From the surprise family celebration after the proposal, to the choreographed first dance, to laughing as they ran through the rain after their reception, this couple was nothing short of a fairy tale. Laura and Mark shared their vows at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel in March of 2012. Love seemed to be the theme of this wedding and, as laughter and giddiness filled the air, no one was in short supply of happy thoughts.
Thank you, Jason Angelini for the beautiful images!
The story of her marriage proposal will be one of Laura’s favorite stories of her lifetime! Mark is a planner by nature and likes to impress others. As any gentleman would do, he asked Laura’s parents’ permission and, after their blessing, his planning began. The two families decided that a perfect time would be after Mark’s twin sister’s wedding, which was in the summer of 2011.
Following the afternoon wedding, dinner plans were made with Mark’s family. They freshened up and took a casual walk on the beach before dinner. Mark secretly hired the photographers from the wedding to stick around for the surprise proposal. Half way to the ocean, Mark turned and looked Laura in the eyes, holding hands, and kneeled down onto one knee! He expressed his love for Laura and asked so sweetly for her hand in marriage. Laura said, “Yes!”
They took a few pictures with the photographers and then headed to dinner. Laura wanted to call her mother, but Mark politely asked her to do so after dinner. A little confused, Laura agreed to wait. As they walked into the restaurant for dinner, there was another big surprise! Everyone knew about the proposal and Laura’s family was there as well, including her Alabama grandparents. A fantastic surprise and a wonderful day to always remember!
“[The morning of my wedding was] slightly stressful but blissfully enjoyable! We planned a ‘breakfast with the Bride’ at another location, close by. It was threatening to rain all day long… not good for an outdoor ceremony,” Laura shares. The process of getting ready happened so quickly and before Laura knew it, everyone was ready to get the ceremony started.
What were your thoughts as you walked down the aisle?
“The anticipation of seeing Mark at the end of the aisle kept growing and nerves started to creep up.” As Laura and her father, John turned the corner to see the guests and groom time seemed to slow down tremendously! The next 15 minutes of time will always be remembered in slow motion to Laura, maybe as a sign from the Lord to remind the couple of the importance for the vows and love for one another.
After watching so many wedding shows during the planning process and coming up with so many ideas along the way; Laura and Mark’s families both helped to create personalized touches from the save a dates and invitations to each individualized place card settings and thank you note cards. Old photo frames were revitalized into a corkboard frames to house the escort cards for table assignments. Laura’s parents made the ceremony programs all on there own. Mark and Laura made wooden creates and filled them with homemade cookies (made by Laura’s grandmother), wine, and a personal ‘Thank You’ note as a welcome gift for their guests checking into the Portofino. We also put together a colorful candy buffet, carefully decorated by Susan and Jennifer of Just Marry!.
Based on your experience, would you share some advice for other brides and grooms who may still be planning their weddings?
“You can always make your dreams come true! Last minute changes will happen, but just go with your gut feelings. Trust the professionals; they really do know best! One of my least favorite phrases that everyone said, ‘Try to relax!’, really is true! Just try to relax and enjoy all that you and your fiancé have planned! It will always turn out to be amazing! If I ever quit my career, I will be applying to work for Susan at Just Marry! I absolutely love wedding planning and think Susan and her team did an outstandingly fabulous job with my high expectations and never ending questions!” – Laura Barbero, Bride
Our thanks to Laura and Mark for sharing their special day with our blog readers, and for allowing Just Marry! to assist in the planning and coordination of their wedding day! If you would like more information on Just Marry! weddings at the Portofino Bay Hotel, please contact us. We look forward to creating the meaningful and memorable wedding day of your dreams!