Sometimes life brings us together in mysterious ways. There have been movies and books made, about the likelihood of people’s paths crossing, the science of six degrees of separation, etc. But then there are times when people are brought together, simply by a messy dorm room.
from the photographer: “Picture your freshman year of college. Do you have a clear image in your mind? Now picture the chaos of moving out of the dorms. This was the day that Wendy met John. She had already packed her car and cleaned her dorm and was waiting to be checked out. If you know Wendy, being ahead of schedule is just so her! As she walked down the hall she saw this guy’s room was a complete MESS. We’re talking dust bunnies, trash, spilled drinks on the hardwood floor, clothes everywhere… 18-year-old dude’s freshman dorm. Wendy felt so much empathy for the guy who resided in that dorm, that she decided to go out to her car and bring her Swiffer back up to this poor guy! Little did she know, 5 years later, that boy she helped Swiffer his dorm, would ask her on their first date and 4 years later they’d be married! (Side note: Their wedding hashtag was #SwifferToSchafer ! How darling and unique is that!)
On their wedding day, the ladies were up early for hair and makeup. They wore matching PJ sets and sipped on mimosas while prepping for the wedding day. These girls were so much fun, but what stood out to me while they were getting ready, was how much peace there was in that room. If you’re married, you know that preparing for a wedding day can be pretty stressful. Even the last-minute details can be really overwhelming. However, the atmosphere, while they were getting ready, was one of joy, peace, and quiet excitement. I remember asking John what he loves the most about Wendy and he told me that she is the most steady person he knows. I think that steadiness was very much reflected in the moments leading up to their ceremony.
Wendy had her heart set on her First Look happening at Kraft Azalea. If you’re not familiar with this location, it is a stunning garden in Winter Park. The trees in this park are utterly unreal. However, the weather was not looking promising as we drove to this location. Thankfully, it was not raining when we arrived so we were able to allow these two a private (well we were there) a few moments with each other. As Wendy made her way towards John, they both wiped back his tears. It was definitely a sweet and emotional moment.
The reception was held outside under strings of bistro lights at the Capen House. It is a quaint, restored two-story home. On sight, there is a beautiful sculpture garden and it is nestled right next to a lake. Rows of tables were set up for the guest with eucalyptus garlands, tall pillar candles, and classic gold touches. All of the guests watched the sunset over the beautiful lake. It was such a stunning day celebrating Mr. & Mrs. Schafer!”
We touched base with Wendy & John to ask them a few things about their story and their wedding day –
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?
We met in college, Rollins College. We didn’t date until 5 years later though.
John: She was beauty and brains.
Wendy: I thought he was ebullient and athletic.
Tell us a funny story relating to your wedding day or relationship!
Our wedding hashtag was #SwifferToSchafer. Freshman year of college it was move out day. Wendy had already packed her car and cleaned her dorm and was waiting to be checked out. She was ahead of schedule, of course! As she walked down the hall she saw John’s room was a MESS. Dust bunnies, trash, spilt drinks on the hardwoods, clothes everywhere, etc. She decided to bring her Swiffer over and help the poor guy! Little did she know, 5 years later, they’d go on their first date and 4 years after that they’d be married!
Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship or during your wedding planning.
Two years in, we decided to move to a new city, find new jobs, and move in with each other. Lots of change all at once.
Any special ways you incorporated your family or family history into your wedding day?
Both of Wendy’s parents “gave her away”. John had an epic dance off with his twin brother Steven that had the crowd roaring! John’s “college family” (next door neighbors) provided the getaway vehicle, the Golden Stallion!
Bride: Ordering room service for breakfast alone in my room with my mom. The calm before the storm if you will!
Groom: Playing basketball the morning of the wedding with my brother, just as I did with him before his wedding. This was followed by a big brunch at a family friends house surrounded by my groomsmen and close friends.
What part of your wedding day was/is most important to you?
Father Rob tying the knot (physically) with our hands in the middle during the wedding ceremony. All Saints Episcopal Church in Winter Park, Florida.
What is the best thing you’ve learned from one another?
John: I can get rid of college memorabilia and live to tell the tale.
Wendy: Not having a plan is ok.
What is your favorite thing about each other?
John: Wendy is spontaneous and sweet, but she’s also the most consistent and steady person I know.
Wendy: John always goes with the flow and puts others first.
What was your favorite part about planning your wedding?
Wendy: I’m a total planner so I loved every minute of it. Getting everything booked and organized a year in advance makes it much easier to figure out the details later as the big stuff is already done.
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?
Make a list of the top 3 most important things to you – Is it food? Venue? Flowers? Music? Focus on those the most and then go generic on all the other details. No one will remember your flowers, linens or guest book table. Write all your vendor thank you notes and include their tips the week before the wedding. Then have your planner distribute them the day of.
What is the most honest thing you can say about love?
It takes two to tango – equal dedication and effort is required to make a relationship last.