Jackson & Attiya | Saint Petersburg Sailboat Elopement

February 26, 2021

Wow, the last time I wrote a blog post was almost a year ago. And honestly I never thought that my first blog back would be one of heartbreak, challenges and compromise. But here we are.

The date as I am writing this currently is March 23rd 2020. And if you have been living under a rock for the last few months, the world has been completely turned upside down. What people don’t understand is how this virus has effected so many industries and ruined so many lives in its path in my specific business. Speaking from experience, along side other vendor friends, I have cried, stressed and ultimately had to compromise with everything that unfolded.

Attiya & Jackson are two medical students who reside in Tampa Florida. Their original wedding date was set for May 9th 2020. It was the perfect date for them. They were graduating a few days before and they planned this accordingly. The stars lined up perfectly for their celebration. All their family and friends from all over the world would be able to do what they thought was never possible. Seeing them graduate and then married. Two very monumental moments in these young doctors lives, in anyone’s lives really.

Then the world started to get word of a virus that later became an epidemic. Like wildfire it spread throughout the world causing major countries to shut down. The US later followed world leaders who have decided to take action first and started to make orders to cancel public events, including weddings. When this happened Jackson and Attiya had no choice but to cancel theirs. Being that they were the only two members of their families that lived here in Tampa, it no longer made sense to hold the wedding of their dream in a city they were going to be leaving shortly after. They matched with a hospital in DC.

I cried for my couples, I genuinely did and currently am while writing this right now. I am currently in my kitchen where I am in self quarantine as the CDC is recommending everyone to do. It’s only a matter of time before it’s a mandated quarantine by local government.

I empathize with every bride and groom who have been put in this unprecedented situation. YOU DESERVE THE WEDDING YOU HAVE BEEN WORKING HARD FOR. THIS ISN’T FAIR. It honestly feels like a sick joke, a nightmare that we all just want to wake up from.

So while going back and fourth with them and figuring out what they were planning to do, they decided that the best option for them was to just get married. They booked a sailboat and planned for a sunset elopement on the water.

When I got to their AirBNB, I was completely overcome with emotions because I knew the level of pain and compromise they had to sacrifice for them to be there, with only their creative team. No close family, no close friends, just us. And I couldn’t help but put myself into their shoes and my emotions took over again. I held them back and continued to do what I was there to do. Give my couple an incredible time, experience and give them the best possible photos I could.

We couldn’t have asked for a better evening. The water was incredible. The dolphins gave them a private show and the sky was giving them a warm embrace. It felt holistic in a way. Like the universe was apologizing to them.

If it’s one thing I want to you leave all with is, regardless of whatever happens in life, things don’t happen to us, they happen for us. And while this situation may not be the way we all wanted this to go down, I feel like there really couldn’t have been a better way of making this happen. Who knows, but all I do know is that I would rather choose to believe that only great things can come from horrible situations. Press play and enjoy.

Dear Attiya and Jackson,

I am terribly sorry for the cards you were dealt, I hope that you love your elopement and that you had an incredible time with me and the team overall. I wish you both a lifetime of happiness and only the best in life. I know that this is not the last time we will see or each other or talk. You are one of my rare unfortunate couples who I will never forget because of the situation we were put in. This experience has humbled me to new levels, it has broken me and it’s molding me into a new person. You Attiya, I know the reason why I wanted to do everything I could for you guys was because you remind me so much of my niece Nicole. She has your personality and energy and she looks like mini version of you. She is so calm even when she has every right not to be, she can’t help but just be calm about it. Jackson, what I want to take from you is your ability to just calm people down. Whenever Attiya was about to breakdown, you said and did right things to ease her mind, her body and soul. I want to be more like you man. I want to be able to be more internal calculating and intentional with how I am with people. Thank you guys, I truly am honored to have been able to make this happen for you both. Hopefully I will be able to see you guys before you guys take off to DC. I have never seen two people more into each other, more compassionate for one another and more in love than the both of you, that night. Congratulations and safe travels friends.