Renee and Charlie Raley say “I do” in an Old Florida wedding at beautiful Historic Spanish Point.
Location: Historic Spanish Point
Occupations: Renee works for a real estate/development company and also has a small business making locally and organically grown produce and grocery items. Charlie is a freshwater tropical fish farmer.
Wedding Planning: Ashley Gruters, SRQtees Events
Photography: Life’s Highlights
How did you and Charlie meet?
Charlie and I met through mutual friends. We began talking after our first meeting and dating thereafter.
Where and how did the engagement happen?
Each summer we take a trip to Islamorada, FL. We got engaged at my favorite restaurant, Lorelei’s, which is on the water, overlooking the bay.
How did you choose Spanish Point as your venue?
The most important thing to me was combining our tastes. Our favorite thing to do is to be on the water, fishing. And we both enjoy Old Florida and being outdoors. Once I visited Spanish Point it was all she wrote. It combined everything we could've asked for: on the bay, Old Florida charm, breathtaking landscapes and historic architecture.
What was your planning process for the wedding?
It was planned rather quickly. I knew what I wanted and just began finding the vendors and venue that could make the vision a reality. We were engaged in June and I don't think I started the planning process until August. And the event was in December. I truly believe the key to making everything a success was connecting with Ashley early on. When Charlie and I met with Ashley the first time, I had already contacted a handful of vendors and picked out the venue. However, I had no idea what still needed to be done and how it would all come together. I knew I did not want my mom or another family member or friend having to worry about anything the day of the ceremony. Ashley just swooped in and made it all happen.
What kind of theme were you trying to achieve?
I don't know if I had a theme, per se, but aesthetically I like rustic, farmhouse and natural decor. I knew I wanted lighter-colored flowers (whites, peaches), woods, vintage linens and china, and for the whole thing to be rather simple; not too fancy. I wanted everyone to feel comfortable and enjoy their time. It came together beyond my wildest expectations.
What was in the little jars that say “spread the love?”
The jars held different flavored jams and jellies from our caterer, Station 400. A very important aspect of the wedding was the menu. I wanted a “farm to table” menu that sourced locally grown and produced items from local farmers and artisans. Chef Eric Bein with Station 400 did a fantastic job achieving this. And I felt the jams/jellies complemented the theme. I also wanted something practical that people could use.
What was your favorite or most memorable moment of the wedding?
My first treasured moment was arriving to Spanish Point, getting dressed with just my mom, and then having quiet time with both of my parents before we went to the ceremony site. Second would be the time immediately following the ceremony, with just Charlie and me. And finally, the father-daughter dance. He held me tight and I just buried my head and tears in his shoulder as he led me over the dance floor. These are all moments I will cherish forever.