Kaitlyn Kelly, 25, works as a Data Visualization Designer at FCB Health, an advertising agency, at their office located in Manhattan. Kaitlyn was born and raised in North Carolina, graduated from UNC, and currently lives in Brooklyn.
Jordan Sanner, 32, works as an Occupational Therapist in Brooklyn. Jordan was born and raised in Kansas, attended The University of Kansas, and needless to say, is a rabid Kansas Jayhawks basketball fan.
We met at church (Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in the summer of 2014. I (Kaitlyn) was down in Florida (from North Carolina) for a summer internship at the Sun Sentinel newspaper. Jordan was there for graduate school to become an occupational therapist. We actually met after a church service and went out to eat with a large group of friends.
Jordan was smitten and I was oblivious to that fact for awhile haha… But once I got to know him I thought he was interesting, thoughtful, kind, easy to talk to, funny and adventurous.
Kaitlyn’s reaction to Jordan was one of disinterested dismissal, while Jordan’s initial reaction to Kaitlyn was intense and life altering. Once introduced, I began scheming of ways to see her again and used our large group of friends as a way to accomplish this. A group trip to Key West was organized, various beach parties, and even a trip to New Orleans to attend the annual Jazz Festival were all coordinated and planned under the cover of “friendship”.
It wasn’t until she moved to North Carolina and I moved to California that I found the distance apart entirely intolerable. We decided to meet again in Florida and give dating a try.
I was aware of my feelings for Kaitlyn when we shook hands. I do remember shaking hands, but not what I said, and it is quite possible that what I said was incoherent. Outwardly I’m sure I held the appearance of a man together, but inwardly, it was an entirely different story. Tripwires had been tripped, alarms were going off, and the normally steady heart was in overdrive. Much, much too soon I conveyed how I felt about her while on the beach at the most inopportune time – while we were engaged in a heated argument. She reciprocated those same words many months later, also on a beach, but with grace and perfect timing.
Because Jordan told soooo early on (way too early) I did not feel pressured at all to say it back then and really wanted it to be true when I said it (instead of just like a response to his declarations). I said it about 6 months after we started dating – and I knew it a little before but because it was a big deal I wanted to wait and tell him when we were back down in Florida for a friend’s wedding. That weekend in February 2016 we were in Fort Lauderdale (where we met) and then Key West. I told him on the last day of our trip in Key West on the beach before we left.
We went to dinner at an Italian restaurant called Erminia that we had both found charming while on an earlier date in the Upper East Side of NYC. Kaitlyn and I enjoyed a candlelit dinner there and then drove to Brooklyn to have dessert at a nice restaurant basically located under the Brooklyn Bridge. We walked by the East River and I asked her around midnight with the impressive skyline of downtown Manhattan as a backdrop. The night was perfectly clear and no one was there except Lady Liberty in the distance. There was no way she could have said no.
We went out to dinner to celebrate living in New York City for 2 years (because people who moved to New York actually do that I promise). We went to a small, intimate candle-lit Italian restaurant called Erminia on 83 rd street and 2 nd avenue (the Upper East Side of Manhattan). We’d been to this restaurant once before for Valentine’s Day and loved it – really feels truly Italian. Afterwards we drove to DUMBO, Brooklyn to have dessert at Cecconi’s by the water and the Manhattan Bridge. After that we walked along the water and stopped at this spot by the Brooklyn Bridge where people have put locks in the fence.
Jordan pulled out a huge lock with our names engraved on it and we locked it on the fence with the others and then kept walking along the water with the New York skyline in the background. And then we sat down on a bench and he gave me a letter that he’d written and I asked him to read it out loud and he did and it was very romantic and nostalgic and told me how much he loved me. Then at the end he said he had one more gift for me and pulled out a box and got down on one knee. And I said yes! (before he even got down on his knee haha).
Surprisingly for New York there actually weren’t many people around in this touristy spot because it was midnight on a Thursday, which was nice!
I would say it was elegant & romantic but also beach-y. The church was veryyy fancy, the style of it is definitely kind of European – Italian/ Spanish architecture. We also had a Florida/beach theme with the palm trees and (thankfully) warm weather.
“Kaitlyn and Jordan were married at Memorial Presbyterian Church in St. Augustine. The courtyard was framed in spiraling arches opening into a latticed brick/cobblestone patio, squared off with boxed hedges and a wall of palms. Inside, the sanctuary had high, domed ceilings painted eggshell blue with windows at the top, which cast soft light on a set of gold crosses lining the ceiling. And the front door of the church was wooden with inset stained glass, so that when the doors shut and reopened between the bridesmaid’s procession and Kaitlyn’s entrance, she emerged from a watercolor cloud of light.
But the church was just the setting to a truly beautiful wedding between two of the most lovely people I know. I feel so blessed to have been a small part of your special day, Kaitlyn.”
~ Emily Palmer
“It was a weekend of love and line dances and evening sparklers. It was a weekend of tiled courtyards and crazy conversations with strangers and the Songs of both Solomon and Usher. A weekend of long walks along the coast: sea-kissed legs and ocean-thick hair heavy with salt. It was a weekend of pools of light and tequila sunrise and sun-soaked swims. It was a weekend that ended so abruptly, I returned to the city with sand still between my toes. I think part of me just wanted to take a little bit of the place back with me – afraid to let this weekend pass into memory.”
~ Emily Palmer
Burgundy, navy, and gold
I painted 4 watercolor paintings of places in St. Augustine – our church (Memorial
Presbyterian Church), the reception venue (Casa Monica Resort), Flagler College (right
near by – across from Casa Monica) and the Bridge of Lions and had them made into
cards/stationery as the gifts/favors for all of our guests. We put them in clear bags and
placed them at each person’s setting at the tables.
I love to paint but I don’t do it as often as I should so this was a great opportunity for me to have a (tight) deadline and motivation to finish a project. We wanted to add another personal touch and give our guests something special to take home.
I also did the calligraphy for all of table number signs (in gold calligraphy ink) and wrote different bible verses on the back of them. I’d seen this as a chance to use the other side of the card to share the Word of God with our friends and family. I took a calligraphy class a few months before the wedding so that I could try and address the envelopes for our invitations with calligraphy. I’m still pretty amateur but I definitely got LOTS of practice doing this!
My lovely friend Nancy Zirker made our welcome sign (she does amazing word burning
projects and said she would be happy to help!) She even matched the font that we used on
our invitations very well!
My favorite moment was when the epic organ music in the massive church began to
play, the door opened, and Kaitlyn was there silhouetted by the bright outdoor light.
The moment was forever imprinted in my memory. It was lovely. Also, we heard
later that as we exited the church, a bald eagle swooped into view and was seen by
many of the guests. Probably a good sign.
My favorite part of the day was the ceremony. This was the main event – where we said “I do” to entering into the sacred covenant of marriage. Jordan and I spent a lot of time planning this – choosing the scripture, the music, our vows, and actually writing the entire service. We saw this as an opportunity to share the Gospel with our friends and family who were gathered. So, for us standing there at the altar, holding hands, and listening to the service, I was reminded of our intentions and promises to point each other closer to Christ in our marriage.
I remembered sitting at Starbucks with our copy of the book “The Meaning of Marriage” by our pastor Tim Keller and choosing quotes and messages that clearly showed how marriage should be a picture of Christ and the Church. We should be focused on honoring and serving and sacrificing for each other every day. Love is shown through actions and behaviors and our greatest example is how Christ sacrificed himself for us. Hearing back all of the words that we had planned to share was really emotional for me and so meaningful. I was incredibly excited as I placed the ring on Jordan’s finger and said my vows in front of God and all of witnesses.
Another particularly special moment was during the ceremony—being inside that beautiful church—listening to my friend Olivia sing “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)” while my uncle Joe accompanied her on the guitar. I had actually never heard Olivia sing before our wedding day, so then to hear her for the first time in that setting was incredible! She has such a beautiful voice. This is also one of my absolute favorite worship songs that always moves me emotionally. I love it because it is a song basically just about worshipping God – singing His praises:
“For all Your goodness
I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons
For my heart to find
Bless the Lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I'll worship Your Holy name
Bless You Lord”
Another favorite moment (something that was a surprise for me) was when my
“ZirKelly family” (so that’s everyone in my immediate family – the Kellys and my best friend’s family – the Zirkers) presented a choreographed dance to the song “Love Today.” Basically, our families have been friends for about 19 years now. One year our families went on a week-long Caribbean cruise and this song “Love Today” was played
all the time – before shows, and other cruise events – and so it became the song of the trip. I was so surprised and happy so watch their dance and cannot believe that they even got my dad and William to participate in this as well!
Picking the music for the cocktail hour, dinner, and dance party was really fun. I asked my friend Mary Beth to give me some suggestions for the dance party part of the reception and she sent me a Spotify playlist with 116 songs (so 7 and a half hours-worth a.k.a. wayyy too many than we could even use). I had a lot of fun just listening to it while at work trying hard not to start dancing in my seat. Also thinking of props for the photobooth was fun – we had hats, masks, a parasol, a movie cut thing,
LOCATION: St. Augustine, Florida
Ceremony Site: Memorial Presbyterian Church
Reception Site: Casa Monica Resort
Stationery: Unica Forma for invitations, myself for the programs and custom painted
stationary (the gifts for the guests)
Photographer: Rocker in Love (Grasi Favoreto and Dani Correa- a married couple and
their 11-year-old son Otto helped too)
The photographers are awesome – Grasi did our engagement photos in New York in November as well. This team of photographers travel around the U.S. in an RV doing wedding and engagement photography. Their goal is to get at least one wedding in each state in the U.S. every year for their ‘US Wedding Tour’ book that they put together. So they don’t charge any travel cost for wherever your wedding is since they want to travel to new places! They actually had never been to St. Augustine, Florida before either.
We didn’t have a professional videographer – but my lovely friend Mary Beth Zirker videoed all throughout the day (except during the ceremony because it wasn’t allowed) – and I’m working on editing something together! Me, MB, and our siblings – Sarah, William and her sister/my best friend Stephanie used to “make movies” all the time and I was always the one editing videos.
Consultant: I had a wedding coordinator at the church: Paula Lamberth and a coordinator person at the Casa Monica – Elizabeth Gomez
Flowers: Jade Violet Florist
Gown: Forever Amour Bridal Boutique (in New York)
Hair: Casa Monica’s Spa – Poseidon Spa
Make-Up: Casa Monica’s Spa – Poseidon Spa
Veil: Forever Amour Bridal Boutique
Shoes: Anthropologie’s wedding line: BHLDN —– and Sparkly Kate Spade / Ked sneakers for the dance portion of the night
Engagement & Wedding Rings: I don’t remember the name of the places but we got them all in NYC and New Jersey, one of the jewelers was called Firenze Jewelry
Jewelry: I just wore simple Swarovski stud earrings
Bridesmaids Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids (Raleigh, NC) – Designer: Bill Levkoff
Menswear: Men’s warehouse
Rentals: Booth by Mail (a do-it-yourself photobooth that the company mails you 2 days before the wedding and you set up and take down yourself and then mail the equipment
Catering: Casa Monica Resort did the in-house catering
Cake: Crème de la Cocoa (it was a white chocolate raspberry cake)
Desserts: and we also had mini key lime pies
Music/DJ: McGee entertainment
Guests: 107 total (including us/bridal party etc)
Jordan and I first saw this church when we went on a group trip to St. Augustine with some friends from church – which was actually just a few weeks after we had started dating. I thought it was a magnificently beautiful church at that time. And then when we starting to think about getting married it popped back into my mind and I reached out to the church to see if they did weddings. We also were happy to get married in Florida since that is where we met!
My bridesmaids: Sarah Kelly (my sister), Stephanie Zirker (my best friend since forever (19 years)). Sarah Delk (a good friend from college), Kelsie Gibson (a friend from college and now lives in New York with me – and we just became neighbors in Brooklyn!). Olivia Anderson (a good friend and a former bible study leader in college). and Darija Franjic (we met and spent a summer together in Orlando with our college ministry group and have stayed friends ever since).
Groomsmen: Brice Sanner (Jordan’s twin brother), Nick Sanner (Jordan’s younger
brother), William Kelly (my brother), Jacob Neece (his good friend from college), Scott
Logan (a friend from Kansas), and Matt Dunlap (a friend and former roommate from
when Jordan lived in Arizona and from college).