Basket Case
VenueRafter J Ranch Barn
StationaryWrite on Sarasota
Ceremony MusicMarc Manino
EntertainmentHarry Wright
Event Planning & StylingJennifer Matteo Event Planning
JewelryDiamond Valut
CateringMorton’s Market
Photo BoothBe Glam Photo Booth 
OfficiantGrace Felice
BeveragesGold Coast Eagle
Paper ArtistCC’s Paper Florals
GarterMandaleno's tickle YOUR fancy

A Goodwill Veteran Wedding


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