Abby Villanueva and Richie Proud at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel on June 5, 2010:
Some couples radiate happiness. Abby and Richie were one such couple. You can see from their photos that they both simply beam with excitement. It wasn’t just on the wedding day. Everytime I met them, the couldn’t contain their excitement!
Thank you Sterling Photography for the beautiful images. Enjoy the photos and the interview!
Susan: How did you and Richie meet?
Abby:I met Richie in Orlando, Florida while I worked at Tiffany & Company. I worked with Richie’s sister and he came in to visit her in the store in November of 2006. We met right by the watch counter! He lived in Columbus, Ohio and we did long distance for over 3 years before he popped the question.
Susan:Why did you choose your particular wedding location?
Abby: We chose the Portofino Bay Hotel because we wanted something very romantic with an old-world feel. We toured several of Orlando’s best properties, but found that the Portofino had the right feel and ambiance. Plus, because of the size of the wedding, we were able to procure the entire Venetian ballroom as opposed to half of a ballroom at the other properties. We did not want to take the chance of having another event or wedding right next to our wedding. Plus, we heard great things about the food and food was very important to us!
Susan: What was it like for you on the morning of your wedding?
Abby: I was actually a lot more calm than I thought I would be! Although I heard that getting ready was very stressful, I actually had a lot of fun with my mom and my friends and family! The key is picking vendors that you have complete trust in and letting them do their job. You also have to have a great bridal party. I had the best vendors, friends, and family and I did not have to worry about a thing except feeling beautiful on my wedding day!
Susan:What were your thoughts as you walked down the aisle?
Abby: “FINALLY!” Right before the doors opened, my mind was a whirlwind of thoughts and I kept on thinking about all of the hard work that my husband and my family and I went through in order to make this moment possible… and how it was all worth it! Then, when the doors opened, my mind didn’t go blank, but calm. I locked eyes with Richie and kept it all the way down the aisle. It almost felt like no one else was in the room except for me and Richie.
Susan:What was the most memorable part of the day for you and Richie?
Abby: For Richie, the most memorable part of the day was watching me walk down the aisle. He says that everyone should get married just to have that incredible feeling! He Loved it! For me, besides walking down the aisle, the most memorable part was actually during the closing prayer at the ceremony. It was wonderful standing up there with my husband while Dr. Harris prayed over us. Richie and I were holding hands and he kissed me on the forehead. It was a sweet moment.
Susan:How did the Just Marry™! Team help you with your wedding day?
Abby: you were very helpful in making sure everything ran smoothly. I really did not have a worry at all about the events of wedding day knowing that you were running things while I was getting ready. I always said that we were lucky to have you as our day-of coordinator; but, we definitely should have hired you at the beginning of the planning. The worksheets and questions that you asked were very helpful in preparing for the wedding day and brought attention to details that we would not have thought about otherwise. Your staff was extremely nice and calming!! It is clear that you have done this for a long time and can anticipate and address potential “bumps in the road.” You have a good relationship with all of the other vendors, which is important because all of the vendors work as one team to produce a memorable event!! We could not be happier with you and the Just Marry™ team!! Thank you very much .
Note from Susan: The flowers and decor were done by Lee James.
Abby and Richie had a gorgeous wedding day. I will remember it for all of the love and excitement that I felt in the room. They were a beautiful couple surrounded by loving family and friends who were genuinely excited to be celebrating with them. Who could ask for more than that?