Exclusive sneak peak into the August Issue of the St. Augustine Entertainer

All
the way from Kentucky, this month’s feature couple has said “I Do, Take You”
and “I Still Do, Take You, St. Augustine to be my destination wedding
location”—first on 7-7-07 (at 7 pm),  affirming that commitment with a renewal ceremony exactly five years later (at 5 pm),
this time with their three children—Maxwell (4), Brooklynne (1) and Brenden
(11).


Matt
and Denise Pelton met in 1995, in college and waiting tables at a Mexican
Restaurant in Cincinnati. They dated seriously for a few years and then broke
up to see other people. Over the next several years, they dated each other on
and off, got back together when they were around 30, and that was that! 

Their
original wedding was at the Castillo Real Hotel, with the ceremony on the beach
directly behind the hotel. Thirty of their peeps flew in for the ceremony, they
all had dinner at L’Amici, and then spent several days in St. Augustine. They kids
enjoyed fishing from the St. Augustine Beach Pier, spending time on the beach,
and visiting the Love Tree on Cordova Street (that now hosts engagement parties
and wedding ceremonies). The Peltons decided St. Augustine would indeed be the anniversary
spot, with the secret plan to drink as much water as possible from the Fountain
of Youth as the years go by! 

This
time, they stayed at the Casa Monica Hotel but had their renewal ceremony in
the jasmine-covered arbor at Casa de
Solana Bed & Breakfast
on Aviles
Street
.  It was a super-hot July day,
but love and romance were in the air (and in Matt and Denise’s eyes).

Lois,
florist at Winn Dixie South, worked her usual magic on the florals for the
family. Denise’s bouquet boasted white calla lilies with roses in shades of
pink and coral. Babygirl Brooklynne’s bouquet of six delicately-pink roses,
although of course significantly smaller, matched perfectly her little pink
dress and gave her mom’s bouquet a run for its money! The boys sported white calla
lily boutonnieres and looked quite dashing in their matching formal shorts
sets! Some brides scoff at getting their bouquets from a grocery store, but let
me tell you ladies, the bouquet Lois will fashion for you will rival in style,
beauty, and price, anything you’ll find elsewhere.

Denise and the
kids each lit one candle for each year of marriage, and the ceremony began. “When
you chose to pledge your love and to care for one
another in marriage, you created a spirit unique unto yourselves; that spirit
has bound you closer than any spoken or written word, but we are here
today to speak those words of love of commitment once again and to celebrate
the wonderful family with which you have been blessed.” At the end of the
ceremony, the kids and I pronounced Matt and Denise “still happy, still
married, and still in love,” and the very well-spoken 11-year-old Brenden instructed
his dad to kiss the bride!

Following
the ceremony, husband and wife enjoyed a champagne toast and everyone dug into
the single-tier cake topped with whipped frosting and strawberries before being
picked up by their scheduled horse and carriage for an early-evening excursion around
the city.

During
this trip, the kids’ favorite attractions were the beach, the Alligator Farm (they even got a
picture with one), and the Fort.
They loved riding the trolley and seeing the sites, especially the free show at
the magic store and the “burning wallet” trick. Their celebration dinner
was at A1A Alehouse, so chosen because
Matt had been dying for shrimp cocktail and Denise for lobster bisque! They
also feasted on the key lime shrimp, lobster pasta, and jambalaya.

We
worked on the Pelton ceremony for about 2 months. I remember thinking after a
particular phone call with Denise that I was absolutely going to write about
them in the August column because something she had said just brought tears to
my eyes. She expressed that she and Matt are just as happy today as they were
five years ago, that that love has not dissipated for even a second over the
years, and I could hear it in her voice, as if she was smiling ridiculously big
when she said it. It’s families like the Peltons that make me love what I do –
celebrate the love! So if you have an anniversary coming up, consider saying your
“I Still Do’s” in St. Augustine. Your options are many, to be outnumbered only
by the number of times you gasp in delight at having made that choice!