December 31, 2010 : Lakeland, FL

Michelle and Ryan have always had a special connection with New Year’s Eve, so I wasn’t terribly surprised when Michelle announced that they were choosing this epic party holiday for their amazing Lakeland wedding!

I’ve known Michelle since my days working in Lakeland at the New York Times paper there. After we met, we realized we actually went to college together, graduated the same year and in the same major! For such a small, private school, it was amazing we had never crossed paths! We became fast friends and shared almost every day after work walking around the apartment complex where we both lived. It was so great getting to know Michelle! She even introduced me to Spin class (where we also went). But my favorite memory was the time she convinced me to try a 5:30am Yoga class. I’m notoriously NOT a morning person, and the warm room, low lights and soft music made both of us fall asleep in the back of the class. So much for any Downward Dog progress. That was my first, and last, yoga class. Ever.

When Michelle told me about the cute, “younger”, guy she had met at her second job, I was super excited for her! Ryan is such a great guy for her, and although I don’t know him nearly as well as I know Michelle, I know he’s gotta have a heart of gold to live with this self-proclaimed princess :)

Michelle and Ryan tied the knot in a late-evening Catholic ceremony surrounded by their family and friends, and let the party kick in to gear at their high-energy reception. When the clock struck midnight, the entire party celebrated with a ceiling balloon drop, lots of champagne and lots of kissing! But the best part (well, for me!) was the post-midnight buffet of chocolate donuts, chicken biscuits and milk shots!

It was so great spending the holiday with Michelle, Ryan and their amazing family! I loved being a part of their wedding and taking this journey with them :)

Ceremony Venue: Church of the Resurrection, Lakeland
Reception Venue: Lakeland Yacht and Country Club
Dress Designer: Casablanca Bridal
Bridal Salon: Edwards-Macy, Lakeland
Hair: Salon Salvatore and End Results – A Salon Spa by Victoria Lynne
Makeup: Jessica Bull
Florist: Petals, The Flower Shoppe, etc.
Cake Artist: Cakes for the Connoisseur