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Nate and Meredith

Tampa, FL, United States

Nate and I were engaged on October 10th, 2015 in Charleston, SC, where we first met. Being planners through and through, my mother and I had the ceremony and reception venue, hair/makeup team, and appointment at The White Magnolia (TWM) Tampa booked within two days. Nate knew how much I wanted to be married in my hometown of Tampa at the church and club I grew up in, and he was more than happy to let me take over the planning and chip in for his favorite parts (i.e. signature drink, food, and music, to name three). We worked throughout the process with Christi Lyn at the Tampa Yacht & Country Club (TYCC) and breezed through planning.

My favorite part at the start of planning was going dress shopping at TWM Tampa with my mother, aunt, and sister/matron of honor. We had a blast with Ashley West and found the perfect dress within the first two I tried on. And it was made even more perfect by adding a satin belt covered in fresh water pearls.

Nate and I continually referenced our countdown and couldn't wait for November 5th, 2016 to arrive. But two days before my birthday in March, we received news that changed our plans. Nate's father, Gary, was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer and was given 6 months to live. Without hesitation, Nate and I decided to marry at the chapel in Raleigh, NC where he grew up on March 26th, 2016. We were married by our pastor, Derrick DeLain, in front of our parents and siblings. It was the best decision we have ever made. My father-in-law, Gary, passed away on August 5th, 2016 and left behind a legacy of love. We celebrated his life the following week with hundreds of family members and friends.

Despite the grief that followed and will continue to persist throughout our adult lives, we looked forward to November 5th, when we would renew our vows in front of our extended family and friends and honor Gary's legacy. 11/05/2016 was a beautiful day full of love, laughter, and memories.

Our day came together in such a seamless way. I wore my perfect dress, Nate his perfect tux, and we renewed our vows in a wedding ceremony at Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church in Tampa. We continued the celebration at TYCC with incredible food, drinks, and more dancing than my feet should have been able to handle. We have no regrets, only memories that will last a lifetime. And to top it all off, we have not only one day but two days to celebrate each year - 03/26/2016 and 11/05/2016. I will be sure to remind my husband of those two wonderful anniversaries...biannually.

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